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For more than 54 years, our only purpose has been to PROMOTE and PROTECT the forest products industry in Virginia! We do this in focused efforts during the Virginia General Assembly sessions and throughout the year with legislative and key Administration personnel. During the most recent Virginia legislative sessions alone, we've:
Provided input during General Assembly sessions regarding the consolidation of the Reforestation of Timberlands Board into the Board of Forestry. We achieved a Board whose composition is more focused on Virginia’s forest industry by incorporating specific industry classifications (where none existed before).
Participated in the long-running battle over “green building” legislation. VFPA provided input and education resulting in new legislation being passed that is fair to all concerned and will provide additional opportunities for using wood in state administered building projects.
Tracked and followed legislation regarding Overweight Truck Permit Equity. Legislation was passed that provides a uniform fee structure for overweight vehicles, streamlining and simplifying the odious overload permitting process. VFPA participated in several of the interest areas and was elected to serve on the stakeholders Leadership Team.
Actively lobbied to have a bill mandating Adjacent Landowner Notification Prior to Timber Harvest withdrawn. This legislation caused many in the forest community great concern because the delay in harvesting would have negatively impacted landowner and timber buyer income. VFPA convinced the patron to withdraw the bill and agree to a study of the issue going forward.
Worked with a number of groups to strengthen our eminent domain laws. Working within the requirements of Virginia’s Constitution, an Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendment was passed in the General Assembly with the support of VFPA. It revises the Constitutional protection of property rights to state that private property can be taken or damaged only for a public use, only with just compensation to the owner, and only so much taken as is necessary for the public use. Just compensation must equal or exceed the value of the property taken, lost profits and lost access, and damages to the residue caused by the taking. The amendment was approved by the voters of Virginia on Nov. 6, 2012.
These issues are just a sample of legislation in the past year alone affecting our members and the forest
products industry. We know that the majority of businesses today need to focus on just that, BUSINESS! Key industry members and decision makers don't have time to spend on Capitol Hill trying to contact 140 Senators and Delegates, along with countless Administration officials. We know you’re too busy to be there - you’ve got a business to run! Fortunately the Virginia Forest Products Association (VFPA) made the commitment decades ago to provide a continued presence with our legislators and regulatory agencies to have the voice of the forest products community heard.
VFPA’s legislative process depends on input from all members as well as the Board of Directors. Maintaining constant contact with industry members is vital to our involvement. VFPA schedules networking and information building opportunities into each year so that our members have an opportunity for a personal exchange of ideas and industry fellowship. For more information on the opportunities afforded VFPA members, click here.
We live in an increasing complex society. Today’s uncertain economy, coupled with burdensome legislation and regulations, threatens the future of our industry as never before. Today, more than ever, business people need to stay in touch with current legislation and regulations, keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry, and voice their collective concerns and desires to the appropriate government lawmakers and agencies. The Virginia Forest Products Association can help you achieve these goals - and offers many other benefits as well!