Legislation to establish a wood products development council in New York State (S.4330-A/A.7742-A) within the State Department of Agriculture and Markets has passed both Houses of the New York State Legislature. This bill was sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) and Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito (D/WF-Rome).
“The wood products industry in New York has a strong history and renewed potential for growth,” Senator Valesky, Vice President Pro-Tempore of the State Senate, said. “The creation of a development council will increase the viability of the industry by getting input from all stakeholders and planning for growth through marketing, tapping into new markets and adding value to existing markets.”
“During much of our state’s history, the forest products industry has been an extremely important part of the economy, and currently employs about 47,000 people in the industry,” Destito said. “This proposed council would take advantage of opportunities for growth in the industry by linking the industry with the State Department of Agriculture. It is my hope that the Governor will sign this bill because it would help boost the promotion, and export of wood products to undeveloped markets, and for the development of the new green economy.”
Valesky and Destito point out that the council would bring together all of the stakeholders who are working to advance the forest products industry, including forest owners, furniture manufacturers, and rural economic development agencies.
In addition, Valesky and Destito say council participants would be a valuable resource for organizations such as the Griffiss Utility Services Corporation (GUSC) here in the Mohawk Valley, which are developing power co-generation facilities that use wood products, and need information on available sources of wood.
“The wood products industry is concentrated in our smaller rural cities and towns. By strengthening the industry through adding jobs and growing these companies, we will serve to strengthen our Upstate communities,” Senator Valesky said.
“Strengthening this industry will improve the state’s economy including right here in the upstate regions,” Destito said. “Workers in our state’s forest product businesses earn an estimated $2 billion annually, and bringing together all the key players who are a part of this industry will bring us new markets for their products, and more economic success.”