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



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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Bipartisan, Bicameral Leaders Introduce Future Logging Careers Act

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

America’s Loggers: Save Lives by Putting More Log Trucks on Interstates

March 11, 2019, Hemphill, TX— Fatal log truck collisions increased 41 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to a 2018 study by Virginia Tech researchers.  Due to inconsistent truck weight tolerances between state and federal roads, trucks hauling logs to mills are often forced to use city, county and state roads, where more than 96 percent of log truck collisions occurred in the study.  

 

In response the American Loggers Council (ALC) have launched a “Safe Routes, Save Lives” initiative that seeks federal legislation enabling more log trucks to utilize federal interstates for more short-haul trips.    

 

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

 

In several states throughout the country, forest products from harvest sites to mills are allowed a tolerance more than the 80,000 lb. weight limits on interstates. In 2009 Congress approved a “safe route” pilot project in Maine that lifted federal truck weight limits on interstates. Congress provided a similar, yet limited exception in Minnesota, and in both cases the policy resulted in fewer collisions, reduced driver fatigue and improved equipment safety.

 

“The Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota (ACLT) worked for ten years to allow logging trucks to utilize the Interstate system instead of rural roads or congested city and town roads,” said ACLT Executive Director Scott Dane. “A 26 mile priority corridor was approved a couple of years ago. Since then there have been no logging truck accidents on the previous route, nor on the new Interstate route. Unfortunately there are still hundreds of miles that logging trucks must still use on rural, city and town roads where vehicular accident data reveals the largest incidents of accidents.” 

 

Due to the dangers of log hauling, the Virginia Tech study found that only five insurance companies nationally are willing to write log truck vehicle insurance. Forestry Mutual Insurance Company is one of those companies, and have joined the ALC in supporting the Safe Routes, Save Lives initiative. 

 

“Insurers have much concern about log and chip trucks being forced to travel routes that are unsafe for both the truck driver and the motoring public due to the 80,000 lb. interstate weight limits,” said Jimmie Locklear, Business Development Manager at Forestry Mutual Insurance Company.  “Traveling state and secondary roads greatly increase encounters with school bus traffic and stops, school zones, intersections, driveway entrances and exits and many other driving challenges.  Several preventable crashes with injury have taken place as result of log and chip trucks being forced to travel these higher risk highways.  I hope these concerns can be addressed by finding ways to allow state specific weights on the interstate system.”

 

Dructor said past efforts to pass truck weight reforms have been stymied by railroad companies resistant to competition for long-haul routes, yet the exemptions the ALC are seeking would only apply to short hauls typically within a 150-mile radius.  Railroad companies commonly do not haul raw logs to sawmills in such short distances anyway.

 

“We are not seeking exemptions for long-haul, nor to promote competition to the railroads,” Dructor said. “This is about safety, not profits. It’s time for Congress to introduce legislation that just makes sense, saves lives, and reduces risk in the process.”

 

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

American Master Logger Certification Program: Preparing for Opportunity

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

“Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity”
–Roman philosopher Seneca

Demand for certified wood products is increasing, both in the United States as well as in Europe and other global markets.  As consumers become more discerning in their desire for products that are sustainably sourced, manufacturers are increasing their goals for wood that meets those requirements.  In many cases, there is a lack of certified wood to meet these demands.  How do Certified© Master Loggers fit into this market equation?

 

First of all, let’s take a look at a few examples of highly recognizable businesses driving this demand.  Furniture maker IKEA, the world’s largest single consumer of wood, has established a goal to use 100% “more sustainable sources, defined as recycled or FSC® certified wood, by 2020” .  Likewise, fast food giant McDonalds plans on “procuring 100 percent of its packaging from certified or recycled sources by 2020, with a global preference for FSC-certified sources” . Similar goals are being set across the globe, raising demand for energy products such as certified wood pellets, according to a recently released report focusing on Western European demands , and focusing on US producers such as Enviva and Drax Biomass.  

 

Meeting the increased demand for certified wood will only be possible if the supply is available, and recent estimates show only 12.9% of forestland is certified.  A recent journal article, Forest Certification Perspectives in the Wood Products Supply Chain in Virginia, U.S.A. concludes “additional supply would need to come by way of smaller forests, diverse logging contractors, and manufacturers of all kinds. Growth likely will remain slow or non-existent unless these value chain participants clearly see a favorable balance between costs and benefits.”  

 

The recent research report, Value Assessment of Certified Logger Programs, released in late November 2018 by the Wood Supply Research Institute  (WSRI) shows that mills may be the stakeholder segment where the disconnect between demand for certified wood and the supply is greatest.  In this study, 100% of interviewed mill representatives were aware of Master Logger Certification© programs, yet 38% saw “no significant positive effect”.  In fact, of all stakeholder groups, mills had the highest degree of negative overall value perception of the Master Logger Certification program.

 

How can our American Loggers Council endorsed Master Logger programs work together to address this disconnect?  The WSRI report recommends three focal areas: 1. Increase the scale of Certified© Master Logger companies around the country.  In other words, in order to have a greater impact on the market, the number of businesses available needs to be greater; 2. Capitalize on the high-quality work of Master Logger Certified© businesses. This means making the case to producers who are demanding certified wood that Master Logger Certified© companies are a key to the supply they need; and 3. more effectively promote the program as a whole, in order to “get bigger, get better, and get more widely known”.  

 

The Michigan Master Logger Certification© program is seeing increased enrollment as a direct response to the opening of the Arauco Particleboard Plant in Grayling and growing demand for certified suppliers. According to a Northern Logger article from September 2018 Randy Keen, Arauco procurement manager, says “All Arauco mills are FSC certified and we give preference to Master Loggers. That’s very important to us. The Master Logger ranks are growing in Northern Lower Michigan. I think that’s in part because of Arauco putting out the word that we will give preference in terms of quota to Master Loggers,” said Keen. The Michigan Master Logger Certification© program has responded to this demand and looks forward to Arauco’s future success. 

 

There are also businesses that prefer using/procuring Certified© Master Logger wood because they feel it’s the right thing to do. They want to recognize and reward those companies that go the extra mile to improve the perception of logging internally within the industry and to those externally, like the other landowners in their wood basket and to the end-consumers of their products. We will be highlighting these businesses in the future.

 

 
As partners under the umbrella of ALC endorsed Master Logger Certification© programs, we have an obligation to try to meet these recommendations for growth and greater recognition. Professional loggers don’t need luck, they need to be prepared for opportunity. With increasing demand at home and from the European market for certified wood, there would appear to be an incentive for loggers and suppliers to work together to make sure certified logging contractors are in place. 

 

Footnotes
https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/this-is-ikea/people-planet/energy-resources/wood/
ii https://us.fsc.org/en-us/newsroom/newsletter/id/925
iii https://www.mrrse.com/global-wood-pellet-market
iv Lowe, L.; Brogan, S.; McClure, N.; Nowak, J.; Oates, B.; Preston, D.; Tucker, W. Forest certification programs: Status and recommendations in the south—A report of the southern group of state foresters. 2011. http://www.southernforests.org/resources/publications/SGSF%20Forest%20Certification%20Report%20r1.pdf
v Munsel, J.; Ares, A.; Barrett, S.; Bond, B.; Gagnon, J. Forest Certification Perspectives in the Wood Products Supply Chain in Virginia, U.S.A. 2017, https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/8/10/364/pdf
vi Mullaney, G. on behalf of the Wood Supply Reseach Institute (2018). Value Assessment of Certified Logger Programs. (Report No. 85245F). Old Town, ME:  James W. Sewell Company. https://wsri.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/WSRI_MasterLogger_Final-Report.pdf
vii Townsend, E. (2018, November).  North America’s New Largest Particle Board Mill Promises to Grow Michigan’s Residuals Market. The Northern Logger & Timber Processor, 34-39.

John Deere Launches Updated G-Series Swing Machines

A direct result of customer feedback, John Deere has updated its G-Series Swing Machines to improve operator experience. From changes to machine design to new features to improve serviceability, the updated Swing Machines, including eight powerful models, 2154G, 2156G, 2654G, 2656G, 3154G, 3156G, 3754G and 3756G, offer increased productivity and uptime, providing a reliable solution for the toughest of jobs.

 

“After successfully launching the G-Series Swing Machines in 2016, we wanted to continue to perfect the machines based on customer experience in the field,” said Jarvis De Groot, product marketing manager, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “The new features, which will be available on the 2019 models and on, will streamline serviceability and improve the machine design, while still retaining the power and productivity of the original models.”

 

The 2019 machines feature several improvements to the machine design. A larger travel device improves tractive effort on the 2654G and 2656G machines, as well as select 2154G and 2156G models. The new LH side door features an easy-to-remove screen, allowing for the removal of collected debris. A shovel and axe mounting provision on all machines provides a secure and easily accessible storage location.

 

The cabs have been changed, adding a USB port for device charging and relocating the auxiliary and USB ports to behind the seat. The side-entry cab features a larger gas strut for the door and new handrail, improving entry and exit. Additionally, satellite radio is no longer required with the Convenience Deluxe package on the side-entry and rear-entry cabs.

 

Serviceability has also been improved on the G-Series Swing Machines. A pre-cleaner for engine air intake of the Final Tier 4 engines improves air filter life, while fuel shut-off valves eliminate fuel leakage and spillage during fuel filter changes. A new hinged AC condenser improves access, making it easier to clean out debris trapped between the radiator and AC condenser. The G-Series machines also feature remote grease lines for the boom cylinder base pins, improving ground-level serviceability. An optional hydraulic oil level alarm provides an audible and visible alarm that the hydraulic oil level is extremely low and requires immediate machine shut down.

 

In addition to the new changes, the G-Series machines still incorporate the most popular features from the original models, including improved cabs, better machine performance and a more durable design. The John Deere swing machines come standard with JDLink™ telematics five years in base, offering owners and operators remote diagnostics and streamlined connectivity.

 

To learn more about the updates to the G-Series Swing Machines, as well as the full line of John Deere Forestry equipment, visit a local John Deere or www.johndeere.com.

 

About Deere & Company

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.

 

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TEAM Safe Trucking Training at 2019 Logger Plus Expo

TEAM Safe Trucking at the 2019 Loggers Plus Expo

 

Friday, April 26
Bloomsburg Fairgrounds
620 West 3rd Street
Bloomsburg, PA

 

Register online at: https://northernlogger.com/loggers-expo-2/
Register no later than April 12, 2019

 

4 Hours of training and credits will be provided – Owners and drivers will learn about the TEAM Safe Trucking Forestry Transportation Training platform.

 

Business owners and drivers will be able to take Module One, Module two, as well as, four Educational Sponsored courses just released in 2019. These could be any of the following: passing, stopping/parking, accidents, breakdowns, driver accountability, mill general safety, backing and coupling.

 

 

Spotlight on the Missouri Master Logger Certification Program

Master Logger Certification programs are growing around the country and considered an asset for timber harvesting stakeholders. A recent research report, Value Assessment of Certified Logger Programs, released in late November, by the Wood Supply Research Institute (Gary Mullaney, James W. Sewell Company, 2018) suggest Master Logger Certification programs are providing value for loggers, landowners, mills and the public at large. This is certainly the case in Missouri, with its diverse forest products economy comprised of primary and secondary wood products, supplier and service industries, loggers and landowners. 

 

Missouri Master Logger Certification was established in 2008 by the Missouri Forest Products Association and is administered through the Missouri Logging Council.  While relatively young and somewhat small when compared to other states’ Master Logger Certification programs, it has doubled in size over the last two years and is on pace for continued growth and recognition. This rigorous performance-based program was developed with two main goals in mind. The first goal is to ensure the long-term sustainability of Missouri’s forested land, and the second is to improve relationships between key stakeholders in the forest products industry—the loggers, the mills, the landowners and the public. 

 

Like other Master Logger Certification state programs endorsed by the American Loggers Council, the Missouri Master Logger Certification program is not simply a training program.  This voluntary program is based on a third party audit of a company’s on-the-ground harvesting and business practices, examining over 68 performance measures. Missouri Master Logger Certification is a recognition and acknowledgment of the professionalism of both the individual logger and the business of logging.  Missouri State Forester Lisa Allen states “Master Loggers are individuals who really care about the resource.  They have made the effort to invest the time, money and resources to ensure things are done right”.

 

Missouri’s Master Loggers are considered “the best of the best” in the timber harvesting profession. The benefits that go along with this prestigious credential are paying off for stakeholders in terms of sustainable, safe and productive harvests and high quality forest products.  Missouri Forest Products Association produced an excellent promotional video about their Certified Master Logger program.

 

Master Loggers are finding their achievement is rewarded with lower insurance rates, preferential treatment by mills and through the Missouri Department of Conservation.  Mike Morris, Forest Products Program Supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation says that by offering incentives to Missouri Master Loggers “We recognize the superior quality of logging operations and less time spent by timber sale administrators overseeing the job.  This allows our staff to accomplish more work in other areas”. 

 

For landowners, one important benefit of using a Missouri Master Logger is harder to quantify, but perhaps most important of all—Peace of Mind.  Missouri Landowner David Patterson, explains that by contracting with a Certified Master Logger “We feel like we are getting the most professional guy out there.  The cream of the crop. The best of the best”. 

 

For more information about the Missouri Master Logger program, please visit their website at https://moforest.org/MLC/index.php.  To learn more about Master Logger Certification programs endorsed by the American Loggers Council, please visit http://americanmasterlogger.com/ or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMasterLogger/

North Carolina Groups Partner with SBP’s “Home for the Holidays” to Help First Responders and Veterans Affected by Hurricane Florence

When Hurricane Florence slammed into North Carolina on September 14, 2018, as a category 1 rainmaker, it was clear that damage to the already rain-soaked state would be immense. As the state continues the recovery process, two groups – the Carolina Loggers Association’s Logs for the Cause and NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation’s United2gether – have joined forces with the St. Bernard Project (SBP) to help first responders and veterans impacted by the storm get one step closer to a Home for the Holidays.

 

“Every gift given through both the Logs for the Cause and United2gether campaigns between now and January 31, 2019, will go toward SBP’s efforts to rebuild homes for first responders and veterans throughout North Carolina who were impacted by Hurricane Florence,” said Ewell Smith, executive director of the Carolina Loggers Association. “While those affected have long since returned to work, the impact from this storm will be felt for years to come. The logging community in NC – one that was hit especially hard by the storm – is close-knit; we believe in giving back and paying it forward, and helping to kick start the rebuilding process is the perfect place to start.”

 

“Recovery is a collaborative effort,” noted SBP co-founder and CEO Zack Rosenburg. “Through this partnership, SBP will be able to provide a predictable path home for disaster-impacted families of veterans and first responders in North Carolina. This is a great example of Americans rallying together for other citizens during times of great need. We believe that this partnership is an example of the seldom discussed, but ever-present ties that bind us together.”

 

“Growing up in Eastern North Carolina and seeing first-hand the devastation of Hurricane Florence was heartbreaking,” commented Paige Keselowski. “Immediately following the storm, we created the United2gether campaign to support first responders in affected areas. Teaming up with the Carolina Loggers Association and SBP USA on the Home for the Holidays program is a great way for us to continue our support of first responders and veterans that are still dealing with the impact of the storm.”

 

The Home for the Holidays program is actively seeking building products partners to assist in the rebuilding efforts. Please invite interested readers to contact Carolina Loggers Association executive director Ewell Smith at esmith@ncloggers.com for more information.

 

The Carolina Loggers Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting logging professionalism and business opportunities for the state’s forest products network. Activities include acting as a unified voice for NC timber harvesters; offering networking and business contact information; education programs; and promoting and aiding in state certified logger education programs. Complete information is available at www.ncloggers.com.

 

Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation honors and assists those who have sacrificed greatly for our country. Since 2010, the foundation has supported more than 250 organizations and individuals in order to help veterans and first responders during their road to recovery. There are numerous ways for those interested to become involved. Visit www.CheckeredFlagFoundation.org for details.

 

SBP’s Mission is to shrink time between disaster and recovery. While SBP can’t prevent natural disasters, they can prevent some of the suffering they cause. By increasing resilience before disasters occur and streamlining the post-disaster recovery process, SBP fortifies people against unnecessary stress and trauma. Founded in 2006 in St. Bernard Parish, La., SBP has rebuilt homes for more than 1,600 families with the help of 180,000 volunteers in a total of 11 communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

© AMERICAN LOGGERS COUNCIL, 2019