Daines Introduces Timber Innovation Act

U.S. SENATE – Senator Steve Daines today joined a group of bipartisan Senators in support of a bill that would help accelerate research and development of tall wood buildings in the United States.  

The Timber Innovation Act will focus on finding innovative ways to use wood in the construction of buildings above 85 feet in height or roughly seven or more stories.  

“Innovative technology is creating new markets for Montana’s abundance of wood,” Daines stated. “I’m proud to champion legislation that will create jobs in Montana by encouraging the increased use of wood in tall buildings, which is an exciting opportunity for Montana’s wood products workers.”

The bill would also incentivize investment through the National Forest Products Lab and American colleges and universities to conduct research and development on new methods for the construction of wood buildings. And support ongoing efforts at the United States Department of Agriculture to further supper the use of wood products as a building material for tall buildings.   

Daines’ work to support Montana’s timber industry was applauded across the state:

Julia Altemus, Executive Director of the Montana Wood Products Association: “We applaud Senator Daines and other members of congress for introducing the Timber Innovation Act of 2016. There are many sound reasons why we support this bill. Supporting the expansion of Mass Timber in commercial buildings creates jobs, while growing a market for timber products. It provides an incentive for private forest owners to keep their timberlands in private ownership and for timber resource managers to sustainably manage their resources. Building 85 foot high commercial structures, with cross-laminated timber and associated products, sequesters more carbon for decades to come. Once enacted, this bill will pave the way for new performance-driven research and will likely be a real game changer for the timber industry.”

Jon Rashleigh, Weyerhaeuser Wood Product Area General Manager for Montana: “We applaud the introduction of the Timber Innovation Act. Building taller with wood presents an opportunity to enhance urban growth and it can also contribute to the revitalization of rural communities that rely on the forest economy and provide wood markets that will support continued investment in working forests and sustainable forestry. Montana is home to many such communities and we are excited by the new opportunities that incentivizing tall wood buildings can provide.”

Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation: “Some 35,000 Montana family woodland owners own and care for over 3 million acres of forests, supplying a large portion of the wood in the state. Senator Daines’ legislation to encourage tall wood buildings will create new outlets for these families to sell their wood, creating additional income to help them stay on the land and implement conservation practices.”