Last week, Congress and the President agreed on an omnibus appropriations package
that will keep the government open through the end of fiscal year 2018, which ends September 30th. In addition to the $1.3 trillion in funding, the legislation includes "fixes" pertinent to the wood products industry.
First, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is directed to continue recognizing biomass as a carbon neutral energy source. Second, the EPA is directed to align its wood products procurement policies with those already established within the USDA's BioPreferred program
, instead of giving preference to Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood products.
Finally, the omnibus changes the funding method for fighting wildfires, which have been taking much of the US Forest Service's funding in recent years, while making improvements to federal forest management practices.
SLMA supports the Congress' efforts to address these issues.