USDA to provide pandemic assistance to timber harvesters, haulers
The Agriculture Department announced today it will provide up to to $200 million in pandemic-related relief to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that have experienced losses due to COVID-19 as part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.
Loggers and truckers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 22 through Oct. 15, 2021. The Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers program (PATHH) is administered by FSA in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.
“USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative promised to get financial assistance to a broader set of producers and today’s announcement delivers on that promise,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release.
“On top of the existing challenges associated with natural disasters and trade, the pandemic caused a major disruption for loggers and timber haulers including lack of access to wood processing mills. This industry plays a critical role in our nation’s economy and we are proud to support these hard-working loggers and truckers as they get back on track.”
“Like many facets of the agriculture industry, the logging industry has experienced its share of financial hardships throughout the pandemic,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “We’re happy to work with the U.S. Forest Service to develop this new program to provide critically needed support.”
“We’ve heard from loggers and truckers whose livelihoods were significantly impacted this past year by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are pleased that USDA can help alleviate some of the financial burden,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “I encourage those logging and log-hauling businesses hardest hit by the pandemic to learn more about the assistance offered through this new program.”
To be eligible for payments, individuals or legal entities must be a timber harvesting or timber hauling business where 50% or more of its gross revenue is derived from one or more of the following:
▪ Cutting timber.
▪ Transporting timber.
▪ Processing of wood on-site on the forest land (chipping, grinding, converting to biochar, cutting to smaller lengths, etc.).
Payments will be based on the applicant’s gross revenue received from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 1, 2019, minus gross revenue received from Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 1, 2020, multiplied by 80%.
FSA will issue an initial payment equal to the lesser of the calculated payment amount or $2,000 as applications are approved. A second payment will be made after the signup period has ended based upon remaining PATHH funds.
The maximum amount that a person or legal entity may receive directly is $125,000.
Details on applications may be found in a special section on the USDA website.
–The Hagstrom Report
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