The Arkansas Center for Forest Business has built a database full of Arkansas forest facts. The newly created center wants to share their statistics with economic decision makers and civic groups. Last week Dr. Matthew Pelkki, director of the ACFB, Dr. Sagar Chhetri, postdoctoral economist and Ana Gutierrez, research associate with the center appeared before the Bradley County Economic Development Office at the invitation of BCEDC chairperson Bob Moore.
The trio presented with collective information and hard numbers regarding forest and forest industry economic contributions in Bradley County and then answered questions from the group. The presentation provided data that support what many already know - the value of the wood industry to Bradley County is inescapable.
Pelkki told the board, “Bradley county’s economy is roughly 20 times more dependent on forestry than the national average and five times more than the state average.” Pelkki added, “The average employee compensation for forest industry workers is $58,438, which is 129 percent of the county average. One of every five jobs in Bradley County is dependent on the forest products industry. Many of the forest facts listed county by county are available on the ACFB website, https://www.uamont.edu/academics/CFANR/acfb_factsheets.html