The Hardwood Federation produces a “D.C. Cheat Sheet” newsletter to keep the industry up-to-date on the latest news from Washington D.C. Check out the March 16th edition below and sign up to receive your copy.
House Ag Subcommittee Reviews “Forestry Stakeholder Perspectives”
On March 8, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Forestry conducted a hearing to review forestry programs to be authorized in the 2023 Farm Bill. While delivering testimony, Executive Director of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition Bill Imbergamo pointed out that most of the wildfires that gripped the country in 2020 and 2021 took place on federal lands. While acknowledging that the Inflation Reduction Act provided significant pots of extra money for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Imbergamo recommended that the funds be more “aligned with the agency’s budget structure” that would place the USFS in a more proactive posture, including timber harvesting and pest and disease control, to mitigate wildfires.
Bipartisan Senators Move to Establish “Future of Forests” Panel
Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) have introduced a bipartisan bill to set up an advisory panel to evaluate ways to improve U.S. forest health while reviewing the past contributions and current priorities of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. Working in conjunction with the National Association of State Foresters, the bill requires the panel to be composed of between 10 and 20 members with experts from state and federal agencies, industry, and universities. The bill further requires that the panel convene no later than three months after enactment of the legislation. A path forward for the bill is not certain at this time.
President’s 2024 Budget Sparks Tax Debate
On March 9, President Biden released a $6.9 trillion budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 that serves as more of an outline of the administration’s priorities than as a blueprint for legislation. That said, the small business community has raised alarm bells about the prospects of tax hikes that could be offered up in the event portions of the president’s budget move through Congress, triggering the need for offsets to cover new spending. The Hardwood Federation is working in conjunction with small and family-owned business groups to oppose higher taxes on small businesses, including possible rollbacks to the industry supported tax reform law that passed in 2017.
Mark Your Calendar: The Hardwood Federation Fly-In is June 13 – 15, 2023. To sign up and reserve your room, please click here.
Source: Hardwood Federation