Forest Family Fun day demonstrates the importance of logging industry

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A tradition since 1984 brought EastTexas loggers and their families to the Forest Family Fun day and EquipmentShow, to see what the logging industry has to offer.

"See the new technology that'sbeing introduced in the market and compete in contests and its just a funday," said Ron Hufford, Executive VP Texas Forestry Association.

With nearly 12 million acres of forest land,the forests of East Texas are major production source for the state's sixthlargest agricultural crop.

"Its tremendous throughout theentire state, it contributes a total economic value of over 30 billion dollarsa year," said Hufford.

Officials say the logging industry bringsabout 68 thousand jobs to East Texas.

"It creates logging jobs, milljobs, tire changers, equipment dealers, truck dealers, truck salesmen, repairjobs, its just all related," said Charles Gee, Coordinator, Texas LoggingCouncil.

Charles Gee has worked in the loggingindustry for 20 years and he says in East Texas, timber is still the largestagricultural crop.

"Now there is oil and gas in someareas and that's all well and good but the pine tree still contributes a lot tothe economy," said Gee.

From logging jobs to mill work eachposition is vital in helping to stabilize the economy.

"If you take a look at onelogging operation, one 10 person crew, that probably gives 100 to 150 thousanddollars a day to the local economy," said Hufford.

Every advancement in loggingtechnology helps increase the productivity of the industry as a whole.

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