Regional economic benefits from forest restoration projects

By: Dr. Matthew Pelkki, University of Arkansas at Monticello

September, at 1:00 PM central

Abstract: Since 2012, the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest has been conducting a collaborative forest restoration project in the Ozark Highlands (OHP).  Annual budget expenditures on the OHP in CZ 2014 were $4.1 million dollars.  Work plans describing these expenditures were used to categorize them into economic sectors.  In addition, $4 million dollars of timber sales were associated with the OHP.  The economic impact of restoration activities and timber production were analyzed using IMPLAN software.  Furthermore, project expenditures and impacts were categorized as local or national, with local expenditures and impacts defined by the 11-county OHP region in northwest Arkansas.  The differences in impacts from the local region to the nation reflect “leakages” that occur with any economic activity.  For CY 2014, the OHP resulted in the creation of 139 jobs with $4.5 million in employee compensation and $7.2 million in regional value-added.  Nationally, the OHP created 245 jobs with $10.4 million in employee compensation and $17.2 million in value-added.  The overall economic multiplier for value is 4.2, meaning for every dollar spent on restoration activities in the OHP, the national economy grew by 4.2 dollars.

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