Kentucky Woodland Owners Association Initiatives
KWOA has identified a number of critical issues the organization and its allies seek to address.
Issue 1: Forest Health
Unprecedented threats to our forests in the form of invasive insects, diseases and plants are currently present in the state or looming directly beyond our borders. Some of these will change the face of our woodlands and depress recreation and timber industry revenues.
KWOA Initiative: Legislatively establish the forest health task force (chaired by the state entomologist) attached to the Kentucky Division of Forestry with funding if possible.
Issue 2: Timber Theft
The theft of timber is a problem that has plagued Kentucky woodland owners and has garnered significant publicity. Current enforcement of existing laws has been shown to be ineffective in stopping this theft resulting in significant risk
• Strengthen criminal prosecution of timber theft
• If legislation is enacted include all stake holders (e.g. KWOA, KFIA, Loggers)
• Strengthen fine collection and enforcement of repeat Bad Actors
• Establish a law enforcement unit of the Kentucky Division of Forestry to increase criminal prosecutions.
Issue 3: Competitive Disadvantage
Kentucky lacks appropriate incentives for private woodland owners to help them keep their woods in woodlands. Further our industry lacks significant and important sources of high quality certified timber that can help maintain national and global market share. Indiana is in the process of developing a system that provides incentives to promote good management by woodland owners and provide a source of certified wood for their primary and secondary forest industry.
Establish incentive program for woodland owners to enhance the production of CERTIFIED WOOD using Indiana’s Classified Forest System as a model
Issue 4: Wildfire
Wildfire represents a continued threat to woodlands resulting in significant reduction in timber values. Individual woodland owners are often powerless to stop aggressive wildfires and the Kentucky Division of Forestry devotes millions of dollars to fire suppression therefore deterring or preventing fires is paramount.
• Establish a law enforcement unit of the Kentucky Division of Forestry to increase criminal prosecution of Timber Theft and Arson
• Provide funding for the development of fire lanes on private woodlands
• Provide reward for information
• Adopt recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on Wildfire and Arson (2006)
Issue 5: Limited Markets for Abundant Low Grade Trees
Kentucky forests are currently worth ¼ of their potential due to historical mistreatment and markets must be made available for the harvesting of low-quality trees that are a hindrance to high value tree growth.
Request that LRC Investigate the Potential to Develop Incentives Package for the Utilization of Low Quality Trees. Provide Stimulus to Encourage Co-Generation using Woody Biomass.
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