We hope to address some of the most common questions here, but we invite you to contact us if you have other inquiries.

Timber Sales

What are my options for selling timber?

A successful timber sale is well-planned and will maximize income to the owner while minimizing adverse impact on the land. It also provides an opportunity for the landowner to reinvest by reforestation or through other forest management activities. To sell your timber in the right way and for the best price, we recommend you use a Forest Products Sales Contract. GFC conducts State Timber Sales only.

Learn more about selling your timber.

Forest Management & Conservation

What are my options for selling timber?

A successful timber sale is well-planned and will maximize income to the owner while minimizing adverse impact on the land. It also provides an opportunity for the landowner to reinvest by reforestation or through other forest management activities. To sell your timber in the right way and for the best price, we recommend you use a Forest Products Sales Contract. GFC conducts State Timber Sales only.

Learn more about selling your timber.

Can I buy the most genetically advanced slash and loblolly pine seedlings from GFC?

Yes. GFC does not withhold the best genetic material for planting on its own forestland. The very best seedlings are available to the public on a first come-first serve basis. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

Some nurseries sell single-family seedlots; GFC currently sells large seed orchard mixes, along with some small family mixes of elite seedlings, such as the Elite Straight Loblolly and Georgia Giants (three families of each). As seed permits, GFC plans to begin selling single families on a limited basis. What is the difference?

Single family seedlots mean the seeds all come from the same mother tree. As a result, all the seedlings from a single-family seedlot are closely related. In a mixed seedlot, the seeds are derived from a number of mother trees and therefore more genetically diverse. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

Is there an advantage to planting single families as opposed to mixed families?

Maybe. In a mixed seedlot the genetic value is the average of the families in the mix. If you are lucky enough to plant a single family that is above average you gain an advantage. If the family is below average, you don't. Unfortunately, the very best families are always in high demand and frequently not available to many customers. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

Are there advantages to multi-family plantings?

Yes. Multi-family plantings, because of their diversity, are better buffered against unusual shifts in weather or environment. Additionally, families are ranked based on average performance. Some seedlings from lesser ranked families may have exceptional qualities. Multi-family plantings can include these outstanding individuals that may ultimately be an important component of the final harvest. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

How does the genetic diversity of multi-family plantings affect fusiform rust resistance?

Research has shown that some rust resistance in pines is the result of a gene-for-gene mechanism. Simply put, this means that a family that demonstrates resistance to one strain of the fungus may be susceptible to another strain of the pathogen. Since it's impossible to predict what fungal strain a plantation may encounter, a multi-family planting may provide more insurance. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

Does GFC have any careers other than wildland firefighters and foresters?

Yes! We are a dynamic state agency that offers a wide variety of careers. In addition to wildland firefighters and foresters, opportunities include: pilots, welder/fabricators, administrative assistants, finance, dispatcher/response center workers, communications and IT! We even have opportunities at our tree seedling nursery and various advanced opportunities for foresters and wildland firefighters, including management and specialist positions in areas such as water quality, prescribed burning, forest health, community forestry and forest stewardship and utilization.

View our current openings.

What are forest biomass/bioenergy and carbon sequestration?

Forest biomass is any plant or tree material produced by forest growth. Forest bioenergy is the use of renewable forest biomass to produce energy products such as wood pellets, industrial heat, electricity, and transportation fuels. As forests grow, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and trap, or sequester, the carbon in the trunk, roots, branches, and leaves; a segment of the carbon cycle. One acre of managed southern pine forest can sequester one to four tons of carbon per year, which is equivalent to 3.7—15.7 tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Find out more.

What is biomass?

Biomass is plant matter that can be converted to an energy source. It includes agricultural materials, tree residue from managed forests and wood waste from urban areas. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

How does biomass from forest residue differ from corn biomass?

It takes less energy to grow forest biomass and convert it to ethanol than it takes to grow corn and convert it to ethanol. In addition, the entire process emits fewer greenhouse gases when using forest biomass. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

What can be done with biomass?

Biomass can be converted to energy-producing ethanol and wood pellets. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

What is ethanol?

Ethanol is a "clean" gas alternative that emits no additional greenhouse gases when burned. Any gasoline powered vehicle can run on an E-10 or 10% ethanol blend. Hybrid or flex fuel cars can use an 85% ethanol/15% gas ratio. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

What are wood pellets used for?

They can be used to fuel heaters and furnaces in commercial and some residential applications. They can also be used by industry to produce steam and electricity. They are easy to handle, have high energy value and are inexpensive to transport. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

How does the production of biomass and ethanol affect the environment?

Biomass is made from forestry and agricultural by-products. Georgia's forestry industry already has the infrastructure in place to gather and deliver these materials to processing locations. The production of biomass, conversion of biomass to ethanol and the burning of ethanol are considered "green" processes. They give off no harmful greenhouse gases. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

Why develop the biomass industry?

The use of ethanol can dramatically reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil. It is also more environmentally friendly than other fuels, which emit harmful greenhouse gases. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

How does Georgia fit into the biomass/ethanol picture?

Georgia already has a thriving Forestry industry, containing the necessary infrastructure needed to bring biomass to a world market. It has the resources to accomplish this mission, including Forestry professionals, leading researchers, a ready supply chain and government support. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

How quickly can Georgia become a leader in the production of biomass and ethanol?

Researchers estimate Georgia could have a biomass production and export system in place within three years. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

What would be the economic impact of a new biomass industry in Georgia?

Estimates are that one large biorefinery would have a $100 million direct impact and a much larger indirect impact on the Georgia economy annually. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

Fire Prevention & Suppression

Do I have to get a burn permit? How do I get one?

Most types of outdoor burning in Georgia require a permit from GFC. The Georgia Rules for Air Quality define open burning as any outdoor fire from which the products of combustion are emitted directly into the open air without passing through a stack, chimney, or duct. All outdoor burning of natural vegetative materials is considered open burning and requires a burn permit.

Find out how to get a burn permit.

What about part time positions? Does GFC have any part time/hourly opportunities?

Certainly! Our two Response Centers are staffed largely by part time dispatchers/response center workers. With a variety of operating hours, these positions work well for those looking for flexibility in their work schedules, such as students. We also employ part time/supplemental wildland firefighters in some areas of the state. These firefighters work on an as-needed basis and pay rates are set according to their level of qualifications and commitment.

For information about supplemental firefighters, contact the local county unit.

For dispatchers and other part-time opportunities, please view our current openings.

Forest Industry

How can I get involved with doing business in Georgia’s forest industry?

Georgia is the perfect place to do business in the wood industry and is the #1 exporter of wood fuel in the world. We offer unparalleled wood resources, processing industries, market access and an extensive network of support services. Georgia also offers a centralized location for business operations in the fastest growing region in the U.S.

Learn more about doing business in Georgia.

I’d love to be a forester with GFC—do I have to have a degree?

Yes, joining the premier forestry agency that services the #1 forestry state in the nation is a prestigious endeavor! As such, a four-year forestry degree from a school accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) is required. A closely related degree can be considered IF you have successfully completed these courses: Dendrology, Mensuration, Silviculture, Forest Health, Forest Measurements, and GIS.

View our current openings.

For a career as a Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) Forester, you must have a two-year degree in forestry from an SAF accredited school and you must have successfully completed these courses: Dendrology, Mensuration, Silviculture, and Forest Measurements.

Learn more about FIA.

Does GFC have any careers other than wildland firefighters and foresters?

Yes! We are a dynamic state agency that offers a wide variety of careers. In addition to wildland firefighters and foresters, opportunities include: pilots, welder/fabricators, administrative assistants, finance, dispatcher/response center workers, communications and IT! We even have opportunities at our tree seedling nursery and various advanced opportunities for foresters and wildland firefighters, including management and specialist positions in areas such as water quality, prescribed burning, forest health, community forestry and forest stewardship and utilization.

View our current openings.

How many and what types of wood-using industries are located in Georgia?

In addition to lumber, Georgia's 216 primary wood-using industries convert logs into products, including: poles and posts, wood pulp, and energy products such as wood pellets. Approximately 1,100 secondary manufacturers convert wood products into furniture, manufactured homes and buildings, paper products and more.

View our wood-using industries directory.

How important is Georgia’s forest industry to the state’s economy?

Georgia's forest industry consistently delivers strong results for the state's economy. Total economic activity generated by the state's forest industry rose to $36.2 billion between 2017 and 2018. The state's forest industry supports more than 148,000 jobs in Georgia and each of them contributes significantly to our quality of life. From everyday products such as lumber and paper, to environmental services such as clean air, clean water and wildlife habitat, Georgia's forests impact everyone.

Learn more.

Are Georgia’s forests sustainable?

Yes! And we’re working hard to keep it that way. GFC foresters monitor the status of Georgia’s forests with continuous forest inventories and wood-using industry surveys. This provides GFC with forest statistics on forest type, ownership type, age class distributions, timber and biomass volumes, timber growth, mortality, removals and wood production by the forest products industry. Inventory and survey data provide estimates of the current conditions of the state’s forests, as well as historical trends of timber supply and wood utilization. One measure of forest sustainability is to compare forest growth vs. forest removals. According to 2017 inventory data, Georgia’s annual forest growth exceeds forest removals by 48%, 35%, and 103%, for all species, softwoods, and hardwoods, respectively. Furthermore, commercial timber is growing at a rate of 65 cubic feet per second, or two tons per second!

Learn more.

Urban & Community Forestry

As a homeowner, how can I take care of my trees?

Healthy trees are valuable for the ecosystem benefits and natural beauty they provide. Regular tree inspections and maintenance will help your trees weather storms, lower your energy bills, and can increase your home’s value by as much as 15 percent.

Get more information about caring for your trees.

Learn & Explore

As an educator, how can I teach my students about the importance of trees?

The Annual Georgia Teacher Conservation Workshop (TCW) is the premier forestry and environmental education professional development event for teachers and educators in Georgia. The program emphasizes the importance of conservation of natural resources, with special attention given to Georgia’s wildlife, forests, forest products and water. Participants learn hands-on practical exercises that can supplement their classroom curricula and student projects.

Sign up for a workshop.

Careers

How can I get a job with GFC?

We are excited that you are interested in joining our team of professionals in the #1 forestry state in the nation.

View our current job opportunities.

I love hunting, fishing and being outdoors. Could GFC have a job for me?

Yes! Individuals who love the outdoors often excel at our agency. Our wildland firefighter position is entry-level (no degree or high school diploma required), but relevant experience (including; mechanical, heavy equipment operation, wildland firefighting and a commercial driver’s license) can make you much more competitive in the selection process.

Learn more about GFC Careers.

I’d love to be a forester with GFC—do I have to have a degree?

Yes, joining the premier forestry agency that services the #1 forestry state in the nation is a prestigious endeavor! As such, a four-year forestry degree from a school accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) is required. A closely related degree can be considered IF you have successfully completed these courses: Dendrology, Mensuration, Silviculture, Forest Health, Forest Measurements, and GIS.

View our current openings.

For a career as a Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) Forester, you must have a two-year degree in forestry from an SAF accredited school and you must have successfully completed these courses: Dendrology, Mensuration, Silviculture, and Forest Measurements.

Learn more about FIA.

I’m currently in a four-year SAF accredited forestry program. Do you have any summer internships available?

Yes, we do! Our summer forester internship program has been growing rapidly, and we are proud to offer opportunities to juniors and seniors in SAF accredited forestry programs. Interns will experience as many program areas as possible to help narrow career preferences. Students pursuing careers in the public sector and those with knowledge and experience in Southeastern forestry are highly preferred.

For more information, look for the GFC table at forestry-related hiring/career fairs (we commonly attend UGA, ABAC, Auburn and Clemson fairs).

You can also contact GFC Human Resources at (678) 476-6220 or gfcjobs@gfc.state.ga.us.

Does GFC have any careers other than wildland firefighters and foresters?

Yes! We are a dynamic state agency that offers a wide variety of careers. In addition to wildland firefighters and foresters, opportunities include: pilots, welder/fabricators, administrative assistants, finance, dispatcher/response center workers, communications and IT! We even have opportunities at our tree seedling nursery and various advanced opportunities for foresters and wildland firefighters, including management and specialist positions in areas such as water quality, prescribed burning, forest health, community forestry and forest stewardship and utilization.

View our current openings.

What about part time positions? Does GFC have any part time/hourly opportunities?

Certainly! Our two Response Centers are staffed largely by part time dispatchers/response center workers. With a variety of operating hours, these positions work well for those looking for flexibility in their work schedules, such as students. We also employ part time/supplemental wildland firefighters in some areas of the state. These firefighters work on an as-needed basis and pay rates are set according to their level of qualifications and commitment.

For information about supplemental firefighters, contact the local county unit.

For dispatchers and other part-time opportunities, please view our current openings.

Forest Services, Utilization & Marketing(SUM)

What services does the Georgia Forestry Commission provide?

GFC wildland firefighters provide wildfire detection and suppression on Georgia’s 24,520,480 acres of forest land.
GFC foresters provide technical assistance on multiple-use forest management, forest health, best management practices, timber security law enforcement, financial and economic impact analyses, and forest inventory.
GFC foresters also operate a tree seedling nursery and manage the sale of high-quality pine and hardwood seedlings to forest owners and homeowners.
GFC maintains directories of wood-using mills, timber buyers and harvesters, consulting foresters and forestry services contractors.

GFC Services Handout

How many and what types of wood-using industries are located in Georgia?

In addition to lumber, Georgia's 216 primary wood-using industries convert logs into products, including: poles and posts, wood pulp, and energy products such as wood pellets. Approximately 1,100 secondary manufacturers convert wood products into furniture, manufactured homes and buildings, paper products and more.

View our wood-using industries directory.

How important is Georgia’s forest industry to the state’s economy?

Georgia's forest industry consistently delivers strong results for the state's economy. Total economic activity generated by the state's forest industry rose to $36.2 billion between 2017 and 2018. The state's forest industry supports more than 148,000 jobs in Georgia and each of them contributes significantly to our quality of life. From everyday products such as lumber and paper, to environmental services such as clean air, clean water and wildlife habitat, Georgia's forests impact everyone.

Learn more.

Are Georgia’s forests sustainable?

Yes! And we’re working hard to keep it that way. GFC foresters monitor the status of Georgia’s forests with continuous forest inventories and wood-using industry surveys. This provides GFC with forest statistics on forest type, ownership type, age class distributions, timber and biomass volumes, timber growth, mortality, removals and wood production by the forest products industry. Inventory and survey data provide estimates of the current conditions of the state’s forests, as well as historical trends of timber supply and wood utilization. One measure of forest sustainability is to compare forest growth vs. forest removals. According to 2017 inventory data, Georgia’s annual forest growth exceeds forest removals by 48%, 35%, and 103%, for all species, softwoods, and hardwoods, respectively. Furthermore, commercial timber is growing at a rate of 65 cubic feet per second, or two tons per second!

Learn more.

What are forest biomass/bioenergy and carbon sequestration?

Forest biomass is any plant or tree material produced by forest growth. Forest bioenergy is the use of renewable forest biomass to produce energy products such as wood pellets, industrial heat, electricity, and transportation fuels. As forests grow, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and trap, or sequester, the carbon in the trunk, roots, branches, and leaves; a segment of the carbon cycle. One acre of managed southern pine forest can sequester one to four tons of carbon per year, which is equivalent to 3.7—15.7 tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Find out more.

Carbon Sequestration

Why is carbon sequestration so important?

Scientists say the world’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are increasing by about three billion metric tons every year. As air pollution increases, so do the number of health problems for Georgians. Planting trees and managing their development is a proven way to reduce the number of harmful particulates in the air. Carbon Sequestration is also an emerging market opportunity for southern forest owners as they seek reasonable returns for the ecological services they provide.

Find out more about Carbon Sequestration.

How does a forest provide clean air?

Actively growing forests remove carbon dioxide (CO2), a by-product of burning fossil fuels, from the atmosphere. Trees store the carbon in wood fiber, and release oxygen. When trees capture and store carbon in forest vegetation, soil and forest products, it is called “Carbon Sequestration.”

Find out more about Carbon Sequestration.

What are ecological services?

Ecological services are the natural benefits of a well managed forest: water filtration, erosion control, wildlife habitats, and clean air.

Find out more about Carbon Sequestration.

How much carbon can southern forests process?

Actively managed southern pine plantations sequester from one to four tons of carbon, per acre, per year. Annually, Georgia's forests offset approximately 8% of our state's carbon dioxide emissions.

Find out more about Carbon Sequestration.

How could a landowner realize value for carbon sequestration?

The sale of “carbon credits” could provide a new opportunity for income on a regular, ongoing basis. Systems that match emission-dependent companies with tree growers have been developed in Georgia, California, Maine, Oregon, and in other parts of the world. Companies such as utilities cost-share tree planting or reforestation in exchange for “carbon credits,” and transactions are recorded in a Carbon Registry. A national protocol for establishing such a registry does not yet exist.

Find out more about Carbon Sequestration.

What’s happening in Georgia to encourage carbon sequestration?

GFC and the University of Georgia have defined a Carbon Registry protocol for Georgia and developed an online carbon sequestration registry to list and track forestry projects that are managed to sequester carbon.

Find out more about Carbon Sequestration.

Why is a carbon sequestration registry important?

By developing a carbon sequestration registry, Georgia landowners will have the opportunity to certify that their forests meet specific standards required by those companies wishing to purchase carbon credits. The Registry will also list potential carbon credit markets and encourage those persons representing the market to contact Georiga forest owners regarding potential carbon credit transactions. Furthermore, forest growth will be encouraged and significant steps taken to protect Georgia's environment.

Find out more about Carbon Sequestration.

Tree Seedlings

Can I buy the most genetically advanced slash and loblolly pine seedlings from GFC?

Yes. GFC does not withhold the best genetic material for planting on its own forestland. The very best seedlings are available to the public on a first come-first serve basis. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

Some nurseries sell single-family seedlots; GFC currently sells large seed orchard mixes, along with some small family mixes of elite seedlings, such as the Elite Straight Loblolly and Georgia Giants (three families of each). As seed permits, GFC plans to begin selling single families on a limited basis. What is the difference?

Single family seedlots mean the seeds all come from the same mother tree. As a result, all the seedlings from a single-family seedlot are closely related. In a mixed seedlot, the seeds are derived from a number of mother trees and therefore more genetically diverse. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

Is there an advantage to planting single families as opposed to mixed families?

Maybe. In a mixed seedlot the genetic value is the average of the families in the mix. If you are lucky enough to plant a single family that is above average you gain an advantage. If the family is below average, you don't. Unfortunately, the very best families are always in high demand and frequently not available to many customers. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

Are there advantages to multi-family plantings?

Yes. Multi-family plantings, because of their diversity, are better buffered against unusual shifts in weather or environment. Additionally, families are ranked based on average performance. Some seedlings from lesser ranked families may have exceptional qualities. Multi-family plantings can include these outstanding individuals that may ultimately be an important component of the final harvest. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

How does the genetic diversity of multi-family plantings affect fusiform rust resistance?

Research has shown that some rust resistance in pines is the result of a gene-for-gene mechanism. Simply put, this means that a family that demonstrates resistance to one strain of the fungus may be susceptible to another strain of the pathogen. Since it's impossible to predict what fungal strain a plantation may encounter, a multi-family planting may provide more insurance. Find out more about purchasing seedlings.

Forest Biomass

What is biomass?

Biomass is plant matter that can be converted to an energy source. It includes agricultural materials, tree residue from managed forests and wood waste from urban areas. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

How does biomass from forest residue differ from corn biomass?

It takes less energy to grow forest biomass and convert it to ethanol than it takes to grow corn and convert it to ethanol. In addition, the entire process emits fewer greenhouse gases when using forest biomass. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

What can be done with biomass?

Biomass can be converted to energy-producing ethanol and wood pellets. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

What is ethanol?

Ethanol is a "clean" gas alternative that emits no additional greenhouse gases when burned. Any gasoline powered vehicle can run on an E-10 or 10% ethanol blend. Hybrid or flex fuel cars can use an 85% ethanol/15% gas ratio. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

What are wood pellets used for?

They can be used to fuel heaters and furnaces in commercial and some residential applications. They can also be used by industry to produce steam and electricity. They are easy to handle, have high energy value and are inexpensive to transport. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

How does the production of biomass and ethanol affect the environment?

Biomass is made from forestry and agricultural by-products. Georgia's forestry industry already has the infrastructure in place to gather and deliver these materials to processing locations. The production of biomass, conversion of biomass to ethanol and the burning of ethanol are considered "green" processes. They give off no harmful greenhouse gases. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

Why develop the biomass industry?

The use of ethanol can dramatically reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil. It is also more environmentally friendly than other fuels, which emit harmful greenhouse gases. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

How does Georgia fit into the biomass/ethanol picture?

Georgia already has a thriving Forestry industry, containing the necessary infrastructure needed to bring biomass to a world market. It has the resources to accomplish this mission, including Forestry professionals, leading researchers, a ready supply chain and government support. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

How quickly can Georgia become a leader in the production of biomass and ethanol?

Researchers estimate Georgia could have a biomass production and export system in place within three years. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

What would be the economic impact of a new biomass industry in Georgia?

Estimates are that one large biorefinery would have a $100 million direct impact and a much larger indirect impact on the Georgia economy annually. Find out more about GFC's biomass efforts.

General Information

How do I get to GFC’s headquarters?

The Georgia Forestry Commission's State Agency Headquarters Complex is located on 5645 Riggins Mill Road in Dry Branch, Georgia

State Agency Headquarters Complex Map

Click here for assistance with directions