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



When Loggers Take an Interest in Politics, We Win

by Nick Smith, Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities

It’s important as ever for professional timber harvesters to stay engaged in ever-changing developments in Washington DC.  As the saying goes, “Just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” When loggers take an interest, we win. Here’s an example:

The US. House recently inserted a 3,000-acre “categorical exclusion” (CE) in its Interior Appropriations bill that would also allow the Forest Service to quickly move forward on forest projects intended to address an insect or disease infestation; reduce hazardous fuel loads; protect a municipal water source; maintain, enhance, or modify critical habitat to protect it from catastrophic disturbances; or increase water yield.

A liberal Michigan House Democrat filed a “hostile” anti-forestry amendment to strip this provision out of the bill.  Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities worked with the American Loggers Council, Federal Forest Resource Coalition (FFRC) and other partners to rally opposition to this amendment.

In less than 24 hours we sent hundreds of letters to congressional offices.  Others made countless phone calls.  The amendment was defeated with a surprising number of Democratic “no” votes, demonstrating what we can do when we take the time to advocate for our issues. 

There’s another opportunity where we need your help.

A few months ago House leaders inserted the ALC-supported Resilient Federal Forests Act in its comprehensive energy legislation.  The provision gives the Forest Service a range of policy and legal tools, including expanded CEs, to do more work on the ground.  After passing the U.S. House in the summer of 2015, the bill has languished in the Senate.  Now efforts are underway to get the Senate to act before this Congress finally adjourns.

The Senate, having passed its own energy legislation, recently voted to form a conference committee to negotiate with their counterparts in the lower chamber.  This development could pave the way for a bipartisan agreement on a fire funding fix and several forest management reforms this year.

We need to make sure the conferees (click here for a list) hear a simple, consistent message over the summer recess. Click here to take a look at Danny Dructor’s letter to the Texas delegation.

Bill Imbergamo from FFRC also offers these talking points:

  • My business depends at least in part on sustainable timber supplies from the National Forests. The Forest Service struggles with staggering wildfire suppression costs and bureaucratic red tape that prevents them from managing the National Forests in my area.
  • Growing suppression costs take money away from forest management projects, meaning less timber gets to the market, and my business and community suffer.
  • Congress can address the challenges facing the Forest Service by enacting a comprehensive forest management and fire funding reform provision in the Energy Bill, which is currently in a House-Senate conference committee.
  • The Conference Committee should adopt a package of reforms which:
    • Prevent fire borrowing and stop further erosion of the Forest Service budget in the future;
    • Streamline NEPA for collaboratively developed forest management projects;
    • Provide additional categorical exclusions to expedite forest management projects; and
    • Delay implementation of a hasty transition to a low value timber program on the Tongass National Forest.
  • There is broad support for a comprehensive solution to these problems. Please don’t let the Energy Bill conference be another missed opportunity to address these challenges.

Even if a particular conferee doesn’t represent a district with a single stick of federal timber, he or she needs to hear how important these reforms are to you, your business, your community and state.  With enough effort in the right places, we can win the tough policy battles in the nation’s capital.  Once again, when you’re involved, we win.

The American Loggers Council is Loggers ‘Working for Loggers’

ALC is the only national organization solely dedicated to representing and protecting the interests of independent, professional loggers on the national level.

ALC combines the strengths of its independent members with state and regional logging associations across the country to impact our industry positively and pro-actively for the benefit of all stakeholders including timberland owners and U,S, wood mills and other wood customers world wide.

ALC delivers these benefits by:

  • Providing education and training to its members;
  • Providing a platform for networking with key industry leaders and partners;
  • Funding research focused on improving logging productivity, cost reduction and safety;
  • Communication and promotion of sustainable forestry practices as well as the positions and policies important to our membership, and
  • Legislative collaboration and coordination with our industry partners at the federal government level.

Examples of ALC’s engagement on behalf of its members and the industry:

  • Attracting workers to our industry (in-the-woods and trucking)
  • Federal timber sales program expansion
  • Federal transportation regulatory changes
  • Market development
  • Public relations to build public awareness of loggers and their contributions
  • Federal lobbying representing the interests of our members.
  • Development of the “Certified Master Logger” program
  • Job site and trucking safety improvement initiatives

ALC also works to help loggers become better leaders, managers and marketers by sharing best practices and connecting its members to experts and resources that help loggers grow profitably.

Importantly, ALC’s Website and Social Media information resources keep it members informed about the trends and issues that impact their businesses today and in the future.

ALC is stepping up it advocacy for, and support of, our logger members.  We are strengthening our lobbying and communications capabilities, improving our alignment with our regional and state associations and increasing our funding to better support logger and market development.  We will continue to relentlessly represent and protect your interests.

We appreciate your support.  We work every day to earn and keep it.

New G-Series Feller Buncher Cab

Tigercat is continuing to evolve the G-series drive-to-tree feller bunchers with the introduction of an improved operator’s cab.
Cab comfort and ergonomic design are key to operator productivity in the woods and the new G-series cab is quiet and well-equipped. On the outside of the G-series drive-to-tree feller buncher cab, the work lights have been moved into enclosures incorporated into the cab structure to better protect them from falling trees or limbs. LED lights improve reliability and brightness over the previous halogen models. The new lights produce a more even light pattern that provides better coverage around the machine. High output LEDs are available as an option.

Tigercat feller bunchers have always provided unmatched visibility. The G-series now takes line of sight to a new level. The front window area is nearly 10% larger. Combined with Tigercat’s low-profile boom structure, it provides exceptional visibility to the front. The rear quarter windows are over 20% larger so the view over the back tires is the best in the industry — an asset in thinning applications.

Climate controlled seat

The air suspension seat features pull-through ventilation which moves hot, humid air away from the operator’s legs and back, producing a cooling effect. For colder weather, the seat is also heated. The new seat can be adjusted two inches wider than the previous seat.

The electronic control display module is now fitted in an adjustable mount so that the operator can position it for optimal visibility. Frequently used controls have been integrated into the joystick pods to make them easier to reach.

Quiet and comfortable

Air-conditioning and heating vents have been repositioned to improve airflow for cooling and heating. As a result, there is a more even distribution of air to the operator and much better defrost. There is no shortage of air supply for operator comfort in the cab. Front window and skylight shades help to reduce heat build-up when working in bright sunshine. Cab insulation and interior finishing have been improved. The working noise level is 76 decibels which is similar to an automobile on the highway.

Finally, the new cab includes a full range of accessories for operator comfort. The cab includes 12 and 24 volt power sockets, two large cup holders, a cell phone holder and two USB ports that can be used for charging phones or tablets. A CB radio is optional. The audio system provides AM/FM, weather band and Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming from mobile devices.

– See more at: http://www.tigercat.com/g-series-feller-buncher-cab/#sthash.RkDTKu3e.dpuf

Tigercat Releases 570 Harvesting Head

IMG_8530Tigercat continues to expand its range of harvesting heads with the new 570, a robust, high-performance, two-wheel drive harvesting head.
The new Tigercat 570 harvesting head offers excellent productivity and reliability, utilizing many of the structural and hydraulic performance benefits of the larger 575, in a package ideally suited to Tigercat H845 series carriers.The wheel arms, pins, bushings, cylinders, feed motors and rotator are shared with the 575 model for proven strength and long life. The chassis is designed for optimum strength-to-weight with focus on visibility, component protection and quick service access. A new integrated valve package enhances performance and service access with fewer hoses and connections to improve reliability. Clean electrical routing with common service parts further increases up-time.

Flexible configurations

Dual-purpose harvesting and processing knives — with replaceable blades and tips — come standard with independent cylinders as the ultimate solution for crooked or heavily limbed stems. The dual, independent cylinders allow the knives to follow the stem profile, improving control and delimbing quality. The 570 is flexible and configurable. Optional hydraulic front knife timing improves picking performance in processing applications, while optional harvesting knives with shorter tips enhance harvesting dexterity. Various wheel and motor options are available to tailor performance to application.

The 570 is most productive working with trees 15-50 cm (6-20 in) in diameter in softwood and hardwood stands. Although best suited to the Tigercat H845 series, the 570 is designed to work with the H822 and H855 series carriers or a 20-25 tonne forestry excavator.

Tigercat D5 control system

The 570 and 575 harvesting heads both use the Tigercat D5 Control System which combines a solid and field proven hardware and bucking control system with a Tigercat-developed head control and user interface that offers simplicity and intuitive operator navigation. The Tigercat D5 control system is available in three levels of bucking control and reporting: Tigercat D5 Prio, Tigercat D5 Prio PC and Tigercat D5 Optimization, allowing customers to tailor the system to their needs.

For more information: http://www.tigercat.com/tigercat-releases-570-harvesting-head/#sthash.PUC9r8hM.dpuf

Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc. And Southern Loggin’ Times Magazine Launch Pre-Owned Forestry Equipment Website: ForesTree Equipment Trader

Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., North America’s leading publisher of forest industry trade publications, in partnership with Southern Loggin’ Times, the continent’s most unique and popular logging magazine, has launched ForesTree Equipment Trader (FET), a first-of-its-kind online service dedicated exclusively to buying, selling and trading pre-owned forestry equipment, components, parts and related services.

ForesTree Equipment Trader is a new, easy to use marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of used forestry machines, attachments, components, and parts; it connects allied service providers with potential customers; and it connects employers with potential employees.

FET is an affordable, effective service for individuals and forestry equipment dealers. It offers several Membership Levels, with options and features that include multiple listings, multiple photos per listing, full product descriptions, videos, company branding, Featured Dealers, website embed codes, and much more. An extensive variety of search criteria is available on ForesTree Equipment Trader, including year, make, model, condition, location, radius, and more.

Other features of the FET website include: contacting sellers directly from their listings, special Employment and Services listings, and an In Search Of feature for potential buyers or employers.

“We’re excited about launching ForesTree Equipment Trader and what it brings to logging equipment owners and dealers,” says DK Knight, Hatton-Brown Publishers’ Co-Publisher. “FET is a fitting outgrowth of Southern Loggin’ Times, which for years has carried the largest used logging equipment classified section of any North American logging magazine. We expect FET to become even more popular than the magazine.”

ForesTree Equipment Trader can be found at www.ForesTreeTrader.com. Visit the website today and discover all FET has to offer. Click. Connect. Trade.

About Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc.—Established in 1953, Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc. today is the leading publisher of forest industry publications and sponsors or co-sponsors related trade shows and conferences. Its publications include: Southern Loggin’ Times, Timber Harvesting & Wood Fiber Operations, Timber Processing, Panel World, Wood Bioenergy, and Power Equipment Trade.

About Southern Loggin’ Times—Founded in 1972, Southern Loggin’ Times has earned a special place in the hearts and minds of loggers and their families and employees, as well as equipment manufacturers and their dealers and sales personnel. Logging families across the U.S. South, where 60% of the nation’s annual timber harvest takes place, crave every issue. SLT is known as “The Southern Logger’s Best Friend.” It is created 12 times per year.

Bishop, Roberts, Westerman Push Reforms to Improve Federal Forest Health, Wildfire Budgeting

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Representative Bruce Westerman (R-AR) participated in a press call to discuss pending wildfire and forest management legislation (H.R. 2647 / S. 3085).

Click here to listen to a recording of the call.

“Last year, more than 10 million acres went up in smoke due to decades of unmanaged forests and our government spending more on fighting fires and special interest groups in court than managing the forests in scientifically-proven ways,” Rep. Westerman statedduring the call.

Members outlined concerns with inadequate federal efforts to reduce the concentration of hazardous fuels in overgrown forests.  The Forest Service is currently treating just 1% of the forest lands that the agency has identified as high-risk and susceptible to wildfires.

In reference to H.R. 2647 and S. 3085, Bishop stated: “this framework gives agencies a responsible budget fix and the tools they’ve been calling for to finally begin treating forests at a pace and scale that is needed to protect our communities.”

For basic treatments or a routine thinning project, an Environmental Impact Statement can cost the Forest Service a minimum of a million dollars and over 3 years to complete. “With its current, woefully inadequate and expensive self-imposed process, it’s no wonder the Forest Service currently treats just 3 million out of 60 million acres at high risk to wildfire,” Bishop stated.

“We need a new strategy that focuses on scientifically based, sustainable forestry management,” Rep. Westerman stated. “To do this, we’ll have to rein in frivolous lawsuits that regrettably have become the tool of choice for small groups with special interests. With proper management and new provisions for catastrophic events, we can end fire-borrowing in a cost-effective manner.”

“As the loss of life, property and environmental damage grows, we cannot afford to just throw more money at the problem. We must address the root cause,” Bishop stated.

Background:

On July 9, 2015, H.R. 2647 (Rep. Westerman), the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015, passed the House. The bipartisan bill would address the growing threat of catastrophic wildfire by simplifying environmental process requirements, reducing project planning times, and expanding forest management flexibility to improve the health and resiliency of our forests.

On June 22, 2016, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, introduced S. 3085, the Emergency Wildfire and Forest Management Act of 2016. Similar to the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015, S. 3085 proposes a responsible solution to “fire-borrowing” with much needed reforms to improve forest heath on federal lands.

Click here to view a summary of H.R. 2647.

Carbon Neutrality Language Passes in House

House Appropriations Bill, H.R. 5538 passes on a 231-196 vote

FOR RELEASE July 14, 2016

For Media Inquiries Contact:
Danny Dructor
American Loggers Council
Phone: 409-625-0206
E-mail: americanlogger@aol.com

Today, July 14, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FY17 Interior Appropriations Bill which contained language supporting the American Loggers Council (ALC) position on carbon neutrality of biomass feedstocks when used as a renewable fuel.

The ALC has long supported utilizing forest biomass as a renewable feedstock to generate energy; making markets available for taking low value underutilized material from the forests as a means to improve forest health, reduce insect and disease infestations, and reduce the probability of catastrophic wildfires.

Management of both public and private forest lands can benefit from utilizing woody biomass, and the markets that could be created would also serve to further lessen our dependence on foreign fossil fuels.

The Senate version of the Appropriations Bill, still waiting for floor action, also contains language favorable for recognizing forest biomass as carbon neutral.

Both the House and Senate have adjourned for the August recess and work to reconcile the difference in the bill is not expected until after the November elections and then will be place in an omnibus appropriations package to help avoid a Presidential veto. The current administration recently published a statement pointing out 30 provisions to which it objected, with the carbon neutrality provision being one of them.

About American Loggers Council

The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing timber harvesting professionals in 30 states.  For more information contact the American Loggers Council office at 409-625-0206 or visit their website at www.amloggers.com.

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New Reports Reinforce the Value of Sustainably Managed Private Working Forests

The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) today released two new reports confirming the ongoing relationship between strong markets for wood products and sustainable forestry in the U.S.
“The reports reveal that the more wood we use, the more trees forest owners grow, and that has a positive impact on everyone, especially in communities where working forests are the cultural and economic foundation. These forests support 2.4 million jobs nationwide and thousands of wood-derived products that improve the quality of our lives,” said Dave Tenny, NAFO President and CEO.
The reports study the 32 most forested states, representing 91.3% of all working forests in the contiguous U.S., 74% of which are privately-owned. United States Forest Inventory and Harvest Trends on Privately-Owned Timberlands is a first-of-its-kind national report detailing annual forest growth and removal data by product, species and region and summarizes this data at a national level. The report reveals that private forest owners:
  • Grow 40% more wood than they remove.
    • In the South, they are growing 41% more.
    • In the North, they are growing 32% more.
    • In the Pacific Coast/Northwest, they are growing 42% more.
  • Remove a small percentage of the total inventory of growing trees.
    • In the South, removals were equivalent to 2.9% of growing trees
    • In the North, removals were equivalent to 1.2% of growing trees.
    • In the Pacific Coast/Northwest, removals were equivalent to 2.0% of growing trees.

“The report makes clear that forest owners are harvesting only a small portion of the trees they grow to maintain an abundance of trees,” Tenny said. “Strong markets for wood products—including energy here and abroad—help keep these forests healthy, productive and able to provide numerous environmental benefits such as clean air and water, and habitat for wildlife. Public policy has long recognized this positive relationship. As a result, forest owners are growing 40 percent more wood than they are harvesting.”

NAFO also released The Economic Impact of Privately-Owned Forests in the United States, the second update to NAFO’s inaugural report published in 2009. The report revealed on a national level that private working forests support:
  • 2.4 million jobs
  • $99 billion in payroll
  • $281 billion in sales
NAFO’s interactive map details state-specific economic impacts.
Both reports were produced by Forest2Market, a company providing market data and analytics to participants in the wood supply chain.

EPA Says No to Further Regulation of Forest Roads Under Clean Water Act

The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its decision against further regulation of forest roads under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
“Forest owners are pleased EPA exercised its broad discretion under the CWA by keeping management of water quality programs at the local level through state Best Management Practices (BMPs),” said Dave Tenny, NAFO President and CEO. “BMPs are a proven tool for protecting the quality of our nation’s rivers and streams while taking into account the diversity of forest landscapes.”
In 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit directed EPA to provide an appropriate rational for any decision not to regulate stormwater discharges from forest roads. Today’s decision by EPA satisfies that order.
In 2014, Congress included in the final Farm Bill a provision that forest roads and forest management continue to be regulated through state BMPs under the CWA. The action ended litigation that began in an Oregon district court in 2006. Congress did not address EPA’s authority to adopt a regulatory program for stormwater discharges, although it saw no need for regulatory action. Today’s decision by EPA is aligned with this 2014 congressional action.

Committee Finds Federal Agencies Proactively Avoid the NEPA Process to Secure Predetermined Outcomes

The House Committee on Natural Resources held an oversight hearing titled “Investigating the Appropriate Role of NEPA in the Permitting Process.”
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) was designed as a regulatory compliance framework for projects or actions requiring a federal permit.  In practice, the NEPA process has often proven overly burdensome, costly and time-consuming for a range of economic sectors.
In many cases, federal agencies have used NEPA to delay or deny permitting. More recently, the Obama Administration has begun bypassing NEPA to preemptively deny project approval. Attorney Roger Martella, Jr. emphasized that uncertainty surrounding the NEPA process has a paralyzing effect on critical economic growth and energy independence projects.
Despite the extraordinary contributions NEPA has made to informed decision making over 45 years, NEPA also is at risk for being hijacked as a tool of obstructionism by providing for unnecessarily broad review. Improperly stretching NEPA’s reach can lead to vast delays and uncertainty before agencies and the courts,” Martella said.
The fact that this fifty-year old law is routinely used as a statute of convenience to suit a preconceived agenda demonstrates the need for reform.
Too often, federal agencies use the NEPA process to delay permitting for months or years and eventually kill projects. But, now when it looks as if it will not be an impediment to the permitting process, federal agencies are denying permits before the NEPA process is completed,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said.
The panel focused on two recent federal agency decisions: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to deny a permit for the Gateway Pacific Terminal in Washington state and the EPA’s actions in the Bristol Bay Watershed of Alaska. In both cases, the agencies took controversial actions to sidestep NEPA and achieve a predetermined outcome.
EPA would be a much more effective agency if it fulfilled its statutory mandate by faithfully following the well-established NEPA process, rather than by creating its own ad hoc process for implementing a preemptive veto,” CEO of the Pebble Partnership Thomas Collier stated.
In the case of Pebble Mine, EPA conducted its own analysis of the project, the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (BBWA), outside of the NEPA process. EPA later acknowledged the BBWA had significant gaps, including insufficient environmental analysis, that would have been covered under NEPA.
If a precedent is established whereby EPA can veto any of these projects before they are proposed […] the chilling effect on our economy will be profound,” Collier added.
In an exchange with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Collier explained he was denied due process and cannot file a permit application because the Army Corps of Engineers won’t make a decision while the EPA has already initiated a preemptive veto.
Executive Secretary for the Washington State Building Trades Council Lee Newgent talked about his work with the Gateway Pacific Terminal and reiterated similar concerns.
The other issue at Cherry Point is the politicizing of the product and not the project. Gateway as proposed is a multi-commodity export facility and coal is only one of the export materials […] Our economy at the present time is linked directly to fossil fuels,” Newgent stated.
Click here to view full witness testimony.
© AMERICAN LOGGERS COUNCIL, 2018