Forestry Officials Say Industry Making A Comeback

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Forestry officials say the growing popularity of bourbon and whiskey worldwide is helping bring back Kentucky's forest and wood-products industry.

The good news came in the Kentucky Forestry Economic Impact Report for 2013-14, which was released on Thursday.

UK forestry extension professor Jeff Stringer co-wrote the report.

Stringer told The Courier-Journal the industry is coming back from the recession that caused it to tank in 2009. In 2013, the industry pumped $7.9 billion into the state's economy – putting it on par with the with the state's tourism industry.

The forest and wood-products industry also has benefited from increased housing starts, leading to a demand for more wood floors and cabinets.

And Kentucky is not depleting its forests. It is growing almost twice as many trees as it harvests.