August 2023 Hardwood Matters

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THE VOICE OF THE HARDWOOD INDUSTRY August 2023 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL HARDWOOD LUMBER ASSOCIATION STRONG ROOTS. GLOBAL REACH. | WWW.NHLA.COM NHLA FOUNDATION
HARDWOOD MATTERS
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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Jon Syre, Chairman Cascade Hardwood, LLC

Bucky Pescaglia, Vice Chairman Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co., Inc.

Jeff Wirkkala, Past Chairman 2020-2022 Hardwood Industries, Inc.

MISSION LEADERS

Sam Glidden, Unique Services GMC Hardwoods, Inc.

Ray White, Rules Harold White Lumber Inc.

Joe Pryor, Industry Advocacy & Promotion Oaks Unlimited

Rich Solano, Structure Pike Lumber Company, Inc.

Stephanie VanDystadt, Membership & Networking DV Hardwoods, Inc.

COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Burt Craig, Membership & Networking Matson Lumber Company

Rob Cabral, Market Impacts Upper Canada Forest Products, Ltd.

Dennis Mann, Convention Baillie Lumber Co.

Tom Oiler, Lumber Services Cole Hardwood, Inc.

Brant Forcey, Inspector Training School Forcey Lumber Company

George Swaner, Education Services Swaner Hardwood Co., Inc.

Joe Snyder, Rules Fitzpatrick & Weller, Inc.

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 1 CONTENTS August 2023 • Issue 247 feature 16 NHLA Strategic Plan 2024-2030 by Dallin Brooks, Executive Director departments 6 Inside NHLA Good Things Take Time by Renee Hornsby, Chief Operating Officer 8 Allied Angle USFS: Supporting the Hardwood Industry with Research and Market Development by Brian Brashaw, PhD Assistant Director 10 Membership Matters What NHLA Can Do For You! by John Hester, Chief Development Officer 11 Member of the Month 12 Member Spotlight 14 Legislative Log Hardwood Federation Fly-In Kicks Off Summer 2023 by Dana Cole Executive Director Hardwood Federation 22 Rules Corner The NHLA Sales Code Can Mitigate Litigation by Dana Spessert, Chief Inspector WHAT'S INSIDE Follow us 14 23 12 reader services 4 Chairman’s Message 23 Educational Calendar 24 NHLA Job Board 26 Market Trends

HARDWOOD MATTERS

THE VOICE OF THE HARDWOOD INDUSTRY

National Hardwood Lumber Association PO Box 34518 • Memphis, TN 38184-0518 901-377-1818 • 901-382-6419 (fax) info@nhla.com • www.nhla.com

THE MISSION OF NHLA

To serve NHLA Members engaged in the commerce of North American hardwood lumber by: maintaining order, structure and ethics in the changing global hardwood marketplace; providing unique member services; promoting North American hardwood lumber and advocating the interest of the hardwood community in public/private policy issues; and providing a platform for networking opportunities.

NHLA STAFF

Dallin Brooks, Executive Director dallin@nhla.com

John Hester, Chief Development Officer j.hester@nhla.com

Renee Hornsby, Chief Operating Officer r.hornsby@nhla.com

Dana Spessert, Chief Inspector d.spessert@nhla.com

ACCOUNTING

Desiree Freeman, Controller d.freeman@nhla.com

Jens Lodholm, Data Administration Specialist j.lodholm@nhla.com

Amber Signaigo, Assistant Controller a.signaigo@nhla.com

INDUSTRY SERVICES

Mark Bear, National Inspector m.bear@nhla.com

Tom Byers, National Inspector t.byers@nhla.com

Mark Depp, National Inspector m.depp@nhla.com

Kevin Evilsizer, National Inspector k.evilsizer@nhla.com

Simon Larocque, National Inspector s.larocque@nha.com

Benji Richards, Industry Services Sales Manager b.richards@nhla.com

INSPECTOR TRAINING SCHOOL

Geoff Webb, Dean of the Inspector Training School g.webb@nhla.com

Roman Matyushchenko, Instructor of the Inspector Training School r.matyushchenko@nhla.com

MARKETING/COMMUNICATIONS

Amanda Boutwell, Marketing and Communications Manager a.boutwell@nhla.com

Melissa Ellis Smith, Art Director m.ellis@nhla.com

Rachel Spiers Blossman, Digital Media Specialist r.blossman@nhla.com

MEMBERSHIP

Julia Ganey, Member Relations Manager j.ganey@nhla.com

Vicky Quiñones Simms, Membership Development Manager v.simms@nhla.com

2 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM
Hester
Simms v.simms@nhla.com or 901-399-7557
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TIME WELL SPENT!

Generally, my feelings regarding the political process and politicians can be described as apathetic and jaded with general disappointment. So, as I was enduring my travel day from Northwest Washington State to the “other” Washington, I was not overflowing with excitement and enthusiasm.

I had signed up to participate in the annual Hardwood Federation Fly-In. Having not experienced an HF Fly-In before, I was interested in learning about the process and analyzing how productive the classic lobbying process would be. I guess I thought, don’t knock it before you try it.

I can honestly say my time in DC was well spent! The Hardwood Federation leadership is a well-oiled, efficient machine leading seasoned lobbying veterans and newbies like me through the process. Hardwood Federation leadership distributed and explained the unified voice talking points to all 65 of us. This step was vital to ensure we would all be on the same issues generating a powerful single voice for our industry! The group I was in had six meetings on the schedule; in total, the Hardwood Federation Fly-In met with over 100 different offices! It was a powerful day for the hardwood industry! Whether we met with our actual Congressional representative or with staff members, the Hardwood industry was represented in a powerful and effective way!

What a turnaround from my feelings just a day or two earlier! Where had my jaded and apathetic feelings gone? Well, I think they disappeared when the individuals we were meeting with, whether Democrat or Republican, asked honest questions and were genuinely interested in and listening to our issues. Thanks to the Hardwood Federation, there is power in numbers with a unified voice!

The lobbying process is very similar to the promotion process. I believe lobbying is simply promotion but with a different audience. The Fly-In helped our industry, and my time in Washington, DC, was worth it. I will also have to return; lobbying is not a one-and-

done process, just like promotion is not a one-and-done process. The Hardwood Federation, through many years of lobbying, has built relationships and trust with members of Congress. These relationships make it easier and more effective for the lobbying effort to take place during the Fly-In. I will continue to support the Hardwood Federation with my time and money in the future so they can continue their hardwood promotional efforts, and I encourage all of you to as well!

The Real American Hardwood Coalition is working towards creating similar relationships and building trust with its audience as the Hardwood Federation has with theirs. These efforts require stable and dependable financial support as promotion, and like lobbying, it is more than just a one-and-done process.

The Fly-In process filled me with hope that our Congressional representatives are listening and want to learn about our industry so they can become educated and make sound, informed decisions. Just the same, I believe the consumer wants to learn about making good healthy decisions for their family regarding our hardwood products in their lives. Both educational processes come down to dependable and stable yearly donations from all of us! Please take a moment to review your specific commitment to these efforts and contemplate making a multi-year commitment. Real long-range promotion and lobbying strategies can only take place when the stability of time is brought to the table!

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Best wishes to you, your families, and your business.

4 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE
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GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME

More than a year ago, the marketing team developed the 2023 media kit and the editorial calendar for Hardwood Matters

The focus for August is advocacy. The decision to focus on advocacy was due to the expected return of the Hardwood Federation Fly-In, which I am happy to report did take place in June. (see recap on page 14).

NHLA has been an advocate for the hardwood lumber industry for 125 years. To continue its efforts, NHLA and industry volunteers have worked to develop and implement a new strategic plan to guide its work over the next five years.

An advocacy goal is usually a long-term result; it may take years of advocacy work to bring the desired result. Advocacy goals usually require allies to bring about the required change. This is most definitely true for the work of the Association. Our goals require allies within the membership, such as those volunteers that serve on the NHLA board of directors, and partnerships with other affiliated groups, such as the US Forest Service and industry associations.

The strategic plan has consolidated the work of two committees into one. The Education Services Committee (formerly the marketing and promotion/advocacy committees) will focus on educating the industry, membership, and outside groups on the work of NHLA. The committee will work to elevate the value perception of NHLA through enhanced promotion of the Association’s services and benefits. NHLA, through the committee, will continue to support, participate, collaborate, advise, and provide leadership to the Real American Hardwood Coalition (RAHC), the Hardwood Federation (HF), and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). We will continue to provide strength and structure to the hardwood industry’s expanding global community and be the voice for all hardwood industry matters. These objectives will be visible in the form of real and tangible services — a new community member mobile app and an NHLA Grading Rules mobile app are on the horizon.

Speaking of community, I am excited to see the hardwood community gathered at the 2023 NHLA Annual Convention & Exhibit Showcase in Louisville, Kentucky, this October. The NHLA convention is another activity that requires planning and patience. The work of the Convention Committee is never-ending. As we are two months away from this year’s conference, the planning for 2024 is already underway, and contracts for 2025 (San Antonio, Texas) and 2026 (Cleveland, Ohio) have been signed. No one can predict the industry’s future. Still, I can assure you that NHLA will continue to make decisions regarding the Convention that provide value to every member, regardless of category. Location, industryspecific education, superior speakers, and networking opportunities are all considerations during the planning process. Because of this, NHLA continues to be the premier event for the global gathering of the hardwood community.

As 2023 marks our 125th anniversary, it is exciting to think forward to the next 125 years. Implementing the strategic plan will impact things that aren’t immediately visible. And over the next few years, we will gain new knowledge and understanding. Maintaining an open and patient approach will be critical, keeping in mind that all good things take time.

6 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM INSIDE NHLA
r.hornsby@nhla.com | 901-399-7560
Renee Hornsby NHLA Chief Operating Officer
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USFS: Supporting the Hardwood Industry with Research and Market Development

The hardwood industry is important to me. My dad worked for a hardwood lumber company in Wisconsin when I was a kid, and I understood the critical connection between forestry and healthy forests. Trained as both a forester and wood products specialist, I joined the USDA Forest Service to continue supporting expanded wood product markets.

The Forest Service is actively engaged in hardwood product research through the Forest Products Laboratory, and this month’s column will focus on the Wood Innovations program. Research and market development go hand-in-hand to supporting the wood products industry.

A healthy forest products industry is an indispensable tool for supporting the management of healthy forests, and robust markets for the full range of forest products are essential for having a healthy industry. Strong markets for forest products improve forest health and resilience and support key benefits that forests provide people, like clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities. They also support jobs and rural economic development.

The Wood Innovations program focuses on building and expanding markets for wood products and renewable wood energy and building manufacturing capacity. Annually, we issue three grant programs to support these goals. The Wood Innovation, Community Wood, and Wood Products Infrastructure Assistance grant programs use funding from annual appropriations, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to support market development, fund the cost of installing thermally-led wood energy systems or innovative wood product manufacturing facilities, and support the ability to establish, reopen, retrofit, expand, or improve facilities to use materials removed from hazardous fuel treatments. You can find information on these programs and future funding opportunity announcements on our Wood Innovations | US Forest Service (usda.gov) website.

On June 26th, NHLA was awarded a $500,000 matching grant from

the Forest Service Wood Innovations Program to support and expand markets for the United States hardwood industry. By strengthening and building new markets for products, our support will directly help improve the management and sustainability of hardwood forests. This investment builds on other Wood Innovations and Community Wood grants that were awarded to nine NHLA members to support their efforts to build markets, add innovative processing equipment and technology, and expand the use of wood energy. We were pleased to support Bingaman & Son Lumber, BPM Lumber, Brownlee Lumber, Inc., Cumberland Cooperage, Dunaway Timber Company, Matson Lumber Company, Northwest Hardwoods, Inc., Northern Hardwoods Lumber, LLC, and Thompson Appalachian Hardwoods.

With the new NHLA partnership, we will work together to strengthen and recapture markets for decorative hardwood products but also work for new markets for lumber in thermally modified lumber and structural hardwoods, demonstrating the potential for use in industrial and structural cross-laminated timber (CLT). These commercial, institutional, and multi-family buildings are new market opportunities to use wood instead of other non-renewable materials like steel or concrete. We also invested in the first U.S hardwood CLT plant and continue investing in education, engineering project assistance, and construction programs to support market expansion. New opportunities are also emerging for other innovations like wood energy, biochar, biofuels, and biochemicals.

My team and I look forward to working with NHLA to build a great future for hardwood markets.

8 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM ALLIED ANGLE
Wood Innovations
FOLLOW US WWW. T H E A G L G R O U P . C O M 781.544.3970 WE Y M O U T H , M A J A C K S O N V I L L E , F L S A L E S @ T H E A G L G R O U P . C O M M A K I N G L I V E S E A S I E R .

WHAT NHLA CAN DO FOR YOU!

When recruiting new members to NHLA, I often get the question, “Can you tell me about the benefits of being a member?” Essentially, people are asking, “What can NHLA do for me?” It’s a straightforward question with multiple answers. Your company may need training for a lumber inspector, need help with dispute resolution, seek networking opportunities with the finest lumber people in the world, or you want to sell a forklift. Each scenario has its own corresponding benefit, which all of you could answer as well as I could.

Today, while writing this article, I had a conversation with a man no longer in the industry. He mentioned that an owner of a mill told him, “NHLA can’t do anything for me.” I wanted to talk to this person and help them comprehend that we have benefits to satisfy almost every need. I just need to know what his particular need is. Unfortunately, I left the conversation without being given the name. However, the point was valid . . . in a way. How do you reach out to the uninformed to educate them that, in fact, NHLA CAN do something for you?

Over the coming year, you’ll hear more about NHLA’s new Strategic Plan. Our Member & Networking Services Committee will develop fresh communication strategies to attract non-members. We will create valuable opportunities for member interaction and participation in NHLA activities and establish ourselves as the central hub for association, university, government agency, and member collaboration.

Through our Market Impacts Committee, we will become the primary portal for hardwood industry information. This will include research, market trends, and other product information for the benefit of the hardwood lumber industry. And we are committed to delivering this information promptly to the industry and encourage your feedback on shared knowledge.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone claims, “NHLA can’t do anything for me,” tell them they need to call me. I’d love to talk to them.

10 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM MEMBERSHIP MATTERS

FORCEY LUMBER COMPANY

Member Since 2018

Forcey Lumber Company has been a leader in the Hardwood Lumber industry for over 70 years and four generations. Located in the heart of the “Hardwood Country” Forcey lumber Company has two locations: the Hardwood concentration yard is located in Woodland, PA and the Veneer Plant is located in Clearfield, PA.

NHLA is proud to recognize Forcey Lumber Company as our Member of the Month! Thank you for your 5 years of membership!

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 11 MEMBER OF THE MONTH

Saying "Yes" to Building Success

You’ve probably heard of the “Say Yes” concept, which proposes that you’ll find greater success if you say yes to more requests. It’s a popular trope in films like “Yes Man” and “Yes Day.” The concept can lead to (arguably) funny movies, but there are real people who have grown successful businesses based on this outlook; people like billionaire Sir Richard Branson, who says yes so much that his employees call him “Dr. Yes.”

Saying yes is a notion Mr. A.W. Stiles seemed to have adopted in 1976 when he started a small commercial painting business called A.W. Stiles Contractors in McMinnville, TN. As time passed, his reputation grew, and so did his client list. His life was forever changed when a local hardwood flooring and lumber company asked if A.W. could coat their kilns. Stiles had never done anything like that before, but he knew he had a heavy enough sprayer to make it happen, so he said yes, and that decision led to

call after call from new customers wanting the same thing.

Later, when a different business asked if he did kiln repair, you can guess how A.W. responded. In saying yes, his company became well-known and highly respected. Saying yes was paying off when

12 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM
Casey Miller
STILES
A.W.
CONTRACTORS
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

“We are all about service. Our customers trust us because we deliver on our promises.”

the inevitable happened; he started creating his own kilns. Today, A.W. Stiles Contractors does everything that could possibly be related to dry kilns, from complete rebuilds, disassembly and relocation, and manufacturing new kilns. A.W.’s youngest son, Tommy Stiles, leads the kiln repair and manufacturing of lumber dry kilns for the company.

Casey Miller, a Project Manager at A.W. Stiles Contractors, explains that the catalyst for their success is more than just saying yes, proudly stating, “We are all about service. Our customers trust us because we deliver on our promises. Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of repair work for customers because as times get tough, more customers are leaning towards repairs instead of new builds. We can save our customers money by saving their machines from needing to be replaced.”

Of course, no business is immune from challenges. Miller claims their biggest challenge over the past six months has been market uncertainty, stating, “Coming off last year, when the industry was doing quite well, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty of where the economy’s going. Planning is an important part of business, and it’s increasingly difficult to plan when the financial future is unknown.”

Still, Miller is confident the business will remain strong, highlighting how A.W. Stiles differs from its competition, explaining, “We are spe-

cial because we have our own crews and very seldomly subcontract. So, when you call us, you don’t have to deal with anyone else, eliminating the middleman and making any project a whole lot easier and faster. No matter what comes our way, we are prepared. We’ve been through a lot in the past, and we can help you maneuver through hard times.”

Miller explains that A.W. Stiles Contractors are proud to be NHLA members, adding, “We greatly value the convention, and we always have a booth. It’s great. Being able to see our customers in person in one place saves us time and money. It helps us maintain business relationships with our customers. We look forward to seeing them each year.”

As the adage goes, “Opportunity favors the bold,” and saying yes creates new opportunities. By saying yes, A.W. Stiles Contractors was able to adapt to new opportunities. Even though they mostly specialize in kilns, they are open to other things. Miller explains, “If a customer came to us asking for a steel building, we’d manufacture a steel building. We have that adaptability. We believe we can create what our customers need, even things that aren’t on the menu, so to speak. Our future is in adaptation.”

Saying yes gives you adaptability. It leads to more innovation because as you adapt, you learn, and as you learn, you grow.

Get in touch with A.W. Stiles Contractors by visiting their booth at the NHLA Annual Convention and Exhibit Showcase, checking them out online at www.awscontractorsinc.com, or calling (931) 668- 8768.

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 13

HARDWOOD FEDERATION FLY-IN KICKS OFF SUMMER 2023

June 14 and 15 marked the Hardwood Federation Fly-In comeback following a three-year hiatus in the wake of COVID measures that restricted access to Capitol Hill. Nearly 70 hardwood industry leaders conducted over 100 bipartisan congressional meetings, advocating for hardwood priorities in the farm bill, tax legislation, and transportation legislation. Also worth noting, ten association executives lent their expertise to the meeting series. On the policy front, the farm bill, which last passed in 2018 and is up for reauthorization every five years, headlined this year’s Fly-In. Specifically, within the context of farm

legislation, advocates recommended recognition of the carbon capture value of hardwood products in federal accounting programs, including a hardwood products grant program to educate consumers about the sustainability of hardwood products and doubling funding for USDA export promotion authority.

The substance of the advocacy is as important as the target audience. While pro-hardwood USDA programs dominated conversations in all congressional offices, industry leaders delivered critical messages

14 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM LEGISLATIVE LOG
CloCkwise from left: Josh Green, Renee Hornsby, Congressman Des Jarlais, Charleston Green, Nicholas Hester and Dallin Brooks; Congressman Larson and Jon Syre; and Fly-In Breakfast.

to nearly half the U.S. Senate, racking up 40 meetings. Highlights included discussions with nine of the 21 members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which is busy drafting its version of the farm legislation. Conversations in the offices of Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) figured prominently in the meeting series. Geographical diversity also characterized the breadth of this year’s Fly-In. Participants visited Senate and House offices from 21 states in every region of the country.

Speaking of House-side visits, the timing of the meetings was incredibly fortunate. Because House-side committees recently passed tax and transportation packages that will likely move on the floor later this year, industry messages were especially timely. More specifically, on the tax policy front, advocates recommended permanence for 100% bonus depreciation and the Section 199A small business deduction. Transportation policy was also a high priority, with participants advocating for a House Transportation Committee package that includes truck weight flexibility, streamlining the process for obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and expediting the implementation of ocean shipping reforms passed into law in 2022. Focusing on members of Congress who represent districts where industry members live and work, the hardwood team conducted more than 60 meetings with House lawmakers.

After Hill meetings wrapped on Wednesday afternoon, Fly-In participants headed to the Capitol Hill Club to thank House-side Republican friends of the industry with a social hour. Following the reception, House Ag Committee Chair GT Thompson (R-PA) addressed the group during dinner and outlined a path forward for the farm bill, noting the importance of working together in a bipartisan fashion. On Thursday, June 15, the Fly-In concluded with a breakfast reception, also on Capitol Hill, where attendees mingled with Democrat lawmakers who have a demonstrated track record of supporting the industry.

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 15
Josh Green and Congressman Ogles.

NHLA STRATEGIC PLAN 2024-2030

Ifirst want to thank the Strategic Planning Committee. I wooed them all into participating by promising that it would be easy. I told them they would get a weekly email to respond to and then join a monthly online call to discuss responses. And that is what we did, but it was a lot of thinking about the responses. There were 20 people on the committee, and they shared a lot of opinions. We ended up having an in-person meeting to review the objectives of each committee to ensure they were adequately discussed and determined. Ultimately, because of their back-and-forth responses and willingness to question everything, we devised a spectacular strategic plan that is a game-changer for NHLA. We will focus more on our services to benefit the industry, become proactive in tackling issues, and coordinate with others better.

I would also like to thank the NHLA Board of Directors for approving the strategic plan. It required changes, but they recognized the need to change and supported the strategic plan 100%. I was shocked that the board approved all the recommendations from the Strategic Planning Committee. It breaks up the old boys club and opens the door for better membership interaction and participation. Their trust in a new executive director and the NHLA staff to carry out this plan is noticed and appreciated.

Now on to the NHLA Strategic Planning Committee Tasks. It is important for NHLA members to understand the process of the strategic plan. Below is a brief overview.

PREPARATION: PROPER PREPARATION PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE

1. Background review of mission and vision statements to clarify NHLA goals and objectives.

2. Analysis and report of the NHLA along with the hardwood industry and trends.

3. Recommendations with staff comments.

4. Identify and analyze NHLA key stakeholders and their roles within the NHLA.

PLANNING: CORE STRATEGIES THAT FOCUS ON STAFF CHIEFS AND COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT

5. Fundamental NHLA needs from each stakeholder.

6. Stakeholder needs or expectations from the NHLA.

7. Establish NHLA foundation that prioritizes strategic issues based on fundamental needs.

8. Broadly determine objectives (1-8) of each area based on the foundation.

PURPOSES: DEFINE EACH OBJECTIVE OF THE FOUNDATION:

9. Objective 1-8: clear, measurable goals that are communicated in terms of quantities and timelines.

PERFORMANCE: DEVELOP PLANS OF ACTION NECESSARY TO ATTAIN THE OBJECTIVES, A COHESIVE BUILD UP TO ACTION

17. Review Committee Analysis and Comments.

18. Review Committee Charters.

19. Review Membership Participation and Committee Structure.

20. Review Board of Directors and Meeting Structure.

PRODUCT: ANALYSIS OF THE LAYOUT AND GOVERNANCE OF THE ORGANIZATION

21. Review Staff Structure and Succession Planning.

22. Review NHLA Bylaws.

23. Review NHLA Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

24. Review ITSEF Bylaws and SOP.

PROPOSAL: COMPLETED STRATEGIC PLAN

25. Communicate the Strategic Plan.

26. Allocating resources consistent with strategic plan, goals, and objectives.

27. Monitoring results, measure progress and make adjustments.

28. Report to board.

I would like to add a couple of comments about the overall process.

First, the Strategic Planning Committee determined they should not set the committee goals. It is for you, the members, to participate on the committees and to observe and comment on committee goals and decisions.

16 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM

Second, the Venn diagram. It is more important than you think. It is crucial to display purpose and foundation of NHLA in a visual manner that is easy to understand. The Strategic Planning Committee spent a lot of time on this. Redoing it several times, then throwing it away and looking for other ways to graphically represent NHLA before returning to it with the new center, “To grow and stabilize the hardwood industry .” This, once shared by past Chairman Jeff Wirkkala, was latched onto by the committee and became the driving foundation for such a successful strategic plan. Some might question why it isn’t just “Grow and stabilize hardwood lumber.” The simple answer is that to produce lumber, you also need bi-products, logging, forest management, equipment, services, and more, hence the hardwood industry.

Third, the committee objectives. They are the critical piece for the committee to use when setting goals. How will each committee obtain its objectives? What goals will they need to set?  The objectives give clarity to issues. Is it coved by an objective? If not, then NHLA should not be doing it.

Fourth, the recommendations. These significant changes might not make sense to those not on the board, but ask any board member, and they will tell you it is a good thing. I hope the members will support these changes. They will improve NHLA drastically. You will see the difference in the coming years. Still, you can rest assured that your voice is now stronger, your volunteer leadership is more streamlined, your staff leaders are empowered, and all communication is increased. This plan is the best strategic plan I have ever participated in. It is robust, scrutinized (repeatedly), and much better than just being thrown in a room for a day and answering questions. One of the reasons NHLA hired me was to create a strategic plan, and I am glad that the board saw and recognized the importance of this. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to board members, the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Mission Leaders, and any of the NHLA staff.

This Strategic Plan puts us all on Common Ground to grow and stabilize the hardwood industry.

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 17 “
“We devised a spectacular strategic plan that is a game-changer for NHLA. We will focus more on our services to benefit the industry, become proactive in tackling issues, and coordinate with others better.”

NHLA FOUNDATION

The National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) Strategic Planning Committee worked for more than nine months to determine the purpose and foundations to focus on for the next six years. To go along with that, the committee decided how to align each foundation with objectives to accomplish NHLA’s purpose. They have represented this graphically by putting it into a Venn diagram.

The purpose of NHLA is to "Grow and stabilize the hardwood industry" based three foundational focuses: Education Services, Lumber Services, and Membership & Networking Services.

Within these three areas of focus, there are three overlapping focuses. Education, and Membership & Networking Services overlap with the Convention operations. The same applies to the Education and Lumber Services, which overlaps with the Inspector Training School. Finally, a newly created focus area, "Market Impacts," overlaps with Lumber Services and Membership & Networking Services.

The NHLA foundation was used to compile a list of objectives for NHLA to use. These objectives are high-level thinking that the committees will use as a guiding principle in determining goals and guiding staff in decision-making and daily operations.

NHLA FOUNDATION OBJECTIVES 2024-2030 GROW & STABILIZE HARDWOOD INDUSTRY

Lumber Services Objectives

(formerly Inspection Services Committee)

• Provide lumber inspection and training for the hardwood industry.

• Provide quality control, yield recovery services, and training as deemed necessary by membership.

• Expand the value of kiln dried and facility grade certification programs for the hardwood industry.

• Grow the utilization of services by the membership.

18 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM

2022 STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE

1. Jon Syre, Cascade Hardwood LLC – (Chairman)

2. Jeff Meyer, Baillie Lumber Co.

3. Jeff Wirkkala, Hardwood Industries – (Past Chairman)

4. Bill Courtney, Classic American Hardwoods

5. Chris McQueen, Anthony Timberlands and Anthony Oak Flooring

6. Bucky Pescaglia, Mo Pac Lumber - (Vice Chairman)

7. Stéphanie Van Dystadt, DV Hardwoods (serves on the board and as a mission leader)

8. Kim Vollinger, W.M. Cramer Lumber (Formerly served on the board)

9. Pem Jenkins, Turn Bull Lumber – (Past President)

10. Jordan McIlvain, Alan McIlvain Company (serves on the board)

NHLA FOUNDATION OBJECTIVES 2024-2030 GROW & STABILIZE HARDWOOD INDUSTRY

Membership & Networking Services Objectives

(formerly Membership Committee)

• Become the industry hub for associations, universities, government agencies and other interested party collaborations.

• Develop valuable opportunities for member interaction and participation in NHLA activities.

• Develop a sales plan to grow membership.

• Look for opportunities to collaborate & consolidate common efforts with allied associations.

• Responsible for membership value development and communication.

• Responsible for the membership dues structure.

Education Services Objectives

(formerly Marketing and Promotion/Advocacy Committees)

• Elevate value perception through enhanced promotion of NHLA benefits from Lumber Services, Membership & Networking Services, and Education Services to the hardwood industry.

• Support, participate, collaborate, advise, and provide leadership to the Real American Hardwood Coalition (RAHC) or other promotional efforts to promote the hardwood industry in North America.

• Support, participate, collaborate, advise, and provide leadership to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) or other promotional efforts to promote hardwood lumber globally.

• Support, participate, collaborate, advise, and provide leadership to the Hardwood Federation (HF) efforts to advocate for the hardwood industry to legislatures and regulators.

11. Damon Graf, Graf & Thomas Lumber (served on the board)

12. Sebastian Church, Church & Church Lumber

13. Jason Smith, Westbury Lumber (served on the board)

14. Tony Honeycutt, Mullican Flooring (served on the last SP Committee)

15. Liz Langan, DMSi Software – Sustaining

16. Chuck Boaz, Corley Manufacturing – Sustaining

17. John Hester, NHLA

18. Renee Hornsby, NHLA

19. Dana Spessert, NHLA

20. Dallin Brooks, NHLA

• Be the voice for all hardwood industry matters.

• Provide strength and structure to the hardwood industries expanding global community.

Convention Objectives

• Engage and provide value for all member categories through education, speakers, location, and networking.

• Premier annual convention and exhibit showcase for the global gathering of the hardwood community.

• Provide timely and relevant educational presentations based on member feedback.

• Ensure convention and exhibit showcase is fiscally responsible and valuable for all attendees.

Market Impacts Objectives (NEW)

• Be the main portal for hardwood industry information.

• Look for research, trends, issues, technological advancements, and other product information to engage in and guide for the benefit of the hardwood lumber industry.

• Disseminate relevant information to the industry in a timely manner.

• Encourage community feedback on information shared.

Inspector Training School Objectives

• Train qualified and industry leading hardwood lumber inspectors.

• Continually educate industry personnel in other areas as needs arise.

• Expand education opportunities to satisfy the needs of technological advancements.

• Continue to grow ITSEF support for students.

• Increase enrollment in the ITS.

20 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM

The Strategic Planning Committee analyzed NHLA committees, board of directors, and other operations of the NHLA. It made several recommendations to better align the operations, functionality, meetings, and member communication. All the recommendations were adopted by the board at the Spring meeting in 2023.

Changes Voted on by the Board of Directors

• Committee names were changed to match the NHLA foundations. Completed

Marketing Committee ...............................................

Membership Committee

Inspection Services Committee..................................

Promotion and Advocacy Committee ........................

Convention Committee

Inspector Training School Committee .......................

Education Services Committee

Membership & Networking Services Committee

Lumber Services Committee

Market Impacts Committee

Convention Committee

Inspector Training School Committee

• Committee observers created to allow sharing of committee information with interested NHLA members. Members will sign up to receive communication from committees of interests. Launch date of October 2023.

• Committees to institute an annual virtual meeting in the summer. Launch date August 2023.

• Past Chairman Committee formed. Completed

• Committee structure is changed from board members only to NHLA members who meet the appropriate committee requirements. Including allowing associate and sustaining members to participate on the committee. (Note: These committee members may attend the Board meetings at their own cost and may observe other committees but be in attendance at no more than 2 committees.) Launch date November 2024.

• The Finance Committee is fully integrated into the Executive Committee. Launch date June 2023.

• Mission Leaders and Committee chairs are merged into a single task with vice chairs established to move into the position upon end of terms. Launch date November 2023 & Ongoing as terms expire.

• Associate and Sustaining Members are each brought onto the board with a single representative with one vote for a class. This class representative brings class issues and items to the board and from the board to the members. (This protects the influence of the Active members while giving a voice to the Associate and Sustaining members.) BYLAWS CHANGE REQUIRED

Launch Date After 2023 Convention

• Committee meetings no longer overlap during board meetings. Launch date October 2023

NHLA EDUCATIONAL WEBINARS

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 21
Visit www.NHLA.com to find our online learning portal. In this area, you will find and access live online courses and webinar replays. Webinar replays are FREE to NHLA Members. Non-members can view for a fee.

THE NHLA SALES CODE CAN MITIGATE LITIGATION

Over the past month, I have been made aware of a couple of issues from members that needed clarification regarding the proper procedure for handling shipments where the buyer and seller disagreed on the grade and value of the lumber. When the shipper asked about looking at the lumber to verify, the buyer stated that it was already on sticks and combined with other lumber and would be impossible to access.

Several aspects of this issue must be addressed to find resolution. The first, determine if the shipper agreed to sell to the buyer on the buyer’s grade and count. This would leave little for the seller to argue about as they agreed in advance to the outcome.

If the buyer did not inform the seller that they are buying on their grade and count, we would determine if the purchase agreement stated “NHLA Rules and Sales Code shall Govern” somewhere on it. If it did have that statement, we would utilize Article X of the Sales Code on page 80 of the 2023 Rules Book.

Under Section 3, it clearly states: “If an unsatisfactory difference exists between the amount of seller’s invoice covering the shipment and the value of the shipment computed from the buyer’s measurement and inspection, the buyer shall hold the entire shipment intact and report this difference to seller within fourteen days after unloading the shipment and furnish seller with piece tally, unless buyer and seller agree otherwise.” The statement “the buyer shall hold the entire shipment intact” would need to be honored, or the buyer would be in violation of the NHLA Sales Code. In this case, the seller’s original invoice must be paid.

If the lumber was not purchased as “buyer’s grade and count” and there was no mention of the statement “NHLA Rules and Sales Code shall Govern,” then the buyer and seller are to work out how to handle the questionable shipment. NHLA could get involved if they both agree to allow NHLA to inspect the lumber. If they cannot work it out, the only recourse may be litigation.

MOVING FORWARD WITH THE NHLA STRATEGIC PLAN

In May this year, the NHLA Board of Directors voted to adopt a new Strategic Plan. The plan created new and solidified previous objectives for the various departments within the Association. The plan calls for renaming some departments. The Inspection Services Committee will become the Lumber Services Committee to better align with our objectives and the work we are currently doing. The Inspector Training School Committee name will remain the same.

The objectives of the Lumber Services Committee are as follows:

• Provide lumber inspection and training for the hardwood industry.

• Provide quality control, yield recovery services, and training as deemed necessary by the membership.

• Expand the value of kiln-dried and facility-grade certification programs for the hardwood industry.

• Grow utilization of services by the membership.

Most of these objectives are already being implemented or have been focused on for years.

The objectives of the Inspector Training School Committee are as follows:

• Train industry-leading and qualified hardwood lumber inspectors.

• Continually educate industry personnel in other areas as needs arise.

• Expand education opportunities to satisfy the needs of techno logical advancements.

• Continue to grow ITSEF support for students.

• Increase enrollment in the ITS.

These objectives will remain our focus as we continue to grow our educational opportunities through webinars, classes, and seminars.

As always, please send your hardwood lumber grading questions to Dana Spessert at d.spessert@nhla.com or call 901-399-7551.

22 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM RULES CORNER

NHLA PROVIDES EDUCATION AND TRAINING TO IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE

SEPT

Sept. 6-8

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Location: Memphis, TN

Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor

Sept. 19-21

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.

Venue: YMCA Bigler

Location: Bigler, PA

Host: Forcey Lumber & Veneer

Instructor: Tom Byers, National Inspector

SEPT

Sept. 25- Nov. 17

Inspector Training School

204th Class

Traditional 8-week hands-on training to achieve the certificate of completion in Hardwood Lumber Inspection.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Location: Memphis, TN

Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor

OCT

Oct. 23-27

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.

Venue: Wood-Mizer, LLC Location: Indianapolis, IN

Instructor: Kevin Evilsizer, National Inspector

OCT

Oct. 24-27

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.

Venue: Glenville State University Location: Glenville, WV

Instructor: Mark Depp, National Inspector

NOV

Nov. 27-Dec. 8

Inspector Training School Online Training Program MODULE 1 Two weeks of hands-on training.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Location: Memphis, TN

Module 2: Online study Module 3: Three weeks hands-on training and final testing at NHLA headquarters.

Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 23 Register for classes at www.nhla.com/Education.
ITS
CALENDAR

NHLA JOB BOARD

Here you will find our current job listings. To see more details of the job or to post a job, visit www.nhla.com/industry-services/job-board.

MILLWRIGHT/MAINTENANCE PERSON

CHURCH & CHURCH LUMBER COMPANY, LLC

Church & Church Lumber Company is looking to hire a Millwright/ Maintenance person.

HOW TO APPLY

Send your resume to: wilma@churchandchurchlumber.com

Church & Church Lumber Company, LLC

PO Box 619 | Millers Creek, NC 28651 336-973-5700

HARDWOOD LUMBER INSPECTOR/GRADER

NORTHLAND FOREST PRODUCTS, INC.

Northland Forest Products is hiring for a hardwood lumber inspector/grader. This is a great opportunity for an individual with prior lumber grading experience. This person would be grading green and dry hardwood lumber with an emphasis on quality assurance. This is a full-time opportunity to work for a world-class hardwood lumber manufacturer.

HOW TO APPLY

Send your resume to: ssmart@northlandforest.com

Northland Forest Products, Inc.

36 Depot Road | Kingston, NH 03848 603-702-0479

MAINTENANCE MANAGER

MEHERRIN RIVER FOREST PRODUCTS

Meherrin River Forest Products is seeking a permanent, full-time Maintenance Manager. This position is for the Crewe, VA, facility.

HOW TO APPLY

Send your resume to: hr@meherrinriver.com

Meherrin River Forest Products

2600 Hudson Way | Crewe, VA 23930 434-677-0046

HARDWOOD LUMBER GRADER

MEHERRIN RIVER FOREST PRODUCTS

Meherrin River Forest Products is seeking a full-time hardwood lumber grader to inspect hardwood lumber according to the NHLA Hardwood Grading Rules and in-house grading standards. Must be able to examine both faces of a board to assign a grade or make trimming or edging decisions to increase the value of the piece. Please note: Prior lumber grading experience and knowledge of NHLA Grading Rules are required.

HOW TO APPLY

Send your resume to: lindsey@meherrinriver.com

Meherrin River Forest Products

2600 Hudson Way | Crewe, VA 23930

434-677-0046

24 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM

LUMBER SALES BOHNHOFF LUMBER COMPANY

If you are an outgoing Lumber Sales Associate interested in working with a prominent family-owned Lumber Company where you can contribute daily to our overall success . . . we want to hear from you!

Bohnhoff Lumber Company is seeking a highly motivated Lumber Sales Associate who will be accountable and responsible for the effective and successful sales of high-end lumber products. This position is responsible for assisting customers with lumber products, building ongoing, professional customer relationships, processing sales transactions, special orders, vendor ordering and receiving, and other duties as assigned.

Interviews for qualified applicants will be scheduled by HR. Applicants are required to submit a resume, complete an Employment Application, and participate in a comprehensive interview process. We are an Equal Opportunity and Military Friendly Employer who complies with all federal I-9 requirements.

HOW TO APPLY

Send your resume to: ryan@bohnhofflumber.com

Bohnhoff Lumber Company

3411 E 26th St | Vernon, CA 90058 323-263-9361

HURST BOILER USA

Hurst offers a full line of biomass combustion systems backed with fifty years of innovative clean-burn design. Diverse in every way with multi-fuel blending capability. Hurst stokers utilize hundreds of common and abundant solid biomass fuels.

HARDWOOD MARKETS MATTER

Hardwood Markets Matter, and it is important for NHLA to share market details of the entire Hardwood Industry. We appreciate the support of allied associations and publishers in gathering and sharing this important market information that can help you understand the complete hardwood industry picture.

Prevailing KD 4/4 Upper-Grade White Oak Prices

Prevailing KD 4/4 upper-grade White Oak prices have risen $385 in Appalachia, $295 in the North and $195 in the South since early March, largely the result of low production. The availability of high-quality White Oak logs remains thin across all regions, with sawmillers competing with—and often losing out to—higher-paying stave manufacturers. Sawmills are accordingly receiving lower-quality White Oak logs that yield a relatively small percentage of uppergrade lumber.

In addition, White Oak prices are supported by global demand that is more decentralized than demand for Red Oak. Year-to-date through April 2023, for example, nine global markets had purchased at least 1.3 MMBF of White Oak, compared with only six that had purchased at least that much Red Oak—even though total Red Oak export volumes were 37% higher than White Oak. While that broader global appeal may shield White Oak from individual largemarket fluctuations, it doesn’t have much impact when demand from most of those large markets is down. Exports to each of the five largest global White Oak markets were, in fact, down 6%-51% year-over-year through April. At least some of those declines, how-

ever, can be attributed to limited availability, as monthly volume increases to four of those five markets (China, Vietnam, Canada, UK) since late-2022 suggest demand is higher than shipment volumes, even with prices rising. Spain is the sole exception among the Top 5 markets. While shipments to Spain spiked in March, they have generally been declining since last October, and April volumes fell to the lowest level for any April in nine years.

White Oak demand won’t be anywhere near as frenzied this summer as it was during the last two summers, but heavy log competition and slowly rising demand will keep upper-grade prices steady-to-stronger.

26 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM MARKET TRENDS
$2,100 $2,200 $2,300 $2,400 $2,500 $2,600 Jan 1 Feb 1 Mar 1 Apr 1 May 1 Jun 1 Jul 1 Aug 1 $/MBF Gross Tally
Northern Appalachian Southern
www.hardwoodreview.com

www.hmr.com

The HMR Demand Index (HDI) is a feature in HMR Executive® that illustrates monthly trends in reported demand from 10 major domestic markets for hardwood lumber. Components of the index are color coded with various shades of blue when demand is slow, they transition to gray when demand is fair, and then to light red and deep red when demand moves from good to strong.

Index for June which is published the first week of July.

Cabinets

Residential Flrg.

Truck Trailer Flrg.

Upholst. Furniture

Wood Furniture

Moulding/Millwork

Wood Components

Board Road

Pallets

Railroad

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 27
Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21 Oct-21 Nov-21 Dec-21 Jan-22 Feb-22 Mar-22 Apr-22 May-22 Jun-22 Jul-22 Aug-22 Sep-22 Oct-22 Nov-22 Dec-22 Jan-23 Feb-23 Mar-23 Apr-23 May-23 Jun-23
Quite Slow Slow Fair/Steady Good Quite Good
Ties

WOOD TIE GRADING MINISERIES: HEARTWOOD ORIENTATION

The wood ties and timbers used on our nation’s railroad infrastructure support freight and passenger trains and help us thrive as a country. There are over 136,000 miles of track in North America to maintain. This requires a large effort; annually, wood tie and timber producers bring 18-20 million ties to the marketplace. These ties and timbers are not simply “industrial” products but integral pieces of architecture, with strength and structural integrity at the forefront of the procurement process. Railway Tie Association is the membership group representing tie-producing entities and endusers running railroads on them, and more. It helps to keep wood tie markets strong and sustainable - and has been doing so since 1919. One of our annual tenants is to provide education in our premiere event, the Tie Grading Seminar. This article is a representative snapshot highlighting that prestigious educational offering focusing on heartwood orientation in wood ties and timbers.

Mainline railroad crossties today are generally 7”x9”x8’6” grade 5, predominately oak and hickory, “sleepers” or pieces of wood utilized to hold up rail, anchor in ballast, and have locomotives and railcars roll over the top of them. When it comes to wood tie grading, an influential area of a wood tie or timber is the heartwood and where it resides in the finished tie or timber. Cross-sectionally, wood ties and timbers are delineated by the location of the wood

pith center (or heart) in the frame of the dimensional product rendered. Three general categories are descriptors of that heartwood orientation: boxed-heart, split heart, and quarter heart. Simply put, a boxed-heart crosstie or timber encapsulates the pith center of the tree/wood into the center of the dimensional product, i.e., the heartwood is boxed in with sapwood surrounding in all planes. Split-heart ties come from trees/logs big enough to render two ties or timbers, which split the heartwood and yield an entire tangential surface (or face) of exposed heartwood on two ties. And finally, the quarter-heart category is a product of creating four ties or timbers from an exceptionally large tree/log, and the exposed heartwood is present in all four ties, typically in one corner and exposed longitudinally along the length of the tie.

Adverse drying is the primary quality concern with exposing wood heartwood. Like opening a banana peel, once wood is exposed to the elements; the deterioration process begins, and much more so with heartwood than sapwood. Therefore, special precautions must be followed when installing split and quarter heart ties in track, prioritizing installing heartwood down, not up. If non-boxed heart ties are installed incorrectly, and the heartwood is oriented “up” in track service, heart checks will open more drastically (than sapwood) and allow water to enter the interior of the tie and decay the tie far prematurely. Some railroads specify a shallow saw kerf mark to be sawn into ties during initial processing to help field personnel; once ties are dried, treated, and sent out for installation, distinguish which surface should be installed facing up on the track.

Limitations for defects are delineated in the AREMA 30 standards and covered extensively at the RTA annual Tie Grading Seminar. Please visit rta.org for more information on wood ties and timbers, the Tie Grading Seminar and other offerings RTA provides to our industry.

SOURCES:

• Railway Supply Institute: www.rsiweb.org/data-technical-resources/railsupply-economic-impact-study/

• Railway Tie Association: www.rta.org/why-rta

• American Railway and Engineering Maintenance-of-way Association: www.arema.org/AREMA_MBRR/Committees/30.aspx

28 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM www.rta.org
Wood heartwood “Boxed-Heart” orientation example of 7”x9” crossties used for railroad service

WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF CROSSTIE COMPETITIVE POSITION RELATIVE TO OTHER HARDWOOD PRODUCTS?

REGARDING YOUR ABOVE ANSWER, PLEASE PROVIDE CONTEXT FOR MARKET, WEATHER OR OTHER CONDITIONS.

EASTERN US

LAKE STATES

Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, N Indiana, N Illinois: Weather has been very dry. Oak wilt restrictions are still in place until July 15th. Log supply is low due in part to Oak wilt restrictions. Some mills are taking more time off this summer.

ATLANTIC

West Virginia: Grade lumber is depressed in about every specie. Pallet cants are hard to move, sawdust and chips are difficult as well. Production is being hampered because of the markets.

Virginia: Markets for Pallet and Flooring are still down fairly low. Some mills are slowing down on ties because the side boards are so cheap. Quotas are in place at flooring and pallet plants.

NEW ENGLAND

New England 1: Log prices remain high, so smaller mills cannot compete with bigger mill prices. Recent rains may slow down some logging production. Pallet, lumber, pulp, and wood chips are very hard to move. Timber mat demand is still very strong which is helping some small mills in the are. Tie production trended downward this month due to low log inventory.

Pennsylvania: Weather has been dry and good for logging. Most mills have the log volumes they want to carry.

MIDSOUTH

E Texas, NW Louisiana: Logs are beginning to move it's finally drying out, pallet mill continues to be slow and paper mills are still holding back on chips and fuel trucks.

SOUTHEAST

Kentucky, Tennessee: In some areas log supply is down due to loggers not able to move pulpwod and their contracts requiring them to harvest pulpwood when they cut. Rail tie production is high in my area.

Alabama, Florida, Georgia: Mat Timbers are hot and logs are scarce. Chips are harder to move. Pallet market is soft.

Mississippi: Pallet, chip and lumber markets are soft. Mat markets are holding steady. Crossties hold a strong competitive advantage.

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 29

www.nwfa.org

Extended Lead Times and Causes: The NWFA/Hardwood Floors magazine’s 2023 Industry Outlook found that more than 74 percent of NWFA members reported labor shortages as a primary cause of extended lead times. Freight disruption and production facility shutdowns or scalebacks also have played a big role. To combat supply chain disruption, NWFA members reported plans to source from new suppliers, as well as improve communication with current suppliers. Other strategies included adding new suppliers for certain products.

30 | AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS WWW.NHLA.COM

www.ahec.org

LOGS TO CHINA NEAR PRE-TRADE WAR LEVEL, BUT LUMBER STILL STRUGGLING

The Chinese market for US hardwood lumber has been consistently slow since the Trade War, but the market for logs has bounced back to near 2016 levels. In 2017, a year of record US-China trade, the United States exported 2.4 million m3 ($1.5 billion) of hardwood lumber to China and 1.2 million m3 ($555 million) of hardwood logs. Those trade levels were decimated by tariffs of up to 25% on American hardwood products, and demand was slow to return during China’s recovery from COVID-19 even after tariffs were removed. However, US log exports have been faring much better than the lumber markets over the last two years and reached a total of 963,566 m3 ($510 million) in 2022, which is 80% of 2017’s record volume level. By dollar sales value, the gap is even closer – the total trade value of US hardwood logs to China in 2022 was 92% of the dollar value in 2017.

To put that another way, our log exports to China have recovered to 80% of where they were pre-Trade War, but lumber exports are still only 45% of where they were five years ago. So far in 2023, both logs and lumber are down, and we expect a trade level of about 1 million m3 for lumber and 840,000 m3 for logs based on data received through May. The most common species of logs exported to China are, in order, red oak, walnut,

ash, and white oak. The average price per cubic meter of red oak and walnut was significantly lower than other countries that are primarily veneer-focused, and our market research points to vertically integrated furniture and flooring companies cutting their own dimension stock as main customers of US hardwood logs. Utilization of US hardwood products in all forms is a strong sign that species like American red oak are still in favor, but a prolonged drop of roughly a million cubic meters per year in sales of US hardwood lumber in the Chinese market remains a cause for concern.

On September 8th, AHEC will host our AHEC Greater China Convention in Chengdu, China, our first convention in the country since 2019. We will use this opportunity to reconnect the United States and Chinese hardwood industries and promote fair, healthy trade of US hardwood products. This will be a fantastic opportunity to promote your business in China and develop business in the largest international market for American hardwood products. Registration is free for all AHEC members, and if you are interested in this or future AHEC events please check out our website:

WWW.NHLA.COM AUGUST 2023 HARDWOOD MATTERS | 31
www.ahec.org.
0 500,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 2,000,000 2,500,000 3,000,000 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023* Est Volume in m3
US Hardwood Lumber and Logs to China (m3) Lumber Logs Trade War COVID Recovery Source: USDA Global Trade Atlas Ag. Export Data Graph: Exports of US Hardwood Lumber and Logs to China since 2013. 2023 estimate based on data through May ’23.

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