FORESTRY 411
A MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT ALAN SHELBY RE: COVID-19
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic takes center stage in the world's focus, the well-being and health of Association members, staff, families, and communities remain our highest concern.

In keeping with guidance offered by the Centers of Disease Control and the Executive Office of the Governor regarding best practices in dealing with COVID-19, Association staff is now working from home.

As always, we are available during normal business hours (M-F 8 AM-5 PM) by cell or email. The office phone (850.222.5646) has been forwarded to our office coordinator, Krista Harvard, as well. You can safely expect the same prompt attention you receive under normal conditions. Click here for a list of staff and their email addresses.

We believe that commitment, communication and resourcefulness will be the keys to maneuvering successfully through this current landscape. We are forging ahead on all current projects and will keep you notified of emerging resources to assist with the economic effects of the pandemic. We are 100% committed to continuing to move Florida forestry forward in these challenging times.

Stay safe. Stay well. We will weather this storm together.
Alan Shelby
Executive Vice President
STATE LEGISLATIVE REPORT
Lobbyist Jim Spratt compares the 2020 legislative session to Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times..."

FLORIDA SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY BRIDGE LOAN PROGRAM
Governor Ron DeSantis has activated the Florida Small business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period runs through May 8, 2020.  
 
“As we mitigate against the spread of COVID-19, the health, safety and well-being of Floridians comes first,” said Governor DeSantis. “I understand the harm mitigation strategies will have on small businesses throughout our state. By activating the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, we are providing the opportunity for Florida’s small businesses to receive cash immediately to ensure they can lessen the impacts felt as a result of COVID-19.”

DEO is currently surveying businesses throughout the state of Florida who have been impacted by COVID-19. Businesses and non-profits can access the Business Damage Assessment survey at  FloridaDisaster.BIZ  and select “COVID-19” from the drop-down menu on the  survey page . Response to the Business Damage Assessment survey is not an application for assistance. Businesses interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application.
 
For more information on the program, visit  www.floridadisasterloan.org

DOT EXTENDS NATIONWIDE EMERGENCY HOURS-OF-SERVICE WAIVER TO INCLUDE PAPER PRODUCTS AND MANUFACTURING INPUTS 
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released an extended waiver to the Hours of Service Rule for commercial vehicle drivers transporting materials related to the COVID-19 outbreak in all 50-states and the District of Columbia  .

The revised declaration is much more amenable to paper products than the original waiver: “(1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (2) supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants; (3) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores; (4) immediate precursor raw materials-such as paper, plastic or alcohol-that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3).”        

CDL DRUG AND ALCOHOL CLEARINGHOUSE
Logging Industry - Have you signed up for the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse?

Since January 6, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has begun requiring all CDL holders and companies who employ them to register themselves with the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. This clearinghouse was created in order to reduce the number of CDL drivers with a drug/alcohol violation who are operating in a different state than they are currently employed. So far, approximately 8,000 drivers with existing violations have been found, increasing the safety of our roads, reducing potential accidents and long term, and protecting both our industry and insurance rates. 

Employers are required to run a check on all employees prior to the close of 2020 and all drivers must be registered in order to have a check run.  Drivers and employers can learn more and register here.

Please let us know if you have questions and thank you for all you do!
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

April 28, 2020
10 AM
Executive Committee Meeting
Lake Butler, FL

June 3-4, 2020
Master Logger 2-Day Training
Gateway College
Lake City, FL


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