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October 4, 2023

Maine’s logging trade association changes name, expands outside the state

woods and heavy machinery Courtesy / Professional Logging Contractors of Maine The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine has expanded to become the Professional Logging Contractors of the Northeast.

The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, a decades-old trade association, has a new name and potentially some new members.

The group announced Tuesday that it has rebranded as the Professional Logging Contractors of the Northeast, and has opened eligibility to contractors in Vermont.

It marks the biggest step for the organization since it was founded in Maine in 1995.

“The PLC has been the voice of Maine loggers and forest truckers in a rapidly changing industry for nearly three decades, and in that time, it has become clear that we are strongest when we stand together,” said PLC Executive Director Dana Doran.

“Loggers and truckers throughout the Northeast share many of the same challenges and opportunities, and we believe that now is the time to grow the organization to meet those challenges and take advantage of those opportunities together.”

person in jacket and tie
Courtesy / Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
Dana Doran

Members reviewed and unanimously approved changes to the organization’s bylaws pertaining to the expansion at the association’s annual meeting in May.

“The PLC is now ready, willing and able to expand to other Northeast states if sufficient demand from loggers in those states exists,” Doran said. "Vermont loggers deserve credit for taking the lead on this, and the PLC stands ready to respond should loggers in other states seek the same representation and benefits a regional logging trade association can afford them.”

The addition of three Vermont board members reflects the expansion to the Green Mountain State: 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.

As a result of the expansion, logging and forest trucking contractors in Vermont are eligible to share in the 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, 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.

Vermont does have organizations that logging contractors can join. But they are umbrella organizations for forest-related businesses rather than logger-specific.

“The PLC’s, ‘by loggers, for loggers,' standard says it all,” Bell said. “It's a logging business trade organization, and the total focus on the issues and challenges loggers face is unique.”

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.

A meeting in December 2022 in Barre, Vt., was attended by 50 Vermont contractors.

Lincoln said Vermont loggers and forest truckers face the same challenges with markets, workforces and business regulations that loggers in Maine and across the Northeast share. 

The PLC provides advocacy, training and promotion of logging as a profession, and also charitable efforts on behalf of Log A Load for Kids to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, raising more than $2.135 million since 1995.

PLC board member Steve Hanington, of Hanington Bros. Inc. in Aroostook County’s Macwahoc Plantation and a founding member of the PLC, said it is gratifying to see the association grow beyond Maine into a stronger regional force for the logging and forest trucking industry.

“I’m very happy that the loggers in Vermont chose to go this route, not for the benefit of PLC, but the benefit of loggers in the Northeast,” Hanington said. 

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 that 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.

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