207-688-8195 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine

As We See It: Inspiration

April 2015 By Myles Anderson, ALC President Have you ever thought what it would be like to wake up one morning to the reality of having lost your job, lost all the infrastructure that once supported your job and wonder how your community and your family would survive? Fast forward to the reality of today, the living wage jobs are long gone and your community is dependent on government aid rather than the vibrant economy that once flourished there. Rural families throughout the United States living adjacent to nationally owned forests, where once a thriving industry harvested and manufactured renewable resources have been forced into living this reality for the last 15 years. The Forest that was once managed to minimize fuel loading, create jobs and provide revenue for the local communities is now an overstocked and tinder dry fuel source or worse, a sea of blackened snags. This government aid that communities have come to rely is known as the secure rural school act (SRS). The SRS act monetarily supports communities and is meant to substitute for all the jobs that were lost as a result of our government’s decision to stop managing the lands surrounding these communities. Historically these rural communities received a portion of the receipts from Forest service timber sales and more importantly the jobs and lifestyle that went along with living in a vibrant community. The SRS is critical for many rural communities. This act funds over 775 rural Counties and 4,400 schools. The secure rural schools act was first passed in 2000 and since then every year these counties have come to rely...

As We See It: Inspiration

March 2015 By Mike Albrecht, 2014 American Loggers Council Activist of the Year It is a distinct privilege to address all of you great loggers through the American Loggers Council Newsletter. I’d like to start my comments with an abbreviated version of a speech I’ve written for President Obama, or Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, or anyone in a high ranking office that can muster an audience. It goes something like this: “America is truly a country of great achievement. Nothing underscores this more than a quick review of some facts. America leads the world in food production. Today, U.S. farmers export 45% of their wheat, 34% of their soybeans and 71% of their almonds. In 2011, U.S. farmers produced $388 billion of goods, with approximately one third of that being exported. America truly helps feed the world.              In the 1970’s, America decided it was time to shed its reliance on foreign oil. The American people said, “Enough is enough,” and Washington was listening. Today America is undergoing a revolution in energy production, a revolution so dynamic that the International Energy Agency predicts that the U.S. will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer by the end of this year.              America’s pride of achievement is showcased in so many other fields, including space exploration, medicine, and athletic prowess.              Today I’d like to issue a challenge to an industry that helped build this country, an industry that produced the railroad ties that linked our country together, and provides the raw material that builds our homes, our schools, and our offices. Today, this great...

As We See It: It Just Makes Sense

September 2014 By 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.” 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...

As We See It: Social Hypocrisy

August 2014 By 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...

As We See It: Youth Careers in Logging

July 2014 By 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...

PLC Hires New Executive Director

Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Hires New Executive Director  Bob 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...