Pacific Logging Congress Event Draws Crowds for Equipment Demos

by | Oct 1, 2023 | 2023, September/October, TimberWest Magazine

RAINIER, Washington – Over 5,500 people, many of them students, attended the Pacific Logging Congress ninth ‘Live In-Woods Show’ recently. Weyerhaeuser hosted the outdoor exhibit of forestry equipment at its Vail Tree Farm property near Rainier, Washington.

Eleven companies conducted live demonstrations of logging equipment at the event. They included (right) John Deere dealer Pape Machinery, which demonstrated three machines felling, shoveling and processing, and (below) Caterpillar dealer MC Machinery, which demonstrated Cat and Weiler Forestry equipment.

The number of visitors included 2,300 students from elementary, middle, and high schools in Washington – the educational component being an important part of the mission of the congress.

The show auction raised about $74,000 for the Pacific Forest Foundation, the educational arm of the congress. The funds will be used to award college scholarships for forestry students.

The Pacific Logging Congress holds the ‘Live In-Woods Show’ every four years, but it’s been five years since the last event because of the COVID pandemic. The last show was held at Oregon State University.

In addition to the number of visitors, the show featured 11 companies that conducted live demonstrations of logging equipment and another 33 that exhibited at the event.

“Our numbers are definitely up from last time,” said Diane Mettler, executive director of the Pacific Logging Congress.

“I thought it was a great show,” said Casey Black, president of the Pacific Logging Congress. He cited the number of visitors and favorable weather. “And we had a good turnout from our equipment dealers and sponsors, and a tremendous turnout from volunteers to make the show happen.”

Black, Weyerhaeuer’s western timberlands export sales lead, paid a special thanks to the many volunteers who supported the event. “It’s a big undertaking,” he noted. “We do it once every four years, and we try to put on a good show. Thanks to everybody who steps up to make that happen.” More than 70 volunteers were Weyerhaeuser employees.

It was the first time in 13 years the event has been held in Washington.

“When this event is held in Oregon, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute handles all the students, including reaching out to schools, setting up times, payment of buses, the guides, and so on,” said Mettler. “This year, because it was in Washington, we had to fill their shoes — very big shoes.”

“Our thanks to more than 200 volunteers who helped this show run smoothly and safely so that attendees could learn something new while enjoying a day in the woods — and to all the sponsors who ensured that schools could send students free of charge,” Weyerhaeuser said in a statement issued after the event.

The Pacific Logging Congress solicited sponsors from companies in Washington and Oregon to help defray the cost of sending students to the show. Ninety businesses supported the show as sponsors. “Truly remarkable,” said Mettler. “It speaks to our sponsorship team, too.”

Show sponsors included forest landowners as well as companies with mills, logging contractors (large and small), and suppliers to the forest products industry – businesses throughout the Northwest.

The show featured 11 companies that conducted live demonstrations of logging equipment and another 33 that exhibited at the event.

The show began Sept. 20 with a meeting of the Pacific Logging Congress board of directors and a reception co-sponsored by the Forest Resources Association. The live demonstrations of forestry equipment and exhibits were held Sept. 21-23 for the most part under sunny skies and warm temperatures.

In addition to the demonstrations and exhibits, the show included logging education seminars about ticks and lyme disease, ergonomic safety, and more.

The live exhibit featured yarding operations performed by several manufacturers – Tigercat, Summit Attachments, and Technical Forest Solutions – as well as tethered machines working on the steep slopes to perform felling, shoveling, and skidding.

In addition to demonstrating a yarder working with an Acme Manufacturing grapple carriage, Tigercat machines performed felling and shoveling, processing, and skidding. The company also had equipment in static displays.

Summit Attachments demonstrated a yarder and exhibited four other machines, including a winch assist and yoder.

Technical Forest Solutions demonstrated a Cat-based yarder and grapple carriage.

LinkBelt demonstrated several machines loading and handling logs.

Visitors to the show included 2,300 students from schools in Washington – the educational component being an important part of the mission of the Pacific Logging Congress.

Ponsse (PacWest Machinery) brought two cut-to-length harvesters and a forwarder to the show for live demonstrations.

John Deere dealer Pape Machinery demonstrated three machines felling, shoveling and processing and also had static equipment displays.

Caterpillar dealer MC Machinery demonstrated Cat and Weiler Forestry machines, and Develon (Cascade Trader) exhibited several machines at work, felling and processing, and others in static displays.

Two horizontal grinders were demonstrated, a Bandit machine (PacWest Machinery) and a Vermeer machine (Vermeer Mountain West), and FAE demonstrated a forestry mulcher.

The Pacific Logging Congress mission is to provide sound technical education about the forest industry. Founded in 1909, it seeks to educate politicians, educators, their students, and the general public about the need for sound, responsible forestry to supply the global needs for wood fiber.

The next ‘Live In-Woods Show’ will be held in 2027 at a location to be determined.

Tim Cox

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