The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is an industry funded initiative established to promote the benefits and uses of softwood lumber products in outdoor, residential, and non-residential construction. Programs and initiatives supported by the SLB will focus on increasing the demand for appearance and softwood lumber products in the United States.
The SLB’s first term, from 2012-2019, resulted in significant diversified growth for softwood lumber.
The SLB is looking forward to continued growth during the organization’s second term.
The Impact of the Softwood Lumber Industry
A new report by Forest Economic Advisors (FEA), commissioned by the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB), highlights the importance of softwood lumber manufacturing to the U.S. economy and, in particular, the health of rural communities. Through both direct manufacture and via downstream industries that use softwood lumber as a primary input, FEA estimates that 775,674 jobs, with a total payroll of more than $46 billion, are tied to the softwood lumber manufacturing industry. These jobs, found in 515 operating sawmills, impact 470 mostly rural communities across 32 states.
Using wood obtained through sustainable forestry practices in green building applications promotes a healthy environment and a strong economy. A recent lifecycle analysis found that harvesting, transporting, manufacturing, and using wood in lumber and panel products in building yields fewer air emissions–including greenhouse gases–than the resource extraction, manufacture, and use of other common building materials. In fact, wood-based wall systems can require significantly less total energy for manufacturing than thermally comparable houses using other materials.
Read the USDA study about the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Using Wood Products.
US Endowment for Forests and Communities (USE) publishes feasibility study titled “Commodity Check Off – The Potential for North American Softwood Lumber.”
USE establishes the Blue-Ribbon Commission (BRC) for the development of a North American Softwood Building Products Checkoff.
Binational Softwood Lumber Council assumes responsibility for funding the development of the softwood lumber checkoff and its initial start-up phase.
BRC finalizes draft Order for the Softwood Lumber Checkoff.
1st publication – USDA publishes proposed rule in the Federal Register for public comment.
USDA analyzes comments received in response to the proposed rule.
2nd publication – USDA publishes second proposed rule in the Federal Register. The rule contains an analysis of comments and announces the referendum on the program.
Referendum results announced: 67% of voting companies and 80% of voting volume, respectively, support establishment the Checkoff.
First Board of Directors appointed by Secretary Vilsack. Jack Jordan, Jordan Lumber, elected first SLB Chairperson. Steve Lovett hired as first Chief Executive Officer. Cees de Jager appointed as first Chief Marketing Officer.
2015 Mass Timber Competition announced.
SLB and USDA sign first MOU
SLB programs hit benchmark of generating 1 BBF of incremental demand.
Mike Case, Westervelt, elected SLB Chairperson.
Timber City launches in Washington, D.C.
reThink Wood becomes Think Wood. Wood, Naturally is folded into Think Wood.
Continuance Referendum; 78% of companies participating in the referendum representing 94% of volume voted to continue the program.
2021 IBC Code Changes allow mass timber construction up to 18 stories.
SLB Board of Directors votes to approve an increase to the assessment rate from $0.35 to $0.41 per thousand board feet.
The SLB publishes 2021-2025 Strategic Overview.
SLB and USDA sign second MOU to support net-zero carbon construction and resilient forests.
Launching second Mass Timber Competition.