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Learning the Art and Science of Timber Harvesting

There is more to being a timber harvester than knowing how to cut down a tree. A highly trained timber harvester operating a modern processor is like watching a choreographed dance. Knowing what trees to harvest to maximize a forest’s health, aid in fire management, and/or enhance elk habitat requires extensive knowledge of a forest’s ecosystem. There is an art and science to timber harvesting that requires experience and education.


The Montana Logging Association serves and represents over 500 Montana timber harvesting and transportation professionals. The association provides its members with numerous services, including educational programs.


Starting every March, MLA offers training opportunities for its members. Classes cover topics such as forest stewardship, safety, best management practices and operational sustainability. Members can also take a CPR certification class.


These classes are also offered as part of an Accredited Logging Professional Program that educates timber harvesters on the importance of their role as a steward of the forest and enhances their knowledge of Montana’s forests, sustainable forest management, and the impacts of their actions on a job site. Once achieving accreditation, logging professionals are required to complete an additional 32 hours of training each year.


The program is a big commitment, but it is one that many MLA members undertake because they are passionate about what they do, care about the safety of their fellow loggers, and are committed to protecting Montana’s forests and communities for the future.

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