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Ohio State University Extension


Holmes County’s Forest Economy

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Eric McConnell, PhD, Forest Operations and Products Extension Specialist, Ohio State University Extension
Gary Graham, PhD, Natural Resources Specialist, Ohio State University Extension

Holmes County contains 423 square miles (270,720 acres) of land and is home to 42,366 citizens[1]. There are 176 industries in the county, with the average household earning an income of $81,900. Major employers include businesses in the sectors of food services, wholesale trade, construction, and state and local governments[2].

Figure 1. Wood furniture manufacturing is a significant contributor to Holmes County's forest economy. Photo credit: Dr. Robert Romig.

The land resources of Holmes County provide many economic benefits. The county's 1,510 agricultural farms produce poultry, dairy products, agronomic crops, and cattle, among others[3]. Overall, 181,000 acres of land are in farms.

An abundance of forested acres, though, are present in Holmes County as well. Responsibly managing these woodlands provides community support by producing economic activity in eleven forest industrial sectors. These businesses directly generate $421 million in industrial output and $24.7 million in taxes[2]. This fact sheet presents some key terms and figures for describing the many contributions Holmes County's forests and forest industries provide to the local economy.

Forest Resource Terminology[4]

Acre: A unit of land measure equal to 43,560 square feet (208.7 feet x 208.7 feet). One square mile equals 640 acres.

Forest Type Group: A classification of forest land based on the species forming a plurality of live-tree stocking. Forest types sharing closely associated species or site requirements are often combined into major forest type groups.

Growing Stock Volume: Net volume, in cubic feet, of growing-stock trees 5.0 inches in diameter and larger, measured at breast height (4.5 feet). Height is recorded from a 1-foot stump to a minimum 4.0-inch top diameter outside bark of the central stem, or to the point where the central stem breaks into limbs. Gross volume minus deductions for cull equals net volume.

Sawtimber Volume: Net volume in board feet, by the International ¼-inch rule, of sawlogs in sawtimber trees. Gross volume minus the deductions for rot, sweep, and other defects that affect use for lumber equals net volume.

Forest Industry Impact Analysis Terminology[6]

Direct Economic Impact: The effect generated by the industry of interest in an economic impact analysis. This is measured through employment, value-added, and industrial output produced to meet demand for the manufactured product(s).

Employment: The total wage and salary and self-employed jobs in a geographical area. This number includes both full-time and part-time jobs in an industrial sector.

Direct Federal Tax Impact: Taxes collected by the United States government. These taxes are generated from labor income, indirect business taxes, households, and corporations associated with the industry of interest.

Direct State and Local Tax Impact: Taxes paid to state, county, and municipal governments. These taxes are generated from labor income, indirect business taxes, households, and corporations associated with the industry of interest.

Indirect Business Taxes: These taxes are primarily sales and excise taxes paid by individuals to businesses through normal operations. They do not include taxes on corporate profits and dividends.

Industrial Output: The total value of production measured as the sum of value-added plus the cost of buying goods and services to produce the product(s).

Labor Income: Wages and benefits paid to employees plus proprietary income for self-employed work.

Value-Added: The sum of labor income, interest, profits, and indirect business taxes.

Why should I manage my woodland?

  • Properly managing your woodland improves forest health, aesthetics, and wildlife habitat. It also provides soil stabilization, clean water, self-satisfaction, and a potential source of income.
  • Managing timber requires less long-term inputs compared to many other land uses.
  • You are able to obtain cost share funds to establish your woodland, tax credits while managing your forest property, and preferable tax treatment at harvest.
  • Standing timber is a stable form of wealth, often comparable in performance to mutual fund investments.

How can I learn to better manage my woodland?

  • Become actively involved in the stewardship of your property.
  • Join your local forestry association.
  • Contact your local service forester to assist you in developing a management plan for your property.
  • Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District to provide you soils information.
  • Contact a professional forester when considering a timber sale,

Figure 2. Holmes County is located in Ohio's northeastern timber price reporting region[3]. Figure 3. Holmes County contains 89,025 forested acres, which is 32.9% of the total land cover[1, 5].

Figure 4. Holmes County's forested acres are 98.2% privately owned, which amounts to 87,445 acres[5]. Figure 5. Oak/hickory is the predominant forest type within Holmes County[5].

Figure 6. Growing stock volume by 2 inch diameter class[5]. Figure 7. Sawtimber volume by species group1[5].

Figure 8. Industry values of the top agricultural and natural resources products in Holmes County, 2010[2]. Figure 9. Direct economic impact of Holmes County's forest industries, 2010[2]. Labor income, value-added and industrial output are represented on the left Y-axis, and employment is represented on the right Y-axis.

Figure 10. Holmes County's top forest industry employers by sector, 2010[2]. Figure 11. Direct tax impact of Holmes County's forest industries, 2010[2].

For more information, please consult the following sources:

School of Environment and Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
2021 Coffey Road
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 688-3421
OSU Extension, Holmes County
75 East Clinton Street, Suite 109
Millersburg, OH 44654
Phone: (330) 674-3015
Fax: (330) 674-1908
Ohio Division of Forestry
950 ODNR Mohican Road 60 Perrysville, OH 44864
Phone: (330) 938-6222
Fax: (330) 938-3104
Holmes County Soil and Water Conservation District
62 West Clinton Street
Millersburg, OH 44654
Phone: (330) 674-2811
Fax: (330) 674-3466
Ohio Forestry Association
Office: 746 Morrison Road, Columbus, OH 43230
Mail: 1100-H Brandywine Blvd.,
Zanesville, OH 43701
Phone: (614) 497-9580
Fax: (614) 497-9581
Call Before You Cut
Phone: (877) 424-8288


[1] United States Census, 2010.

[2] Estimates using IMPLAN® software supplied by the Minnesota IMPLAN Group, 2010.

[3] United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2010.

[4] United States Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis, 2012. Northeast Forest Inventory and Analysis Methodology: Common definitions used by FIA.

[5] United States Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Database, 2010. 

[6] Minnesota IMPLAN Group, 2004. IMPLAN Professional®: Users Guide, Analysis Guide, Data Guide.

We thank Dr. Matt Bumgardner, United States Forest Service, and David Apsley, OSU Extension, for their reviews of this fact sheet.

1"Select White Oaks" can include white oak, swamp white oak, bur oak, chinkapin oak, and swamp chestnut oak.

Originally posted Aug 29, 2012.