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Forest 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.

The Forest Utilization program within DEC's Division of Lands and Forests provides information and expertise on many aspects of the use, significance, and promotion of New York's forest resources and industries. The program supports a healthy and diverse forest products industry. The information provided by the utilization program promotes knowledge and understanding of timber resources and their contributions to the economy, environment, and forest health.

Watch a clip by NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets about the forest and wood products industry in New York (leaves DEC website).

Program Publications and Resources

Key Utilization Program Areas

Forest Inventory, Analysis and Statistics

White pine sapplings

The Forest Utilization program serves as liaison between DEC and the federal statewide inventory program known as "US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis" (FIA). The program collaborates with FIA to develop reports that summarize the current status and trends of New York's forest resources. View statistics on New York's forest resources.

The program provides timber and timber-based biomass resource assessments to existing and potential industry to help inform decision making on whether to expand operations or develop a new facility in New York.

Annual Wood Harvest and Wood Flows Report

This annual summary report New York State Industrial Timber Harvest Production and Consumption Report, based on a survey of the primary wood using industries (e.g., sawmills, veneer mills, pulp mills, wood energy plants, pole plants), determines the annual level of New York's forest harvest and outlines where New York raw materials are processed. Collected data includes type, species and volume of products harvested.

Stumpage Price Reporting and Selling Forest Products Brochure

The state Stumpage Price Report is developed using a semi-annual survey of buyers and sellers of standing timber conducted by DEC regional Utilization Foresters. The primary purpose 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 brochure Selling Your Forest Products-How to Protect Yourself and Your Forest Products provides explanation on a number of methods typically available to sell standing timber for interested non-industrial private landowners.

Best Management Practices for Water Quality (BMPs)

The BMP Field Guide 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.

Wood Products Industry Facilities/Statistics/Assistance

Two directories are maintained that detail many of the various manufacturers of wood products in New York State. They serve as a mailing list for surveys and for providing key industry updates. The directories are also disseminated to manufacturers and buyers of wood products in order to facilitate market connectivity linking buyers and sellers of wood products.

The Directory of Primary Wood-Using Industry in New York State lists and details companies that utilize roundwood or other biomass for the production of lumber, paper, or other finished or semi-finished wood products. The Directory of Secondary Wood-Using Industry in New York State lists and details the individuals and companies that primarily utilize lumber or other semi-finished wood products for the production of value-added products.

General Technical Assistance and Publications

Kiln-drying lumber

DEC's Division of Lands and Forests maintains partnerships, data, technical reports and publications that can assist individuals and companies/organizations with questions or problems relating to the utilization of forest resources. The program also has partnerships with other programs and organizations with a wide breadth of experience and knowledge in forest products utilization.

Examples of file topics include:

  • primary processing, secondary processing, and wood drying
  • special forest products
  • wood energy
  • units of measure (specifications and conversions)
  • forest products marketing and management
  • harvesting ordinances
  • green certification
  • treatment of lumber
  • portable sawmilling
  • exporting forest products
  • tree, log and lumber grading
  • historic forest statistics

Forest-Based Economic Development and Promotion

For an overview of New York's forest-based economy, see the publication titled, The Economic Importance of New York's Forests.

Since 1988, the Division of Lands and Forests has organized and managed participation in wood products supply trade shows in New York. Trade shows provide the opportunity to educate wood products buyers from various regions of the country about the capabilities of producers in New York. Today, the program participates in developing market trade shows in cooperation with the New York State Forest Products Development Council (link leaves DEC website) and other states under an umbrella organization called the "Hardwood States Export Group".

The program serves as liaison to several federal and state grant programs aimed at promoting forest-based economic development and advising local economic organization on projects dealing with the wood-using industry.

Special Projects

The Forest Utilization program provides advisement on issues (e.g., state or local government proposed legislation and/or rulemaking) that affect the state's wood products industry. As the only office in New York State government with a comprehensive understanding of the industry, the program serves an important role in lending knowledge and objective viewpoints to a variety of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other entities.