“Voters sent a clear message that it’s time to put Americans back to work, and strengthening the forest products industry is one way to accomplish that goal in communities across the country.”
Hemphill, TX (PRWEB)
June 27, 2017
In Washington today, the House Natural Resources Committee held a mark-up on the Resilient Federal Forests Act, H.R. 2396 introduced by Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) which included language that would allow the sixteen and seventeen year-old sons and daughters of logging business owners to legally work on their parents job sites under parental supervision. The legislation is a part of the much larger forestry bill which includes streamlining and adding efficiencies to the management of federal forest lands while improving forest health and bolstering the economies of struggling forest dependent communities.
Like farming and ranching, the timber harvesting profession is often a family run business where the practice and techniques of harvesting and transporting forest products from the forest to receiving mills is passed down from one generation to the next. Timber harvesting operations are very similar to family farms with sophisticated and expensive harvesting equipment that requires young men and women to learn how to run the business, including equipment operation and maintenance, prior to obtaining the age of eighteen. Currently, there are no on-the-ground programs in place to facilitate that training and ensure the sustainability of the timber harvesting industry’s next generation of family members who choose to enter the profession. The American Loggers Council (ALC) supports extending the agricultural exemption now enjoyed by family farmers and ranchers to train their sixteen and seventeen…