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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

A manufacturing building holding stacks of white chairs on top of each other. 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]

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). A pie chart depicting how much of Holmes County contains farmland versus forestland.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. A pie chart depicting how much land in Holmes County is county versus privately owned. 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.A pie chart depicting how much forestry is oak, maple, elm, or another type of bark.

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.A bar graph depicting the diameter of stock in million cubic feet.
  • 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.A pie chart depicting how much of the sawtimber is ash, black cherry, white oak, and other soft hardwoods.
  • 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,


School of Environment and Natural ResourcesA bar graph depicting the revenue from different industries in agriculture.
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) 938-3104A bar graph depicting the amount of dollars spent on employment, labor, value, and industrial output.
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) 424-8288A bar graph depicting the amount of people in different areas of forestry.
A bar graph depicting the amount spent on state versus federal taxes.


National Agricultural Statistics Service. (2010). Agricultural Statistics 2010. United States Department of Agriculture.

United States Forest Service. (2012). Moving from Status to Trends: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium 2012. United States Department of Agriculture.

Woudenberg, S.W., Conkling, B.L., O’Connell, B.M., LaPoint, E.B., Turner, J.A., & Waddell, K.L. (2010). The Forest Inventory and Analysis Database: Database Description and Users Manual Version 4.0 for Phase 2. United States Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

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.