Archive for the ‘News’ Category

As We See It: It Just Makes Sense

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

September 2014

ALC Exec VP Danny DructorBy Danny Dructor, ALC Executive Vice-President

For seventeen years, members of the American Loggers Council have been making trips to Washington, DC, promoting the idea that trucks hauling state legal weight limits for agricultural commodities, including unrefined forest products, should be allowed to access the Federal Interstate Highway System, and for seventeen years, this common-sense approach to standardizing weight limits within state boundaries has gone unnoticed, until now!

On July 24, 2014, Congressman Steve Southerland from Florida introduced the Right To Haul Act of 2014, H.R. 5201, that if passed would do just that, allow these loads access to the Interstate Highway System as long as they do not exceed individual State weight limitations.

The language is simple, “…individual State weight limitations for an agricultural commodity that are applicable to State highways shall be applicable to the Interstate System within the State’s borders for vehicles carrying an agricultural commodity.”

An agricultural commodity in the Bill is defined as, “…any agricultural commodity (including horticulture, aquaculture, and floriculture), food feed fiber, forestry products, livestock (including elk, reindeer, bison, horses, or deer), or insects and any product thereof.”ALC Logo color

What does this mean for the logging industry? Several things. First, you will now be able to transport your state legal roads on a safer and more efficient route to the mill or processing facility, avoiding the intersections in town and communities where vehicle and pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur. Second, your loads will be hauled on infrastructure that is oftentimes much better than the secondary roads found in the state and county, and third, when you travel through a weight station along the Interstate, as long as you meet the state legal requirements of the state you are hauling in, you will not be fined for an overweight load.

There are many states that already have in place weight tolerances for agricultural commodities, and allowing those loads on the Federal Interstate Highway System helps to standardize state and federal policies and improves the overall safety to the general motoring public. One key element of the Bill is that it does not require the States to change their existing regulations. This has been a deterrent of other attempts to change weight limits on the Interstate as oftentimes the States and Counties simply do not have the available funds to bring secondary roads up to the level where they can support heavier loads. You might get a bill that allows 97,000 pounds on the Interstate, but the question remains, how do you get it there?

We thank Congressman Southerland for introducing the Right to Haul Act of 2014 and request that you seek the support of your members of Congress in seeing that H .R. 5201 is passed in both the House and the Senate. It just make sense!

Danny Dructor is the Executive Vice-President of the American Loggers Council. The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c) (6) corporation representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states across the US. For more information, visit their web site at www.americanloggers.org or contact their office at 409-625-0206.

As We See It: Social Hypocrisy

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

August 2014

2013-2014 ALC President Brian NelsonBy Brian Nelson, ALC President

Do you know where the products you use and the food that you eat come from? Chances are good that if you live in rural America then you probably do. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans who live outside of rural America have no clue where the products they use come from, nor do they want to know, either out of ignorance or out of a sense of ideology that somehow they are protecting our planet.

Recently I saw a flyer in our local paper for a national pharmacy chain where they were advertising “tree free” products that they were now carrying. After seeing this flyer I couldn’t help but wonder how many other companies were catering to this “green movement” because it is the “in” thing to do. For many, the belief is that timber harvests lead to the destruction of the environment and our planet even though science has proven that sustainably managed timber harvests do the exact opposite because a well-managed forest is a healthy forest. Many times the science is irrelevant to these people as it is more of a cause to believe in than what is proven right or wrong.

We’ve all seen or heard of numerous examples – from animal rights activists who eat meat or wear leather to the tree huggers who use countless products that are derived from wood. The example that I find the most ironic are the movie stars or recording artists who use fame as an opportunity to get on their soap box to spout rhetoric on how they’re so concerned about global warming or the environment as they get aboard their private jets – or how they object to commercial timber harvesting and yet they build these multi-million dollar mansions.

Hypocrisy is the first word that comes to mind! ALC Logo color

There will always be those that say one thing publicly and do just the opposite privately. Many of our elected officials have made a career out of doing just that over the years by catering to the votes. The problem is that these are the people that are making decisions or influencing the decision making process that affects the lives of all of us who work in natural resource related fields or live in rural America. For every one of us who lives, works, or recreates in rural America, there are countless more that do not, yet they are making decisions that affect how we live or work because they have the numbers.

The farming community has overcome many of the same issues in the past by educating the public on what they do and why they do it. The public’s perception of a given industry may not always be positive or correct but it is powerful. If the timber industry is
ever to be perceived for anything but what it is now, we must all do our part to educate the public and our elected officials on what we do and why we do it. Every person in this country uses products derived from wood in one fashion or another every day whether they care to admit it or not.

If we all made a concerted effort to educate those that either don’t like our industry or just don’t understand it then just maybe the next decision they make regarding it will be positive rather than negative.

Until Next Time,

LOG SAFE

Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson is the current President of the American Loggers Council and he and his brother David and father Marvin own and operate Marvin Nelson Forest Products, Inc. based out of Cornell, Michigan.

The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c) (6) corporation representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states across the US. For more information, visit their web site at www.americanloggers.org or contact their office at 409-625-0206.

As We See It: Youth Careers in Logging

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

July 2014

2013-2014 ALC President Brian NelsonBy Brian Nelson, ALC President

Are you concerned about the future of the timber industry? If not, you are most likely in the minority. Mill closures, mergers, high cost of raw materials, shortage of qualified operators, the constant barrage of government regulations, and the overall high cost of running a business today are just a few of the many hurdles that we all must navigate in order to stay afloat. While the American Loggers Council (ALC) can’t solve all these issues, they are currently working on many of them and will continue to do so into the future.

When my term as ALC President started last fall, I listed a set of goals that I wanted to accomplish. The issue at the top of that list was to address the entrance of the next generation of timber harvesters into our industry. In order for this industry to survive, we must have a qualified and competent work force to not only operate equipment but to also take over the reins of running the business when the current owner decides to step away. This issue is one that the ALC has been working on for a number of years now and just started to gain some momentum with the introduction of H.R.4590 and S.2335.

The Future Logging Careers Act – H.R.4590 was introduced by Rep. Labrador (R-ID ) while the Youth Careers In Logging Act -S.2335 was introduced by Sen. Risch (R-ID) and Sen.Crapo (R-ID ). Both of these bills 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.2011 ALC logo b&w

Timber harvesting operations are similar to family farms – but with sophisticated and expensive harvesting equipment that requires young men and women to learn how to run the business, including equipment operation, maintenance and safety prior to the age of 18. 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 they reach adulthood. The potential next generation of professional timber harvesters are being denied the opportunity to make logging their career of choice until after they turn 18 because of outdated Child Labor Law Regulations while the agriculture industry is exempt from said regulations.

While much progress has been made in just the last couple of months, there is still a lot of work to be done if we want to see these bills passed into law. A vast majority of bills introduced in Congress end up dying in committee, so it is critical that we all do our part to ensure that these bills are passed out of committee and eventually signed into law.

Regardless of whether you work as a logger, work in a mill, or work for a timber company this issue has the potential to affect the entire wood supply chain because as current loggers leave the business there needs to be a new generation coming in or eventually our industry will cease to exist.

H.R.4590 has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce while S.2335 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

It is imperative that we contact directly as many House and Senate offices as possible and ask them to support the bill, so please pass this alert along to anyone who you feel is willing to respond, including other organizations and vendors who you do business with. We will need a majority in both the House and Senate to pass the bill once it comes to the floor for a vote!

If you are unsure of who your congressional delegates are then please contact the ALC office or go to the ALC website to find their contact information. I urge everyone in the timber industry to either make a call or send an email to their respective Senate and House members to get them to support this very important issue to our industry. The more Senate and House members hear from us the more likely they will be to support this and the more of them that support this the better chance we have of moving it forward.

Until next time,
Log Safe

Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson is the current President of the American Loggers Council and he and his brother David and father Marvin own and operate Marvin Nelson Forest Products, Inc. based out of Cornell, Michigan.

The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c) (6) corporation representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states across the US. For more information, visit their web site at www.americanloggers.org or contact their office at 409-625-0206.

PLC Hires New Executive Director

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Hires New Executive Director

 Dana Doran, PLC of Maine Executive DirectorBob Linkletter, President of the Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine (www.maineloggers.com), has announced that Dana A. Doran of Belgrade, Maine, will be the new Executive Director for the organization.

Mr. Doran is replacing Mike Beardsley, who stepped down from the position in December 2013. Mr. Beardsley served as Executive Director from 2010-13.

Mr. Doran will begin performing his new duties on March 31st. He has more than fifteen years of leadership experience in various capacities with organizations in government, private industry, economic development and education. Mr. Doran comes to the PLC from his most recent position as Director of Energy and Paper Programs at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, Maine. Mr. Doran held this position since 2010 and also served as Director of Resource Development for the college from 2007-10.

“We are thrilled that Dana Doran will be joining our organization,” Bob Linkletter, President of the PLC, said. “His combination of experience in public policy, workforce development, fundraising, and private industry is truly unique. The PLC has built itself into a leadership organization for loggers in the State of Maine and Dana Doran is exactly the type of leader that our organization needs to represent our membership both now and for the future.”

Mr. Doran is a native Mainer and has significant ties to the forest products industry in Maine. Since returning to Maine in 1999, he has cultivated his passion for timber both professionally and personally.  He is a member of the Small Woodlot Owners Association of Maine he has owned two woodlots that have been recognized by the American Tree Farm System.  He has also had a unique opportunity to serve in several positions with a diverse set of organizations, both public and private, in Washington, DC and here in Central Maine where logging was a topic of his work on various occasions.

“I am ecstatic that I have been given the chance to work with such a vibrant and focused organization,” said Mr. Doran. “The PLC represents the fabric that the State of Maine was built on. Although many challenges lie ahead, the future is bright for Maine’s highly adaptive, talented and evolving logging industry.   The forest products industry in Maine, from biomass, to pulp and paper, and various other products, would not succeed without the strong participation of loggers. I am honored that the PLC has chosen me to work with them to reinforce the place that the logging profession has in the Maine economy.”

Mr. Doran is a 1996 graduate of Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, where he earned a B.A. in History/Government and Law. He was awarded an M.P.A. with a focus on Public Administration from the University of Connecticut in 1998. He and his family currently reside in Belgrade, Maine.

From 1998-1999, Mr. Doran worked as a political appointee for then President William Clinton in the United States Department of Labor. From 1999-2001, he served Governor Angus King as Assistant Commissioner of Public Affairs for the Maine Department of Labor. In 2001, Mr. Doran joined Central Maine Power Company as their Director of Business Development, acting in this capacity until 2003. From 2003-07, Mr. Doran taught social studies and coached varsity basketball at Gardiner Area High School.

The mission of the PLC is to promote logging as a profession, advocate for logging professionals, cultivate responsible forest management, and sustain a strong forest products industry.

The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine was formed in 1995 to give independent logging contractors and sole proprietors a voice in a rapidly changing forest industry. A Board of Directors made up entirely of loggers makes the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine the only logging organization in Maine run by loggers for loggers.

The PLC is also a founding member of The American Logging Council, an organization that represents professional loggers on a national level.

Verso Paper Corp. Reports Third Quarter 2012 Results

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

MEMPHIS, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE: VRS) today reported financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2012. Results for the quarters ended September 30, 2012 and 2011 include:

  • Adjusted EBITDA before pro forma effects of profitability program of $50.2 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared to $23.5 million in the second quarter of 2012 and $64.2 million in the third quarter of 2011. (Note: Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined and reconciled to net income later in this release).
  • Net loss before items of $12.0 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2012 compared to net loss before items of $43.1 million, or $0.81 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2012 and net income before items of $0.8 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2011.
  • The closure of the Sartell mill resulted in an aggregate pre-tax charge to earnings of approximately $97.2 million in the third quarter of 2012. This includes approximately $16.3 million for severance and benefit costs; $75.8 million in non-cash charges for fixed asset and other impairment charges; and $5.1 million related to other costs.

Click Here to read the full report from Verso Paper Corp.

Oxford County Big Tree contest

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

In cooperation with the MFS, the Oxford Co. Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) recently completed their first Big Tree contest for Oxford Co.  Nominations for the biggest tree of each native Maine species were solicited from landowners, foresters and other interested folks in Oxford Co., similar to the state Big Tree register maintained by the Maine Forest Service for the whole state.  The Ox. Co. contest started in May and finished in October, generating dozens of nominations.  Some species, like White pine generated multiple nominations from different landowners.  District employees, with assistance from District Forester Merle Ring, measured each of the nominations using the same point system as the state register.  Winners in each species category were issued a certificate and given a Forest Trees of Maine book, and are listed on the Ox. Co. Big Tree register.  A new contest will be started each spring to update the register with new nominations.  An Ox. Co. Big Tree booklet has been printed for distribution listing the winners, similar to the state Big Tree booklet.

For more information contact: Jean Federico, Ox. Co. SWCD, 743-5789, Ext. 111. Or visit our Website

Informational Training Sessions: Timber Harvesting in Shoreland Areas

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Statewide Standards for Timber Harvesting and Related Activities in Shoreland Areas will be taking effect in certain municipalities January 1, 2013.

On January 1, 2013 organized towns that have decided to adopt statewide standards for timber harvesting and related activities in shoreland areas will have statewide standards go into effect.

Towns that have either elected to retain their old shoreland zoning ordinance for timber harvesting or not taken action on statewide standards will continue under their old shoreland zoning rules until they take action.

Areas under the administration of the Land Use Planning Commission (formerly know as LURC) will also continue under current rules for the time being.

A map and list of the status of each town is below. The map and list will be updated as new towns adopt statewide standards.

Town Status List (pdf)

Town Status Map (pdf)

Informational Training Sessions

The Maine Forest Service will be holding a series of informational training sessions on statewide standards for timber harvesting and related activities in shoreland areas.  These standards will be replacing old town ordinances for timber harvesting in the shoreland zone in certain municipalities starting January 1, 2013. These sessions will run from 6:30-8:30 PM at each location and will take place regardless of weather. Each session will give an overview of the standards, provide information on resources for assistance with the standards and be an opportunity to ask questions.  Foresters, loggers and landowners who harvest timber in shoreland areas are encouraged to attend.

Click Here For More Information and Info. Session Schedule

In Memoriam: Richard A. Thomas (February 8, 1945 – October 14, 2012)

Monday, October 15th, 2012

In Memoriam: Richard A. Thomas (February 8, 1945 – October 14, 2012)

GUILFORD- Richard A. Thomas, age 67, passed away surrounded by family on Sunday, October 14th at Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. He was born on February 8th, 1945 to Clyde and Carolyn (Pray) Thomas.

He graduated from PCHS in 1963 and went on to start his own business, R.A. Thomas Logging. He enjoyed snowmobiling, hunting, ice fishing and smelting, talking, and working. He was one of the original members of the Master Loggers Organization. He spent countless hours at his cottage on Lake Onawa with family and friends.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, Roberta; his children, Melissa, Richard, Angela, and Jeanine; 10 grandchildren; 2 brothers, Gerald Thomas and his wife Carol, and Kenneth Thomas and his wife Wanda; a sister, Rose (Thomas) Folsom and her husband Stan; Snickers (his much loved dog and riding partner) and many amazing friends.

He was predeceased by his parents; and a brother, Russell Thomas.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, November 3rd at 1:00pm at the PCSS gymnasium.

Burial will be in the Lawn Cemetery in Guilford at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please, feel free to make donations to our local school, SAD #4, Attn: Superintendents Office, 25 Campus Drive, Drop #2, Guilford, ME 04443 or the Guilford Fire Department, 390 Church Street, Guilford, ME 04443.

Arrangements by Crosby & Neal, Guilford.

Editor’s Note:

We are saddened by Richard Thomas’ passing. Richard was a long time member of the board of the PLC of Maine and his wisdom and insight will be greatly missed.

From all of us at the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, our condolences, thoughts, and prayers are with Richard’s wife Roberta, the Thomas family, and the employees of R.A. Thomas Logging.

10-18-2012 Update: Richard’s Celebration of Life service will be at Piscataquis Community Secondary School, 9 Campus Dr. Guilford, Maine 04443, on Saturday November 3rd @ 1:oo PM.

FYI: Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com) lists the school as “Piscataquis High School” not “Piscataquis Community Secondary School”.  – MAB

It is with great sadness we report Richard Thomas passed away on Sunday, October 14th at a Dover-Foxcroft hospital.

Richard has been a long time member of the board of the PLC of Maine and his wisdom and insight will be greatly missed.

We will pass along information regarding service times as we get them.

From all of us at the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Roberta, the Thomas family, and the employees of R.A. Thomas Logging.

HC Haynes, Inc. Statement regarding recent News Stories

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

September 27, 2012

Dear customers:

Media outlets have recently reported a story regarding indictments of Enfield, Maine corporation Haynes Timberland and five people.

Since that story broke, we have received some calls from concerned customers under the mistaken impression that H.C. Haynes was somehow involved, which we are not.

In an effort to clarify any confusion regarding company names, we at H.C. Haynes assure you that our business is a separate company from Haynes Timberland, with a separate management team.

Based in Winn, Maine, H.C. Haynes Inc. is a distinct operation, family owned and operated by the Haynes family since its founding in 1963.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Sincerely,

Jay Haynes

President, H.C. Haynes, Inc.

Maine Turnpike board gives tentative approval for toll hike

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

The Maine Turnpike Authority Board of Directors voted Thursday on a tentative toll increase scheme that would raise $21 million a year…the plan would[also] raise commercial truck rates…

Read more in the Portland Press Herald


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