Maintaining Momentum and Increasing Market Share

The Softwood Lumber Board recommended approval on a proposal to increase the assessment rate from $0.35 to $0.41 at its Board meeting held on November 20, 2019. The additional funds would enable the Board to build on its success in maintaining and expanding markets for softwood lumber. For 2016-2018, the Board used reserve funds to bridge the deficit between income and expenses. In 2019, the Board kept expenses in line with income and had to make cuts to its programs, primarily to its communication program.

The mission of the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is to increase demand for softwood lumber by growing market share for lumber- based products in commercial, residential, and outdoor construction in the United States. We aim to make softwood lumber the preferred building material from both economic and environmental standpoints. Our investments have had significant impact, generating over 7.1 billion board feet since the SLB’s inception and delivering an average ROI of $25 for every $1 spent.

In light of the deficit spending, program cuts, along with the impact of inflation, the Board determined that, without this increase, it would not be able to maintain current programs nor be able to address gaps that limit the Board’s ability to protect existing markets and expand market share for softwood lumber. The additional funds would support programs targeting contractors and developers to address installer training and skills development, establish a post-secondary education program that would target architecture and engineering students, as well as professionals, and restore the Board’s communication program so that by 2025, it would be equivalent to 2018 expenditures. Funds will also provide adequate resources to ensure the successes in increasing market share are not eroded by competitor campaigns designed to slow the progression of wood products.

A 60-day period is provided for public comment on the proposal.
The comment period ends on October 13, 2020. All comments must be submitted through the Federal e-rulemaking portal at https://beta.regulations.gov/document/AMS-SC-20-0014-0001 and should reference the document number (AMS-SC-20-0014) and the date (August 13, 2020) and page number (p. 49281) of the respective issue of the Federal Register.

SLB Board Members and Softwood Lumber industry have taken the time to share their thoughts on the assessment increase and reflect on the SLB's impact in the industry.

“The SLB funds the AWC, Think Wood and WoodWorks to grow our market share, and it is working. Over 7.1 Billion board feet of demand is directly attributable to SLB-funded programs.”
- Caroline Dauzat, Owner of Rex Lumber

“The checkoff program, also known as the Softwood Lumber Board is one of the best initiatives our industry has executed in my 40 year career.”
- George Emmerson, President of Sierra Pacific Industries
“The Softwood Lumber Board staff has done a phenomenal job investing and providing a great return on investment with program dollars. In 2019, for every dollar invested, the program returned about 107 board feet of additional lumber demand. We need to continue to build on our successes, the momentum is clearly on our side.”
- Todd Payne, President and CEO of Seneca

“We all know that, once a contractor has worked with wood, chances are that his next projects will also be in wood. The SLB’s strategy and process creates a multiplier effect, which produces a long-term increase in the use of wood products. Therefore, in my opinion, an additional investment of $0.06/1,000 board feet is a smart investment, as each dollar spent has a major multiplier effect.”
- Hugues Simon, President of Barrette Wood

“Georgia-Pacific’s independent analysis and review of the SLB’s performance measurement methodology and results found them to be accurate and if anything, a conservative outlook on the demand generated by SLB-funded investments. We believe that since the SLB’s inception, the return on investment in SLB programs has been very good and justifies the expenditures.
- Fritz Mason, President and General Manager of Georgia Pacific Lumber

“The creativity and ingenuity of new ideas for the lumber industry that originated from a diverse board of directors made up of people from every region of the US and Canada was absolutely amazing. The positive impact of the SLB on the growth of our industry has and will continue to be a significant force towards building stronger markets for the industry for many years to come.”
- Chuck Roady, Vice President & General Manager of F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co.
"In terms of seeing our industry, all of our senior leaders across North America essentially come together here really for the benefit of the industry and work together to expand markets is something that we, I have never seen before to the degree that we are seeing this happen."
- Don Kayne, President and CEO of Canfor Corporation