April 1, members of the American Loggers Council met in Washington, DC with coordinated efforts to present issues important to the timber harvesting industry to lawmakers up on Capitol Hill. Approximately 80 members were in attendance, including representatives from ALC sponsors Forestry Mutual and the Southern Loggers Cooperative.
A record setting 155 hill visits included discussion on major issues such as the recently introduced Future Logging Careers Act, Truck Weight reform, comprehensive U.S. Forest Service wildland fire suppression funding and land management reform, biogenic carbon neutrality and regulatory reform.
On Thursday morning, ALC members were briefed on these issues by ALC staff and were joined by Forest Resources Association President Deb Hawkinson and Director of Government Affairs Ryan Rhodes.
Thursday visits included many face-to-face meetings with Senators, House of Representative members and key committees where currently introduced legislation on ALC priorities is pending and other legislation is currently under development.
Following Friday morning visits, members gathered at a Friday afternoon de-briefing session and also heard presentations from Bob Cleaves, President of the Biomass Power Association; Bill Imbergamo, Director of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition; Erica Rhoad, Staff Director for the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands, and were given an update on the Team Safe Trucking program by Forestry Mutual member Jimmie Locklear.
On Saturday morning, the ALC Board of Directors held their spring board meeting where committee reports were given and strategies were discussed to pursue further action on all legislative priorities. A resolution supporting sustainable forest management of the national forests to produce timber for the purpose of manufacturing cross laminated timber for building a border wall, as well as providing for forest health and economic well-being in rural communities was introduced and will be voted on during the next Board meeting to be held in July.
ALC President Ken Martin remarked that “this is the largest gathering of members in Washington, DC in our 23 year history. The ALC continues to grow in membership and representation, and it is very rewarding to see the traction and credibility that we are gaining here in Washington.” ALC Executive Vice President Danny Dructor stated that he was “very pleased with the efforts of all that attended,” and that “once again we have shown that we are “loggers working for loggers.””