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Forest Products Utilization

Wood products come from forests of all shapes and sizes, both public and privately-owned. Thinking of harvesting timber on your land? Reach out to your local DEC forester to get started today.

hand holding a pile of wood pellets
Pellets are an important wood product
Credit: Joel Prince NASF

Wood products play an important role in our everyday lives. Maybe for you it's a family heirloom, a beautiful table or cabinet, but have you ever considered that piece of furniture might have come from a forest near you? Forest products, including furniture, help keep our forests healthy. With that in mind, DEC's Forest Utilization program promotes markets for forest products as a way of supporting New York forests for generations to come. The Forest Utilization program provides information, expertise, and support to New York's private landowners and forest industries.

Program Resources

Watch a short video about forestry and wood products and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.

Supporting Local Wood Markets

As a renewable resource, trees sustain the forest products industry while also benefiting wildlife and helping fight against climate change, by storing carbon. You can support local markets and forests by purchasing New York wood products(leaves DEC website). Harvesting timber on your land is another great way to support healthy markets and healthy forests, for more information check out our Forest Stewardship Program.

Supporting these local industries helps New York's economy by providing over 41,000 direct jobs and $13.1 billion in output. For every direct job, 2 associated jobs are created. What an impact!

Markets for forest products are found throughout the state, however, the types of products vary by location. DEC's mill map shows where you can find mills that use hardwood, softwood, pellets and shavings to create various forest products and services. Curious about what products come from wood? Take a look at the University of Kentucky's wood product list (leaves DEC website), there are a lot of unexpected items on there!

Stumpage Price Reporting

The primary purpose of the Stumpage Price Report is to report the median and range of prices paid per thousand board feet and cord in New York State. Stumpage price reports dating to 1953 are available in hard copy. The report is developed using a semi-annual survey of buyers and sellers of standing timber conducted by DEC regional Utilization Foresters.

Best Management Practices for Water Quality (BMPs)

The key to a successful and environmentally-sustainable timber harvest is proper planning and the use of appropriate, or "best" management practices (BMPs). These are simple, often low-cost practices and techniques you can incorporate in your timber harvest. They will pay big dividends in keeping our water clean, maintaining the productivity of the forest, improving public confidence in timber harvesters and maintaining public support for forest management and timber harvesting, which are essential for sustainable forest management.

The BMP Field Guide (PDF, 5.5MB) is a practical tool for loggers, foresters, and landowners. It presents suggestions, guidelines, and technical references on a variety of water protections. The guide is to be used as a menu of options to protect soil, water, and timber resources from loss or degradation. A hard copy of the BMP field guide is available for purchase while supplies last from the Empire State Forest Products Association (ESFPA). The ESFPA can be reached at (518) 463-1297.

Forest Data & Resources

The Forest Utilization program compiles important data and reports on New York's forests and forest utilization. Individuals and organizations can take advantage of the following directories and reports:

Wood products help support healthy forests
By: Leslie Robertson for NASF
  • Forest inventory, analysis, and statistics (FIA)
    • This FIA report provides timber and timber-based biomass resource assessments to existing and potential industry to help inform decision making, management actions, and facility expansion in New York.
  • Annual wood harvest and wood flows report
  • Wood Products Industry Directories

General Technical Assistance

DEC's Division of Lands and Forests is here to help private landowners or forest-industry professionals like you. We maintain partnerships, data, technical reports, and publications that can assist individuals and companies/organizations with questions or problems relating to the utilization of forest resources.

Reach out for data, reports, or assistance on:

  • Primary processing, secondary processing, and wood drying
  • Special forest products or biomass energy
  • Forest products marketing and management
  • Harvesting ordinances
  • Green certification
  • Treatment of lumber
  • Portable sawmilling
  • Exporting forest products
  • Tree, log, and lumber grading

Contact DEC's Forest Utilization Section today:
Email -
Phone - 518-402-9428