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Timber Harvesting Safety

In response to concerns by some county commissioners that unidentified loggers in Alabama were not being held accountable for alleged damage to public roads, the state legislature passed what sounds like a very mild piece of legislation allowing (not requiring) counties to require loggers to provide “prior notice of intent” to use county roads or rights-of-way prior to operations.

At the close of 2012, Sustainable Forestry Initiative President Kathy Abusow summed up some significant signs that SFI is expanding and gaining credibility as a guarantor of sustainable forest management, pointing out:

On January 7, the H-2B Workforce Litigation Committee, in which FRA participates, filed an appeal brief with the Philadelphia-based Third Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging Judge Legrome Davis’s unfavorable decision on our challenge to the Department of Labor’s guestworker wage rule under the H-2B visa program at the District Court level. The H-2B visa program governs employer access to non-immigrant aliens working in certain categories of seasonal employment, including hand-planting of tree seedlings.

On December 12, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Jacksonville, Florida heard the U.S. Department of Labor’s appeal of District Court Judge Casey Rodgers’s decision to place a preliminary injunction on DOL’s “Program Rule,” governing the H-2B visa program, which authorizes the entry of reforestation guestworkers to the U.S. on a temporary, seasonal basis.

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