A waltz, a mule, a president. That's Missouri to most people in the United States. But the Show-Me State has something more that makes it great--it has forests.
Missouri is one of America's great forested states, ranking seventh of the 20 northeastern states in the amount of forest land. Forests cover about a third of the state--forests containing some of the finest oak, walnut, pine and red cedar found anywhere.
Forests are Missouri's greatest renewable resource, providing many economic, environmental and social benefits. They protect hillsides from erosion, keeping streams and rivers clean. They filter the air, soften the extremes of the weather and add beauty to cities and towns. Much of Missouri's recreation and tourism industry is centered in the forested regions of the state. And forests are a diverse resource of plants, animals, birds and other life forms.
Forest Products are also important to Missouri. harvesting and processing trees into wood products gives thousands of people jobs and contributes about $3 billion each year to Missouri's economy.
The Missouri Department of Conservation, the U.S. Forest Service and many private landowners are all working together to improve Missouri's forest resource through good management.
This Web page tells about the exploitation of Missouri's forests at the turn of the century, how wise forest management has created the many forest values we enjoy today and how foresters will maintain these values in the future.