Florida Forest Week

Dear Editor:

“Florida Forests Week – In recognition of the importance of Florida’s forests, the week of Oct. 23-29, 2022, is being celebrated across Florida as “Florida Forests Week.” The week recognizes the importance of Florida’s forests and forest-related industries to our state’s environment and economy.

According to a study by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), forestry and forest products are ranked as the state’s top agricultural commodity and the leading agricultural export. The UF/IFAS study reports that forestry has a $25 billion impact on the state’s economy. Statewide, the forest industry helps to provide jobs for more than 124,000 people.

Florida’s forests also play a critical role in the state’s environment. “Florida’s forests have a tremendous positive environmental impact,” said Florida Forestry Association Executive Vice President Alan Shelby. “They provide a natural filtration system which can and should be an integral part of the solution to our state’s looming water quality and quantity issues.” Shelby noted that in a state experiencing constant development, forests also offer much-needed green spaces for recreation and habitat to an amazing diversity of wildlife.

At last count, more than 5,000 items contained forest products. The assortment of “Goods from the Woods” is very diverse and continues to grow. For example, the materials working forests provide are used to build homes, print newspapers, landscape yards and manufacture furniture. Forests products are also found in the screens on cell phones, televisions and computers; in shampoos and other cosmetics; and in medicines, sports equipment, food and much more.

For more information about Florida Forests Week and our state’s forests, visit FLForestry.org.

Rachel Kyle

Union/Bradford CFA Forester