Email American Loggers Council
 

ALC Executive Vice President
Daniel J. Dructor
Email Daniel

 

P.O. Box 966
Hemphill, TX 75948
T: 409.625.0206
F: 409.625.0207



$5000 Truck Rebate: 2019 Western Star Association Rebate for ALC Members and Affiliates

alc_ws

Western Star is proud to support and extend the Association Rebate Program for members of the American Loggers Council and its affiliates.

 

Rebate amount is based on truck model and configuration: $5,000 for 4900 Sleeper or Daycab with vehicle service code of A85-012, logging service truck

 

Click here to find your nearest Western Star Trucks dealer.

Dealers can apply the rebate to the truck purchase or process a direct rebate to your customer. ALC Members may qualify for a rebate when they purchase a brand new Western Star 4900 logging service truck; the leading brand in the logging industry. 

 

Members can now enjoy the power and versatility of a Western Star truck, which have been manufactured for higher payloads, better maneuverability, serviceability, and equally important, durability and dependability.

 

Western Star Trucks reserves the right to terminate this program at any time without notice.

 

Requirements:

  • Valid only on vehicle service data code of A85-012, logging service truck.
  • Valid only on StarQuote pricing.
  • Not valid with stock truck concession or other program incentive claims.
  • Verification of membership or affiliation status with ALC.
  • Association membership must be valid for at least 90 days prior to retail sold date.
  • Trucks must be new and never been retail sold regardless of model year or mileage.
  • Maximum of five (5) trucks per customer/company in a calendar year.
  • Rebate claim must be processed within 30 days of retail sale date.
  • Not valid for gliders.
  • Only one association rebate can be applied per claim per truck.

Click here for ALC member and dealer instructions.

Peterbilt: $2,000 CASH rebate to American Loggers Council members

Peterbilt is pleased to offer the American Loggers Council (ALC) the following rebate incentive. You can download the flyer and present it at your nearest dealership:

 

Program Details:
• Members receive a $2,000 CASH rebate on Models 567, 367, or 365.
• Limited to three (3) rebates per member for calendar year 2018.
• ALC members must be in good standing for at least 90 days prior to taking retail delivery.
• ALC members must take retail delivery between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. Retail delivery is defined as the time the ownership of the truck is transferred from the Peterbilt dealer to the customer.

 

Other Details:
• Request for customer rebate incentives must be received by ALC within 90 days of taking retail delivery.
• Allow 6 to 8 weeks for check to process.
• This program may not be combined with any other rebate offers from Peterbilt.

 

For information on ALC memberships, contact Danny Dructor at 409-625-0206 or Americanlogger@aol.com.

Register for the American Loggers Council 25th Annual Meeting

American Loggers Council
25th Annual Meeting
September 26-28, 2019
Perdido Beach Resort
Orange Beach, Alabama

 

***Click here for registration packet, including current agenda and lodging details***

 


You can now pay on-line, via PayPal using the form below. If paying on-line, please complete and email us your completed registration form so we have accurate headcounts for each event.

Full Registration fees

 


“Alabama Gulf Coast Enchantment”

On behalf of the American Loggers Council and the Alabama Loggers Council, I invite you to attend our 25th Annual Meeting in scenic Orange Beach, Alabama.

 

Getting to the Perdido Beach Resort located on the Alabama Gulf Coast is an easy 50 minute drive from the Pensacola International Airport (PNS) via rental car.

 

All events will be based out of the luxurious Perdido Beach Resort this year, including meals and meetings. Ladies will be treated to a beach bash on the white sand beaches of Orange Beach as well as a trip over to Fairhope for some unique shopping and dining experiences.

 

Sheila and I are excited that you are visiting our part of the country for this silver anniversary celebration, and we, as well as the Alabama Loggers Council and Alabama Forestry Association, will do all that we can to make this a trip that you will remember for a lifetime! Come relax in the surroundings, enjoy the scenery along the Gulf Coast shoreline, and find out why we are proud to call Alabama our home.

 

Chris Potts
President – American Loggers Council

 

Loggers Industry Post and Pole markets Survey Now Open

American Loggers Council and its members have been asked to participate in a survey to help determine our interaction and awareness of the small diameter roundwood industry and the post and pole market. Raw material supply is a key limiting factor in the ability of post and pole manufacturers to grow their businesses. This study will help alert forest managers, suppliers, treaters and customers of the raw material needs from post and pole manufacturers. Additionally, the information collected will help educate the Forest Service, landowners and loggers about the post and pole supply characteristics.

 

The small-diameter roundwood industry has seen many changes over the past 30 years, including supply of raw materials. To examine this, Intermountain Roundwood Association (IRA) and the Western Wood Preservers Institute (WWPI) obtained a US Forest Service grant to create a new study of loggers to provide benchmarks for the roundwood industry and generate current demand information. 

 

This project is designed to advance knowledge about the value-added small diameter roundwood for the post and pole manufacturing industry.  Roundwood post and pole are an important segment of the forest industry and a key economic driver for rural communities.  The western post and pole industry continue to complain about supply issues from National Forests and other landowners without much voice, metrics or data to determine such impacts. This study hopes to characterize the small roundwood industry for the purpose of obtaining better access to underutilized species and small diameter logs from pre-commercial harvesting and thinning.

 

Please participate in taking the brief online survey for loggers available now thru June 10th at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PPLogger

 

If you have any questions related to completing the survey, please call The Beck Group (the survey administrator) at #503-684-3406, Hannah, Zach or Roy are available to help Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.  Or reach back by contacting the IRA secretary at dallin@wwpi.org #(360) 693-9958 for details.

Congress Introduces Bipartisan ‘Safe Routes’ Legislation for Log Trucks

H.R. 2453 allows log trucks to utilize federal interstates for short-haul trips.

 

May 2, 2019, Hemphill, TX— The American Loggers Council (ALC) today applauded the introduction of the bipartisan Safe Routes Act of 2019 (H.R. 2453) allowing log trucks to utilize federal interstates for short-haul trips. The legislation was announced today by U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI); other original sponsors include U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Jared Golden (D-ME) and Jim Sensebrenner (R-WI).

 

The ALC along with its partners have advocated “Safe Routes” legislation to allow the industry’s trucks to haul state legal weight tolerances on the Federal Interstate Highway System, which often provide safer routes to mills. Due to inconsistent truck weights in many regions throughout the country, trucks hauling logs to mills are often forced to use city, county and state roads, where more than 96 percent of log truck collisions occurred, according to a study.  

 

“Preventing fatal log truck collisions is a high priority in our industry and our communities,” said ALC Executive Vice President Daniel Dructor. “One proven solution is to give log trucks the option of using federal interstates on short hauls, where they can be routed away from schools, crosswalks, city intersections, railroad tracks, and other challenges. A few individual states have received exemptions that lifted federal truck weight limits on interstates, and in each case it resulted in fewer collisions, reduced driver fatigue and improved equipment safety.”

 

Dructor says improving log truck safety will help in the recruitment of new operators to replace an aging workforce, and with few insurance carriers willing to write policies for log trucks, the Safe Routes Act may help reduce those costs as well. The legislation only applies to short hauls typically within a 150-mile radius, and does not apply to long hauls. 

 

“The ALC would like to thank the Democratic and Republican members who are supporting this bill as original co-sponsors, including Congressman Mike Gallagher for being its first champion in the 116th Congress,” Dructor said. “We also thank our partners, including the Forest Resources Association, and our members for educating their federal representatives and staff on this important safety issue. We’ll continue to work across the aisle, in the both the House and Senate, until this safety solution reaches the president’s desk.”

 

CONTACT: Daniel Dructor, 409-625-0206, americanlogger@aol.com

Spotlight on Rocky Bunnell: ALC Board Member, Industry Advocate and Certified Master Logger Business owner

by Ted Wright, Executive Director, Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands and Jennifer Hartsig, Coordinator, American Master Logger Certification© Program

 

When Rocky Bunnell got out of the Air Force in 1973 he considered different careers, but his father Bill Bunnell was trucking timber and he decided to first help him out. As is often the case in the woods business, one thing led to another, and it wasn’t long before he bought his own truck.

 

“Next thing you knew I had crews cutting wood and I was trucking it just like he did, and then later on I got right out of the trucking and I went strictly to the woods,” Rocky recalled recently as he looked back over the four-plus decades he has spent in the timber industry – years that have taken him from that small start to owning his own Master Logger certified logging operation and being honored by the American Loggers Council (ALC) for his efforts on behalf of loggers in Washington D.C.

 

Rocky became a Master Logger after he first learned of the program through Verso Paper, and the quality of work and respect for the forest that Master Logger Certification© epitomizes serves his company well.  “The quality of work right now is a big thing for landowners, that personal touch and going the extra mile” Rocky said.  “When good logging is done you can’t beat it if you want to talk about helping the environment – you’re doing a lot more than just logging.  When the job is done and they’ve got a piece of property that they very much like and they still use, it means a lot to them.”  Rocky is part of the American Loggers Council endorsed Master Logger Certification© Committee representing New Hampshire, and is helping to advocate for the growth of the program nationwide. “Master Logger Certification© has a future and getting more people to understand it and utilize it is important for it to make a big impact.”

 

Rocky grew up on a farm in Vermont logging with his family using horses. In the late 1960s his father got into buying, selling and trucking wood and moved across the Connecticut River to Monroe, New Hampshire. Rocky started out doing the same in Monroe, but over the years he ramped up; first adding subcontractors with cable skidders, then buying his own slasher, then buying his first skidder. Eventually he reached the point where all the equipment and the workers on his jobs were part of Rocky Bunnell Logging. Today, Rocky has switched gears a bit and now works with his son Heath and his Certified Master Logger company, HB Logging LLC.  “Heath is strongly independent and I’m very independent.  He’s in his prime right now and has grown his company larger than mine was.  We’re connecting daily and I’m really enjoying being on the jobs”. 

 

Over the years Rocky became involved in organizations concerned with logging including the New Hampshire Timber Harvest Council (NHTHC), largely due to a friendship with veteran New Hampshire logger Dan Keniston. In time, this grew into his participation with Northeastern Loggers Association (NELA) and the American Loggers Council (ALC).  Rocky continues his long time involvement with these Associations,  currently serving as the 2nd Vice President for NELA, and as the NELA representative on the ALC  Board of Directors.

 

Rocky enjoys working with loggers from across the US and has become well-known for his trips to speak plainly on behalf of loggers in Washington D.C. where loggers meet with elected officials to advocate for the industry.  Being involved and informed is critical right now for loggers given how challenging the markets are, Rocky says: “If you didn’t vote and you’re not involved, you’re in trouble.”

 

In 2016, Rocky was honored by the ALC with the President’s Award for his leadership and service promoting more participation in the ALC’s Spring DC Fly-In.  He remains passionate about the need for industry advocacy at all levels and also enjoys the comradery that getting together with his peers from across the country.  Of his involvement with NHTHC, NELA and ALC, Rocky feels a sense of accomplishment that hearing from the loggers is making a difference.  “Dan Keniston took my hand and showed me the ropes, but he was one guy going alone. Next thing you know I saw an opportunity (to become more involved).  Since then, I’ve met other good people and I think its stronger than it’s ever been”

 

Over the years the job has become about more than just cutting wood for this avid conservationist. “I’m a big outdoorsman. I like the outdoors and my family is that way and I like it when landowners want to do something for the wildlife. You’ve got your marketplace and you’ve got your habitat and you can make the two of them go hand in hand pretty easy”.  

 

Rocky enjoys sharing his lifetime of skills and knowledge with family, clients and elected officials.  Whether it’s hunting with grandchildren, meeting with a landowner or advocating for his industry, “That’s a passion right there, just trying to educate people. Once they see it and take the time to study it and see what it’s all about”. 

The FMCSA Wants Your Input on the Need for the DOT Employment Application

 

Note: The following information was provided to us by Tenstreet.

 

 

The FMCSA has released an official notice proposing to completely eliminate the requirement that trucking companies obtain a DOT-specific employment application. If implemented as proposed, this will radically affect your hiring practices and make it more difficult for you to hire drivers. We’ve been following the FMCSA’s activities on this proposal since it was first mentioned last year. The FMCSA regulators are now at the point in the rulemaking process where they want to hear how the proposal will affect actual trucking companies. That is, they want to hear from you.

 

 

The FMCSA has asked specific questions directed to carriers in the industry on how the proposed changes will affect hiring drivers. Read on for more information and our suggestions of how best to address these questions. This is a valuable opportunity to give your feedback on an issue that will impact you significantly – you can do so at this link.

 

Why Would the FMCSA Remove the Employment Application Requirements?

 

Essentially, it boils down to the fact that the rule as it exists today requires a lot of information. The FMCSA views the application requirements as an “administrative” and “paperwork” burden. To a certain extent, we happen to agree. If our applications didn’t pre-populate 80% of the time, they would indeed be a headache and take longer than 15 minutes to complete.

 

 

The problem, however, is that the FMCSA makes it clear that none of the other administrative and paperwork burdens that follow the DOT application are being removed. Therefore, the benefits that might accrue from eliminating all the DOT-specific application requirements would be dwarfed by new burdens that will result if the FMCSA implements what it has proposed. Instead of reducing administrative burdens on carriers and helping drivers get hired, these changes will create more roadblocks and increase the risks carriers face in hiring drivers.

 

 

Hiring Gets More Difficult

 

 

Right now, your hiring process takes for granted the information required by this specific regulation. If this regulation is eliminated, some of this information could no longer be safely requested on an employment application. We’re talking specifically about violation history, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, questions about license revocation/denial of license, etc.

 

 

Why would you not be able to ask about a driver’s violation history? Why would a driver’s Social Security Number (SSN) and Date of Birth (DOB) be difficult to obtain? Let’s dive into the details.

 

 

Ban-the-box laws would prevent asking for a driver’s violation history. Today, carriers can ignore ban-the-box laws when asking for an applicant’s violation history because federal law supersedes state and local laws. Said another way, if the federal law requiring drivers to list three years of violation history goes away, most ban-the-box laws would prohibit asking for a driver’s violation history (including whether a driver had a DUI or reckless driving violation in the past three years). The requirement to ask for violation history clearly aids carriers in evaluating a driver’s ability to safely operate a CMV and ensures that carriers are able to hire qualified drivers. Drivers who don’t meet a carrier’s requirements don’t have to wait for an MVR or background screen and can apply to another carrier to get a job more quickly.

 

 

The background reports you routinely order very early in the recruiting process require information you would probably no longer have on an application.The FMCSA notice incorrectly assumes that employers would still ask for the driver’s DOB and SSN on the application even if the rule did not exist, but it does not say under what mandate carriers would be allowed to ask for this information on an employment application if 391.21 is eliminated.This is the only section of the FMCSRs that mandates the driver provide this information. Most employers outside of the trucking industry no longer collect this information on the application based on EEOC guidance and increased risks of a lawsuit just by virtue of collecting this personal information. Instead, experts advise employers to wait until after a conditional offer of employment is given to request an applicant’s DOB and SSN. Moreover, job sites like Indeed check your applications and won’t even link to it if it contains DOB or SSN unless you have a federal law that mandates it. Trust us, we know.

 

 

But you need this information. Many states require DOB to order MVRs. PSP requires DOB. CDLIS requires SSN. HireRight’s DAC Employment History File requires SSN. Most criminal records require DOB. Most previous employers look up verification responses using the SSN. The list goes on.

 

 

It’s common in trucking to order the MVR and CDLIS before contact is even made with the driver. Imagine if you had to reach out to a driver post-application to get the DOB or SSN to even be able to run these. That’s a headache.

 

 

Obtaining three years of history gets more difficult. The DOT-mandate in 49 CFR 391.23 to verify the previous three years of employment for a driver would not go away, and you could still ask for the driver’s previous employers. But without the mandate to explain the last three years, you would be at a greater risk for discrimination claims by asking for military service start and end dates or school start and end dates.

 

 

Further, carriers will still need to obtain the 10 year history of CDL employment. This requirement is statutorily mandated, so the FMCSA cannot do away with this requirement. Even the FMCSA realizes that without this requirement in the application, it may be difficult to obtain this information and they specifically seek input on other alternatives to obtain 10 years of CDL history if not in the employment application.

 

 

It boils down to this: by requiring the information up front on an application, carriers can quickly evaluate a driver’s suitability for the job and processes their application more quickly. If the DOT application requirements are completely eliminated, you would be prevented from asking for certain information up front, placing an additional burden on both the applicant and the carrier to exchange this information later. This makes filling your trucks more difficult and drags out the time to hire – something neither you nor the driver wants.

 

 

In addition to this, none of the downstream work associated with hiring a driver is eliminated (all the other regulations remain the same), but the thing that kicks off such work and provides much of the data for it – the employment application! – would probably no longer have the information needed to accomplish the work.

 

 

A Push for Safety

 

 

The stated overall goal of the FMCSA regulations is to ensure commercial motor vehicles are operated safely. However, the elimination of these requirements would not help carriers accomplish that goal. The American Trucking Association (ATA) has specifically stated that completion of an application for employment is fundamental to the process of selecting safe CMV drivers and has further outlined its position that the deletion of the driver qualification standard would prevent motor carriers from gathering information to determine an applicants’ qualifications. We agree.

 

 

Questions and Answers

 

 

In seeking feedback, the FMCSA asked specific questions of the industry. Below are some of these questions and our short answers that might serve as a guide when you address them in your comments to the FMCSA.

 

 

  • How would the elimination of 49 CFR 391.21, which includes the requirement to have prospective drivers complete an employment application, impact a motor carrier’s ability to hire safe drivers?

 

The elimination of 391.21 would make it more difficult to hire safe drivers. It would make it more difficult to run MVRs and other background reports because SSN and DOB are no longer required. With ban-the-box laws increasing in states around the country, it would be difficult to obtain violation history from drivers. Further, the time to hire would be increased, negatively affecting both carriers and drivers.

 

 

  • If the requirement in 49 CFR 391.21 for an employment application is not eliminated in its entirety, what elements should be retained to determine the safety performance history of the driver?

 

We believe that the mandate for the following elements should be retained, at a minimum:

 

 

  1. Social Security Number
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Violation history
  4. Three years of license information
  5. Three years of employment history
  6. The question “Have you ever been denied a license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle” (which would get flagged by ban the box laws)

 

  • In the ordinary course of business, would a motor carrier require a prospective driver to prepare an employment application? If so, what (if any) information currently required by 391.21 would a motor carrier not require a prospective driver to include on the employment application?

 

We believe that most carriers would still require drivers to submit employment applications (the requirement that the application appear in a Driver Qualification File would still exist).

 

 

  • Are there any specific impacts of the proposed changes on small motor carriers that the Agency should consider?

 

When laws change, small motor carriers are disproportionately affected. Often, the person doing the recruiting is the same person handling safety and managing operations. They do not have resources to switch between tasks and handle the additional work required to obtain the information if it isn’t included on the application. Additionally, they will not have the legal team that ensures compliance with changes in the law.

 

 

To see the specific notice by the FMCSA and the additional questions they’ve posed, you can read more at their website.

 

 

Take Action!

 

 

Now is the time for you to provide feedback to the FMCSA. It’s easy – just follow this link. Take some time to comment by May 7, 2019to avoid major headaches later.Your life will get tougher if the regulation is eliminated or the wrong changes are made!

Wallingford’s Inc: Proud to sponsor the American Loggers Council

A Message from Wallingford’s Inc.

Wallingford’s Inc. is proud to sponsor the American Loggers Council. Wallingford’s Inc. has been serving the logging industry since 1975, and being an international distributor of professional forestry products, we understand the need for an ongoing voice for our industry at the national level. Wallingford’s Inc. came about from recognition of a need for high quality forestry products from a logging operation in Northern Maine.

 

Wallingford’s Inc. is a wholesaler of tire chains, forest machine tracks, logging and industrial supplies; now the largest of its kind in North America. Our sales and marketing team are located in Oakland, Maine and our distribution, assembly, and administrative facility in New Hampton, NH. We also have warehouse locations in Edmonton and Montreal, Canada. Our sister company, BABAC traction of Winslow, ME, is the largest forestry tire chain manufacturer located in the United States.

 

Visit Wallingford’s Inc. on the web.

 

 

Action alert: Urge your representatives to support the Future Logging Careers Act

This Congress we have a great opportunity to pass the Future Logging Careers Act to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision. This bill is a part of our efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of loggers.  You can help by taking just two minutes of your time to send message in support (click here). 

 

The Future Logging Careers Act (HR 1785 & S 818) would extend an existing agricultural exemption– now enjoyed by family farmers and ranchers– to enable family-owned logging businesses to train their sixteen- and seventeen-year-old sons and daughters in mechanical timber harvesting.  

 

The exemption would ensure that the next generation of mechanical timber harvesters can gain the needed on-the-ground training and experience under the close supervision of their parents who have a vested interest in their children’s safety and in passing down the profession to the next generation of timber harvesters. Like farming and ranching, the timber harvesting profession is often a family run business where the practice and techniques of harvesting and transporting forest products from the forest to receiving mills is passed down from one generation to the next. Timber harvesting operations are very similar to family farms with sophisticated and expensive harvesting equipment that requires young family members to learn how to run the business, including equipment operation and maintenance, prior to reaching the age of eighteen. 

 

Please take a moment and click here to urge your House and Senate members to support The Future Logging Careers Act (HR 1454). We have pre-drafted a message for you to send, but you can customize if you’d like.

 

We thank U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-ID) and Angus King (I-ME) and U.S. Representatives Jared Golden (D-ME) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) for introducing this important legislation for America’s loggers.

 

CONTACT: Daniel Dructor, 409-625-0206, americanlogger@aol.com

Loggers Convene in Nation’s Capital for Annual Fly-in

The American Loggers Council (ALC), the national association of professional timber harvesters, organizes annual fly-in April 4-6 to connect loggers to key decision makers

April 8, 2019, Hemphill, TX— The American Loggers Council (ALC), the national association of professional timber harvesters, organized its annual fly-in April 4-6 to connect loggers to key decision makers in Congress and the Trump Administration.  The event enjoyed record participation as loggers from across the nation convened in Washington DC.

 

ALC’s membership, made up of state logging associations and individual loggers, returned to Washington DC at a time of divided government.  Recognizing the capital’s polarized political environment, loggers reached out to both Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for an industry primarily composed of small, family-owned businesses.

 

“Loggers understand the importance of working across the aisle and reaching out to lawmakers who may not know about our industry or have misconceptions about what we do in the woods,” said ALC Executive Vice President Danny Dructor. “The small businesses in our industry provide the wood products that Americans use every day, yet we operate on razor-thin profit margins, and like other industries, we are seeking to replenish an aging workforce of loggers and log truck drivers.”

 

“Our legislative agenda has been well-received on Capitol Hill, because members of both parties agree that loggers are essential to the health of America’s forests and economy.”

 

To help recruit the next generation of loggers, ALC members advocated for the bipartisan “Future Logging Careers Act” (HR 1785 and S. 818) to extend an existing agricultural exemption allowing 16- and 17-year-olds in family logging businesses to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision.  

“Like farming and ranching, the timber harvesting profession is often a family run business where the practice and techniques of harvesting and transporting forest products from the forest to receiving mills is passed down from one generation to the next,” Dructor said. “Timber harvesting operations are also very similar to family farms with sophisticated and expensive harvesting equipment that requires young family members to learn how to run the business, including equipment operation and maintenance, prior to reaching the age of eighteen.”

 

ALC is also committed to improving the safety of loggers and log truck drivers. That’s why members advocated for the “Safe Routes Act,” soon to be introduced with bipartisan support, to allow more log trucks to utilize federal interstates for short-haul trips, as a safe alternative to state, county and local roads.

 

“Safe and efficient log hauling is essential to our industry and the nation’s economy, but inconsistent weight standards are putting American lives at risk,” Dructor said. “Since the spring of 1997, the ALC has urged Congress to allow the industry’s trucks to haul state-legal weights on the Federal Interstate Highway System, which often provide safer routes to mills. As fatal log truck collisions increase, there is ample data suggesting this reform would save lives by routing log trucks away from schools, crosswalks, city intersections and railroad tracks.”

 

Because many communities continue to suffer from catastrophic wildfires and smoke, loggers also advocated for better management of federally-owned forests. In recent years Congress has provided the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management new tools and resources to treat fire-prone landscapes at a faster pace. In addition, President Donald Trump last December signed an Executive Order prioritizing forest management activities- including logging- to reduce excess fuels. The American Loggers Council is working to assure these new tools and resources are fully utilized to decrease the size and intensity of wildfires.

 

 

“We urge members of Congress to fund the Forest Service and BLM with the adequate dollars necessary to ensure implementation of all authorities while at the same time request a quarterly progress report that will detail the number of projects implemented, the number of acres treated, and the type of project and what authorities were utilized in its implementation,” Dructor said.

Increasing the pace and scale of forest management activities on federal lands also requires stable markets for wood fiber, especially for low-value materials that can’t be used for lumber. ALC believes the United States has an important opportunity to promote the conversion of woody biomass into renewable energy, which would support forest restoration on federal lands while protecting families who own small woodlands. Wood utilization can help reduce greenhouse gases and help governments at all levels meet climate goals.

 

“Wood utilization promotes healthy forests and communities,” Dructor said. “In addition to providing green and renewable energy, it provides local and rural employment. As a rule of thumb, each megawatt of wood-fueled electricity supports approximately five full-time jobs: one direct job in the power generation facility and four indirect jobs in surrounding forests and communities.”

 

The ALC fly-in concluded with its Board of Directors meeting, where members discussed developments on Capitol Hill and the progress that’s being made on the loggers’ legislative priorities. The board also voted to approve the Ohio Logging Standards Council as its newest voting member, bringing the total number of states being represented by ALC to 36.

 

“As the logging industry changes and faces new challenges, the American Loggers Council is committed to working with policymakers across the political spectrum to ensure our national forest products industry remains competitive,” Dructor said. “We are ‘loggers working for loggers’ and we are proud of what we do for all Americans.” 

 

CONTACT: Daniel Dructor, 409-625-0206, americanlogger@aol.com

GREAT WOODS COMPANIES, LLC: A Series Featuring American Loggers Council Master Logger Certified Companies

by Ted Wright, Executive Director, Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands and Jennifer Hartsig, Coordinator, American Master Logger Certification© Program

 

For the full article, please visit: http://americanmasterlogger.com/2019/03/28/great-woods-companies-llc-a-series-featuring-american-loggers-council-master-logger-certified-companies/ 

 

Bob Lussier has been a logger for over 36 years, but it was an inspired leap of faith in 2009 that brought this born and bred New England ‘Yankee’ and his Great Woods Companies LLC to Bennettsville, South Carolina.  Over the years, Bob weathered ups and downs, but it was a combination of the slow and steady increase in urbanization across RI, CT and southern MA, as well as the realities of the economic downturn in 2009 that got him to consider moving his company, family, and two employees to South Carolina.  He remembers he and his wife, Cindy, deciding they would look at the plan as only a ‘6 month experiment’, and if it didn’t work out, they would come back.  “To look back, it was downright scary.  But it couldn’t have worked out better. It has been my biggest success and I haven’t looked back”.

 

One big difference between the Northeast and the Southeast is the way in which logging companies do business.  Often in the south, timber harvesting contractors work with a “timber dealer” to procure contracts.  Bob has broken that mold by working to establish Great Woods’ own ‘dealerships’, directly purchasing timber for the company.  Structuring his business in this way, and an absolute commitment to doing the best job possible, has paid off.  

 

Over the last three years, Great Woods has grown to having two full crews comprising 16 full time employees and a large and diversified fleet of equipment.  “One of the things that makes me feel really good is when I hear though the grape vine that someone else is telling their crew they want the job to look like ‘like a Great Woods job’.  I’ve brought a different style of work here and people have taken notice of it.  I hear it from the guys coming in behind us – the site prep crews, or tree planters. They say they love our jobsites because of how carefully we clean up and leave the site.  It is really humbling to hear things like that from your peers”.  

 

Most days find Bob buying timber and managing—one crew primarily focuses on first thinnings, and one on clear cuts– while Cindy runs the office including payroll and accounting, safety program and the vast majority of part supplies. Great Woods Companies LLC provides its employees with strong wages and benefits, including health insurance, paid holidays and vacation time.  “While finding quality employees is a challenge, we’re looking for somebody that wants a career.  I treat employees the way I wanted to be treated”.  This also goes for the land where they work.  “I stress with everyone on my crew, whether they are new or have worked for me for 10 years, — treat every job as if it was your own land. Utilize the timber that way, clean it up that way, treat it with respect.  It’s up to us to be good stewards of the land and to pass it to the next generation better than we got it”. 

 

Bob’s success has not gone unnoticed.  He was surprised and excited to receive the 2016 Forestry Association of South Carolina Outstanding Logger of the Year, then in 2017, The Gene Collins Logger Activist of The Year from the South Carolina Timber Producers Association (SCTPA), and accepted a nomination to serve of the board of SCTPA.  He made it clear he could never have accomplished these achievements without the help and support from Cindy, long time employee Terry, his Blanchard Caterpillar salesman Denny Campbell and Tigercat salesman Lee Hope (“my other right hands”, he jokes).  “To have your peers recognize you and tell you you’ve done something right, is, well, I’ve been blessed, really”.   

 

Bob is enjoying working more directly with the American Logger’s Council and its Master Logger Certification committee and is excited implement the program in his adopted home state.  Bob is on track to have Great Woods Companies LLC be one of the first in South Carolina to go through the rigorous process.  “I have a love of this industry. I believe it’s about time we start getting the proper recognition and remuneration for what we do every day. Right now, it’s the wood consuming mills and not the logger that gets credit. I have seen time and time again how a properly managed timber harvest is a benefit to the land and wildlife.  We need more people to see what we do and how we do it.  I want to bridge that gap – I’m really excited about it”.  

 

“I really see this as a culture shift in our industry.  I have put my heart and soul into my own business and Master Logger Certification is a way I can lead by example within the industry”.  Bob sees the growth of ALC’s Master Logger Certification programs around the country as a way for the loggers themselves to become better recognized as professionals and clearly demonstrate their commitment to their key role in the wood products industry.  “That’s why I’m so supportive of the Master Logger Certification program and proud of my position on the committee.  Between this, and my board position with South Carolina Timber Producers Association, I hope to, and look forward to, helping my chosen profession become recognized as responsible stewards of our great land”. 

 

 

Bipartisan, Bicameral Leaders Introduce Future Logging Careers Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-ID) and Angus King (I-ME) and U.S. Representatives Jared Golden (D-ME) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) today introduced the Future Logging Careers Act in the Senate and House of Representatives. This legislation would level the playing field for the logging trade with other agricultural fields by allowing family members to learn about and get experience in the trade of logging from an earlier age so that they may carry on the family business.

 

“The agriculture industry currently enjoys regulatory exemptions that permit family members to participate and learn the operations of the family business under the direction and supervision of their parents,” said Senator Risch. “However, young men and women in families who own and operate timber harvesting companies are denied the opportunity to work and learn the family trade until the age of eighteen. This bill would equip these young loggers with the knowledge and experience needed to carry on the family trade. Further, it would help to restore Idaho forests and all national forest lands into healthy, fire-tolerant forests while bringing much-needed natural resources into the marketplace.”

 

“Logging is more than just an occupation in Maine – it’s a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, supporting rural Maine families and boosting local economies,” said Senator King. “There are young people throughout Maine who have grown up waiting for their opportunity to enter this industry that plays such a vital part in their communities, and we should give them the opportunity to do just that. By allowing interested young Maine people to learn on the job with their parents and grandparents, we can help train the next generation of loggers, strengthen our forest products industry, and ensure that this vital rural Maine industry continues to grow and thrive.” 

 

“I’m introducing the Future Logging Careers Act with Senator King to allow the Mainers working our forests to bring on their family members earlier, better prepare Maine’s young people for good-paying careers in logging, and set family businesses in our forest products industry up for long-term success,” said Congessman Golden.

 

“For generations, young people have been learning the family agri-business under the supervision of their parents,” Congressman Thompson said.“This bill puts the logging families on par with the same rules so that the next generation can learn the trade and obtain essential knowledge through the guidance and safety of family members. I urge my colleagues to support this common sense legislation.”

 

The bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 so that 16 and 17-year-olds would be allowed to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision.

© AMERICAN LOGGERS COUNCIL, 2019