About the Industry | Lumber Heritage Region

About the Industry

Today’s forest products industry is capital intensive and highly computerized. While the practice of logging has not changed much since broad axes were used, modern forestry and manufacturing have taken advantage of the latest technological developments.

Foresters and academic forest researchers use geographic information systems (GIS) programs to map forests and develop forest management plans, and global positioning system (GPS) equipment to establish property boundaries and map out timber sales. Foresters can use software that allows them to inventory the trees on a woodlot and assess the value of a timber sale while walking in the woods


Sawmills use computer-controlled, laser-guided bandsaws, planers and edgers to maximize the value of a log. Technology is also available to grade lumber by computer. Other manufacturing facilities utilize computer-assisted drawing (CAD) programs to accelerate the design, development and production of new products.

There are hundreds of job categories in the timber and forest products industry, in both the public and private sectors. In Pennsylvania, the industry accounts for 11 percent of manufacturing jobs – about 100,000 Pennsylvanians employed in more than 3,000 businesses.

Find jobs on paforestcareers.org