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ALC Executive Vice President
Daniel J. Dructor
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P.O. Box 966
Hemphill, TX 75948
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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