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Oregon Logging Conference Is Here

The 86th Annual Oregon Logging Conference, the largest logging, construction, trucking, and heavy equipment show in the Pacific Northwest, is just one day away and with it comes a variety of educational, social, and entertaining events.

Equipment on Display

The traditional equipment show at the fairgrounds is bursting at the seams, brimming with the newest technology in logging, construction, trucking, heavy equipment, and biomass processing. Both outside and inside exhibits will be covering the entire Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds.

Seminars and Panel Discussions

Registered attendees will be attending seminars and panel discussions on current issues, including an update on the Private Forest Accord, steep slope logging updates, scaling and quality of log species, Your Voice – Your Vote Counts, and the Washington Forest Practices Act. (A complete list of seminars and the OLC program is available on the OLC website: www.oregonloggingconference.com.

Oregon Logging Conference Foundation Auction

During the Thursday and Friday morning breakfasts, an auction is held both days, raising money for the Oregon Logging Conference Foundation. This Foundation provides scholarships to college and college-bound students, who plan to study and pursue logging, forestry and natural resource careers. Since 1968, more than $1 million in scholarships have been awarded, and many of the recipients have gone on to work in and have leadership roles in the industry.

2024 Keynote Speaker, U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore

One of the highlights of this year’s conference is the keynote speaker, who is United States Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. Chief Moore will give his speech at the OLC on Thursday morning. Prior to becoming Chief, he served as Pacific Southwest Regional Forester from 2007 to 2021, where he was responsible for 18 National Forests in California, covering 20-million acres. Chief Moore says he committed to the Forest Service mission, distilling it to its core of improving forest and grassland conditions by bringing together partners from Tribes, state and local governments, communities, and non-profit and private sector interests.

86th Annual OLC President Steve Henson said this year’s theme and keynote speaker will address significant issues facing the timber industry. “I believe our theme captures the essence of who we are and what we are about,” Henson said. “We are the dedicated caretakers of the forest,” he added. “We live in and love our forests (and) no one cares more about their health and future than we do,” Henson said.

Henson said the timber industry will be looking to form partnerships with land managers, such as the U.S. Forest Service to create fire resiliency in the forest. “Our keynote speaker also believes that we need to increase the pace and scale of active management to attack the wildfire crisis that we find ourselves in,” Henson said. “Only together, through partnerships and cooperation will we achieve success,” he added.

Desserts for Dreams Fundraiser

The Desserts for Dreams fundraiser this year is a benefit for the group PAVE, Paws Assisting Veterans, which provides highly trained service dogs to veterans, at no charge, to enhance quality of life. A representative of this group will address the fundraiser luncheon, to take place on Friday, Feb 23 at 12:30 at the Graduate Eugene Hotel. Ticket price is $30 per person.

Future Forestry Workers Career Day & High School Forestry Skills Relay

The 6th Annual Future Forestry Workers Career Day will be held on Friday, Feb. 23, taking place in the Livestock Arena at the Fairgrounds. More than 900 high school students from throughout Oregon and Washington will attend this hands-on career event, learning from industry professionals about forestry, reforestation, logging, road building, milling, heavy equipment operation and diesel mechanics, and wildland firefighting. High schools signed up to attend include Tillamook, Scio, Taft, Clatskanie, Pleasant Hill, Central Linn, Gervais, Al Kennedy, McMinnville, Suislaw, Philomath, Oakridge, Roseburg, Thurston, Amity, Crow Middle, LaPine, Cottage Grove, Neah-Kah-Nie, Springfield, Sweet Home, Yoncalla, Waldport, Vernonia, Mohawk, Sheldon, Powers, and Marist Catholic. Schools also signed up to attend are Triangle Lake Charter School, Crater Renaissance Academy, Hillsboro Online Academy, and Sabin Schellenberg Professional Technical Center.

Also included in this private event is a high school forestry skills relay, where students will be demonstrating logging and forestry skills including crosscut sawing, choker setting, and axe throwing. Approximately 100 students from ten schools will be participating in this event, which is coordinated by Oregon Future Natural Resource Leaders (FNRL).

Saturday Family Day, Open to the Public

Saturday, the final day of the Oregon Logging Conference, is open to forest families and members of the public at no charge. Family Day activities include building wooden birdhouses, wildlife exhibits, free tree seedlings, and other tree-related activities. The public is welcome to walk around the Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds to see the equipment on display and get to know some of the folks who work in the industry.

“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. “And on Saturday, we look forward to interacting with the public, so they can get to know who we are and what we do,” she added.