Power in Numbers
AFRC leverages the collective power and influence of the forest products industry to develop, design, and defend federal and state policy impacting public timber in the West. The “One Voice” strategy of AFRC replaces the “each company for its own” approach that proved ineffective and devastating to federal and state public timber programs in the West during the 1980s and 1990s.
Return on Investment
AFRC membership dues are substantially less than prospective members would pay or invest to recreate AFRC’s policy, legal, monitoring, and strategic communications services. Effective lobbyists in Salem, Olympia, and Washington, D.C. can exceed five figures per month and often cannot influence high level public policy decision beyond the scope of an individual company.
Litigation costs of a single timber sale can be more than an AFRC member’s annual dues. And defending or litigating forest plans, listed species decisions, and regulations that drive the availability of public timber are prohibitively expensive for any one company.
The monitoring work of AFRC’s field foresters and consultants to maximize economics and operational viability of every timber sale in four Forest Service regions, on Washington DNR Trust Lands, and on Western Oregon O&C Lands saves members valuable time, money, and from hiring additional staff.
All these services and more are included in AFRC membership.
AFRC provides members with access to real-time and detailed timber sale plans and projections; organized meetings with agency leaders and decision-makers; legal program assistance and counsel; high level, bipartisan political access and consultation; and policy and regulatory analysis. Keeping companies informed, engaged, and prepared in a dynamic and hyper-competitive global market gives AFRC members a leg up.
Results Oriented and a Record of Success
AFRC staff is passionate and energetic – driven by results. The organization has built impressive policy, legal, forest monitoring, communications, and grassroots programs to deliver some of the most significant accomplishments in AFRC’s history. In 2019/2020 alone:
- AFRC won a major federal lawsuit against the BLM for failing to implement the O&C Act in Western Oregon. AFRC’s proposed legal remedy could substantially increase timber harvests in Western Oregon and bring additional volume to the market each year.
- AFRC secured a landmark settlement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that will require the agency to re-evaluate the 9.5-million-acre critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl, which could help to accelerate management and increase timber harvests throughout the region.
- AFRC won a federal lawsuit overturning the presidential designation of a national monument on the statutorily unique O&C Lands that diminished the timber land base and established a harmful precedent and risk for federal lands.
- AFRC helped write and pass bipartisan carbon legislation signed into law by Governor Inslee establishing a state policy that recognizes Washington’s forest sector as net “sequesterers” of carbon. This state policy will help insulate and protect the forest industry from potential negative impacts of future carbon/climate legislation.
- AFRC has led the most aggressive and important litigation on public timber in Washington state in recent memory. AFRC’s legal challenge of the DNR’s marbled murrelet and Sustainable Harvest Calculation decisions – which includes beneficiaries such as schools, counties, and fire districts – has implications for the availability of hundreds of millions of board feet on the market in Washington in the next decade.
- AFRC helped initiate reconsideration of the “Eastside Screens” policy (21” rule) by the Forest Service that has limited active management and timber volume in Eastern Washington and Oregon for 25+ years. A new federal policy is due by the end of the year.
- AFRC leveraged its bipartisan relationships in Olympia to help pass an extension of the B&O preferential rate for forest products companies until 2034; pass a Budget Proviso reaffirming trust obligations of DNR to beneficiaries (cutting timber); and defeated concepts by anti-forestry groups to permanently withdraw thousands of acres of DNR Trust Land from sustained yield timber production. This effort has maintained millions of board feet on the open market now and into the future.
- Partnered with leading national organizations across the regulated community to intervene in defense of the modernization of regulations under the Endangered Species Act.
- Led a coalition of 17 forestry associations in filing amicus brief in the Supreme Court’s Cowpasture case to highlight the importance of rational administration and active management of the National Forests.