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When can you take the class for certifying your own lumber?

Senate Bill 87, which amends state law to allow for a Local Use Lumber Program, passed the legislature in May 2023. On August 30th 2023, the Governor signed the bill into law. Program funding has been appropriated to the Division of Forestry and Fire Protection (DOF) we have been building the program. Here are a few important steps we must complete for the program to be implemented:

  1. Collaborate with the University to hire a Forest Products Specialist in the Extension program. COMPLETED, The Forest Products Specialist has been hired and is moving forward with program development.
  2. Work with municipalities, housing authorities and funding agencies to allow for the use of locally produced lumber. IN PROGRESS, On November 29, 2023, The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Board of Directors voted unanimously to recognize lumber coming from the Alaska Local Use Lumber Program as sufficient to meet the minimum construction standards for residential financing. DOF and UAF/CES will continue to meet with municipalities, Alaska home builders and other stakeholders to provide information on the program.
  3. Finish the lumber grading handbook and air-drying best practices guide. In anticipation of creating a Local Use Lumber Program, DOF staff began drafting these documents even before the passage of Senate Bill 87. The UAF Forest Products Specialist will now refine these documents and intends to finalize them in collaboration with the Forestry branch of the Division of Forestry and Fire Protection.
  4. Host a train-the-trainer event. Once the grading handbook is finalized, we will host an initial training to go through the grade standards and the educational criteria that trainers will provide. This training will help us learn how best to teach the subject matter.

This process will take some time to get off the ground, but we intend to keep interested members of the industry and the public informed on how things are progressing. We are aiming to have classes available to mill operators sometime in the summer of 2024.

We will utilize this website to provide updates as new developments emerge.

Thank you for your interest in the Local Use Lumber Program.