National Park recreation far more profitable than logging 

Local anti-logging activists are pointing to an economic study released this week to bolster their case. The report, conducted by appropriately monikered ECONorthwest at the behest of the Sierra Club, compares the economic impact of recreation to that of logging in America's national forests, concludes that the economic benefits of playing in the forests far outweigh those of cutting them down. A key finding is that "recreation alone in our National Forests generates more than 25 times more money for the American economy than does logging on those lands" according to a statement prepared by the Sierra Club. Figures cited indicate that recreation activities in national forests generate $108 billion in revenue and funds 330,000 jobs annually; logging on such lands produces, in contrast, $4 billion and 76,000.

In light of the heated debate over logging on federal lands, the report's most surprising finding may be figures showing that logging in national forests accounts for only 5 percent of the entire logging industry.

According to the state Forestry Commission, about 73 percent of Georgia's 23.6 million acres of forested land is in private hands. Georgia's logging industry provides an estimated $19.5 billion to the state's economy each year.

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