State Forest Management
Ohio has 21 state forests covering nearly 200,000 acres. Ohio State Forests vary in size from nearly 64,000 acres to less than 500 acres and are located in 21 Ohio counties. These forests are managed for multiple uses including sustainable timber production, wildlife habitat, soil and water protection, and recreation.
Some 88% of Ohio’s forested land is owned by private landowners, most owning less than 50 acres. Ohio State Forests provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of long-term management to an increasing number of private landowners. These lands are managed on a landscape scale not possible with small land holdings.
Ohio’s State Forests were mostly acquired in the form of degraded forest lands. The majority of state forest acreage was purchased prior to 1950, but acquisitions continue to be made to the present day (Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest acquisition). Forestry in Ohio began during the early years of the national conservation movement in the late 1800’s, and the state forest system began in 1916 (see History of Ohio State Forests).
The Division of Forestry is committed to the sustainable management of Ohio State Forests. In order to verify and prove our commitment, the Division of Forestry has committed to achieving and maintaining certification of our management to the principles and criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
The Division of Forestry involves the public in decision making in several different ways. Learn how you can provide input by accessing our Pathways for Participation site or visit a state forest and give us your comments.
- Trees to Textbooks - Nearly $24 million to schools and communities
- Students Today for Environmental Protection - Approximately 5,000 schoolchildren played a key part in reforesting Perry State Forest. > read more