The Disaster Reforestation Act will help America’s forest landowners recover from timber losses after natural disasters
GA Forestry Commission estimates 2.4 million acres of timberland in Georgia, including 38 million tons of timber, were affected by Hurricane Michael in 2018
Senator Reverend Warnock: “The forestry industry is central to Georgia’s economy and environment, supporting critical jobs in rural communities and across our state. The bipartisan Disaster Reforestation Act is a major step toward ensuring our forest landowners have the tools and support they need to rebound when natural disasters strike.”
Georgia is the #1 forestry state in the nation, leading in commercially available timberland, volume of timber harvested, exports of forest products, seedling production for reforestation, and more
Back in May, Senator Warnock spoke with Georgia Forestry Association on GA’s forestry impact on the statewide economy and his priorities in the U.S. Senate to support Georgia’s foresters
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry committee, joined Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to introduce legislation that will help America’s landowners recover from the loss of timber after natural disasters. The Disaster Reforestation Act amends and makes improvements to the tax code to allow forest owners to deduct the value of their timber prior to the loss caused by a natural disaster.
“The forestry industry is central to Georgia’s economy and environment, supporting critical jobs in rural communities and across our state,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “The bipartisan Disaster Reforestation Act is a major step toward ensuring our forest landowners have the tools and support they need to rebound when natural disasters strike.”
The Disaster Reforestation Act allows landowners to deduct the full value of timber destroyed during disaster events in the same way the tax code treats other crops. The legislation also requires landowners to reforest in order to claim this benefit, ensuring that their land remains forested and environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration and improved air and water quality continue into the future.
“Louisianans are no stranger to natural disasters. This tax fix provides much needed relief and certainty to landowners when livelihoods are destroyed by storms,” said Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.
Georgia’s forestry industry is a vast contributor to the state’s economy, communities, and environment––adding $36 billion in economic impacts, supporting more than 148,000 jobs, sequestering carbon, and improving air and water quality across the state. Senator Warnock, a proud voice in the U.S. Senate for Georgia’s foresters and land owners, introduced this bipartisan legislation to ensure Georgia’s forestry industry is prepared for the devastating impacts of hurricanes and natural disasters, land in Georgia remains forested, and there is integrity in the appraisal process for forest land valuation.
“We deeply appreciate the leadership of Senator Warnock in sponsoring the Disaster Reforestation Act, allowing landowners to deduct the full value of their timber destroyed by natural disaster events. This legislation helps ensure that private forests—in the #1 Forestry State and throughout the rest of the nation—continue to provide good paying jobs, absorb carbon, clean streams and rivers, provide critical wildlife habitat, and supply Americans with sustainable, renewable products they use every day.” Andres Villegas, President & CEO, Georgia Forestry Association
Along with the Georgia Forestry Association and stakeholders across Georgia, the Disaster Reforestation Act is supported by: Alabama Forestry Association, American Forest Foundation, Arkansas Forestry Association, Association of Consulting Foresters, California Forestry Association, Florida Forestry Association, Forest Resources Association, Forestry Association of South Carolina, Hardwood Federation, Iowa Coalition For Trees and Forests, Iowa Woodland Owners, Kentucky Forest Industries Association, Louisiana Forestry Association, Massachusetts Forest Alliance, Mississippi Forestry Association, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of State Foresters, National Woodlands Association, North Carolina Forestry Association, Ohio Forestry Association, Oklahoma Forestry Association, Pennsylvania Forestry Association, Society of American Foresters, Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, Southern Group of State Foresters, Tennessee Forestry Association, Texas Forestry Association, The Carbon Fund, Trees Forever, Virginia Forestry Association, Washington Farm Forestry Association, Washington Forest Protection Association, and Wildlife Mississippi.
Read the full text here.