Ranking Members Boozman, Westerman Highlight Beneficial Impact Timber Industry Has in Arkansas During National Forest Product Week
WASHINGTON—In recognition of National Forest Products Week, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and U.S. Representative Bruce Westerman, ranking member on the House Committee on Natural Resources, are highlighting the tens of thousands of hardworking Arkansans employed by the industry, the billions it adds to the state’s economy and the many benefits our properly managed forests bring to the Natural State.
“We interact with paper and wood products in just about every facet of life, so it's important to remember the hardworking folks who help bring them to our homes, businesses and more. This week, we recognize the industry and its dedicated workforce, which has continued to excel and deliver even under the immense supply chain pressures they have faced the past year, and continue to face today,” said Boozman. “When we manage our forests properly, we can harvest desirable timber, continue reforestation activities and support the growing wood products industry, which helps bolster our rural communities. Nobody does that better than we do in Arkansas, and our vibrant forest products industry is proof that best practices yield the best results.”
“I’ve had the privilege of visiting every U.S. state and territory, and I have yet to find a place that understands the importance of forestry better than Arkansas. Our thriving forest products industry is a testament to this fact. Not only do these businesses employ thousands of Arkansan workers, but they also invest in sound forest management that will leave both public and private land in even better condition than we found it. Even when crises strain our supply chain, Arkansas forest managers rise to the challenge and work overtime to keep our shelves stocked with toilet paper, printer paper, paper towels and scores of other essential forest products. I’m honored to champion Arkansas forestry here in Congress and thank all the dedicated men and women who help our industry to thrive,” said Westerman.
Nationwide, the forest and paper products industry employs over 950,000 men and women across our nation in well-paying jobs as foresters, loggers, truckers, mill workers, manufacturers, suppliers, builders, land managers and natural resource professionals. The growing forest products and paper industry supports an additional 2.5 million jobs through its supply chain representing around four percent of the nation’s gross domestic product from manufacturing. The industry manufactures almost $300 billion in products annually.
Arkansas Forest Products Fast Facts*
*Source: American Forest & Paper Association
- Forest acreage: 19 million acres
- Number of Arkansans working in forestry, logging, wood products and pulp and paper: 24,168
- Total annual compensation: Over $1.5 billion
- Total manufacturing output: Over $8.1 billion
- Number of wood products facilities: 39
- Number of paper manufacturing facilities (both mills and converting plants: 53
- Revenue generated for state and local governments: $111 million
- Exciting innovations in mass timber usage are taking place in the Natural State:
- The University of Arkansas constructed a 202,000 sq. ft. student residence almost entirely of mass timber.
- It is one of the largest mass timber buildings in the U.S., estimating to store the equivalent of over 3,000 metric tons of carbon.
- Walmart is building a new corporate headquarters in Bentonville with 1.7 million cubic feet of mass timber harvested and manufactured in Arkansas.
- As a result of that project, Structurlam is opening a new facility in Conway, Arkansas that will create over 100 new jobs in the state.
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