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August 2018
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Dear FRA Member,
August is typically one of the slower months of the year, particularly in Washington, D.C., as Members of Congress head home and those living in and around the city use this opportunity to do the same. This August has been a little different though. The Senate has been in session almost the entire month after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced earlier this summer that Senators would remain in town to process nominations and work on spending bills. This dynamic, coupled with the fact that there are two key areas of focus for FRA that are primed for Congressional action in September, have kept the FRA team busy and focused.

As you have seen in our many communications on the issue, guestworker reform is a top priority. We have been working with over 200 other organizations to support enactment of H.R. 6417, the AG and Legal Workforce Act. House leadership has committed to bringing the bill up for a full House floor vote in September if we (FRA and the broader coalition) can demonstrate that it has the 218 votes to pass. The bill currently has 90 cosponsors and FRA has committed the month of August to secure the support from Members of Congress representing districts where we have a strong footprint.

The Farm Bill is another major policy area that will see action in September. The House and Senate conference committee is scheduled to meet September 5 for what promises to be a difficult task ahead in reconciling the differences in the Senate and House-passed versions. FRA is focused on beneficial federal forest management provisions that were included in the House bill as well as language that promotes the use of wood in taller buildings that was included in the Senate’s version.

FRA will also be working with our allied associations to prepare comments on the proposed regulatory reform of the Endangered Species Act. The administration proposed changes to the ESA on July 25th, which FRA supports. These are due by September 24th.

As FRA continues to work through the issues that affect the supply chain, we will do our best to keep you informed with weekly policy updates.

Deb Hawkinson
FRA Fall Meeting Season is Set to Begin
FRA’s Fall Meeting schedule starts with the Lake States Fall Meeting on Monday, September 17, taking place this year at the Jefferson Street Inn in Wausau, Wisconsin. That same week, FRA’s Western Region Fall Meeting will be held from Tuesday, September 18 through Thursday, September 20 at the Hotel RL in Olympia, Washington.

FRA’s 2018 FRA Fall Board Meeting kicks off on Wednesday, October 10 at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa in Lexington, Kentucky. The three-day event is a joint meeting coinciding with the Appalachian Region Fall Meeting. You can register for all three meetings now (Note: please click on the Regional Meetings tab to access the Lake States and Western Region Meetings).
Additionally, the monthly Northeast Region Forest Forums are set to start up again on Thursday, September 6 in Brewer, Maine. Please contact Eric Kingsley [email protected] for more information on this event and the monthly forum series. FRA’s President, Deb Hawkinson, is looking forward to attending this month’s forum and providing a national update.

Finally, keep a lookout for information on the Fall Southeastern Region Policy Committee Meeting as well as the Southcentral Region Fall Policy Committee Meeting & Southwide Forest Products Security Group Meeting as it is released later in the summer.
From RISI: Paper/Board Rises in May, Down YTD
Combined US paper and paperboard production rose 3% in May from April, while the first five months of 2018 were down by a combined 1% from the prior year, according to latest figures from the American Forest & Paper Assn. Production of paper grades slumped 5% YTD to May while paperboard rose 1% for the period. Altogether, as often noted, US pulpwood markets have seen little sustained good news on the demand side for several years now. Near-term, virgin mill operations and pulpwood consumption will remain seasonally muted in July, before picking up in August-September. Pulpwood consumption is historically lowest in the first quarter, highest in third or fourth. Source: RISI.
Appalachian, Southcentral, Southeastern Regions – Rick Meyer
More Demand for White Oak and Whiskey
The demand for whiskey—and the white oak barrels that hold the whiskey—is increasing: Speyside Bourbon Cooperage recently announced that it will construct a new cooperage (white oak barrel) facility and a new stave mill in two southwestern Virginia counties. (Speyside had recently built another stave manufacturing facility in Bath County, Virginia.)

FRA members will soon have the opportunity to explore the driving force behind the cooperage industry: FRA’s Joint Appalachian Region and national Fall Board Meeting will include a tour of the Buffalo Trace Distillery near Lexington, Kentucky on October 10. See the Buffalo Trace six-minute video tour at this link:

Register for the Joint Appalachian Region/Fall Board Meeting at this link:
Bear Island Paper Mill to Reopen and Change Ownership
White Birch Paper’s Bear Island paper mill in Ashland, Virginia closed in 2017, but it will reopen to meet a short-term global shortage of newsprint. Bear Island’s original owners will temporarily operate the site to produce newsprint, probably using its historical mix of virgin pine and recycled fiber, under a 27-month lease, after which Cascades Inc., the recent purchaser of the mill, is expected to convert it to a 100% recycled linerboard mill. Learn more at this link:
Glatfelter Announces Definitive Agreement to Sell Specialty Papers Business Unit
Glatfelter today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Specialty Papers Business Unit on a cash free and debt free basis to Lindsay Goldberg for a total sale price of $360 million.
Grappling with Local Road Hauling Restrictions
FRA’s recent Woods to Mill blog highlights strategies for confronting local harvesting ordinances and road restrictions:
Florida Farmer of the Year has Timber and Logging Operations
Usher Land & Timber’s Ken and Lynetta Griner, FRA’s 2003 National Outstanding Logger, own a beautiful forest-and-pasture family property in Chiefland, Florida. The Griners have received numerous awards for their land stewardship and forestry and agricultural leadership. Lynetta Griner was recently named the 2018 Florida Farmer of the Year. Read their story at this link:
Lake States Region – Tim O'Hara
Minnesota Looking to Attract 'Mass Timber' Producers
A burgeoning industry based on a relatively new type of material may be coming to Minnesota. Known as mass timber, the material is an alternative to steel in building construction. While dozens of buildings constructed with the product are dotted around the country, the majority stand in the Pacific Northwest.
Michigan DNR News: GIS Products, Aquatic Habitat Grants, and Registered Forester Program
Catch up on the latest news from the Michigan DNR. Points of emphasis include Michigan’s Registered Forester program moving to the DNR, the DNR being recognized for special achievement in GIS products and services, and that pre-proposals are being sought for $1.25 million in aquatic habitat funding.
Northeast Region – Eric Kingsley
Maine: ReEnergy and Emera Maine Have Reached an Agreement Over Electricity Transmission Charges for Biomass Plants
The agreement calls for the utility company to provide a discount on grid transmission charges for sending ReEnergy’s power from northern Maine’s grid to the ISO-New England grid, ReEnergy said in a statement.
More Uncertainty for NH Biomass on the Horizon
In New Hampshire, nearly half of the volume of wood harvest goes to biomass markets. With the recent veto of legislation to support some of the wood energy plants that utilize this biomass, the future of that market is in question. With the loss of pulp markets in Maine and New Hampshire in recent years, biomass has become an increasingly important market for low-grade wood in the Granite State.
Western Region – Vickie Swanton
McMorris Rodgers, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tout Public-Private Forest Thinning Partnership in Colville Forest
Fire-prone trees are falling in the Colville National Forest, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and the U.S. Forest Service hope they’ll make a sound in the nation’s capital. The congresswoman was joined by Vicki Christiansen, the interim chief of the U.S. Forest Service, on a tour of areas north of Colville where the firm Vaagen Bros.
California Timber Industry May be a 'Piece of the Puzzle' to Help Reduce State's Raging Wildfires
As California wildfires rage, politicians, timber companies and environmentalists are debating whether to thin overly dense forest lands that fuel the state's deadly infernos. About one-third of California is covered by forests, most of it owned by the U.S. government. Last year was the most destructive and deadly wildfire season in the state's history. And 2018 through July is one-third higher in acreage burned than a year ago, according to Cal Fire.
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Members may announce job vacancies at no charge on FRA’s online Job Board, (Basic posting is $350 for non-members). All job postings receive 60 days of exposure. Please email Jacob Minor, [email protected], to list your open position.
Click on job links below for more information

Planning Forester – Peachtree City, GA

Procurement Forester - Southeast U.S.

Operations Forester - Northern Maine Region

Resource and Timber Market Analyst - Charlotte, NC

Sep 17-19

Lake States Fall Meeting (Jefferson Street Inn, Wausau, WI)
Sep 18-20

Western Region Fall Meeting (Hotel RL, Olympia, WA)
Oct 10-12

2018 Fall Board Meeting (Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa, Lexington, KY)
Oct 25

2018 Fall SE Region Policy Committee Meeting (Athens,GA)
Oct 31-Nov 1

2018 Southcentral Region Fall Policy Committee Meeting & Southwide Forest Products Security Group Meeting (Starkville, MS)
May 20-22

2019 Annual Meeting (Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, FL)
Forest Resources Association Inc.
1901 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW • Suite 303
Washington, DC 20006

[email protected]
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