LEXINGTON, Ky. — In 1960, Congress designated the third week of October as National Forest Products Week to recognize the value of forests and the products they create. It also acknowledges the value of woodlands, commitment to good stewardship and conservation practices that help responsibly manage the state’s forests.
Kentucky’s forests help spur growth and development important to the state’s success. They provide timber, water, wildlife habitat and opportunities for recreational activities. As a repository for renewable natural resources, forests have supplied the raw materials that have sustained the commonwealth since its inception. Additionally, these forests provide white oak wood for barrels, which impart 70% of the flavor and all of the color in bourbon.
National Forest Products Week is Oct. 17-23 and is a great time to reflect on and celebrate Kentucky’s woodlands.
“I think it really builds upon the love and appreciation for trees and forests,” said Chad Niman, primary forest products specialist in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. “Wood also has renewable and reusable properties. There are many design features in structures and other products made of reclaimed wood. Wood really serves us in so many ways and continues to spur innovation in our built environment and daily lives.”
On-campus, the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is hosting an event for its students, faculty and staff to learn more about the forest industry and celebrate its contributions on Oct. 18.
Kentucky’s forestry industry sector provides $9.55 billion in direct economic contribution to the state with total economic contributions of $13.97 billion, making it one of the largest industries in Kentucky. The forestry sector provides direct employment to 27,000 people. When indirect and induced jobs are included, that number rises to 53,000.
To learn more about forest health, forest management, forest products and other woodland resources, visit http://forestry.ca.uky.edu.
— Jordan Strickler, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
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