Heart Of The Nation's Woodbasket

Arkansas is at the heart of this timber-rich area of the country, due to much of the state being covered by 19million acres of forestland, or more than half of the total area of the state. This is having a huge impact on the state’s economy, timber and paper products companies from around the world, and the lives of the many families living in the area who are seeing an increase in jobs created by those companies.


The Arkansas Wood Basket - By the Numbers

  • 19 million total acres of forestland covering 56% of the state
  • 80% of forestland is privately owned
  • Forestry contributes 5.1 percent of the state's economy

history of growth & sustainability

  • #4 in the South for the number of seedlings grown
  • #1 in the South for the number of hardwood seedlings grown
  • Abundant and sustainable water resources
  • 1.6 trees grown for each tree harvested (2016)
  • Average annual loss to wildfires from 2008-2017 was 22,740 acres, or roughly 0.1% of the state’s total forestland acreage

a timber ready workforce

  • 12.7% of the state's workforce is employed in manufacturing
  • 3rd highest percentage of manufacturing employment in the south and 7th highest in the nation
  • Top 10 state for low union membership rate in the U.S.
  • 27,749 skilled workers employed in timber, paper products, and related industries


  • Three U.S. Interstates connecting east and west coasts, and the Canada and Mexico borders, including I-30, I-55, and I-40
  • 16,418 miles of state and U.S. Highways – 12th largest system in the U.S.
  • Eight Intermodal freight facilities with four riverports
  • 2,505 miles of rail and three Class 1 rail systems
  • #3 in the nation with 1,000 miles of inland, navigable waterways
  • More than 90 public airports including Clinton National, Northwest Arkansas Regional, and close proximity to Memphis International Airport and the Fed-Ex hub


  • 45 colleges, universities & 2-year colleges throughout Arkansas
  • Arkansas is home to 23 four-year colleges and universities and 22 two-year public colleges
  • The College of Forestry, Agricultural and Natural Resources at the University of Arkansas at Monticello is the only school of forestry in the state. Located in southern Arkansas, the college is housed in 45,000 square feet of teaching and laboratory facilities. UAM owns 1,400 acres of forestland used for teaching and learning.
  • While the University of Arkansas at Monticello is home to the state’s only School of Forestry and Natural Resources, there are a multitude of opportunities across the state to bring up and maintain a strong timber workforce. Plus, most colleges and universities in Arkansas offer agribusiness, biology and environmental science degrees, providing an educated labor pool in other fields related to forestry and timber.

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High-Tech Forestry

Arkansas is leading the way in technologically-advanced forestry. With over 70,000 skilled workers employed in timber and paper-related industries, Arkansas has the workforce to accommodate expansion.

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AEDC's mission is to create economic opportunity by attracting higher paying jobs, expanding and diversifying our state and local economies, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout Arkansas. Here are some examples of businesses that are thriving!

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