Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have announced that most provisions in the Timber Innovation Act are included in the 2018 Farm Bill. The provisions support the development of mass timber products for building construction, and doubles the size of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP).
The CFLRP promotes forest management to increase forest health, mitigate wildfires, and support rural economies and local voices.
“Oregon is leading the way in cross-laminated timber that is revolutionizing our nation’s construction industry by building safer, higher quality buildings,” Wyden said in a statement. “The Timber Innovation Act will keep Oregon on its trailblazing path in engineering and producing these timber products. It will boost economic growth and create good-paying jobs for rural communities in Oregon, while giving Oregonians the tools they need to sustainably manage our local forests.”
Their desire is to promote Oregon’s role at the forefront of developing mass timber products, such as cross-laminated timber. However, current U.S. building codes do not recognize mass timber products as official construction materials and therefore these materials do not have a standard rating system for quality, fire resistance, earthquake resistance and more.
The Timber Innovation Act would develop a program to focus on such things as developing the application of mass timber products for building construction; analyzing the safety of tall wood buildings; and identifying building code modification for wooden buildings.
The 2018 Farm Bill was passed by the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. Now it needs approval by the full U.S. Senate before moving to the House of Representatives.