Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Paper & Timber Products

The Timber Industry is Booming in Arkansas

The second leading lumber producing state in the South and fourth in the nation, Arkansas has 18.5 million acres of productive timberland. The state’s forests include oak-hickory (41 percent), pine (31 percent), bottomland hardwoods (16 percent), oak-pine (10 percent) and cedar (2 percent). Arkansas is committed to maintaining an extensive and reliable wood source for its paper and timber products companies.

Download the complete 2017 Arkansas Forest Products Industry Report.

Recent news:

  • Conifex Timber Inc., a forestry and sawmilling company, announced in February 2017, that it will modernize and re-start a state-of-the-art sawmill complex in El Dorado. Conifex will create approximately 120 new, full-time jobs as a result of its approximate $80 million commitment to the facility.  Read More.

  • Highland Pellets LLC dedicated its new 600,000 metric ton per year wood pellet facility in Pine Bluff in November 2016. In August 2014, the company announced it would build the $229 million plant. Read more

  • In April 2016, Sun Paper, one of the world’s top pulp and paper makers, announced it will open a bio-refinery in Clark County. Sun Paper will invest more than $1 billion in the bio-products mill and create 250 new jobs. Read more.

Arkansas has 18.5 million acres of timberland, covering 54.3% of the state.

Companies finding success in Arkansas

Arkansas's forestry industry directly employs over 24,700 workers which is significantly higher than the national average.

Mark Hamer

Senior Project Manager, International Business Development
(501) 682-7394
Download contact info (vCard)

Katherine Holmstrom

Senior Project Manager
(501) 682-7394
Download contact info (vCard)

Steven Lamm

Project Manager
(501) 682-7499
Download contact info (vCard)
  • Income Tax Credits
  • Infrastructure Grants
  • Payroll Rebates
  • Sales Tax Credits & Refunds

Arkansas’s manufacturing workforce offers paper and timber companies access to a well qualified and affordable workforce.

  • 13% of the state’s workforce is employed in manufacturing
  • 2nd highest percentage of manufacturing employment in the south and 6th highest in the nation
  • Labor force of nearly 1.3 million strong
  • Arkansas is home to 23 four-year colleges and universities and 22 two-year public colleges
  • 6th lowest union membership rate in the U.S.
  • Lowest union representation rate in the U.S.
  • University of Arkansas at Monticello offers a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources through its School of Forest Resources, which is accredited by the Society of American Foresters
Available Building and Sites
  • 200+ LEED Certified facilities
  • 100+ available buildings of Class A office space ranging from 10,000 to 370,000 square feet
  • 275+ available industrial buildings ranging from 10,000 to 2.1 million square feet
  • Competitive purchase prices and lease rates
  • Sites ranging from 10 to 10,200 acres available across the state
  • 175+ sites with interstate access
  • 40 sites that are rail served
Transportation & Infrastructure

Arkansas is centrally located between Mexico City and Montreal, offering easy access to 40% of the U.S. population. The state's transportation infrastructure provides a variety of efficient options to get products to market. Major market centers in the region include Memphis, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and St. Louis.


  • I-40, reaching from North Carolina to California, runs through Arkansas
  • I-55 links eastern Arkansas to St. Louis & Chicago to the north and New Orleans to the south
  • I-30 connects Arkansas with markets to the southwest, including Texas and Mexico


  • 3 Class I Systems: Union Pacific, BNSF Railway and Kansas City Southern Railway
  • Union Pacific operates major yards in Little Rock and Pine Bluff
  • 22 smaller railroads operate over more than 27,000 miles of track
  • 40 available sites which are rail served


  • Major commercial airports are located in Central and Northwest Arkansas: The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport has 120+ flight arrivals and departures each day, with non-stop jet service to 16 national/international gateway cities. Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport provides non-stop service to 14 national/international gateway cities on nearly 50 flights each day.
  • Memphis International Airport is located less than 15 miles from the Arkansas state line
  • 6 regional airports located throughout the state


  • 3 ports located along the Arkansas River: Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Fort Smith 
  • 4 Mississippi River terminals: Osceola, West Memphis, Helena and McGehee