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Countdown to 85th Annual Oregon Logging Conference

Impressive displays of state-of-the-art logging and forestry equipment are just one reason to attend the upcoming 85th Annual Oregon Logging Conference. Interesting seminars and panels discussions are planned, along with fun activities including a log loader contest and chainsaw carvers, and social events like the sawdust bowls. It all happens at the Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds in Eugene, OR

2023 Oregon Logging Conference President Craig Olson said, “Our theme, ‘Green Trees Matter. Healthy Forests = Healthy Future’ speaks to the core of our industry. More than ever, today we recognize the importance of our forests and the products they provide,” he added. “This reinforces something we’ve known all along,” Olson said, “that we are an essential industry in today’s world.”

Here are some of the highlights of the Annual Oregon Logging Conference:

2023 Keynote speaker – Travis Joseph

“Using Common Sense to Find Common Ground” is the topic of the keynote speech to be delivered by Travis Joseph, President and CEO of the American Forest Resource Council (AFRC).

Joseph will give his speech Thursday morning, February 23rd at approximately 9:30 a.m.

His keynote speech will include reference to global environmental and forestry trends, highlighting progress and success in natural resources management. He will also place Oregon’s forestry conflicts into a larger context, with updates on recent national and local laws that impact the forest sector, workers and communities.

Joseph was born and raised in Springfield, OR, has a bachelor’s degree in history and international studies from the University of Oregon, and a master’s degree in environment and development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Seminars and Panel Discussions

Industry professionals will address many current topics of interest and importance at the OLC, including:

  • Engaging the Next Generation Workforce
  • Succession Planning for Logging Companies
  • Electrification of Equipment
  • Business Advice for Today’s Logging Companies
  • The Connected Forest and New Technology Around the World
  • Your Voice, Your Vote Counts (Regional, State and Federal Issues after the Election)
  • Oregon and Washington Forest Practices Acts seminars

Seminars and panel discussions take place Thursday and Friday, February 23rd and 24th and are open to those registered to attend the OLC. A full list of seminars is posted on the OLC website

Future Forestry Workers Career Day

This invitation-only event on Friday, February 24th 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.  875 high school students from 30 schools in Oregon are expected to attend, learning 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 logging and forestry skills competition will also be part of Future Forestry Workers Career Day, where students may observe activities including cable splicing, choker setting, crosscut and single buck sawing, compass and pacing, tool identification, and log scaling.

Desserts for Dreams Luncheon to Benefit Wildland Firefighter Foundation

This fun and delicious event includes a light lunch and desserts donated by local restaurants and bakeries, along with wine, champagne, and non-alcoholic beverages. A silent auction and opportunity drawing will also take place.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is the charity that has been selected to benefit from the proceeds generated by the 19th Annual Desserts for Dreams luncheon.

Tickets are $30 per person and the luncheon takes place in Composers Hall at the Graduate Eugene, Friday, February 24th, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Wildland Firefighter Foundation founder and Board President Vicki Minor will speak at the luncheon. Minor established the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, after the devastating fire season of 1994, and the loss of 14 firefighters at Storm King Mountain in the South Canyon fire in Colorado. Family members of five of the firefighters lost in 1994, will also attend and speak at the Desserts for Dreams luncheon.

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.

Family Day

The final day of the OLC, Saturday February 25th is dedicated to families and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. Family Day includes paper making, bird house building, and other hands-on activities.

“The Oregon Logging Conference is packed with unique opportunities for forestry and natural resource professionals to network and learn more about their trades,” said Rikki Wellman, OLC Manager.