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



Why Master Logger Certification© matters now

By Ted Wright, Executive Director, Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands

 

Logging has an image problem in America, and every logger knows this.

 

It wasn’t always this way. Not so long ago, nearly every family in timber-rich areas of the country had at least one member working in the woods.  Logging was understood and accepted, and loggers honored and celebrated as members of a vital and respected profession.

 

Today, with mechanization the number of loggers has fallen dramatically, relatively few families are in the business, and this once accepted industry is now overlooked, misunderstood or, regrettably, vilified by the public.

 

Changing this image will not be easy, but it may be one of the most important tasks the logging industry must confront if it is to survive. Wood markets ultimately depend on the public, and when the public starts to question where, how or even whether wood is harvested, the image of logging becomes something we all need to consider. This is where Master Logger Certification© can make a difference, not just for individual loggers, but for our industry as a whole.

 

Master Logger is about achieving professional standards and third-party verification. It is a program built not simply by taking classes, attending workshops or training sessions, but by demonstrating high quality work in the woods every day. In many cases, businesses that achieve this certification are already meeting the Master Logger standards.  Certification is a means of documenting this ongoing commitment. For these logging enterprises, it provides recognition of the high-quality work they already do. For loggers who do not yet meet the benchmarks and want to improve, it raises the bar for the industry.

 

Other industries have implemented standards that have elevated their reputation with the public. My wife is a registered nurse and relative newcomer to the logging industry.  Many times, she is asked by coworkers or patients about what I do. She often explains the Master Logger Program by using an analogy about the medical field.  Patients will always prefer using a board-certified physician. Certification in the health field has ensured up-to-date and evidence-based knowledge and practice. The success of the program has led people to expect this level of practice.

 

The same is true for the Forest Products Industry. By growing brand recognition of Master Logger, the consumer (mill, landowner, or general public) will know their choice of timber harvesting business meets the seven responsibilities of the certification program. The consumer will recognize a Master Logger company as doing the very best for the environment, the forest, the community, and their employees.

 

Implementing these benchmark measures also allow state and federal regulators to look at our industry as being able to self-regulate, which can lead to the lifting or lightening of external regulations and red tape. This has already begun to happen in certain states. Increased awareness and understanding of Master Logger Certification will only bring greater recognition of our achievements and positive outlook.

 

In 2017, the American Loggers Council (ALC) decided the time was right to revitalize and promote the Master Logger program nationally to build on the success it has seen in areas of the country where it is already established. This effort is being undertaken to help the logging industry receive recognition for the high-quality work so many loggers are already doing and to reinforce standards that will enable it to improve its image with the public and maintain healthy forests.

 

American loggers are doing the best work in the world.  The public should know this and value it.  Wood buyers should reward it. In an industry where most of us are working long hours and often six or seven days a week, we have little time for anything that does not get the job done. This is why we must let the work we do stand for itself, and why the work must be recognized. This is what the Master Logger program seeks to accomplish.

 

In the coming months, this national effort will gain momentum. Existing Master Logger programs will be expanded, and new efforts launched. If there is not a Master Logger program in your area now, there will be soon.

 

For more information on the Master Logger Program contact Ted Wright at (207) 532-8721 or executivedirector@tcnef.org.

National Master Logger Certification Program Committee Formed and Program Coordinator hired

AUGUSTA, ME – The organization tasked by the American Logger’s Council (ALC) with revitalizing and promoting Master Logger Certification© has formed a national committee to guide the effort and hired a program coordinator to administer it.

 

The first Master Logger program, Northeast Master Logger Certification, was created in 2001 by the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) as the first in the world point-of-harvest certification program, offering third party independent certification of logging companies’ harvesting practices. In 2003, PLC created The Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands (TCNF) to administer the program with the broader goal of “enhancing the health of working forest ecosystems through exceptional accountability” throughout the Northern Forest region.

 

In 2004, the ALC adopted the program as a national model. Since that point, 18 states have approved templates for implementation of the program, with several currently implementing it. In August of 2017, the ALC decided to launch a national effort to promote the program and appointed the TCNF to lead it.

 

The TCNF began the effort in January and has now formed a committee with representatives from the logging industry from 17 states. Members of the committee so far include: Myles Anderson, California; Perry Sawyer, Connecticut; Richard Schwab, Florida; John Lane, Georgia; Dennis Aucoin, Louisiana; Andy Irish, Maine; Brian Tetrault, Massachusetts; Brian Nelson, Michigan; Mike Hill, Minnesota; Shannon Jarvis, Missouri; Rocky Bunnell, New Hampshire; Paul Mitchell Jr., New York; Bruce Zuber, Oregon; Robert Thurber, Rhode Island; Crad Jaynes, South Carolina; Sam Lincoln, Vermont; Ed Bryant, Washington.

 

In late February, the Trust hired Jennifer Hartsig of J Piper Consulting, LLC in New York to coordinate the effort and provide administrative support and implement nationwide technical support, expansion, branding, standardization and outreach.

 

Hartsig specializes in working with rural, natural resource dependent organizations, businesses and municipalities to help design, fund and manage projects.  After gaining more than two decades of experience in public and private sector program coordination, she formed her own consulting company in 2010.  Since 2012, she has been working directly with loggers and other forest industry stakeholders in New York State as the Coordinator for New York Logger Training, Inc., and project consultant with Empire State Forest Products Association.  Jennifer lives with her husband, Forestry Consultant Steve Bick, two daughters and soon to be University of Maine graduate son, in Okara Lakes, in the western Adirondack Mountains of New York.

 

“I am thrilled to be joining the team to promote Master Logger certification across the U.S. on behalf of the ALC,” Hartsig said.

 

TCNF Executive Director Ted Wright said that the pieces are now in place for the next steps of the effort to begin.

 

“With our committee members and a program coordinator with Jennifer’s credentials onboard we are ready to begin the serious work of promoting the Master Logger program nationwide,” TCNF Executive Director Ted Wright, said. “We are confident that the time is right and the industry ready for what the Master Logger program can offer not only to individual loggers, but to the industry as a whole. Raising the bar in logging is what Master Logger is all about, and that is a win-win scenario for our forests, our industry, and our economy.”

 

Master Logger is a rigorous certification which can only be earned by loggers who are harvesting professionally and responsibly, and adhering to the highest standards of conduct. Independent third-party verification is key to the program.

 

The ALC’s national Master Logger Certification© program template is built on seven areas of responsibility that meet the performance standards of the program, but allow each state participant to tailor their program based on existing state regulations and forest practices acts.

 

While the program may be generally unknown to the public, landowners in areas of the country where Master Logger programs exist are increasingly seeking Master Loggers for harvests on their property, and many end-users of wood are also seeking its assurances that the wood they are buying is being harvested sustainably and responsibly.

 

Members of the ALC voted in August 2017 to move forward with a proposal submitted by the TCNF and the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) to revitalize and promote the program. The decision to have the TCNF lead the effort was a practical one given the program’s origins.

 

For more information on the Master Logger Program contact Ted Wright at (207) 532-8721 or executivedirector@tcnef.org.

Peterbilt to Offer Vocational Truck Rebates for 2018

Contact: Nicholas.Smith@PACCAR.com

DENTON, Texas. – February 1, 2018 – Today Peterbilt Motors Company announced the availability of two rebates for vocational customers throughout the 2018 calendar year.

 

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) members are invited to take advantage of a $2,000 cash rebate on Peterbilt’s Models 567 and 520 that are factory spec’ed to support mixer, pump, and other concrete industry equipment.

 

With the company’s heritage in the logging industry, Peterbilt is happy to offer The American Logger Council (ALC) a $2,000 cash rebate for Models 567.

 

“Peterbilt’s vocational customers demand the most rugged and reliable trucks available,” said, Robert Woodall, Assistant General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Peterbilt Motors Company. “We are confident that customers in need of these trucks will proudly choose Peterbilt time and time again. Peterbilt is pleased to support their loyalty by offering these rebates.”

 

Rebate checks are mailed directly to the customer from Peterbilt and customers are limited to three unit rebates per calendar year. These rebates may not be combined with any other offer directly from Peterbilt.  Customers can expect rebates to take 6-8 weeks to process. Members must be in good standing with ALC or NRMCA for 90 days prior to taking delivery.

 

Peterbilt Motors Company, located in Denton, Texas, has a global reputation for superior quality, industry leading design, innovative engineering and fuel efficient solutions, and is recognized as the “Class” of the industry.

 

Peterbilt provides a comprehensive array of aftermarket support programs through its 350-plus North American dealer locations that complement its full lineup of on-highway, vocational and medium duty products, including alternative fuel vehicles. Peterbilt offers industry leading service and support, including SmartLINQ connected truck technologies, expedited Rapid Check diagnostic services, the Red Oval certified used truck program, automated parts inventory replenishment and 24/7 complimentary Customer Assistance through 1-800-4-Peterbilt.

 

For more information about Peterbilt, visit www.peterbilt.com. Peterbilt is a PACCAR Company, traded publicly on the NASDAQ as PCAR.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Talks Biomass, Forest Products in NH

USEPA photo by Eric Vance

During his New Hampshire in February, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt indicated his agency is preparing new federal energy policies that could help secure markets for biomass. In a letter to Gov. Chris Sununu, Pruitt suggested the agency plans to add biomass, including wood and other plant-based fuels, to its “‘all of the above’ energy portfolio.”

 

Administrator Pruitt met with industry members at a Round Table discussion in Manchester, NH on “Policy Update on EPA Programmatic Treatment of Biomass and the Forest Products Industry” to discuss biomass and other forest landowner issues. Tom Thomson owner of the Thomson Family Tree Farm in Orford, a former Chair of the National Tree Farm Policy Committee, presented him with a Tree Farm “Wood Is Good” bumper sticker for his office.

Arkansas’ Larry Boccarossa Attends Roundtable Discussion with Governor Asa Hutchinson, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

Arkansas Timber Producers Association Executive Director Larry Boccarossa recently had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable luncheon and discussion meeting with Governor Asa Hutchinson and US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. The purpose of the meeting was to hear from agricultural and business leaders about Arkansas’ agricultural industry.

 

 

During the discussion Larry promoted Congressman Westerman’s Resilient Federal Forests Act, particularly the American Loggers Council’s Future Logging Careers Act contained in the bill. He spoke of the need to allow 16 and 17 year olds to work in the woods with their family logging operations, considering that logging contractors are aging and that such an opportunity might lead to increased future family and generational logging operations. Larry says Secretary Perdue appreciated his comments, noting, humorously, that the stiffest lobbying opposition might come from the 16 and 17 year olds.

 

 

Larry also thanked the Governor and Secretary for including Arkansas Timber Producers Association and the Arkansas Forestry Association and giving enhanced recognition to the logging and timber producing industry as part of the agriculture community.

Action alert: Take part in U.S. Forest Service’s NEPA revision process

The Forest Service is seeking public comments as they modernize their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations for the first time in a quarter century.  Current NEPA guidelines have been in place during an era in which the National Forest System has experienced massive declines in forest health, matched with massive increases in catastrophic fire, and a decline in timber harvests that have decimated rural communities across the country.

 

It’s time to make the NEPA process more responsive to the needs of our forests and communities. Take two minutes and click here to send a public comment through Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities’ web site. 

 

Details on the agency’s rule-making can be found here. The agency are accepting public comments through February 2, 2018.

 

It’s time to change the Forest Service’s outdated NEPA regulations. The time required for the Forest Service to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) has risen from 817 days to a whopping 1,300 days. The number of days required to complete an environmental assessment (EA) increased from 594 days to 730 days.  According to U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Forest Service between 2008 and 2012 produced more than twice as many EISs as the Army Corps of Engineers or the Federal Highway Administration, and nearly two and a half times as many as the Bureau of Land Management.

 

There’s strong agreement on the need to reduce paperwork.  Longstanding guidance from the Council on Environmental Quality, for instance, recommends that EIS’s only be used for significant environmental impacts, and that they should be completed in one year or less, and should be generally less than 300 pages. Forest Service NEPA processes frequently take up to four years and documents run into the thousands of pages.

 

Help us improve the NEPA process so more work can be done on national forests, more quickly. Send a comment by clicking here.

John Deere Introduces Popular Intelligent Boom Control to Harvesters as a Category-First

John Deere, 2016.

As of today John Deere now offers Intelligent Boom Control (IBC) on its 1270G Harvester in North America. A first in the harvester category, IBC provides operators with increased accuracy and productivity — bringing harvester capabilities to a whole new level.

 

“We are very excited to introduce Intelligent Boom Control to the North American harvester category,” said Sakari Suuriniemi, product marketing manager for John Deere. “The 1270G Harvester is known for its versatility in a variety of logging applications. With the addition of IBC, the operator will have more precise control of the boom tip, and reducing the learning curve for new operators.”

 

IBC is available exclusively for the CH7 boom with 10 meter (32.8 feet) and 11.7 meter (38.4 feet) reaches on the 1270G models. With IBC, the operator controls only the harvester head while the system takes care of the boom’s movement. Designed specifically to suit the harvester work cycle, the boom’s movement and operation automatically adjust as the boom is taken to a tree and when the tree is in the grapple. IBC enables precise working and the selection of the correct working methods.

 

“Customers who have tested the machine noted that IBC makes work easier and reduces fatigue during long days. When we developed IBC, our focus was on improving ergonomics and reducing boom fatigue, ultimately boosting operator productivity and machine durability,” said Suuriniemi.

 

The 1270G Harvester still retains the features from the original launch, including excellent fuel economy in both the six- and eight-wheel models. The six-wheel model boasts a 200 kW (268 HP) Final Tier 4 engine, and an increased in torque compared to previous models. The eight-wheel 1270G Harvesters are designed for steep slopes and soft terrain. Known for superior traction and stability, operators can now utilize the intuitive IBC in application to further control movements in this difficult terrain, which will also reduce the learning curve for new operators.

 

The cabin of the G-series machine is designed to maximize operator comfort. The cabin adjusts automatically to boom movements while the automatic leveling functions absorb terrain changes.

Highway to Headache: Federal Regulations Affecting the Small Trucking Industry

the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing to examine how federal regulations affect the small trucking industry and explore ways to provide regulatory relief to them.
With many regulations taking a one-size-fits-all approach, small trucking companies are forced to comply with expensive, confusing, and time-consuming regulations. This is not only costing small businesses, but America’s economy as a whole, through lost time and delays in receiving all types of goods and products,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH).
One-Size-Fits-All Regulations Don’t Work for the Trucking Industry
Small trucking companies are subject to many of the same federal requirements as large trucking companies, and the regulations tend to take a one-size-fits-all approach.  Industries that rely on the trucking industry or use trucking as part of their business model can also be subject to many of the same burdensome regulations.
Frequently, regulations promoted by these large fleets are disingenuously billed as silver bullet solutions to enhancing highway safety, despite a distinct lack of reputable evidence to support their claims. In reality, they are economic weapons used to squeeze smaller competitors out of the trucking industry by increasing their operating costs. Continuance of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach has left the federal government complicit,” said Monte Wiederhold, President of B. L. Reever Transport, Inc. in Maumee, OH.
“Small business trucking bears a heavy load of rules, regulations, and red tape that are counterproductive to their stated intentions. These regulations, such as the inflexible HOS [Hours of Service] rules, the CSA [Compliance Safety Accountability] program, and the ELD [Electronic Logging Device] mandate add costs, time, and attention, as well as sap small firms’ resources unnecessarily. Instead of making the road safer, these rules and government mandates make both truckers and the driving public less safe,” said Marty DiGiacomo, Owner of True Blue Transportation in Harrisburg, NC.
“Our major concern with the current regulatory structure is that small industry stakeholders are continually swept into these ‘one size fits all’ transportation regulations that are best suited for large commercial companies,” said Stephen Pelkey, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, Inc. in Jaffrey, NH. “There are often many ways to achieve the same goals, and if small businesses are to survive, the DOT [Department of Transportation] regulatory agencies need to do a better job in recognizing the differences between small and big businesses, and that different approaches may be necessary.”
Chairman Chabot introduced H.R. 33, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, to ensure that federal agencies actually examine how their new regulations would impact small businesses and require them to consider ways to reduce unnecessary costs and burdens. The bill was included in a larger bill, H.R. 5 – the Regulatory Accountability Act – which passed the House with a bipartisan vote in January.
Click HERE to watch the full video, and HERE to read the testimony.

Planning and Communications in the Wood Supply Value Chain: An Enduring Opportunity Area

By Steve Carruth, Executive Director for the Wood Supply Research Institute

 

In 2002, the Wood Supply Research Institute (WSRI), in collaboration with Virginia Tech (VPI), published its first study on the subject of planning and communication in the wood supply chain. In later years, WSRI revisited this important subject with additional studies. As part of a series of articles summarizing past and still-relevant WSRI work, the following observations from the VPI project are presented. Based on conversations with many WSRI members, challenges remain in the efficient management of wood supply that can be addressed with robust, targeted planning and communication. Wood consumers, wood dealers, loggers, and forestland managers may find value in refreshing their familiarity with WSRI’s third project.


Finding 1
Planning in the wood supply process is primarily reactive rather than proactive, resulting in extremely short planning horizons for many key segments of the wood supply value chain. Frequent short-term changes in delivery schedules, inventory targets, and wood specifications drive numerous upstream constraints and inefficiencies.

Lessons Learned
Conversations with WSRI members suggest that while the above findings remain true across many local wood supply systems, there are organizations that plan and communicate with net positive results. This suggests that attention to the information in this VPI report can bring value.

Take Action
The Executive Summary in the VPI report does a good job of highlighting key findings and opportunities. A table on page 17 of the report presents a matrix of opportunity and value. Access the full report on the WSRI website at www.wsri.org.


Finding 2
Enhanced communications technology in the form of cell phones et cetera can actually reduce planning horizons, the opposite of what is recommended. Quantity of communications threatens quality. Micro-management is occurring in some areas as consumers adopt and use these technologies to actively control daily (rather than weekly or monthly) wood flows. Also communication up the management chain is very rare. Consumer upper management doesn’t interface much with the supplier community.

Lessons Learned
It is increasingly well documented that the speed and ease of messaging in the modern world does not necessarily correlate with substance or even accuracy of communications. Also, the VPI study was done before much of the vertical de-integration in the forest products industry occurred. The finding that suggests little interaction between consumer upper management and suppliers may be true today with another WSRI membership segment, Woodland Owners.
Take Action
A key recommendation from this report is to lengthen the planning horizon and put more substance into the information that is being shared. Communication needs to flow both up and down the chain. Do not mistake a quick phone call or text with a plan. Do what you can to facilitate a positive connection between corporate decision makers and the folks who make wood supply happen.

Too much reliance on quick, last minute cell phone calls can be counterproductive. There is no substitute for detailed planning and communications. (Photo courtesy of Rick Meyer, FRA.)

Finding 3
Delivery rates often ignore a critical element in the models and calculations that set them, i.e. actual production. Related to that, logger business decisions that lead to “capacity creep” are not always shared or negotiated with consumers and/or land management organizations.
Lessons Learned
Viable pricing demands attention to production capacity utilization. The many drivers of production, eg. equipment mix, labor availability, trucking distance, tract characteristics, quota, et cetera are generally well known. In the end, what matters most when it comes to piece rate pricing is weekly, monthly, and annual production relative to targets that leave room for profit.
Take Action
Set, communicate, and mutually track production targets. Mutually take steps throughout the year to stay on or above production target lines. Whenever possible, suppliers should discuss business decisions that will lead to capacity creep with their markets and others who impact their production. Develop wood supply relationships based on quality and trust and value them when you have them.


Finding 4
Surprise! Suppliers in the VPI report suggested that trucking was mismatched with woods production 40 percent of the time or more. Over 25 percent of the mismatch was attributed to too much variation in trucking distance and a lack of adequate trucking supply.
Lessons Learned
Short and reactive notice on market demand and which tract to cut next are parts of this problem.
Take Action
Lengthen the planning horizon. Keep trucking capacity in mind when allocating tracts for harvest. Support initiatives that seek to improve the quality and allocation of trucking assets.

Create and discuss options for tract moves, markets, haul distance, etc.
as far in advance as possible. (Photo courtesy of Rick Meyer, FRA.)

Finding 5
Seventy-one percent of consumer employees interviewed estimated that suppliers commonly have less than one week of advance notice on which tract they would likely move to next. This information included location, volume, and markets.
Lessons Learned
Short lead times of this nature reduce the ability of loggers/suppliers to plan in terms of expenditures and resource allocation. They also reduce the consumer’s ability to coordinate purchase volumes with inventory. Other research on the subject of tract moves indicates that many moves would become unnecessary with better planning and communication.
Take Action
Repeat – Success requires planning, communication, and lead-time. By way of support systems, modern geospatial mapping and database tools offer a lot of opportunity when it comes to managing stumpage portfolios, including tract allocation based on common sense, easy- to-document parameters.


The VPI report ends with interesting anecdotes from the numerous interviews held with suppliers, consumers, and wood dealers. Read with an open mind, there is plenty for today’s soul searchers within the wood supply value chain to contemplate.

 

Go to WSRI.org for more information on factors that affect the wood supply value chain.

John Deere Introduces Extended Boom Option for 800MH-Series Tracked Harvesters

John Deere is excited to announce a new extended stick boom option for the 800MH-Series tracked harvesters. With a design based on customer feedback, the new extended boom stick offers a longer reach option, enabling operators to minimize the number of cut trails.

 

“With the addition of the extended stick boom option, we are able to meet the needs of customers who require a longer reach, helping them to be more efficient in the woods while meeting local regulations,” said Jim O’Halloran, product marketing manager for John Deere Tracked Harvesters and Feller Bunchers. “With the extended boom, operators are able to harvest larger areas, reducing the frequency of required movement of the machine. This not only benefits the surrounding terrain, but also improves the efficiency of the machine.”

 

Designed for use with smaller attachments, the new extended stick boom option reaches 32.5 feet (9.9 meters). Additionally, the extended option features a narrow boom tip, allowing the operator to reach past standing timber in thinning applications. This also helps operators minimize damage to the trees being harvested.

 

To learn more about the new extended boom stick offering, as well as the John Deere 800MH-Series tracked harvesters, please visit your local John Deere Forestry dealer or www.deere.com/en/tracked-harvesters/.

© AMERICAN LOGGERS COUNCIL, 2018