President’s Message: ‘We are the dedicated caretakers of our forests’
Welcome to the 86th Annual Oregon Logging Conference and Equipment Show. Our theme this year, Faith, Family and Forest Management – Getting Back to our Roots, is personal for me. I started my forestry career fighting fire in the summer of 1974 and have been absolutely blessed to serve in so many different capacities since then. I enjoy the fellowship and friendship of this very special industry. I believe our theme captures the essence of who we are, and what we are about. We are the dedicated caretakers of our forests. We live in and love our forests. No one cares more about their health and future than we do. I am very proud to be part of the timber industry.
Faith is important to many of us in this industry. We are truly an industry that is proud and confident in our conservative values and beliefs. We encapsulate much of what is good and great in our country. We believe in what we do, our core values we bring to land management, and the responsible stewardship we provide to the land we love.
Family. Many of us have been privileged to work with dedicated professionals we call friends; people who are loyal and present when we need them. The timber industry is a family in so many ways. Each year at the conference I see people genuinely enjoying each other’s company and catching up. I love hearing the laughter and the tall tales. Some of the stories have been greatly embellished over the years (especially the ones I overhear MY name mentioned in).
Forest Management. Now, more than ever, though active management, our industry is needed to protect our forests for the future. The trend of ‘Mega Fires’ destroying communities and entire forests must stop. We know what to do, and we know how to do it. Working together with land managers, we need to create fire resiliency in our forests and maintain our logging and milling infrastructure. This will establish, and then maintain, forest health.
Our keynote speaker, the chief of the Forest Service, Randy Moore, also believes that we need to increase the pace and scale of active management to attack the wildfire crisis that we find ourselves in. Chief Moore will be addressing the direction he wishes to see his agency, and our industry, pursue together in attacking the wildfire crisis before it’s too late. Only together, through partnerships and cooperation, will we achieve success. Thank you, Chief Moore, for taking the time to address this conference and providing the leadership necessary to get us to a higher level of addressing the forest health issues challenging our country.
Regarding our values, we are a patriotic industry that supports our military and our veterans. We value and respect the warriors who have answered the call of duty to preserve and protect our freedoms. Along those lines, my wife, Donna, has chosen Paws Assisting Veterans (PAVE) to benefit from the OLC Desserts for Dreams luncheon. A horrible reality is that over 22 veterans a day take their own lives. PAVE provides highly trained service dogs at no charge to veterans to help them maintain their freedom and independence. Through customized training and lifetime support, PAVE contributes to reducing the devastating rate of veteran suicide and offers practical support for veterans who are left with the psychological and/or physical wounds from military service. Donna and I will be reaching out to all our friends and contacts that we have in our timber industry family to support this worthy effort.
Donna will be hosting the Dessert for Dreams event February 23rd at the Graduate Eugene Hotel from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Please join her to learn more about this organization and how you can help and support it. Delicious treats will be provided by local restaurants and bakeries. Also note, 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Paws Assisting Veterans (PAVE). For ticket information call (541) 686-9191. Please attend and show your support for this very worthy cause.
Thank you to the hardworking volunteer OLC Board of Directors and OLC’s support staff. The board has put together a first class show once again. I very much thank and appreciate the equipment dealers, vendors, manufacturers, sponsors, and speakers. You are what makes the Oregon Logging Conference an ongoing success.
Thank you for the incredible privilege of serving as the 86th Annual Oregon Logging Conference president.
Check out the Show Guide Here: