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Forest Products Listed as "Essential Industry" Under Governor's Order

Yesterday, March 26, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order #17 (a.k.a. the "stay at home" order). Accompanying this order was a list of "essential industries" that are exempt from the order. Forest products businesses are on this list and therefore exempt. (To see the full list, click here. To see the text of Executive Order #17, click here.) In addition to sawmills, "Forest products" includes those businesses that support the manufacturing and distribution of timber and forest products (i.e., loggers, truckers, foresters, etc.). It is also worth noting that forest products businesses appear several places on the order as noted below:

Food and Agriculture

  • Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood products.

Transportation and Logistics

  • Manufacturers and distributors (to include service centers and related operations) of packaging materials, pallets, crates, containers, and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and distribution operations


  • Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore the reliable generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power, including call centers, utility workers, reliability engineers and fleet maintenance technicians

Health Care/Public Health/Human Services

  • Manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, and distributors of or necessary to the supply chain of medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical gases, pharmaceuticals, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products.

Although Emergency Order #17 does exempt Forest Products businesses, the order still urges these businesses to follow social distancing protocols for employees in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health, including but not limited to:

1. Prohibiting all gatherings with more than 10 individuals.

2. Keeping all personnel six feet apart.

3. Encouraging employees to stay home when sick, and sending home those who report feeling ill or display symptoms.

Please call or email the NHTOA office if you have any questions. Note that there could be a delay in the office's response due to work-at-home requirements.

The NHTOA is a non-profit statewide coalition of landowners, forest industry professionals, government officials, and supporters who work together to promote better forest management, conserve our working forests, and ensure a strong forest products industry.

We strive to conserve New Hampshire’s working forests for future generations through public and industry education, legislative advocacy, outreach, and cooperation within the forest community.

Suggestions on how to improve the NHTOA website? Comments? Questions? Issues? Need information? Please contact the office at (603) 224-9699.

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