207-688-8195 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine

As WE See It: Still Striving

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...

As We See It: WHYDFML – What Have You Done For Me Lately?

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...

As WE See It: Addressing the Logging Capacity Issue

By ALC Presidnet Brian Nelson The term logging capacity appears to be the latest buzz word in our industry. There has been considerable discussion on the subject from mills to timberland owners to loggers and most everyone in between. While I admit that the issue is serious to the long term sustainability of the timber industry, the reasons for the shortage are as varied as the potential solutions being offered up. To complicate things even further, the reasons and potential solutions are generally quite different depending on which segment of the industry one is speaking to. Numerous articles have been written dealing with the many facets of the logging capacity shortage but the one I’d like to touch on is labor. For a business to succeed it has to have an experienced and stable workforce among other things. For a business to continue for generations it needs an experienced management team that can take over when the current owner decides to call it quits. Like many in this industry my brother and I got started at a very early age by following dad to the woods on weekends and summer vacations. We learned to run each machine by “getting in and pulling levers to see what they do” as our dad would always tell us. We learned to run the operation by following in his footsteps, asking a lot of questions, and learning from our mistakes. While it hasn’t always been easy there is nothing that I would rather be doing. Logging is all I’ve ever done and all I’ve ever wanted to do. With each passing year we...

As WE See It: Thank You

By Brian Nelson, ALC President 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...

As WE See It: The “Invisible” Workforce

“Save for encountering a logging truck on a highway, most Americans have no interaction with the industry that supplies most of the building products, paper and packaging materials they consume daily.  That’s a shame because loggers – America’s “invisible” workforce – make significant contributions to the nation’s economic and environmental well-being.” – Jim Petersen – Evergreen Foundation It is 5:00 AM in any given time zone across these United States. While many are hitting the snooze alarm, or enjoying their first cup of coffee, a dedicated group of professionals is already on the job. They are America’s loggers, harvesters of the timber that will eventually make its way into every American home in the form of building materials, the morning newspaper, paper towels, an egg carton, cereal box or those two time-honored morning rituals: brushing teeth or, well, you know. Thousands of everyday products – including many pharmaceuticals – contain wood in one processed form or another. Not one of these products would ever reach your home were it not for loggers, the first link in an impressive supply chain that restocks your pantry, bedroom, bathroom, nursery, workshop and kitchen cupboards every time you visit a store that sells groceries, pharmaceuticals, furniture, clothing or building materials. About 100,000 men and women are employed in logging and forestry operations in America’s timbered regions: the West, Southeast, Great Lakes and Northeast. Although tree species and products vary from region to region, the job does not. Logging, replanting and tree management are all parts of an unending cycle that insures that our nation will never run out of trees and consumers will...