About SLB

ABOUT SLB

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 referendum to continue the SLB has passed with overwhelming support. See the SLB press release and the USDA press release.

The SLB is looking forward to continued growth during the organization’s second term.

The Impact of the Softwood Lumber Industry

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.

View the SLB’s bylaws

View the 2022 Softwood Lumber Board Budget

July 2008

US Endowment for Forests and Communities (USE) publishes feasibility study titled “Commodity Check Off – The Potential for North American Softwood Lumber.”

March 2009

USE establishes the Blue-Ribbon Commission (BRC) for the development of a North American Softwood Building Products Checkoff.

January 2010

Binational Softwood Lumber Council assumes responsibility for funding the development of the softwood lumber checkoff and its initial start-up phase.

June 2010

BRC finalizes draft Order for the Softwood Lumber Checkoff.

October 2010

1st publication – USDA publishes proposed rule in the Federal Register for public comment.

December 2010

USDA analyzes comments received in response to the proposed rule.

April 2011

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.

June 2011

Referendum results announced: 67% of voting companies and 80% of voting volume, respectively, support establishment the Checkoff.

November 2011

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.

October 2014

2015 Mass Timber Competition announced.

April 2015

SLB and USDA sign first MOU

2015

SLB programs hit benchmark of generating 1 BBF of incremental demand.

January 2016

Mike Case, Westervelt, elected SLB Chairperson.

September 2016

Timber City launches in Washington, D.C.

January 2018

reThink Wood becomes Think Wood. Wood, Naturally is folded into Think Wood.

May 2018

Continuance Referendum; 78% of companies participating in the referendum representing 94% of volume voted to continue the program.

November 2018

Cees de Jager appointed President & CEO, Ryan Flom appointed Chief Marketing Officer.

December 2018

2021 IBC Code Changes allow mass timber construction up to 18 stories.

November 2019

SLB Board of Directors votes to approve an increase to the assessment rate from $0.35 to $0.41 per thousand board feet.

February 2021

Assessment increase announced: USDA publishes the final rule to increase the assessment rate from $0.35 to $0.41 per thousand board feet effective April 1, 2021.

February 2021

The SLB publishes 2021-2025 Strategic Overview.

September 2021

SLB and USDA sign second MOU to support net-zero carbon construction and resilient forests.

June 2022

Launching second Mass Timber Competition.