Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2013 Farm Bill Update #2

Yesterday the Senate passed the 2013 Farm Bill by a 68-32 vote.   This is a huge win for woodland owners nationwide.  This new Farm Bill is one of the strongest yet for forest owners. 

As I noted in an earlier post, this bill passed through the House last week.  It will now be sent to the President for his signature.

Below is a summary of what's included?
  • New market opportunities and further research on additional opportunities.
  • Protection from unnecessary permit requirements on your forest roads.
  • Protection from the threat of forest invasive pests.
  • Improved access to tools and resources for forest stewardship.
With this Farm Bill legislation we should see significant improvements for family woodland owners.  Be sure to send a big thank you to your local senators and reps who voted in favor of the legislation.

For the full news release you can go to the American Forest Foundation's New Page.

Also, the National Woodland Owners Association has posted a one page summary of the 2013 Farm Bill that is on the president's desk for signature.   Below are the highlights:
For woodland owners, about everything NWOA and our many partners in the forest community felt was critical is in there. Here is a sample:
1.  Includes a limit to EPA’s regulatory reach as well as “citizen lawsuits” over forest road stormwater run-off. 
2.  The bill adopts the most important terms of the Silvaculture Regulatory Consistency Act, proposed to resolve the was drafted to resolve “Forest Roads lawsuit.” Hopefully this saga is over. 
3.  Consolidates twelve successful landowner assistance programs into five, with improved eligibility and program objectives. 
4.  Permanently authorizes the Stewardship Contracting Program which allows private contractors to bid on forest health and improvement projects on federal land. This provision will be especially useful in treating overstocked and fire prone federal timberlands whose poor condition presents a real wildfire danger to rural communities as well as adjacent private woodlands. 
5.  Improves the Forest Inventory & Analysis program to make supply data more useful to investors in forest industries to produce American grown wood.

To read the full release from NWOA click here.

To see how your representative voted click here.
To see how your senator (Senate vote will be posted soon) voted click here

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