Forests are an important source of timber and nontimber products, recreation, ecological services, and employment in the Northern United States. Timber products are primarily used for building homes; manufacturing flooring, furniture, and cabinets; and making paper and paperboard. Residues from forest harvesting operations and wood processing are used for bioenergy, charcoal, and landscaping mulch. The employment opportunities in forestry range from research and development to logging and manufacturing. Maple syrup is the most prominent nontimber forest product in the North in terms of annual quantity produced and market value. The quantity and value of nontimber products are dwarfed by the wood products and paper industries, but gathering nontimber products has considerable cultural and economic importance for local communities. The dollar value of forest-based recreation is hard to quantify, but the vast majority of people who participate is a strong indicator of its importance to society. In addition, forest-based recreation generates demand for travel and equipment and creates employment for recreation managers and service providers.
Song, Nianfu; Shifley, Stephen R.; Bowker, J.M.; Emery, Marla R.; Aguilar, Francisco X.; Skog, Kenneth E. 2016. Maintenance and enhancement of long-term multiple socioeconomic benefits to meet the needs of societies. In: Shifley, Stephen R.; Moser, W. Keith, eds. Future forests of the northern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-151. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 207-241. Chapter 8.