By the time this autumn issue arrives on your desk, the FRA web site at www.forestresources.org will have undergone a thorough makeover. I hope you’ll spend some time on it.

FRA and our allies did not succeed in enacting federal level truck weight reform on the Interstate system in the past Congress, but the terms of the recent Surface Transportation Reauthorization—known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)—which President Obama signed on July 6 set the stage for reconsideration of federal truck weight policy as soon as 2014.

As this summer of 2012 nears its end, and the uncertainty of the upcoming election and its effects on the future economic conditions remain vocal and much discussed topics, I, myself, hope that we will continue to strive to repair our bi-partisan differences. No matter the outcome, I hope we will work together, for the common good that makes this country, in the midst of tough economic operating conditions and high energy costs. Our country is one of the most resilient in the world.

What will your obituary read like? Will it do justice to your life and your family? Three different logging-related fatalities that occurred this year resulted in the following headlines: “Area Man Killed in Logging Accident,” “Father Perishes in Logging Explosion Accident,” and “Local 19-year-old is Killed in Logging Mishap.” How can we turn the tide against the events that lead to such headlines?

BACKGROUND: On a fall day in the Appalachians, a logger was performing maintenance on the sawbar of his feller-buncher.

BACKGROUND: On a winter morning in the Southeastern U.S., a log truck driver was unstrapping a load of logs at a woodyard’s unbinding station.

BACKGROUND: On a sunny, spring afternoon in the Appalachians, a triaxle truck operator was unloading at a woodyard. To shorten his unloading time, the woodyard’s rubber tired unloader, rather than the triaxle’s truck-mounted knuckleboom, was unloading the wood.

BACKGROUND: On a spring day in the Southeast, a woods worker was operating a side-by-side utility four-wheeler delivering trees to a planting crew. Conditions were wet following a recent spring rain shower. The crew was using the utility vehicle to save walking time from a staging area to the planting site.

BACKGROUND: On a hot, dry, dusty late spring day in the Appalachians, a tractor-trailer full of sawlogs was being unloaded at the local log yard. The yard was flat and concreted.

BACKGROUND: On a sunny summer morning in the Northeast, a feller-buncher operator and a fellow employee prepared to complete a minor repair on the feller-buncher. The fellow employee was also an equipment operator but was the designated welder for the small mechanical logging company.

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