Happy New Year!
Since this message is about the partnership between contractors and foresters, I want to thank the foresters for being open to change. Their willingness to take suggestions to reach the intent of a contract with a common-sense solution is much appreciated.
In the past few years, forestry professionals are interested in new technology. They are taking suggestions from contractors and other industry professionals on how they can step out of their box to reach an end result differently.
This is encouraging to me to know that there is a willingness to work together rather than butting heads. It is essential that we work as a team. Having a common goal and willingness to get the job done to reach the contract's intent seems important for both parties' production.
In the state of Montana, we have an outstanding contractor force. All of which have different and interesting ideas, as well as methods to get the job done. It is through valuable hands-on experience and hard work that most of us have gained our education through the years. This first-hand knowledge is imperative for the growth of our industry.
The agency foresters we work with gain knowledge differently by starting in the classroom. Later gaining hands-on knowledge by working with contractors.
Most foresters are interested in learning more, so they ask the contractors questions about the methods they are using. This is a win for both sides because, during these conversations, both contractor and forester gain knowledge from each other.
With a heavy heart, I have to say there are a few bad actors on both sides. Contractors who choose to break the rules and foresters who are unwilling to trust the contractors they work with. This is a real problem and is cancer in the industry growth we are seeing. Not to put a dark shadow on the promising future, but there are a few things that need to change if we are to continue to grow positively.
Without saying names, I have to say that most of the folks I have worked with in the past several years have been outstanding partners. I have learned from them, and they have been interested in my years of experience in growing their education. Thank you for your willingness to partner with me and other contractors as well. It has made us all stronger.
God Bless, Mike.
Mike Newton is the President of the Montana Logging Association.