Study points to benefits of Ga. forests
Georgia's 22 million acres of privately owned forests generate an estimated $37 billion a year in indirect benefits to the state’s economy, according to a new study by The University of Georgia.
Such indirect contributions as water filtration, carbon storage, wildlife habitat and aesthetics are in addition to the value of Georgia’s timber, forest products and recreation.
The three-year study sought to quantify such non-timber benefits for the first time.
“We have had studies for some time that tell us what the economic benefit of wood and fiber manufacturing in the state is,” said Steve McWilliams, president of the Georgia Forestry Association. “This new study allows us to place a dollar value on those services we receive from the standing forests, and they are many.”
The study was released on Georgia Forestry Day at the state Capitol. Gov. Nathan Deal used the occasion to plug the state’s fledgling green energy industry, which was hit with bad news this month that the nation's first cellulosic ethanol plant in Soperton, Ga., ceased operating and laid off an undisclosed number of workers.
Read more in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
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