The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) is both one of the youngest and one of the oldest major trade groups in the nation.
AF&PA was founded January 1, 1993, evolving from predecessor groups dating as far back as the mid-1800's. Immediately prior to the founding of AF&PA, the forest products industry was represented by two organizations-the National Forest Products Association (NFPA) and the American Paper Institute (API)-each independent institutions with some common membership. NFPA and API represented distinct sectors of the industry, with the former being the agent for the forest and building products industries, while the latter represented pulp, paper, and paperboard manufacturers.
API was first formed as the American Paper Makers Association in 1878. Five years later, it was reorganized and renamed the American Paper Manufacturers Association. A wood pulp division was added in 1887, and in 1897, the organization was again renamed-this time as the American Paper and Pulp Association (APPA), a name that lasted 66 years.
In 1964, APPA merged with the National Paperboard Association (founded in 1932) to form the Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Institute. This incarnation proved fairly short-lived as the group was reorganized into API in 1966 through the consolidation of fifteen specialized pulp, paper, and paperboard associations (including most of the former federated associations of APPA). One of these, the Writing Paper Manufacturers Association, was founded in 1861 and is AF&PA's oldest ancestor.
NFPA's lineage dates back to 1902, when regional associations, led by the Southern Lumber Manufacturers Association and the Mississippi Valley Lumbermen's Association, founded the National Lumber Manufacturers Association. It operated under this name until 1965 when, reflecting the increasingly integrated character of major forest industry firms, it took on the NFPA identification. However, NFPA remained a federation of associations until 1975, when a bylaw revision made it possible for individual companies to join directly.
The American Wood Council, a previously independent trade association established by the wood products industry to provide generic promotion activities, was merged with NFPA's building codes and engineering function in 1991. Also supplementing the work of NFPA and API were the American Forest Council (AFC) and the American Forest Resources Alliance (AFRA), which were supported jointly by both industry sectors.
AF&PA has in its short existence emerged as the leading voice for the forest products industry. When any matter of major concern relating to the industry surfaces at the state, national, or international level, AF&PA is an active presence on behalf of industry interests and its advice and counsel are both sought and respected. Through its effective advocacy and superior membership services, AF&PA is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the nation's most powerful and effective trade associations.