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July 30, 2015
U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin Introduces the
“Securing America’s Next Generation of Safe Loggers and Truckers Act”
Legislation would encourage family logging operations to sustain themselves for generations.
Hemphill, Texas (July 30, 2015) –Congressman Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) has introduced legislation today that would assist the logging industry across the country at a time when family-owned logging businesses are struggling to attract new employees and faced with concerns about survivorship.
The legislation title, the “Securing America’s Next Generation of Safe Loggers And Truckers Act” would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and allow the 16 and 17 year old children of timber harvesting business owners the ability to legally perform certain tasks on mechanized logging operations, as well as lower the age requirement for the operation of commercial motor vehicles across state and International borders.
Congressman Poliquin stated that “Maine is home to the best loggers and truckers in the Country. Unfortunately, the logging and trucking workforce is declining due to obsolete regulations that are prohibiting our young Mainers from choosing this career path.” “The Securing America’s Next Generation of Safe Loggers and Truckers Act will remove outdated regulations that are hindering the logging and trucking workforce.”
“Timber harvesting and log hauling have a long and storied history in the State of Maine,” said Dana Doran, Executive Director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine. “Both are family-based businesses that have been passed down from generation to generation to create an $8 billion forest products industry. The Securing America’s Next Generaton of Safe Loggers and Truckers Act will ensure that family-based businesses in the State of Maine can sustain themselves for the long term. Without common sense legislation like this, the future of this industry will continue to be at risk.”
The American Loggers Council, representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states, supports the Bill as well. ALC Executive Vice President Daniel Dructor stated that “the Securing America’s Next Generation of Safe Loggers and Truckers Act will help to ensure that the next generation of timber harvesters and log haulers will be able to pick up the family businesses that are inherent to the industry, and help rural Americans recover from the economic recession that continues to plague forest dependent communities by sustaining jobs in the industry while training the next generation of professional loggers.”
Congressman Labrador introduced similar legislation, the “Youth Careers in Logging Act, H.R. 1215, in March of this year. Both pieces of legislation have been referred to committee.
In June, Senate Bill 1672, the Commercial Driver Act, which calls for allowing states to lower the age for a commercial interstate license to 18 introduced by Senator Deb Fischer (R-NB) that became incorporated in a larger transportation bill introduced by Senator JohnThune (R-SD) has been referred to committee.
About American Loggers Council
The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing timber harvesting professionals in 30 states. For more information contact the American Loggers Council office at 409-625-0206 or visit their website at www.amloggers.com.
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