Another arm of the West-Alabama East Mississippi WIRED Initiative was a report entitled Forest-Based Economic Development Opportunities in the West Alabama-East Mississippi Region. A study was conducted to identify opportunities for economic development within their geographic area of interest, which includes thirty-six contiguous counties lying in West Alabama and East Mississippi (WAEM). More specifically, the study focused on opportunities that could arise from the substantial forest resource base and forest industries located within that geographic area. While the severe economic recession of recent years has been particularly devastating to forest products markets, the region’s strong asset base, both for timber and manufacturing capacity, is seen as a formidable platform for future growth within the WAEM region.
The resulting report described the findings of the study effort, delineated potential areas of opportunity for forest-based economic development, and made recommendations for facilitating the realization of those opportunities within the WAEM region.