WVFA Fall 2018

I N D U S T R Y N E W S www.wvfa.org Fall 2018 |  West Virginia Forestry Association Mountain State Forestry 19 Timber Innovation Act H.R. 2 includes the research provisions of the Timber Innovation Act. Specifically, the legislation directs the USDA Secretary to conduct performance-driven research and development, education, and technical assistance for the purpose of facilitating use of innovative wood products (mass timber/tall wood buildings) in wood building construction in the United States. Biomass The legislation includes an Energy Title which, among other things, reauthorizes USDA’s BioPreferred program. The BioPreferred program includes both a federal purchase preference for biobased products (including forest products) as well as a voluntary product labeling program. The bill also increases the authorization and expands the scope of the Community Wood Energy Program or CWEP. CWEP is a reincarnation of the old “Fuels for Schools” program and aims at accelerating deployment of wood heating systems that run on wood pellets or wood chips. In addition to funding wood heating installations, the bill would also provide grants to innovative wood products facilities—i.e., those manufacturing cross laminated timber or experimenting with lignin or nanotechnology. A number of amendments were processed and voted on by the full House prior to a final vote. Notable among them was an amendment that was defeated late yesterday which would have repealed the Energy Title. FRA worked with our forestry and forest products industry allies and lining up “no” votes for this amendment, known as Biggs #10. It failed 340-75. Other notable amendments that were approved include: ƒ ƒ (Herrera Beutler/Westerman) to direct the payment of a portion of stewardship project revenues to the county in which the stewardship project occurs. ƒ ƒ (Reps. Gosar/Gianforte/Stewart) to authorize counties to be included in Good Neighbor Authority cooperative agreements and contracts in order to improve forest health and bolster watershed restoration. ƒ ƒ (Gianforte) to authorize expedited salvage operations for areas burned by wildfire to salvage dead trees and reforest to prevent re-burn, provide for the utilization of burned trees, or to provide a funding source for reforestation. Requires a two month environmental assessment for reforestation activities and at least 75% of the burned area be reforested. ƒ ƒ (Westerman/Bishop (UT)/Gosar) to require the Forest Service to consider long-term health of our nation’s forests when developing collaborative management plans, and shields agency decision making from certain injunctions on sustainable forest management. ƒ ƒ (Young) to exempt all National Forests in Alaska from the U.S. Forest Service Roadless Rule. ƒ ƒ (Westerman) to instruct the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior to provide Congress a yearly report tabulating the metrics surrounding wildfire prevention, including the number of acres treated and agency response time. ƒ ƒ (Pearce) would reauthorize the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program through 2023 and waives the requirement that proposals eligible for funding under the program prioritize ecological restoration treatments for a 10 year period. ƒ ƒ (Westerman) would require environmental impact statements for certain forest management activities to only study the forest management activity in questions and the alternative of taking no action.  100s of New WV Businesses From WOWK-TV The Secretary of State’s office says over 800 new businesses opened their doors in WV, just in April. The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, says it’s all a part of an upward trend. “We are at a five-year high. We have more jobs now than we’ve had at any time in the last five years. For every month since May of 2016, we’ve seen new jobs coming into West Virginia,” said Steve Roberts, of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. But the news is not all good. A Nashville developer was going to open three new restaurants in Charleston’s East End. The deal is now off for lack of financing. “Certainly the question everyone is asking, is this just a temporary up tick in West Virginia’s economy? Or, is this perhaps a long term trend?” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter. 