Master Logger Certification Committee
American Loggers Council
October 6, 2012
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Forest products and sustainable forestry practices certification programs continue to gain more recognition and acceptance by the consuming public, forest products industry companies, timberland owners and governmental agencies.
Wisconsin submitted their Master Logger Certification logo for review by the MLC Committee. After review, the logo was approved by the committee and approved by the board at the summer board of directors meeting in Michigan.
MLC Committee chairman forwarded the Alabama Loggers Council the national template, previous Alabama draft submitted and an approved state template for work on their state template.
The MLC Committee has received no other new information or updates regarding the MLC programs in ALC states. The MLC Committee requests any revisions or updates be reported to the committee chairman.
A topic of interest suggested by past ALC president and now SFI Chairman Bob Luoto is the issue of looking at the SFI Standard under Logger Training to see if ALC might have input into the next SFI Standard revision regarding establishing some criteria for a minimum number of training hours to be SFI Trained.
State Implementation Committees are responsible for establishing logger training programs under the SFI Standard. However, states use different criteria standards for training, required hours of training, etc. for programs.
Some states require a certain number of training hours over a time period with required training programs. Other states use different training processes.
An example of a revised SFI Trained status program is South Carolina. SC has changed from requiring 12 hours over 3 years with required programs to be attended to now using the DVD approach for training. SFI Trained loggers and others, foresters, etc., are now required to see the DVD training module on an annual basis (July 1 – June 30) to be SFI Trained. No longer are there required hours of training.
NC has used the DVD training module concept for several years and there may be more states using this scenario.
This is a topic for discussion for the committee and the board. It may be good for the ALC to weigh in on SFI Training in the next SFI Standard revision.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) now recognizes Certified Logger Programs within its SFI Standards as providing sustainable timber harvesting practices.
The American Loggers Council (ALC) Master Logger Certification© (MLC) program is a third party certification process for timber harvesting and business practices.
The ALC MLC is a viable on the ground, third party verification system for certifying sustainable timber harvesting practices.
Certified Logger Programs is the term used in the SFI Standards. SFI Objective 9, Use of Qualified Resource and Qualified Logging Professionals states certified logging professionals, where available, be utilized. “Program participants shall encourage landowners to utilize the services of certified logging professionals and qualified logging professionals.”
Certified Logging Professional is stated in SFI Objective 10, Adherence to Best Management Practices, Indicator 1. Certified Logging Professional is stated under SFI Objective 16, Training and Education, Indicator 5, and Performance Measure 188.8.131.52 and reads “participation in or support of SFI Implementation Committees (SIC) to establish criteria for recognition of logger certification programs, where they exist, that include; (b) independent in-the-forest verification of conformance with the logger certification program standards.” The key word is “support” of SFI State Implementation Committees for certified logger programs such as the ALC Master Logger Certification Program.
With SFI’s recognition of Logger Certification Programs such as ALC’s Master Logger Certification Program, SFI State Implementation Committees should and must have professional logger representation on a State Implementation Committee (SIC). States with a professional logger association or logger council particularly if the organization is an ALC member, the state logger organization’s executive should serve on the SIC as well as a professional logger representative.
Communication to SFI State Implementation Committees should be administered through the state logger organization executive and/or logger representative(s). If a state has an ALC MLC approved template and implemented program, the logger organization representative should present this as information. Approved ALC MLC states may consider providing a list of ALC Master Loggers to SIC’s periodically, if the state desires to do so.
SFI’s recognition of Certified Logger Programs has added more significance to such programs. The SFI Program recognition of Certified Master Logger Programs, such as the ALC MLC, and the recognition of the ALC program as a third party audited Logger Certification Program, has been a positive step for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Certified Master Loggers under the ALC MLC Program should qualify in the chain-of-custody process whereby landowners are having their timber harvested in a sustainable manner by a Certified Master Logger.
SFI’s recognition of Certified Master Logger Programs does exhibit SFI’s initiative in the updated SFI Standards to allow these certification programs to find a place within SFI’s certification system.
Certified Master Logger Programs such as the ALC MLC is certainly far more reaching than just a training and continuing education regimen, since it encompasses third party auditing of what a professional logger is doing on the ground and in their business.
Even though SFI has recognized the ALC MLC Program, while not in name specifically, and again the American Loggers Council was the first to bring this issue to SFI’s attention, such recognition does not automatically garner ALC states with Master Logger Certification Programs certain advantages over non-certified loggers in many cases.
However, through reports received from ALC MLC approved and active states, benefits have been seen for ALC Master Loggers certified under the state’s ALC MLC program.
Many states have been reluctant to move forward with preparing and submitting a state template for MLC approval. With SFI’s recognition of Certified Logger Programs, ALC states are encouraged to submit a template for approval by the MLC Committee.
The ALC Master Logger Certification program is voluntary, not mandatory. But if all ALC states had an approved MLC template, whether the program is implemented or not, this would enhance the ALC MLC’s position as a mechanism to certify wood as being sustainably harvested by certified logging professionals to concur with the SFI Standards, Chain of Custody processes and other Forest Certification Systems.
Just because an ALC state has an approved template and implements the ALC MLC program, does not indicate any more or less support of SFI or any other forest certification process. It simply means the ALC state has an approved template for the ALC MLC Program.
No ALC state is mandated to implement the MLC Program. However unity within the ALC ranks is needed and a consensus of ALC MLC states would show the support for raising the professional timber harvesting bar and show support for professionalism and sustainable forestry practices nationwide.
Now eighteen states have approved MLC templates: Idaho, Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, California, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Vermont, Michigan, Missouri, Georgia and Florida with subsidiary states Massachusetts,
Connecticut and Rhode Island partnering with the Maine Northeast Master Logger Certification Program.
The ALC’s National Master Logger Certification© template provides guidance for Seven Areas of Responsibility for performance standards. Each ALC member state develops its state template according to state laws, practices, regulations and criteria to meet the national template’s performance standards.
The ALC Master Logger Certification© Committee has the responsibility of reviewing submitted state templates to assure established processes are included for implementation, administration, third party verification, accountability and enforcement. The committee then can approve or return the template for recommended revisions. The committee also reviews approved state template revisions to assure MLC objectives are maintained.
Logger certification continues to gain importance within forestland management and forest products certification systems. The important point is the American Loggers Council MLC program has led the charge.
ALC states and its logger members must support ALC’s “logger owned and logger controlled” program. ALC and its member states must continue to be the leaders in professional logger certification.
Crad Jaynes, Chairman
Master Logger Certification Committee