Two years ahead of schedule, Michigan’s forest products industry has achieved its goal of annually contributing $20 billion to the state’s economy, says a new report by an associate professor with Michigan State University’s Department of Forestry.
The goal of reaching the $20 billion mark was set at the governor’s 2013 Forest Products Summit with the intent to achieve it by 2018.
“This is outstanding news for Michigan, and clear proof that sustainable forest management works for our natural resources and our economy,” says Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “The state will continue to collaborate with industry leaders to keep this positive momentum going and to further boost exports of quality Michigan forest products.”
According to the report, the number of forest products industry jobs in Michigan has also increased 12 percent since 2012.
From loggers and truck drivers in rural areas to furniture and cabinetry makers in more urban settings, the forest products industry employs more than 96,000 people across the state. In the Upper Peninsula, the forest products industry is responsible for one-third of all manufacturing jobs.
Adding to the growth, Arauco, an international wood products manufacturing company, will break ground this month on a new facility in Grayling. The plant is a $325 million investment for the company and is projected to bring more than 250 jobs to the community.
Beyond job creation, the report outlined how industry leaders are working to create a healthy, sustainable forest that can support wildlife and outdoor recreation, as well as the state’s timber industry.