The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) congratulates Congress on reaching agreement on a bipartisan Farm Bill that includes several important provisions for private forest owners. Together with our partners at the American Wood Council and the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, we applaud the inclusion of the Timber Innovation Act (H.R. 1380 / S. 538) which encourages research, development and support for building with wood – an abundant, renewable, and domestic building material.
“Building with wood is good for the environment and the economy. It’s good for our forests and our cities,” said Dave Tenny, founding President and CEO of NAFO. “We no longer have to make a choice between sustainability and development when meeting the needs of our growing cities.”
America’s working forests are 70% privately owned, and they depend on strong markets for wood products. New markets for wood, like mass timber, are the economic armor that keeps forests as forests.
Based on the safe use of mass timber in Europe for decades, the United States is now beginning to embrace the use of mass timber to construct tall wood buildings. Architects, builders and cities are looking at high-tech, engineered wood as an innovative option for safe, durable, and efficient building construction. As communities demand more environmentally conscious choices in construction, tall wood buildings offer a carbon-friendly alternative to traditional building materials. Mass timber products continue to store the carbon they captured as growing trees.
“Mass timber construction has an important role to play in the future of cities across America,” Tenny said. “Mass timber is the innovative, environmentally friendly construction material that communities have been demanding, and that builders and architects have been waiting for.”
The Timber Innovation Act (TIA) provisions in the Farm Bill encourage investment in the manufacturing facilities needed to produce mass timber products domestically, and they incentivize the construction of buildings with wood. The bill also provides designers and code officials with the research and technical support they need to embrace new construction technology.
“NAFO members are grateful for the time and effort taken by Congress to understand the importance of these technical provisions and the benefits of multi-story wood building construction,” Tenny said. “We would like to thank House Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Senate Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), as well as the cosponsors of the Timber Innovation Act, for their bipartisan support of this legislation. With good policy, like what we have seen from Congress today, we support healthy markets for wood that ensure that our forests can continue to provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and jobs.”
Read more about mass timber and the Timber Innovation Act at timberinnovation.org.
The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) is a national advocacy organization committed to advancing federal policies that support the long-term economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainably managed privately-owned forests. NAFO member companies own and manage more than 45 million acres of private working forests – forests that are managed to provide a steady supply of timber. NAFO’s membership also includes state and national associations representing tens of millions of additional acres. Private working forests in the U.S. support 2.4 million jobs. Learn more at nafoalliance.org/issues/farm-bill/.