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Ohio State University Extension


Ashtabula County’s Forest Economy

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Eric McConnell, Ph.D., Forest Operations and Products Specialist, Ohio State University Extension
David Marrison, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Ashtabula County

Ashtabula County contains 702 square miles (449,200 acres) of land and is home to 100,389 citizens[1]. There are 203 industries in the county[2], with the median household earning an income of $34,200[1]. Major employers include businesses in the sectors of food services, state and local governments, health care, and real estate[2].

Figure 1. Forest industries contribute 4.2% to Ashtabula County's economy[2,3].

The land resources of Ashtabula County provide many economic benefits. The county's 1,080 agricultural farms produce agronomic crops, dairy products, cattle, and poultry, among others[3]. Additionally, grapes are a popular crop locally, with several wineries residing in the area. An abundance of wooded acres are also present, providing community support to the county's forest industries. These businesses generate $229 million in industrial output and $12.8 million in taxes[2].

Some of the many contributions Ashtabula 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 Ashtabula 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 Ashtabula County's economy. (For more information regarding IMPLAN® and the economic impact analyses for Ashtabula 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 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. Ashtabula County contains 217,000 forested acres, which is 48.5% of the total land cover[1,5]. Figure 3. Ashtabula County's forestland is 98.2% privately owned, nearly 214,000 acres[5].

Figure 4. Ashtabula County contains 970 million board feet of sawtimber[5]. The top five species make up 79.4% of the total volume. Figure 5. Ashtabula County's farmland and forestland production, 2010[2,3]. This figure does not include harvests from government lands.

Figure 6. Direct economic impact of Ashtabula 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. Ashtabula County's forest industry employers by sector, 2010[2].

Figure 8. Direct tax impact of Ashtabula County's forest industries, 2010[2].


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.

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, Ashtabula County
39 Wall St.
Jefferson, OH 44047
Phone: (440) 576-9008
Fax: (440) 576-5821
Ohio Division of Forestry
15444 West High St.
Middlefield, OH 44062
Phone: (440) 632-5299
Fax: (440) 632-1410
Ashtabula County Soil and Water Conservation District
39 Wall St.
Jefferson, OH 44047
Phone: (440) 576-4946
Fax: (440) 576-9546
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 Ashtabula 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 Industrial Output
11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting 1,285 $23,992,330 $35,063,618 $99,576,744
     113 Forestry and Logging 93 $3,990,491 $3,922,413 $9,036,288
21 Mining 161 $11,239,177 $17,661,386 $25,952,117
22 Utilities 255 $25,545,667 $99,164,354 $135,216,396
23 Construction 2,957 $70,935,019 $98,937,465 $300,761,281
31–33 Manufacturing 6,765 $402,808,082 $588,473,984 $2,264,967,333
     321 Wood Products Manufacturing 388 $17,888,991 $20,425,501 $61,233,301
     322 Paper Manufacturing 373 $18,787,886 $25,690,254 $130,764,297
     337 Wood Furniture Manufacturing 141 $5,727,070 $10,576,657 $28,060,968
42 Wholesale Trade 805 $40,213,989 $83,111,816 $111,030,495
44–45 Retail Trade 5,191 $106,042,029 $168,987,652 $272,824,035
48–49 Transportation and Warehousing 1,195 $61,554,427 $89,059,688 $157,451,809
51–56 Professional Services 7,127 $140,246,652 $602,207,636 $940,531,211
61–72 Educational, Health, and Recreation Services 10,041 $273,919,282 $329,454,358 $632,270,345
81 Other Services 2,459 $71,778,203 $76,478,807 $190,883,712
92 Government and non-NAICS Industries 5,394 $258,856,923 $294,519,645 $347,966,577
      Forest Industries 995 $46,394,438 $60,614,825 $229,094,854
Total 43,635 $1,487,131,781 $2,483,120,404 $5,479,432,054


[1] United States Census. 2013. 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. 2013. Northeast Forest Inventory and Analysis Methodology: Common definitions used by FIA.

[5] United States Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Database. 2013. Ashtabula County 2011 forest survey database.

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

Originally posted Aug 30, 2013.