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Ohio State University Extension


Perry County’s Forest Economy

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Eric McConnell, Ph.D., Forest Operations and Products Specialist, Ohio State University Extension
Ted Wiseman, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County

Perry County contains 408 square miles (261,120 acres) of land and is home to 33,303 citizens[1]. There are 133 industries in the county[2], with the median household earning an income of $42,400[1]. Major employers include businesses in the sectors of state and local governments, nursing and residential care facilities, and civic, social, and professional organizations[2].

Figure 1. Sawmilling is a significant contributor to Perry County's forest economy.

The land resources of Perry County provide many economic benefits. The county's 630 agricultural farms produce agronomic crops, cattle and calves, and hogs and pigs, among others. Overall, 97,000 acres of land are in farms[3].

An abundance of forested acres are also present in Perry County. Responsibly managing these woodlands provides community support by producing economic activity in four forest industrial sectors. These businesses directly generate $11.4 million in industrial output and $750,000 in taxes[2]. This fact sheet presents some key terms and figures for describing the many contributions Perry 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- 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).

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.

Figure 2. Perry County is located in Ohio's western timber price reporting region[3]. Figure 3. Perry County contains 137,000 of forestland, which is 52.6% of the total land cover[1, 5].

Figure 4. Perry County's forests are 72.8% privately owned, nearly 100,000 acres[5]. Figure 5. Oak/hickory is the predominant forest type within Perry County[5].

Figure 6. Growing stock volume by 2 inch diameter class. Perry County's forests contain 220 million cubic feet of growing stock[5]. Figure 7. Sawtimber volume by species group. Perry County's forests contain 800 million board feet of sawtimber[5].

Figure 8. Industrial production values of select agricultural and natural resources products in Perry County, 2010[2]. Figure 9. Direct economic impact of Perry 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. Perry County's top forest industry employers by sector, 2010[2]. Figure 11. Direct tax impact of Perry County's forest industries, 2010[2].

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.
  • 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.

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
Ohio State University Extension, Perry County
104 South Columbus, P.O. Box 279
Somerset, OH 43783
Phone: (740) 743-1602
Fax: (740) 743-1215
Ohio Division of Forestry
345 Allen Ave.
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Phone: (740) 774-1596
Fax: (740) 773-0273
Perry County Soil and Water Conservation District
109-A East Gay St., P.O. Box 337
Somerset, OH 43783
Phone: (740) 743-1325
Fax: (740) 743-3830
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


[1] United States Census. 2010. United States census quick facts.

[2] Minnesota IMPLAN Group. 2012. 2010 Ohio state and national package database. MIG, Inc., Hudson, WI.

[3] United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2010. Ohio county summaries.

[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. 3rd edition.

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

Originally posted Sep 21, 2012.