Forestry Facts

2019 Adirondack Research Consortium Forestry Roundtable Discussion

Presentation on the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act by Jarred Snyder and John Williams can be found HERE.   This presentation was made at the 2019 ARC Fall Roundtable.

Jared Snyder - Jared Snyder is Deputy Commissioner for Climate, Air & Energy at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  In that capacity, he oversees New York’s development and implementation of clean air programs and climate change strategies, including programs to build resilience to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  He represents the Department in multistate climate and air quality initiatives, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Transportation and Climate Initiative, and in statewide energy planning efforts.  He is currently Treasurer of RGGI Inc.; he represents New York on the Ozone Transport Commission and The Climate Registry; and he has served as Co-chair of the International Carbon Action Partnership.  Prior to joining DEC in 2007, he managed air and climate litigation in the New York Attorney General’s office, and he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice handling environmental enforcement matters from 1990-95.  Mr. Snyder has a B.A. in economics from Cornell University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

John Williams - As Vice President for Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Mr. Williams’ primary responsibility is to help guide state energy policy development. At NYSERDA, Mr. Williams oversees the Energy and Environmental Analysis unit, providing economic analysis and scientific research to best inform policy-makers in energy and environmental issues, as well as the Performance Management unit, which provides market characterization and evaluation, clean energy market insights and statistical analysis that all guide effective clean energy strategies.  Mr. Williams’ previous work experience includes serving as Energy Counsel for the New York State Assembly; Staff Attorney for The Energy Project of the Pace University School of Law; and Financial Analyst for the Public Service Company of New Mexico.  Mr. Williams earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Columbia University, a Juris Doctor degree from the St. John’s University School of Law, and a Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law from the Pace University School of Law. 

Just The Facts!

ESFPA, along with retired SUNY-ESF Professor Hugh Canham, has produced the publication, Just the Facts:  The past, present and future of New York's forests.   To view this publication, please follow this link:  Just the Facts.


  • New York has more forests than any other state in the Northeast - 18.95 million acres. That's nearly an acre for each and every New Yorker!
  • New York's forests are growing over 3,5 times faster than they are being harvested, cleared for development or lost to insects and disease.
  • Are we running out of trees yet? Over 64 percent of the state is covered by forests, an increase of 24 percent since 1953.
  • Over 700,000 individuals and families own most (11.2 million acres) of New York's forests.
  • New York's forest industry contributes about $4.6 billion to the state's economy each year.
  • The forestry industry remains one of New York's top ten manufacturing sectors.
  • The forestry industry employs 53,833 New Yorkers, which comprises 4.5% of the manufacturing workforce, with an Annual payroll of $1.6 billion.
  • There are 1,428,000 registered hunters and 3,852,00 wildlife watchers who benefit from New York forestland.
Land Use In New York State
Land Use In New York State Acres in Millions
Forest Cover 18.95
Timberland 15.9
Forest Reserve 2.97
Urban Forestland 1.135
Farmland 7.2
Urban 3.42

Total 30,223.3
Forest Resources and Acres Under Certification

May 3, 2005

  • Area within State Boundary – 30.2 million acres
  • Forest Land – 18.95 million acres
  • Timber Land (Forest Land available for harvest) – 15.9 million acres
  • Forest Land Certified in Tree Farm Program – 564,257 acres (1,800 Tree Farms)
  • Forest Land in FSC Certification – 237,684* acres (5 landowners)
    *does not include 715,000 acres of State Forest Land
  • Forest Land in SFI Program – 475,700 acres (8 landowners)
  • Forest Land Certified ISO 14001 – 274,000 acres


NOTE: Due to some parcels being certified by multiple organizations, the total acres of Certified Forest in New York State is less than the total for all programs listed. For example, most private land certified under FSC is also certified by SFI and/or Tree Farm. It is estimated that at least 2.2 million acres is certified by at least one of the programs listed above.

Most Forested Counties
Rank County Total Acres of
  Forestland (1,000 acres)
1 St. Lawrence 1,274.2
2 Hamilton 1,079.1
3 Essex 1,033.8
4 Franklin 826.5
5 Herkimer 686.0
6 Delaware 669.2
7 Lewis 617.1
8 Ulster 582.8
9 Cattaraugus 572.1
10 Warren 533.5


Top Tree Species
Rank Species Percentage
1 Sugar Maple 18%
2 White Ash 14%
3 Other 13%
4 White Pine 13%
5 Northern Red Oak 12%
6 Red Maple 10%
7 Red Pine 10%
8 Black Cherry 7%
9 Hemlock 3%