As I write my last article as President of the American Loggers Council, I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to serve this Organization that will always have the interest of Loggers at heart. This past spring, our leaders went to Washington voicing our concerns with issues affecting our industry. We have had success with the introduction of the Future Logging Careers Act (H.R.1454), the Resilient Federal Forest Act (H.R.2936), and other issues that have been brought to the forefront in D.C. this year such as the Regulatory Accountability Act, and state maximum weight limits on the Interstates. Thanks to everyone for your efforts and keep on pressing the subjects every chance you get.
Ever notice that Politics is sort of like wrestling a pig? Each time we think we have something moving forward and making progress, the pig squeals, slips, ducks and dodges and the game starts again in unseen and undefined directions. I, like most of you, thought with the last election that the Swamp would be drained, that our elected officials would work together for the good of our Country and the American people. It seems like all we have is another version of wrestling the pig in Government halls, and haven’t even gotten to the Swamp yet.
ALC is a very diverse group of States and situations. Some of us have mill closings as others have new facilities opening. Some of us are restricted on interstate hauling while others can haul limited only by the number of axles they will or can put under their loads. To be successful today, we have to haul further, plan longer term but still be able to react to those obstacles thrown in our way whether they are weather related, mill related, or local, state or federal government related. We have much faster communications, email and text. Communication used to be personal. Today, we just hit “send”. In light of all of the state of the art equipment and innovations in communication we must never forget that we must know our cost of doing business.
Most loggers see their board of directors daily, I do. My board has expectations of living a relatively comfortable life, driving reasonable vehicles, having some disposable recreational money, and have quality time with those we choose to spend it with. Realizing all of us are different, we all have varying expectations of return on our investments, of our sweat equity in our operations. In the end, we should all have a quality of live that we can be proud of.
ALC has matured with strong leadership through the years. We, as an organization, can put our regional issues aside and look to the overall good of our industry as a whole—something I have always respected and something not seen in many associations today. Too many times we get caught up in the “what’s in it for me” mindset instead of the long term good of the Industry we all have a stake in. If an issue is important in an area today, chances are, there will be a trickle effect to other regions soon. Having serious discussions on these issues up front can often lead to options developing along the way. As we move forward as leaders in our industry, we must continue to invest our time in finding solutions to these everyday obstacles affecting our businesses. Working together, ALC gives us the opportunity to move forward with a unified voice, representing the good of the whole, across our industry.
In closing, I look forward to seeing each of you in Natchez in September as we show you a little taste of southern hospitality.
“Keep on Logging”.
Ken Martin is the President of the American Loggers Council. Ken, his wife Sandy and sons Brent and Brad own and operate Mar-Cal, Inc. with headquarters in Mendenhall, Mississippi. Brent and Brad having much of the day-to-day management of the family-owned timber management/harvesting operations.
The American Loggers Council is a 501 (c)(6) not for profit trade association representing professional timber harvesters and log truckers in 32 states across the United States with headquarters near Hemphill, Texas.