Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Forest Utilization

Pile of logs

The Forest Utilization program is a diverse program dealing with many aspects of the utilization, significance, understanding and promotion of New York's forest resources and forest industries. The program supports and promotes the idea that a healthy and diverse forest products industry, as well as broad knowledge and understanding of the timber resource, contributes to the economic and various other values of the forest.

Program Publications and Resources

Major 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). In addition, the program collaborates with FIA to develop periodic reports that serve to summarize both the current status and trends of the condition of New York's forest resources. View statistics on New York's forest resources.

Utilizing statewide forest statistics and other data, the Forest Utilization Program provides timber and timber-based biomass resource assessments to existing or potential new industry to help in 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 titled, "New York State Industrial Timber Harvest Production and Consumption Report" is based on a survey of the primary wood using industry (e.g. - sawmills, veneer mills, pulp mills, wood energy plants, pole plants) in New York and other states and provinces to determine the annual level of harvest of New York's forests and to determine where raw materials harvested in New York are processed. Data collected include 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 Forest Utilization foresters. The primary purpose is to report the average and range of prices paid per thousand board feet and cord for standing commercial timber species in New York State. Stumpage price reports dating to 1953 are available in hard copy. The current report and a range of previous year's reports are available in Adobe PDF format using the link above.

The brochure "Selling Your Forest Products-How to Protect Yourself and Your Forest Products", targeted at the non-industrial private landowner interested in selling timber resources from their land provides explanation on a number of methods typically available to sell standing timber (stumpage). In addition, steps are suggested in administering a timber sale.

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. The directories serve two purposes. First, they serve as a mailing list for various surveys or when important information needs to be sent to industry. Second, the directories are disseminated to manufacturers and buyers of wood products in order to facilitate the linking of buyers and sellers of wood products.

The "Directory of Primary Wood-Using Industry in New York State", lists and details the many companies that utilize roundwood or other forms of biomass as raw material for the production of lumber, paper or other finished or semi-finished wood products. The second, "Directory of Secondary Wood-Using Industry in New York State", lists and details the many 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

The Forest Utilization program maintains a large file of data, technical reports and publications that can serve to assist individuals and companies/organizations with questions or problems relating to the utilization of the forest resource. The program also has links/partnerships with other programs/organizations with a wide breadth of experience and knowledge in forest products utilization.

Examples of file topics include:

  • primary processing
  • secondary processing
  • wood drying
  • special forest products
  • wood energy
  • units of measure (specifications and conversions)
  • forest products marketing and management
  • other states' wood using directories
  • harvesting ordinances
  • green certification
  • treatment of lumber
  • portable sawmilling
  • best management practices
  • 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 Forest Utilization program has organized and managed participation in wood products supply trade shows to benefit the wood-using industry 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. In addition, industry directories produced by the Forest Utilization Program are provided to buyers in order to help facilitate business contacts with New York companies.

The program also serves as liaison to a number of federal and state grant programs aimed at promoting forest-based economic development. Additionally, the program serves state or local economic development organizations in an advisory role on various projects dealing with expansion of existing wood-using industry or the siting of new industry.

Special Projects

The Forest Utilization program becomes involved in, or 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 partners/entities on a variety of forest utilization issues.