South Carolina Timber Producers Association
2012 Annual Report
American Loggers Council Annual Meeting
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Crad Jaynes, President & CEO
SCTPA entered its 13th year at our “Navigating The Regulatory Waters” Annual Meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC, February 2012. Attendance was outstanding with over 270 attending.
SCTPA proudly welcomed American Loggers Council’s President Steve Sherich as a featured speaker. He provided insights into the ALC’s work to change its logo to highlight “Loggers,” the development and implementation of new directions and strategies in working on national issues in Washington, DC regarding timber harvesting and environmental issues affecting professional timber harvesters and what ALC is accomplishing for the industry. Steve discussed how he logs the steep slopes of Idaho and shared photos of his operations. ALC’s Danny Dructor attended as well.
Don Taylor, Sustainable Resources Systems, LLC, presented his Wood Supply Research Institute project, Supplier Consumer Relations, results. This was a home run as it detailed the issues impacting working relationships in the wood supply chain. Bobby Goodson of TV’s Swamp Loggers was recognized for his positive contributions to the industry and his work in the Timber Equipment Applications Management committee’s new Fire Hazard training video.
At our 2012 annual meeting, the 2011 Logger Activist of the Year Award was presented to Leo Lambert Logging, Inc., Andrews, SC for their outstanding timber harvesting business, their sincere commitment to community involvement, sustainable forestry education and support of SCTPA and their profession. Leo Lambert Logging’s Donnie Lambert and Billy Walker of Walker & Walker Logging, LLC, Laurens, SC, were elected to the board of directors. SCTPA President’s Awards were presented to Cross Creek Timber, LLC’s Steven Smith, ALC’s Danny Dructor, Forestry Mutual Insurance Company’s Jimmie Locklear and W & W Truck & Tractor, Inc.’s Johnny Ward. SC House members Ted Vick and Luke Rankin received plaques from SC State Forester Gene Kodama for strongly supporting the SC Forestry Commission and its budget efforts.
Other speakers attending and providing great presentations regarding regulatory issues were Dave Tenny, National Alliance of Forest Owners and Bill Kovacs, U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Dave spoke about the Ninth Circuit Ruling on forest and logging road runoff permitting and strategies underway to remove the permitting process. Bill’s Restoring Balance to the Regulatory Process presentation was an eye opener as to how the federal regulatory bureaucracy and thousands of regulations have stymied businesses and national growth as well as how environmental litigation has created a counter productive agenda.
Steady pulpwood production to pulp/paper mills and other smaller wood products markets have remained steady while solid wood products markets have remained at reduced levels. Due to continued economic challenges, logger attrition has continued. But it appears not to be at the pace as before. A slight increase in start up operations has been noticed. Based on information available, while the logger population has decreased, the capacity to produce wood still appears to be adequate for now.
South Carolina’s legislative session was active for sustainable forestry and the best session for passing pro-forestry bills ever. The Timber Theft laws were strengthened to increase fines, change violations from misdemeanor to felony charges, increase jail time and include a repeat offender clause. The Prescribed Burning Bill defining negligence, gross negligence and reducing liabilities passed to help landowners and foresters. SCTPA testified to legislative committees on behalf of the SC Forestry Commission’s budget requests. The Commission received a favorable increase. The legislature also passed a bill allowing the Commission to receive a small percentage of the insurance premium tax fund to use for the purchase of new bulldozers, haul trucks and fire plows over the next few years. The agency has desperately needed to replace their old open cab units. Ten new enclosed cab dozers have been ordered with two of the new units displayed on the State House grounds for a press conference. A ruling by the SC Supreme Court gave the SC Dept. of Health & Environmental Control authority to regulate isolated wetlands. While this issue will be addressed via conference committee, legislation will be presented to reverse this. This did not have a negative impact on timber harvesting as long as the harvesting is conducted according to SC BMP’s. The forest products industry is SC’s number one manufacturing sector. It was a very good legislative session for SC forestry. SCTPA thanks the SC Forestry Commission and SC Forestry Association for our “partnership” to make good things happen for South Carolina forestry.
Another highlight was the SC Attorney General’s written opinion supporting the Right To Forestry law passed three years ago. This law prohibits counties and municipalities from enacting ordinances impacting sustainable forestry operations including timber harvesting. Several counties around the state had passed ordinances negatively impacting forestry despite the state law. This opinion now will stop local ordinances, regarding buffers around tracts, permits or bonds to use county roads, permits for timber harvesting and other forestry restrictive initiatives. SCTPA, SC Forestry Commission and SC Forestry Association collaborated on this effort.
A recent development has been the issue of whether to work to increase the GVW for unmanufactured forest products trucking to 90,000 pounds on state roads to follow what NC has enacted. The SCTPA board has taken this issue under advisement and discussed it with SCFA’s President Cam Crawford at a recent board meeting. Mixed reactions have been received by SCTPA. Further study and work with our partners will be done.
SCTPA continued its activities with the SC Biomass Council, Statewide Trucking Task Force, SFI State Implementation Committee, Timber Operations Professional Training Program, Timber Equipment Applications Management Committee and organizations such as the SC Forestry and SC Trucking Associations and State Transport Police. SCTPA continued representing timber harvesting in coalitions to promote forestry, agricultural, wildlife, natural resources and Agri Business to promote these segment’s importance to the SC General Assembly and state agencies for economic development.
SCTPA continued its participation in the SC Teachers Tour, a weeklong sustainable forestry teachers’ education program. Twenty-five teachers participated in our June tour with member Charles K. Doolittle, Inc., Newberry, providing the timber harvesting tour stop. SCTPA sponsored the logging stop with lunch in the woods. Other tour stops included a paper mill, sawmill, private and state forests, tree farm, national forest and REIT property to exhibit sustainable forestry practices. The association continued presenting its sustainable forestry and professional timber harvesting education program in schools statewide.
SCTPA representatives, Danny McKittrick, Billy McKinney, Tommy Barnes and Crad Jaynes, visited our South Carolina U.S. House and Senate delegation during the ALC March board meeting in Washington, DC to promote woody biomass utilization, the revised renewable biomass definition, ALC positions, reversal of the Ninth Circuit Ruling on forest roads runoff permits and increasing gross vehicle weights on interstates.
SCTPA continued supporting the Wood Supply Research Institute for wood supply chain research projects. SCTPA president serves as Technical Team chairman and remains a WSRI board member as well as SCTPA chairman Danny McKittrick. SCTPA board member Tommy Barnes and association president attended the WSRI annual meeting in Jacksonville, FL.
Statewide district meetings were conducted to keep attendees updated with current issues and legislation. Prior to these meetings, SCTPA conducted the Reasonable Suspicion for Drugs & Alcohol Training required by the trucking laws for supervisors of drivers. Attendance was good with attendees receiving their certificates in case of a trucking audit.
Emphasis for producing energy from woody biomass has continued with an increased interest in developing wood pellet facilities in state. The feeling is there will be increased activity in these alternative markets in the near future. Loggers, wood suppliers and landowners will welcome these alternative markets.
SCTPA’s President Crad Jaynes continues serving as the ALC National Master Logger Certification Committee Chairman.
As South Carolina’s professional timber harvesters, wood suppliers and timber truckers continue to face economic, market and operational challenges, timber harvesting and wood supply business professionals will meet and exceed the challenges for improved economic, production and market opportunities.
SCTPA is proud to be THE association representing, servicing and advancing the professionals harvesting, producing and trucking South Carolina’s sustainable forest resources.
President & CEO