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



TEAM Safe Trucking Announces First Comprehensive Log Truck Fleet Management Initiative

TEAM Safe Trucking originated from the recognition that the severest accidents occurring in the logging industry today do not happen in the woods.  The era of mechanized logging has changed the relationship of accidents in logging.  That’s not to say nothing of consequence happens at the timber site, but it does say that the accidents happening on the roadways are severe in nature and are the public face of the Logging Industry.  This is the side that the general public is exposed.  TEAM set out to identify how to increase the awareness of the issue of unsafe driving, and to provide solutions to the Industry.

Operations in TEAM really commenced in March 2016.  The original meeting in October, 2015 included 40 or so representatives from all regions of the US.  They represented interests from logging, industry associations, suppliers, insurance and publications.  In that meeting a number of committees were set up to do some research on various issues that affected safe driving of log hauling tractors and trailers.  The designated follow up meeting was in February, 2016.  The February meeting was extraordinary in the amount of work that had been done by the increased number of attendees.  It was obvious there is great enthusiasm for the topic.

It was at the February meeting that I was asked to take a lead in developing the organization.   The mission was clear:  Improve the awareness that safe driving can have on reducing accidents and improving the public’s perception of the log trucks on local and state roads, and like most clear missions, the path to action has many components.

The key core initiatives that have evolved include the following:

  1. Developing Fleet Management BMPs for loggers
  2. Developing the ideal Mill setting that requires safety on the premises and reinforces safety on the road
  3. Developing tools to constantly remind drivers for the need to drive defensively
  4. Developing techniques to attract new employees to the industry
  5. Establish what the cost factors are of a profitable fleet

In support of these core initiatives we have the following underway:

  1. An awareness campaign sponsored by Hatton Brown’s DK Knight
  2. A developing web site under the leadership of Firehorse’s JP Dame
  3. A technical college curriculum developed by Coastal Pines Technical College
  4. An industry study under the direction of Virginia Tech’s Scott Barrett
  5. Becoming a consolidator of the significant number of available resources that exist today

Observations from three months of asking questions and listening to answers:

A logging company is really a number of different business activities; all demanding levels of expertise.  A logging company is likely more than two of the following:

  • Harvests timber
  • Repairs and maintains expensive equipment and transportation units
  • May manage a fleet of tractors and trailers
  • May act as its own supplier
  • May have its own mill operation

It is the managing of the fleet that has been the most difficult task for loggers.

Transportation has historically been looked upon as an economic loser by loggers.  The simple reason given, and that has been accepted, is that loggers are not paid enough for hauling the timber to the mills.  The issue with this is that a logger’s control of the cost factors may not be understood and may not be in place.

Finding quality drivers is difficult.  We cannot compete with other businesses.  This lament is heard all through the transportation industry.  Long haul transportation companies complain that drivers want to be home for dinner and logging companies complain they cannot compete for drivers.  The solution is right in front of us.

Logging is a highly fragmented industry made up of many small multi generational companies.

As a result of this fragmentation, we often don’t recognize the significance of our economic impact in the communities we operate.  My proposition by this statement is that logging is to Waycross, Georgia and Georgetown, South Carolina and all the other towns we work- in as to what General Motors is to Michigan.  In South Carolina there are seventy three mills all centered on smaller towns and cities.  I can repeat this impact in each state where logging is a meaningful industry.   The mills are where the loggers are and these are typically in smaller more rural communities.  Both logging and mills are major employers, pay taxes and are significant members of their communities.

Because the industry is fragmented it lacks economic leadership that can reach out in local communities to raise the awareness of the industry in schools and within the community.  This limits what should be a natural flow of younger employees in all occupations to the industry.  Interestingly, there is a precedent that demonstrates the attractiveness of the industry to the young.  It is more the rule than the exception that logging companies are multi generational enterprises and proud of it.  If the youth of loggers are interested in the business there is a broader population to draw upon.

Fleet management is difficult.  If the owner is at the site operating equipment or supervising a crew, when the tractor leaves the woods they can only “hope” they know how that tractor is being driven.  Hope is not a strategy for managing the fleet.   To manage a fleet requires tools and the staff that knows how to use them.  All of these tools exist today.

The last three months has been about listening to well discussed points as to what the problems are.

Developing deliverables is the goal of TEAM.  Delivering solutions is going to be the outcome.

The solution deliverables include:

  1. Running your fleet profitably
  2. BMPs for fleet management
  3. A curriculum that can be used countrywide to train new employees for the industry
  4. The “how” to reach out to schools in any area of the country
  5. A web site that can deliver web based training
  6. Awareness materials that support driving defensively
  7. The development of the tools that loggers can use to manage their fleets while still doing what is necessary to operate their company
  8. Establish TEAM as the place where all tools required to run a log fleet reside.

TEAM Safe Trucking, TST, is dedicated to being the central site where all the information and the “how to” implement the running a safe, profitable fleet resides.

About the author: Rick Quagliaroli is president of TEAM Safe Trucking, LLC.  In addition to these responsibilities he is owner of Swamp Fox Agency.  The Agency is a specialist in the risk management practices of loggers.  Quagliaroli has run loss control safety for large countrywide commercial lines insurance carriers that focus on the essential actions to eliminate accidents and increase profitability of accounts under service.

National Forest Planning: An Abbreviated Guide for Forest Industry

From the Federal Forest Resource Coalition, the National Forest Planning: An Abbreviated Guide for Forest Industry is intended to provide forestry professionals guidance for their efforts to participate effectively in the National Forest Plan revision process.  Download the guide by clicking here.

This guide should be helpful for anyone from a procurement forester to an association executive who needs to engage in the plan revision process. It includes a very brief overview of the plan revision process established in the 2012 rules, suggests basic steps for industry participation in the plan revision process, and includes a schedule of plan revisions as well as sample industry comments on plans currently under revision.

The Forest Plan revision process needs to be a key element in your efforts to engage with the Forest Service. Hopefully this guide will help make you an effective advocate for your company – and the industry at large – during this complex process.

American Loggers Council National Logger Activist of the Year Award nominations open

The American Loggers Council is seeking nominations for the National Logger Activist of the Year Award to be presented at the American Loggers Council 22nd Annual Meeting to be held on September 29- October 1, 2016 at the Sheraton Bay Point Resort in Panama City Beach, Florida.

The Communications Committee will make their final decision by no later than July 31, 2016 and the winner will be contacted and will be provided with hotel accommodations and two complimentary full meeting registrations for the American Loggers Council 21st Annual Meeting. The winner will be responsible for booking airfare and transportation for the trip.

If your organization would like to submit a nomination, please do so by sending in the complete contact information for the nominee, including name, mailing address, phone numbers and e-mail address (if available) and a one to two page description of why you feel this individual should be considered for the award.

All nominations must be submitted by no later than July 31, 2016 to the ALC office for review by the Communications Committee.

All nominees should be member in good standing of their respective State and/or Regional Logging Associations as well as spend at a minimum 50% of their time involved in the timber harvesting or log trucking industry.

Participation in the legislative process, public awareness, charitable organizations and other local, state, regional or national events promoting professional timber harvesters will all be considered.

Please take the time to consider who you believe is deserving of this recognition, and submit their name and information to the ALC office by July 31, 2016. Nominations can be emailed to americanlogger@aol.com or mailed to the address below.

Thank you, and we hope to see you in Florida this September!

Sincerely,

Daniel Dructor

Executive Vice President
American Loggers Council
P.O. Box 966
Hemphill, Texas 75948
Phone: 409-625-0207
Fax: 409-625-0207
e-mail: americanlogger@aol.com

 

ALC Members Recognized by Forest Resources Association

M.A. Rigoni: 2016 National Outstanding Logger
bfbd6f0d-fd56-44a6-8758-5a1781989468The Forest Resources Association honored M.A. Rigoni, Inc., based in Perry, Florida, as 2016 National Outstanding Logger at FRA’s May 5th Annual Awards Dinner in Colorado Springs, Colorado. FRA Chairman Tom Reed congratulated co-owners Gary Brett and Rodney Schwab, presenting them with a commemorative plaque.

Kent Hall of STIHL Inc, which has supported the Outstanding Logger Award Program for several decades, added his congratulations, presenting Gary and Rodney with a $1,000 cash award on behalf of STIHL.

Gary Brett thanked FRA and STIHL and stated, “It is certainly nice to be honored in this way.” He thanked his long-term partner, Rodney, and expressed special thanks to his wife: “We have been incredibly blessed. This summer, we’ll have been married 41 years, and she’ll have been married to a logger for 40 of those.”

Rodney Schwab observed, “It’s hard to explain all the things that have happened in your life. You don’t always know why, but you know you’re supposed to be a logger. We are blessed. There’s a lot of good people in this industry.”

M.A. Rigoni, Inc., of Perry, Florida, had its beginnings in 1960, founded by M.A. “Matt” Rigoni—a forester-turned-logger who set a high bar for innovation and professionalism in logging. Current owners Rodney Schwab and Gary Brett joined the company in 1974 and 1980, respectively, and bought the company in 1995. The company has grown significantly in the past two years, now employing three company chipping crews and contracting with six logging crews for a combined weekly production of 600 truck loads.

M.A. Rigoni employs 44 and enjoys a stable and skilled work force. Half of these employees have been with Rigoni for over five years, and half again of those have been employed for over ten years. The roster includes eight Master Loggers, who renew their training in SFI guidelines annually.

The company performs all types of harvest: clearcutting, thinning, real estate-cutting, and harvests customized to clients’ wildlife management objectives. The three company crews, with whole-tree chipping capability, are able to clean up sites and remove unmerchantable materials, allowing them to work in real estate development. The company has been awarded three USFS Forest Stewardship contracts, one in each of Florida’s three National Forests, performing fuel reduction, road construction/maintenance, and pine cone harvest—all financed through the sale of timber.

M.A. Rigoni strongly emphasizes safety, and both Rodney and Gary wear full Personal Protective Equipment, as an example to their in-woods employees, and provide First Aid and CPR training to all employees every two years. If safety-related incidents occur, the company reviews them carefully and makes appropriate changes in procedures, communicating new policies at safety meetings. Safety policies include a very robust drug testing program, in force since the mid-1990s, along with a drug education program.

Rodney’s sons Richard and Chad are both active in the business, positioned to carry M.A. Rigoni into the next generation. Rodney, Gary, Richard, and Chad are active in their community and in local, state, and national associations. They have participated in hurricane relief and clean up efforts, and are all active in church leadership, Rodney, Gary, and Richard participating in missionary work in Central America.

FRA has honored 27 National Outstanding Loggers since establishing the national award in 1990. Recent National Outstanding Loggers include Comstock Logging of Hampden, Maine (2013), Anthony B. Andrews Logging of Trenton, North Carolina (2015), and last year’s Moulton Logging, Inc. of West Charleston, Vermont. Nominees for this year’s award passed through state-level recognition to regional award programs administered through FRA’s Regional structure. A jury of national-level leaders in forestry and conservation selected the winner.

The Outstanding Logger program is designed:
1) to recognize outstanding logging contractor performance;
2) to raise the visibility of competent, professional independent logging contractors in the forestry community;
3) to encourage other independent logging contractors to emulate the outstanding performance of the award winners; and
4) to improve forester-logger relations by publicly recognizing outstanding logging performance as an essential element of every planned timber harvest.


 

Joe Young Honored for Activism from FRA
6bd52a10-d248-490a-ba33-f907060626f2The Forest Resources Association conferred its 2016 National Outstanding Forestry Activist Award on Joe Young, President of Low Country Forest Products, based in Georgetown, South Carolina.

FRA Chairman Tom Reed presented the award at FRA’s May 5th Annual Awards Dinner in Colorado Springs, Colorado, congratulating Joe on his dedication to raising the public’s and policymakers’ awareness of the importance of timber harvesting and the forest industry.

Joe thanked Tom for the honor, commenting, “It has been a wonderful career. The Lord has allowed me to do things I’d never dreamed about. There’s nobody can represent a logger like a logger, that truly understands what it’s like to get up at 4:30 every morning, not because you have to but because you want to.”

“I thank FRA, and I especially thank my friends in South Carolina who nominated me.”

FRA Executive Committee member Joe Young has truly integrated outreach and pro-forestry activism into his long career as a logging entrepreneur.

In his community, in South Carolina, throughout the Southeast, and nationally, Joe Young has had a significant influence in shaping public perception and understanding of forestry and logging—whether hosting a teachers’ tour, visiting a high school to promote logging as a profession, leading development of an equipment operator training program, or through his direct contacts with state and federal policymakers on issues concerning forestry—notably leading the enactment of the South Carolina Intrastate Forest Products Trucking Regulations in late ‘90s.

Joe has served in the South Carolina House of Representatives. He has been a leader in the South Carolina Forestry Association, the South Carolina Timber Producers Association, and the South Carolina Trucking Association; and he served a term as the National Forestry Division Chairman of the American Trucking Associations’ Agriculture & Food Transporters Conference.

Joe is that rare individual who believes 100% in the importance of a life of service. He lives and breathes forestry and is proud to be a timber harvester. Being an activist, often at substantial personal sacrifice, comes naturally to him.

The Forest Resources Association honored M.A. Rigoni, Inc., based in Perry, Florida, as 2016 National Outstanding Logger at FRA’s May 5th Annual Awards Dinner in Colorado Springs, Colorado. FRA also conferred its 2016 National Outstanding Forestry Activist Award on Joe Young, President of Low Country Forest Products, based in Georgetown, South Carolina. Both are past and present leaders of American Loggers Council.

FRA Chairman Tom Reed presented the award at FRA’s May 5th Annual Awards Dinner in Colorado Springs, Colorado, congratulating Joe on his dedication to raising the public’s and policymakers’ awareness of the importance of timber harvesting and the forest industry.

Joe thanked Tom for the honor, commenting, “It has been a wonderful career. The Lord has allowed me to do things I’d never dreamed about. There’s nobody can represent a logger like a logger, that truly understands what it’s like to get up at 4:30 every morning, not because you have to but because you want to.”

“I thank FRA, and I especially thank my friends in South Carolina who nominated me.”

FRA Executive Committee member Joe Young has truly integrated outreach and pro-forestry activism into his long career as a logging entrepreneur.

In his community, in South Carolina, throughout the Southeast, and nationally, Joe Young has had a significant influence in shaping public perception and understanding of forestry and logging—whether hosting a teachers’ tour, visiting a high school to promote logging as a profession, leading development of an equipment operator training program, or through his direct contacts with state and federal policymakers on issues concerning forestry—notably leading the enactment of the South Carolina Intrastate Forest Products Trucking Regulations in late ‘90s.

Joe has served in the South Carolina House of Representatives. He has been a leader in the South Carolina Forestry Association, the South Carolina Timber Producers Association, and the South Carolina Trucking Association; and he served a term as the National Forestry Division Chairman of the American Trucking Associations’ Agriculture & Food Transporters Conference.

Joe is that rare individual who believes 100% in the importance of a life of service. He lives and breathes forestry and is proud to be a timber harvester. Being an activist, often at substantial personal sacrifice, comes naturally to him.

The Forest Resources Association Inc. is a nonprofit trade association concerned with the safe, efficient, and sustainable harvest of forest products and their transport from woods to mill. FRA represents wood consumers, independent logging contractors, and wood dealers, as well as businesses providing products and services to the forest resource-based industries.

FRA Elects Bill Johnson Chairman

johnsonWashington, DC – On May 6, the Forest Resources Association’s Board of Directors elected Bill Johnson, Jr., President of Johnson Timber, to serve as the Association’s Chairman for the coming two years.

Accepting the Chairmanship, Johnson thanked his predecessor, Tom Reed, and praised his strong leadership.

Johnson noted the importance of growing FRA’s influence in public policy, by continuing to build the organization’s grassroots capabilities and through higher-level public outreach campaigns.  “I would like to place that challenge to all of you:  to make ‘grassroots response’ something everyone in the forest products supply chain does.”

Johnson pointed to the challenge that forest industry consolidation poses, as does progress in technologies that enable fewer personnel to do more work.  “The mergers and acquisitions throughout our sector have created new efficiencies, savings, technology access, and new ways to meet the challenges of global competition,” he observed.  “But they have left us all with the challenge of keeping our feet on the ground.  We have fewer people doing more work, with enhanced technologies and time-saving apps, but with new challenges in building involvement.”

He asked Board members to invest in FRA, not just by paying dues but by encouraging staff to participate in Regional meetings, to share key learnings in FRA technical programs, and to build the FRA network, as an Association.

Johnson also stated the priority of strengthening FRA’s wood supplier membership, encouraging suppliers to join, to help them realize value in their membership, and to bring them more actively into FRA’s decision processes and programs.

Bill Johnson began working for Hayward, Wisconsin-based Johnson Timber in 1997, rising through various positions until being named President in 2006.  He also serves as Director of Government Affairs and Public Relations for the company’s acquisition, Flambeau River Papers.  In 2008, he formed the patent-holding technology company, Renewable and Densified Fuels, and in 2011 helped form Timberian LLC, an international consulting firm active in the Caribbean, South America, and Asia.

Johnson is a former Chairman of the Wisconsin State Implementation Committee for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and is a current Board member of the American Forest & Paper Association and of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition, in addition to his long service on FRA’s Board and Executive Committee.

Bill serves as the Finance Chairman for the Wisconsin state Republican Party and as the National Treasurer for GOPAC.

The Forest Resources Association Inc. is a nonprofit trade association concerned with the safe, efficient, and sustainable harvest of forest products and their transport from woods to mill.  FRA represents forest landowners and managers, wood consumers, independent logging contractors, wood dealers, and businesses providing products and services to the forest resource-based industries.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Determines Critical Habitat is Not Prudent for Threatened Northern Long-eared Bat

Given the nature of the primary threats facing the species and the potential harm of publishing its hibernation locations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that designating critical habitat for the northern long-eared bat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is not prudent. The Service’s determination does not affect the bat’s threatened status, which it received in 2015 due to white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease impacting cave-dwelling bats.

 

Critical habitat is a designation under the ESA for lands that contain habitat features that are essential for the survival and recovery of a listed species, which may require special management considerations or protections. The ESA requires the Service to consider which areas are needed for a species’ recovery and to designate critical habitat accordingly, unless it determines that doing so is not prudent for the species.

 

In making its determination, the Service conducted an in-depth analysis of the bat’s seasonal habitat needs, which include mines and caves for hibernation in winter and forested areas for roosting and raising young in summer. Because designating critical habitat requires identification of specific tracts of land, the Service determined it is not prudent to designate hibernation sites as critical habitat. Doing so would increase the risk of vandalism and disturbance to bats at hibernation sites and could hasten the spread of white-nose syndrome.

 

For the bat’s summer habitat, the Service determined that designating critical habitat would not benefit the species. Northern long-eared bats use a wide variety of forested areas in summer to find food and raise their young and are highly flexible in how they meet these needs. As such, there are no specific physical habitat features essential to its conservation. In addition, the bat’s summer habitat is not limited or in short supply, habitat loss is not a predominant threat, and there are no areas that meet the definition of critical habitat.

 

“While critical habitat has a fundamental role to play in recovering many of our nation’s most imperiled species, in the case of the northern long-eared bat, whose habitat is not a limiting factor in its survival, designating it could do more harm than good,” said Tom Melius, the Service’s Midwest Regional Director. “Today’s finding will ensure we don’t put the bat at greater risk by drawing people to its hibernation sites. It also enables the Service and our partners to focus our efforts where they clearly can do the most good, finding a solution to the primary threat of white-nose syndrome.”

 

In the United States, the northern long-eared bat is found from Maine to North Carolina on the Atlantic Coast, westward to eastern Oklahoma and north through the Dakotas, reaching into eastern Montana and Wyoming. The species is also found in Canadian provinces from the Atlantic Ocean west to the southern Yukon Territory and eastern British Columbia. Bats are critical to the nation’s ecology and provide billions of dollars in economic benefit to farmers and foresters through the consumption of tons of insects nightly.

 

Since its discovery in New York State in the winter of 2006-2007, white-nose syndrome or the causative fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) has spread to 32 states and five Canadian provinces, killing more than 5.7 million cave- or mine-hibernating bats.

 

The Service’s determination can be found in the April 27, 2016, Federal Register. For more information on the northern long-eared bat, go tohttp://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nleb/index.html. For more information about white-nose syndrome, visit https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/.

 

The ESA is an essential tool for conserving the nation’s most at-risk wildlife, as well as the land and water on which they depend for habitat. The ESA has saved more than 99 percent of the species listed from the brink of extinction and has served as the critical safety net for wildlife that Congress intended when it passed the law 40 years ago. The Obama Administration has delisted more species due to recovery than any other administration: those species include the Oregon chub, Virginia northern flying squirrel and brown pelican.

 

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the critical habitat designation.

ALC Members Visit Capitol Hill for Annual Fly-In

Profes20160416_110922sional timber harvesters from across the nation held 146 meetings on Capitol Hill during its annual Washington D.C. Fly-in on April 13-16, 2016. ALC members visited with key members of the Obama Administration, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to discuss federal forest management, transportation policies and other critical issues for loggers.

ALC members lobbied members of Congress and administration officials to fix wildfire suppression funding and increase active management on federal lands. Loggers also voiced support for the “Right to Haul Act” to promote consistent weight limits on roads and highways across the country. Further, ALC continued its efforts to pass the “Youth Careers in Logging” legislation to allow the sons and daughters of logging business owners the ability to legally work in the logging business under parental supervision.

ALC members expressed satisfaction with their reception by legislators and staff on Capitol Hill. ALC is the only national organization solely dedicated to representing the independent contract logger on the national level.

USGBC Announces New Pathway to Encourage Environmentally Responsible Forest Management in LEED

The range of legal and responsible forest products available for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credit has grown in a positive direction. This is welcome news for architects, builders and consumers seeking legal, responsibly sourced and certified forest products from well-managed forests.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has issued a LEED alternative compliance path (ACP) that recognizes wood and paper from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Program as part of an integrated approach to encouraging environmentally responsible forest management and eliminating illegal wood from the building material’s supply chain. The ACP will apply to all LEED v4 rating systems including Homes v4 and to all LEED 2009 rating systems.
“We applaud leaders from the U.S. Green Building Council as this change across all LEED rating tools takes a stance against illegal wood and reinforces the value of certified and responsibly sourced forest products,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “SFI employs rigorous standards that ensure not only a responsibly managed forest, but also that only legal sources of fiber are brought into SFI-certified supply chains.”
LEED has seven impact goals that include reversing climate change, enhancing human health, protecting water resources and biodiversity, promoting sustainable material resources, building a greener economy and enhancing social equity and community quality of life. The SFI Standards and SFI’s supporting programs are tightly aligned with LEED’s seven core criteria. The SFI 2015-2019 Standards, launched in January 2015, include enhanced measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk and forests with exceptional conservation value. In the social sphere, SFI’s work with rural and underserved communities, youth, and indigenous peoples promotes grassroots engagement on environmental issues and helps improve the quality of life for many.
LEED is a proven tool, unparalleled in its ability to drive wholesale transformation across every corner of the built environment and raise the bar for all players,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of USGBC. “Requiring architects, builders and consumers to verify the legality of forest products used in LEED buildings is part of its standing as a leadership standard, and the new ACP encourages the use of programs that certify that practice. This new path to LEED credits also recognizes the contributions forest certification standards have made in establishing the infrastructure which makes it possible to verify responsible sourcing.”
This move will further strengthen the widely-respected LEED program. It requires architects, builders and consumers to verify the legality of forest products used in LEED buildings, and awards credit for the use of forest products certified to programs like SFI. In order to count towards a LEED point, the user must first know that 100% of the forest products are from legal (non-controversial) sources, 70% from responsible sources and the remainder must be certified sources as evidenced by a chain of custody certification (CoC). SFI Fiber Sourcing certification counts as legal and responsible, while fiber delivered through a CoC certification counts as legal, responsible and certified sources. The new alternative compliance path pilot recognizes SFI, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and programs that are endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The alternative compliance path categorizes the various forest certification standards based on the ASTM D7612-10 (2015) standard which is titled “Categorizing Wood and Wood-Based Products According to Their Fiber Sources.” ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) International is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of voluntary consensus standards.

Responsible forest management practices are also important to architects and builders focused on sustainable solutions that can transform the construction sector. Wood is an increasingly popular choice for construction because of its aesthetic qualities, and numerous environmental benefits – including renewability and a lower carbon footprint than other materials. Because trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, they sequester and store carbon, reducing greenhouse gases, improving air quality and reducing the construction sector’s contribution to global climate change. But many of these positive attributes of wood construction depend on whether the forest resource is responsibly managed under a certification program. Forests certified to the SFI Standards are found in 42 states and provinces in the US and Canada. The acceptance of more responsibly sourced forest products into all LEED rating tools offers architects and builders greater access to these renewable products for their green building projects.

Wood Supply Research Institute Annual Meeting Invitation

The Wood Supply Research Institute (WSRI) Annual Meeting will be conducted at the front end of the Forest Resources Assn. (FRA) Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 4th, 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Cheyenne Mountain Resort Hotel, Colorado Springs, CO. WSRI Executive Director Jim Fendig notes, “All WSRI and FRA members as well as interested non-members are invited to attend and to participate in the Meeting.”

The FRA website home page (www.forestresources.org) includes a link to access the WSRI and FRA Annual Meeting information and registration instructions for the WSRI (and FRA) Meeting. Here is the direct link: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1813934 (select the REGISTER NOW button to review the program and begin the registration process).

Please note that there is no additional fee for the WSRI Meeting registration if you register for the regular FRA National Annual Meeting. Your Meeting fee includes breakfast and lunch on May 4. However, if you attend only the WSRI meeting, a $150 member/$200 non-member fee is required. After April 11th the registration fees increase.

In addition to the WSRI Business Meeting WSRI Chair Grad Jaynes invites all to attend the following two presentations at the Meeting:

  • Logging and Trucking Total Compensation Comparison Index – Shawn Baker (Director of Forest Operations Research, Forisk Consulting)
  • Factors Affecting Delivery Time From the Stump to the Mill and Return – Tom Gallagher (Associate Professor, Auburn Univ.)

The Wood Supply Research Institute WSRI is a joint project of professional loggers, forest landowners, wood consuming mills, educators, and manufacturers that facilitates and funds research to promote and improve efficiency in the wood supply system.

May, 2016 As We See It: The Pendulum

By the time this editorial is published, members of the American Loggers Council (ALC) will have completed their annual trek to Washington, DC to visit with the lawmakers of this country who create and pass legislation that governs our industry, and the agencies that are charged with implementation of that legislation.

Approximately 65 representatives from the ALC will have carried the four main issues that are currently on the table to our elected officials, including 1) Future Careers in Logging, 2) Federal Interstate Truck Weight Reform, 3) Wildfire Funding reform, and 4) changes to the federal timber sale program which would help create efficiencies within the USFS and increase the timber sale volume currently being generated by the USFS.

Many of you who read this column probably realize that these are the same issues that we have carried to the Hill year after year, and yet they are still not resolved.  There has been incremental progress over the years, and that is what keep us going back.  A great word of advice came to me recently when communicating with Mike Beardsley who used to be the Executive Director for the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, and now works in business development with the Varney Insurance Agency and American Loggers Insurance.  Mike wrote:

“Be a good thing to point out to everyone at the meeting that that is how the environmental lobby operates.  They’re relentless and are ok with incremental change so long as momentum is heading their way.  That’s what leads to the really big changes eventually.  That’s also why they kick and scream and try to crush every small attempt to turn halt or shift the direction things are going.  Even if it appears you are not making headway, a halt to the slide is a momentum shift: Every pendulum “stops” before it changes direction.”

Mike nailed it on the head.  While the pendulum might still be swinging a little in one direction, we have effectively slowed it’s progress and are looking forward to the day when we see it moving in the other direction.  Only through our persistence and the education of our policymakers can we make this happen.

Please stay active in your State, Regional and National Logging Associations.  With our combined efforts, the pendulum will change its course.

Richard Schwab is the Procurement Manager for M.A. Rigoni, Inc., a full service timber harvesting and forest management company located in Perry, Florida.

 

The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c) (6) corporation representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states across the US. For more information, visit their web site at www.amloggers.com or contact their office at 409-625-0206.

© AMERICAN LOGGERS COUNCIL, 2018