August 5, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing up to $200 million to provide relief to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that have experienced losses due to COVID-19. The new program, Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers (PATHH), is part of the USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.
Timber harvesting and hauling businesses that have experienced a gross revenue loss of at least 10% during the period of January 1 through December 1, 2020—compared to the period of January 1 and December 1, 2019—are encouraged to apply. Eligible loggers and truckers can submit their application through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 22 through October 15, 2021. PATHH is administered by FSA in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.
“We Texans pride ourselves on our rugged individualism and self-reliance. However, when the entire forestry supply chain crashed as a result of the pandemic response, it was more than just a hurdle to overcome,” said Rob Hughes, Executive Director of Texas Forestry Association. “That’s why TFA and Texas A&M Forest Service, along with many other partners, have been actively involved in pushing for the Logger Relief Act, which passed in the last federal pandemic relief bill.”
Eligible loggers and truckers can apply for PATHH through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 22 through Oct. 15, 2021. PATHH is administered by FSA in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and was authorized by The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
To be eligible for payments, individuals or legal entities must be a timber harvesting or timber hauling business where 50% or more of its gross revenue is derived from one or more of the following:
- Cutting timber.
- Transporting timber.
- Processing of wood on-site on the forest land (chipping, grinding, converting to biochar, cutting to smaller lengths, etc.).
“The PATHH program can aid those timber harvesting and hauling businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic by providing crucial financial relief,” said Shane Harrington, a Forest Systems Program Leader at Texas A&M Forest Service. “It is great to see USDA allocate funding to an industry that was hit fairly hard by the pandemic and provide assistance that can hopefully prevent a reduction in the logging capacity in East Texas.”
PATHH payments will be based on the applicant’s gross revenue received from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 1, 2019, minus their gross revenue received during those same dates in 2020, then multiplied by 0.8: equaling to 80% of the difference between the two years’ income. An initial amount will be issued as applications are approved, but a second payment will be made after the signup period has ended, which will be based upon remaining PATHH funds – with no individual or entity receiving more than $125,000.
Loggers and truckers can apply for PATHH by working with the FSA office at their local USDA Service Center. To find a local FSA office, loggers and truckers can visit farmers.gov/service-locator. They can also call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.
Visit farmers.gov/pathh for more information on how to apply, and make sure to submit your applications by mail, fax, hand delivery or via electronic means before October 15, 2021.