Texas Forestry Association (TFA) presented Rep. Ernest Bailes with the 2019 Legislator of the Year award during the Association’s annual convention held Oct 16-18, 2019, at The Fredonia Hotel in Nacogdoches, Texas.
“With a background in ranching and logging, Rep. Bailes has a deep connection to the land and knows that in order to thrive, wise conservation and management of Texas’ limited natural resources is necessary,” said TFA Executive Director, Rob Hughes. “His diverse background has led him to help drive and develop some of the largest conservative policies in Texas.
“Rep. Bailes showed his strong support the Forest Sector when he contacted TFA about an issue negatively affecting loggers,” said Hughes. “After some discussion and planning, the Log Loader Bill was filed on behalf of the TFA and the Texas Logging Council.”
This law allows logging contractors to transport “equipment used to load timber” under the current Annual Timber Permit instead of purchasing an additional $4,000 Envelope Permit. After successfully getting a unanimous vote from the House Transportation committee, the bill was trapped. With much effort and tenacity and partnering with Senator Nichols who strategically attached the language to another bill, it finally passed and was signed by Governor Abbott with no opposition.
Rep. Bailes was also a co-author on the Forestry Fairness Act filed by Rep. Trent Ashby and Sen. Nichols which prohibits Forest Landowners from having property carved out of their Timber Valuation due to pipelines and other eminent domain circumstances.