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 19 million 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 forest 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.
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
- Arkansas is the third most timber-dependent economy in the nation with a cash farm receipts value of $405M.
- Arkansas is the 9th leading producer in the U.S. (2018)
- Forest companies own 12% of the 80.44% of private timberland ownership.
- 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
- Arkansas ranked 10th lowest in union membership at 5.2% as of Jan. 1, 2020.
- 27,749 skilled workers employed in timber and related industries
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
- Average growth rate of 1.8 hardwood trees grown for each tree harvested
- Average growth rate of 1.5 pine trees grown for each tree harvested
- Average annual loss to wildfires from 2008-2017 was 22,740 acres, or roughly 0.1% of the state’s total forestland acreage
- The University of Arkansas at Monticello's College of Forestry, Agricultural, and Natural Resources owns 1,400 acres of forestland used for instruction
- The UAM Forestry Research Center is an interdisciplinary collaboration of the UA Division of Agriculture and the Monticello campus. Recent projects were related to biomass, habitat restoration, and bird migration.
- Universities in Arkansas offer agribusiness and science degrees
From the Newsroom
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Nice-Pak announces new jobs, manufacturing capabilities in Jonesboro
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From the Blog
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Arkansas GDP sees uptick, more expected
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"Agriculture is Arkansas’s leading industry with timber making up a third of the overall income. The state has a strong stewardship program in place to protect timber as a renewable resource."
"The acquisition of the U.S. sawmills is the right move, at the right time; it will give us immediate scale in an attractive region, with quality assets in a rich fiber basket, close to growing end-markets."
CEO, Resolute Forest Products
“In Arkansas, we are growing more timber than we have markets for, and we have a saying: ‘A working forest is a healthy forest.’”
Former CEO, Deltic Timber
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!View All