By the time that this editorial goes to press in February, a delegation of the American Loggers Council will have already made its way to Washington, DC to measure the mood of the members of the new Congress, or in better words, their willingness to try and accomplish things that will help to return this great nation to sound fiscal policy and to become a nation that leads in job creation and prosperity.
There is a lot of unfinished business, including the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the NPDES permitting requirement for logging roads, and designing a road map that will lead us to energy independence, including the use of woody biomass as a renewable energy resource.
There is still a lot of work needed to improve the offerings from the federal timber sale program that would benefit the logging industry and timber dependent communities. There is not much reason to offer a biomass component in a timber sale if those markets do not exist, and even less need to tally firewood removals as a part of a viable timber sale program.
Regulatory uncertainty is still a major concern for our industry, and the administration has yet to release any indicators as to how many new regulations might be promulgated during the upcoming year, but you can be assured that we will be working closely with other organizations, federal agencies, legislators and their committees to ensure that the voice of the professional timber harvesters are once again heard and that our unique perspective on our industry is understood by all.
If you have yet to join up with your state and/or regional logging association, there is no better time than now to become active. There is a lot of concern over the decline in logging capacity as we begin to see an uptick in housing markets, but access to credit and a sustainable workforce need to be addressed, as do the need for long term contracts to help stabilize businesses.
We are beginning to see a swing in the mindset of many of those entities that need the goods and services that we provide, and by being active in your association can help you stay better informed of the changes and opportunities that may be coming your way.
The American Loggers Council will continue to be the voice in 2013 for professional timber harvesters across the country, and your commitment and actions for this industry will help us to attain the level of recognition that you so justly deserve. Please visit our web site at www.americanloggers.org to find out more about what this organization is doing to serve you and our industry. You will be glad you did.
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.