The Logger's Voice Summer 2023

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Volume 17 Issue 3 | Summer 2023 Volume 17 Issue 3 | Summer 2023 A Quarterly Publication of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine A Quarterly Publication of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine President s Report 6 New Members 7 Director s Report 8 PLC Awards 22 Also in this issue... PLC s 28th Annual Meeting Celebrating the best of 2023 Page 18
Cover: Log A Load and Lobster underway May 4 in Waltham. Story page 18. PLC Staff Executive Director Dana Doran ▪ executivedirector@maineloggers.com Membership Services Manager Jessica Clark ▪ jessica@maineloggers.com Safety and Training Coordinator Donald Burr ▪ safety@maineloggers.com Office Coordinator Vanessa Tillson ▪ office@maineloggers.com The Logger’s Voice Editor and Designer Jon Humphrey Communications and Photography ▪ jehumphreycommunications@gmail.com Advertising Jessica Clark ▪ jessica@maineloggers.com © 2023 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine All material (“content”) is protected by copyright under U.S. Copyright laws and is the property of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) or the party credited as the provider of the content. For more information call (207) - 688 - 8195 Annual Meeting 2023 18 PLC Awards 22 Also Inside 4 Calendar 5 Updates 6 President’s Report 7 New Members 8 Executive Director’s report 14 Log A Load Golf Tournaments 30 Trucking 32 Safety 41 Mechanized Logging Operations and Forest Trucking Program 42 Maine Forest Service 45 Master Logger 46 ALC updates 52 Congressional updates Board of Directors Will Cole, President Chuck Ames, 1st Vice President Duane Jordan, 2nd Vice President Kurt Babineau, Secretary Andy Irish, Treasurer Tony Madden, Past President Aaron Adams Jack Bell Brent Day Thomas Douglass Marc Greaney Steve Hanington Randy Kimball Sam Lincoln Robert Linkletter Molly London Justin Merrill Jim Nicols Marty Pelletier Ron Ridley Gabe Russo Wayne Tripp Gary Voisine Aquarterly publication of: The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine 108 Sewall St., P.O. Box 1036 Augusta, ME 04332 Phone: 207.688.8195 www.maineloggers.com
Event Calendar 4 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995
5 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 Do you have news to share? The PLC is always seeking news from our Members that showcases our industry’s professionalism, generosity, and ingenuity. Send ideas to communications@maineloggers.com Updates

From the President

Hello everyone.

The older I get, the more I look forward to the spring. In my mind spring ought to be the start of the calendar year. Watching the woods revive after a long hard winter reflects new life and opportunity for growth. It encourages me even at times when I'm at a low.

Encouragement is something everyone needs and I believe the good Lord designed spring annually to inspire life, opportunity, and growth. That inspiration doesn't arrive until the dog days of summer, the fall rains, and the cold winters have passed. By spring everything in creation is ready for a fresh start.

Our industry has seen some pretty bad weather these last several years such as mill closures, bankruptcies, the Pixelle explosion, high fuel and equipment costs, and workforce issues. The list seems to grow even larger as the seasons go by.

Like creation itself we are ready for a fresh start. The bright spots are what bring new life to the forest floor, and that can't happen unless two things precede: The forest canopy must be opened up to allow sunlight in. That cannot happen until one of the larger old standbys either falls down or is removed. And the soil beneath must be disturbed enough to allow new seeds to take root.

Reflecting on this process, I can't help but see the parallels with our industry today. Some of the old standbys that we have all been sheltered under have fallen and in that process it's safe to say all of us have been disturbed and turned upside down. What happens next in the process are the bright spots that bring new life.

Don and I recently took our crew to the Irving Pine Mill open house in Dixfield. While there I ran into several fellow loggers and without exception they all had the same response at the end of the tour. "I needed this." It is a bright spot in our industry.

The mill is productive, profitable, and in my experience fair. The steps they've taken to offset our changing market are impressive. Wood that was pulpwood quality in the 70's and 80's is now sawtimber, helping offset our dwindling pulpwood markets. Then this past year a scale rule change increasing volumes on a truckload of wood by 10%+ equating to an increase that gets equally distributed to the landowner, trucker, and logger instead of just a price increase that could be taken by one party.

Just that one day of sunlight helped revive our little company whose life has been turned upside down. These changes that brought light in wouldn't have happened without the canopy being opened up by the old standby coming down.

There are multiple other examples of higher utilization of lower grade products like timber mats. Who would have ever thought you'd see $600+ per thousand for pallet logs, spruce and fir high grade down to 4 inches, a thriving firewood market, hemlock logs down in some cases to 7 inches, the Madison Pulp Mill redone to produce wood based insulation, Robbins Lumber building a biomass plant? These are just a few examples that come to mind that are all direct results of the canopy being opened up by an old standby going down.

The world is a pretty discouraging place these days and our industry is drastically changing, but with that change will come opportunity for those who reach for the bright spots.

See you in the woods,

Will

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Welcome New Members

New Contractor Members

Jordan True & Son Logging LLC of Jay joined the PLC as a new Affiliated Contractor Member in June of 2023. The company has a professional staff of 2. To learn more contact Jordan True at (207)-320-3101 or jtsontrucking@gmail.com.

Kenneson Timber Inc. of New Fort Kent joined the PLC as a new Affiliated Contractor Member in June of 2023. The company has a professional staff of 3. To learn more contact Adam Kenneson at (207)-316-2785 or kennesontimberinc@gmail.com

R&J Logging LLC of New Limerick joined the PLC as a new Affiliated Contractor Member in June of 2023. The company has a professional staff of 2. To learn more contact Ryan Wellington at (207)-694-3264 or northernlogger@gmail.com.

New Supporting Members

JustNiks Mycosilva, LLC of Livermore Falls joined the PLC as a new Preferred Supporting Member in June of 2023. The company is a mycoforestry investment and mycoremediation company cultivating Chaga in living birch trees that partners with private and commercial landowners of all sizes that have birch on their land to grow the amount of Chaga that is needed to keep up with the growing demand. To learn more contact Justin Triquet at (207) 707-0309 or vatriquets@gmail.com or go to https:// justniksmycosilva.com/

A.L.P.A. Equipment of New Brunswick, Canada joined the PLC as a new Enhanced Supporting

Member in June of 2023. A.L.P.A. Equipment is a family-owned company started in 1976, with three generations currently working. A.L.P.A. offers forestry and construction equipment sales and service and has grown to five convenient locations serving Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec, located in Balmoral; Fredericton and Edmundston, New Brunswick; Truro, Nova Scotia and a new branch location in Moncton, New Brunswick. For more information contact Gerry Curtis at (506461-3830 or gerry.curtis@alpaequipment.com or go to www.alpaequipment.com

D.C. Bates Equipment of Hopedale MA joined the PLC in May as a new Supporting Member. Since 1985, DC Bates Equipment has been providing the highest quality material handling equipment including log loaders and custom fabrications to a variety of customers throughout the country. To learn more contact Ed Cucci at (603) 391-1828, ed@dcbates.com, or visit www.dcbates.com.

The City of Old Town, ME joined the PLC in May as a new Nonprofit Supporting Member. Organized as a town in 1840, and later as a city in 1891, the City of Old Town is a unique island community that sits on the edge of the Great Northern Woods, on several islands in the Penobscot and Stillwater Rivers. Today, a thriving residential community of 7,840, the City of Old is a bustling industrial community, with a strong economic base, business support, advanced infrastructure, and a desirable quality of life which promotes growth and investment for both businesses and residents alike.

To learn more contact EJ Roach at (207) 974-6431 or eroach@old-town.org or go to https://old-town.org/

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Not a member but interested in joining the PLC? Contact Jessica at (207) 688-8195 or email jessica@maineloggers.com

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away

As I begin writing this article for each edition of the Logger’s Voice, I always like to review what was written just one year ago in addition to what was written for the last edition. History is important, not just so I don’t write about the same topic from year to year, but to review what was relevant or timely in the recent past. I have found that the pace at which things change in this industry seems to be increasing all the time and not only can I learn from our past, but I need to make sure I don’t repeat it!!

In reading last year’s edition, just one year

ago, almost to the day, I wrote about the “glorious weather” of June 2022 with, “warm days, cool nights, and low humidity, that brought about incredible logging conditions across the state. It’s crazy to think how much things have changed in only one year not to mention the last three months. Change is inevitable I guess, but it would be nice for that change to be a little more predictable and consistent.

While it’s hard to believe, also just one year ago, pulp markets in this state were a polar opposite as well. In June 2022, markets were

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wide open, procurement officials were asking what they could do to help and prices were beginning to rise, one year later, it’s a complete 180.

In the last three months, we’ve learned that mills have produced too much product in response to the, “not enough” economy that existed during the pandemic, while at the same time, consumer demand pulled back, which has led to an oversupply that seemed to come out of nowhere this spring. Adding insult to injury, natural gas prices plummeted in early 2023,

creating less demand for biomass. Ultimately, this created the tornado of the Old Town shutdown and the other curtailments at the other remaining mills.

Fast forward to today, with an already bleak future looking even bleaker, as a result of overstocked inventory, mills are now taking and planning for extended downtime this summer and fall which is bound to make the markets even softer as we move forward. As a friend who is an engineer at Sappi told me last weekend, we are bullish on the future and are still moving forward

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 9 Doran Continued
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Photo courtesy of PLC Member Maine Custom Woodlands.

with a $415 million upgrade at Somerset, but the next six to nine months are going to be a little rough. As a result, logging contractors are on hard quotas unless they work on a service contract with a landowner that possesses a fiber supply agreement.

As a reminder, from 2020-22, we lost 30% of the harvesting capacity in this state because of lost markets and high inflation. And as a result of the market downturn in 2023, it looks like we might lose another 20-25% before things turn around. I just hope this downward trajectory does turn around sooner rather than later before we cross the point of no return.

Despite the constant ebbs and flows of this industry, with more ebbs than flows, the Lord continues to give in ways we never thought were possible.

Consistent with the resurgence of spring and the giving of new life all around us, the energy of this industry never ceases to amaze me. From March-May, the PLC provided safety training for 170 of our members and more than 1,000 of their employees, setting all-time records for participation that we have never seen before. This happened despite the trials and tribulations all around us and seemed to energize the membership even with a bleak outlook on the future. Personally, it is significant to see so many of you in person each year and the renewed interest in our work to help keep your employees safe especially when safety training can be such a dry topic.

Also this spring, on May 4-5th, 2023, the PLC held its 28th Annual Meeting at the Harborside Hotel in Bar Harbor and set attendance records in a similar fashion. The event’s attendance increased by more than 25% as the membership celebrated and gave thanks to all of their family members for the sacrifices they

make every day to make this industry successful. It was a memorable event and a unifying opportunity which always invigorates me.

For the first time, the Annual Meeting spanned two days, with a new event – Log A Load & Lobster –held on May 4 to raise additional funds for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals in Maine. The event was organized and donated by PLC Member and 2nd Vice President Duane Jordan of Elliott Jordan & Son and his family. Attendees traveled by bus from Bar Harbor and toured Downeast renewable energy and blueberry fields owned by the Jordans, visited area landmarks, and finished with a lobster dinner at Elliot Jordan & Son. The proceeds from the day, which surpassed $12,000, all went to support this year’s Log A Load for Maine Kids effort.

The second day was a return to our usual business meeting and presentations for all PLC Member contractors in the morning, with board and officer elections and a major change to the PLC’s bylaws that will be announced in more detail later this fall. A noon luncheon followed with speakers including Congressman Jared Golden; American Loggers Council (ALC) Executive Director Scott Dane; and ALC President Andy Irish of Irish Family Logging. Andy’s term as President concludes in October 2023 and the ALC’s Annual Meeting will be held at Sunday River. I hope that all of you can attend to make this event truly special for Andy and his family.

And the day concluded in the evening with the traditional Log A Load for Maine Kids Auction, which raised more than $127,723, including the $12,000 from the day before, for Log A Load For Maine Kids, and awards presented to businesses, individuals, and legislators from across Maine for their contributions to the logging industry. In typical fashion, the annual meeting epitomized the giving nature of Maine loggers.

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Doran Continued from Page
As a reminder, from 202022, we lost 30% of the harvesting capacity in this state because of lost markets and high inflation. And as a result of the market downturn in 2023, it looks like we might lose another 20-25% before things turn around. I just hope this downward trajectory does turn around sooner rather than later before we cross the point of no return.

But of course, no good deed goes unpunished and as I write this article, the Maine Legislature continues to plod along across the street with no end in sight. This truly epitomizes the saying, when the Lord giveth, only the Lord, or in this case, the Legislature, can taketh away. The session was supposed to wrap up on June 21st and as of the 26th, the end is near, but not near enough.

And while the Legislature hasn’t completely finished its work for the session and we won’t know exactly where things will finish up for at least another month, I thought it would be appropriate to summarize where things stand at this point in time with our friends across the street so those of you that don’t read my weekly legislative update every Saturday morning, have an idea what has transpired this session that could impact your businesses in a very short period of time. The Legislative session in 2023 will undoubtedly go down in the books as the most contentious and the most anti-business in the state’s history. What started off with the passage of a majority budget in late March without one Republican vote has continued and only gotten worse. The second to the last week of the session epitomized the partisan split as votes continued, primarily pushed by the far left of the Democratic party on issues pertaining to abortion, paid family medical leave, guns, agricultural workers and a multitude of other social welfare programs and regulations that would make any business owner cringe. To now say that Governor Mills has become the backstop is not only a true statement, but a reality. Here is a run-down on the final bills of the session that we are still following:

PLC Opposed

LD 827, An Act to Allow Employees to Request Flexible Work Schedules. Enacted in the House and sent by the Senate to the Special Appropriations Table for final deliberation over funding. The amended bill: 1. It allows an employee to request in writing, including by electronic means, a flexible work schedule. 2. It requires an employer to consider an employee's request for a flexible work schedule and whether the request can be granted in a manner that is not inconsistent with employer operations. It defines "inconsistent with employer operations." 3. It specifies that an employer and an employee must mutually agree on the duration of time and terms of a flexible work schedule. 4. It allows an employer to rescind a flexible work schedule with as

much notice to an employee as is practicable. 5. It prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for exercising rights given under the subchapter enacted by the bill.

LD 949, An Act to Protect Employees from Employer Surveillance. Enacted in the House and sent by the Senate to the Special Appropriations Table for final deliberation over funding. The amended bill specifies that an employer may use employer surveillance if the employer informs the employee before beginning employer surveillance. It prohibits an employer from using audiovisual monitoring in an employee's residence or personal vehicle or on the employee's property and provides that an employee can decline a request by an employer to install data collection or transmission applications on the employee's personal electronic devices for the purposes of employer surveillance. It also requires that an employer notify a prospective employee during the interview process that the employer engages in employer surveillance.

LD 993, An Act to Facilitate Stakeholder Input Regarding Forest Policy in Maine. Enacted in the House and sent by the Senate to the Special Appropriations Table for final deliberation over funding. The bill creates a new oversight committee in the Bureau of Forestry, which is nominated by the Governor. The committee’s membership is not something the PLC supports.

LD 1190, An Act to Ensure a Fair Workweek by Requiring Notice of Work Schedules. Enacted in the House and sent by the Senate to the Special Appropriations Table for final deliberation over funding. This bill states that any employer with more than 10 employees would have to pay their employees for a minimum of two hours if they have to cancel a shift under any circumstance. The bill also includes penalties if employers don’t comply with certain provisions.

LD 1964, An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Commission to Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program. Enacted in the House and sent by the Senate to the Special Appropriations Table for final deliberation over funding. The bill implements a paid family and medical leave benefits program which could provide up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave to eligible

11 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 Doran Continued on Page 126

Doran Continued from Page 11 16 covered individuals. An individual is eligible for leave under the program after working 120 days for a company. The weekly benefit amount is 90% of the covered individual's average weekly wage. The funds for administrative costs and payment of benefits come from payroll contributions of no more than 1% of wages shared by employers and employees, except that employers with fewer than 15 employees are not required to make employer contributions to the program.

PLC Supported

LD 1303, An Act to Exempt Boats and Allterrain Vehicles Purchased for Qualified Commercial Fishing or Commercial Farming from State Sales Tax Enacted in the House and sent by the Senate to the Special Appropriations Table for final deliberation over funding. This bill exempts from sales tax sales of all-terrain vehicles used directly and exclusively in commercial fishing, commercial agricultural production, or commercial timber harvesting to a qualified purchaser.

LD 1408, An Act to Reduce Maine's Dependence on Fossil Fuels and Carbon Footprint for Energy Production Using Waste Wood Fuel. Enacted in the House and Senate and sent to the Governor for signature. This bill will: 1) Expand the definition of net generating capacity to ensure it is clear that capacity sent to adjacent facilities behind the meter should not be considered electric output to the T & D system; 2) Expand the size of net generating capacity for a single participant from 10 MW to 15 MW; 3) Expand the total net generating capacity of all program participants combined from 20 MW to 30 MW to allow for more projects to bid in; 4) Expand the definition of projects that are eligible to negotiate a long term contract with an investor owned facility. This would allow projects that might be built in a consumer owned territory that is adjacent to an investor-owned utility to sell energy directly to the adjacent investor owned utility;

LD 1455, An Act to Establish the Weighing Point Preclearance Program Passed in the House and Senate on 1st and 2nd Votes, awaiting enactment in the House before moving to the Senate. This bill establishes the Weighing Point Preclearance Program, which is operated by the Department of Public Safety, Bureau of State Police and which uses an electronic system that verifies a

commercial motor vehicle's size, weight, registration and safety records as the commercial motor vehicle drives on a highway and allows compliant commercial motor vehicles to bypass weighing points. The bill also provides that if the Department of Transportation administers a separate program that uses a preclearance system, the department must determine which weighing points must participate in that program, and all preclearance system providers' devices and platforms must be treated equally and used concurrently at participating weighing points.

LD 1849 An Act to Ensure Fair and Timely Payment in the Harvesting of Forest

Products Enacted in the House and Senate and on the Governor’s desk. The amended bill requires an entity that contracts with a person to harvest wood and place the wood roadside so that the entity is able to have the wood hauled away for use or processing to pay the person within 30 days of the person's fulfilling the contract and placing the wood roadside.

LD 1874,

An

Act

to

Support Maine Loggers' and Truckers' Right to Work in Maine by Improving Labor Standards. Enacted in the House and Senate and on the Governor’s desk This bill provides that the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry may obtain certification from a forest certification program for state land only if the program requires labor standards for logging and trucking.

As you can tell, there’s still a lot on the line, a lot to keep track of and a lot that can be taken away, if some of these things become law. And while I know that at the end of the day, markets are the most important thing for all of you now, the last thing you need is to have something else given or something else taken away that will ultimately harm what you love to do.

Please stay safe, be well and I’ll send an update along when I know more.

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14 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995 Register Now Online at: fundraising.mmc.org/BBCH/LogALoad
registration forms have also been mailed
Paper
to all PLC Members and Supporting Members
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16 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995 Register Now Online at: www.northernlighthealth.org/logaloadgolf Paper registration forms have also been mailed to all PLC Members and Supporting Members
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 17

BAR HARBOR – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine held its 28th Annual Meeting May 4-5, raising $127,723 for Log A Load For Maine Kids and presenting awards to businesses, individuals, and legislators from across Maine for their contributions to the logging industry.

The meeting was held at the Bar Harbor Club in Bar Harbor, ME., with a record 222 adults and 16 children attending. Honored guests at the event included Maine Congressman Jared Golden and retired New England Patriot Pete Brock.

“Once again this special group has come through for the families served by our Children’s Miracle Network

hospitals in Bangor and Portland, and we are proud to note that this is the largest attendance for our Annual Meeting yet,” Dana Doran, Executive Director of the PLC, said. “As the logging industry gets tougher this group just gets stronger and continues to exceed expectations in every way, and we are grateful to everyone who made this year another success.”

For the first time, the Annual Meeting spanned two days, with a new event – Log A Load & Lobster –held on May 4 to raise additional funds for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals in Maine. The event was organized and funded by PLC Member Duane Jordan of Elliott Jordan & Son and his family. Attendees traveled

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Log A Load for Kids Auction underway May 5 at the PLC 2023 Annual Meeting.

$127,723 raised for Log A Load for Maine Kids!

by bus from Bar Harbor and toured Downeast renewable energy and blueberry fields owned by the Jordans, visited area landmarks, and finished with a lobster dinner at Elliot Jordan & Son. The proceeds from the day all went to support this year’s Log A Load for Maine Kids effort.

The second day included a business meeting and presentations for all PLC Member contractors in the morning, with board and officer elections. A noon luncheon was held with speakers including Congressman Golden; American Loggers Council (ALC) Executive Director Scott Dane; and ALC President Andy Irish of Irish Family Logging in Peru, Maine.

The evening events included the traditional Log A

Load for Maine Kids Auction, dinner, and the PLC awards ceremony. PLC’s special guest for the evening, Pete Brock, an offensive lineman with the Patriots from 1976 to 1987, including the 1986 Bears-Patriots Superbowl XX game, took part in the auction and donated the two shirts he was wearing to the auction to help raise money, a gesture that was much appreciated by the crowd.

PLC Awards were presented to the following individuals and organizations during the evening portion of the event:

PLC Logger of the Year Award: W.W. London Woodlot Management Co. of Milo.

PLC Impact Awards: The Maine Forest Rangers

Annual Meeting

Continued Page 20

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Log A Load and Lobster hosted by PLC Member Elliot Jordan & Son on May 4 was a great success! Photos clockwise from top: On the bus beginning the tour; visiting wind turbines; at “Big Rock”, a huge glacial erratic on the Jordan property in Waltham; The Jordan off-grid home on Spectacle Pond; Dinner underway at the garage in Waltham. Center, Lobster dinner was excellent. Thank you to everyone who attended and made the day a success, and a very special thanks to Duane Jordan and his entire family for organizing, hosting, and funding this special event to raise funds for Log A Load!

Annual Meeting Continued from Page 19

and Maine State Senator Brad Farrin of Norridgewock.

PLC Community Service Award: Mike Conway of Oxford, Massachusetts.

PLC Supporting Member Award: Chalmers Insurance Group of Bridgton.

PLC President’s Award: Andy Wood of Hampden.

*For the full information on each award and

recipient turn to page 22.

The Annual Meeting is one of the PLC’s major fund-raisers to benefit CMN hospitals in Maine. Last year the PLC raised a record $262,403 by the end of 2022 for the cause. With this year’s funds raised so far, the total raised by the PLC for Log A Load since 1995 has surpassed $2 million. The PLC’s two Log A Load golf tournaments will be held in August and September.

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The PLC partners with the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital (BBCH) and Northern Light Health Foundation for its annual Log A Load fund drive. BBCH in Portland and Northern Light in Bangor are CMN Hospitals.

The PLC and the Northern Light Health Foundation (formerly Eastern Maine Health Systems Foundation) have partnered in the Log A Load fundraising effort since 1996. BBCH joined the Log A Load

effort in 2019 and all donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children in Maine as possible. BBCH and Northern Light in Bangor both have a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that has received support for years from the PLC’s Log A Load efforts.

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s meeting a success!

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Photos clockwise from top: Jacob Thiboutot and family thanking donors and supporters at the Log A Load Auction; Auctioneer Scott Hanington and his wingman Noah Tibbetts at the Auction; Maine Congressman Jared Golden speaking at the luncheon; Social Hour outside the Bar Harbor Club; The Auction underway; American Loggers Council Executive Director Scott Dane speaking at the luncheon; retired New England Patriot Pete Brock with Scott Madden.

PLC Logging Contractor of the Year Award: This award recognizes a PLC Logging Contractor for their commitment to the sustainability of the industry and logging as a profession. The 2023 winner is W.W. London Woodlot Management Co. of Milo.

The London family has been working in Maine’s logging industry since the 1950s, starting out in trucking. Today the family operates three distinct companies from their garage in Milo. William W. London and Son Inc., owned by Bill London, is the original company started by Bill’s father, and handles a variety of jobs including forest road and bridge construction. W.W. London & Son Trucking LLC, run by Bill’s son, Alex, was split off from the original company in 2016 and handles woods trucking. Alex’s wife, Molly, who is a forester, joined the family business that same year. Not long after that, Alex and Molly - apparently deciding they needed more to do in their spare time - together formed W.W. London Woodlot Management Co., to focus on logging.

The company has grown as their young family has

to Washington D.C. last fall to take part in the AMC’s flyin for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) While there, the Londons were key to efforts to advocate for more funding in the Forest Legacy Program and the continued use of that funding for keeping working forests working. LWCF funding was used by AMC to help purchase the Katahdin Iron Works tract that has employed the London's logging crew for 5 years, as well as to purchase the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest in 2022 that has funded 100 bridge projects completed by the Londons and ensured future work for their logging crews. These lands could have been locked up in preservation or focused completely on recreation, but instead have kept a multi-use philosophy in allowing many different partners to use a tract of land while still operating logging crews in the woods.

While in DC, the Londons met directly with Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, and Eric Kanter of Rep. Jared Golden's office, as well as Rep. Chellie Pingree's staff members. They spoke in each meeting about the importance of conservation funding being used to keep working forests working, and also advocated for the Master Logger® Certification program as a way to be sure that harvesting is done in a sustainable manner. They also spoke firsthand about the hard times that loggers are facing in the current economy and advocated for any assistance to be allocated in a way that it can get to loggers directly, in a way similar to the PATHH program.

The Londons have also played to host to Maine teacher tours in order to educate these educators on the logging industry so they can in turn educate Maine children on the opportunities and importance of our industry.

At the PLC’s most recent Legislative Breakfast, the London’s represented the industry well, speaking from the heart on the challenges a young logging family faces in Maine today. None of the legislators in that room went away from that event with any doubt that Maine’s logging industry is struggling and needs help from its representatives.

grown. W.W. London Woodlot Management is Master Logger® certified and has quickly established a reputation for professionalism both within the industry and beyond.

The Londons are not afraid to tackle difficult jobs, including working on conservation lands where public scrutiny and expectations are extremely high. As Alex once said, “what we hear a lot is go cut the side of that mountain and make it look like you never cut the side of that mountain.”

The Londons have worked for years now on Appalachian Mountain Club lands, and the AMC was so impressed by their work that they invited Alex and Molly

These are only a few examples of the ways the London’s step up to represent the industry, and they can always be counted on whenever the PLC asks for their help.

Maine needs young logging families if our industry is to survive. The Londons provide a great example. They could certainly have chosen an easier path, we are grateful they chose logging.

The PLC is fortunate to count W.W. London Woodlot Management Co. among our members, and it is with great pleasure that we present this year’s PLC Logging Contractor of the Year to the Londons.

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PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, at left, presents the 2023 Logging Contractor of the Year Award to Molly, Alex, and Bill London.

Celebrating the best of 2023

PLC Impact Awards: Each year, the PLC recognizes individuals from the public sector who have demonstrated a commitment to the industry and made a significant impact for its improvement. In 2023, the award goes to two recipients: The Maine Forest Rangers and Maine State Senator Brad Farrin of Norridgewock.

The Maine Forest Rangers mission is to protect Maine’s forest resources and homes from wildfire, respond to disasters and emergencies, and to enhance the safe, sound, and responsible management of the forest for this and future generations. Like loggers, they are in the woods every day, and they have become a valued and reliable partner for the PLC.

relationship to develop between the enforcement agency and those operating in its area of responsibility. This is not the case with the Rangers and loggers.

The Rangers have gone out of their way to go the extra mile to work with Maine loggers and not against us, all while still fulfilling their duties in a professional and diligent manner. As the relationship between the PLC and the Rangers has developed and strengthened in recent years, the Rangers have stepped up their efforts on our behalf in many ways. These include:

*Participating in PLC’s Annual Logger and Fleet Safety Trainings to teach wildfire prevention and suppression.

*Stepping up asset security checks on patrols to protect contractors’ logging equipment from theft and vandalism.

* Making Rangers available to meet with contractors to discuss ways to better protect their equipment and workers in the woods.

* Partnering with PLC to offer multiple online Zoom trainings focused on what the MFS looks for during Timber Harvesting Inspections to help loggers better manage their businesses.

* Contributing articles to the PLC’s quarterly magazine, The Logger’s Voice, focused on fire safety and logger protection.

Finally, it needs to be said that the loggers truly appreciate the work the Rangers do every day to protect the forest and those that work there from fires and other hazards, their role in rescues and emergencies, and their willingness to do a dangerous job well. Thank you, Maine Forest Rangers, from all of us.

Rangers are responsible for enforcing laws related to conservation, forestry and the environment in Maine, and in any enforcement scenario it is easy for an adversarial

Senator Farrin is currently serving his third term in the Maine State Senate. He represents the people of District 3, which was reapportioned this year to include municipalities in both Somerset and Penobscot counties as well as the Kennebec County communities of Benton,

Awards Continued Page 24

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 23
PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, at left, presents the 2023 PLC Impact Award. Accepting on behalf of the Maine Forest Rangers were Ranger Chief Robby Gross, Chief Ranger Pilot John Crowley, and Ranger Jeff Currier.

Awards Continued from Page 23

Clinton and Unity Township.

Prior to serving in the Maine Senate, Sen. Farrin served District 111 for two terms in the Maine House of Representatives. While there, he served as the ranking member of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee and the Transportation Committee. He continued his service on both of those committees as the Senate Republican Lead in the last two terms.

With more than 30 years of experience in construction and project management, Sen. Farrin is the Corporate Facilities Manager for Milton CAT, as well as Milton Rents, a construction equipment rental company. In this role, he is responsible for property management, regulatory compliance, facility maintenance and the start-up of all major capital projects for 27 facilities across six states.

Prior to his legislative service, he was the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the Maine Air National Guard before retiring in 2013 as its highestranking enlisted airman after serving for nearly three decades. He deployed to Iraq in 2008 in Operation Iraqi Freedom and to the Horn of Africa in 2009 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Sen. Farrin has more than 18 major awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal.

Locally, Senator Farrin served as a captain with the Norridgewock Fire Department until 2004. Sen. Farrin lives in Norridgewock with his wife, Lynn.

In his time in the Maine Legislature Senator Farrin

has emerged as a strong and dependable advocate for Maine loggers and the issues that matter most to our industry, including efforts to lower taxes and spend taxpayer dollars responsibly.

Senator Farrin’s support was critical to the creation of the “Put ME to Work” job training program in 2015, which was the original funding source for the Mechanized Logging Operations Program in the Maine Community College System. Since that point in time, Senator Farrin has bird dogged funding for logger training at all levels of education and for that we are grateful.

As the Republican lead on the Transportation Committee, Senator Farrin has also championed several initiatives which have been incredibly helpful to Maine loggers and truckers. In 2019, he helped with a compromise on posted roads with the Maine Dept. of Transportation. In 2020, he put a bill in that would correct an issue with trailer lengths for our membership that quickly became law. And also in 2020, Senator Farrin helped our membership permanently remove an exemption for Canadian trucks to enter the United States with more weight than a Maine contractor could haul.

Lastly, Senator Farrin has been at the forefront of the Hinckley Dam issue that could have had a detrimental impact upon the Sappi mill and has essentially been resolved as a result of his perseverance.

In recognition of his steadfast commitment to this industry, we are pleased to recognize Senator Farrin with our 2023 Impact Award.

24 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995
PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, at left, presents the 2023 PLC Impact Award to Senator Brad Farrin.

Celebrating the best of 2023

PLC Community Service Award: In 2015, to celebrate the 20 years of the PLC and its commitment to giving back to the State of Maine, the PLC started a new tradition by presenting a Community Service Award. This award is given annually to a PLC member, Supporting Member or affiliated organization that has demonstrated a significant commitment to giving back to their community. Members of our industry in the State of Maine are notorious for their significant generosity in giving back to their local communities. Examples of this are everywhere, but often the people and organizations doing the best work don’t seek the limelight or credit for it Consistent with this theme, the 2023 winner is Mike Conway of Barry Equipment Co.

This award is long overdue. As most PLC Members and Supporting Members know, Mike has been handling sales for Barry Equipment – a valued PLC Preferred Supporting Member - in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts for more than a decade, and he is very good at his job, but that is not why we have chosen him for this award.

Anyone who knows Mike understands he really cares about helping good causes, and thanks to his connection with the PLC and the generous people at Barry Equipment, he has been a big part of PLC’s Log A Load for Maine Kids annual fund drive for many years.

Mike can always be relied on to step up whenever we need him for Log A Load. We have lost count of how many trips and gifts he has purchased over the years at the Log A Load Live Auction, only to donate them back to the Children’s Miracle Network families. From Red Sox games to fishing trips, these donations have brought smiles to the faces of many families and children facing tough challenges. Mike has never asked for any recognition for these gifts, and that’s why we felt it was about time he got some.

Mike’s wife Angela tells us he would never miss a

Log A Load event and has told her over and over again how wonderful the Log A Load Auction is and how special the people attending are, and about the good work Log A Load does for the kids and how proud he is to be able to attend.

Mike’s generosity and desire to help is not a once-a -year thing. Angela said of him, “He is the guy that buys dinner for the veteran in the restaurant anonymously or buys dinner anonymously for the mom and child sitting alone eating dinner. He is the guy who buys the 10+ pizzas for the JV football team (whose kids have never even met him). He is the guy who pulls over on the side of the road and changes the tire for the stranded lady on the side of the road. Or the guy who gives back to the kids who need the week away at camp or the tickets to the baseball game all just to put a smile on a kid’s face. Nothing gives him more joy than making someone else smile. Despite his tough exterior he has a huge heart of gold. He will take his shirt off his own back for anyone in need.”

Awards Continued Page 26

25 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023
PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, at left, presents the 2023 PLC Community Service Award to Mike Conway.

Awards Continued from Page 25

Thanks to Mike’s close involvement with the PLC, Barry Equipment is also a major supporter of events and efforts the organization undertakes, including sponsoring all lunches for PLC Safety Trainings.

Thank you, Mike, for all you do in support of your community and the the PLC’s charitable efforts. The PLC is proud to have Barry Equipment as a Preferred Supporting Member, and both they and the PLC are fortunate to have you as a friend and partner. It is with great pleasure that the PLC presents the 2022 Community Service Award to Mike Conway.

PLC Supporting Member of the Year Award: The PLC Supporting Member of the Year Award is presented annually to a PLC Supporting Member who has demonstrated an unprecedented commitment to the organization as well as PLC contractors here in Maine. The 2023 winner is PLC Preferred Supporting Member Chalmers Insurance Group.

Chalmers Insurance Group is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated business founded in 1857, proudly serving businesses and individuals from eight offices throughout Maine and New Hampshire. The fourth generation of the Chalmers family took the reins of the company in January 2018 when Bruce and Bill Chalmers transferred ownership of the Chalmers Insurance Group to cousins Jim Chalmers and Dottie Chalmers Cutter, who joined President Stephen P. Cote in leading

the agency. This fourth generation is currently putting their own mark on the agency and taking the business to new heights.

With its roots deep in Western Maine in a region with a strong logging tradition, Chalmers has been offering coverage to loggers for many years and has developed a strong relationship with many PLC Members who were clients of Chalmers or who became clients after the company acquired the Lovejoy Agency Parsonfield office in 2007.

PLC Member R.C. McLucas of Porter is a client of Chalmers and speaks highly of the agency. "They're also family-owned, and they've treated us accordingly, like family and friends," said Gayla McLucas. "They're also very savvy about all aspects of insurance - business and personal."

Chalmers joined the PLC as a Preferred Supporting Member several years ago and immediately became a company we could count on to be a strong supporter of all our efforts on behalf of Maine loggers as well as PLC’s Annual Log A Load for Maine Kids events and PLC’s Annual Logger and Fleet Safety Trainings. The company recognizes that the work the PLC does to improve safety can lower insurance claims and costs for Maine loggers and has sponsored the trainings each year since joining.

Chalmers is also a major supporter of PLC’s Log A Load golf tournaments and annual fund drive, sponsoring teams and the events each year.

26 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995
PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, at left, presents the 2023 PLC Supporting Member of the Year Award to Chalmers Insurance Group. Accepting the award is Chalmers Account Executive for Logging Bob Logan.

Celebrating the best of 2023

Bob Logan, who is Chalmers’ Account Executive for Logging, and is also the chair of the PLC’s Southern Maine Log A Load Golf Tournament organizing Committee, once said in an interview with PLC that being a Supporting Member really gives Chalmers the opportunity to gain additional knowledge of the logging industry in order to build programs that can better help their businesses thrive and keep their employees safer. That dedication on the part of Chalmers is sincere, and it is appreciated.

Chalmers Insurance has been a valued partner for the the PLC since joining our organization, and we are pleased to present this year’s Supporting Member of the Year Award to the company.

PLC President’s Award:

The President’s Award is a discretionary award that is given by the current PLC President to recognize an individual or business that has had a major impact upon the PLC and the logging industry in Maine. This year we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2022 President’s Award is Andy Wood.

As most PLC Members and Supporting Members know, Andy recently retired after serving as a Safety Consultant in Forest Products for MEMIC since 1993, and so he was just starting out at MEMIC about the same time the first talk of establishing the PLC was beginning.

Andy was a logger before he worked as a safety consultant. He came out of college with a degree in forest management and went straight to work in Maine’s north woods up on the Canadian border as a production woodcutter. He did that and lived in logging camps for years, and eventually started his own logging company. He also got involved with early logger safety training efforts. When MEMIC was formed in 1993, they tapped Andy to come work with their logging clients, and many of us got to know him well over the next 30 years.

Rod Stanley, Director of Loss Control Services in Region 1 for MEMIC, worked with Andy throughout his career, and he recalls Andy was always very passionate about the logging industry and the importance of forest products businesses, and equally passionate about people in

the industry not getting hurt. He put tremendous effort into the safety training programs he created, and even in retirement he remains committed to this industry, and some of us were happy to see him at the recent PLC Safety training in Passadumkeag.

As Rod told us recently, “Anyone who ever attended a training program of Andy Wood’s knows that he always did the homework and had the latest statistics and the most accurate information whether it was about chainsaws or felling techniques or trucking over the road rules, he just was always a consummate professional that way.”

Andy had high expectations, but as loggers we understood he pushed us because he cared about our safety and the safety of our employees. He wanted us to succeed, and to go home safely to our families every night.

Andy has been a valuable asset to the PLC as our own logger and fleet safety training programs have grown. He has stepped up many times to teach classes for us, appeared in PLC training videos, and has been only a phone call away anytime we need his assistance or expertise.

Andy’s entire career was focused on logger safety, and this award recognizes him for his service to the industry and a job well done.

We are grateful to him for all of us his time and effort to make Maine logging safer, and pleased to present the PLC President’s Award to Andy Wood.

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 27
PLC President Will Cole, at right, presents the 2023 PLC President’s Award to Andy Wood.

Check out the equipment and job opportunities our members have listed on the PLC website at the LOGGING ZONE!

If you have equipment for sale, are looking to buy, are looking for employees, or are looking

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Trucking Industry News...

Reminder to Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs): Ensuring a Return to Duty Process Unique to Each Individual Employee…

U.S. Department of Transportation bulletin

It has come to the attention of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that some Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) are providing Return-to-Duty (RTD) timelines to employees who have violated the DOT drug and/or alcohol regulations before conducting the required initial evaluation and SAP assessment of the employee. Doing so directly contravenes 49 CFR Part 40 and potentially compromises public safety. It also undermines the SAP’s role in evaluating each individual employee and directing that employee to get the specific help the employee needs.

As a reminder, your role as a SAP is important to the DOT return-to-duty process. You are not an advocate for the employer or the employee. Your function as a SAP is to protect the public interest in safety by evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education and/or treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare.

As a SAP, the decisions you make and the actions you take regarding an employee who has violated the DOT drug and/or alcohol regulations have the potential to impact transportation safety. The ultimate goals of the SAP process are to address the employee’s needs for rehabilitation for the sake of the employee, and to give the employee the tools the employee needs to return to the performance of safetysensitive duties.

Consistent with sound clinical and established SAP standards of care in clinical practice, and utilizing reliable alcohol and drug abuse assessment tools, you must conduct an assessment and evaluation, either in-person or virtually

(per applicable guidance), of the employee. In our longstanding SAP Guidelines, we have told SAPs, “The evaluation should be comprised of a review of the employee’s psychosocial history, an in-depth review of the employee’s drug and alcohol use history (with information regarding onset, duration, frequency, and amount of use; substance(s) of use and choice; emotional and physical characteristics of use; and associated health, work, family, personal, and interpersonal problems); and an evaluation of the employee’s current mental status.”

We want to strongly remind SAPs of the following 49 CFR Part 40 regulatory requirements:

Provide a comprehensive assessment and clinical evaluation unique to the employee. [See 40.293(a)]

Recommend a course of education and/or treatment unique to the needs of the employee whom you have assessed and evaluated. You must make a recommendation for education and/or treatment that will, to the greatest extent possible, protect public safety in the event that the employee returns to the performance of safety-sensitive functions. [See 40.293(b) and 40.293(b)(2)]

In determining what your recommendation will be, SAPs must not take into consideration any of the following: Employee claims that the testing process was unjust or inaccurate. [See 40.293(f)(1)]

Employee attempts to mitigate the seriousness of the violation (e.g., hemp oil, “medical marijuana” use, “contact positives”, poppy seed ingestion, job stress). [See 40.293(f)(2)]

Personal opinions about the justification or rationale for the drug and alcohol testing. [See 40.293(f) (3)]

Again, SAPs should not provide employees with estimated RTD timelines because each employee’s situation is unique. ~

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Trucking

DOT Publishes Drug Testing Rule…

U.S. Department of Transportation sent this bulletin at 05/02/2023 08:53 AM EDT

On May 2, 2023, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule that, among other items, authorizes employers to use oral fluid drug testing as an alternative testing methodology to urine drug testing. The final rule also:

• harmonizes with pertinent section of the HHS oral fluid Mandatory Guidelines,

• clarifies certain Part 40 provisions that cover urine drug testing procedures,

• removes provisions that are no longer necessary,

• adds eight new definitions, clarifying language to definitions and web links, and

• updates provisions to address issues that have risen in recent years.

To learn more about this final rule, view the rule at https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/frpubs

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 31
Trucking

PLC 2023 Logger and Fleet Safety Trainings

The PLC’s 2023 Logger and Fleet Safety Trainings concluded on Wednesday, May 24th in Fort Kent. More than 170 of our Member companies from across the state and 1,098 of their employees made a commitment to safety education and training this year!

PLC Members know it’s critical to invest in their employees and ensure a safe and risk-free workplace. This year also saw the highest participations of PLC companies to date.

Thank you to our sponsors who help make this happen year after year; without you we wouldn’t be able to offer these trainings to our members for FREE.

Thank you to our trainers who sacrificed their time for our members and their employees.

Thank you to all our Members for participating in such big numbers. We also appreciate your feedback and ideas that help us improve these trainings year after year. Thank you to our hosts: John Khiel III Logging & Chipping, Irish Family Logging, Elliott Jordan and Son, Madden Timberlands, Gardner Logging Services, Rob Elliott Trucking and Excavation, Pepin Lumber, Linkletter and Sons, and TNT Road Company. You all welcomed us and hundreds of others into your garages, you spent countless hours cleaning and rearranging, we know what a pain it is for you and your staff, we can’t thank you enough!

And thank you to the staff at the PLC: Jess, Vanessa, Donald, and Jon for organizing, reminding, capturing, and herding cats across the state!

See you in 2024!!!

32 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995 Safety

PLC Safety and Training Coordinator recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Safety

OLD FORGE, NY On May 18, 2023, the Northeastern Loggers

Donald Burr of Greenbush, Maine, with its Outstanding Contributions to Safety Award 2022 at the organization annual Loggers

hosted at Jeff Center prior to Loggers held May 19

years as a logger, primarily as a feller buncher operator for Maine companies. He is now the Safety & Training Coordinator for the Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine and has grown the organization effectiveness over the last five years, setting new records for attendance.

into 2021, Burr made sure that the PLC Fleet Safety Trainings carried on through online videotaped sessions.

make the industry safer. He has developed several popular online video series covering logging and trucking safety issues, including “Unsafe Zone which interviews loggers and truckers about accidents they have experienced and how they could have prevented them, and “Tailgate Talks,” a series of recordings covering logging safety topics. These videos are

all easily accessible by smartphone or PC.

Mechanized Logging Operations Program. The program

Ted Clark, Senior Loss

background in both logging and safety has given him the perfect skills to provide safety training and He is always

knowledgeable and a great choice

Burr has raised the bar for industry safety in Maine and beyond, truckers, students, law enforcement, health care professionals, and the public to be safer on the job and in the woods. His enduring motto is

The Northeastern Loggers’

headquartered in Old Forge, New York. The organization has nearly 2,000 members in the region from Maine to Minnesota and Missouri to Maryland. NELA publishes the monthly magazine The Northern Logger & Timber Processor and hosts the annual Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Exposition (Loggers’ Expo).

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 33 Safety
Donald Burr

ElectricalLineSafety

As loggers, we are well aware of the risks and challenges that come with our profession. Working in close proximity to overhead power lines is one such challenge that demands our utmost attention and adherence to safety guidelines. This article will explore essential power line safety practices specifically tailored for loggers. The foundation of power line safety lies in knowledge and awareness. As responsible loggers, it is crucial to educate ourselves and our crew members about the potential hazards associated with power lines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gives these rules to follow. OSHA 1910.333(c)(3)(iii)(A) says a 10 feet buffer for any line that is 50 kV or less (Residential lines are generally 34 kV) plus an additional 0.4 inches per kilovolt (kV) of line voltage. Whenever there is any doubt, contact the local electrical company to confirm the power line voltage. The buffer must be from any potential contact with part of the equipment or a tree when being cut. The distance from the wires and the weather should be considered when driving under lines. Rain or humid air can extend the distance that electricity can jump to a piece of equipment going to the ground. Before commencing any logging operations, conduct a comprehensive assessment of the work area to identify the presence of overhead power lines. Look for potential hazards, such as lines hidden by trees, sagging lines, or lines running parallel to the direction of work. Contact the local utility company to obtain accurate information about voltage, clearance requirements, and other safety considerations specific to the power lines in the area. Then mark the buffer with ribbon and put up signs warning about the danger of overhead lines. After this has been done, train all the employees on what the ribbons & signage are for and how to operate around the electrical line buffer.

OSHA 1910.266(d)(8)(ii) says that “The employer shall notify the power company immediately if a felled tree makes contact with any power line. Each employee shall remain clear of the area until the power company advises that there are no electrical hazards.” If a piece of equipment makes contact with a line, it should back away and remove contact if it can be done safely. Then warn everyone of the danger of the downed line. If the equipment cannot be untangled from the power line safely, then the operator should stay in the cab and warn everyone to stay away until the power company says it is safe. The safest place to be for the operator is in the machine. The exception to this rule is when the machine catches fire or becomes unsafe inside. If the operator needs to get out, it is imperative that they do not touch the ground and the equipment at the same time. If they do, the operator will be the quickest connection to the ground for the electricity, and they will get electrocuted. This is the one time that the three-point contact rule does not apply. Jump from the equipment. Do not go for a distance but go for a good landing with only your feet touching the ground. Then hop or shuffle (heal/toe) until you are 100 feet away. Be mindful if water or other conductive material is on the ground where the electrical current could travel further. The condition that we are concerned about it called “Step Potential” This is when, as you get further away from the wire contact, the voltage drops but it drops because of the resistance of the ground, and if your feet touch the ground apart, then the electricity travels through your body, and that is when you get shocked, and you turn into a human fuse.

Electricity and power lines are dangerous and should always be respected. I have seen some crazy things that electricity can do and should never be counted as safe unless the power company officials say it is safe.

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Safety
11 9 a.m. Cross Insurance Center, Bangor, ME
Next PLC Safety Committee Meeting Oct.

Key Medical Information on Smartphones

In the event of a medical emergency, it is important for emergency responders to gather as much medical information about the patient as they can. Knowing a patient’s medical history, including items such as allergies, past events, medications, etc., is critical to giving effective care and ensuring it is delivered efficiently.

Medical personnel are trained to gather this vital information through various channels including: questioning the patient, talking to witnesses/family, observing the scene, etc. Gathering information becomes significantly more challenging when the patient is unable to respond due to incapacitation and/or witnesses being unavailable.

For many years, emergency responders have relied on various means of communication to gather medical information from a patient who is unable to respond to questions. Many of you have probably seen the medical ID bracelets or necklaces worn by people who want to be able to communicate their medical condition in the event of an emergency. Another example is a wallet card that has vital information stored on it.

Recently, with the continued expansion of technology, many cell phone companies have started adding a medical section on their phones. Key medical information can be listed on the phone such as: name, blood type, known medical conditions, medications, allergies, emergency contacts, etc. When using the phone’s medical application, this information is accessible from the lock screen on your phone, making it available to first responders without a passcode. While personal medical choices should be left to

each individual, it is worth considering taking some time to add key information to your own phone as it could make delivering proper treatment to you more efficient and effective.

By way of example, on page 38 are step-by-step screenshots from both Apple and Samsung phones with instructions on how to access and update your information on both of these devices. Because technology can change rapidly, please consult your own phone’s manufacturer for up-to-date details on how to update this information.

Seconds count in a life or death situation and having accurate and personalized medical information can make a real difference in these situations. Utilizing new technology such as the Medical ID on Apple phones or Medical Info on Samsung phones can provide emergency responders with critical information that may help them provide you the best care possible.

Acadia is pleased to share this material for the benefit of its customers. Please note, however, that nothing herein should be construed as either legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services. This material is for informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness. Recipients of this material must utilize their own individual professional judgment in implementing sound risk management practices and procedures.

Acadia Continued Page 36

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 35
Safety

Safety

Acadia Continued from Page 35

Samsung Galaxy

1. Click the settings icon

2. Click the “Safety and emergency” tab

3. Tap the “Medical info” tab

4. Complete medical info and confirm you have selected “Show on Lock screen”

1. Click the “Health” icon

2. Click “Review Medical ID Access”

3. Click “Continue”

4. Complete the form

36 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995
Apple iPhone

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Logging

In 2021, the Maine logging industry supported a total of 5,600 direct and indirect jobs (Maine Public, 2023). One survey found that only 10 percent of logging firms in Maine were identified as conventional hand crews using chain saws (Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, 2022). Clearly, much of the logging industry in the Northeast has shifted toward mechanized logging and with this shift there has been a significant reduction in some workplace hazards (Scott et al., 2022). However, mechanized logging methods present other new and unique challenges for loggers’ health and wellbeing. A usual workday for a logger may include extensive work hours, awkward body positions, prolonged sitting, repetitive movements, and exposure to excessive vibration. Unfortunately, these workplace hazards can lead to numerous health issues including musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). MSDs are injuries to the soft tissues of the body such as the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, and cartilage (CDC, 2022). The prevalence of MSDs in all workplaces are high and may be especially prevalent in the logging industry.

One of the most common MSD of the hand and wrist is carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS. CTS occurs when a narrow passageway made of bones and ligaments on the palm side of the wrist compresses and puts pressure on a major nerve in the arm, the median nerve. This can result in numbness, tingling, and other painful symptoms in the hand, wrist, and arm. The prevalence of CTS is estimated to be around 2-5% of the U.S population (Torres da Costa et al., 2025 & Shiri et al., 2009). This estimation could be even higher for certain populations based on their unique job requirements and work conditions.

Loggers may be an especially prone population for

developing CTS due to several workplace factors and ergonomics. For example, because loggers are required to maintain their hands and wrists in possibly awkward positions for long periods of time, they could be exposed to vibration from their machinery. Most loggers operate their machine using joysticks which can be helpful for keeping their wrist in a neutral position (not bent or flexed). However, excessive and prolonged wrist and hand movements when operating these joy sticks can be damaging to the muscles, tendons, and nerves around the carpal tunnel. Some newer models of logging machinery come equipped with ergonomic keyboards that might help reduce the excessive wrist movements.

Additional causes of CTS may include:

-awkward hand/wrist positioning during tasks

-repetitive wrist/hand motions

-exposure to vibrationworking in cold weather

-obesity

-alcohol use

-smoking

-increased age -

-diabetes

(Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, 2016)

Specific symptoms associated with CTS may include:

-numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand and forearm that might get worse at night

-decreased grip strength

-increased instance of dropping objects

Preventative measures can be taken to lower your risk for developing CTS. If you are starting to experience symptoms of CTS it is important to contact your primary care provider (PCP) to get it checked out. Some strategies to prevent CTS could include:

-Maintaining your hands in a neutral position (not bent)

-Relax your grip when holding objects

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 37
Safety
Carpal Tunnel Continued Page 38

Safety

-Maintain good posture when seated

-Avoid machinery that produces excessive vibration (or wear anti-vibration gloves)

-Take small breaks throughout the day

-Avoid/limit working in the cold

-Light hand and wrist stretches throughout the day

Final thoughts:

With early intervention, identification, and working with your PCP, symptom management and recovery from CTS has a very good outlook. Addressing these symptoms and your pain early can help prevent your pain and discomfort from worsening and allow you to work more

productively. There are both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for CTS. It is important that you discuss all options with your PCP to find what might work best for you. If left untreated and ignored, CTS can begin to affect both arms and could lead to permanent nerve and muscle damage. If you think you might be experiencing some of the symptoms described above, please be sure to contact your healthcare provider so that they can help you properly identify the issue and provide you with appropriate treatment.

For More Information, visit Maine LogAbility, part of the Maine AgrAbility program: https://extension.umaine.edu/agrability/

38 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995
in 2023 for PLC Members and their employees!
Carpal Tunnel Continued from Page 37
Free

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the PLC booth at the 2023 Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Expo in May!

We got to see many old friends and make some new ones. It was great to catch up with so many of our Members and Supporting Members!

40 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995 Logger’s
Expo 2023

MLOFT program recognized for outstanding contributions to forest industry education

OLD FORGE, NY On May 18, 2023, the Mechanized Logging Operations and Forest Trucking Program was presented with the Outstanding Contributions to Forest Industry Education Award in 2022 by the Northeastern Loggers’ Association at its annual Loggers’ Banquet in Brewer, Maine.

The Mechanized Logging Operations and Forest Trucking Program, conducted out of Northern Maine Community College (NMCC) in Presque Isle, is the only college training program for operators of mechanized logging equipment in the state of Maine and in the region.

The program is made possible through a partnership between Maine’s community college system, industry partners, and the Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine.

In the program, students spend weeks getting real-world experience harvesting timber in a variety of machines at an active logging site. Students pay no tuition or fees, and PPE is provided. They work under the guidance of veteran logging instructors who impart a strong emphasis on safety. The training is combined with classroom instruction, and at the end of this training, graduates are well-positioned to enter the logging workforce.

The Mechanized Logging Operations and Forest Trucking Program is inclusive, offering

accessibility to logging careers for men and women, high school graduates, and older students seeking new opportunities. There are now dozens of graduates from this program working in Maine’s logging industry.

“The continued positive attention the program has brought to logging remains critical as we work to ensure the industry’s future,” said Andy Irish, president of the American Loggers Council and owner of Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Member Irish Family Logging in Peru, Maine. He added, “I hired one of the first graduates of this program and he was a good employee for my business.”

Leah Buck, Assistant Dean of Continuing Education at NMCC, accepted the award on behalf of the students and faculty of the program.

The Northeastern Loggers’ Association, Inc. (NELA) was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Old Forge, New York. The organization has nearly 2,000 members in the region from Maine to Minnesota and Missouri to Maryland. NELA publishes the monthly magazine The Northern Logger & Timber Processor and hosts the annual Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Exposition (Loggers’ Expo).

NELA hosts the Annual Awards Banquet every year on the evening prior to the opening of its annual Loggers’ Expo.

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 41

ControllingRunoffattheHarvestSite

This spring, the Maine Forest Service held 2 workshops titled “BMPs for Protecting Water Quality on Haul Rds. and Skid Trails.” These workshops put extra emphasis on controlling water and minimizing soil disturbance at the harvest site. These are 2 of the 7 “fundamental BMPs” we have focused on in past trainings and are also mentioned in our BMP manual. Some of the main concepts in controlling water at the harvest site include:

∙Understanding how water moves within the harvest area, and decide on control measures;

∙Installing a system throughout the site to slow down runoff and spread it out;

∙Reducing water velocity and volume (“The 2 Vs”); and

∙Protecting the natural movement of water through wetlands if they must be crossed.

Site topography is an important consideration, since water will gain momentum as it travels down steeper slopes. The more velocity water gains, the more soil will erode. Keep in mind that it is always best to manage runoff at its source, or as close to it as possible, to prevent it from gaining velocity.

Also keep in mind that it is easier and more effective to control water in small amounts. This can be done by installing effective BMPs in the right locations throughout the site. By managing water in small volumes throughout the site, and diverting it to undisturbed forested areas, you are greatly reducing erosion potential.

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The diagram demonstrates how runoff is diverted into undisturbed forested areas in small volumes throughout the site. Several types of structures are used to divert runoff in many locations, preventing runoff from gaining volume or velocity so the forest floor is able to absorb the water. Note that in all examples, water is diverted outside of the buffer, represented by lines located along the stream channel. Buffer areas are in place as a last line of defense. It’s the system of BMPs used throughout the site that keep our water clean.

For more information reference our BMP manual, available online at: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/ policy_management/water_resources/bmps.html

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 43

Master Logger® Executive Director Awarded Outstanding Industry Advocate by NELA

OLD FORGE, NY - On May 18, 2023, the Northeastern Loggers’ Association presented Ted Wright with its Outstanding Industry Advocate Award for 2022 at the organization’s annual Loggers’ Banquet in Brewer, Maine.

Ted Wright, from Brunswick, Maine, is the Executive Director of the nonprofit Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands, overseeing the Northeast Master Logger Certification® Program for New England and New York. Since 2015, Ted has expanded the program while also educating the public on the benefits of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification as an FSC board member.

Along with expanding and improving the Master Logger program, Wright has also fostered greater public awareness of the importance of sound logging practices for forest sustainability and health. He has accomplished this through a variety of public outreach activities, including public speaking events, harvest tours for both professionals and students, Maine Tree’s annual Teacher’s Tour, trade show events, and state woodlands associations events. He regularly conducts BMP and rescue/CPR workshops in Vermont, New York, and Maine, writes marketing publications and articles promoting the Master

Logger program, and has worked to ensure that forestry and logging contractors are included in the FSC system, in particular for smaller operations.

Dana Doran, Executive Director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, said, “As demand for responsibly harvested timber and healthy forest management has risen in recent years, [Wright] has been at the forefront of efforts in the Northeast to meet that demand and to educate the public on the benefits of certification in meeting those goals.”

The Outstanding Industry Advocate Award recognizes a person or organization with significant accomplishments in promoting public education and acceptance of the forest products industry.

The Northeastern Loggers’ Association, Inc. (NELA) was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Old Forge, New York. The organization has nearly 2,000 members in the region from Maine to Minnesota and Missouri to Maryland. NELA publishes the monthly magazine The Northern Logger & Timber Processor and hosts the annual Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Exposition (Loggers’ Expo). NELA hosts the Annual Awards Banquet every year on the evening prior to the opening of its annual Loggers’ Expo.

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 45
Ted Wright, at center, with TCNEF Board Members, from left to right, Scott Madden, Brian Souers, Andy Irish, and Steve Hanington.

As We See ItApril 2023

From the Woods to the White House

Recently the American Loggers Council hosted the first DC Congressional Fly-In in four years. Seventy-five timber industry representatives from twenty-one states held nearly one-hundred Congressional Meetings. Along with these meetings, a Congressional Reception was held at the iconic Willard Hotel, where the ALC office is. Five Congressmen: (LaMalfa (CA), Westerman (AR), Collins (GA), Bergman (MI), Golden (ME)) and two Senators (Baldwin (WI) and Hyde-Smith (MS)) attended. Congressman Golden and Westerman were presented with the inaugural ALC Congressional Leadership Award for the House of Representatives, and Senators Collins and Baldwin were the recipients for the Senate. Timber is not a partisan issue, and the American Loggers Council has received strong bipartisan support on our federal legislative agenda.

Additional Congressional staff from other offices attended the reception along with representatives of the USFS, John Deere, and the Biomass Power Association. The Reception was sponsored by ALC Gold and Platinum Members (Tigercat, International Truck, John Deere, CAT, Southern Loggers Cooperative, Fuel & Resources, Morbark, Bitco Insurance Companies, Bandit, and Ponsse) with specific portions also sponsored by International Truck, International Union of Operating Engineers, the Louisiana Loggers Association, the Louisiana Logging Council, Southern Loggers Cooperative, Walsh Timber, the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, the Associated California Loggers, and the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine.

The Day on the Hill saw timber industry representatives from Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, California, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota,

Idaho, Louisiana, Oregon, and Maryland meet directly with their respective state Congressional Representatives and their staff. Timber industry representatives left their logging operations in the woods, traveled from across the country, and waded into the “swamp” of Washington DC, not for personal gain, but to bring all the U.S. timber industry’s voice to be heard through the halls of Congress and to the doors of the White House.

The bank robber Willie Sutton, when he was caught, was asked why he robbed banks. He replied, “Because that is where the money is.” Why do we go to Washington, DC? Because that is where the policy and legislation (money) is made that affects the logging industry. Same concept.

The ALC prepared a comprehensive 24-page Congressional Briefing Package that provided background on the legislative priorities and served as informational literature to share with the Congressional Offices. The issues advocated for include:

• Biomass inclusion in the Renewable Fuel Standard

• Future Logging Careers

• Interstate Access

• Truck Driver Incentive

• Elimination of the Federal Excise

• National Loggers Day

• Increased Federal Forest Management

In conjunction with the legislative agenda and meetings, representatives of the American Loggers Council had the opportunity to make a special presentation to the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy. Two months ago, a logger from the east coast (I cannot recall who it was, but if somebody knows, please let the ALC know) called the ALC and suggested that a gavel made from wood from across the country be made and presented to newly elected Speaker of the House McCarthy. Having worked with

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acclaimed Montana wood artist Ron Kelley, the ALC contacted him and asked if he would craft a custom-made gavel with wood species from across the country. Montana ALC Board Member Ken Swanstrom worked with Ron, and he produced the perfect Speaker’s gavel. Considering that the Speaker’s home state is California, the Associated California Loggers secured a meeting with Speaker McCarthy where their delegation (Eric Carleson, Mike Albrecht, and Jeff Holland), ALC President Andy Irish (ME), and ALC Executive Director Scott Dane made the presentation to the Speaker of the House. Following the presentation, a meeting was held with Speaker McCarthy’s staff to discuss the ALC legislative agenda. The gavel was constructed from the following species, and their characteristics, regional representation, and uses were noted.

• Black Walnut

US, it is one of the rarest and most valuable hardwood species in North America.

Holly – The state tree of Delaware, Holly is often associated with Christmas because of its use in making Christmas wreaths.

Alder – Primarily a western states tree, found in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, Alder symbolizes strength, protection, determination, and confidence.

Maple – One of America’s bestloved trees, claimed as the state tree more than any other single species, including New York, Vermont, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin Gum Wood – The Gums are an important part of the Eastern hardwood forests, used in veneer, plywood, cabinets, and furniture.

Poplar The state tree of Tennessee and Kentucky, these trees are fast growing and key to paper making.

• Cedar – Cedar wood is rot-resistant and often used for fence posts, shingles, and outdoor furniture. Its Latin name, arborvitae, means tree of life, symbolizing strength, long life, and everlasting friendship.

• Ash – Known in Scandinavian mythology as the tree of rebirth and healing. Ash tree wood is hard, heavy tough, and is used in making bats for America’s pastime, baseball.

• Mesquite – Prevalent in Texas but native to the Southwest, their deep roots enable them to thrive in harsh environments and provide resources ranging from

ALC Continued from page 47

American logger represents different regions, provides different benefits, have different characteristics, but all contribute to the culture and society of America from coast to coast. As you govern, may this gavel serve as a reminder of the complex and integral component of the country and guide your consideration and efforts to preserve not only the timber industry but the country as a whole.”

Friday morning, the Spring ALC Board of Directors Meeting was held.

Capping off the Fly-In was a White House tour for 45 ALC members, including Ponsse President of North America Pekka Ruuskanen.

The consensus from all states was that their meetings and interaction were met favorably, and the Congressional Representatives and staff were more engaged and supportive than in some prior meetings. Those that attended and participated opened doors that the ALC will continue to take advantage of in our follow-up and push to pass our legislative priorities.

The ALC representatives provided Congress and the Administration with the information and opportunity to address some of the threats and challenges to the timber industry. Some of these Bills have been introduced with bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House.

Future Logging Careers Act

Introduced in the Senate and House on March 7th, 2023, by Senator Risch (ID), Senator King (ME), Congressman Thompson (PA), and Congressman Golden (ME). Additional cosponsors include Senators Crapo (ID), Senator Collins (ME), Senator Scott (SC), Senator Cornyn (TX), Congressman Fulcher (ID), and Congressman Pingree (ME). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will allow logging families the same opportunity to pass on experience as farming families can as they prepare for the succession of these multigenerational family businesses.

Safe Routes Act

Bipartisan support (Congressman Gallagher (WI)

was demonstrated with the recent introduction in the House of Representatives.

This is a safety bill, first and foremost. It would simply allow (as has been established by precedent in numerous states) for current state weight limits for logging trucks operating on non-federal roadways to be extended to the interstate system. Representative Gallagher drove in a logging truck transiting the current non-interstate route through communities, rural roads, school zones, intersections, and single-lane routes and then the alternative interstate route this legislation would allow.

“It’s crazy how inefficient it is,” Gallagher said. “it’s bad for the truck, it’s bad for the trucker, it’s bad for the road, it’s bad for the environment, it’s less safe, so it absolutely makes no sense.”

Safe, Modern Trucks Act

With bipartisan Congressional support from Congressman LaMalfa (CA) and Congressman Pappas (NH) the Safe, Modern Trucks Act was introduced. This legislation recognizes that the 100-year-old 12% federal excise tax on new trucks and trailers de-incentivizes investment in new trucks by adding $30,000 to the price. The excise tax on heavy trucks is the highest excise tax levied on any product in the country. Half of America’s trucking fleet is over 10 years old, is less fuel efficient, and emits greater emissions. “On one hand, regulators want operators out of older trucks, but on the other hand, this tax penalizes them for trying to update their equipment,” said Congressman LaMalfa. Co-sponsoring the Bill are Congressman LaHood (IL) and Congressman Blumenauer (OR). “If Congress is serious about creating jobs, reducing emissions, and improving highway safety, then repealing the Federal Excise Tax should be a priority.” Chris Spear, American Trucker Associations, President and CEO.

Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act

Introduced by U.S. Representatives Spanberger (VA) and Gallagher (WI) the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act, the legislation would provide a short-term, fast and straightforward

LoggersServingLoggersSince1995

incentive to attract and retain new drivers.

“During the pandemic, truckers didn’t have any remote options – yet they went to work every single day to keep our economy moving and our communities strong. Our country needs to step up and recognize their hard work – and we need to encourage more Americans to enter this industry,” said Spanberger.

The Bill would create a two-year refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for drivers with valid CDL-A who drive at least 1900 hours per year. It would also create a new refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 for new truck drivers enrolled in a registered trucking apprenticeship and who meet other requirements.

The “Ask” was for Congressional Representatives to support and sign onto these pieces of legislation. The goals and objectives are to get some, if not all, of these legislative priorities across the finish line (President’s desk).

Without the successful inclusion of these priorities and the positive message it will convey to the struggling timber industry, the logging and trucking infrastructure will be hard-pressed to remain invested in the future of the forest products industry.

The message was - We are here to represent a vital sector of the forest products and forest management team. Without us, none of the other environmental, economic, or forest management benefits are possible. For the most part, we are not asking for money, we are just asking you to pass legislation that allows us to do our job, make a living, create jobs, improve safety, protect the forests, and recognize the contribution we make to improving the environment and economy.

There is nothing more persuasive than for Congressional Representatives to hear firsthand from the men and women that actually work in the woods and drive logging trucks about the challenges that they face and how Congress can help ensure this vital industry survives.

The world is run by those that show up. If you are not at the table, you are probably on the menu. The American Logging Council members showed up and were at the table. But the work is not finished. All timber industry representatives are encouraged to contact their respective Congressional Representatives and request their support and sponsorship of the Bills referenced.

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 49

As We See It June 2023

Loggers and Truckers - The Connection between the Landowner and the Mill

This article was initially written for the Louisiana Loggers Council & Louisiana Forestry Association.

All aspects of the timber industry supply chain are vital. None can exist without the other. But the weakest link is the logging and trucking sector. Logging and trucking have become very capital-intensive elements of the forest products industry, with the most labor challenges and the tightest returns on investment. Trucking is getting more and more difficult with regulations, driver shortages, inflationary expenses, and insurance and maintenance becoming cost prohibitive. The price of a new truck is nearly $200,000.

A review of publicly traded forest products manufacturers and landowners reveals strong, if not record, returns on investment over the past few years. Although forest product prices have fallen dramatically compared to the record prices, large forest products companies have posted strong stock value increases over the past couple of years. Two of the largest companies have reported stock price increases of 2 to 5 times 2022 prices. These companies have also reported annual net earnings of over $1 billion.

Landowners, including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and industrial landowners (mills), have initial investment costs, but minimal annual costs. The return on investment for landowners, particularly REITs and industrial landowners, has been consistently positive, with an annual percentage increase in value of 25% over the past three years. Large industrial landowners have experienced similar increases in the value of their timberlands.

In contrast, it is obvious at times that the large manufacturer or landowner is unconcerned about paying a service contractor (logger) to harvest at rates that keep the contractor sustainable and their crews making a sustainable family wage. Too often, the large company succeeds in

leveraging the smaller logging service contractor to harvest at unsustainably low margins. Why have the smaller service contractor loggers and truckers not experienced the same gains as the larger companies in the forest industry?

According to Forisk Timber REIT (FTR) Weekly, timber REITs as a sector realized a value increase/return of 25.09% based on appreciation and 30.12% on a total returns basis in 2021. These “snapshots” of timberland investment returns demonstrate an attractive return on investment for REITs and industrial landowners. However, many smaller private landowners have not seen comparable returns on their timberland investments. There is nothing wrong with segments in the supply chain being profitable. In fact, they all should be profitable. It is the only way that the timber and forest products industry will be sustainable.

However, there is a major discrepancy between the return on investment of the landowner and mill compared to the logging and trucking sector. The logging sector invests millions of dollars in equipment that does not increase in value but instead continually depreciates in value. It is similar for the timber trucking industry. Employment within the logging industry has steadily declined on average 2% per year. The infrastructure is eroding. A prior survey found that half of the logging companies in the U.S. operated at a breakeven or loss, while the greatest percentage of profitable logging companies operated at a 1%-3% profit margin. In most instances, the price paid for delivered wood has not kept pace with inflation over the past 10 years, while all costs (fuel, labor, equipment, insurance) have increased more rapidly than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate. Many forest landowners and mills subscribe to forest certification programs that require specific training and practices of the logger. Much of the implementation and expense of achieving these initiatives is primarily borne by the logger in the name of sustainability, without any tangible benefit offsetting their cost, realizing any

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market gain, or stability. Sustainability is important for the future of the forests and the timber industry, with certification programs emphasizing“Sustainable Supply Chains”

We do not see the same landowner or mill focus on the sustainability of the logging and trucking suppliers.

A discrepancy in the “certification criteria” is the requirement to “use written agreements for the purchase of raw material.” While this may be practiced between landowners and procurement entities, it is only figuratively practiced between loggers and facilities. The latter “agreements” volume and price can, and is, changed at the discretion of the facility. There are few if any, “binding” agreements between loggers and end users. This limits long-term investment security and business practices.

Current standards have demonstrated a failure to ensure that sufficient attention to supply chain sustainability exists and is maintained across all sectors of the timber and forest products industry.

Certification programs must include logging sector sustainability requirements if they are legitimately concerned about the long-term sustainability of healthy forests. Incorporating “fair trade” verifiable requirements

for the service contractors in the certification process will fill a gap in the current sustainability criteria of forest and product certification programs.

Without the logger and trucker, the landowners cannot harvest their timber and realize the return on their investment. Without wood, the forest products industry cannot produce the products that generate income and profit. The logging and trucking industry values its key role in the timber and forest products supply chain. But, as has been demonstrated, the chain must be strengthened to ensure this link does not continue to weaken and eventually break. Without the logging and trucking sector, there would be no supply-chain connection between the forests and forest products mills.

Certification programs are the thread that stitches these sectors together. Certification programs need to ensure that all sectors of the timber and forest industry supply-chain are considered essential components to meet sustainability and certification objectives. Otherwise, forest sustainability will fail across all sectors, and “certification” programs will have proven ineffective in ensuring healthy, sustainable forest management.

The American Loggers Council (ALC) has committed to supporting and promoting the Log A Load program through highlighting the events and activities as the national sponsor. Publicity and Promotion will expand the success of current and future efforts. The ALC has developed a Log A Load For Kids official Facebook page that will be dedicated to sharing information about the program nationally.

The quickest way to grow the new Facebook page is by inviting everyone that is involved in Log A Load for Kids and encouraging them to invite their entire Facebook friend list. Simply go to the new page at www.facebook.com/LogALoadForKidsOfficial/, go to "community" then click "invite friends."

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 51
1-800-244-8221

Congressional Delegation Updates

Maine’s timber industry is an essential part of our economy and our heritage. It continues to be the primary economic engine of many rural communities throughout our State. To prevent severe worker shortages and to provide good jobs, the next generation needs to be prepared for the logging profession, as experienced operators of modern timber harvesting equipment

Maine’s heritage of familyowned logging businesses must be strengthened for the years to come. That is why I have co-sponsored the bipartisan Future Logging Careers Act that would enable young people to learn to operate logging equipment safely.

This bipartisan legislation would amend federal law so that 16- and 17-year-olds would be allowed to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision. It would level the playing field for the logging trade with other agricultural fields by allowing family members to gain

A Promising Opportunity to Advance Maine Priorities

Despite what you may hear, the last few years in Congress have been among the most productive and bipartisan in decades. Since the start of 2020, we’ve passed a muchneeded infrastructure package; made historic investments in clean, affordable energy; and spurred the return of cutting-edge American manufacturing. But the work doesn’t stop there – I’m hopeful that over the coming months and years, we’ll build on this momentum with more bipartisan accomplishments.

One of the most promising pieces of upcoming legislation is the Farm Bill: a large package of bipartisan legislation that’s passed every five years to shape agricultural policy – including forestry and logging. Maine is no stranger to these issues. Farming and forestry are inseparable from our history, culture, and economic success. As Congress begins to shape the Farm Bill, we need to ensure feedback and priorities from Maine’s logging community are included. Seeing recent expansions at Sappi Skowhegan, LP Houlton, and Timber HP in Madison, it’s clear that the success of Maine’s logging industry depends on our ability to embrace new opportunities like cross laminated timber (CLT), renewable wood energy, and other 21st Century forest products. One of the major drivers of these game-changing innovations has been the federal Wood Innovation Grant (WIG) program, which has invested millions of dollars in Maine projects like Robbins Lumber’s biomass energy research, Dirigo Center Developers’ CLT office demonstration, and The University of Maine’s wood-based

experience in logging at an earlier age so that they can pursue a rewarding career and carry on the family business.

It is essential that existing, generations-old businesses be allowed to prepare the next generation for entry into the profession as experienced operators and managers. It also is essential that young people in forest-products families have the opportunity to live and prosper in the communities they love. In addition to the key role they play in driving Maine’s rural economy, trained loggers have the knowledge and experience to foster healthy, fire-resistant forests.

I come from a forest-products family. The S.W. Collins Company was founded in Caribou in 1844, and six generations later, it is still going strong. I appreciate the contributions your industry makes to communities across our state and understand the challenges you face.

Maine’s working forests are an international model of successful, responsible stewardship, where public and private interests are respected and shared by all. The Future Logging Careers Act will help to preserve this model for generations to come.

3D printed home.

The Farm Bill is another chance to build on the success of this community-supporting program and bring further development to our state. I hope to significantly expand the size and number of Wood Innovation Grants, use the funding to encourage research in especially promising technologies, and increase the amount of matching funds available to Maine organizations.

These investments are being driven by smart, hardworking Maine people, like you, who are committed to the future of our forest product industry. The Farm Bill should also include more grants for schools and training organizations to teach people how to design, build, and innovate with wood, including mass timber. It’s a commonsense way to support further development of the industry while expanding the careers available to our younger generations.

Maine’s promising logging projects and new markets all rely on keeping our forests healthy for decades to come, making it imperative that we understand the impacts of the changing climate. Congress should use the bill to secure the future of our forests and expand the vital U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program that provides forest data and recommendations to loggers and forest owners. With better information and analysis, we can successfully navigate our shifting climate and continue to invest in Maine’s forest future.

I’ll continue working to ensure the final Farm Bill package includes feedback from Maine people, including dairy producers, lobstermen, and crop farmers. Do you have other suggestions for how Congress can support you in the Farm Bill? Be sure to reach out to my office and let us know. Together, I’m confident that we can keep up the good, bipartisan work and continue to strengthen Maine communities.

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Sen. Susan Collins Sen. Angus King

Since Congressional Democrats and President Biden passed and signed the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act into law, historic and game-changing investments have been continuously infused back into our communities. It cannot be overstated how significant these pieces of legislation have been and will continue to be for the people of Maine.

In June, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that, thanks to funding made possible by the infrastructure law and Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $43 million to expand innovative uses of wood, including as a construction material in commercial buildings, as an energy source, and in manufacturing and processing input for wood products used in framing homes, making paper products and more.

Through Community Wood and Wood Innovation Grants, these funds will be invested in 123 projects nationwide, including four in Maine totaling $2.4 million. With the $1.5 million Community Wood Innovation Grant, TimberHP will expand manufacturing capacity and marketing of innovative wood fiber insulation. Portland Museum of Art, TanBark Molded Fiber Products, and Jesup Memorial Library were each awarded $300,000 for their wood innovation projects. These

In the last three months, I’ve been lucky to get some substantial facetime with Maine loggers.

In March, I attended the American Loggers Council Congressional Reception where I got to connect with some industry members from back home. At the reception, I was awarded the Inaugural American Loggers Council Congressional Leadership Award and I tell you not to brag, but because that award really belongs to all of you.

So many of you have taken the time to teach me about this business. Others have taken the time to talk to me about the things that are working for loggers in Maine and about the things that aren’t.

You’ve also taken the opportunity to ask me some thoughtful questions about my take on how Washington is (and isn’t) working. At the Annual Professional Logging Contractors of Maine’s Annual Meeting in Bar Harbor last month, I got to answer your questions and speak with many of you about legislation and politics that matter to you as loggers or even just as a citizen who this government is supposed to represent.

projects range from replacing plastic packaging with fiber from wood-based cellulose to expanding the use of mass timber.

Federal forest grant programs like these are an essential part of Maine’s robust forestry industry helping create quality jobs, strengthen rural economies, and support new forest products markets.

But to meet the changing needs of the industry and to support the forest products sector as part of the climate solution, these programs need to be updated. That’s why I recently introduced the bicameral Community Wood Facilities Assistance Act, which would make investments to support renewable wood energy projects and create new market opportunities to support Maine’s important heritage industry well into the future.

As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment and as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I am always looking for ways to support renewable wood innovations that uplift Maine’s logging and forestry industries. We will be working to build on the federal support in the upcoming Farm Bill and Appropriations bills for the 2024 Fiscal Year. So, as I continue my work in Congress to bring home more opportunities for you, I encourage you to reach out to my office if you need any guidance or help navigating these important programs available to you.

I know that despite the recent challenges, there are bright moments ahead for Maine’s forest heritage industry and I’m proud to be your advocate in Washington to help realize these opportunities in Maine.

If I’ve successfully represented the logging community these past four years all of the credit is yours – all I did was listen and take advantage of the good advice you’ve offered me about how I can best represent you. From financial assistance for loggers, to money to support the Mechanized Logging Operations and Forest Trucking Program, or even the sawmill training facility money we got for the University of Maine recently. All of that work came about because of you.

If you’d like more information about support available for loggers in Mainer, please shoot our logger support team an email at MELoggerSupportTeam@mail.house.gov. We should get back to you quickly.

Outside of the woods, I know that times are tough right now. Even if it is not related to your work, my team and I are here to help. Please let us know if we can help you solve problems you or your family is having with Medicare, Social Security, the VA, or other federal programs or agencies.

You can reach my staff at:

●Lewiston: (207) 241-6767

●Caribou: (207) 492-6009

●Bangor: (207) 249-7400

You can also send us an email at: golden.house.gov/contact/email-me

The Logger’s Voice ▪ Summer 2023 53
Rep. Chellie Pingree Rep. Jared Golden
54 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995 Supporting Member Reminder! Membership Renewals Due July 1 If you have not renewed please don’t delay!
Professional Logging Contractors of Maine 108 Sewall St. P.O. Box 1036 Augusta, ME 04332
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