The second seminar brought with it some spirited discussion of the pros and cons of certification systems. Representatives from the Forest Stewardship Council (Derik Frederiksen, FSC President) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (Nadine Block, SFI Senior VP of Community and Government Relations) made presentations and answered audience questions on the topic.
During a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis on the industry, Dane offered perspective from speakers on two promising opportunities. The panel included Josh Henry, President of TimberHP, a Maine company that is the first in North America to offer wood fiber insulation, an alternative already popular in Europe; and Julie Tucker, U.S. Forest Service National Program Manager, Wood Innovations, who discussed the wood bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts sector.
Kelly Madison from Associated Insurance Services, Idaho, spoke on her state’s efforts to provide affordable employee health insurance coverage opportunities for logging companies, a key to attracting and retaining quality employees in an ever-more competitive labor market. Notably, other states, including North Carolina and Alabama, have also made some progress on this front.
A presentation by national and local representatives of Log a Load for Kids and Children’s Miracle Network hospitals spoke on the logging community’s positive impact. In 2022 alone, Log a Load raised $3.6 million for Children’s Miracle Network.
At the Log a Load for Kids banquet and fundraiser in Maine, the gathered loggers in one night raised $51,000 that was split between two local children’s hospitals.
Following vigorous discussion of various industry issues at Friday morning’s board of directors and membership meetings, Irish and Dane presented the 2023 National Activist Award to Hatton-Brown Publishers, parent of Southern Loggin’ Times and Timber Harvesting, and the President’s Leadership Award collectively to the members of the ALC Executive Committee for 2022-2023.
At the President’s farewell banquet Friday night, Hatton-Brown’s senior editor Dan Shell presented this year’s Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year to Montana’s Ken Swanstrom. Then…after receiving a standing ovation from the crowd for his work on the industry’s behalf over the last 12 months, Irish passed the gavel to his successor as ALC President, California’s Mike Albrecht. He will serve as President until fall next year, when ALC hosts its 30th annual meeting October 2-4, 2024 in Sonora, Calif.