The logging industry has been a dominant factor in the economy of Florence County since the days of early settlement. The larger companies had cut over their holdings by the early 1900's. Millions of feet of timber had been harvested during the preceding half-century, leaving vast areas of cut-over slashing. The lumbering firms sold these cut-over areas to land companies, individuals, and the remainder were left to go to tax delinquent.
Following the "agricultural depression" of 1921, the land companies found it more difficult to sell their vast holdings and the burden of their land taxes became greater each year. The land companies began letting their less desirable lands go tax delinquent in order to retain more advantageous holdings.
By the late 1920's the tax structure on Florence County was in serious difficulty. Early in the 1930's , the County Board realized that some form of action had to be taken and the county acquired tax delinquent lands in the ten-year period of 1930-1940 in staggering amounts. The County Board approved the establishment of a County Forest largely of county-owned lands in the eastern half of the county. The Board approved the first entry of 26,841 acres in 1935. The early phases of development consisted mainly of planting vast open areas using the Civilian Conservation Corps. The first timber sale was made in 1941; and with the exception of 1943, sales have been made annually to date. Today the county forest has more than 36,000 acres.
People seeking recreational pursuits such as hunting, fishing, and camping utilize the forest. It is also used as outdoor classroom for all age groups due to the diverse species of plants and animals available for observation. The county forest is managed to enhance wildlife populations and for timber production. The forest plays a major role in the economy of Florence County by providing employment in the production and manufacture of forest products.