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Hardwood industry maintains self-sustainability

From the West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone:

Elkins, W.Va. – The long-term outlook for jobs and industry supported by West Virginia’s hardwoods looks strong as data trends show that reforestation efforts and responsible timbering have enabled the state to maintain a steady growth in hardwood volume since 2010.

The average hardwood timber growth in West Virginia is three times the amount of lumber that is being harvested for production. Yellow-poplar has experienced the greatest amount of growth, increasing from 8% to 17% in volume since 1949. The most dominant type of hardwood available is oak and hickory, making up nearly 75% of forestland.

“West Virginia’s area of forest land has been stable since the late 1980s because of our state’s forest management plan,” said Robbie Baylor, president of the West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone (HAZ). “Having healthy forests means that the hardwood industry is able to timber an increasing amount of trees for products and services, helping with job creation across the region, without depleting the resource.”

Of the more than 12 million acres of forest land available in West Virginia, 11.7 million acres consist of timberland. Currently, only 360,000 acres of this land is being utilized for timber production.

“Seeing a healthy regrowth of trees showcases one of the many reasons why our region is a great place for those in the hardwood industry to grow their businesses,” Baylor explained, “West Virginia’s hardwood industry stands tall in being a self-sustaining industry that starts with responsibly harvesting the trees.”

More than 200 hardwood manufacturing, processing and other wood-product operations can be found within the nine county region that makes up the WV Hardwood Alliance Zone. The hardwood industry generates $3.2 billion annually to the state’s economy and employs more than 30,000 individuals in the workforce.


The West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone consists of nine counties in the heart of West Virginia’s hardwood region. Dedicated to promoting hardwoods, products and resources to domestic and global markets. The nine county zone is comprised of Barbour, Grant, Hardy, Lewis, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur, and Webster. 

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