The Softwood Lumber Board is composed of 14 members appointed by USDA’s Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary). Of the 14 members, 10 are domestic manufacturers and 4 are importers. The 10 domestic seats are allocated between three geographic regions within the United States – the U.S. South (5), the U.S. West (4), and the Northeast and Lake States (1). Of the four importer seats, two members must import softwood lumber from Canada West, and one must import from Canada East. Seats are also allocated within each region by size of operation. Large companies are defined as those that account for the top two-thirds of the volume of assessable softwood lumber annually and small companies account for the remaining assessable softwood lumber.
Members serve staggered three-year terms, with no member serving more than two consecutive terms. Approximately one-third of the Board is appointed annually by the Secretary. The term of office runs from January 1 through December 31.
Early in each year, the Board issues a “Call for Nominations” to seek softwood lumber manufacturers and importers interested in candidacy for Board seats coming open the following January. Nominees must manufacture and ship within the United States, or import into the United States, at least 15 million board feet of softwood lumber annually. Nominees may provide a short background statement outlining their qualifications to serve on the Board.
The Board evaluates all eligible nominees and submits the name of one nominee for each open seat and the name of one additional nominee for each open seat to the Secretary. Other qualified persons interested in serving in the open seats but not recommended by the Board are designated as additional nominees for consideration by the Secretary. From the nominations submitted, the Secretary ultimately appoints the members of the Board.