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2023 Keynote Speaker Travis Joseph Asks Loggers to Fight the “Big Lie”

To a packed house, 85th Annual Oregon Logging Conference Keynote Speaker Travis Joseph said he and his organization, the American Forest Resource Council need help telling the truth about logging and the woods products industry.

He called it a big lie, the concept of logger versus environmentalist, with loggers destroying the forest and only in it for the money and environmentalists protecting the forests and saving the planet. Not only a lie, Joseph said, but a perception with “dangerous implications on communities, forests, the environment, and the future.”

He said society uses and depends on wood products every day, but there is a disconnect from where those products come from. Joseph said, “Using more wood instead of energy intensive materials like concrete and steel is one of the best things we can do for the planet.”

He described the devastating impacts of recent wildfires, not only in the Pacific Northwest, but throughout the United States, saying more than 10 million acres were burned in 2015, 2017, and 2020. “In addition to the lost lives, lost homes, businesses, infrastructure and billions in suppression and clean-up costs, we’re just beginning to understand the larger picture of long-term damage,” he said referring to impacts from wildlife smoke. And he added, “Wildfires are reversing decades of gains under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.”

He said federal forests are not being managed properly. “They are at risk,” Joseph said. “They are burning up,” he added. “We’re harvesting less timber, salvaging less after fires, (and) all while demand for woods products continues to climb.”

“You are the people who provide all the products, materials, and services we all depend on every day of our lives,” Joseph told the gathering, and added, “We have to stop letting ourselves be bullied about environmentalism by a bunch of hypocrites and celebrities.”

He asked everyone in the room to get involved. “We’re in this together,” Joseph said, “no one can be sitting on the sidelines right now. Let’s keep fighting, let’s keep working together, let’s not give up, we can change this,” he said.

He concluded his speech by saying “Thank you for what you do (and) thank you for who you are. I’m honored to be a part of this journey and in the trenches with you.”

See below for complete text of Joseph’s keynote speech and power point presentation.

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[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Travis Joseph Keynote PowerPoint”]