“Insightful,” “productive,” “eye opening,” and “energizing” were a few of the buzzwords circulated by attendees of the FLA Fall Meeting in Washington, DC. The theme of the meeting was Managing FLA for Maximum Efficiency and Effectiveness, and in keeping with the theme, the Board and attendees focused on how to capitalize on FLA’s grassroots strength to impact and affect legislative issues in Washington, DC.
To stimulate discussion, and in planning strategy for 2013 and for the new Congress, guest speakers in their fields of expertise strategized with FLA on how to take advantage of today’s technology and FLA’s grassroots political muscle to generate the outcome of smarter and more effective lobbying.
The resounding message from the political insiders, public relations experts, and social media strategists was that FLA is keenly positioned to be the leading advocate for private forest landowners in legislative arena by implementing a more comprehensive strategy — one that utilizes online and technology strategies to engage and affect outcome and influence in politics and public relations.
Looking toward the 113th Congress that will convene in January 2013, FLA will develop its strategy around three key tactics:
- FLA Guiding Principals, which were approved and adopted by the FLA board at the fall meeting;
- Congressional Scorecard; and
- Online platforms and social media.
These Principles were developed to be used as a compass for FLA when working on the wide array of legislative and regulatory issues that challenge the management of private forests. Positions on specific issues will be developed as needed and generally fall into the three broad categories:
- Erosion of Private Property Rights and Excessive Regulation
- Land use/zoning
- Pesticide use
- Clean Water Act — Forest Roads
- Clean Air Act — Boiler MACT, Tailoring Rule
- Threatened and Endangered Species Act
- Capital Gains (reforestation, harvest, Capital Gains for Certain Timber Income)
- Estate Tax
- Access to Free and Open Markets
- Canadian Lumber
- Renewable Energy
- Green Building