WHEREAS: in terms of gross income and value-added processing, the solid wood forest products industry, which is supported by the harvesting and processing of timber, consists of 700 primary and secondary manufacturing establishments;
WHEREAS: forest product related industries employ over 25,000 workers, making it one of the state's top employers;
WHEREAS: the State of Louisiana produces only $0.97 of value-added product for every $1 of lumber created by sawmills operating within the state; and
WHEREAS: for the State of Louisiana to attain its potential in the area of job creation and resource utilization within the timber industry sector, the state must develop a comprehensive program to modernize, revitalize, and maximize its forest products industries;
NOW THEREFORE I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Governor's Forest Products Industry Development Task Force (hereafter "task force") shall be created and established within the Departments of Economic Development and Agriculture and Forestry.
SECTION 2: The objectives and duties of the task force shall consist of the following:
SECTION 3: The task force shall prepare a report on the progress and/or fulfillment of its primary objectives and duties for the review of the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and the commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, no later than March 15, 1997.
SECTION 4: The task force shall be composed of not less than 10 members appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the governor. The membership shall be selected as follows:
SECTION 5: The co-chairs of the task force shall be the secretary of Economic Development, or the secretary's designee selected from the membership of the task force, and the commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, or the commissioner's designee selected from the membership of the task force.
SECTION 6: Task force members shall not receive compensation or a per diem. Nonetheless, contingent upon the availability of funds, members may receive reimbursement for actual travel expenses in accordance with state guidelines and procedures, and upon the approval of the commissioner of administration.
SECTION 7: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the task force and the Departments of Economic Development and Agriculture and Forestry in implementing the provisions of this order.
SECTION 8: The provisions of this order are effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 16th day of December, 1996.
M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
ATTEST BY THE
Secretary of State