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

Federal Judge Orders Michigan Logging Company to Pay $878,874 In Overtime Back Wages and Liquidated Damages to 50 Employees

From the U.S. Department of Labor


A federal judge has ordered Timberline South LLC – based in Gaylord, Michigan – and its manager Jim Payne to pay $878,874 in back wages and liquidated damages to 50 employees after finding the logging company and Payne violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  


The U.S. Secretary of Labor filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after an investigation conducted by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD) Grand Rapids District Office concluded Timberline South and Payne violated the FLSA.


WHD investigators determined Timberline South LLC and Payne failed to pay employees – including truck drivers, equipment operators, and shop personnel – overtime when they worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek.  Instead, the company paid only “straight time” no matter how many hours employees worked, and paid various combinations of hourly rates, piece rates, and day rates.


In his decision and order, Judge Thomas L. Ludington determined the Division properly reconstructed overtime back wages for employees where the employers failed to keep accurate records of the number of hours employees worked, as the law requires. 


The FLSA requires covered employers to pay non-exempt employee’s time-and-one-half their regular rates of pay after 40 hours worked per week regardless of whether the employees are paid on a salary, piece rate, hourly rate, or a combination.


“Employers must understand their obligations under the law. Failing to pay employees overtime gives employers an unfair advantage in the market place and denies employees their hard earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Mary O’Rourke, in Grand Rapids. “We encourage employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division for assistance, and to make use of the many tools we provide to help them understand their obligations under the law.”


For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.

Barrasso Releases Draft Legislation to Strengthen the Endangered Species Act

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018 discussion draft. The discussion draft reauthorizes the ESA for the first time since 1992. The discussion draft emphasizes elevating the role of states and increasing transparency in the implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It also prioritizes resources to better meet its conservation goals and provides regulatory certainty to promote conservation and recovery activities.


“When it comes to the Endangered Species Act, the status quo is not good enough,” said Barrasso. “We must do more than just keep listed species on life support – we need to see them recovered. This draft legislation will increase state and local input and improve transparency in the listing process. It will promote the recovery of species and allow local economies to flourish. I have worked closely with the bipartisan Western Governors’ Association to draft a bill that works for endangered species and people alike.”


“I want to thank Governor Mead for his leadership on this important topic. Wyoming continues to be a leader of species protection and conservation. I will work with anyone who is committed to help the Endangered Species Act reach its conservation potential.”


Barrasso has worked with the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) in drafting the legislation. The bipartisan WGA has stated that the chairman’s discussion draft legislation is generally consistent with the WGA recommendations for modernizing the ESA and includes provisions inspired by the association’s Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative, led by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. In a letter from the WGA, the association wrote of the draft bill:


“The Western Governors’ Association appreciates the Chairman’s willingness to productively engage with Governors, and that the Chairman has approached this polarizing topic in an inclusive, thoughtful manner. The proposed bill reflects this fact and offers meaningful, bipartisan solutions to challenging species conservation issues.”


The discussion draft legislation will:

  • Elevate the role of state conservation agencies in species management;
  • Increase transparency associated with carrying out conservation under the Act;
  • Prioritize available resources for species recovery;
  • Provide regulatory certainty for landowners and other stakeholders to facilitate participation in conservation and recovery activities;
  • Require that listing of any species must also include recovery goals, habitat objectives, and other criteria established by the Secretary of Interior, in consultation with impacted states, for the delisting or downlisting of the species;
  • Require that the satisfaction of such criteria must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available;
  • Enable states the opportunity to lead recovery efforts for listed species, including through a species’ recovery team;
  • Allow such a recovery team to modify a recovery goal, habitat objective, or other established criteria, by unanimous vote with the approval of the secretary of the Interior;
  • Increase federal consultation with local communities;
  • Improve transparency of information regarding the status of a listed species;
  • Create a prioritization system for addressing listing petitions, status reviews, and proposed and final determinations, based on the urgency of a species’ circumstances, conservation efforts, and available data and information so that resources can be utilized in the most effective manner;
  • Include studies on how to improve conservation efforts and to understand in greater depth the extent of resources being expended across the federal government associated with implementation of the act; and
  • Reauthorize the ESA for the first time since its funding authorization expired in 1992.


Read the draft legislation here.


Read a section-by-section of the draft legislation here.


Letters Supportive of The Discussion Draft Bill, The Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018:

Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts

Wyoming County Commissioners Association

Wyoming Department of Agriculture

Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Wyoming State Forestry Division

Wyoming Stock Growers Association

Wyoming Water Development Office

Wyoming Wool Growers Association

Petroleum Association of Wyoming

American Forest Resource Council

American Loggers Council

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

Arizona Game and Fish Department

Colorado Cattlemen’s Association

Family Farm Alliance

Hardwood Federation

Independent Petroleum Association of America

Land Conservation Assistance Network

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Public Lands Council

American Sheep Industry Association

Safari Club International

South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks


Western Energy Alliance

Wisconsin Farm Bureau


Background Information:

On February 15, 2017, the EPW Committee held an oversight hearing titled “Modernization of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).” The hearing focused on the need to modernize the ESA in order to improve recovery rates and examining ways to lead to the eventual delisting of recovered species.


On April 26, 2017, congressional staff received a briefing from state officials titled “State Perspectives: Modernization of the Endangered Species Act.” The briefing highlighted the bipartisan efforts currently underway by the Western Governors’ Association and the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies to identify opportunities to modernize the Endangered Species Act.


On May 10, 2017, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held an oversight hearing titled “Conservation, Consultation, and Capacity: State Views on the Need to Modernize the Endangered Species Act.” The purpose of this hearing was to hear from state officials on their roles and capacities in species conservation. The hearing examined state’s views on the need to strengthen and modernize the Endangered Species Act, including its effectiveness in incentivizing conservation, facilitating federal-state consultation, and ensuring adequate capacity. The hearing assessed ways to best help the Endangered Species Act meet its conservation potential.


At both hearings and the staff briefing, the EPW Committee considered the views of wide cross section of state officials, impacted individuals, environmental groups, and other stakeholders from across the country. Their feedback and testimony highlighted opportunities to modernize the ESA so it works better for species and for people, and so it better achieves its full conservation potential.

Action Alert: Urge Congress to repeal 12% excise tax on truck, trailer purchases

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to repeal the 12-percent federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of heavy-duty trucks and trailers.


The federal excise tax on commercial trucks and buses was originally imposed in 1917 to help pay for World War I. It has grown from 3 percent to 12 percent and adds $12,000 to $22,000 on the price of a new heavy-duty truck. It is the highest excise tax Congress levies on a percentage basis on any product, including alcohol and tobacco.  Truck owners pay this tax whether a truck is driven 100,000 miles or never driven at all, forcing them to pay taxes on an investment that may not be generating any revenue. 


The American Loggers Council supports this important legislation, and we ask you to contact your federal representatives to approve it without delay.


Click here to find contact information for your Senators. Urge them to pass S. 3052, the “Heavy Truck, Tractor, and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act of 2018” 


Click here to find contact information for your U.S. Representative.  Urge your Representative to support H.R. 2946, the “Heavy Truck, Tractor and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act of 2017.”


Thank you for helping us pass this legislation. 

Team Safe Trucking: Releasing 30 Forestry Transportation Training Modules in 2018

Team Safe Trucking has been working on developing a Forestry Transportation Training Program for Forestry Transportation professionals since 2015.  This year the organization has hired their first employee thank you to WSRI (Wood Supply Research Institute), she is a Safety Director from Maine, Miranda Gowell.  Miranda has been working on the development of a curriculum along side with Jeremiah O’Donovan, Team Safe Trucking’s Executive Director and the Team Safe Trucking Executive Committee, Mike Macedo, Danny Dructor, Joanne Reese, Keith Biggs, Jimmie Locklear, John Lemire, Scott Barrett, Richard Meyer, Richard Schwab.    


Recently, Jeremiah O’Donovan announced that the Team Safe Training curriculum has been developed.  That there will be three training tracks for the online training:  Forestry Transportation Owners (FTO), Forestry Transportation Drivers (FTD) and Forestry Transportation Safety Professionals (FTSP).  The curriculum includes 30 class offerings, each class covers a topic.  The classes will cover the following topics and more:  Introduction to Team Safe Trucking, Driver Qualifications, Driver Selection, Driver Training, Driver Condition, Maintenance Program/Vehicle Condition, Alcohol, Fatigue, Medical Clearance, Fleet Safety Programs, Accountability, Speeding, Distracted Driving, Right of Way, Turns & Curves, Following Distance, Rollovers, Clearance, Backing, Passing, Stopping and Parking, Coupling and Uncoupling, Railroads, DOT Inspections, Accidents, Breakdowns, Accident Investigations, Mill General Safety, Loading and Unloading, Entering and Exiting the Woods.  The classes will range in length from 15-30 minutes.  Each training track will be approximately six to seven and half hours of forestry transportation industry training.  After completing each class, a certificate will be issued to the student for that topic.  There will be quizzes following each training class, which can be downloaded and saved to document the student’s completion of the training session.  When Owners, Drivers and Safety Professionals complete their training tracks, they will receive a picture ID card certifying the individual as either an FTO, FTD or FTSP. 


Team Safe Trucking’s online training platform has the unique capacity to store and print each student training records at any time after completion of a class.  Miranda believes this is a valuable resource for Forestry Transportation Owners, Drivers and Safety Professionals.  Prospective employers can pay an annual due to Team Safe Trucking to have access to training records at Team Safe Trucking.  Prospective employers may request permission to request training records from Team Safe Trucking training records from prospective drivers.  Upon permission being granted, Team Safe Trucking can release training records to the member/prospective employer and gain access to the drivers training records.  Participants training records are retrieved by the combination of a participants’ driver’s license number and first and last name. 


It has been estimated that there are 88,000 forestry transportation drivers in the United States.   Team Safe Trucking has announced their goal to reach 5% of the forestry transportation drivers approximately 4,500 drivers by years end.  The challenge is more than you may think.  Many drivers do not have smart phones where they could complete the training online.  The word needs to get out to forestry transportation professionals.  Owners, drivers and safety professionals in the industry need to make the commitment to complete the trainings.  But not only that there is a financial challenge ahead of Team Safe Trucking.  When Team Safe Trucking meets this goal, the organization will need to cover costs associated with users utilizing the online training platform.  The non-profit is charged based on users using the training platform.  If all the potential forestry transportation employees in the United States were reached, the investment for this  training will be approximately $180,000.00 a year.  Since the beginning, Team Safe Trucking Board members have had the goal to provide this training at no-cost to Forestry Transportation Owners, Drivers and Safety Professionals.  To try to keep that goal, Team Safe Trucking is looking to apply for two grants to support this endeavor (OSHA’s Susan Howard Grant and The Washington SHIP Grant each are approximately $150,000).  Team Safe Trucking board members are looking at other ways to support this Team Safe Trucking Forestry Transportation Training effort.    During that effort have decided to have Educational Training Sponsors, who will offer all modules and topics released after module two this Summer.


In 2017, Team Safe Trucking released an online training Module One Forestry Transportation Owners and Drivers.  This module is available now to Mills, Logging Associations, Universities, Technical Schools and others whom are interested in holding classroom trainings, conduct online trainings and just to review.  If you are interested becoming a train-the-trainer you can attend a train-the-trainer training by registering for one of the train-the-trainer trainings at, Miranda holds trainings every Wednesday 10AM to 10:45AM.   If you are interested in becoming an educational training sponsor please reach out to Miranda Gowell at or by phone at 207-841-0250. 

Why Logger Owned and Logger Controlled Certification Produces Results

Ted Wright, Executive Director, Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands

Jennifer Hartsig, Coordinator, American Master Logger Certification© Program



The American Master Logger Certification© (AMLC), a project of The American Loggers Council (ALC) kicked off its revitalized program just over two months ago at the ALC Fly-In in Washington, DC.  One of the most exciting components of this project is to spread the ‘logger owned and logger controlled’ Master Logger Certification© program across the United States to help loggers earn respect and improve their image through branding.


The American Master Logger Certification© program seeks to unite professional loggers under a common cause of promoting the advancement of the timber harvesting companies that meet or exceed high performance standards, and to gain recognition and respect for these highly professional timber harvesting companies by the American public.   Over the past two months, we have had the chance to see first hand how the AMLC program is gaining momentum as a vehicle for like-minded, high quality timber harvesters to share ideas and work together to effect positive change for the industry.  This program has active participation by logger representatives from over 18 states and is growing.


During the recent AMLC committee meeting, a new chairman for the program was selected by the group.  Logger Richard Schwab, Vice President of M.A. Rigoni, Inc. in Perry, Florida was chosen by his peers to take over as Chair of the AMLC Committee. Schwab is well known nationally and in the southeast for his past leadership roles in the ALC, Southeast Wood Producers Association and many civic endeavors. Richard’s reputation demonstrates the greatest level of commitment to the ‘Seven Areas of Responsibility’ and the ‘Logger Owned Logger Controlled’ philosophy that is central to the American Master Logger Certification program.


Under Schwab’s guidance, the American Master Logger Certification© program is poised to take off across the nation, expanding the numbers of Certified Logging companies and promoting better understanding of modern, responsible timber harvesting to the public.  “I am passionate about taking the American Master Logger Certification© program to the next level and to additional states across the U.S.”, says Schwab. 


Another example of the commitment to American Master Logger Certification©’s ‘logger run, logger controlled’  set of standards was expressed by Mark Turner, current president of American Loggers Council’s  and owner of Turner Logging in Oregon.  Mark traveled from Oregon to speak to the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine on May 4, 2018 during their recent annual meeting. In this excerpt of Turner’s remarks, he highlights one of the overarching components of the AMLC program:


In Oregon, as in many other parts of the country, the largest logger training programs have been essentially forced on us by the mills and timber companies we work for.  This has never sat very well with me and it is my hope that the American Master Logger Certification© Program can be something that we, the loggers of the United States, can take ownership of.  Something that we do not because someone else has told us we have to, but rather something that we do because it is good for business, and more importantly, because it is the right thing to do.


Pride in doing the right thing and recognition for good work is certainly one of the most commonly cited reasons we hear about for going through the Master Logger Certification© process, and something we are hearing coast-to-coast and north-to-south.  In many areas, earning Master Logger Certification© also brings a variety of tangible incentives that can add up financially. 


In Missouri, Master Logger Certified companies are recognized with preferential status when bidding on state land jobs.  Jason Jensen, a Supervisor of the Missouri Department of Conservation has this to say:  “One way of rewarding Master Loggers is by a point system.  And the bottom line is that a Master Logger can bid … less on a timber sale and still be awarded that sale. What we expect to gain is a little better job of managing our forest resource and less time by our timber sale”.   


Shannon Jarvis, owner Master Logger Certified© Jarvis Timber Company, LLC states “Some mills will give a bonus for a Master Logger.  My insurance company has discounted my rate on equipment insurance for being a Master Logger.  And, I find it easier purchasing timber from landowners when they realize they are getting a Master Logger and getting a top quality job”. 


In Maine, Master Logger Certified companies have earned preferential interest rates on environmentally friendly equipment through the Direct Link Loan program.   Brian Souers, owner of Treeline, Inc. says “It has been a big help by lowering finance costs on low ground pressure, environmentally friendly, equipment.  There is normally a premium on this type of equipment, so this program helps to mitigate that cost.”  An interest rate subsidy is available to qualified borrowers for equipment loans through the Direct Link program.


Matt Jensen, past ALC president and owner of Whitetail Logging in Crandon, WI  also reports similar benefits for being a Master Logger Certified© company, including insurance breaks, bidding  on state jobs, and some preferential mill contracts and access to market share.  In Michigan and Wisconsin, Secura Insurance offers a substantial premium reduction to Master Loggers on liability insurance. A Lake States consulting forester stated working with Master Logger Certified companies “dramatically decreased administrative and field costs because of the quality of the work”.


The reason behind earned incentives like these is the fact that Master Logger Certified© companies ARE safer, more productive and more adherent to best practices for environmental concerns. Master Logger Certified© companies have proven they are innovative business owners with solid track records, fair employers and excellent stewards of the land they are entrusted to harvest.  Richard Schwab, Mark Turner, Shannon Jarvis, Brian Souers, Matt Jensen and other Master Logger Certified© companies  across the country are leading by example in the work they do, the products they send to market and image they project to the public.  


As a group, Master Logger Certified© Companies make top customers for insurance products, equipment loans and make the jobs of state agencies easier.  As the number of Master Logger Certified companies grows across the US, the greater the expansion of these tangible incentives.  We plan to highlight benefits of the Master Logger Certification© program in more depth during future articles.


For more information about American Master Logger Certification©, please visit our website at and find us on Facebook


Logger Survey: Is Logging an Agricultural Activity? We Want Your Feedback

by Danny Dructor, ALC Executive Vice President


For years the Agriculture sector has enjoyed various Acts passed in Congress which have helped to bring some semblance of stability to their industry.  While there are many inferences to the timber harvesting community in many of these Acts, there is no explicit support for the timber harvesting industry as a whole.  We have a valid argument that timber harvesting and logging activities are already recognized in many statutes on a comparative basis with Agriculture, as well as our classification in the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) Code 1133 which falls under agriculture.  This code recognizes the industry as being an agricultural crop producer, and the exemptions and the benefits that the agricultural community currently receives should be extended to the logging industry as well.


A few of the Bills where there could be potential benefit for the industry if clarification as to logging being an agricultural industry include:


The Agricultural Marketing At of June 15, 1929. This Act established a Federal Farm Board to promote the effective merchandising of agricultural commodities in interstate and foreign commerce, and to place agriculture on a basis of economic equality with other industries.  The Act encouraged the organization of producers into effective associations and corporations under their own control for greater unity in effort in marketing and by promoting the establishment of producer-owned and producer-controlled cooperative associations and other agencies.  Section 15(a) states: “As used in this Act the term “cooperative association” means any association in which farmers act together in collectively processing, preparing for market, handling and/or marketing the farm products of persons so engaged and also means any association in which farmers act together in collectively purchasing, testing, grading, and/or processing their farm supplies…”. 


The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. Section 207.  “When used in this title, the term “agricultural products” includes agricultural, horticultural, viticultural, and dairy products, livestock, and poultry, bees, forest products, fish and shellfish, and any product thereof, including processed and manufactured products, and any and all products raised or produced on farms and any processed or manufactured products thereof.”


Agricultural Fair Practices Act of 1967. “An Act to prohibit unfair trade practices affecting producers of agricultural products and for other purposes.”  “Because agricultural products are produced by numerous individual farmers, the marketing and bargaining position of individual farmers will be adversely affected unless they are free to join together voluntarily in cooperative organizations as authorized by law.  Interference with this right is contrary to the public interest and adversely affects the free and orderly flow of goods in interstate and foreign commerce.  It is, therefore, declared to be policy of Congress and the purpose of this Act, to establish standards of fair practices required of handlers in their dealings in agricultural products.”

The Act prohibits the following activities by the “handler”:

  1. To coerce any producer in the exercise of his right to join and belong to or to refrain from joining or belonging to an association of producers, or to refuse to deal with any producer because of the exercise of his rights to join and belong to such an association.”
  2. “To discriminate against any producer with respect to price, quantity, quality, or other terms of purchase, acquisition, or other handling of agricultural products because of his membership in or contact with an association of producers or a contract with a handler.”
  3. “To coerce or intimidate any producer to enter into, maintain, breach, cancel, or terminate a membership agreement or marketing contract with an association of producers or a contract with a handler.”
  4. “To pay or loan money, give anything of value, or offer any other inducement or reward to a producer for refusing to or ceasing to belong to an association of producers.”
  5. “To make false reports about the finances, management, or activities of associations of producers or handlers.”
  6. “To conspire, combine, agree, or arrange with any person to do, or aid or abet the doing of, any act made unlawful by this Act.”

Many lawmakers in Washington, DC are surprised to find out that the logging industry is not always considered a part of Agriculture in many of the statutes that exist today.  While several states have made it quite clear that logging is considered an agricultural activity and offered up many of same exemptions and  exceptions that our friends in agricultural currently enjoy at the State level, we are behind the curve in making our case at the national level.


We would like to hear back from you on whether or not the American Loggers Council should actively pursue this issue, and of course we would welcome any comments or concerns that you might have as we move forward.  Please click here to vote in our on-line poll.


You can also feel free to contact us at 409-625-0206, e-mail at (please include “logging as ag” in the subject line), write comments on our Facebook page (American Loggers Council), or mail us at ALC, PO Box 966, Hemphill, TX 75948.  We look forward to hearing from you.

American Master Logger Certification© Committee Appoints Richard Schwab Chair

CONTACT: Ted Wright
Executive Director
Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands
Phone: (207) 532-8721
Release Date: 5/17/18



The American Master Logger Certification© (AMLC), a project of The American Loggers Council (ALC) is pleased to announce logger Richard Schwab, Vice President of M.A. Rigoni, Inc. in Perry, Florida is taking over as Chair of the AMLC Committee. Schwab is well known nationally and in the southeast for his past leadership roles in the ALC, Southeast Wood Producers Association and many civic endeavors.


The Committee is indebted to former Chairman, Crad Jaynes, President & CEO of the South Carolina Timber Producers Association for his direction of this important movement from 2003 to May of 2018. The ALC first adopted American Master Logger Certification© in 2002 as a national model for third party verified, responsible logging. Since its inception more than 18 states have approved templates for implementation of the program.


M.A. Rigoni, Inc., established in 1960 and under the Schwab and Brett’s family’s direction since 1995, is well known throughout the southeast as a pioneer in innovative harvesting and utilization practices. In 2016, M.A. Rigoni, Inc. was honored as ‘National Outstanding Logger’ by the Forest Resource Association. Richard Schwab is well respected by his colleagues and employees for having a hands-on or servant style of leadership. Richard’s reputation demonstrates the greatest level of commitment to the ‘Seven Areas of Responsibility’ and the ‘Logger Owned Logger Controlled’ that is central to the American Master Logger Certification program.


Under Schwab’s guidance, the American Master Logger Certification© program is poised to take off across the nation, expanding the numbers of Certified Logging companies and promoting better understanding of modern, responsible timber harvesting to the public. “I am passionate about taking the American Master Logger Certification© program to the next level and to additional states across the U.S.”, says Schwab.


Richard lives in Perry, Florida with his wife Jennifer.


For more information about American Master Logger Certification©, please visit our website at and find us on Facebook

As long bull run (on framing lumber) charges on traders struggle to see end

Originally published in Random Lengths.

A common refrain from even veteran lumber traders in this historic run has been, “We have never seen one like this before.” With a look back at other record runs, and accounting for all the factors at work today, it is easy to make the case that this one is unprecedented.

The chart shows previous record runs (trend lines)against the backdrop of the current run (columns), each over an 18-month period. What characterized the previous three runs were market spikes over relatively short periods, and then retrenchment nearly in mirrored imagery to their upward trajectories.

The current run has stair-stepped upward over the past year and a half with only a few pullbacks — a moderate one in May and June of last year and a mild slip in April this year (chart). The 1993-94 run was driven by logging cutbacks on the federal forests in the Northwest to protect the northern spotted owl. Another was the housing boom of 2004-05 that eventually ended in calamity when the bottom fell out of the housing market in 2008. Those runs generated two spikes over their respective 18-month periods.

Previous record runs have come with “an emotional” element. There certainly was over the spotted owl timber shortages and the high-flying excesses of the housing bubble. There was emotion early on in this run, as the U.S. imposed countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canada’s shipments to the U.S. Shortly thereafter, however, emotion dissipated and has been muted since. What put an end to the previous runs was the industry’s ability to respond to record prices with increased production that eventually overcame demand. In the past, that dynamic has occurred over the course of several months or a few more.

What is different this time is the length of the run, perpetuated by specific supply-side issues that have hampered the industry’s ability to increase supply to meet and eventually overtake demand. Those issues — last summer’s forest fi res, log shortages in the West, cutbacks in the allowable cut in B.C., shortages of trucks, and insufficient rail service — all conspired to generate a supply crunch. Contributing to those and many other supply-side problems throughout the economy have been labor shortages. That includes the ability of sawmills to hire for additional production.

As seasonal demand kicks in, traders widely believe that this market has more room to run. But they also acknowledge that it too will have an end. They just cannot foresee it, at least at the moment, in large part because they “have never seen one like this before.”

John Deere Incorporates Waratah TimberRite H-16 Control System on Harvesters and Swing Machines to Improve Efficiency



On a mission to continuously improve machine efficiency, John Deere is excited to announce the integration of Waratah’s TimberRite H-16 Control System on John Deere tracked harvesters and tracked swing machines equipped with Waratah 600-Series Harvesting Heads.


Previously only available for the 200- and 400-Series Waratah heads, this productive and efficient system has been expanded for use with the 600-Series heads, providing loggers with a solution that enhances connectivity for data and information sharing.


“By adding the H-16 Control System to our machines, we are offering our customers the technology needed to be more productive in the woods, regardless of their application,” said Matt Flood, John Deere ForestSight™ product manager. “By combining the precise measuring and cutting control of the H-16 system with the power of the John Deere tracked harvesters and swing machines, loggers have a superior solution that can tackle any job.”


With the addition of the H-16 Control System, operators have more control of harvesting and processing heads, increasing precision when measuring and cutting timber. One of the most notable features on the system is the ability to configure settings to exact application needs, improving head performance, productivity and measuring accuracy. Loggers can choose from two systems based on their needs. The preselection prioritization system follows preset logic and prioritizes based on operator selection, length and diameter, while the optional value-based optimization system uses log grade, assortment value, stem prognosis, length and diameters matrices, and demand inputs.

Using the H-16 Control System, loggers have technology at their fingertips. The user-friendly platform makes it easier to check work and repair statistics, track navigation and monitor machine data. Supporting StanForD file format, the TimberRite H-16 system allows data to interchange with virtually any professional system in the forestry business.  


The H-16 Control System is even more beneficial when integrated with JDLink™, providing loggers with connectivity with access to production data, including average tree stem size, actual production, work time utilization, productivity and fuel consumption. Additionally, the John Deere telematics permit remote display access for troubleshooting the TimberRite H-16 system, and wireless data transfer enables automatic file sharing through JDLink, even in remote locations. Now five years in base, JDLink is the John Deere telematics equipment management solution system that connects owners and managers to their machines and dealers. JDLink provides alerts and status updates to help owners and managers better manage where and how equipment is used.


The H-16 Control System can be installed at the factory or aftermarket through a John Deere dealer. To learn more about the H-16 Control System, the John Deere harvester and swing machine offerings, and JDLink™, visit or contact your local John Deere dealer.

Loggers Working in the Trenches

by Eric Carleson, Executive Director, Associated California Loggers

I was talking to an ACL member recently and he referenced the title of this Column (“From the Trenches.”) He said to me, “You folks really ARE in the trenches, aren’t you?” He went on to discuss the various projects and negotiations that ACL has been reporting on to our members over the past few years.


For a good example of being “in the trenches,” look no further than the photos in this April newsletter, of various ACL Board Members who travelled to Washington DC last month and spent three days meeting with members of Congress, their staff, administrative officials and private sector “think tanks” in an effort to educate and advocate for the issues of our sector of the timber industry.


Every year ACL sends a delegation to Washington, and every year we come back knowing that we have put many solid arguments – backed by research and data – in front of the lawmakers and other officials with whom we meet. Our goals are many: to increase forest health by saving California forests from the threat of increased “mega-wildfires” and insect-killed dead and dying trees; to increase water yield for ALL Californians via timber management that avoids impacts on water quality and water supply; to promote a job-creating “win win” biomass alternative energy industry; to save our rural timber communities through increased timber harvest and thinning, and to re-create a timber industry that will attract a new generation of young men and women to commit to the tough but rewarding “great outdoors” work that is timber harvesting.


This year, during the very week we were in DC, the most significant pro-timber legislation in years passed both Houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Trump. Did the ACL delegation singlehandedly win this victory? The answer is no. Was the ACL delegation part of the “massive flood of grassroots lobbyists” who swarmed the US Capitol and laid a groundswell of support for the legislation that passed? The answer is a resounding YES.


Without our laying of the groundwork and flooding the Members of Congress with our information “up close and personal, face to face”, the pressure would have been less intense for negotiators to put protimber provisions in the Omnibus Bill. Among logging states lobbying in DC that week, ACL had one of the largest delegations and visited the most offices – offices of both California lawmakers and of lawmakers from other states (of both parties) who could help get this win accomplished.


Our delegation also learned a hard lesson in DC this year. The Omnibus Budget Bill that contains so many good provisions for the timber industry was also a “compromise bill” on a lot of topics that drew plenty of “no” votes and attacks in some of the press, for some of its spending provisions.


But that‟s the only major bill that passed, and ACL will join in the effort to see that the Omnibus Bill is properly enacted to bring both money and reforms to the Timber Management side of the US Forest Service in California. For all the good things that made it into the Omnibus Bill for forestry, a number of things didn’t make it.


ACL and other timber groups are pushing for those “left out provisions” to make it into the 2018 Farm Bill, which is being negotiated now. If it doesn‟t happen there (as 2018 becomes a combative Election Year), we will get back into battle mode and keep fighting for these reforms to get enacted in the future.


Though work on the federal forests is a vitally important part of ACL’s mission, we certainly remain active in state issues (we will report on those as the year goes on), and in providing our members with access to insurance, safety training and ProLogger certification.


Still, it is in our “volunteer logger lobbying” that ACL has made its presence most felt in recent years. We keep expanding the number of loggers who want to get personally involved in meetings at the state and federal level. Nowadays, you can usually see ACL members in so many different meetings at so many different levels, that the officials staging these meetings must be thinking: “Who ARE those guys?” That‟s a line from the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” but ACL loggers find themselves being spoken of that way all the time – and in a good way.


Who are those guys? They are the guys (and gals) who never go away, who always keep fighting, and who will continue to fight “in the trenches” for our members in the years to come.