WVFA Fall 2018

I N D U S T R Y N E W S 18 West Virginia Forestry Association Mountain State Forestry  | Fall 2018 www.wvfa.org THE AGRICULTURE AND NUTRITION ACT OF 2018 (H.R. 2), also known as the Farm Bill, was voted down on the House floor this afternoon by a vote of 198 to 213. This legislation, authorized every five years, is the bedrock of our nation’s farm policy, but as we know also covers a range of other issues including forestry and biomass energy. Next steps for House consideration are unclear right now, but the vote was complicated by negotiations over immigration and a House process for addressing that issue. The Farm Bill as reported from the House Agriculture Committee in April covers the following areas in our space: Federal Forest Management Reform H.R. 2 builds upon the federal forest management reform provisions in the omnibus spending deal forged earlier this year. The legislation would provide several new tools for the Forest Service to expedite forest management projects. Specifically, the bill authorizes a number of new “categorical exclusions” from environmental reviews that will facilitate needed project work. These new CEs are designed to: ƒ ƒ Expedite salvage operations in response to catastrophic events ƒ ƒ Meet forest plan goals for early successional forests ƒ ƒ Manage “hazard trees” ƒ ƒ Improve or restore National Forest System lands or reduce the risk of wildfire ƒ ƒ Forest restoration ƒ ƒ Infrastructure-related forest management activities ƒ ƒ Managing insect and disease infestation THE AGRICULTURE AND NUTRITION ACT OF 2018