The softwood R&P program operates as the Softwood Lumber Board. The board is financed by an assessment on softwood lumber domestic manufacturers and importers and administered by the board with oversight by AMS. The initial assessment rate is 35 cents per thousand board feet and could be increased to a maximum of 50 cents per thousand board feet. Entities that domestically ship or import less than 15 million board feet are exempt along with shipments exported outside of the United States. Assessed entities will not pay assessments on the first 15 million board feet shipped or imported.
The assessments are used to promote softwood lumber within the United States. The board reimburses AMS and USDA’s Office of General Counsel for expenses in program oversight.
In 2011, AMS issued the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order, which created the program under the authority of the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (pdf).
The board is composed of 14 members appointed by the Secretary. Of the 14, 10 are domestic manufacturers and 4 are importers. The 10 domestic seats are allocated between 3 regions within the United States - the U.S. South (5), the U.S. West (4), and the Northeast and Lake States (1). The four importer seats are allocated between the west (2) and east (1) regions of Canada, and any other importing country (1). The board’s composition may change periodically to reflect geographic shifts in volume.
The board’s headquarters are in West Linn, Oregon. You can access a listing of current board members on the Softwood Lumber Board Roster.
AMS Policy on Board Diversity: AMS policy is that the diversity of the board should reflect the diversity of their industries in experience of members, methods of production and distribution, marketing strategies, and other distinguishing factors that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. When submitting nominations, the industry must consider the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population.
Organic Assessment Exemption
Producers and marketers of organic products may be exempt from the program's assessment for the organic portion of their shipments.