Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 19

hundreds of millions of dollars in
technical and financial support for
conservation. Through programs
such as the Environmental Quality
Incentives Program (EQIP),
Conservation Stewardship Program
(CSP), and Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP) the government
seeks to help landowners preserve
watersheds, restore wildlife habitat,
and repair and protect highlyerodible landscapes. The Farm
Bill also includes numerous rural
development programs and is often
a vehicle for policy improvements.
During this debate, AFF has
been advocating tirelessly for
woodland owner priorities. AFF
Board Member and Alabama Tree
Farmer Salem Saloom testified
before the Senate Agriculture
committee about the importance of
Farm Bill conservation programs.
Pennsylvania Tree Farmer Susan
Benedict similarly shared our
views with the House Agriculture
Committee. We also took a leading
role in the Forests in the Farm Bill
Coalition, developing a platform that
included a comprehensive list of
recommendations for the upcoming
Farm Bill. An unprecedented 100
organizations, including forestry
associations, conservation and
wildlife groups, timber companies,
have endorsed the platform.
The release was even lauded
by Politico's Morning Agriculture
update.
While the Farm Bill is a work in
progress, AFF is positioned to have
your back in the debate.
The Coming Tax Debate
As any Tree Farmer can tell
you, timber is different from other
agriculture. Not only does it take
longer to reach harvest, but threats
to the crop can devastate a family
farm for a generation if not properly
managed. Our tax code should
be built to protect and incentivize
family forestry, just as it protects
other agriculture. From deductions

for forest management costs to
capital gains treatment of timber
sales, a considered tax policy
can ensure well-managed forests
continue to provide countless social
benefits-including bountiful wildlife
habitat and clean drinking water for
our citizens.
Stemming from President
Trump's campaign promise,
Congressional leadership has
indicated they're in favor of taking
up a potentially significant tax
reform package. While it remains
to be determined whether the
Administration and Congress will
agree, AFF is devoted to ensuring
woodland owners are included in
the conversation.
To help us understand your
priorities, we've just finished a
survey of Tree Farmers in the
American Tree Farm System®
(ATFS). With a better understanding
of the effects of various tax
proposals on family landowners,
and what changes ATFS members
view as important, we'll make
sure AFF's advocacy actions in
the coming tax reform debate are
geared toward your needs. Keep an
eye on the AFF website, where we'll
soon make the results available to
the public and to Congress.
Putting an End to Fire Borrowing
Budget season brings a focus
on where agencies spend their
money, as agency heads testify
before Congressional committees
on their priorities and plans for
coming years. For the better part of
a decade, a concerning trend has
been developing among agencies
tasked with forest management.
Not only do they spend ever-greater
portions of their annual budgets on
suppression, with large emergency
transfers during the year, but their
requests show an alarming shift in
focus; fire suppression instead of
forest management.
It wasn't surprising when those
transfers, called "fire borrowing",

b

were discussed at a Senate Hearing
on Technology and Wildfires in early
August. As the cost of suppressing
natural disaster-scale wildfires
continues to drain federal agency
budgets of the funds they need to
care for the nation's forests, both
public and private, we end up
seeing larger, hotter fires in future
years that require even more money
to fight.
At that hearing, the U.S. Forest
Service's Deputy Chief of State
and Private Forestry, Victoria
Christiansen, reassured the
committee that President Trump's
administration is committed to
supporting a legislative fix for
this problem. This follows the
comments made by Secretary of
Agriculture Sonny Perdue earlier
this year, where he expressed the
USDA's "[commitment] to finding a
solution that addresses the growth
of fire programs as a percent of
the Agency's budget, and also
ends the practice of transferring
funds from non-fire programs
when suppression funds fall short
before the end of the fiscal year."
His heartening words were in his
personal response to the concerns
raised by the Partner Caucus on
Fire Suppression Funding Solutions,
of which AFF is a member.
With two different proposals
currently before Congress, vocal
support from the administration,
and what appears to be widespread
agreement among lawmakers of
both parties, the potential for action
has never been better.
a

Fall 2017 * WOODLAND 19



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Woodlands - Fall 2017

Overstory
Tools and Resources
Forests and Families
A Legacy to Keep
From Forests to Fermentation
Feathering a Forested Nest
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - intro
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - cover1
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - cover2
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 3
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - Overstory
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 5
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 6
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 7
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 8
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 9
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 10
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 11
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 12
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 13
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 14
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 15
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 16
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 17
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - Tools and Resources
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 19
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - Forests and Families
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 21
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 22
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 23
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - A Legacy to Keep
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 25
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 26
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 27
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 28
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 29
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - From Forests to Fermentation
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 31
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 32
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 33
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - Feathering a Forested Nest
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 35
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 36
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 37
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 38
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - cover3
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - cover4
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