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Off the Leash - By Hank

Well as I paw over what I want to write about this Newsletter, I can’t help but think about how spring is my favorite time of the year!  We’ve had a very strange winter; I heard the safety guys say that one day it was too soft to haul logs and the next day it was -40.  It was so cold there for a week that the neighbor’s stupid cat didn’t even show his ugly mug around the office.  But now spring has sprung and the sun sure feels good, as I’m slowly dispersing my winter coat on the carpet, staffs clothing and the back seat of mom’s car.

Whether its sun, rain, snow or even smoke, spring is a chance to get outside, charge the batteries and get ready for the new season.

By the time you read this, the safety guys are on the road providing 1st Aid refreshers for all you fine loggers.  There is a little behind the curtain facts about the training that I would like to share with you fine two-leggers.  The safety guys take this training pretty darn serious.  After the last class every year, those three guys start talking and planning for next years training.  Some of the things that they review is what worked, what needs to be tweaked, what could be better.  They’re always trying to best serve you two leggers.  Those of you that have taken this course over the years, will realize that some good changes have happened to the program these past few years.  If you have any feedback, grab one of those handsome fellers and share it with them.  They want to hear it…good, bad or indifferent.  If you’ve had a near miss and want to tell your story for all to hear let them know!

Safety man Justin has some good continuing education opportunities on the calendar this year.  Take some time and take a good look at your ALP status before June 30. Don’t be like some stupid cat and let your ALP status go inactive or miss out on some great trainings!  If you have any questions, give the office a call, I won’t answer but occasionally you might hear me in the background trying to help out.

Speaking of May, the MLA Annual Meeting is May 17th and 18th.  This year we will be in Butte and it should be a great time.  The staff is working on a program that might have a new twist to it.  We have a special MC invited for Saturday night with awards and what not… maybe that wood guy, they call “The Herbie” will show up again.  Plus, it’s always good to get together with liked minded people and have a cold refreshment.  Make sure to make your reservations early and we will see you in Butte (if I’m lucky enough to travel with the team)!

I was making my way around the office the other day and found Safety men Justin and Tim watching an hour-long video on The Great Northwest Log Haul on YouTube.  Safety man Tim remembers his dad pulling him out of school and being in the middle of the string of 300 trucks packing over 1 million board feet of logs to Darby.  The log haul was not only done to feed a starving mill that was out of logs but it was also done to protest excessive litigation of federal timber sales.    As logs from all over Montana and Idaho rolled into Darby, a young Bruce Vincent was being interviewed telling this was the industry’s response to over 40 million feet being held up in litigation.  Right now, we are over 450 million feet and counting held up in litigation in Montana.  Our community has always stood up to what is right, sound forest management.  I know you guys are as busy as a one-legged post hole digger with short working seasons and lack of employees but the timber industry needs you.  It needs you to call your representatives in Washington D.C., Helena and at the local level and let them know how important your industry is.  It needs you to research the candidates for the next election cycle and see who stands with us.  It needs you to be active in fighting for what is right.  It needs you to represent the industry at public meetings on logging projects and forest plans.  It needs you to share your story.  Montana can’t afford to lose another mill or another logger.  It’s tough keeping my balance having all four feet on a soap box, so for this month I will leave you with this quote from some old smart dude named Plato, “Silence gives consent”.

Keep the treats comin’…..Hank   


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