For more than a century, Florida's forests have added significant value to Florida's economy and environment. Forestry is a vital industry of Florida, generating $8 billion in manufactured products annually. Florida's forests provide employment for 115,000 Floridians either directly or indirectly with annual payroll receipts of $1.25 billion.
Private landowners own 7 million acres or 47% of Florida's woodlands, with industry lands accounting for 35% or 5.5 million acres. The government owns 18% or 3 million acres.
The Future of Florida's Forests:
The forest community takes an active role in providing forests for the future. Over 5 billion trees have been planted in Florida by private landowners and companies since 1928. Forest landowners plant 10 new trees for each Floridian each year and grow nearly one-third more trees than they harvest.
Sustaining the Environment:
As Florida grows, so grows the pressure of people and their demands on our natural resources, creating new threats on timber availability and resource use. Professional foresters play a major role in regenerating Florida's vast woodlands to meet increasing demands for wood and paper products while preserving the ecological balance of a healthy forest. Foresters, landowners, and loggers use advanced Best Management Practices (BMPs) to help protect water and soil quality during forest management activities. Over 220 native animals and 470 native plants considered threatened, endangered, or of special concern make their home in Florida's forests.
With today's new technology, up to 98% of a harvested tree can be used efficiently in the manufacturing process.
The forestry community has worked for two decades to create innovative and balanced programs that help young people think critically about environmental issues. One such project, Project Learning Tree, uses the forest as a window to the world to help kids develop solutions to environmental concerns.
Over 280,000 students are reached annually in Florida through this award-winning environmental education program.
Florida Forestry Association is Focused on the Future
For almost 75 years, the Florida Forestry Association has been committed to protecting Florida's forests and their future. Working together with landowners, loggers, industry, and a wide variety of business associates, the Association continues to educate environmental and political leaders about responsible forest management practices, reforestation, benefits from forestry, and land-use options.
For more information, please contact the Florida Forestry Association at (904) 222-5646 or visit the website at florida-agriculture.com/forest.