May June, 2003





2003 Intermountain Logging Conference Review

This year the annual Intermountain Logging Conference was held in Spokane, Wash. The theme was “Keeping it Going” and ILC Vice-President Bob Lloyd of Lloyd Logging said that everyone could relate in one way or another to this theme: “Everyone in the industry is keeping resources open to management options, keeping timber lined up ahead to harvest, keeping equipment maintained and running, keeping personnel to operate the equipment, keeping logs flowing into the mills and keeping the products flowing out to the consumers. And finally keeping your business going by being profitable.”

Those who came not only played a part in keeping it going, but also saw impressive equipment displays and heard interesting discussions at the panels regarding subjects such as small stem harvesting and harvesting sensitive areas. The keynote speaker Rick Haines, Western Division Ad Director for the Northern Ag Network and popular radio personality in Idaho, says he was glad to be invited. “I get really excited about industry representatives who are actively engaged in the process of saving their businesses and I was not disappointed at the Intermountain Logging Conference.”

“The climate of logging has been dramatically altered by the 37-cent stamp,” says Rick. “That’s all it takes to file an appeal and elongate the bid process that accompanies the current rules and regulations. For the price of a stamp, millions of board feet of timber is left to rot or burn all in the name of so called environmentalism. What a waste given the fact that with modern, computerized equipment, forest health experts can selectively log areas without leaving hardly a footprint.

Not only is there considerable time and expense put forth in the planning process there are professionals at every step to ensure complete compliance with the guidelines. “Most importantly is the evidence in place to substantiate the industry’s claims of leaving the forestlands in better condition after they’ve gone.

Catastrophic fires have decimated so many square miles over the last decade that the official tally falls short of the real loss. Environmental and economic losses escalate when these cataclysmic events occur. Pundits have stated over and over that the pristine beauty of the landscape will bring an influx of tourism yet it has not developed. Let’s be real here. There are only so many people who flock to nature and most often they are prepared in advance to rough it and go without shopping at the local stores, buying a new washer/ dryer or re-carpeting their S.U.V. on their way to the mountain!

There are really very few areas where the draw of communing with nature brings hordes of tourists and the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier Parks are geared for the influx.” “The exciting part of the discussion is that on-the-ground managers of forest health are fully prepared to meet the obstacles placed in their way. Today’s logging professionals know the pitfalls and deal with the insensitivity of environmental activism and governmental intervention simply by doing their job better and better. Whether they shift to private land, trade logging for trail maintenance, build outhouses and campgrounds for access, they are actively pursuing the business of their choice and that makes me very proud to know them!”


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