Equipment Displays, Education Highlights at the 78th Oregon Logging Conference

The 2016 Theme was “Reaching New Heights With Forest Products,” and not only was the latest in logging technology machinery available for viewing, the seminars and workshops all centered around that theme.

2016 OLC President Jeff Unger said, “The theme reflects how today’s innovations and modern technology in logging equipment are helping our industry grow with more productive and operator-friendly machines.”

Of particular interest was the discussion about cross laminated timbers. Both Oregon State University Dean of Forestry Thomas Maness and Vancouver, BC architect Michael Green describe the use of wood when constructing tall buildings as “game changing.”

Mannes said Oregon can “lead the way” in the new demand for cross laminated timbers, that will be created when wood is used for tall building Panel discussion OLC bannerconstruction.

Green called using wood to build tall buildings “the most environmentally appropriate way to build our cities in the future,” noting that buildings with cross laminated timbers are planned for Portland, and at the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.

The most inspiring speaker at the Conference was Wiremu Lee Edmonds, sponsored by Waratah. Mr. Edmonds talk was titled “Standing in the Gap”, which included the personal story of the loss of his son in a logging accident in March 2013. Edmonds offered the group who listened intently to his every word, the courage to deal with difficult issues and encouragement to think about safety at all times.

Good weather held out for most of the conference with an estimated 6,000 people attending the three-day event, held at the lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene.

Operator trworkshopaining seminars were offered on a number of topics including safety, and the Oregon and Washington Forest Practices Acts. Loggers who attended the seminars and workshops earned Professional Logger Credits which can be applied to toward Professional Logger’s Certification and fulfillment requirements as outlined in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

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“This year’s gathering was the biggest since 2008, we had more exhibitors this year, both outside and inside,” according to OLC Conference Manager Rikki Wellman. “This year’s show exceeded our expectations, with the addition of 25,000 sq. feet of inside exhibit space and the outside display area was packed with the latest industry technology.”