About once a year we like to remind loggers and log haulers why they should, if not already, be involved with a State and/or Regional Association representing loggers and log haulers. Perhaps the biggest reason is the question, “if loggers are not representing the best interests of the timber harvesting profession, then who is?”
When you step back and look at some of the benefits that both State and Regional Associations have worked on covering both the political and working landscapes, you can’t help but wonder where our industry might be if you did not have these organizations out there working for you.
Let’s start with an issue that brought many of our associations together, worker’s compensation insurance. Many state associations have successfully petitioned their state insurance boards to create a tiered structure for logging insurance rates based on mechanized versus non-mechanized jobs.
Let’s talk about truck weights, many state and regional associations have been able to see an increase in gross truck weights on State and County roads as a direct result of having their associations lobby their respective legislative bodies to allow tolerances over and above the 80,000 pound gross weight limit found on the Interstate Highway System, simply because we are hauling an agriculture commodity that is subject to many variances in weight, both physical and weather related.
Let’s talk about taxes. There are many states that have exempted timber harvesting equipment from ad valorem taxes and either reduced or completely eliminated sales tax on logging equipment and parts being used in timber harvesting operations.
These are just a few examples, and there are other ideas that have been brought to the table in state and regional logger organizations, saving millions of dollars for the logging sector through greater efficiencies and cost cutting measures.
With all of the regulations that are currently burdening the industry, it is good to know that you have an association working for you that can keep you up to date on changes that can save your business from unwanted fines and penalties for non-compliance.
If you are reading this and not supporting your local state and/or regional organization, then you need to realize that the efforts of those that are is probably one of the reasons that you are still in the business. While it is preferable to be an active member of an organization, your donation through membership dues will go a long way in supporting the organization that is out there supporting you and your livelihood.
The American Loggers Council is the National Association of State and Regional logging associations. We will continue to bring the logger’s voice to Washington, DC, but we need healthy State and Regional logging associations that can participate with us to make that happen. If you are not already, please consider supporting your state associations, it is an investment in your future, and ours. We are “Loggers Working for Loggers.”
Danny Dructor is the Executive Vice President for the American Loggers Council. If you would like to learn more about the ALC, please visit their web site at www.amloggers.com, or contact their office at 409-625-0206.