Press Releases

Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) welcomed the announcement by the State of Florida that federal block grant funding to help Florida’s timber industry recover from the impacts of Hurricane Michael has been released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The timber block grant program will cover losses of timber and irrigation infrastructure from Hurricane Michael. 
 
Rubio has long prioritized recovery efforts in the aftermath of natural disasters that have impacted Florida. Rubio secured approximately $380 million in relief funds for Florida timber growers in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act (P.L. 116-20), which was signed into law on June 6, 2019, and promptly led his bipartisan colleagues in urging Agriculture Secretary Perdue to implement the disaster relief expeditiously. Senator Rubio has continued to engage with USDA throughout the process, including calling Secretary Perdue personally to further facilitate the process.  In an effort to expedite disaster response in the future, Rubio joined his colleagues to introduce the Forest Recovery Act (S.1687), legislation that would amend the U.S. tax code to establish a special rule for losses of uncut timber following natural disasters such as Hurricane Michael. Senator Rubio is honored to have been recognized by the National Association of State Foresters, which awarded him the Bernard L. Orell award for his commitment to securing disaster relief for timber growers impacted by Hurricane Michael.
 
“It’s great news that USDA has disbursed the approximately $380 million in funding to Florida to support the timber disaster block grant program,” Rubio said. “The timber industry is integral to Northwest Florida’s economy, but Hurricane Michael’s destruction decimated timber tracts, erasing decades of investments and putting the viability of the regional economy in jeopardy. I remain committed to assisting the entire Northwest Florida community in their recovery from this tragic natural disaster and will continue my work to help the timber industry get back on its feet.”
 
The deadline to apply for the grant program is November 20, 2020. 
 
For more information on the Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant Program (TRBG), visit FloridaDisaster.org/timber.
 
For more information on the Florida Irrigation Recovery Block Grant Program (IRBG), visit FloridaDisaster.org/irrigation.
 
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