Logger CredentialsTo many Idaho loggers, there is a difference between a logger and someone who simply cuts trees. However, loggers have not traditionally been fond of additional paperwork or other administrative hoops, so many have not been quick to support formal logging credentials. Nevertheless, loggers have become increasingly frustrated by those who buy a chainsaw, declare themselves loggers, then log in a way that gives all loggers a bad name. In addition to loggers’ concerns, a variety of other factors have recently come together to produce the Idaho “Pro-Logger” program.
LEAP is a nationally acclaimed Extension program originally started at the request of loggers in the northeastern U.S. who wanted to improve their skills, document and market their services, and communicate more effectively with forest owners and managers. The program features over 20 hours of training on forest ecology, silviccculture, and water quality. Over 1,000 loggers have participated in Idaho LEAP sessions since 1993, many with scholarships from Idaho forest product companies.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is an effort by the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) to raise the standards for forestry on private lands. Since the SFI program requires logger education efforts, Idaho forest product companies who are AF&PA members have actively advocated logger education here.
of “green certification” is “an attempt to identify
forestland that is well managed with a goal towards sustainability”.
The term usually implies some kind of third party verification—“an
on-the-ground evaluation of forest management conducted by an accredited
certifying organization and based on accepted standards”. Currently,
most forest certification programs of this kind are run in conjunction
with the Forest Stewardship Council, or “FSC”.
The Idaho Pro-Logger Program
Loggers and forest product companies have been considering some kind of logger credential for some time. SFI, forest certification, and loggers’ desire to increase their skills, improve their image, and market their services have quickened that interest. After some preliminary meetings, the Idaho Statewide Logger Education Implementation Committee was established in 1998. The committee consists of loggers and representatives from forest industry, the University of Idaho, The Idaho Dept. of Lands, and Idaho Logging Safety Advisors. The primary focus is to meet the educational needs of Idaho loggers, forest owners, and forest product companies first, then also meet the SFI requirements and similar needs. That committee developed and governs Idaho’s new “Pro-Logger” program, which is administered through the Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho (“ALC”).
Associated Logging Contractors, Inc.