2018 Farm Bill

NAFO Farm Bill Priorities

Timber Innovation Act (TIA, HR 1380/S 538)

We support inclusion of the Senate farm bill language (Sections 8641, 8642 and 8643), which includes both the research and Wood Innovation Grant (WIG) provisions of TIA.  These sections would provide direction to existing US Forest Service (USFS) programs and promote further research and technical assistance for the development of mass timber buildings.  Mass timber – or building with solid panels of wood engineered for strength through laminations of different layers – is the cutting edge of innovation in the forest products industry, enabling the construction of buildings up to 25 stories from a renewable source.  Additional information can be found at timberinnovation.org.

Recognition of all forest certification programs in federal procurement policy

We support inclusion of language that is included in both the House and Senate bills that ensures that the USDA Biopreferred program, which provides a level playing field for wood products sourced from the three recognized forest certification standards in North America, is deferred to by all federal agencies.  No federal agencies or Federal Acquisition Regulations should prevent wood products certified from credible vendors such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative ® (SFI) or the American Tree Farm System ® (ATFS), which are both widely used in the United States, from being eligible for federal purchasing.  In the Senate bill, this is the language in Section 9102 entitled “Requirement for Procuring Agencies,” and in the House bill, this is the language in Section 6402 entitled “Wood and Wood-Based Products.”

Adjustments to current conservation programs

We support inclusion of the House farm bill language (Section 1604(b)(1) language entitle “Waiver”, and Section 2602(b) that would allow forest owners of all sizes and structures to recognize and capture the benefits that forest owners provide to address habitat requirements of at-risk species at a landscape scale.  Specifically, the Secretary should be given the authority to waive Adjusted Gross Income limitations for all Conservation Title programs if such a waiver will fulfill the objectives of the program and address high priority, high impact conservation projects with multiple resource benefits.  In addition, forest lands that serve as a buffer to protect land from development should not be restricted from their ability to utilize the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program due to an arbitrary rule prohibiting use of the program on lands that are more than 2/3 forest.