Summary of FRA Activities in Response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 continues its grip on the world, sending shockwaves throughout the global economy. While we could not have foreseen this situation, FRA has rapidly and effectively pivoted to address the significant challenges it presents to our industries. FRA will continue to advocate for and support the forest products supply chain during this tumultuous time to ensure that we not only survive, but become more resilient and creative in ways that will help our industries prosper in the years to come. Below is a summary of what we have done to address COVID-19.

FRA put together a website tool to assist members during the crisis with several resources providing support and information:

  • We developed a COVID-19 State Tracker Tool, a dedicated page on our website providing state by state information to keep members up to date on the status of the forest products industry as state governments shutdown non-essential industries. The page lists known state Executive Orders issued, the operating status of lumber/panels, pulp & paper, logging, pallets and biomass/pellet in each state, and the status of transportation and other relevant information.
  • We also created a COVID-19 National Page which lists and explains policy and resources at the national level that are available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information includes:
  • Details on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a forgivable loan designed to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic retain their employees; the additional assistance program put in place by the Small Business Administration (SBA); and continually updated information on FRA’s state by state tracking tool;
  • A detailed description of the CARES Act, the landmark stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump;
  • The updated CISA Guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security, which provides clarity on the status of essential businesses;
  • The State Department and the status of H-2B visas at this time;
  • An explanation on SBA loans available and how your business can apply for them.

FRA reached out to our members and industry partners and inquired how they are implementing and sharing best safety practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. This compiled list of guidance and recommendations was also posted to the FRA website.

FRA Government Affairs worked to continually keep members up to date on the latest federal policy issues impacting the wood supply chain. FRA’s weekly Issue Updates provided the most relevant information on rulemaking, legislation and our advocacy efforts affecting our members.

Woods to Mill Communications addressing COVID-19:

  • ‘FRA’s Online COVID-19 State Tracker Tool’, a detailed review of the state by state tracker tool keeping members up to date on the status of the forest products industry in each state as state governments are shutting down non-essential industries. Available here.
  • ‘COVID-19: FRA is Your Information Source’ provides details on the SBA, PPP loans. Available here.
  • ‘No Chips, No Toilet Paper’ tells the story of the wood supply chain describing the importance of all sectors of the forest industry and the products it creates during these times. Available here.
  • ‘Understanding the “Interconnectedness” of the Forest Products Industry Supply Chain’ explains how industry organizations in the West have done a good job of trying to educate the key decision makers and media on the interconnectedness of the supply chain, and why it is an essential industry. Available here.
  • ‘H-2B Visas and the COVID-19 Pandemic’ explains how the virus impacts the allocation of H-2B visas. Available here.
  • ‘TEAM Safe Trucking Delivers COVID-19 Course.’ TEAM Safe Trucking’s Miranda Gowell writes on an online training program developed to help the industry’s truck drivers stay safe. Available here
  • ‘Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources’ provides a view of the university perspective of the pandemic from Dr. Michael Kilgore, Head of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Forest Resources. Available here.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting the livelihoods of many in our industry. FRA is dedicated to working to establish and further policies, rulemaking, and legislation that will help move the forest products sector to a path of economic recovery and resiliency.