Mateusz Perkowski/Capital Press File
A loader sorts logs in this photo. A judge recently found the softwood lumber checkoff, which raises money by assessing large lumber companies, was created unlawfully.
A federal judge has ruled the USDA violated the law in creating the softwood lumber checkoff, which raises money to promote the use of wood in construction.
Companies that manufacture more than 15 million board-feet of lumber a year — enough to build 1,000 homes — must pay an assessment of 35 cents per 1,000 board-feet to fund the program.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., has decided the threshold of 15 million board-feet, or 15 mmbf, was “arbitrary and capricious” in violation of federal administrative law.