PLC Member, Trees Ltd., Showcased at MESAF Workshop

August 27th, 2014

Two years ago, the Greater Augusta Utility District (GAUD) hired JM Forestry and PLC Member, Trees LTD, to manage and harvest the watershed property around Carleton Pond in Readfield, Maine. The harvesting occurred during two winters, including mud season, along Routes 17 and 135, and concentrated on the “beauty strip” along the roads. Care was taken during the height of mud season to also keep the public road clean where the trucks exited the landings.

The lead presenter will be Jake Maier, Consulting Forester in Orland; joined by Brian Tarbuck, GM of GAUD, and Will Cole, VP of Trees LTD and PLC Board Member, who was responsible for the on-the-ground operations.

Discussion points will include:

  • Single tree and Group Selection, necessities in a “vacation land?”
  • Does good forestry have to look good?
  • Whole tree harvest in a selection cut–a paradox?
  • Financial aspect of an intensive selection cut.

September 11th, 2014

Greater Augusta Utility District Carleton Pond Watershed

Intersection of Route 17 and 135, Readfield, Maine

For more information:

Visit: mesaf.org
or
contact:
Laura Audibert
11 Leopold St.
Fort Kent, ME  04743
207-834-6773
la4568@roadrunner.com

As We See It: It Just Makes Sense

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

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

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.

ReEnergy to Resume Operations at Ashland, Maine

August 4th, 2014

ReEnergy to Resume Operations at Biomass-to-Energy Facility in Ashland, ME

Ashland, ME – August 4, 2014 – ReEnergy Holdings today announced plans to resume operations at its biomass-to-electricity facility in Ashland, ME.

“We are very pleased to be resuming operations of this critical energy asset,” said ReEnergy Chief Executive Officer Larry D. Richardson. “This will restore jobs, improve forest health, and enhance reliability and stability in the delivery of electricity in northern Maine. This was only possible through the collaboration and support of key stakeholders.”

The 39-megawatt ReEnergy Ashland facility generates renewable energy from responsibly harvested green forest residue biomass and unadulterated wood. It is capable of producing approximately 284,000 MWh of electricity each year — enough to supply nearly 37,000 homes. The facility, which opened in 1993, was acquired by ReEnergy Holdings in December 2011 as part of a multi-facility portfolio purchase from Boralex Industries Inc. It has been idled since March 2011. It is anticipated that the facility will be fully operational by December.

“This is terrific news for Aroostook County,” said Governor Paul R. LePage.  “I thank ReEnergy for their investment and congratulate them on the decision to restart operations.  My team has worked proactively with ReEnergy over the last few years in an effort to get where we are today.  This is what happens when government partners with the private sector in efforts to improve our economy for the benefit of all Mainers.  ReEnergy’s decision is further proof Maine’s economy is headed in the right direction.”

Senator Susan Collins said: “The reopening of the Ashland biomass facility is welcome news for the important jobs it will restore and the renewable energy it will generate. The forest economy is a tremendous asset in our state and biomass plants like the one in Ashland play a vital role.”

The facility has a significant economic impact in northern Maine. The resumption of operations will restore 25 well-paying direct jobs and an estimated 150 indirect jobs associated with the facility, many of them related to the supply of the forest residue fuel supply to the facility and additional jobs tied to local goods and services related to the facility. At full production levels, the facility purchases more than $16 million annually in fuel from local loggers. When considering the payrolls of the direct and indirect jobs along with taxes paid by ReEnergy Ashland, the annual economic impact on the region is well in excess of $20 million.

ReEnergy’s plans to restart the power plant in Ashland is great news for the community,” said Ashland Town Manager Ralph Dwyer.  “It will create many well-paying direct jobs at the plant as well as other indirect jobs supplying the facility with biomass fuel.  The Town of Ashland appreciates ReEnergy’s commitment to our community and look forward to seeing the plant in operation again.”

ReEnergy has achieved certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Standard for the facilities that are currently operating in Maine and New York. ReEnergy will seek similar certification for the Ashland facility, and this certification will provide third-party verification that ReEnergy’s biomass procurement program promotes land stewardship and responsible forestry practices.  ReEnergy is the first company solely devoted to electricity production to be certified to the SFI Standard.

ReEnergy’s strategy is to own and operate its facilities in regions capable of supplying raw materials while simultaneously ensuring the long-term sustainability of the forests where those facilities are located. The company owns and operates three other biomass-to-energy facilities in Maine: ReEnergy Stratton (48 MW); ReEnergy Livermore Falls (39 MW); and ReEnergy Fort Fairfield (37 MW). ReEnergy also owns and operates a facility in Lewiston that processes construction and demolition material. With Ashland operating, ReEnergy will employ more than 140 people in Maine and support more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Biomass-to-energy offers substantial long-term employment and positive rural economic impacts. With in-state equipment manufacturing, fuel harvesting, processing, and jobs from facility construction to ongoing boiler service, the bioenergy industry contributes significantly to the state’s economy. As a rule of thumb, each megawatt of biomass-fueled electricity supports approximately five full-time jobs: one direct job in the biomass facility, and four indirect jobs in surrounding forests and communities.

The Ashland facility has been idled since March 2011 due to market conditions. The restart has been made possible due to a confluence of factors, including an increased need for electric grid stability in northern Maine, availability of transmission capacity, a growing need for a local outlet for mill and forest residues, and energy market changes.

The facility has been maintained in a manner that will allow for a prompt return to its previous high standard of reliability, but several months of preparation will be necessary to hire and re-hire employees, build fuel supply, and assess and re-tune equipment.

PLC Hires New Executive Director

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.

As We See It: Gaining Traction

June 5th, 2014

May 5, 2014

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

The American Loggers Council (ALC) has been making trips to Washington D.C. since practically the beginning of the organization. Shortly      after the founding of the ALC it was decided to have the Spring Board of Directors Meeting held annually in Washington D.C. to give members the opportunity to visit with their elected officials and relevant agency officials on issues that impact their businesses prior to attending the board meeting.

Over the years, the meetings that ALC members have had with elected and agency officials have ranged from upbeat, positive, and productive to let’s just say ….. “Less than productive” to be kind and most anything in between. I remember a meeting we had one year with an elected official’s staffer where we must have been keeping her from something since she spent more time looking at her watch than paying attention to what we were trying to convey to her. Thankfully over the years the visits have been much more productive than that particular instance. After returning from this year’s trip to D.C. I would have to say that our meetings were of the positive and productive variety.

I believe we are making progress with our visits to D.C. in the sense that we are being asked by officials to testify before Congress on issues that affect the timber industry, we’re building relationships with Agency officials, and with elected officials and their staffs. It is becoming apparent, that when there is an issue that impacts the timber harvesting profession in this country, that the American Loggers Council is the go to organization to get a loggers perspective on said issue.

ALC Logo colorThis year’s meeting started off with a brief update on timber tax issues from Dan Sakura of NAFO followed by a briefing of the issues that ALC members would take with them on their Hill visits. Following the morning briefing ALC members made well over 100 visits to their elected and agency officials over the course of the next day and a half. I would like to thank those sponsors that made the trip to D.C. to attend and participate in Hill visits with ALC members. I found it very beneficial to have representatives from two of the largest equipment manufacturers in the world to attend Hill visits with us. As loggers we tend to get “tunnel vision” on an issue and to get the perspective of the OEM’s was very helpful not only for myself but for the staffers that we were talking with during those visits. It also gave those sponsors an opportunity to see first-hand what the ALC does on the political and legislative front for its members.

Those sponsors with attendees were: Caterpillar – Joe Allen, Chip Burroughs, and Mike Duncan;  John Deere-Kelly Granatier, Tom Trone, Craig McBeth, and Collis Jones; Southern Loggers Cooperative- Bill Jones;

In addition to Hill visits, the ALC held a session with numerous speakers discussing various topics of importance to its members.

Those speakers in attendance were: Jim Pena- USFS – discussing Farm Bill and timber sale program issues; Daniel Cassidy- USDA-discussing research and education in biobased products; Bill Imbergamo- FFRC- discussing Federal Timber Sale Program, NEPA reform, and wildfire funding; Luke Loy- USDOT- FMCSA discussing truck weight and CSA issues; Caitlin Rayman- USDOT-FHA -discussing the Truck Size and Weight Study; Tom Trone- John Deere- discussing telematics in today’s new forestry equipment.

The ALC Spring Fly In and Board of Directors Meeting was a success with a record number of members attending both the Fly In as well as the Board meeting. In addition the ALC was asked to testify on a package of four bills dealing with NEPA following the meeting. We have also gained some much needed traction on the Youth Careers in Logging issue.

While the wheels of Congress oftentimes move at a snail’s pace compared to the production that we all experience on our jobs, it is imperative that we keep pushing the process along to ensure that we in the timber harvesting industry do not become the latest species to be listed as endangered. If you or your state is not represented by the American Loggers Council at the National level, then perhaps it is time for you to consider joining the ranks. When we are all pulling together towards a common goal, there isn’t anything that cannot be accomplished.

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: Still Striving

January 10th, 2014

By Danny Dructor, ALC Executive Vice President

Twenty years ago, in 1994, a small group of professional loggers took a bold step and formed an organization called the American Loggers Council.  The coalescing issue that led them to the formation of the Council was the roll-out in that same year of the Sustainable Forestry Initiatives® Program.  It would seem while others were designing programs that would have direct impacts on logging businesses, those same people and organizations forgot to ask what the loggers themselves thought about the program and its impact on loggers.  These early leaders of the American Loggers Council thought that it was time that the loggers had a national, unified voice on these issues.

A mission statement for the ALC was formed and simply states:

The American Loggers Council is a national organization representing independent loggers formed to enhance the logging profession, provide a unified voice on logging issues, and cooperate with public, industrial, and private timberland owners to further sustainable forestry practices.

One of the primary goals of the strategic plan for the ALC is to enhance the professionalism of logging.  This includes taking a proactive stance on issues of industry concern, improving relationships between mills and loggers, and promoting the perception of the industry.  For the past twenty years, the ALC has promoted logger training and education programs to not only help loggers better understand the relationship that exists between their operations and the environment, but to also help to positively influence the public’s perception of sustainable timber harvesting operations.

Unfortunately, as in any profession, there continues to be those few rogue operators who chose to ignore both statutory and voluntary regulations within the industry, yet seem to be able to deliver their products to SFI® participating mills at the same price as those who are meeting the standards.  It is hard for those who are “getting it right” to compete with those who are not even trying.  There are costs associated with the performance measures of the SFI® program, and for the most part, those costs are still being absorbed by the timber harvesting businesses themselves.

After twenty years and several SFI® program standard revisions, there is still discussion around what should be the maximum amount of wood fiber that is procured by SFI® participants that is sourced from untrained loggers.  Most logging businesses had one to two years to get into compliance with the LT&E requirements before they were told they might not be able to deliver their products.  Industry has now had twenty years to try and reach 100% compliance, yet they still are looking to include language in the standard revision process that would allow them to “strive to accept” no more than 5% of their fiber from untrained loggers.  Strive is a five letter word that give industry an out if they are not meeting the percentage of the standard.  What would happen to your business during a OSHA audit if you “strived” to get your employees trained without ever actually doing it, or you strived to meet DOT regulations while hauling overweight loads?

We feel that it is time to level the playing field.  Competing with loggers who are not in compliance with the SFI required logger training and education program, or who are not following federal and state mandated policies, yet still being offered a home for their production from an SFI® program participant (mill) is unacceptable to those getting it right.  If this process is allowed to continue, those who are operating above the laws and regulations that govern this industry will set the bar for the rest of us to compete against and not only will the sustainability of the industry falter, but so will the perception of our industry in the eyes of the public.  After twenty years of “striving,” the program participants should be getting it right.

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: WHYDFML – What Have You Done For Me Lately?

December 10th, 2013

By Brian Nelson, ALC President

I’m sure most everyone has heard this phrase in some form or another during their lifetime and many have quite possibly even used it themselves. It is one of those phrases that is used all too often today in a multitude of situations but for the sake of this article it will be in reference to State, Regional, and National logging trade associations.

What are they doing for you?

In very simple terms, they are your “voice” and they represent you and other like minded individuals on a variety of topics. Our associations represent us and our interests by attending meetings, monitoring legislation and testifying before committees on our behalf -just to name a few. The saying “there is strength in numbers” is especially true when it comes to trade associations. Take any issue your association is working on and try to get the same impact on an individual basis as your association gets from one person representing its entire membership.

I once read that when times are tough one of the first budget items cut for many businesses is advertising. Actually, this is when they need advertising the most.

That same line of thinking holds true for membership dues to trade associations. When times are good -membership increases allowing associations to do more, but when membership drops due to economic downturn, the associations will not be able to offer the same level of service previously offered- and that is when it will be needed more than ever.

At a recent meeting the discussion turned to how to increase membership of our association and more specifically how to recruit that segment of the industry that doesn’t join because “they are getting the benefits anyways.” A friend summed it up by referring to those individuals as “welfare loggers”-enjoying the fruits of other’s labor. Although a bit harsh, he does make a very valid point. While there will always be those who ride the shirttails of others, I believe with the support of those individuals, the associations could accomplish even more than they would without their support.

The American Loggers Council (ALC) tries to support those who support it. While that works well in regards to our sponsors I realize that is not always the case when talking about potential members. A potential member will benefit from what ALC does just as a current member, but that is where strength in numbers comes into play. Currently ALC represents 30 states. Our goal is to represent every state that has a commercial timber harvesting industry.

The ALC has been the voice of professional loggers in this country for nearly twenty years and has accomplished many things in that time. It was formed in 1994 after the adoption of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative by the AFPA. A group of loggers decided that they needed a voice on the national level to challenge issues that impacted them. Nearly twenty years later we are still trying to enhance the logging profession by creating a more level playing field for all loggers in this country, most recently by submitting comments to the Sustainable Forestry Board on programs for logger training and education, as well as creating a “hard number” for the maximum percentage of wood fiber that can be sourced from untrained loggers by SFI program participating mills – also known as the deminimus volume.

If you are a member of a logging trade association, whether it be national, regional, or state, I thank you for your support. If not, I encourage you to do so as they are your voice for issues that impact your business. By “supporting those that support you” we will make a difference.

Wishing everyone a Blessed Holiday Season – -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.

NewPage ‘indefinitely’ idles Rumford paper machine

November 19th, 2013

By Whit Richardson, BDN Staff

RUMFORD, Maine — NewPage on Tuesday said it would “indefinitely” stop operation of one of the paper machines at its Rumford paper mill by mid-February because of tough economic conditions.

Employees at the Rumford mill — there are about 830 — received the news Tuesday morning, according to Anthony Lyons, a mill spokesman….

Click to read more from the: Bangor Daily News


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