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Author Topic: Tennessee Native Lumber law  (Read 8535 times)

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Offline TnAndy

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Tennessee Native Lumber law
« on: March 03, 2015, 07:43:38 AM »
Hi,  new/old member here.  Was on the board years (and a computer ago) back, but haven't been around to post.  Had some health issues for a while.  Got 're-plumbed' and doing fine now.

This is an issue that will affect primarily folks in Tennessee, but I think needs to be addressed by us small mill owners here.  Some States (mostly northeastern ones near as I can find) have passed laws like this to allow us to use our lumber to build with.  If this is something that concerns you as well, read on, then PLEASE take a few minutes to drop an email to our legislators.

The History behind the Act:

Tennessee adopted the use of State wide building codes in the last few years, whereas in the past, rural areas had pretty much been "building inspector free zones" (except electrical and septic).  Along with that came the requirement that any lumber used in home construction be grade stamped.  What that means is you can't use ungraded sawmill lumber for homes (still OK for buildings for agricultural use) like you could in the previous 200 or so years of State history.

This has been an issue in other States as well, and the way around that code requirement for some States has been to adopt a Native Species Act.  The method varies from State to State, but generally, the sawyer that produced the lumber can inspect his own product, and furnish a certification that in their opinion, the lumber meets the specs of #2 softwood lumber, making it acceptable for construction.  Some States allow for a stamp, some simply a letter, but in any case, code officials must accept that to meet code requirements.

This lets the 'small guys', or folks that own a personal mill (like myself) use the timber grown locally for construction lumber.  I know in my own case, I can saw a WHOLE LOT better lumber than the stuff I can buy at the Big Box stores, imported from the West Coast, or Canada.  Not unusual to look at a bundle of studs, for example, and see the tree center in 75% of them.  They must be sawing 'trees' 6" in diameter for studs.  Some of the knotty, twisted, warped stuff you see at the stores shouldn't grade # 3, much less #2.  But since it has the holy "stamp", it's good to go !


Where we are now:

I got with my local State rep, and we crafted a bill that he introduced in the Legislature this session and is now in committee.  The House bill is HB0978, and the Senate is SB0822.

The actual text of the bill is here, if you wish to read it:

http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/109/Bill/HB0978.pdf

IF you live in Tennessee, and have an interest in being able to use native Tennessee lumber to build your home/etc with, and NOT have to buy grade stamped lumber (often imported), then do your part, and spend a few minutes to email the legislators in both Agriculture committees. THE MORE FOLKS THEY HEAR FROM, THE MORE LIKELY THIS IS TO GET OUT OF COMMITTEE AND VOTED ON THIS SESSION.

You can find the members here:

House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee - TN General Assembly

Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee - TN General Assembly

Simply click on the legislator's photo, and their page will come up, along with an "Email Me" link.

Here is the letter I sent, if you wish to build yours around it, feel free. Please don't simply copy and paste. Use your own wording.

***************************************************

Sir,

I would appreciate your vote to approve HB 0978, currently in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. This bill would allow Tennesseans to use sawmill lumber in the construction of their homes if they desire, just like they have done for hundreds of years until standard building codes were adopted that require a grade stamp on the lumber.


That requirement knocks out all of the small personally owned sawmills, and small commercial mills from using personally, or selling lumber for that purpose, as they simply can't afford the cost of belonging to the large organizations that control lumber grading. What that means is if I want to cut the fine timber off my Tennessee land, and use it to build my own home, I can't do so. I must buy a far inferior lumber, imported from the West Coast or Canada, simply because it meets the building code. Seems a shame to be 'coded out' of our heritage of using native Tennessee lumber, cut from the vast forests of Tennessee, simply because a code requires it.

I sincerely hope you will vote to correct this.

Thank you,


(and my signature/address/phone number)
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 07:49:07 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, Andy.
~Chuck~
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2015, 08:24:43 AM »
howdy tnandy, glad you are back up and running, being down is no fun for sure,  hope all goes well for you and your milling business,
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline Magicman

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2015, 08:25:29 AM »
Welcome (back) to the Forestry Forum, TnAndy.
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2015, 08:31:35 AM »
Andy,

When did this law come into effect?


Tennessee adopted the use of State wide building codes in the last few years, whereas in the past, rural areas had pretty much been "building inspector free zones" (except electrical and septic)
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Offline hunz

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2015, 09:15:20 AM »
Welcome back, and right on. Too many folks are scared to fight for what is right anymore. I'm proud to have a fellow forum member like yourself push for something that would benefit many. Now if we could just get NC on board!
Dream as if you'll saw forever; saw as if you'll die today.



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Offline Jjoness4

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2015, 09:37:07 AM »
TnAndy
Tenn Lt Governor Ron Ramsey is a good friend of mine and lives a couple miles up the road.  I will make him aware of this.  He has even asked me to do some sawing for him (farm sheds only).  He is a reasonable down to earth guy that believes in common sense approaches in dealing with the beauracacy.  Our church where Ron and I attend has wanted to use sawmill lumber to build homes in Morgan and Scott counties in Tennessee for those needing better housing.  Several sawyers (me for one) up here I am sure would donate 2 by 4s for construction but it is forbidden to do.  Thanks for calling this to our attention.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2015, 10:46:00 AM »
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline TnAndy

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2015, 04:33:29 PM »
TnAndy
Was this your old handle? 
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=128


Don't know....when I click on it, it says "error....not authorized".   Maybe my Top Secret clearance was down graded.  ;D
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Offline TnAndy

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 04:34:44 PM »
TnAndy
Tenn Lt Governor Ron Ramsey is a good friend of mine and lives a couple miles up the road.  I will make him aware of this.  He has even asked me to do some sawing for him (farm sheds only).  He is a reasonable down to earth guy that believes in common sense approaches in dealing with the beauracacy.  Our church where Ron and I attend has wanted to use sawmill lumber to build homes in Morgan and Scott counties in Tennessee for those needing better housing.  Several sawyers (me for one) up here I am sure would donate 2 by 4s for construction but it is forbidden to do.  Thanks for calling this to our attention.
B Jones

Yeah, I've met Ramsey several times over the years.  He always impressed me as a guy with common sense.  Be great if he could move this legislation along.
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Offline TnAndy

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2015, 04:35:52 PM »
Welcome back, and right on. Too many folks are scared to fight for what is right anymore. I'm proud to have a fellow forum member like yourself push for something that would benefit many. Now if we could just get NC on board!

Well, do what I did.  Have a 'sit down' with your State rep, and explain the why of this, and simply copy our proposed law and use it !
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Offline TnAndy

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 04:38:52 PM »
Andy,

When did this law come into effect?


Tennessee adopted the use of State wide building codes in the last few years, whereas in the past, rural areas had pretty much been "building inspector free zones" (except electrical and septic)

Don't know the exact date, but sometime in the last 2-3 years.  Last house I built (and used my own lumber) was in 2006, and I know it wasn't that way then....but then I sorta got out of the stream of things as far as building.  I have a neighbor/buddy that is still active in it, and I'm going by the way he moans and groans about the new inspection requirements.

Un-stamped lumber has always been a no go in the cities where they did framing inspections.....one reason I never built IN Johnson City, for example.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 04:51:40 PM »
TnAndy
Was this your old handle? 
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=128


Don't know....when I click on it, it says "error....not authorized".   Maybe my Top Secret clearance was down graded.  ;D

Maybe because you started a new handle..and can't get to members yet.

From Tn..Andy  is this post.  Maybe not you, or maybe is..
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,12175.msg170048.html#msg170048
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline TnAndy

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2015, 05:00:59 PM »
TnAndy
Was this your old handle? 
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=128


Don't know....when I click on it, it says "error....not authorized".   Maybe my Top Secret clearance was down graded.  ;D

Maybe because you started a new handle..and can't get to members yet.

From Tn..Andy  is this post.  Maybe not you, or maybe is..
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,12175.msg170048.html#msg170048


Yes....that WERE/ARE me...ahahahaa.....forgot the dot/dot/dot.  Guess I've slept a few times since then.
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2015, 05:04:51 PM »
Your effort here is commendable.

I was in HD a week ago looking for a few pieces of framing lumber just to have on hand for blocking, etc.   Not framing.  I left with a couple 2x4's , and one each 2x6, 2x8 and 2x10.  However it took me digging through each pile looking at probably 10-15 boards to find acceptable ones that weren't twisted, cracked, bowed, or crooked.  Hard to believe that some build with these boards.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2015, 05:14:00 PM »
TnAndy It is against the rules to have more than one Forestry Forum login.  It is in the registration agreement.  Which one do you want to keep?
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Offline TennesseeFarmerJohn

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2015, 05:18:10 PM »
TnAndy,

Thank you for your work on this issue.  I am a member of my county's GOP executive committee.  I will send a letter to both my rep and senator on my party letterhead urging passage of these bills as written. 

Thanks again

Offline TnAndy

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2015, 05:40:34 PM »
Apparently the link to the actual PDF document doesn't work, and I can't copy the doc either.

SO, try going HERE:

http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB0978

and click on the bill number HB0978 to open your own PDF copy.

Sorry about that......
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Offline TnAndy

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2015, 05:42:14 PM »
TnAndy It is against the rules to have more than one Forestry Forum login.  It is in the registration agreement.  Which one do you want to keep?

Sorry Jeff.  Didn't mean to be a pain.  I'll keep the current one if that's OK.  I have no idea how to log into the old one, been too long, and a computer ago.

andy
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Offline TnAndy

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Re: Tennessee Native Lumber law
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2015, 05:42:52 PM »
TnAndy,

Thank you for your work on this issue.  I am a member of my county's GOP executive committee.  I will send a letter to both my rep and senator on my party letterhead urging passage of these bills as written. 

Thanks again

Thanks John.  That would help, for sure.
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