Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Forest Recovery Act, legislation that will support timber farmers who have been affected by catastrophic loss events. The bill will help forest landowners recover from natural disasters by eliminating the basis limitation rule and allowing them to deduct up to the fair market value of their devastated trees. This levels the playing field for timber farmers who have been impacted by events like extreme weather and forest fires.

“This important legislation will ensure that timber farmers are given a fair shot and protected from the impacts of catastrophic events” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Farmers across many sectors continue to be impacted by extreme weather events, and not all of them are protected by crop insurance. This bipartisan bill will help timber producers continue their business, which will have a positive impact on many of our North Country communities who include timber production as part of their economic base.”

“The Halloween Storm this past fall impacted 18 counties across the North Country of New York and caused tens of million dollars of damage to communities and countless impacts on private forest lands in New York,” said John Bartow, Executive Director of the Empire State Forest Products Association. “New York’s forestland is vital to the environment and our communities, accounting for fresh drinking water supply for over 15 million New Yorkers, providing habitat for at-risk species, and capturing enough carbon to offset 10-15 percent of New York’s carbon emissions annually. Without economic assurances after a natural disaster, the public and environmental benefits provided by forests will begin to decline as natural disasters continue to affect New York and forests across America. ESFPA applauds Congresswoman Stefanik’s co-sponsorship of the Forest Recovery Act to allow forest owners to deduct the full market value of their timber prior to the loss caused by the federally declared natural disaster.  Amending the tax code to give landowners immediate relief and remain economically viable will have both environmental and economic benefits for all New Yorkers and Americans.”

“The Forest Recovery Act would be a positive and proactive effort to help private land owners recover and restore necessary woodlands,” said Jason Joiner, Pulp and Paperworkers’ Resource Council 2nd Region Special Projects Director, North East. “By relieving or offsetting costs, it would speed the recovery efforts to many small communities that have been met by destructive fires and disasters, and  help heal the environment and their economies.”