86th Annual Oregon Logging Conference – February 22, 23 & 24, 2024
“Faith, Family and Forest Management – Getting Back to our Roots”
Impressive displays of state-of-the-art logging and forestry equipment are just one reason to attend the upcoming 86th Annual Oregon Logging Conference. The annual gathering at the Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds in Eugene will be guided this year by the theme: Faith, Family and Forest Management – Getting Back to our Roots.
A variety of educational and social events are planned. Interesting seminars and discussions on current topics will feature many panelist professionals (see program schedule for more details), fun activities to watch include the log loader contest and chainsaw carvers, and social events like the sawdust bowls are not to be missed.
2024 Oregon Logging Conference President Steve Henson said, “Our theme, ‘Faith, Family and Forest Management – getting back to our roots’ speaks to the core of our industry.
“We are the dedicated caretakers of our forests,” Henson said. “We live in and love our forests,” he added. “No one cares more about their health and future than we do.”
Henson said active forest management is needed to protect our forests for the future. “The trend of ‘mega-fires’ destroying communities and entire forests must stop,” Henson said. “We know what to do and we know how to do it,” he added. He said the industry needs to work with land managers to create fire resiliency in the forests and maintain logging and milling infrastructure.
Some of the highlights of the Annual Oregon Logging Conference include the following:
2024 Keynote speaker – U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore
U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore will talk about the wildfire crisis and ways for his agency and the industry to create partnerships to address the issue. By working together, the hope is to find ways to address the forest health issues that are challenging not only in the Pacific Northwest, but all across the United States.
Prior to being appointed as Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Moore was the Pacific Southwest Regional Forester from 2007 to 2021. He began his 45-year career in 1978 with the Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service in North Dakota. Chief Moore joined the U.S. Forest Service in 1981.
Moore will give his speech Thursday morning, February 22nd at approximately 9:30 a.m., in the Wheeler Pavilion at the Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds.
Seminars and Panel Discussions
Industry professionals will address many current topics of interest and importance at the OLC, including an update on the Private Forest Accord, steep slope logging updates, scaling and quality of lesser species logs, advanced driver training, and how to influence unelected boards and commissions
Seminars and panel discussions take place Thursday and Friday, February 22nd and 23rd and are open to those registered to attend the OLC. A full list of seminars is posted on the OLC website www.oregonloggingconference.com.
Future Forestry Workers Career Day
This invitation-only event on Friday, February 23rd is an interactive and hands-on career day for high school students, providing them with information about current jobs available, and the skills needed to fill those positions. 900 high school students from 32 schools in Oregon are expected to attend to learn about forestry and logging, wildland firefighting, diesel mechanics, welding, and heavy equipment operation. This event takes place in the Livestock Arena at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
A high school forestry skills relay will also be part of Future Forestry Workers Career Day, where students may observe their peers showing off their skills in cable splicing, choker setting, crosscut and single buck sawing, compass and pacing, tool identification and log scaling.
Log Loader Competition
This popular outdoor event tests the skills of log loader operators, as they demonstrate speed, skill, and efficiency. Operating a Link-Belt log loader, contestants have seven minutes to stack log blocks end-to-end, matching numbers or colors on predetermined marks on the ground.
Saturday is Family Day and OLC Open to the Public Day
The final day of the OLC, Saturday February 24th is dedicated to families and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Family Day activities include paper making, bird house building, free seedling giveaways, and other forestry-related hands-on opportunities. Admission is free.
“The Oregon Logging Conference is packed with unique opportunities for forestry and natural resource professionals to learn more about their trades, as well as socialize and network,” said Rikki Wellman, OLC Manager. “On Saturday, it is also a good opportunity for the public to learn more about our industry, who we are and what we do,” she added.
More details about the Oregon Logging Conference and the activities that are planned can be found in the TimberWest Magazine OLC show guide, which can be accessed online at www.forestnet.com/oregon-logging-conference-official-show-guide/