2016: Year of the Flood

Last year will go down as one of historic flooding. In southeastern Louisiana, five days of downpours – rainfall totals that might occur once every 1,000 years – resulted in the worst flooding in the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy back in 2012. More than 60,000 homes filled with the waters of overflowing rivers and creeks, with damage estimates approaching $15 billion.   Hurricane Matthew left a deadly trail of flooded homes in Florida and the Carolinas – more than $10 billion worth. Federal disaster assistance was needed in a long list of other states during the year: West Virginia, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Texas. Schools and businesses closed, roads and bridges were swept away, not to mention the impacts on daily life at home.

A recent article in USA TODAY looked at 2016 weather-related catastrophes and suggested that “improved building practices” may be part of the answer.

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SP Messages Delivered to Dealers

SFPA’s resources for dealers and distributors are highlighted in the latest issue of Building Products Digest magazine. With a cover mention – SOUTHERN PINE UPDATE – the magazine devotes five pages to SFPA’s battery of publications and online tools that dealers can rely on to help them sell more Southern Pine lumber.  Readers are reminded that answers to customers’ product inquiries are just a mouse click away using SFPA’s family of websites. The strength, beauty and treatability of Southern Pine products are explained for a wide range of applications, from raised wood floor systems to decorative interior flooring and paneling.  A summary of wood products research underway at leading universities explains the industry’s scientific advancements.

“In this day of information overload, here is SFPA’s opportunity to explain to this key target audience the helpful resources available, and remind dealers of Southern Pine features and benefits,” notes Richard Wallace,

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IBS Crowds Collect Wood Facts

For three days, an enthusiastic crowd of some 85,000 building professionals plied the aisles of the 2017 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando. More than 1500 manufacturers and suppliers filled two halls of the Orange County Convention Center. The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) sponsored a display of wood associations under its Wood, Naturally banner. SFPA was on hand delivering Southern Pine facts, joined by representatives of Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, Western Wood Products Association, Western Red Cedar Lumber Association and the Western Wood Preservers Institute.

The 20×30-foot exhibit featured a pressure-treated Southern Pine pergola structure with decking. New this year was the popular handout of a project plan showing how to build the pergola. In addition to copies of SFPA publications on hand, visitors inspected samples of specialty items – flooring,

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SP Featured at Builders’ Show

Next week, builders convene in Orlando for the 2017 edition of the International Builders’ Show (IBS). Like last year, Southern Pine lumber will be front and center before an expected crowd of 85,000 building professionals.  Show dates are January 10-12. With some 1,500 manufacturers and suppliers exhibiting, IBS is where new products are launched, the hottest trends are identified and top  building professionals make connections. IBS is once again co-locating with the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS).

With funding support from the Softwood Lumber Board, SFPA is coordinating a wood association exhibit under the Wood, Naturally banner. Joining SFPA in the 20×30-foot space (S823, South Hall) are the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, Western Wood Products Association, Western Red Cedar Lumber Association and the Western Wood Preservers Institute.

SFPA’s Eric Gee has worked closely with SLB and association partners to design an exhibit that features the strength,

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Foresters Share Priorities with Transition Team

With a new administration on the horizon, the Society of American Foresters (SAF) has worked hard over the past months to distill a number of overarching priorities for forestry and the profession. SAF has identified five broad categories of recommendations designed to spur more in-depth conversations and collaborations with the new administration. The group’s high-level recommendations: Reinvest resources in forests through wildfire management reform; Recognize that managed forests are healthy forests; Foster development of new markets; Appreciate the role of forests in providing clean air and water; Invest in forest research and development.

“The good news is that these policy priorities appeal to both parties and all those in between,” SAF noted in announcing the priorities, adding “…..The scientific information informed by practice that we provide to policymakers is unique and valuable, and our team will continue to position SAF as a credible and reliable source of information on forest management and the profession.”

Click here for more details and to review SAF’s complete transition document.

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SFPA Welcomes New Member

SFPA welcomes the Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) of  Montreal, Quebec, as a new Associate member.  The PPPC is recognized as the principal source of information on the global pulp and paper markets. The council specializes in providing comprehensive market data, market intelligence and analysis on the pulp, newsprint, printing and writing papers sectors.

Martine Hamel is the council’s vice president and COO and will represent PPPC with SFPA. Contact her at 514/861-8850, or send e-mail to   To learn more about PPPC, visit

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USDA Appoints SLB Members

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed six members to the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) to serve 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2017. Click here to read the USDA news release.

Representing the U.S. South are newly appointed manufacturer Furman Brodie, of Florence, South Carolina, and re-appointed manufacturer Danny White, of Brewton, Alabama. Representing the U.S. West are re-appointed manufacturer Charles W. Roady, of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Re-appointed manufacturer Alden J. Robbins, of Searsmont, Maine, will continue representing the Northeast and Lake States.

Re-appointed importers are Don Kayne, of B.C. Canada, representing Canada West; and Francisco Figueroa, of Santiago, Chile, representing all other importing countries.

The SLB has 19 Directors, all softwood lumber CEOs and industry leaders appointed by the USDA Secretary under provisions of the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996.  Click here to learn more about the representation on the Board and its committees.

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International Directory Now in Circulation

Distribution began recently for the 2016 Forest Products Export Directory. With a worldwide circulation of 10,000 copies, this 41st annual edition reaches importers, distribution yards, traders and agents. It lists all major exporters of North American forest products, helping overseas buyers to find suppliers.  SFPA’s full-page ad on page 45 directs readers to where readers can find listings of all member exporters. Contact Miller Wood Trade Publications at 800/844-1280 to order a copy.

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Treated Wood Infographic Finalized

With a recent approval from the AWPA Executive Committee, the final edition of a helpful infographic has been developed by the Softwood Lumber Board’s Wood, Naturally  residential campaign; click here to download it. Using the schematic of a basic residential property, the full-page graphic identifies treated wood uses around the home and specifies the proper Use Category for each application.

This single sheet aims to visually simplify the correct specification of treated lumber, and could be a very helpful sales aid for lumber dealers as well as for homeowners about to tackle an outdoor project.  Treaters can use this sheet to educate their customers, too. SFPA is using this new infographic as an additional resource on its websites.

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Annual Meeting: SFPA’s Second Century Begins

Blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures greeted delegates to SFPA’s 2016 Annual Meeting last week in Williamsburg, Virginia. The event marked the beginning of the association’s second century. More than 100 members, spouses and guests gathered at The Williamsburg Lodge for the three-day confab, with the theme: Planning 4 Progress.

A round of golf and a musket shooting competition were fun activities and networking opportunities for all to enjoy Wednesday, October 19. The threesome of Kevin Berkey from Hood Industries, Robert Slater from Stiles Machinery and Gero Springer from Springer-Mictrotec posted the best score on the challenging Golden Horseshoe’s Green Course. Bruce Kicklighter from Autolog took top gun honors shooting period muskets from the Revolutionary War era.

Wednesday evening featured a chance meeting with Thomas Jefferson at the Welcome Reception, including displays by 22 sponsoring exhibitors. “SFPA appreciates the support of all these companies and their various sponsorships,” noted executive director Tami Kessler.

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