Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 11 December 2008 -- /PRNewswire/ -- The Forest Landowners Association (FLA), on 10 December 2008, 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 12 September 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, USD 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.
"Private forest landowners along with loggers, sawmill owners, and forestry workers bore the brunt of Canada's subsidized lumber trade. Monies going to the U.S. 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," said Blake Sullivan, FLA Government Affairs Committee chairman.
"The success of the American Forest Foundation and the U.S. 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," added Scott Jones, FLA Executive Vice President.
The FLA protects private forest landowners. Since 1941, FLA has provided its members, who own and operate more than 37 million acres of forestland in 47 states, with education, information, and national grassroots advocacy, which enables them to sustain their forestlands across generations. FLA's outreach on behalf of private forest landowners nationwide enhances their forestland management practices and stewardship, and provides peace of mind that they have an advocate working to bring them richly deserved compensation for their work that safeguards America's forestlands. Visit www.forestlandowners.com for more information.
Source: Forest Landowners Association