The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking comments on a proposal for changes to the membership, nominations, procedures, and referenda period under the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) established under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (or check-off). Please see link below to the proposal that was published today in the Federal Register.

This action would: 1) reduce the number of Board members from 19 to 14 in 2021; 2) revise the nomination procedures; 3) revise the quorum and voting requirements; and 4) revise the time frame for USDA to conduct a referendum on whether the check-off should continue from every 5 to 7 years.

The Board administers the softwood lumber check-off with oversight by USDA. Under the program, assessments are collected from U.S. manufacturers (sawmills) and importers and used for projects designed to increase the demand for softwood lumber within the United States. The Board promotes market growth for softwood lumber products used in single and multifamily dwellings as well as commercial construction.

A 30-day period is provided for public comment on the proposal. The comment period ends on July 26, 2019. Comments may be submitted on the internet at: https://www.regulations.gov or to the Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250-0244; facsimile: (202) 205-2800.

USDA will analyze the comments received and, if warranted, publish a final rule in the Federal Register implementing the changes.

Click here to read the proposed rule change.