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Ohio State University Extension


Fairfield County’s Forest Economy

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Eric McConnell, Ph.D., Forest Operations and Products Specialist, Ohio State University Extension
Mike Hogan, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

Fairfield County contains 504 square miles (322,800 acres) of land and is home to 146,100 citizens[1]. A brown box with a white sticker on it sitting on a shelf behind a yellow bar.There are 201 industries in the county[2], with the median household earning an income of $56,800[1]. Major employers include businesses in the sectors of food services, state and local governments, services to buildings and dwellings, and private hospitals[2].

The land resources of Fairfield County provide many economic benefits. The county's 1,090 agricultural farms produce agronomic crops and livestock, among others[3]. Overall, 172,000 acres of land 

are in farms.

An abundance of forested acres are also present in Fairfield County. Responsibly managing these woodlands provides community support by producing economic activity in eight forest industrial sectors.A white map with Fairfield County shaded in black. These businesses directly generate $200 million in industrial output and $9.49 million in taxes[2]. This fact sheet presents some key terms and figures for describing the many contributions Fairfield 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.  A pi chart showing that 17.3% of land is forestland, 53.3% is farmland, and 29.4% is other nonforest land.

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. A blue pie chart showing that 100% of Fairfield County's land is 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- and part-time jobs in an industrial sector.

Direct Federal Tax Impact: Taxes collected by the U.S. 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).A pie chart showing that 69.4% of Fairfield County's wood id made up of oak or hickory, 20.8% is maple, beech or birch, and 9.9% is elm, ash, or cottonwood.

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 showing the height of wood based on its diameter class.
  • 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 showing that 27% of wood  is yellow poplar, 9% is hickory, 8% is ash, 7% is hard maple, 12% is red oak, 37% is all other species.
  • Join your local forestry association.
  • Search Ohio State University Extension's website Ohioline for further study of forestry-related topics:
  • Contact your local service forester to help you develop a management plan for your property. 
  • Obtain soils information from your local Soil and Water Conservation District.
  • Enlist the assistance of a professional forester when planning a timber sale.
  • Consider hiring an Ohio Master Logging Company to conduct your harvesting operation.

ResourcesA bar graph showing the revenue from grains, oilseeds, hogs, cattle, milk products, and forest products.

School of Environment and Natural Resources
The Ohio State University 
2021 Coffey Road
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 688-3421
Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130
Phone: (740) 653-5419
Fax: (740) 687-7010 
Ohio Division of Forestry 
345 Allen Ave.
Chillicothe, OH 45601A bar graph showing the money spent on employment, industrial output, value added, and labor income.
Phone: (740) 774-1596
Fax: (740) 773-0273
Fairfield County Soil and Water Conservation District 
831 College Ave., Suite B
Lancaster, OH 43130
Phone: (740) 653-8154; (740) 653-1500
Fax: (740) 653-1135
Ohio Society of American Foresters
Ohio Forestry Association
Master Logging Company Program
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
A bar graph showing the amount of people involved in paperboard mills, paper mills, paperboard container manufacturing, and sawmills.
A bar graph showing the amount of money spent on federal versus state taxes.


Minnesota IMPLAN Group. (2004). IMPLAN Professional: Users Guide, Analysis Guide, Data Guide (3rd ed.). MIG, Inc.

USDA Forest Service. (2020). Data and Tools. Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program.

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 Nathan Irby, Mississippi Forestry Association; Kathy Smith, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University; and Stan Smith, Ohio State University Extension, for their reviews of this fact sheet.


1This figure does not include wooded acres in local and state parks, wildlife areas, and nature preserves.


Originally posted Sep 21, 2012.