The Oregon Logging Conference sure missed seeing everyone gathered at the Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds for the 83rd Annual Oregon Logging Conference this year, but did find new and enjoyable ways to celebrate the OLC and the timber industry.

The OLC was celebrated during the entire month of February, and in fact, is still underway, with online seminars available for viewing to receive Professional Logger credits.

Five seminar sessions are pre-recorded and are posted on the Oregon Logging Conference YouTube channel. You must register on the OLC website and pay a $25 registration fee from now until June 30, 2021 to receive access to view the video sessions. The five sessions are Better Ideas/New Technology in Logging, The Three C’s (Communication, Coordination, and Cooperation) of Logging Safely Around High Voltage Facilities, Your Voice – Your Vote Counts, New Product and Practices for Cable Assist Logging, and Oregon Forest Practices Seminar. A total of nine Pro-Logger credits (3 are Forest Practice credits) can be received by viewing all pre-recorded seminars. Registration is available at https://oregonloggingconference.com/virtual-seminar-topics/

What would have been the 4th Annual (in-person) Future Forestry Workers Career Day was held in an alternative format, with several logging industry career videos produced through a partnership between the Oregon Logging Conference Foundation, the Sweet Home High School Forestry Club and Instructor Blake Manley. Manley had already produced other natural resource and career-oriented videos and through the new partnership, two more videos were produced. “Blake and his team do a fantastic job and we are very excited to partner with him in producing these important career videos,” said 83rd OLC President Scott Melcher. “We plan to continue to work with him in producing other industry videos,” he added. The next video is anticipated to focus on forestry, reforestation, and forest engineering. Current videos including operating a feller buncher, ground-based jobs in logging, and truck driving can be viewed at https://oregonloggingconferencefoundation.org/career-videos.

The well-known traditional Oregon Logging Conference Sawdust Bowl hit the road in 2021. The traveling Sawdust Bowl was celebrated in seven Oregon communities including Sweet Home, Seaside, Medford, Coos Bay, Philomath, Roseburg, and Eugene.  Each event had limited attendance and was in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time. It is estimated that a combined 200 people attended these events, enjoyed an opportunity to socialize, and had a great time!

The Guess the Net Scale of a load of logs went virtual this year, with a narrated video of the loaded log truck, donated by Rick Kriege Logging of Prineville, OR. The video was available for viewing on the OLC website. The 2021 winner of this contest was Matt Mattioda of Miller Timber Services. His winning guess of 4,840 board feet was closest to the actual net board feet of 4,720 and gross board feet of 4,940 with 220 board feet defect.

Scholarship applications for the 2021-2022 college year are now being accepted by the Oregon Logging Conference Foundation. It is anticipated that $35,000 or more in financial assistance will be awarded to students who are seeking careers in the timber industry at four-year, two-year, or vocational schools. OLC Foundation scholarships are available to high school graduating seniors and college/vocational schools students.

A fundraiser event and auction for the Oregon Logging Conference Repair & Recovery Fire Relief Fund was the last event held for the 83rd OLC celebration. Because of generous donations to the event, all proceeds of more than $76,000, will be donated to the Fire Relief Fund! This in spite of limited attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Prior to the fundraiser, approximately $125,000 had been raised and financial assistance in the amount of $80,000 had been paid out to logging companies who lost equipment and more in the devastating fires in 2020.

Plans are moving forward for the 84th Oregon Logging Conference, Save the dates for February 24, 25, & 26, 2022, Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds, Eugene, Oregon.  Visit our website at www.oregonloggingconference.com for more information.