I was thinking today about my Certification as a logger and figured that since I have it written as my signature line, people might want to know just what a Certified Logger is, and why anyone would want to be one.
Well 15 years ago, the Maine Tree Foundation came up with the Certified Logger program which was a week long course that taught safety and professionalism to loggers. It was hoped that loggers would take the course and then could sell themselves as better trained and more professional then other loggers and kind of set themselves apart.
Well it never took off, and most of the loggers here just continued on as they always had done. About that same time workers compensation rates for loggers starting going through the roof, hitting costs of 33 cents on the dollar,an insane figure because of the huge number of injuries. Papermills and sawmills could not afford to pay for the logs because logging companies insurance rates were so high driving up the cost of producing wood. Something had to be done.
So the paper mills decided that from 1998 on, any logging contractor had to be a Certified Logger in order to sell wood to the mill. Truckers and Timber Brokers had to be Cerified Loggers too. The only ones that were exempt were landowners who cut their own wood on their wood lots.
Now the mad scramble to become Certified began.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"