Forest Products Industry News – July 2000

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Forest Products Industry News

EPA Exempts Forestry from New Rule but Will Propose Another

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has backed off from including loggers, tree farmers and other forestry operations from a new initiative to impose federal water pollution regulations on private land.

The forest products industry had strongly opposed the new rule, which the EPA had proposed last summer. The agency finally realized “that what they were proposing simply wouldn’t work,” said Chris West, vice president of the Northwest Forestry Association.

Charles Fox, EPA assistant administrator for water, said the industry mounted “an extremely aggressive and no doubt expensive campaign.” Much of the information put out by industry opponents “was not entirely true, if not downright false” in some instances, he added.

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The issue is not going away, however. Fox said the EPA plans to propose a new rule this fall that will cover forestry practices. It will be up to next administration whether to enact it.

U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson called the timber industry’s exemption “a big if.” Speaking at a Senate subcommittee field hearing in Hot Springs, Ark., he said, “All they’ve really done is separate the issue.”

U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo of Idaho, chairman of the Environment and Public Works subcommittee on fisheries, wildlife and drinking water, called the exemption a “divide and conquer” tactic by the EPA aimed at weakening heavy opposition in the future.

Hutchinson and Crapo have sponsored a bill to prohibit the EPA from imposing the rules on farmers and loggers. Their legislation would order a National Academy of Sciences study on pollution limits, including the costs of implementing the new standards.

About 1,000 farmers and loggers attended the Arkansas hearing; most opposed the regulatory proposal.

Under the rule proposed by the EPA last year, states would be required to submit plans to clean up every waterway that fails to meet water quality standards. States would have to determine how much pollution would be allowed from nonpoint or indirect sources, such as run-off from farms or parking lots. In addition, landowners could be required to get a pollution discharge permit from the EPA.

Forestry products industry groups argued the new rule would force private landowners to get an EPA permit to cut down or even plant trees and would put small companies out of business.

Although the EPA decided to exempt forestry operations from the new rule, it still will effect farmers and other private landowners when it is scheduled to become final in about a month.

Log-a-Load Campaign Raises $2.75 Million

Members of the forest products industry raised over $2.75 million for local Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospitals during the 2000 Log-a-Load for Kids campaign. The fund-raising effort, sponsored by the Forest Resources Association, involved loggers from 30 states, working in coalition with forest products businesses and forestry equipment dealers.

Joe Griffith, an Arkansas logger, and Betsy Luoto of Oregon, the national Log-a-Load advisory group chairman, presented a $2.75 million check to CMN host John Schneider during the CMN ‘Champions’ national television broadcast.

“When you pass a log truck,” Betsy told children watching the telecast, “be sure to wave, because that logger may be carrying that load just for you.”

“We raise funds for CMN hospitals because, although the trees we harvest are a renewable resource, children are our most precious resource,” said Joe. “We have a big heart for kids!”

North Carolina collected $526,000. Alabama was second with $460,000, and Arkansas was a close third at $450,000.

Va. Tech Sets 2-Day Course on Selling Forest Products

Virginia Tech will sponsor a two-day short course on selling forest products Sept. 7-8 at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center in Blacksburg, Va. Topics to be covered will include successful personal selling strategies, telemarketing, making a successful sales presentation, goal setting, personal selling profile, customer behavioral styles, trade shows, and more.

The course is designed to teach the basics of personal selling, methods of identifying customers, and more in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of sales personnel.

Instructors will be Robert Smith and Robert Bush from the Virginia Tech department of wood science and forest products.

For more information, contact Robert Smith at (540) 231-5876, fax (540) 231-8868, or e-mail at