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WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the five year Farm Bill, which is on its way to the White House following House and Senate passage.
“I applaud the House and Senate – especially Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member Thad Cochran, Chairman Frank Lucas, and Ranking Member Colin Peterson – for their hard work and diligence in producing a bipartisan Farm Bill.
“We appreciate their work to secure language clarifying the inclusion of forest products in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred program. This is important for the industry, because our products will now be eligible to compete on a level playing field with other biobased products as was originally intended by the law. The conservation programs for forestry and wood fiber supply are very important to for the nation’s pulp, paper, and wood products manufacturers. The final language in the bill to preserve the treatment of forest roads as non-point sources helps bring needed certainty to the forestry community. Finally, we also are pleased to see the Forest Service directive to update the strategic plan for the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, including integration of remote sensing and spatial analysis.
“All of these issues have been top concerns for AF&PA members. We’re pleased that legislators recognized how important this is for our industry and were able to work across the aisle to finalize a bill that addresses those concerns.”
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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4.5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures approximately $200 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.