Industry Readies for 86th Oregon Logging Conference

Photo courtesy of Komatsu
Industry professionals will gather in Eugene, Ore., from Feb. 22 to 24 at the Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds for the 86th Oregon Logging Conference (OLC).

Wed February 07, 2024

Drawing loggers from around the Pacific Northwest and some much farther, the 86th Oregon Logging Conference (OLC) Feb. 22 to 24 at the Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds, Eugene, Ore., provides key resources for logging contractors, including sessions covering the latest in regulatory issues and business management topics along with the big draw: hundreds of exhibits and displays highlighting the latest in logging technology, equipment, machinery and services to help loggers operate more efficiently and most important — profitably.

The OLC is industry's largest logging equipment show, yet also provides activities for the whole family. A big part of the event is reaching out to not only youngsters to give a positive image of the industry, but also secondary students who will soon be making employment decisions.

OLC volunteers are closely involved with the elementary school education tours that run during the show. Meanwhile, Oregon's Nygaard Logging and Warrenton Fiber Co. are sponsors of the OLC's "Future Forestry Workers Career Day" Feb. 23, which puts potential employees in direct contact with a variety of industry employers, from loggers to foresters and manufacturers and all in between.

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A big part of the OLC is the slate of seminars that inform loggers and count as pro logger-continuing education credits. A hands-on seminar is scheduled to cover "Scaling and Quality of Lesser Species." Moderator Jacob Steensen of Southport Lumber Co. in Coos Bay and several other procurement experts will cover hardwoods and cedars, discussing quality and scaling issues specific to these species.

One business seminar will inform attendees about unelected boards and commissions and how to influence them, including groups like Oregon's Dept. of Forestry Board of Forestry and the Adaptive Management Program Committee.

Another seminar delivers the latest in steep slope operating systems and regulations. Camille Collett from Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) will provide an update from ODF on implementation of PFA Steep Slope rules. She also will cover additional issues and an outlook for 2024.

Brennan Garrelts of Lone Rock Logging will cover the ground implementation of PFA Steep Slope rules, including layout, operations, safety concerns and challenges, while Tom Bozicevic of Oregon-OSHA will provide updates on the state's Tethered Logging Variance program.

With so many loggers attending from Washington and Oregon, seminars giving updates for issues in both states are popular with contractors. The Oregon-based seminar will cover changes on tap for private forests as the state moves to make changes to forest management regulations and the implications for loggers and landowners. The Washington specific seminar will cover regulatory changes plus better ways landowners and contractors can communicate with state agencies.

Also on tap are:

  • Presentations for ODF Operators of the Year;
  • The popular OLC Log Loader Competition, sponsored by Triad Machinery and Link-Belt, covers two days;
  • OLC includes the Guess the Load Contest, where visitors estimate the board feet in a load of logs.

"Faith, Family and Forest Management — getting back to our roots is the theme that will guide the 86th Annual Oregon Logging Conference," states the Oregon Logging Conference website.

The theme was selected at the board of directors' meeting last May and was the suggestion of 2024 Oregon Logging Conference President Steve Henson. All were in agreement about having it as the theme.

"Faith, as we live in a broken world and need the grace of God, Family, as it is important to the success of any home, business, or association and Forest Management, as I believe we are all tired of seeing small towns destroyed, lives destroyed and our very livelihood threatened by destructive past non-management, hands-off approaches that has created the fuel conditions we have now," Henson said.

Keynote Speaker

Randy Moore, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, will be the keynote speaker at the 86th Annual Oregon Logging Conference.

Photo courtesy of USDA Forest Service

"I am very excited, as president of the Oregon Logging Conference this year, in having Chief Moore as my keynote speaker at the conference," Henson said.

Chief Moore will give his speech Thursday morning, Feb. 22, 2024, in the Wheeler Pavilion, at the Lane Event Center and Fairgrounds, Eugene, Ore.

As the leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, Chief Moore oversees a workforce of more than 31,000 employees who sustainably manage 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands.

Chief Moore believes strongly that a leader must adapt and grow, but that there are some principles that always hold true: a leader must be fair, inclusive and willing to listen to and trust his employees. He is committed to the Forest Service mission, distilling it to its core of improving forest and grassland conditions by bringing together partners from Tribes, state and local governments, communities and nonprofit and private sector interests.

Under his leadership, the Forest Service cares for natural resources in ways that promote lasting economic, ecological, and social vitality for current and future generations.

Moore has been a catalyst for change throughout his career. He is committed to seeking new and better ways to address many issues, such as climate change, facing our ecosystems and our communities.

Prior to serving as chief, he was the Pacific Southwest regional forester from 2007 to 2021, where he was responsible for 18 national forests in California covering 20 million acres. He also oversaw state and private forestry programs in Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. Chief Moore also has served as regional forester for the Eastern region in Wisconsin, forest supervisor for Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri and a myriad of other roles throughout the agency. He began his 45-year career in 1978 with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in North Dakota and joined the Forest Service in 1981.

OLC Fundraiser

A total of 23 teams and many generous sponsors helped raise more than $61,000 at the 5th Annual Oregon Logging Conference Foundation (OLCF) Clay Target Tournament fundraiser held on Sept. 8, 2023. Proceeds will provide college and technical scholarships to be awarded by the OLCF.

"Once again we are very fortunate to be able to hold this fundraiser and at the end of the day, we raised more than $61,000 which will provide financial assistance to the next generation workforce in our industry," said OLC Board Member Jeanne Shuttleworth.

This annual fundraiser event was held at Creswell Clay Target Sports in Creswell, Ore.

Winning teams:

  • 1st: Ocean Terminals (for the fifth consecutive year);
  • 2nd: Bell Lumber & Pole;
  • 3rd: Giustina Resource;
  • 4th: Duman Inc;
  • Cinderella Award: Western Forest Products;
  • High Scoring: Steve Munsell, Gracie Stuntman;
  • Conservation Award (lowest scoring person): Nick Smith.

"The event was a huge success and we had a wonderful turnout," said Rikki Wellman, OLC manager. "This group of people always comes together to help support and continue the future of the logging industry."

The fundraiser included a breakfast and lunch catered by Chapala's Catering, breakfast sponsored by Triad Machinery, lunch sponsored by Papé Kenworth, beverages sponsored by Modern Machinery, an auction and an opportunity drawing.

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The OLC thanks those who donated auction items: Melcher Logging Inc., ShaneCo Timber, Creswell Clay Target Sports, Kevin Merritt and Giustina Resources, Thompson Timber, Dean and Jeanne Shuttleworth, Martie Munsell, L & L Inc., Rikki & Dave Wellman, Papé Machinery, Bar Run Golf, Chapala's Mexican Restaurant, OLC Foundation, Seven Feathers, Martin Timber Harvesting, Siuslaw Sporting Clays, Heather Search LTP and Three Rivers Casino. Proceeds from the auction and opportunity drawing totaled over $16,000.

Title sponsors were Bell Lumber & Pole, Giustina Resources, Swanson Group, Papé Machinery, RiverRidge Excavating, Duman Inc., Western Forest Products and Douglas County Forest Product.

Scholarship sponsors were Advanced Mechanical Inc., Hart Custom Cutting, Stuntzner Engineering & Forestry, Harold & Lory Huffman, ShaneCo Timber, Teevin Bros, Rikki & Dave Wellman, Wampler Logging Inc., Sundance Lumber, Weyerhaeuser Co. and Starker Forest.

Station sponsors were Boise Cascade, Cascade Timber Consulting, Kriege Logging LLC, Lone Rock Resources, Nelson Bros Trucking, Roseburg Forest Products, Starker Forest, Sierra Pacific Industries and the 86th Annual Oregon Logging Conference.

A tentative date has been selected for the 6th Annual Clay Target fundraiser and that is September 6, 2024.