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NLBMDA seeking Farm Bill support

The bill would support tall wood building construction and forest management reform.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association NLBMDA) wants members to contact Congress in an effort to gain support for the Farm Bill.

A final agreement on the Farm Bill is currently being revised in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The NLBMDA issued the following statement regarding the bill:

NLBMDA urges its members to take action by contacting their Representative and Senators in support of LBM industry priorities in the farm bill, including 1) federal forest management reforms, 2) promotion of tall wood building construction, and 3) ensuring fairness in federal purchasing of forest building products.

Negotiators from the House of Representatives and Senate are working on a final agreement that would authorize federal agriculture and nutrition programs, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill, which expired on September 30. In June, the House narrowly approved the legislation, while the Senate overwhelmingly approved its own version. Time is running out for Congress to pass a Farm Bill—that includes LBM Industry priorities—and have it signed by President Trump before the end of the year.

Record wildfires in recent years have highlighted the need for reforms to the federal forest management system. NLBMDA supports expedited salvage operations for dead and dying trees in areas burned by wildfire, and extending Good Neighbor Authority by allowing the U.S. Forest Service to enter into agreements with county governments. Currently, only state governments can enter into agreements to perform forest management services on National Forest System lands.

NLBMDA supports construction of tall wood buildings and the inclusion of provisions in the Farm Bill that would accelerate the research and development of cross-laminated timber and other engineered wood for use in construction projects as well as provide grants for such projects.

The federal government should also recognize more methods of sustainably harvested forest products in building and construction. Currently, the Department of Energy (DOE) only accepts lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as suitable for federal purchasing. Lumber certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) should also be considered sustainable and suitable for federal purchase by DOE.

Please take action and ask your Representative and Senators to support LBM industry priorities in a final Farm Bill agreement that promote good management of federal forests, encourage construction of mass timber buildings, and allow for federal recognition of all wood certification systems that support sustainably managed forests.

 

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