Georgia Observes National Forest Products Week

OCTOBER 13, 2004--Georgia’s $25.4 billion a year forestry industry offers the state’s residents numerous reasons for observing National Forest Products Week designated for October 17-23, according to the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC).

Statistics from the GFC and Georgia Tech show forestry as the leading industry in the state’s economy – making timber the highest valued crop in Georgia. Georgia is a national leader in pulp and paper production with more than 170 statewide primary manufacturers producing materials for building trades, furniture plants, and numerous other forestry related enterprises that create 169,000 jobs statewide.

Ken Stewart, GFC’s newly appointed director, said marketing will be a prime objective of the Commission during the next year. “Georgia’s forest products are a vital component of the state’s economy,” Stewart emphasized. “One of the top priorities of the Georgia Forestry Commission is to ensure the long-term economic viability of the forestland.”

A basic objective of the annually observed National Forest Products Week is to increase public awareness of the many diverse products derived from trees – ranging from newspapers and lipstick to clothing and tires. GFC officials also emphasized that production of forestry products is linked with environmental benefits. Many forestry industries, such as Georgia’s pulp and paper developers, are involved in research related to biodiversity and environmental interests.

For most Georgians, observing National Forest Products Week is a simple matter of being part of an increasing public awareness concerning forest products made available through environmentally concerned producers.

A variety of forestry-related literature is available to the public at Georgia Forestry Commission offices statewide. Further information is available on the Georgia Forestry Commission website at www.gatrees.org.