Summary: H.R.4718 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (01/23/1980)

(Reported to House from the Committee on Agriculture with amendment, H. Rept. 96-735)

Forestry Loan Act of 1980 - Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a five-year pilot program of financial assistance to nonindustrial owners of private forest land which shall provide for the insuring and guaranteeing of loans under which periodic loan disbursement shall be made to eligible landowners. Limits the cumulative total of principal and interest on such loans to $50,000,000, with no more than 80 percent of such amount for insured loans.

Declares eligible for such program any private individual, group, Indian tribe or other native group, association, partnership, corporation or other legal entity which owns forest land capable of producing crops of industrial wood, if such person: (1) owns less than 500 acres of land capable of producing industrial wood; (2) is not principally engaged in the manufacture of wood products; and (3) certifies in writing that such person is unable to obtain sufficient credit elsewhere at comparable rates and terms.

Prohibits the Secretary from insuring or guaranteeing any such loan in which the total loan obligation exceeds 50 percent of the projected market value of the timber. Limits periodic loan disbursements to $25 per acre per year.

Limits the total period of time for any such loan to: (1) 15 years, with respect to existing stands of timber; and (2) 30 years, with respect to land which is to be forested.

Authorizes the Secretary to guarantee up to 90 percent of that portion of the overall loan obligation which exceeds the market value of the assets securing such loan.

Allows the interest rate to be set by the lender and borrower, but not in excess of a rate as may be determined by the Secretary.

Requires borrowers to prepare, keep current, and adhere to an individual forest management plan, developed in cooperation with and approved by the State forester (or equivalent official).

Bases the amount of the periodic loan disbursement upon the future expected market value of the timber securing such loan, limiting the total principal and interest obligation to 50 percent of such value.

Allows for adjustment of loan terms, as agreed by both landowner and lender, following periodic reviews of individual loan agreements and forest management plans. Entitles borrowers to prepayment of all or any part of an outstanding loan obligation without penalty.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) appoint a program development and evaluation committee; and (2) report annually to Congress on the progress of the pilot program.

Requires funding for the program to be drawn from the Rural Development Insurance Fund. Authorizes necessary appropriations for administrative expenses. Declares that commitments to insure or guarantee loans are authorized for any fiscal year only in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts.