Distribution of Funds from the Softwood Lumber Agreement
The Forest Landowners Association (FLA), on December 10, filed an Amicus Curiae brief with the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington in support of the Bush administration's decision to distribute the funds from the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) between the United States and Canada to the American Forest Foundation (AFF) and the U.S. Endowment for Forests and Communities, Inc. (Endowment).
For many years, forest landowners across the United States had been adversely affected by Canada's subsidized trade and unfair dumping of softwood lumber on U.S. markets. The softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the United States was resolved on September 12, 2006, with the adoption of the SLA. Although the passage of the SLA did stop the subsidized and unfair practices, it did not bring direct financial compensation to American forest landowners for the many years of harm. Instead, $350 million of these monies were disbursed to AFF and the Endowment to indirectly benefit American forest landowners by providing substantial educational and charitable funding for forest management, sustainability, and other forest-related causes in timber-reliant communities.
Blake Sullivan, FLA Government Affairs Committee Chairman, says, "Private forest landowners along with loggers, sawmill owners, and forestry workers bore the brunt of Canada's subsidized lumber trade. Monies going to the US Endowment for Forests and Communities and the American Forest Foundation will help landowners continue to practice good forestry and provide the environmental benefits of clean air, clean water, and wildlife habitat that all Americans enjoy."
"The success of the American Forest Foundation and the US Endowment for Forestry is critical to the needs of our members and all forest landowners. The resources that these groups bring to the table will ensure that landowners have viable markets, research, and the tools needed to practice forestry in a global marketplace," adds Scott Jones, FLA Executive Vice President.
Please send your questions and comments to Government Affairs Coordinator Brendan Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.