FRA has an updated Issue Brief link on our website under the Policy tab. The Issue Brief section will provide members and general website users information on FRA’s current policy positions and will provide up-to-date information as they evolve through the legislative or rulemaking process.
The 116th Congress started with the longest partial Federal Government shutdown, which ended January 22, 2019 after 34 days. That easily exceeded the previous record of 21 days under President Bill Clinton in 1995.As part of the government funding deal that ended the shutdown, a beneficial FRA-supported provision recognizing the carbon-neutrality of forest-based biomass was extended.

FRA is pleased to announce “Workforce Connections,” a new initiative to help the Western Region membership address labor supply challenges. The initiative will employ a three-pronged strategy:

Currently, the Department of Labor (DOL) classifies some forestry-related activities such as tree planting and herbicide application (including right of way application) in the H-2B non-agricultural guest worker program, while classifying other work such as logging in the H-2A agricultural program.  Most forestry work, however, is considered agriculture-related and is regulated as such by state and federal agencies.
Our nation’s federal vehicle weight limit is outdated and out of touch with today’s engineering advancements and consumer needs.  The 80,000-pound arbitrary truck weight restriction on Federal Interstate Highways has introduced unnecessary costs and inefficiencies to raw material suppliers and finished product shippers that depend on our roadways every day.
In comparison with most other countries with large forest products industries, U.S. wood supply systems are substantially de-integrated, and contracting among their various components is crucial to their operation.  The reasons lie in the historical configuration of our diverse forest resource, the many different types and sizes of landownerships, and our country’s tradition of enabling and fostering entrepreneurship at the local level.
Congress unveiled its so-called “unified plan” for overhauling the tax code in late September. FRA will be active as negotiations move forward in a number of areas of the tax reform debate, including the following:
Impact: This end-of-life tax assessment obstructs and discourages small business succession planning, weighing on the viability of loggers and other businesses supporting the wood supply chain, while also contributing to forest fragmentation and retention of land in forest.
Impact:  Federal carbon policy’s failure to acknowledge the principle of carbon neutrality in diverting woody biomass to energy production would obstruct U.S. energy policy’s potential for reducing total carbon emissions and make both established and emerging biomass energy conversion technologies uncompetitive.
Impact: The attempt to impose new definitions of water flows under federal regulation, with a corresponding permitting system, raises forest management operational expenses, increases uncertainty in planning, and potentially withdraws land from forest management.
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