Below you will find links to Issue Briefs and Talking Points for several key hardwood issues.  The documents may be downloaded or printed.  If there's an issue we're working on, but you can't find here, please contact us.  If there's a new hardwood issue you think we should be aware of, don't hesitate to let us know that also.

International Trade

The Hardwood Federation advocates for a balanced national trade policy that is flexible enough to address the wide variety of needs not only within the U.S. Hardwood industry, but also U.S. industry as a whole.  We encourage policymakers to view trade not as a “one size fits all” issue, but rather to work together within the context of new and existing trade agreements to employ policies that support the various sectors and their needs. 

Trade One Pager

Trump Letter.pdf

China List 3 Retaliation Tariffs.pdf

Click here to view the Hardwood Federation Board letter to USDA Secretary Perdue regarding Trade War Relief for Hardwood Operations:  Hardwood Support - Secretary Perdue Letter.pdf

The Farm Bill

The Farm Bill is a piece of comprehensive legislation that covers most federal government policies related to agriculture in the United States. The Farm Bill is intended to be passed every 5 years by the United States Congress and deals with a number of food and farming issues administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The Farm Bill was a key HF priority in 2018 and was finally signed into Law by the President on December 21, 2018.  Key issues included in the Farm Bill that impact the Hardwood Industry include financial support for export promotion programs, federal forest management reform, energy and tall wood buildings.  2019 will see work toward full implementation and appropriations to ensure that spending levels and programs are executed as outlined in the Bill.  Key areas for the hardwood industry that made it into final passage include:

  • Export Promotion:  The Hardwood Federation is a long-time proponent of full funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program, both administered by USDA.  These programs provide essential resources to support the development of foreign markets for U.S. hardwood and hardwood products.  The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) receives funding from both programs.  Full funding for MAP and FMD were included in the 2018 Farm Bill at the $200 million level for MAP and at $34.5 million for FMD.
  • Timber Innovation Act (TIA):  TIA was originally a stand-alone piece of legislation strongly supported by HF.  It is a measure that promotes use of wood in taller buildings - higher than 6 stories.  TIA was folded into the Farm Bill in hopes of moving it forward and it was indeed included in the final legislation.  The provisions in the measure include funds for both research and development as well as wood innovation grants.
  • Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation Program (CWEIP):  CWEIP provides grants to projects that install high efficiency wood heating systems in hospitals, schools, community centers and entire towns.  The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes $125 million over the next 5 years to facilitate installations of heat and power systems that operate on sawmill residual-derived fuels.  Although this program has been in existence for several years, it was authorized at only $5 million per year and never received appropriations.  The scope of the program has been broadened as well, such that capital improvements to sawmills would also be eligible for funding under CWEIP.
  • Federal Forestry Management Reform:  Minor improvements were included in the bill.  These include expanded Good Neighbor Authority to allow Indian tribes and counties to participate in the program; an additional categorical exclusion for greater sage grouse and mule deer habitat; and some landscape scale forest restoration provisions, such as the establishment of a competitive grant program for financial and technical assistance to encourage collaborative, science-based restoration of priority landscapes.

Farm Bill One Pager

Export Promotion Funding (MAP & FMD Programs) One Pager

Community Wood Energy Program One Pager

Federal Forest Management

More than 193 million acres of the National Forest System is managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), located within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Of this total, 46 million acres (24%) are designated as allowable for timber harvest. We acknowledge that are multiple challenges to managing a system as expansive and as diverse as this, including damage caused by pest and invasive species, devastating forest fires, satisfying the concerns of various special interest groups, and budget constraints.  However we also believe that the currently designated number of acres allowable for timber harvest is less than it should be and that timber harvesting is not necessarily incompatible with other uses of the forest.  

Hardwood Federation members are particularly concerned about the impact the above challenges and limited lands available for harvest have on the availability of timber and fiber from federal forests.  Timber sales have declined significantly in recent years, negatively impacting countless wood products businesses, local communities and schools that rely on the jobs and tax base provided by the industry.  Federation members are also concerned that the decline in active management of federal lands has also negatively impacted the general health and sustainability of the forests.

Federal Forest Management One Pager

Fall 2018 Forest Management Briefing


Carbon Neutrality

The US Environmental Protection Agency is developing rules to govern the emission of      biomass. How they approach this issue could have serious consequences for the forest products industry.  The Hardwood Federation is tracking the development of the guidelines and providing input and comments.


HF Biomass One Pager

Tall Wood Buildings

In 2016, the House and Senate have introduced nearly identical “Timber Innovation Act” bills (S 2892 and HR 5628).  The legislation would create opportunities to use wood products, including mass timber, in the construction of so-called tall wood buildings.   The proposals define “tall wood building” as those that are designed to be over 85 feet high. 

Timber Innovation Act One Pager

The Lacey Act

The Lacey Act as amended in 2008 makes it against the law for illegally harvested timber and products made from this timber from being imported into the United States.  Illegally harvest timber competes unfairly with U.S. timber and goods and is detrimental to good environmental stewardship efforts.



Lacey Act Issue Brief

Union of Concerned Scientists Lacey Act Impacts Study

 

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