Well the weather in the month of April has been unpredictable. We have had sunny warm days and snow or rain the next. This sequence happened several times throughout the month. Mother Nature cannot seem to make up her mind.
The month of April brought the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Spring Celebration held at the Island Resort Casino in Harris Michigan. We had an extremely good turnout of Loggers and Truckers from Michigan and Wisconsin. The days prior to the spring celebration were full of meetings with our Board of Directors to the Master Logger annual meeting and Master Logger Chain of Custody training. The day of the conference was well attended and supported by a large number of vendors and equipment manufacturers. It is wonderful to see such great support of the GLTPA by all of these folks.
To lead off the conference, Scott Dane, Director of American Loggers Council gave a great speech illustrating what the American Loggers Council has been doing along with their State Association members. In the last year, notably the Loggers Relief Bill known as PAATH was passed and thousands of loggers across the country received assistance through the USDA only if their business was primarily logging or trucking. The 200 million dollars allocated was quickly used up and should have had twice the funding. The American Loggers Council is trying to get the need fully funded. At this point, the likelihood is seen but the ALC will exhaust all options.
During the last Presidential Election, the Republican national Committee invited Scott Dane to speak at the National Convention on behalf of the ALC. In the short speech given on national television, the story and message of the American Logger was told to the whole country. With the strength of the American Loggers Council national membership continues to grow with associate memberships from industry supporting companies to independent logger members that don’t have state associations. Because of that support and funding of all of the state associations and supporting industry members, the ALC now has an office located in Washington DC. This office allows the American Loggers Council to hold meetings with Federal Legislators and Offices along with national organizations to be more effective. As Scott Dane mentioned in his speech, every state association of the ALC can use the Washington DC office any time they are in the nation’s Capital. Recently several pieces of Federal legislation have been introduced wildfire response to truck driver incentives and a Russian Timber Embargo. In all of the cases the American Loggers Council has been asked for letters of support.
One of the last subjects regarding the ALC is the traditional military custom of giving someone a challenge coin. This tradition is shared as a sign of respect and recognition to people in the military and now to others in civilian life. Our own Executive Director, Henry Schienebeck, received on at the spring celebration. I have witnessed the passing of the challenge coins a couple of times now and see this as a great and humbling honor. Very well deserved Henry! The morning after the GLTPA Spring Celebration, I received a call from Scott Dane. He asked if I was available to meet with him for a short time. Scott and I met back near Crandon. He gave me a challenge coin also and a “Make Logging Great Again” hat. He apologized for not giving it to me during his speech. As a person that has great respect for our military and our Veterans, I am truly honored and humbled to be a part of that tradition. I am an unapologetic flag waving American that loves his country and the profession we call Logging. The challenge coin means a lot.
Until next month