From the President's Desk

06/07/2021

Well another spring celebration has come and gone.  We had great attendance for the conference even though there were capacity requirements.  The Hyatt Regency in Green Bay was a great venue for our vendors and attendees. 

The exhibitor hall was large enough to have all of our vendors equipment company displays and area for attendees to listen to program speakers all in one large room.  We had some interesting speakers for the day covering various topics from identity theft, the state of the industry and taking ownership of the wood industry. 

Don Peterson and Margaret Bau gave an update on behalf of the Timber Professionals Cooperative in regards to the Verso and Park Falls mills.  I believe there is some interesting and exciting opportunities that may present themselves.  I personally feel that we as logging contractors have to take control of our economic situation to some degree.  I also feel we have nothing to lose. 

Scott Bowe gave a great presentation on the state of the industry as it relates to production of lumber, plywood, paper and recycled papers.  He was showing the historic trends of these various sectors in our industry.  In 2020, production was lower because of COVID 19 which contributed to the skyrocketing building material prices. 

Now the entire country is having an extremely difficult time finding employees.  These interruptions in the natural flow of the economy will never return to normalcy if the $300 a week bonus in addition to the regular unemployment compensation isn’t ended.  There are 7.5 million jobs unfilled in the United States.  It is time for Americans to go back to work and be productive.  With the Federal government borrowing and pumping so much so called COVID relief we are now seeing signs of inflation, poor economic growth, lower consumer confidence and only 260,000 plus jobs created in April.  That is not a good recipe for an economic rebound. 

In one hundred plus days of the Biden Administration, the southern border is all but wide open.  Gas prices are over $3.00 per gallon for the first time since 2014.  The Colonial Pipeline computer system got hacked and has caused a large shortage of gas ranging from Texas to Delaware affecting the entire southeastern United States.  The Biden Administration has waived many restrictions for transporting fuel in those affected states.  Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, stated the pipeline is the best, most efficient way to move fuel.  She also said the fuel shortage was a “fuel crunch” not a shortage, whatever that means.  If a pipeline is the best way to transport oil then why on earth did the Biden Administration end the Keystone Pipeline?  Now Governor Whitmer is proposing ending the Great Lakes Line 5 Pipeline for environmental concerns.  These decisions will without a doubt have an effect on our industry because unlike almost every other business sector, we will have to absorb those costs.  There is something wrong with this picture that needs to change.

Until next month,

Matt Jensen

President

 

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The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA)

Provides proven leadership in the Lake States Forest products industry for over 70 years. GLTPA is a non-profit organization proud to represent members in Michigan and Wisconsin and is committed to leading Forest Products Industry in sustainable forest management.

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