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Industry groups applaud Timber Innovation Act

BY HBSDealer Staff

The House just introduced a companion to a Senate bill known as the Timber Innovation Act, and many industry groups are pleased with it.

The American Wood Council (AWC), American Forest Foundation (AFF), Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC) and Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA) all applauded the b ill, which would establish a performance-driven research and development program to advance tall wood building construction in the United States.

The Timber Innovation Act (H.R. 5628) was introduced by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA) and is a companion to Senate bill S. 2892.

In addition to advancing R&D, the House bill also includes language allowing the Wood Innovation Grant program to support proposals to use and/or retrofit existing sawmill facilities in areas with high employment to produce mass timber materials.
“The rise of green building practices means more attention is being paid than ever before to how our country’s buildings impact the environment, and Congress has taken note," said AWC president and CEO Robert Glowinski. "Recognizing that wood provides the lowest life-cycle impact among major construction materials, legislators in both chambers of Congress have turned their attention to using mass timber to lessen the environmental burdens associated with the building sector. While tall wood building construction will benefit the sustainability in our urban areas, the effects will also promote rural prosperity. The manufacture of mass timber materials has the potential to support jobs in areas of rural America that have yet to recover from the recession. AWC thanks these legislators for their leadership in championing tall wood construction in the U.S. House of Representatives."

“This companion legislation will not only help reduce our environmental footprint, it will also help the families and individuals who own and care for the largest portion of U.S. forests, and supply the majority of the timber we use," said Tom Martin, AFF president and CEO. "Encouraging wood markets ensures landowners have the needed income to keep their land in forests and are able to steward it so that all Americans get the resources they count on, such as clean water, wildlife habitat and sustainable wood supplies. We thank Representatives DelBene, Thompson, Kilmer and McMorris-Rodgers for putting forth smart forest conservation policy."

“We are pleased to see the House of Representatives join the Senate in recognizing the potential environmental and economic benefits of increasing wood use in tall building applications through the ‘Timber Innovation Act,'" said Furman Brodie, VP of Charles Ingram Lumber Company in Effingham, South Carolina and SLMA Chairman of the Board. "Our mills are large drivers of the rural economies in which we operate, and expanded markets will help to bolster and grow these economies. Encouraging the use of wood products also benefits the environment, as increased wood demand encourages landowners to continue planting trees instead of converting their land to other purposes."

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