A public survey released Thursday shows Mainers are generally bullish about the future of the state’s forest products industry, but have little awareness of how it’s changing.
Of nearly 500 survey respondents throughout the state, 80% would recommend Maine students consider a forest-related job. FOR/Maine, a public-private coalition promoting the forest products industry, conducted the online poll late in 2020.
About 55% of respondents said they were “very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” about growth opportunities in forestry over the next 10 years, while 30% were pessimistic to some degree.
Compared to other industries, forestry also fared well. For example, tourism and agriculture received the highest percentages of optimistic responses, but forestry tied with tourism among respondents under age 34.
However, the survey showed that many people don’t recognize that the growth opportunities in forest products extend beyond traditional fields such as lumber and paper-making.