Every year, Congress debates introduces legislation with the potential to enhance or diminish forest landowners’ rights to manage their land. One misguided bill or regulation could do long-term harm to your resources, your profitability and your management rights.
However, you can rest assured, that FLA is working in Washington, DC and state capitols, relentlessly scoping the political landscape for issues that could adversely affect private forest landowners.
“The result of the FLA 2012 Fall Meeting is a new way of lobbying with guiding principals that will serve as the compass as FLA embarks on using every communications channel available to deliver messages to elected officials and to engage our grassroots membership.” – Scott Jones, FLA CEO
To preserve, protect and promote private ownership. FLA is a leading advocate for all private landowners—regardless of size, corporate structure, location, certification status, or tax classification.
FLA BELIEVES THAT SECURITY OF PROPERTY RIGHTS IS PARAMONT. SECURE PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF FORESTS IS THE ONLY WAY FOR SOCIETY TO BOTH ENJOY THE NUMEROUS BENEFITS FORESTS PROVIDE AND PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT. FLA PROMOTES A SMALLER, MORE EFFICIENT AND LESS INTRUSIVE GOVERNMENT.
FLA GAC Guiding Principles
These Principles were developed to be a general guide or compass FLA will use 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.
FLA has identified three areas of concern that jeopardize private forests and the people who own them. Positions on specific issues will be developed as needed and generally fall into the three broad categories detailed below.
1. Erosion of Private Property Rights and Excessive Regulation
Principle: FLA believes that human society cannot reap the numerous benefits of forests without secure private property rights.
Statement: FLA is an ardent supporter of private property rights. FLA believes that local, state, federal and non-governmental organizations are increasingly imposing restrictions and regulations that threaten the sustainability of Private Forests. Any efforts to restrict or encumber private forestlands without fair compensation will be opposed by the FLA. We believe landowners should be compensated for land use restrictions, partial takings as well as full takings as provided for in the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. FLA believes excessive and misplaced regulation can jeopardize the sustainability of Private Forests. FLA supports existing programs such as voluntary Best Management Practices and opposes all regulations whose benefit is not supported by sound science. FLA advocates for an open, transparent and fair process on all proposed regulation. Primary stakeholders should be included in the regulatory process and a cost benefit analysis should be included on all proposed regulations.
Instances of issues
· Land use/ zoning
· Pesticide use
· Clean Water Act - Forest Roads
· Clean Air Act - Boiler MACT, Tailoring Rule
· Threatened and Endangered Species Act
2. Tax Policy
Principle: FLA believes federal tax policies based on equality and certainty are required to encourage the nation’s private forest landowners to make sustained, long-term capital investments in forest management.
Statement: Rather than distorting market forces, taxation should place private forest landowners on near-equal playing fields with other capital ventures, including agriculture, as this will encourage practices that retain forests as working, contributing assets to the nation. Tax policies need to recognize the unique and long-term characteristics associated with timber and forest management investments, including the intergenerational transfer of forest assets, to alleviate uncertainty in tax treatment. Sound tax policy will ensure the sustained environmental and social benefits within a predictable economic framework.
Instances of issues
· Timber Tax (reforestation, harvest, Capitol Gains for Certain Timber Income)
· Estate Tax
3. Access to Free and Open Markets
Principle: FLA believes that the maintenance of free and open markets is vital to the preservation of Private Forests.
Statement: FLA supports fair trade initiatives with Canada and their full compliance with the Softwood Lumber Agreement. FLA supports full inclusion of all woody biomass in renewable energy and opposes regulations such as mandatory certification that seek to create a federal forest practices act or exclude certain landowners from fully participating in markets for forest products.
Instances of issues
· Forest Products Fairness Act
· Canadian Lumber
· Renewable Energy
· Green Building