By American Loggers Council President – Steve Sherich
It is my privilege to be serving as the current President of the American Loggers Council, a duty which I do not take lightly. During my term, we will continue the tradition of all of our past presidents to make certain that we are doing all that we can do to make this industry as strong as it can be.
The American Loggers Council is made up of both state and regional timber harvesting organizations, many who have struggled during this economic downturn. If not for the work that these associations are doing for their members, we would hate to think where we, as logging professionals, might be today.
State Associations have numerous values. Every year, they monitor legislation and work to ensure that bills are either passed or defeated that would impact our profitability. State associations help provide us with our first aid, best management practices and OSHA training at a minimal cost. So much of what the state associations accomplish is through the efforts of volunteers and management. The same is true with a national organization.
We have found that the larger the organization, the stronger and more effective it becomes with outreach to our representatives in Congress. Hundreds of voices are better heard than one, and if you are not a member of your State logging Association you should join. If your state does not have an organization, then you should help to form one. There is not a whole lot of difference between taking a welfare check for not working and reaping the benefits from your State Association without joining.
The health of State Associations will determine the strength of the American Loggers Council.
The more opportunities that we take to support our state associations, the better position they are in to support the ALC. The American Loggers Council is here to help all of us stay in business and provide a unified national voice for professional loggers. If your state is not contributing to the organization, then others are carrying the load for you. We ask that you please consider carrying your fair share of the load to make certain that all of our voices are heard in Washington, D.C.
Just one of the many issues that we are currently involved in is helping to pass legislation that would address the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that could eventually lead to all of us having to obtain National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before hauling our products over a forest road. If not addressed, this one ruling alone could lead to undetermined costs and citizen’s lawsuits against our operations.
I believe that everyone should volunteer for something. What better way than to volunteer for the industry that you work in? Nothing bothers me more than those that complain about how their dues are being spent, but never show up to make recommendations. I challenge you to volunteer this year and become an advocate for our industry. The states and the ALC need your support.
Steve Sherich is the President of the American Loggers Council, which represents logging professionals in 30 States. Steve’s logging operation is based in Hayden Lake, Idaho. For more information please contact the American Loggers Council at 409-625-0206 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.