Michigan Gov, Rick Snyder (R), has signed legislation that allows Michigan state and local governments to issue timber processors licenses and permits to operate logging operations, according to a release from his office.
The bill, S.B. 926, is designed to ease restrictions on the logging industry, according the release.
The legislation “does not require timber companies to pay for any timber that they cut, but rather it allows the state to license logging companies to operate in the state, allowing them to obtain a timber license, pay for the timber, and operate in Michigan,” the release stated.
“Michigan’s economy depends on timber production and jobs,” Snyder said in a statement.
“The industry is a vital part of Michigan’s economy and it is a testament to our values that the state has been able to create a thriving timber industry that has created more than 7,300 jobs in the last decade.
This is a critical step in building a thriving industry that will be able to grow and support our state’s economy.
We look forward to working with the new legislation and supporting the timber industry in Michigan.”
The Michigan State Senate approved S.A. 922 on Monday, the first time it has passed the legislature this session.
The bill will now go to Snyder, who signed it into law last week.
The legislation requires the Secretary of State’s office to “issue a timber processing permit to a person who owns or controls more than 20 percent of the timber harvest in the timber product production district in Michigan.
This includes the possession of more than 50 percent of all the timber in a timber product district.
The person must also pay the State of Michigan for the harvest and maintain a log processing permit that covers the entire timber product harvest.”
The bill also states that the person will have to maintain a timber process and logging equipment plant within a timber production district.
“The state of Michigan will not be required to pay timber processing costs,” the bill states.
“In addition, the State will have the right to suspend a timber processor license if the processor does not maintain a logging facility within the timber production area, pays no taxes to the State, or pays no fees to the state for the processing of timber.”
The Secretary of the Treasury will have discretion to approve the processing and logging license.
Snyder’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday afternoon.
Michigan has more than 2,000 logging permits issued by the state each year.
Michigan’s state and federal governments each have about 6,000 timber processing permits, the release states.