Logging and forest trucking trade association hosts Vermont loggers at evening informational dinner
Barre, VT – The newly expanded Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of the Northeast held its first official event in Vermont on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 18 to present information on the trade association and its benefits and invite professional logging and forest trucking companies to join.
The PLC’s expansion beyond Maine was announced on Oct. 3 and marked the biggest step for the organization since it was founded by loggers and for loggers in Maine in 1995. Professional loggers in Vermont may now join the PLC and the door is open for similar expansions in other Northeast states.
The announcement of the expansion was quickly followed by the informational dinner, held at the Canadian Club in Barre, two weeks later. That event drew approximately 60 loggers, and many are now in the process of following up with the PLC seeking more information on membership and joining.
“Vermont loggers deserve credit for taking the lead on this expansion and the PLC is now actively encouraging every logging contractor in the state to consider the representation and benefits a regional trade association can bring to their business,” PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, said. “The numbers and the positive response the PLC received at the Oct. 18 event in Barre have only reinforced our belief that expanding beyond Maine was the right decision at the right time.”
Three new board members have been added to the PLC’s board of directors to represent Vermont: Sam Lincoln, owner of Lincoln Farm Timber Harvesting of Randolph Center; Jack Bell, co-founder of Long View Forest of Westminster and Hartland; and Gabe Russo, owner of Southwind Forestry of Pawlet.
“I’m grateful for the tremendous turnout at this event,” Lincoln said. “I look forward to working with the PLC to represent logging contractors in policy discussions and building on their successful programs in Maine that may attract Vermonters to a career in this essential sector of Vermont’s rural economy.”
The three new board members and 13 additional logging contractors from Vermont spent 10 months working together on a steering committee to make the PLC expansion to Vermont a reality. Those additional contractors included Melanie Gilman of Royalton, Matt McAllister of Greensboro, Walker McAllister of Greensboro, Dakota Harvey of Rutland, Logan Sears of Hartland, Zachary Emerson of Groton, Caleb Currie of Springfield, Brodie Webster of Barnard, Jed Lipsky of Stowe, Everett Thurston of Brandon, Shawn Pollard of Chester, Ryan Whitaker of Stockbridge, and Derek Aldrighetti of Bethel.
As a result of the expansion, logging and forest trucking contractors in Vermont are now eligible to join the PLC and share in the many benefits of membership, including representation and advocacy by the organization on their behalf at the state and national level, access to a safety dividend program, discounts from PLC Supporting Members, membership in the American Loggers Council(ALC), access to The Loggers Voice quarterly magazine, and free safety training and other professional development opportunities.
The PLC is gearing up operations in Vermont and preparing to add staff there to ensure its support and services in the new territory are equivalent to what members in Maine have come to expect.
The expansion to Vermont has been in the works for more than two years, following interest from Vermont loggers who learned of the PLC through fellow loggers from Maine, training programs the PLC was involved with, exposure the organization gained through logging expos, and publicity surrounding its successes.
At a meeting in December 2022 in Barre, Vermont attended by fifty Vermont contractors, discussion centered around whether to form a new separate logging organization for Vermont or to pursue the idea of a regional association. The consensus at the end of the meeting was that a regional approach would save organizational time and allow for a more immediate impact.
In addition to its strong track record on advocacy, training, and promotion of logging as a profession, the PLC’s charitable efforts on behalf of Log A Load for Kids to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals – PLC’s efforts have raised more than $2.186 million since 1995 – drew a positive response from Vermont loggers considering joining the organization.
Founded in Maine in 1995 by a handful of loggers who were concerned about the future of the logging and forest trucking industry, the PLC has grown steadily to become a regional trade association which provides independent logging contractors and truckers in the Northeast a voice in the rapidly changing forest products industry. Board membership consists of only loggers, making it an organization that is run by loggers on behalf of loggers.