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June 2017
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Due to problems with the bulletin sent on June 30th we are resending this revised edition. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience that may have occurred.
Dear FRA Members,

These past three months have brought both warmer weather and a flurry of legislative action to Washington D.C. We hope that our weekly briefs have helped you cut through the clutter and stay informed on what really matters to your organization and our industry. The following items are the major updates from this past quarter that we would like to highlight.

  • Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., wrote a “Dear Colleague” letter that seeks to establish a pilot program in a small number of states allowing six axle rigs weighing up to 91,000 pounds on our nation’s interstates. Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., signaled his intention to reintroduce the Right to Haul Act. This bill, which has surfaced in the last couple of congresses, would allow trucks carrying loads up to the maximum allowable state road weight limit to travel on that state’s portion of the interstate highway system.

  • Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., has introduced legislation in the House (HR 2623) that would codify President Donald Trump's executive order requiring agencies to offset the cost of new rules by eliminating old ones. It would remove out-of-date and unnecessary regulations and reduce the size of government.

  • President Trump and Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin unveiled their tax plan that includes a reduction from seven tax brackets down to three tax brackets (10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent), elimination of the Affordable Care Act tax to 3.8 percent, reduction of the Capital Gains Tax to 20 percent, elimination of the Estate Tax, reduction of the Corporate Tax to 15 percent and elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax. The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the border-adjustment tax reform concept, which would benefit net exporters. It would also potentially increase taxes for those that import product or raw materials. Congress is hoping to get tax reform on the agenda by fall

  • President Trump signed an executive order relating to the promotion of Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to emphasize the importance of American agriculture and protecting our rural communities. Since this order was signed, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue launched the Intergovernmental Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity and hosted the first meeting at the Department of Agriculture headquarters. This task force was billed as the first part of the implementation of President Trump’s executive order on rural prosperity.

  • In Congress, biomass, H-2B and Hours of Restart were in this year’s continuing resolution which was passed and signed by the President. The Republican House passed the Affordable Health Care Act, which has been touted as the repeal of Obamacare by a slim margin of 217 to 213. This House bill has not fared well in the Senate and has been delayed on final passage.

  • President Trump’s budget announced and the fiscal year 2018 budget proposal featured significant non-defense spending cuts to federal government infrastructure. The Department of Energy was a particular target of this blueprint of budget cuts. The Trump administration is proposing to fund the office at $636 million, a decrease from over $2 billion during the 2017 fiscal year. The proposed budget defunds the USDA’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program.

  • Reps. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Schrader, D-Ore., have reintroduced the new 2017 Wildfire Disaster Funding Act. It funds 100 percent of the 2015 suppression level, with amounts above that level supported from disaster funding.

  • The 2017 Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) was introduced as S. 951 in the Senate by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. It passed out of the committee in May and is ready for consideration by the Senate. The RAA will improve the process for writing federal regulations, will ensure that regulations pass a cost-benefit test and ensure regulations do more good than harm.

  • The House Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on federal lands held a hearing to take testimony on Rep. Bruce Westerman’s, R-Ark., 2017 Resilient Federal Forests Act. The bill has more aggressive categorical exclusions (CE) than the previous version, which passed the House. In the new bill, CEs can be issued for projects up to 10,000 acres, which doubles the cap from the version passed by the House during the last Congress.

We hope you enjoy the bulletin and the continued changes you see as we update our website and work to give you more member benefits from our communication tools.

Thank You,
Deb Hawkinson, FRA President and Bill Johnson, FRA Chairman

FRA NEWS
REGISTRATION BEGINS 7-14-17!
FRA's 2017 Fly-In and Fall Board Meeting, Washington D.C.
Join other wood supply management and forestry professionals for the Forest Resources Association's Fly-In and Fall Board Meeting in Washington D.C. October 4 - 6, 2017!
Member Spotlight - Interfor
FRA members have long embraced the importance of identifying and training workers for the many jobs across the supply chain for the forest products industry. Interfor, a FRA member, has launched a new training program. FRA wants to acknowledge these best practices in training the current and the next generation of workers. Interfor is now one of the world's largest lumber providers with operations across North America and customers around the globe. Interfor has 3,000 employees, 18 mills and 50 years of experience serving global markets. In addition, they have an annual capacity of 3 billion board feet from world-class facilities.
READ MORE
Addressing the Labor Shortage in the Forestry Industry
A recent Wall Street Journal opinion column highlighted a concern that is all too real to those of us in the forestry industry: there is a growing labor shortage. According to the piece, “demographic trends coupled with a skills mismatch have resulted in a frustrating economic paradox: Millions of workers are underemployed even as millions of jobs go unfilled.”
READ MORE
Welcome New Members!
Westervelt
Located in Alabama, Westervelt has joined FRA as a Sawmill Member.
Great Woods Companies LLC
Located in Bennettsville, SC, Great Woods Companies, LLC is joining FRA as a Wood Supplier Member.
Timbervest, current FRA member
has been purchased by Domain Timber Advisors, the timberland investment division of Domain Capital Advisors. Domain Timber Advisors will retain FRA membership as a TIMO Member.
If you are interested in sponsoring new members or joining FRA, please visit the Join Now section of our website and fill out the form or, contact Claire Gedde at CGedde@forestresources.org.
Industry News
Arkansas’ Lee Anne Fitzgerald: Log A Load For Kids 2017 Volunteer Champion
Washington D.C. - The Log A Load For Kids Foundation has named Lee Anne Fitzgerald of Retif Oil and Fuel as the 2017 Volunteer Champion. Log A Load Chair Sherri Hansen made the announcement at the Forest Resources Association (FRA) annual meeting on May 3, thanking Lee Anne for her dedication and service in Arkansas’ Log A Load’s charitable efforts.
READ MORE
THATS Safety in Focus:
June as National Safety Month and More
In 1996, the National Safety Council established June as National Safety Month.” The aim was and, continues to be, increasing awareness of the leading safety and health risks and ultimately decrease the number of unintentional injuries and deaths. Everyday there are 107,000 injuries in the U.S. with almost all of them being preventable.” This year’s theme is Keep Each Other Safe.
READ MORE
Wood Supply Research Institute 2017
Challenges, Opportunities and Reflections
WSRI just held its 19th annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. WSRI celebrates its longevity, its long list of projects seeking to expose opportunities for efficiency in the supply chain and the personal industry connections they help to facilitate. Even as WSRI celebrates, they’re still taking the steps to make sure they remain relevant and effective going forward. Here is a summary of what occurred at the annual meeting and what’s on WSRI’s docket in the months to come.
READ MORE
Appalachian, Southcentral, Southeastern Regions – Rick Meyer
Tommy Peagler Recognized Nationally For Technical Writing
Charleston, S.C. – On May 3, the Forest Resources Association (FRA) honored Tommy Peagler with its National Technical Writing Award for 2017. This annual award recognizes the best technical release published by FRA as selected by FRA’s National Operations Committee.
READ MORE
Wanted: Flowering American Chestnut Trees
Most individuals connected to forestry know about the historical demise of the American chestnut, once considered the king tree of the eastern forest. Most are also aware of the long-term research and slow progress being made toward developing timber-quality chestnut trees that are reasonably resistant to the chestnut blight via crossbreeding of the American tree (Castanea dentata) with the more resistant Chinese chestnut trees.
READ MORE
Lake States Region – Steve Kariainen
Hasbargen Logging: FRA’s 2017 National Outstanding Logger
Charleston, S.C. - The Forest Resources Association and STIHL, Inc., honored Hasbargen Logging, Inc., from Birchdale, Minnesota as the National Outstanding Logger at FRA’s annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina on May 3. FRA Chairman Bill Johnson presented Kit Hasbargen with a wooden plaque, while STIHL’s Kent Hall presented Hasbargen Logging with a $1,000 check. Hasbargen Logging was one of six regional finalists for the prestigious national award.
READ MORE
Lake States Forest Management Bat Habitat Conservation Plan
To take a proactive, collaborative approach to conserving bat species that are in steep decline from white-nose syndrome while minimizing potential impacts to sustainable forest management.
READ MORE
Lake States Region Capital Investments: Reason for Optimism
The forest products industry is a very capital-intensive industry requiring large investments in infrastructure, buildings and equipment. For any business to make such investments, there must be a high degree of confidence the venture will be successful. It is therefore very encouraging to see some of the capital investments currently underway in the Lake States Region, as it bodes well for the health of the region’s forests and rural communities.
READ MORE
Northeast Region – Eric Kingsley
Volume, Value, and a Range of Markets for Forest Products
Over time, forest industries develop unique and inter-related ecosystems. These are where a range of markets support a complex and ever-evolving supply chain. While often competing, the reality is that mills depend upon one another to keep a unique balance of products that supports the entire supply chain, which in turn keeps wood coming to the mills.
READ MORE
Western Region – Vickie Swanton
Technical Seminar Presentations from the Western Region May Meeting
READ MORE
TECHNICAL RELEASES

17-R-1: Avenza Maps Mobile App for Forest Operations Field Work
17-R-2: "CAT Detect" for Personnel Protects On-The-Ground Workers
17-R-3: Getting Trucking Up To Speed
17-R-4: Issue: Legalized Marijuana - What Maine Employers Need to Know
17-R-5: Using Woodyard Cameras to Improve Truck Driver Safety Compliance
17-R-6: Emergency Helicopter Landing Sites in Remote Forested Locations
17-R-7: Loggers' Laminated Sheet for Hazardous Spill Response Procedure
17-R-8: Michigan BMP Monitoring Study
17-R-9: Preparing Your Jobsite or Facility for a Hurricane
17-R-10: WSRI Logging Pay & Benefits Survey
17-R-11: Pole Saw Holder for Logger’s Service Truck
17-R-12: QuickBooks for Basic Bookkeeping and Reporting
17-R-13: Visible Board to Show Daily, Weekly and Monthly Maintenance

SAFETY ALERTS

17-S-1: Mechanic Injured while Repairing Tracked Feller-Buncher
17-S-2: Operator Lacerates Hand while Changing Teeth on Buncher
17-S-3: Passenger Vehicle Collides with Backing Log Truck
17-S-4: Early-Morning Crew Truck Wreck
17-S-5: Pickup Truck Backs Over Manager

SECURITY ALERTS

17-Q-1: Wood Scaling Security Reviews

FRA JOB BOARD
Members may now announce available positions at no charge on FRA’s on-line Job Board, (Basic posting is $350 for non-members) All job postings receive 60 days of exposure.
Click on job links below for more information
NEW! VETERANS IN FORESTRY – RELATED EMPLOYMENT

Safety Management Consultant – Logging – Central/Northern Maine

Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission - Athens, GA

Staff Forester - LandVest Timberland Office in West Stewartstown, NH

Texas Forestry Association Seeks Executive Director – Lufkin, TX

UPCOMING EVENTS
FRA’s Northeast Region’s Industrial Forestry Forum presentations run monthly, usually the first Thursday evening of each month at 5:30 PM from fall through spring. As topics and dates are confirmed, they are posted at FRA’s UPCOMING EVENTS.
Sep 19-21

Western Region/MWPA Fall Meeting (Whitefish, MT)
Sep 20-21

FRA Appalachian Region 2017 Fall Meeting (Chillicothe, OH) - REGISTER NOW!
Oct 4-6

FRA 2017 Fall Board Meeting and Fly In (Washington, DC) - REGISTER NOW!
Oct 25-26

SE Region Policy Committe Meeting (Jekyll Island, GA)
Apr 16-18

FRA 2018 Annual Meeting (New Orleans, LA)
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Washington, DC 20006

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