The Louisiana Forestry Association in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, industry members, loggers, universities, state and federal elected officials and landowners held the first meeting of the Forest Recovery Task Force to assess the impact of Hurricane Laura on families, employees, mills and forestry resources.
Families and employees, for the most part, are safe. Several mills were without power, though some had already fully operational and others were getting back up.
Several of the issues will be addressed in the coming weeks, including:
• Aerial reconnaissance of the state to determine the extent of timber damage.
• Determining economic impact of damaged timber.
• Clearing access along rural roads so logging crews can move in to salvage timber.
• Providing financial assistance to loggers to offset the additional costs and lost time dealing with reforestation.
• Providing financial assistance to help landowners clear debris and prepare for reforestation.
• Compiling information on storm damage to present to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state officials in efforts for obtaining financial assistance.
• Landowners gather information and consult CPAs for what tax deductions might be available for losses.
Other needs will emerge in the weeks ahead and the Task Force wants to hear what other issues are needed to be addressed. Your comments are welcomed by calling the LFA office at 318-443-2558 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Task Force will hold weekly conference calls for updates during the next several weeks.