Senate passes 2013 Farm Bill

Earlier this week, the Senate voted to approve passage of the Farm Bill (S. 954). The bill includes a number of notable forestry-related provisions including:

  • Clarifies authority for the USDA Forest Service to facilitate a national coordinated response to wildland fire by providing states access to resources and mobilization infrastructure (i.e. fixes the wildland fire mobilization and billing issue).
  • Amends the Biobased Markets Program to include materials derived from the practice of forestry or the management of growing timber and focuses program to include products, including forest products, that apply innovative approaches growing, harvesting, sourcing, procuring, processing, manufacturing, or applying biobased products regardless of the date of entry into the marketplace.
  • Permanently reauthorizes the Stewardship Contracting Authority for use on Forest Service and BLM lands.
  • Provides strategic direction for the implementation of the FIA program.
  • Removes the 10% cap on the number of forestry acres that can be enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program.

View the crosswalk to see a full analysis of the forestry-related provisions included in the Senate Farm Bill, showing how it compares with NASF positions and the version of the Farm Bill that passed the House Agriculture Committee last month. The full House is expected to bring the Farm Bill (as passed by the House Agriculture Committee) to the floor as early as next week. Stay tuned as we monitor amendments that may be considered on the House floor.