Established by statute within the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Wood Products Development Council is tasked with supporting and encouraging the practice of sustainable forestry and the manufacture of wood products. The Council works to improve public understanding and appreciation of New York’s forests and forest products, and to direct attention and funding to programs and ventures that sustain existing forest product markets and promote the development of new markets.
Council members are appointed by the Governor and include recommendations from the Senate President, Speaker of the Assembly, Senate Minority Leader, and Assembly Minority Leader. The Council serves as a forum for open discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing New York’s forestry sector. The unique coalition provides the Department of Agriculture and Markets with the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of forest industry stakeholders, including loggers, forest landowners, wood product manufacturers, state environmental conservation and economic development agencies, associations representing forest landowners and industries, and members of the public.
Increasing the economic contribution of New York’s forest industry helps to generate employment, invigorate the economies of rural communities, and incentivize the sustainable management of the state’s forest resource.
Priorities and Objectives
The following statutory priorities and objectives are used as a framework to guide the Wood Products Development Council in funding projects and supporting state agency work that achieve these priorities and objectives.
The Council shall give priority to:
- increasing private investment in working forests;
- maintaining access to working and family forests;
- coordinating policy and permitting issues with state agencies, academia and the private sector;
- working to improve public understanding of and appreciation for forestry and forest products; and
- increasing export and market opportunities for New York forest products.
The Council shall fund projects and support state agency work that achieve the following objectives that support the statutory priorities:
- support expansion and growth of the forest products industry, with particular attention to the wood supply chain;
- marketing and promotion;
- defining the value of the forest economy;
- forest taxation; and
- export and market opportunities.
The Department of Agriculture and Markets is led by Commissioner Richard A. Ball. The following people are members of the Wood Products Development Council:
- Agriculture and Markets Designee: Kelly Young
- Sawmill Owner: Steve Servies, Gutchess Lumber
- Secondary Wood Products Manufacturer: Wayne Majuri, International Paper
- Logger: Doug Handy, A&H Forest Management
- Maple Syrup Producer: Harry Komrowski, New York State Maple Producers Association
- Commercial Forest Owner: Mike Hanlon, Cotton-Hanlon, Inc.
- Non-designated: Ed Wright, Empire State Forest Products Association