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South Carolina Forestry Commission officials announced the economic impact of the state’s forestry sector in grand fashion last Wednesday, unveiling a large backdrop depicting the industry’s $21 billion contribution to the state’s economy.

The new economic impact figure, revealed in the findings of a Clemson University study commissioned by several forestry organizations, was disclosed at a press conference on the Statehouse grounds as a part of “Forestry Day” as proclaimed by Gov. Henry McMaster.

The occasion was also a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Forestry Commission, which was founded nine decades ago to the day. A tree-planting ceremony on the Statehouse grounds was held after the press conference.

Highlights from the new study include:
• Forestry is the state’s No. 1 manufacturing sector in terms of jobs (84,000-plus) and labor income.
• Forestry represents the No. 1 harvested crop in the state.
• Forest products represent the No. 1 export commodity from the Port of Charleston.

Wednesday’s announcement was the culmination of a nearly decade-long initiative among forestry advocates called the 20-by-15 Project, whose goal was to increase forestry’s economic impact from $17.4 billion in 2008 to $20 billion by 2015, which is the last study year reflected in the Clemson University analysis.

From the Times & Democrat: http://thetandd.com/business/study-s-c-forestry-impact-grows-to-b/article_2ac97fd6-26ef-5f5d-8047-239654041120.html