FRA Western Region Fall Meeting

by  Vickie Swanton | Western Region Manager

Last week FRA’s Western Region held its 2018 Fall Meeting in Olympia, Washington. The region planning committee has a long-standing commitment to content, collaboration and networking. This meeting saw over 90 people come together to discuss the forest industry, network, and learn from seventeen presenters over a two-and-a-half day event.

The audience was diverse and included representation from: logging businesses, pulp/paper mills, landowners, equipment companies, truckers, sawmills, and consultants. The state with the most attendees was Washington, but six other states were also represented: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Arizona, and New York. Six attendees came from British Columbia.

On Tuesday, September 18th, many attendees participated in the Activity Day, with fishing, golfing, and wine tasting as the activity choices. This networking day wrapped up with the ever-popular Icebreaker Reception, but this year we held the event off site at the Port of Olympia. We also added a full dinner to the agenda this time with a local vendor offering an amazing BBQ meal.

Wednesday, September 19th brought the FRA WR Policy Committee Meeting, followed by the Technical Seminar. The presentations for the seminar are dedicated to fitting into three region sub-committees: Fiber Quality, Forestry/Biomass/Environmental, and Transportation. Following are the speakers from each group:

Transportation Sub Committee; Moderator: Brad Markin, Sutco Contracting
● Jack Zaccardo (Retired, Washington DNR) – Log Hauling Through the Years
● Paul Gianotti (Weyerhaeuser) – Central Dispatch Success Within the Logging Industry
● Len Faucher (Port of Olympia) – Innovations in Logging Logistics, a Port Perspective

Special Live Presentation from New Zealand:
● Jacob Kajavala (Kajavala Forest Limited) – Hiring People with Heart

Fiber Quality Sub Committee, Moderator: Anthony Brocato, Swanson Bark
● Brett Madron (Idaho Forest Group) – Sawmill Operations and Chip Quality
● Desmond Smith (BRUKS Siwertell) – Sawmill Waste Wood Chip Quality

Forestry/Biomass/Environmental Sub Committee, Moderator: John Northey, Harbor Timber
Panel – Status of Biomass Markets
● Bill Hermann (Hermann Brothers) – In-woods Chipping Operations
● Tim Jopp (Tim Jopp) – Urban Materials
● Anthony Brocato (Swanson Bark) – Beauty Bark
● Greg Frohn (Avista Utilities) – Consuming Mill

During the Awards Dinner on Wednesday night, FRA’s Western Region announced two awards:
• 2018 Western Region Technical Writing Award: Ponsse North America (Stacy Wagler), for the Technical Release titled “Tethered Logging Systems and Their Applicability in Various Regions.”
• 2018 Western Region Outstanding Logger: Mike Newton/Newton Logging, Kalispell, Montana.

On Thursday, September 20th, the theme of the General Session was “Western Supply Chain – Decidedly Different.”

General Session Speakers,
Moderator: Bruce Brewer/Idaho Forest Group, FRA WR Policy Committee Chair
● Paul Davis (Weyerhaeuser, FRA Executive Committee) – FRA National Update
● Loren Torgerson (Washington DNR) – A New Approach to Forest Health and Wildfires in Washington
● Joel Swanton (Forest2Market) – Western Supply Chain – Decidedly Different
● Roger Smith (RL Smith Logging) – Adopt a High School Program
● Mike Burnett (Empire Caterpillar) – Working Across Generations
● Jacquelyn Earley (Sierra Pacific) and Chris Lunde (Port Blakely US) – Joint Base Lewis-McChord Job Fair Takeaways

The presentations from all speakers who utilized technology are on the FRA Members’ Only portion of the website. There is much insight and knowledge included in the .pdfs.

Check them out here: Members Only: Meeting Papers & Presentations

Vickie Swanton
WR Manager