The WV Longer Council (WVLC), as a part of the American Loggers Council (ALC) – the national association of professional timber harvesters – met with other loggers from around the U.S. on April 6. This meeting of loggers from around the country convened to address key national issues with Congress and the Administration. The event enjoyed record participation as loggers from across the nation met in Washington DC.
ALC’s membership, made up of state logging groups and individual loggers, returned to Washington DC at a time of divided government. Recognizing the capital’s polarized political environment, loggers reached out to both Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for an industry primarily composed of small, family-owned businesses.
“Loggers understand the importance of working across the aisle and reaching out to lawmakers who may not know about our industry or have misconceptions about what we do in the woods,” said ALC Executive Vice President Danny Dructor. “The small businesses in our industry provide the wood products that Americans use every day, yet we operate on razor-thin profit margins, and like other industries, we are seeking to replenish an aging workforce of loggers and log truck drivers… Our legislative agenda has been well-received on Capitol Hill, because members of both parties agree that loggers are essential to the health of America’s forests and economy.”
WVLC and ALC are also committed to improving the safety of loggers and log truck drivers. That’s why members advocated for the “Safe Routes Act,” soon to be introduced with bipartisan support, to allow more log trucks to utilize federal interstates for short-haul. To address this effort, the WV State Senate unanimously passed a Resolution in March to request that the WV Congressional Delegation support improved access to the Federal Interstate System. (Click here to see the Resolution)
To help recruit the next generation of loggers, ALC members advocated for the bipartisan “Future Logging Careers Act” (HR 1785 and S. 818) to extend an existing agricultural exemption allowing 16- and 17-year-olds in family logging businesses to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision.
The ALC fly-in concluded with its Board of Directors meeting, where members discussed developments on Capitol Hill and the progress that’s being made on the loggers’ national legislative priorities.