Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has designated October 20-26 as Idaho Forest Products Industry Week, a time to recognize the contributions that Idaho’s wood and paper manufacturers make to the state and the lives of all Idaho citizens.
Forest products have a big impact on Idaho’s economy, with more than 300 manufacturing facilities throughout the state, contributing over 3 billion dollars in sales and employing more than 19,000 people. Local businesses add significant value to commodity resources and sustain communities through jobs, taxes and infrastructure.
Forest products made in Idaho range from the obvious dimension lumber, paper towels and tissues to furniture, musical instruments, animal bedding and energy.
“Harvesting and using trees are part of caring for our environment,” said Betty Munis, director at the Idaho Forest Products Commission. “Idaho’s wood productscome from well managed forests and sustainable forestry provides valuable recreational public access to forests and benefits the environment in other ways as well.”
“When the entire “cradle to grave” life cycle is considered, products made from wood prove to be energy efficient and a good environmental choice,” she added.
“Healthy growing forests are a “carbon sink” that absorb greenhouse gasses and purify Idaho is fortunate to have millions of acres of renewable trees. When they are harvested to make products, new trees can be replanted and provide the same opportunity for future generations. Reforestation is an important part of the cycle of managed forests as well as being required by law.
For over fifty years, the third week in October has been the time to recognize the many products that come from our forests, the people who work in and manage our forests, the people who make the products, and how they all contribute to our lives.