FRA tracks impact of COVID-19 on forest products industry

By Erin Voegele | March 24, 2020

The federal government has classified workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products as part of the critical infrastructure workforce. Meanwhile, the Forest Resource Association is tracking the impact of COVID-19 on the forest products industry.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on March 19 issued guidance on the essential critical infrastructure workforce. That guidance identifies workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood products as essential members of the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial list of essential critical infrastructure workers aims to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security…you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule,” said the agency in the guidance.

The FRA has established an online dashboard in which it is tracking the latest information on the impact of COVID-19 on the forest products industry, including on the biomass/pellet, logging, sawmill, pallets, and pulp and paper sectors. The FRA plans to update its COVID-19 information daily.