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WHEREAS, Virginia's 16 million acres of forested land are crucial for the residents of the Commonwealth, and provide raw, sustainable, and renewable materials to the state's forest industry, provide environmental benefits by cleaning the air and purifying the water, and offer diverse recreational opportunities; and
WHEREAS, forestry in Virginia is the third largest private sector industry, making essential contributions to the Commonwealth’s overall economy by generating $21 billion in goods and services annually, as well as employing approximately 108,000 people in approximately 1500 facilities; and
WHEREAS, Virginia's sustainable forest resources are critical to the Commonwealth's environmental integrity, economic viability, and quality of life in both rural and urban areas; and
WHEREAS, forests are privately owned, and diverse markets for forest products provide critical sources of revenue that enable 400,000 landowners to protect and manage their forests; and
WHEREAS, these privately owned and managed forests provide for habitat, carbon sequestration, renewable energy, and countless other products like furniture, building materials, paper products, and medicines that influence our everyday quality of life; and
WHEREAS, this week, the Commonwealth of Virginia encourages all residents to recognize and celebrate our forests and the renewable resources they provide as an essential part of our state's history, economy, and culture;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 18-22, 2021, as FOREST PRODUCTS WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.