WASHINGTON – As Congress begins writing the next iteration of the Farm Bill, the Forests in the Farm Bill (FIFB) Coalition, a group of 92 forest organizations, released a set of forest-related recommendations that would improve the bill’s ability to support private and family-owned forests and the benefits they provide.
The American Wood Council (AWC) endorsed these recommendations as they prioritize increasing rural employment in manufacturing, and support a strong forest products industry.
Among the recommendations, the FIFB Coalition asks Congress to address the following in order to grow jobs and rural economies through forestry and manufacturing in the next Farm Bill:
- Enact the Timber Innovation Act (H.R. 1380/S. 538)
- Continue authority for U.S. Department of Agriculture Research & Promotion Programs
- Maintain mandatory funding for Rural Development business, housing and utilities programs and broaden the categories of eligible matching funds
“Building construction using wood and mass timber products directly supports jobs in areas of rural America that have yet to recover from the recession and would lessen our dependence on fossil-fuel intensive alternatives. The United States has an opportunity to bring new, sustainable mass timber technology to our construction industry. AWC appreciates the strong backing of this large coalition on important initiatives, such as the Timber Innovation Act,” said AWC President & CEO Robert Glowinski.
The FIFB Coalition, which has been in existence for more than 15 years, includes 92 forest groups representing all aspects of the forest sector, including forest owners, conservationists, hunters, anglers, forest industry and natural resource professionals. It is co-chaired by the American Forest Foundation, National Association of State Foresters, National Wild Turkey Federation, and The Nature Conservancy.