WASHINGTON – Congress took aim at illegal logging as part of the Farm Bill it passed in mid-May.

The bill amends the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to extend protection to plants illegally harvested outside of the United States. The bill that Congress adopted omitted an earlier version that would not have provided forfeiture liability protection for small businesses that unwittingly procured imported lumber or products harvested illegally.

Brent McClendon, executive vice president of the International Wood Products Assn., said, “IWPA applauds congress and the administration for its commitment to end trade in illegal logging through their global leadership with the President’s Initiative Against Illegal Logging and now through this important provision of the Farm Bill.”

IWPA was joined by the American Home Furnishing Alliance, National Association of Home Builders, National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Assn. and National Marine Manufacturers Assn. in lobbying for wording in the bill that would draw a clear distinction between “innocent” owners in the supply chain versus those who knowingly commerce in illegal materials.

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