November 30, 2023

DHA eNews - U.S. Bans Some Russian Conflict Timber

This Week's Insights

In our last newsletter, we highlighted DHA's efforts to prevent companies from misleading customers by marketing fake wood products as "wood." In this newsletter, our top story is our recent column in Surface & Panel which highlights the enduring beauty, value, and sustainability of decorative hardwoods including hardwood plywood, veneer, and engineered wood flooring. I welcome feedback on the column in Surface & Panel and suggestions for our next column, which will be published in Q1.

DHA has supported duties and a ban on Russian timber since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Russian timber, sold in the U.S., is a large source of revenue that helps fund Russia's continued war in Ukraine. DHA supported the No Timber from Tyrants Act and advocated for action by U.S. officials, with limited result. Now, Earthsight has reported that one of the "most controversial Russian suppliers was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department on 2 November." DHA is continuing to advocate for more restrictions on Russian fiber.

If you have questions or comments, contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association


Photo © Danzer

DHA Column In Surface & Panel Highlights Benefits Of Decorative Hardwoods

Real hardwood surfaces are an "enduring value and an environmentally responsible choice." That’s the subtitle and theme of our recent column in Surface & Panel. In the column, Decorative Hardwoods Association provides data on the return on the investment of real hardwood surfaces and, using the recent lifecycle assessment of engineered wood flooring we supported with USDA, outlines a strong argument for the climate benefits of decorative hardwoods.

U.S. Bans Some Russian Conflict Timber

U.S. customs officials will be forced to closely examine all imports of Russian conflict plywood after one of the largest and most controversial Russian suppliers was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department on November 2. Now, U.S. firms are prohibited from purchasing plywood from Segezha. Earthsight stated that customs officials' jobs would be easier if the U.S. followed the EU and UK and banned all Russian wood imports.

Farm Bill Extended For One Year

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution that included a one-year extension of the farm bill, a multiyear law that covers a wide range of agricultural programs. The action broke a legislative impasse on a bill that is particularly important to the hardwood industry. DHA and the Hardwood Federation will continue to advocate for the top priorities of the hardwood industry in a longer-term farm bill.

Protecting Small Business: Hardwood Federation Requests Delay In CTA

Small businesses, with the support of the Hardwood Federation, are pushing hard to delay the implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act. This poorly communicated federal law will take effect at the beginning of 2024. The problem is that failing to meet the law's numerous new reporting requirements could result in harsh financial and criminal penalties for small businesses, most of whom are not aware that the requirements exist. The Hardwood Federation will sign a letter to House and Senate leadership this week to advocate for a delay.

USFS Drafts New Policies For Mature & Old-Growth Forests

The U.S. Forest Service recently hosted an engagement session about how it intends to identify, inventory, and protect mature and old-growth forests. The highlights: wildfires have destroyed 2.6 million acres of mature forest and nearly 700,000 acres of old growth since 2000. Timber harvest occurred in 214,000 acres of mature forest and 10,000 acres of old growth. The agency will be developing policies on protecting mature and old-growth forests in the coming months. Forest industry associations have been providing input into the policy since the start.

Expect More Formaldehyde Regulations For Composite Wood Products

The EPA informed us that composite wood products like hardwood plywood, particleboard, and MDF will be included in the formaldehyde draft risk assessment in early 2024—even though these products are already regulated under TSCA Title VI for formaldehyde emissions. Recent activity by EPA, including its recently-resurrected IRIS Toxicological Review, suggests the risk assessment will drive more restrictions on formaldehyde emissions.

AHF Sponsors Capitol Christmas Tree

DHA member AHF Products announced that three of its flooring brands, Bruce, Armstrong Flooring, and Robbins, will sponsor the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. The tree is from the Monongahela National Forest and was wrapped at AHF's Beverly, WV, hardwood flooring plant.

Roseburg Sells Particleboard Plant

DHA member Roseburg sold its Simsboro, LA, particleboard facility to Kronospan, who will modernize it. Roseburg manufactures particleboard and MDF at plants across North America. Roseburg will invest in two new composites plants in Dillard, OR, which will manufacture medium and high-density fiberboard and MDF trim.

Capital Testing Publishes FAQ On Steiner Tunnel Fire Test

CAN/ULC S102 and CAN/ULC S102.2 are fire tests that measure the surface building characteristics of building materials, from wood products and fiberboard to ceiling tiles and paint. Read Capital Testing's post on the differences between required fire tests or contact them to find out more.

A Mixed Hardwood Forest Is Best For Storing Carbon

A new study found that diverse mixed oak, birch, beech, and linden forests can store more carbon than monocultures. The number is impressive: greater than 70% more. This will have implications for the typical carbon-based tree-planting programs that have relied on planting a single species.

Using Old Wood To Remove Carbon

Graphyte, a startup backed by Bill Gates, will offer carbon dioxide removal that it claims will be permanent, affordable, and scalable. The company says its technology can permanently remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide for $100 per ton. That said, an easier and cheaper fix might be to use more beautiful wood, now, instead of fake products like vinyl.

Virginia's Budding Tree Program

At the state-run tree nursery, Chinese chestnut, white oak, dogwood, and other hardwood seeds have been collected and planted. In about 18 months, a crop of seedlings will be ready to sell to landowners and the timber industry to help rebuild Virginia's forests and combat climate change.

Tiny Beetles To The Rescue!

Tiny beetles will help protect hemlocks from the wooly adelgid, an invasive insect from Japan. Laricobius nigrinus beetles, known as the Lari, traveled overnight from the forests of British Columbia to researchers working in the forests of southwestern Nova Scotia. The helpful predators "love eating hemlock woolly adelgid."

Mass Timber Building Sets New Record

At 284 feet tall, Milwaukee's Ascent is now the tallest mass timber building in the world. The building is 25 stories high and features heated floors, a sky deck, an indoor swimming pool, and a pet spa.

Air New Zealand Will Build Record-Breaking Wood Hanger

The newly designed Air New Zealand timber arch hanger will be the largest single-span timber arch aircraft hangar in the world. It will fit a wide-bodied Boeing 777 or 787 and two narrow-bodied planes at the same time. The laminated veneer lumber and cross-laminated timber hybrid timber arch stretches 321 feet, about the size of a football field.

U.S. Housing Starts Grow By 1.9%
U.S. Existing-Home Sales Decline
U.S. Housing Market Flashes Fresh Signs Of Recovery
Canadian Home Sales Down By 5.6%
Canada's Consumer Price Index Is Up By 3.1%
U.S. Housing Down Payments Continue To Climb
82% Of Metro Areas See Home Price Increases
Inflation Cools; Housing Costs Remain High
Expect U.S. Builder Confidence To Improve
Small Business Optimism Down By 0.1 Point
Wood Trivia: Test Your Knowledge

Two allied countries have the same national tree. Who are the allies and what is the tree?

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