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Ohio State University Extension


Highland County’s Forest Economy

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Eric McConnell, PhD, Forest Operations and Products Specialist, Ohio State University Extension
David Dugan, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Adams/Brown/Highland Counties

Highland County contains 453 square miles (353,970 acres) of land and is home to 43,430 citizens[1]. There are 145 industries in the county[2], with the median household earning an income of $40,400[1]. Major employers include businesses in the sectors of state and local governments, agronomic crop farming, and food services[2].

Figure 1. Forest industries contribute 1.75% to Highland County's economy[2,3].

The land resources of Highland County provide many economic benefits. The county's 1,520 agricultural farms produce agronomic crops and cattle and calves, among others[3]. An abundance of wooded acres are also present, providing community support to the county's forest industries. These businesses generate $30.3 million in industrial output and $1.89 million in taxes[2].

Some of the many contributions Highland 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 Highland 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 Highland County's economy. (For more information regarding IMPLAN® and the economic impact analyses for Highland 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 website 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. Highland County contains approximately 94,000 forested acres, which is 26.0% of the total land cover[1,5]. Figure 3. Highland County's forestland is 93.6% privately owned, nearly 88,000 acres[5].

Figure 4. Highland County contains 619 million board feet of sawtimber[5]. The top five species make up 47.1% of the total volume. Figure 5. Highland County's farmland and forestland production, 2010[2]. This figure does not include harvests from government lands.

Figure 6. Direct economic impact of Highland 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. Highland 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 Highland 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, Highland County
119 Gov. Foraker Place
Hillsboro, OH 45133-1092
Phone: (937) 393-1918
Fax: (937) 393-0222
Ohio Division of Forestry
345 Allen Ave.
Chillicothe, OH 45601-0480
Phone: (740) 774-1596
Fax: (740) 773-0273
Highland County Soil and Water Conservation District
514 Harry Sauner Rd., Suite 2
Hillsboro, OH 45133
Phone: (937) 393-1922 ext. 3
Fax: (937) 393-8106
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

Table 1. Direct industrial contributions within Highland 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 1,816 $21,186,499 $37,462,181 $108,577,066
     113 Forestry and Logging 22 $1,081,215 $1,416,191 $4,067,746
21 Mining 35 $2,197,146 $5,605,112 $8,722,692
22 Utilities 73 $5,737,771 $26,407,117 $33,769,834
23 Construction 951 $21,298,982 $30,308,219 $95,264,469
31–33 Manufacturing 1,622 $89,467,676 $138,280,307 $472,296,327
     321 Wood Products Manufacturing 35 $1,379,994 $1,789,294 $4,781,235
     322 Paper Manufacturing 63 $3,951,341 $5,121,176 $21,406,131
     337 Wood Furniture Manufacturing (----) (----) (----) (----)
42 Wholesale Trade 245 $9,714,629 $22,774,251 $31,273,689
44–45 Retail Trade 1,895 $61,368,763 $84,350,278 $121,106,892
48–49 Transportation and Warehousing 347 $15,251,602 $19,034,312 $34,768,690
51–56 Professional Services 2,718 $83,241,400 $269,108,191 $457,625,915
61–72 Educational, Health, and Recreation Services 2,618 $66,055,710 $81,809,820 $155,586,094
81 Other Services 949 $19,090,671 $20,489,341 $58,849,199
92 Government and non-NAICS Industries 2,391 $116,722,463 $133,403,634 $147,615,439
Forest Industries 120 $6,412,550 $8,326,661 $30,255,112
Total 15,660 $511,333,311 $869,032,764 $1,725,456,304


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.


[1] United States Census. 2010. United States Census state and county 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. 2012. Highland County 2011 forest survey database.

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

Originally posted May 17, 2013.