Today, Congressman Earl Blumenauer met with Oregon representatives of the Hardwood Federation in Washington DC. The Federation represents the thousands of hardwood businesses located in every state in the U.S., many of which are small, family-owned mills.
Earlier this year, some in Congress wanted to roll back protections against illegal logging. Thanks to a broad grassroots effort, House leadership canceled consideration of the legislation that would have undermined the 2008 amendments to the Lacey Act, which made it illegal to import plants or plant products that were harvested in violation of foreign laws. Blumenauer expressed his gratitude to them for helping protect 2008 Amendments that undermines the black market for wood, but also to protect the U.S. economy, the environment, and local communities in areas afflicted by these criminal activities.
"The 2008 Amendments represent good policy both for the environment, but also U.S. jobs," Blumenauer commented. "Before the 2008 amendments, illegal timber harvesting was costing the U.S. forest products industry over $1 billion in lost opportunities and lower prices every year. Bearing the brunt of this burden were small, family owned hardwood mills in Oregon and all across the U.S."