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current conditions and trends in forest resources and the forest products industry.
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data on Wisconsin's forests.
Contact information
Julie Ballweg
Forest economist
608-228-3256

Forestry and the Wisconsin economy

Did you know that Wisconsin is the top state in the U.S. in paper production and wood furniture manufacturing? Statewide, the forest industry in Wisconsin provides more than 64,000 jobs and has an output of $24.7 billion.

The good news continues at the county level, where forestry:

  • is the number one employer in ten counties: Clark, Florence, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Price, Rusk, Taylor, Washburn and Winnebago;
  • is one of the top ten employers in Adams, Ashland, Barron, Brown, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Forest, Jackson, Kewaunee, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Pierce, Polk, Sawyer, Shawano, Trempealeau, Waupaca, Waushara and Wood counties;
  • is number one in output in 14 counties: Ashland, Brown, Florence, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Outagamie, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Winnebago and Wood counties;
  • in the top ten for output in Adams, Barron, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Forest, Green Lake, Jackson, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette, Oconto, Polk, Portage, Racine, Shawano, Sheboygan, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vilas, Washburn, Washington, Waupaca and Waushara counties (where output is the total value of the industry in the local economy).

Economic fact sheets

The DNR Division of Forestry has used 2014 data to model the economic impacts of the forest industry in Wisconsin [PDF] as a whole and for each individual county using the Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN). This software was originally developed by the U.S. Forest Service in cooperation with the University of Minnesota and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The model is designed to estimate economic effects of an industry on the local or regional economy. For more details about the database and how we’ve used IMPLAN, contact the division’s forest economist.

View a particular county fact sheet (in PDF format)


Notes about the data you’ll see on these fact sheets.

  • Value added is a measure of the industry’s contribution to the local community. It includes wages, rents, interest and profits.
  • Direct impacts are jobs, revenue and taxes for normal business operations. Indirect includes indirect and induced impacts. It refers to the dollars industry and households spend at other area businesses and the local jobs supported by the forest industry.
Last revised: Friday May 20 2016