Hardwood Federation Provides Industry-Focused Updates in Latest “D.C. Cheat Sheet”

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 latest edition below and sign up to receive your copy.

Lawmakers Advocate Against USFS “Old Growth” Proposal, Exercise Oversight

In the wake of a proposal from the United States Forest Service (USFS) earlier this year to amend all 128 Forest Plans to apply “consistent old growth policies,” on March 12, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced S. 3929, a bill that would prevent the USFS from moving forward with its forest plan amendment process. According to Sen. Barrasso, the USFS drafted its proposal without “appropriate state or local input” and would effectively impose a one-size-fits-all approach to old growth. In a related action, on March 20, lawmakers from both chambers including Sens. Barrasso (R-WY) and John Boozman (R-AR) and Reps. GT Thompson (R-PA) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR) sent an oversight letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting details related to the agency’s compliance with the National Forest Management Act in its plans to revise the scope of old growth regulations, laying the groundwork for possible judicial and legislative remedies to USDA’s action.

Industry Goes Back to Congress to Blunt Corporate Transparency Mandates

When a federal court ruled in early March that the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) violated constitutional limits on Congress, unfortunately the ruling was limited to the parties involved in the actual case. When the Department of the Treasury indicated that it intends to move forward with the CTA and mandate its excessive disclosure requirements, the business community has again turned to Congress for relief. On March 19, the Hardwood Federation and 120 allies in the business community signed a letter urging the Senate to take action to delay the law’s implementation, which the House agreed to late last year in an overwhelming bipartisan vote. The federation will keep you posted on developments.

FY 2024 Spending Bill Scores Win for Truck Weight Flexibility

The forest products industry scored a victory in the truck weight policy space with the signing of the FY 2024 “minibus” appropriations bill on March 8 that funded roughly half the federal government through the end of September. The new law allows the state of Mississippi to issue a permit for trucks to haul raw forest products on the federal interstate highway system at 88,000 pounds. Raw forest products are defined as logs, pulpwood, biomass, or wood chips. The federal interstate highway truck weight limit is 80,000 pounds with five axles, so this new law will allow for more efficient truck movements raw forest product materials from the forests to the mills within Mississippi. Although narrow in scope, we are encouraged by this action and will continue to support the Safe Routes Act which would apply the Mississippi approach nationwide.

Make Your Reservation Today! The Hardwood Federation has scheduled Fly-In 2024 for Tuesday, May 21 to Thursday, May 23. Save the dates and come to Washington to make your voice heard on Capitol Hill!  To register for Fly-In 2024, please click here.

Source: Hardwood Federation

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