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Risch helps reintroduce Future Logging Careers Act

March 8, 2023

Senator Jim Risch
On Tuesday, U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Angus King (I-Maine) and U.S. Representatives Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pennsylvania) reintroduced the Future Logging Careers Act. This legislation would allow teenage members of logging families to gain experience in the logging trade under parental supervision so they may carry on the family business. The Future Logging Careers Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to work in certain mechanized logging operations under parental supervision.

“Idaho’s logging industry has long been a family trade, but current law is hampering its future by preventing young men and women from working in their family’s businesses,” said Risch. “The Future Logging Careers Act would give timber families the same opportunity to pass down their trade that is allotted to family farmers. With the logging industry facing a decline in labor and an aging workforce, we must empower the next generation of loggers who are vital for properly managing our forests, supporting rural economies, and maintaining family businesses. I am proud to introduce this legislation that does just that.”

Additional cosponsors of the legislation include Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), and John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Congressmen Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).

The Future Logging Careers Act has received support from the American Loggers Council and the Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho.

“This legislation will extend to logging families the same opportunities that farming families enjoy that allow their 16 and 17 year old family members to work in today's modern logging equipment. Taking this step will enable logging families to pass on the skills and their businesses to the next generation. This helps ensure the professional, safe, harvesting of the raw material for the wood and paper products we use everyday will continue into the future,” said Shawn Keough, Executive Director of the Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho.

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Mike Weland, Publisher

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