19TH ALC Annual Meeting

Paragon Resort
Marksville, Louisiana

by Mike Crouse

Some 200 loggers and ALC sponsors collected in Marksville, Louisiana at the recently completed 19th Annual Meeting of the American Loggers Council (ALC), enjoying the warm, dry weather and the warm hospitality the Southeastern part of the country is known for. Annual meetings traditionally are held in that year’s president’s state.

Host and outgoing president Travis Taylor said, “I am proud of the supportive efforts that all of our members, committees and sponsors have put forth over the past twelve months. We’re excited about the progress that has been made and look forward to extending those efforts as we head into 2014. We are confident that we are headed in the right direction with our goal of being the national hub for logger information exchange, linking local, state and regional organizations around the country.”

Thursday evening was the Welcome Reception held at the Paragon Resort’s Pelican Stage, an informal meet and greet open to all attendees.
While the heart of the conference is centered on Thursday through Saturday meetings and dinners, after the morning’s group breakfast, many took advantage of the open morning/afternoon on Friday for the Champagnes Cajun Swamp Tour at Martin Lake, followed by lunch at Landry’s Seafood Restaurant on the return trip.

The ALC Ladies Tour was to the Myrtles Plantation, with lunch at the Carriage House Restaurant.

The President’s Reception was held that evening followed by the President’s Dinner and ALC Auction that followed immediately after, which raised a record amount this year of $23,475.

Saturday’s buffet breakfast preceded the Board of Directors Meeting complete with committee reports from the legislative, transportation, biomass, communications, membership, Master Logger and nomination committees. In particular the legislative committee gave updates on efforts by the Council in supporting legislation favorable to the timber harvesting community. Note that with 20 years of creating a name for itself in the nation’s capital, the ALC has successfully positioned itself as a well-respected and distinct national organization whose perspective and knowledge on timber harvesting is well respected, and recognized as the national voice for logging professionals.

Transportation and biomass committee reported on those issues that were impacting those two sectors of the industry. The biomass committee recommended that the ALC create a position statement on the benefits of utilizing woody biomass to be delivered to the EPA, as well as a position on the economic impacts of over-regulation to the timber harvesting industry.

The general membership meeting immediately followed the Board of Directors, and is open to all members in attendance. 

Within the open meeting were discussions on the importance of achieving and maintain low DOT SMS scores among log, chip, and dump truck drivers, and some of the onerous fines that can come as a result of repeated offenses and higher scores. In particular is the effect this can have on your insurance rates and potential liability not only from your employees but any subcontractors who either may not have sufficient or any coverage, in which case that liability passes through to the general contractor. All were encouraged to thoroughly check and cross check with anyone if you employ, beyond your own crew to subcontractors, to be proof positive all are in compliance or be party to the consequences.

The communications committee’s report included the suggestion, pre­­­sented by DK Knight, of utilizing log trailers, and chip bins as a “moving billboard” promoting positive images of our industry. “It’s easy and one could put that on each chip trailer or log trailer,” he explained. “It’s easy, inexpensive, and effective.”

Membership Chair Myles Anderson added to the committee’s report that the sponsorship goal of raising $125,000 this year had been surpassed by raising $148,000. “Their support is key,” he added.

The slate of candidates elected for the coming year include: Bryan Nelson, President; Myles Anderson, Vice President; Richard Schwab, Second Vice President, and Ken Martin as Secretary-Treasurer.

The afternoon Awards Luncheon’s guest speaker was Jim Hourdequin, of The Lyme Timber Company, followed by sponsors recognition for the past years support of the ALC.

This year’s President’s Award jacket and recognition of outstanding service to the American Loggers Council went to Caterpillar Forest Products President Kevin Thieneman, and North Carolina logger Bobby Goodson whose steadfast demonstration of “real world logging” during his time on “Swamp Logger” was outstanding.

The Board of Directors and Membership meetings were held on September 28th and included committee reports from the legislative, transportation, biomass, communications, membership, Master Logger and nomination committees. 

At the President’s Farewell Dinner, incoming ALC President, Brian Nelson of Cornell, Michigan noted, “I plan on keeping the momentum that we have built up during Travis’ administration moving forward,” and “that there are still many issues that we should focus on as we start to experience economic recovery within the industry.” 

ALC Executive Vice President Danny Dructor followed Pres. Nelson’s thank you to outgoing President Travis Taylor thanking Taylor for, “...his past twelve months of leadership under adverse conditions and looks forward to his continuing input into the Council as well as working with Brian Nelson to ensure that the American Loggers Council will continue to be “the national voice for professional timber harvesters.”