Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden recently submitted a bipartisan letter urging the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to include the Timber Innovation Act, which supports the development of mass timber products for building construction, in the next Farm Bill.
“We have been working to establish Oregon as a hub for mass timber products, using local timber and bolstering our forest products economy,” Merkley said. “This bill supports innovative manufacturing that creates jobs in the rural part of the state and encourages more sustainable tall wood building construction in urban parts of the state.”
“Oregon is leading the way in producing and engineering cross-laminated timber, which is revolutionizing the way our country constructs buildings,” Wyden said. “The Timber Innovation Act promotes job growth in Oregon’s timber counties and encourages the kind of Oregon entrepreneurship that can catapult our state’s economy to new heights.”
Merkley is co-leading the letter with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID); cosigners include Sens. Wyden, James Risch (R-ID), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Steven Daines (R-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Gary Peters (D-MI), Angus King (I-ME) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
Oregon has been at the forefront of developing mass timber products, including includes cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail laminated timber, glue laminated timber, laminated strand lumber, and laminated veneer lumber. However, U.S. building codes do not currently recognize mass timber products as official construction materials, leaving the products without a standard rating system for quality, fire resistance, earthquake resistance, and more.