By Danny Dructor – American Loggers Council
I recently wrote an article for the New Hampshire Timberland Owners and the New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Council entitled “Teamwork Matters.”
Before I finished writing the article, I had already decided that the topic was important enough that I should try and convey the message to all of you who are on the front lines of the timber harvesting industry and who take the time and opportunity to come out of the woods and be proactive on the issues that are impacting the industry.
At the ALC Board of Directors meetings, we have managed to cuss and discuss many issues over the past 23 years, including master logger certification, H2b visas, woody biomass, the Canadian Softwood lumber tariffs, truck weights, the US Forest Service Timber Sale program, trucking regulations, safety regulations, IRS rules for heavy use vehicles, and a whole host of things that are of importance to the well-being of the timber harvesting industry. We are currently taking an active role in the industry TEAM Safe Trucking issue, hoping that we can assist in improving driver safety and assuring that there are qualified, insurable drivers in the industry.
Because of the ability for the Board members from the 32 states that the ALC now represents to be able to sit down and work out policy and position statements that are beneficial to all is indicative of the teamwork that takes place in order for us to maintain our status as “The National Voice for Loggers.”
We have all managed to educate ourselves and each other on the issues that are seemingly regional in character but actually national in scope, and we all speak with one voice on the issues that we are concerned with. Our dialects vary from region to region, but the hearts and minds of those participating in the discussions are one and the same.
We try and monitor legislation at the federal level that would have an impact on logging businesses, and more oftentimes than not now, have members of Congress reaching out to us asking, “What do the loggers think?” We also monitor some state level legislation when it becomes apparent that there might be a trend in the works from state to state making something more of a national issue.
This would not be possible without the dedication of the volunteers who make the yearly trek to Washington, DC and have formed relationships with members and staff on the Hill and that oftentimes look forward to their visits. Members of the American Loggers Council continue to make that yearly trek, and represent the industry very well.
Later this month, March 29-30 to be exact, those men and women from the logging profession will once again travel to Washington, DC representing you and your profession. Be sure and thank them for their dedication and time promoting this industry that we all have in common. You might even ask them how their trip went and what discussions did they have with members of Congress.
While there are other organizations that do a great job at representing other sectors of the forest products industry at the local, State and Federal level, the fact remains that many of the issues that are important to the logging industry are not on the radar of the other associations. Our focus is and will remain representing professional timber harvesters at the national level. The American Loggers Council and the State and Regional logging associations; loggers working for loggers. That’s what we do. Teamwork!
Danny Dructor is the Executive Vice President for the American Loggers Council with headquarters in Hemphill, Texas.