Staying true to a guiding principle to advocate policy initiatives that address our members’ economic challenges, ensure their property rights and promote the vitality of forest landownership, FLA’s volunteer board rolled up their sleeves and went to work from insightful discussion to in-depth speakers on policy and regulations.  The work was focused and productive. As an organization that relies on the dues of it’s members, we focus our efforts on policy priorities to foster a strong business environment and balanced regulatory climate for the benefit of the those who own and manage forestland.

The volunteer work of FLA’s Board of Directors is an investment in family forest landowner’s sustainability and economic viability today — and into the future.

  • In total 37 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff were held by FLA board members, staff and forestry students.
  • We hosted the 2nd Forest Landowner Foundation’s Public Policy Institute with 5 forestry students and 2 PhD candidates from 4 universities.
  • We officially welcomed new board members Alex Ingram with Pingree Associates and Tom Margo with American Forest Management.
  • The membership committee reported that in the past 12 months 2 million private forest acres owned by families were added to representation of FLA through new members.

 

Who We Engaged

Members of the U.S. Congress

  • 37 Members of Congress
  • 2 Committees with carbon/climate jurisdiction
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
    • U.S. Forest Service Products Marketing, Forest Products Lab and Wood Innovations Director, Brian Brashaw
    • Region 8 Wood Innovation Coordinator, Kevin Naranjo
  • Department of Interior
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Aurelia Skipwith
  • Internal Revenue Service
    • Enrolled Agent, designated as one of IRS’s top tax experts, Ryan Ellis
  • Family Business Coalition President/CEO and FLA Tax Lobbyist, Palmer Schoening and Alex Ayers

What We Discussed

Casualty Loss of Timber

  • Forest Recovery Act (FRA)
  • Treatment of trees grown for wood products in natural disaster funding
  • 36 House Cosponsors (10 Democrats/25 Republicans)
  • 5 Senate Cosponsors (All Republicans), expect 2 new Senate cosponsors based on fly-in meetings
  • FRA ranks in the top 150 tax bills of all-time w most cosponsors

At-Risk Species

  • Improving at-risk species listings and rule making process
  • Pacific Fisher: Proposed Listing Successfully requested extension; Submitted comments on proposed threatened status and 4(d) rule
  • Louisiana Pinesnake Final 4(d) Rule: Coalition letter pushing for final rule; Result – rule expected March 2020
  • Northern Long Eared Bat: Decision remanded to USFWS; 4(d) rule still in place… for now
  • Multiple Species CCAA: Revived and moving forward with new partners

Carbon and Climate Policy

  • Met with Cong. Westerman to discuss concerns of private forest landowners regarding markets and impact of TTA.
  • Discussed strong need for better data and understanding of private forests and the role of markets.
  • FLA’s role in serving as the PR front for family forest owners

Syndicated Conservation Easements

  • IRS’s significant increase in enforcement actions for syndicated conservation easement transactions, and what it means for future conservation easement opportunities.