FRA POLICY PRIORITIES 116TH CONGRESS

Transportation

Introducing the Safe-Routes Act of 2019 would allow trucks to access the safer Interstate Network System at legal State Gross Vehicle Weights and configurations from the woods to the mill.

The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE) Safe Act (H.R. 1374, S. 569) would create apprenticeships which train 18-21-year olds to drive trucks on the interstate. The apprenticeship program would require 400 hours of training, of which 240 hours would be supervised.

Guestworker Visas

The forest products industry relies heavily on seasonal foreign guest workers to supplement our U.S. workforce to plant trees and manage vegetation. Because this work is usually seasonal, and because tree planting crews are itinerant without a connection to a community, domestic workers are typically not interested in these jobs. Demand for H-2B guestworker visas is significantly greater than their availability. A meaningful fix to H-2B visa cap is needed. FRA also supports allowing forestry to access the uncapped H-2A visa program as an option to H-2B.

Federal Forest Reform

FRA supports continued Federal Forest Reform that would improve forest health and improve Forest Service efficiencies that lead to increased timber outputs from Federal lands.

Biomass

Ensuring that federal regulatory agencies continue to recognize the carbon neutral nature of forest biomass fuels and energy.  

Future Logging Careers Act (116th - H.R. 1785, S.818)

This legislation would allow 16-17-year olds to operate enclosed mechanized logging equipment under supervision if employed in a family logging business. This is critical to the to the logging sector as businesses are often passed down to the next generation.