Twenty Years ago cell phones were sold as bags and could only make calls, the U.S. Forest Service harvested almost 5 Billion Board Feet and the American Loggers Council was formed by 40 upset Loggers in St. Louis, Missouri. While much has changed over the years, the willingness of many Loggers to represent the thousands across the Country has not waivered and continues to build the American Loggers Council into a great organization.
The twentieth annual meeting of the American Loggers Council held in Escanaba Michigan has come and gone. A special presentation was made to all of the former Presidents and it allowed for each to say their piece about the formation and the path of the ALC. Mike Crouse from Loggers World spoke very descriptively of the first meeting, and the trials and tribulations that went into forming the ALC. There was much to reflect on with the 20 year history and clearly some of the issues that brought Loggers together then are still bringing them together today. The ALC has grown in its 20 years and I hope that we can continue that growth moving forward, building strength and increasing our umbrella as “the National Voice for Professional Loggers.”
We must all continue working to make the Timber Harvesting portion of our industry a profession. There are many in our industry that are happy to sit by and let others do this work for them, but I believe through the growth and understanding of ALC that this will change. I hope that as more Timber Harvesting Professionals come to understand what the ALC is about their participation will increase. Our strength is in a common message supported by large numbers, and we must continue to build alliances with other National Organizations. The ability to be active at the National level is in each of our own hands as Professional Loggers in this Country. The American Loggers Council has, through great leadership, become a strong organization with many doors opening to it; however, it needs the support of all the fiber producing States to be as strong as possible.
There was a panel at this year’s meeting that put 3 loggers at the table, one from Florida, one from Michigan and one from California. The questions revolved around what the loggers thought were opportunities and what were threats to their ability to successfully operate a logging business. The threats occupied much of the discussion and were focused on regulation, workforce and markets. While the geographic location of the loggers was much different, the threats were very similar. While we all have regional issues there are many issues facing Loggers on a National level. This National stage is where the ALC can help so long as we are united.
Moving forward the ALC has many issues that are being worked on and many more that we hope to be working on soon. The ALC continues to be requested for testimony by various committees in Washington DC as issues arise that will impact fiber production in this country.
The ALC is knee deep in legislation, meetings, conference calls and everything else as we fight off the constant barrage of issues coming out of Washington DC. This work is vitally important to our industry, but cannot be done without the financial assistance of the ALC’s great Sponsors. Please go to our Web Site, www.americanloggers.org, to see a list of the Sponsors that contribute to the ALC which in turn allows us to represent Loggers in Washington, DC. If you do business with any of these Sponsors please thank them, as it is their support that allows for our activism.
If you are a Logger in a State with a Logging Association, I ask that you join it. If you are already a member of your State or Regional Logging Association, thank you. If your state does not have an association then join the American Loggers Council as an Individual Logger Member and stand with us. I look forward to working with all the great leaders in this industry that are currently involved with the ALC and hopefully some new ones in the coming year as we continue to build our strength as Professional Timber Harvesters. Please stand with us and be heard, if our industry is to prosper we must increase our activism.
Myles Anderson is the current President of the American Loggers Council and he and his father Mike own and operate Anderson Logging, Inc. based out of Fort Bragg, CA.
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.