WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-02) applauded Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on the announcement of block grants to aid timber producers devastated by 2018 disasters. Hurricane Michael caused more than $3 billion in agricultural losses and devasted the timber industry.
Timber was not eligible for loss payments in the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP). After Hurricane Michael, Congressman Dunn worked with Secretary Perdue and the Department of Agriculture to ensure that timber producers could receive aid.
“The timber industry is vital to North Florida and unfortunately it took a hard-hit last year. Secretary Perdue’s announcement is welcome news. Our Florida foresters are our best environmental stewards and their livelihood depends on smart and sustainable conservation practices,” said Dr. Dunn. “These block grants will provide much-needed relief. I was happy to work with colleagues in Congress and Secretary Perdue to ensure that the necessary resources flow to North Florida to revitalize our timber industry.”
USDA is working with state agencies to implement the grants and anticipates sign-ups to be open in the next month.
Congressman Dunn has fought for timber producers, offering numerous amendments to the Supplemental Disaster Funding bill to ensure that timber producers were included in the disaster aid passed by Congress in June.