What We Do

Support Rural Communities

Supporting forestry means supporting rural American communities.

Forestry is big business across the nearly 2,000 rural counties of the United States—supporting 2.5 million jobs and fueling a $200 billion industry for forest products like household goods, paper and pulp, and lumber.

  • Privately owned forests support 2.5 million U.S. jobs.

  • The forest industry is a top 10 manufacturer in 45 states.

  • Forestry supports $99 billion in payroll.

  • More than 75% of U.S. pulp and paper mills are located in rural counties.

  • Family-owned forests provide 50% of the wood that flows into the U.S. supply chain.

Forests & American jobs

Sustainably managing our forests could mean more jobs for rural communities.

This is because when family forest owners (those owning between 20 and 1,000 acres) conduct sustainable forest management practices—like thinning, removing invasives and planting—they typically need to hire local foresters, loggers and others to help them complete the work. 

On average, a landowner might contract with roughly 15 people in their local community to help them with land management.

Partnerships for local economies

When family forest owners conduct sustainable forest management practices on their land, the local community benefits. This is especially true in initiatives like the My Wisconsin Woods partnership which connects family forest owners with foresters, helps them write management plans and assists them in taking needed steps toward oak regeneration in the region. 

Learn more about how you can partner with us to support America’s rural communities.

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Tom Martin, AFF CEO & President, speaking at the 2019 NLC.

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Mississippi Forester Awarded for Leadership and Contributions to Forestry Community

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