As I look back on the events of the 19th Annual American Loggers Council Meeting recently held at the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana, I can’t help but make a comparison between it and the government shutdown debacle that is currently going on.
The ALC has accomplished many things over the past 19 years thanks in large part to the dedication of some of the finest loggers this country has to offer. We as loggers are notoriously independent, but to see so many different personalities come together from all corners of this great country to try and make this industry better for everyone is truly inspiring and goes to show the character that we have in this industry. Our elected officials in Washington D.C. could learn a lesson or two from those in our industry on how to resolve issues for the greater good of all, not just themselves or their party.
Regardless of one’s political views I can’t imagine anyone believes that all the arguing and political jockeying is good for the country as a whole. If nothing else, just think of how our Veterans, who risked their lives to protect the freedoms that we all enjoy, feel when they are turned away from THEIR memorials. That is just wrong in every sense of the word!!!!!!!!!!
I will get off my soap box now and get back to the issue at hand
I have set some goals for my term as President of the ALC as is customary with each year’s incoming president.
1. To continue working on the issues that affect all of our businesses such as Clean Water Act legislation, Federal Forest management or lack there of, and overreaching governmental regulations to name a few.
2. To work on the Child Labor Laws issue to try and get the same exemption for our immediate family members that our counterparts in agriculture are afforded. With the rising age of loggers in this country we need to start training the next generation of loggers to take over our businesses or logging as we know it will fail to exist.
3. To see more of the ALC sponsors involved on committees because many of the issues that affect our businesses also affect theirs, either directly or indirectly, and their input is valued.
4. To do a better job of improving our image and getting our message out to those who don’t understand our industry. We must educate the policy makers and the general public on what we do and the benefits of it. If we don’t someone else surely will and their version likely won’t be favorable to us. We must be ambassadors for our industry-because if we don’t who will?
5. To address the issue of logging capacity. While there has been a lot of discussion on this subject lately I don’t believe there has been any effort to get all parties involved in the supply chain together to start the dialogue. I realize there is no simple answer to this but we must start somewhere.
I am honored and humbled to be named the 20th President of the American Loggers Council and I will do everything I can to represent the professional timber harvesters of this great country. I’m sure there will be many challenges along the way but with the support I’ve been shown so far I’m sure we will prevail.
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.