News & Issues

On November 8, a leading general builder, Turner Construction, released the latest results of the “Green Building Market Barometer” survey it conducts every two years, gauging the commitment to “environmentally sustainable, or ‘green,’ building” of companies engaged in architecture, construction, real estate consulting, owning, developing, and other construction-related sectors.  In all, the survey reports the views of 718 executives.

The U.S. Department of Labor has appealed U.S. District Court Judge Casey Rodgers’s preliminary injunction of its “Program Rule,” governing administration of the H-2B “guestworker” program, to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Jacksonville, Florida.

Sweden’s ElmiaWood trade fair, the world’s largest forestry and logging equipment exhibition, has been announced for June 5-8, 2013 at a forested setting near the city of Jönköping in southern Sweden.

FRA’s Board has identified the credit crisis afflicting loggers and other small businesses in the wood supply chain as a policy priority for FRA, and FRA has endorsed the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill (S 2231, HR 1418).

In early October, a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration official stated that FMCSA was exploring ways for motor carriers to receive credits to their Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) BASIC scores for positive screening or inspection outcomes, rather than just demerits for defects.

On September 27, an estimated 70 log trucks, at least some fully loaded, “rolled through downtown Duluth [Minnesota] this morning to draw attention to complaints about weight limits on interstate highways that lead some trucks to use state highways and city streets instead,” according to that day’s [Minneapolis] MinnPost.

On August 13, Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pennsylvania), Chair of the House Conservation, Energy and Forestry Subcommittee, and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon), a member of that Subcommittee, sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack expressing their concern about USDA’s implementation of its Biobased Markets Program, which establishes a federal procurement preference and voluntary labeling program for what it defines as “biobased products.”

On September 19, Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) and Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) introduced the Keep the Forest and Farm in the Family Act of 2012 (HR 6439) to provide estate tax relief for forest owners, farmers, and ranchers—presuming Congress fails to extend estate tax provisions scheduled to expire this December 31.

An article dated August 24 from New Scientist magazine profiles “the hottest new material in town,” known as nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), produced by highly specialized processes from purified wood pulp.

The new Highway Bill, signed into law on July 6, did not enact the comprehensive truck weight reform to liberalize Interstate access that FRA and our allies advocated, since maneuvers by our opponents resulted in a “study” of potential impacts being substituted.  However, thanks to the work of Congressional...

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