September October 2005



ALC Comes to Ocean Shores

By Diane Mettler

The 11th Annual American Loggers Council (ALC) was held September 22 - 24 at Ocean Shores, Wash. Approximately 225 industry professionals from across the nation attended the meeting to discuss current issues and elect new officers.

Events opened up with an optional "Old Growth" tour sponsored by the WCLA on Wednesday, September 21st. Bill Pickell, Director for the WCLA, and the staff of WCLA acted as tour guides along the Coastal Range of Western Washington.

On Thursday the ALC Board of Directors and Executive Committee discussed legislative, communications and ALC Master Logger Certification program issues.

And, officers for the 2005/2006 term were selected. Logger Ken Swanstrom from Kalispell, Mont., was elected to serve as the new ALC President. Ken has been involved with the ALC since 1997. He said he "looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that the next twelve months will bring to the organization."

Logger Charles Johns of Florida was elected to serve as 1st Vice President of the organization. Rounding out the elections, logger Ezell Castleberry from Alabama and logger Allen Ribelin from Arizona will serve as 2nd Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer, respectively. Regional Directors to serve on the Executive Committee are Northeast delegate, Dan Keniston (NewHampshire); Midwest delegate, Wayne Hamann (Wisconsin); Southern delegate, Travis Taylor (Louisiana); and Western delegate, Mike Wiedeman (Oregon).

One of the highlights of the meeting was Friday’s field day hosted by Caterpillar. The first stop for attendees was a tour of the Green Diamond site in McCleary, Wash. where Vaughn Bay Lumber Company, Inc. was running a cut-to-length operation. Tom VanSlyke, ALC President and Mike Duncan, Caterpillar Marketing, presented opening comments before the group and watched the machines in action. A TK722 harvester with a Log Max 7000 processing head was operated by Jim Stennette and a TK458 forwarder was operated by Dale VanSlyke.

After folks were finished watching the cut-to-length operation, they were taken in the afternoon to a second Green Diamond location near Dayton, Wash. Jerry Barnhart was there to provide a history of the site being logged. Here the group got a chance to see a shovel logging application — a Cat 345B shovel logger and a Cat 330C FM loading a truck.

The last stop was a tour of a sort yard, where Mike Gilbert discussed the application of the Cat 980 wheel loader handling the tree-length logs. Jane Kobe, Cat’s Forest Products Marketing Communication Manager, was there on-site to answer questions."The feedback we got was real positive," Jane says. "The group asked a lot of questions from specifics about the machine as well as the applications. And you couldn’t have asked for better weather."

Saturday morning was the Annual Membership meeting. Bruce Crain from Crain Consulting, Jackson, Miss., brought the membership up-to-date on the latest developments regarding Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, and the potential to help develop woody biomass markets utilizing woody debris being recovered in the South Alabama, South Mississippi and South Louisiana areas. The ALC Board agreed to pass a resolution stating that the ALC would like to participate in recovery efforts, not just as a first responder on an emergency management preparedness team, but to do what is necessary to promote the creation of woody biomass markets.

The Saturday Awards Luncheon, sponsored by Tigercat, recognized all of the associate members that support the goals and programs of the American Loggers Council. Mike Wiedeman and Bill Jones received the ALC President’s Awards for the work they have done at home and in Washington, D.C. on woody biomass issues.

Saturday evening closed out with a reception and dinner sponsored by John Deere and John Deere Credit. DK Knight, with Hatton-Brown Publishers, presented Steve Hanington, Hanington Brothers Logging, Inc., with the mostprestigious Logging Business of the Year Award. Steve is the immediate Past President of the American Loggers Council and was instrumental in gaining the attention of President Bush during the 2004 Annual meeting in Bangor, Maine.

With the meeting adjourned, the Annual ALC Auction was held. Proceeds from this year’s auction topped $19,000, which will be used for operations and programs of the ALC.


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