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Celebrate working forests that help state’s economy


The third week in October (Oct. 18-24), has been proclaimed as Forest Products Week. The week recognizes the people who work in, and care for, the state’s forests, the businesses that create forest products and the many ways forest products contribute to lives.

“Forest products contribute $24.3 billion annually, to the state’s economy,” said Collin Buntrock, forest products team leader with the Wisconsin DRN. “Additionally, our forests directly provide more than 63,000 jobs for Wisconsin residents, with a payroll of $4.2 billion. In fact, forestry is the No. 1 employer in seven counties, and every forestry job supports 1.7 additional jobs in the state.”

In addition to celebrating the positive impact of Wisconsin’s forest products sector on the state’s economy, Forest Products Week recognizes the myriad forest products ingrained daily lives.

“From paper products such as food packaging, fine writing paper and tissue paper, to lumber used for homes and furniture, the products made by the more than 1,200 forest products companies in Wisconsin, help make our life better,” Buntrock said. “Emerging forest products such as mass timber, nanocellulose and biochemicals, are beginning to unlock innovative uses for wood that may help the state’s industry diversify in the future.”

Forest Products Week also salutes the people who care for the 17 million acres of forests in Wisconsin.

“Sustainable forestry is key to maintaining Wisconsin’s forest-based economy,” said Buntrock. “While 31 percent of Wisconsin’s forests are owned by county, state and federal governments, the 57 percent of the forest land owned by about 391,000 individuals and families, supplies a majority of the wood used by Wisconsin’s forest products industry, to make the products we use every day.”

Buntrock’s team of forest products specialists helps Wisconsin’s forest industry build and maintain strong markets,

while ensuring that forests remain a vital part of the state’s economy and culture for future generations.

To learn more, visit the DNR website at

Photo by Julia Wolf