Domestic manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber voted to continue imposing an assessment on themselves to support the efforts of the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB), the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today.

SLB, an industry-funded check-off program established to promote the benefits and uses of softwood lumber products, faced a referendum from April 17 to May 14 to determine the board's future.

USDA reported that 78% of the companies participating in the referendum voted to continue the program. This is an improvement from the 67% majority which voted to establish the program back in 2011.

Don Kayne, president & CEO of Canfor and Chair of the SLB Programs Committee, said the SLB is "ready to move to version 2.0, and expand its activities to take advantage of the new trends to more off-site construction and factory-built housing."

Commenting on the vote, Marc Brinkmeyer, chairman of Idaho Forest Group and the SLB said, “This vote shows the softwood lumber industry’s strong support for a nation-wide promotion program. The vote affirms the industry’s view that the Softwood Lumber Board is an effective investment vehicle to grow the market for the benefit of all producers."