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Carter Introduces Legislation to Protect Timber Farmers from Catastrophic Loss

Congressman Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-Ga.) introduced legislation today to protect timber land owners in times of catastrophic loss. 

Currently, after a catastrophic loss, 70% of timber farmers have no recourse due to limitations in the tax code and because timber is not eligible for federal crop insurance. 

Carter's legislation, the Forest Recovery Act, allows individuals or businesses growing timber for sale to take a tax deduction up to the fair market value lost after a catastrophic event. Farmers are required to reforest within five years to gain the deduction.

"Timber takes 20 to 80 years before it is able to be cut and sold," said Carter. "This makes it extremely difficult for timber farmers to recover after a catastrophic loss. Unfortunately, the current system provides no recourse for these farmers during times of catastrophic loss. This is pushing farmers away from timber farming, limiting available forest products, hurting rural economies, and fails to protect our environment. 

"I introduced this legislation because we have seen devastating fires and hurricanes in Southeast Georgia recently. I heard straight from timber farmers and introduced this legislation to ensure this industry, which is critical to rural economies, is able to recover after a catastrophic event." 

Original cosponsors of the legislation include: Representatives Ralph Abraham (R-La.-05), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.-02), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.-06), Steven Palazzo (R-Ms.-04), Austin Scott (R-Ga.-08), Bruce Westerman (R-Ar.-04).