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Ohio State University Extension


Ross County’s Forest Economy

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Eric McConnell, Ph.D., Forest Operations and Products Specialist, Ohio State University Extension
Chris Bruynis, Ph.D., Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County

Ross County contains 689 square miles (441,000 acres) of land and is home to 78,000 citizens[1]. There are 165 industries in the county[2], with the median household earning an income of $42,626[1]. Major employers include businesses in the sectors of state and local governments, food services, private hospitals, and paper mills[2].

Figure 1. Forest industries contribute 21.9% to Ross County's economy[2,3].

The land resources of Ross County provide many economic benefits. The county's 1,000 agricultural farms produce cattle and calves, dairy and milk, and agronomic crops, among others[3]. An abundance of wooded acres are also present, providing community support to the county's forest industries. These businesses generate $1.01 billion in industrial output and $54.2 million in taxes[2].

Some of the many contributions Ross County's forests and forest industries provide to the local economy are illustrated in this fact sheet using key figures and statistics. Figures 2–4, describing Ross County's forest resources, were constructed using data from the 2011 forest survey database provided by the United States Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis. Figures 5–8 explain the county's forest industries and were developed from data analyzed using IMPLAN®. Table 1 summarizes the IMPLAN® model for Ross County's economy. (For more information regarding IMPLAN® and the economic impact analyses for Ross County, please contact the first author in the School of Environment and Natural Resources.)

Benefits of Woodland Management

  • 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 often able to obtain cost share funds to establish your woodland, property 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 Ohioline for further study of Forestry related topics,
  • Contact your local service forester at the Ohio Division of Forestry 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.

Figure 2. Ross County contains approximately 200,000 forested acres, which is 46.1% of the total land cover[1, 5]. Figure 3. Ross County's forestland is 76.2% privately owned, over 150,000 acres[5].

Figure 4. Ross County contains 1.8 billion board feet of sawtimber[5]. The top five species make up 69.6% of the total volume. Figure 5. Ross County's farmland and forestland production, 2010[2]. This figure does not include harvests from government lands.

Figure 6. Direct economic impact of Ross 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 7. Ross County's forest industry employers by sector, 2010[2]. A (----) indicates less than five employees to prevent potential disclosure of individual company information.

Figure 8. Direct tax impact of Ross 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 Rd.
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 688-3421
Ohio State University Extension, Ross County
475 Western Ave., Suite F
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Phone: (740) 702-3200
Fax: (740) 702-3209
Ohio Division of Forestry
345 Allen Ave.
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Phone: (740) 774-1596
Fax: (740) 773-0273
Ross County Soil and Water Conservation District
475 Western Ave., Suite H
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Phone: (740) 772-4110
Fax: (740) 775-5623
Ohio Society of American Foresters
Ohio Forestry Association
Master Logging Company Program
Office: 746 Morrison Rd., 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


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.

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).

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.

Employment: The total wage and salary and self-employed jobs in a geographical area.

Indirect Business Taxes: 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.

Sawtimber Volume: Net volume in board feet by the International 1/4-inch rule of sawlogs in sawtimber trees on timberland. Gross volume minus the deductions that affect use for lumber equals net volume.

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

Table 1. Direct industrial contributions within Ross County’s economy, 2010[2]. The IMPLAN® model’s 440 sectors were aggregated into 12 industries by each sector’s 2-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code number. A (----) indicates less than five employees or a value less than $500,000 to prevent potential disclosure of individual company information.

Industry NAICS Description Employment Labor Income Value-Added Industrial Output
11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting 1,411 $18,347,662 $26,680,956 $84,041,486
     113 Forestry and Logging 103 $3,272,505 $3,197,682 $8,818,197
21 Mining 16 $1,062,167 $1,458,426 $2,333,403
22 Utilities 171 $17,344,439 $60,505,873 $102,827,192
23 Construction 1,349 $33,862,276 $46,644,593 $138,802,714
31–33 Manufacturing 3,120 $247,658,434 $450,257,063 $1,963,662,835
     321 Wood Products Manufacturing 56 $3,093,822 $3,373,788 $9,238,548
     322 Paper Manufacturing 1,410 $128,225,269 $296,850,052 $993,640,267
     337 Wood Furniture Manufacturing (----) (----) (----) (----)
42 Wholesale Trade 529 $28,484,923 $56,688,279 $75,043,526
44–45 Retail Trade 4,293 $108,459,769 $160,811,834 $244,673,215
48–49 Transportation and Warehousing 707 $34,210,120 $44,912,355 $75,926,802
51–56 Professional Services 4,778 $149,261,891 $513,456,820 $793,073,370
61–72 Educational, Health, and Recreational Services 7,670 $311,412,614 $357,570,087 $606,859,004
81 Other Services 1,495 $39,091,851 $40,488,468 $89,455,176
92 Government and non-NAICS Industries 5,879 $283,599,725 $320,218,001 $433,919,343
      Forest Industries 1,569 $134,591,596 $303,421,522 $1,011,697,012
Total 31,419 $1,272,795,872 $2,079,692,756 $4,610,618,065


[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. 2012. 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. 2012. Ross County 2011 forest survey database.

[6] Minnesota IMPLAN Group. 2004. IMPLAN Professional®: Users Guide, Analysis Guide, Data Guide. 3rd edition. MIG, Inc.

We thank Dr. Gary Graham, OSU Extension, and Bobby Ammerman and Billy Thomas, University of Kentucky, for their reviews of this fact sheet.

Originally posted Jan 3, 2013.