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ANF timber contracts can be extended

The Allegheny National Forest is offering to extend contract deadlines on certain timber sales, stewardship contracts and forest product permits awarded or issued before April 1, 2020.

Extending these deadlines supports the long-term viability of the timber industry in markets where conditions have been significantly disrupted, especially in rural, forest-dependent communities, according to a press release from Chris Warner, public affairs officer.

This decision is based on a combination of factors that have affected the national economy and the timber market, including the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Individual purchasers of the timber sales contracts may request extensions – up to two years in the lower 48 states and up to three years in Alaska – or continue to work to meet their obligations. It has been determined there is Substantial Overriding Public Interest (SOPI) in extending certain National Forest System timber sale contracts for up to two years, through a combination of Market Related Contract Term Addition (MRCTA) and SOPI. Contract length may exceed 10 years as a result of this extension.

To be eligible, a contract must have been awarded prior to April 1, 2020, or have had a bid opening date prior to April 1, 2020, and upon award, meet the following conditions:

Contract or portions of contracts that are in breach must be remedied prior to being extended.

Contracts are not determined by the Contracting Officer to contain wood products that are in urgent need of removal due to forest health conditions or to mitigate a significant wildfire threat to a community, municipal watershed or other critical public resource. For example, units with declining overall health, units with high priority salvage needs, units with prior investments at risk of being lost, units at risk for non-native invasive species invasion, or units with highly time sensitive harvest windows to achieve desired outcomes.

Allegheny National Forest records must show that a person has one or more contracts that may be eligible for an extension under the SOPI. To be considered for a SOPI extension, Periodic Payment deferral, or Road Completion Date extension, purchasers must make a written request to the Allegheny National Forest Contracting Officer and include a signed copy of a Request for Relief and Release of Liability Statement.

Each Timber Sale Contract or Integrated Resource Timber Contract have different characteristics and may require other modifications to implement the SOPI extension.

For further information, contact Forest Service Representative Mike Williams at (814) 728-6189 or mike.s.williams@usda.gov, or Contracting Officer David Cotterman at (814) 728-6183 or david.cotterman@usda.gov.

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