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Ohio State University Extension


Geauga County’s Forest Economy

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Eric McConnell, PhD, Forest Operations and Products Specialist, Ohio State University Extension
Erik Draper, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Geauga County

Geauga County contains 400 square miles (256,000 acres) of land and is home to 93,700 citizens[1]. There are 230 industries in the county[2], with the median household earning an income of $66,200[1]. Major employers include businesses in the sectors of food services, wood furniture manufacturing, wholesale trade, and state and local governments[2].

Figure 1. Forest industries contribute 6.1% to Geauga County's economy[2,3].

The land resources of Geauga County provide many economic benefits. The county's 850 agricultural farms produce dairy and milk products, cattle and calves, and poultry, among others[3]. An abundance of wooded acres are also present, providing community support to the county's timber and non-timber forest industries. These businesses generate $368 million in industrial output and $33.2 million in taxes[2]. Included is the local maple industry, with Geauga County generating nearly one-third of Ohio's statewide maple syrup production.

Some of the many contributions Geauga 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 Geauga 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 and the economic impact software package IMPLAN®. Figure 5 from the United States Census of Agriculture illustrates the contributions of the local maple industry. Figures 6–8 explain the county's forest industries and were developed from data analyzed using IMPLAN®. Table 1 summarizes the IMPLAN®; model for Geauga County's economy. (For more information regarding IMPLAN® and the economic impact analyses for Geauga 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, carbon sequestration, 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 and management information for trees suited to your soil types at 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. Nonindustrial private forest landowners are very important to Geauga County's forest economy as 89.4% of its forestland is privately owned, approximately 120,000 acres[5]. Figure 3. Geauga County's farmland and forestland production, 2010[2]. Forestland production includes timber and non-timber forest products. This figure does not include harvests from government lands.

Figure 4. Geauga County's forests contain 861 million board feet of sawtimber[5]. The top five species make up 50.9% of the total volume. Figure 5. Geauga County's maple industry, 2007[6]. Number of farms is represented on the left Y-axis, and syrup production is represented on the right Y-axis.

Figure 6. Direct economic impact of Geauga County's timber and non-timber 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. Geauga County's timber and non-timber forest industry employers by sector, 2010[2].

Figure 8. Direct tax impact of Geauga County's timber and non-timber 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, Geauga County
14269 Claridon-Troy Rd., PO Box 387
Burton, OH 44021
Phone: (440) 834-4656
Fax: (440) 834-0057
Ohio Division of Forestry
15444 West High St.
Middlefield, OH 44062
Phone: (440) 632-5299
Fax: (440) 632-1410
Geauga County Soil and Water Conservation District
14269 Claridon-Troy Rd., PO Box 410
Burton, OH 44021
Phone: (440) 834-1122
Fax: (440) 834-0316
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 Geauga 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.

Industry NAICS Description Employment Labor Income Value-Added Output
11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting 808 $18,000,269 $20,776,609 $55,870,502
111998 Non-timber Forest Products Production (includes maple syrup production) 22 $1,349,834 $1,136,563 $3,596,374
     113 Forestry and Logging 46 $2,291,429 $2,257,810 $4,783,208
21 Mining 52 $7,143,855 $7,718,454 $10,704,536
22 Utilities 38 $3,720,226 $11,640,405 $32,487,572
23 Construction 4,983 $120,454,051 $167,660,724 $508,040,339
31–33 Manufacturing 7,699 $465,468,396 $632,575,475 $2,030,948,324
     321 Wood Products Manufacturing 275 $8,867,401 $11,572,662 $37,145,897
     322 Paper Manufacturing 40 $3,992,756 $4,741,494 $15,521,519
     337 Wood Furniture Manufacturing 2,343 $124,610,214 $116,811,521 $307,606,539
42 Wholesale Trade 1,961 $140,878,876 $245,381,653 $313,393,951
44–45 Retail Trade 5,178 $132,640,468 $194,224,659 $292,140,954
48–49 Transportation and Warehousing 2,459 $52,214,309 $94,436,507 $159,115,707
51–56 Professional Services 9,642 $300,843,617 $997,211,596 $1,522,777,687
61–72 Educational, Health, and Recreation Services 8,864 $247,461,923 $290,813,664 $530,814,637
81 Other Services 3,598 $102,105,200 $111,482,057 $207,327,965
92 Government and non-NAICS Industries 4,746 $233,756,739 $263,609,609 $322,394,712
Timber and Non-Timber Forest Industries 2,726 $141,111,634 $136,520,050 $368,653,537
Total 50,029 $1,824,687,930 $3,037,531,412 $5,986,016,887


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 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. Geauga County 2011 forest survey database.

[6] United States Department of Agriculture. 2007. Census of Agriculture: Ohio state and county data. Volume 1, Part 35, Maple Syrup 2007 and 2002. p. 578.

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

Originally posted Jul 30, 2013.