It’s National Forest Products Week!

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is joining a national celebration of forest products this week. National Forest Products Week (Oct. 15-21, 2023) highlights the value of forest products, their many contributions to society and the vital role they play in our daily lives.

Many Wisconsinites appreciate that forests are an essential part of our state’s history, culture and environment, but fewer people realize the economic impact of the 17 million acres of forests in Wisconsin.

Just like how Wisconsin’s diverse forests keep our ecosystems healthy, our diverse forest industry produces a unique and wide range of products; from cardboard boxes and high-quality paper to doors, windows and flooring, to many lesser-known products that support a healthy economy and keeps Wisconsin competitive globally.

“Forest products generate more than $24 billion in goods and services annually,” said Carmen Hardin, DNR Applied Forestry Bureau Director. “The economic impact reaches every corner of the state. Not only is forestry the number one employer in eight Wisconsin counties, but every 100 forestry jobs support another 124 jobs in the state.”

As part of this celebration of forest products, the DNR recognizes the industry workers who make the products, the forestry professionals who are hard at work keeping forests healthy and resilient, and the individuals and families who own nearly 60% of the forest land in Wisconsin and provide about 65% of the wood needed by forest product companies in Wisconsin.

Carbon sequestration in sustainably managed forest lands and carbon storage in the products made from the trees can provide a natural solution to climate change while also providing a variety of additional benefits like clean air and water, human health benefits, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, good-paying jobs and local economic support. Not only does the carbon remain sequestered throughout the forest product’s lifetime, but forest products are less carbon-intensive to produce than other materials.

“In addition to helping mitigate climate change, forests are the backbone of our environment and critical to our economic prosperity,” said Hardin. “Perhaps the best thing about forest products is that they are recyclable and come from a renewable resource. That’s surely worth celebrating.”

This week-long celebration of forest products has been observed across the nation since 1960. Learn more about Wisconsin forest product businesses on the DNR’s Forest Businesses webpage. Learn about the USDA Forest Products Laboratory’s celebration of National Forest Products Week on the USDA website.