April 14, 2021

Idaho Delegation Urges USDA to Distribute Timber Hauling Relief

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, and U.S. Representatives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson (all R-Idaho) want quick action on assistance to the timber industry. The Idaho congressional delegation sent a letter to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack urging him to quickly distribute $200 million in funding for the timber industry that was included in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act passed in December. 

“Idaho’s forest sector is responsible for thousands of jobs, including loggers and timber haulers whose careers sustain many of Idaho’s rural communities,” the letter read in part.  “While many of Idaho’s agricultural producers have received business-saving relief from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, our timber producers continue to suffer.”

Full text of the letter is available HERE and below:

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

We are writing you today regarding the $200 million included in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act to provide relief to timber harvesting and hauling businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Specifically, we urge you to move swiftly to disburse these funds as Congress intended, to provide necessary relief for one of Idaho’s top industries.

On March 24, 2021, you announced the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative, which includes assistance to timber harvesting and hauling operations.  While we were pleased to see this announcement, we are concerned with the slow rollout and urge you to distribute this Congressionally directed relief as soon as possible.

Idaho’s forest sector is responsible for thousands of jobs, including loggers and timber haulers whose careers sustain many of Idaho’s rural communities.  While many of Idaho’s agricultural producers have received business-saving relief from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, our timber producers continue to suffer.  

It has been over three months since Congress passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act with wide bipartisan support.  Idaho’s timber harvesters, haulers and the rural communities they support cannot afford to wait any longer.  Therefore, we urge you to act swiftly and efficiently to ensure Idaho’s timber industry receives the necessary financial assistance as directed by Congress.

We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response.

 

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