Plan to Attend 79th Oregon Logging Conference, February 23, 24, &, 25, 2017
July 2016 Issue                                                      Vol.1 Issue 1
In this issue we will talk about the theme and plans for the 79th Annual OLC.  You will meet the 2017 President  and learn how the Oregon Logging Conference Foundation Scholarship Program is helping young adults continue their education and find a future working in our industry.
"Growing the Future Today"
Theme of the 79th Annual Conference
The theme selected for the 2017 Oregon Logging Conference is "Growing the Future Today."  The theme recognizes that every day the logging industry continues to provide for the future, by growing trees, providing jobs, educating the public, building wood structures, providing new technology, and more.

2017 Oregon Logging Conference President Jeff Wimer, along with two OLC Board members, Scott Melcher and Robin Tucker, came up with the idea for the theme.  "This theme reflects how our industry continues to "grow" more trees as we prepare for the future", stated OLC board member Scott Melcher.  OLC President Jeff Wimer. reported the theme provides a great foundation for excellent panel and seminar topics and speakers.

  Learn More
Meet the 2017 OLC President
2017 Oregon Logging Conference President Jeff Wimer is a Senior Instructor at Oregon State University, and Manager of the Student Logging Program. He has worked for OSU for 13 years and has served on the OLC Board of Directors for 8 years. Wimer received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, from Oregon State University in 1983. Jeff serves as chairman of the Western Region Council on Forest Engineering and is Vice President of the Pacific Logging Congress.

Jeff is a 5th generation logger and has been active in logging safety since the beginning of his career.  And since 1997 he has been involved with the rewriting of the OR OSHA forest activities logging code, has investigated over 25 logging fatalities and has written three books on logging safety.   Prior to working at OSU he worked for his family's logging operation.  Wimer Logging Company was based out of Albany OR, at their peak they ran 4 large tower sides, 48 log trucks and just over 100 employees.  Wimer Logging Company was in business for 54 years, the business retired in 2003.

  “The Oregon Logging Conference is packed with unique opportunities for forestry professionals to network and learn more about their trade,” Wimer said. “The 2017 conference will certainly live up to its reputation as being the best logging, construction, trucking, and heavy equipment show west of the Mississippi,” he added.   In many ways we are working for our children's future. Most of the stands of trees that we harvest and plant today, we will never see their final harvest. It is important that we take care of the land and ensure good growing stock for future generations just like those before us. We are responsible for "Growing the Future Today."                                         
How We Began
Under the Umbrella of
t he Pacific Logging Congress

In the spring of 1938 the Oregon Logging Conference began under the umbrella of the Pacific Logging Congress (PLC).  Almost 30 years earlier, the PLC was established in Seattle, WA when a group of loggers met to discuss the ever growing issues facing the industry. Business and industry issues were addressed, as well as local or regional concerns like stumpage or lumber taxes, labor unrest or a new provincial state or county law. 

During this time when the PLC was meeting in cities and towns spread across the western United States and Canada, it was also encouraging its members to start local chapters, if you will, to more effectively address local issues. 

In 1938 the Intermountain Logging Conference was the first local organization created, followed by the Oregon Logging Conference and the Redwood Region Logging Conference (in northern California).  

For the first 20 years of its existence, the OLC was known as the Willamette Valley Logging Conference, since it mainly represented loggers from the Willamette Valley area. 

During those early years, the Conference was held in the basement of the Osburn Hotel in Eugene, Oregon.  Equipment dealers and manufacturers saw this as an opportunity to show off their machines. The first equipment show was held, lining the streets of downtown Eugene, and that is how it all began.

As the conference grew rapidly in the 1950’s it started seeing loggers, equipment dealers and manufacturers from throughout the state of Oregon attending the annual conference.  In the mid 1950's the name was changed to the Oregon Logging Conference to represent this growth. 

Today the OLC continues to grow, representing a broader scope of people from the industry throughout North American.  Over the years there has been talk of changing the name to represent a broader base, but the organization stays true to its roots and the Oregon Logging Conference name, with a one line description that includes “Logging, Construction, Trucking, and heavy Equipment Expo.” 

Other regional conferences under the PLC umbrella include the Truck Loggers Association in British Columbia, Canada and the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference, based in Redding, CA. To continue its inclusion of the vast area represented by the regional conferences, PLC bylaws allow the outgoing president of each organization to hold a term on the PLC Board of Directors. 

The Oregon Logging Conference is ranked among the top 200 trade shows in the United States and continues to be one of the largest "static" logging equipment shows in North America.

  Osburn Hotel Site of the First Meeting
OLC Equipment Show in 1975
2017 OLC 
Business Seminars Announced
Oregon Logging Conference program chairmen, 1st VP Rick Kriege and 2nd VP Jim Dudley reported topics for the Business Seminar have been selected.  All three business seminar presentations will be held on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 at the Lane Events Center & Fairgrounds.

Chair Bodie Dowing announced his committee has selected  the topic of "Hiring and Maintaining a Quality Crew".  This topic will address the seminar title as well as discuss "how to attract the younger generations to work in the forest products industry," states Bodie Dowing.
The seminar will take place on Friday, February 24, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 

The second business seminar  will cover  the "Oregon Sick Time Law."  "This new law is affecting all employers and this seminar will address this very important topic," reported Chair Riley Fogarty.  The seminar will be presented on February 24, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The final business seminar will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on February 24, 2017 and is titled "Updates on Steep Slope Logging with a Feller Buncher".  According to Chair Steve Henson this seminar will cover a land manager's perspective with operational and applicability considerations.  

All of these seminars will qualify for one Professional Logger credit.  For updated information visit 
Foundation Scholarship Program
The OLC scholarship program started in 1968, since that time over $500,000 has been awarded to students seeking a career in the forest products industry. 

Our mission is to provide educational scholarships for study in the field of the forest products industry.

The purpose of the Foundation is to support and increase knowledge, awareness and education for students of all ages and the public about wise use and the best management practices associated with the growing, harvesting and manufacture of renewable timber resources."

Today the OLC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation continues to fulfill this mission.

Nate Melcher
After graduating from Sweet Home High School in 2013, Nate set out to fulfill a lifelong dream of attending Oregon State University and joining the forestry program there.   With a scholarship in hand from the Oregon Logging Conference Foundation, Melcher entered OSU in September of 2013. During his first year at OSU, he changed his mind and his major three times, and determined the forestry path was not what he wanted to do.   “The forestry program at Oregon State University is an awesome program,” Melcher said, “but I just realized the time I was there, I was no longer interested in that path.” So he thought long and hard about what else he could do, and still be a part of the family logging company (Melcher Logging), and still receive a college degree.   He realized that one of his hobbies was working on trucks, being around the equipment, and being interested in how equipment works. So in the Fall of 2014 he enrolled in the diesel technician program at Lane Community College.   Melcher recently started working at Modern Machinery in Eugene, Oregon. “I love every day of it,” he said of his job. “I do not regret the decision I made,” he added, “I get to do what I love and I enjoy going to work every day.”   He wanted to make sure that others know there are many pathways for people to choose and still work in the logging industry. He said his scholarship from the Oregon Logging Conference Foundation was “very much appreciated.”  Nate plans to continue in the Diesel Tech program at LCC to receive his degree in Diesel Mechanics.

Alessandra Hossley
Alessandra has one more year to go in the Oregon State University College of Forestry, and has relied on an Oregon Logging Conference Foundation scholarship every year to advance her higher education pursuits.   “My education has prepared me for the forest industry and has fueled my passion to earn a master’s degree to study landslides in forestry,” Hossley said.  She plans to get a master’s of science in geo-technical engineering, which she says will serve as a link between her forest engineering and civil engineering degrees.   ”My goal is to apply my engineering skills in forestry to prevent and restore landslides,” Hossley said.   She said none of this would be possible without the support and financial assistance from the Oregon Logging Conference Foundation scholarship.  “I have been awarded this scholarship since my freshman year in college,” Hossley said, “and I am so thankful for the Foundation Scholarship Committee and all those who support it.  I wouldn’t have been able to earn my college education without it,” she stated.

Jill Smouse
Jill received the OLC Foundation Scholarship for all four years of her undergraduate degree.  "I am extremely thankful to the OLC Foundation for awarding me the scholarships", said Smouse. 

Jill graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Engineering in 2003 from Oregon State University.  In 2007 she started back to school part time to work on a master’s degree and graduated from OSU a second time in 2010 with a MBA.  

Jill started working for Weyerhaeuser Company immediately following graduation in 2003 and has now been with them for 13 years. The majority of her career has been as an area engineer for the South Valley Timberlands out of Eugene. She worked the first 12 years with two experienced engineers, in addition to seasoned harvest managers and foresters. She speaks highly of her coworkers who helped and mentored her over the years.  

It has always been one of her career goals to move from her role as an engineer to become a harvest manager.  In 2015 she took a position with Weyerhaeuser Columbia as a harvest manager on the Oregon Cascades Tree Farm. She has been part of the Oregon Cascades team for over a year now. The new position has been challenging, but has allowed her to develop new skills, methods of doing things, as well as exposure to different operations.  

In addition to all of the support and mentoring she received from her colleagues within Weyerhaeuser, her parents have played a huge role in her career.  Jill comes from a logging family and they have been highly supportive of her education, work experience, and participation in industry events. Her dad, Tracy serves as an OLC Director, and has been a sounding board for her throughout the years. He always gives her an honest opinion from a contractor’s perspective.  

Jill states, "One of the most important aspects of my career is to be an active participant in outreach and education."  She feels it is important for the industry as a whole to educate the public about forestry and logging. She volunteers at different outdoor schools and Forest Field Days, guest lectured for multiple OSU forestry classes, and helps out at high school forestry competitions. Jill's favorite outreach event to volunteer for is “Meet a Forester” as part of the school tours at the Oregon Logging Conference, which she has done for many years.  

Jill feels the long term success of the timber industry is dependent on attracting young people to the field. "The OLC Foundation Scholarship has helped many students make it through college and become successful members of the timber industry," states Smouse.  "I cannot thank the OLC  Foundation enough for their sustained support of me through my college years."

  Meetings in the Wheeler Pavilion
This Issue of the OLC News Sponsored by
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