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Reps. Labrador, Poliquin Reintroduce the Future Logging Careers Act



Thursday | Mar. 9, 2017

Tristan Daedalus   (202) 495-8546


Washington, D.C. — Rep. Raúl Labrador (ID-01), member of the House Natural Resources Committee, today announced the reintroduction of the Future Logging Careers Act, with original cosponsor Bruce Poliquin (ME-02).  The Future Logging Careers Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 so that 16 and 17 year olds would be allowed to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision.

“Idaho’s family owned and operated timber companies are a vital part of our economy and an important part of our history.  This bill will allow parents to train the next generation of loggers and business owners,” said Rep. Labrador.  “This bill solves a problem that is plaguing an entire industry across the whole country.  I look forward to working with Rep. Poliquin and Chairwoman Foxx to advance this legislation to support family businesses and expand opportunities for young people to secure good-paying jobs in Idaho.”

“Major advances have been made in Maine’s logging industry in recent years that have drastically improved worker safety,” said Rep. Poliquin.“Unfortunately, outdated regulations from Washington haven’t kept up, preventing young Mainers from pursuing careers in the trade in Maine, which largely consists of family-run businesses that have operated for generations in our State. I’m proud to join Congressman Labrador in pushing forward this important legislation to give young Mainers the opportunities to pursue a career path in logging, while also helping to maintain jobs in the industry in Maine for many more generations to come.”

“We strive to operate safely and want to be able to pass along this generation’s skills in professional harvesting to our next generation,” said Shawn Keough, executive director of the Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho.“This bill will allow us to train those who wish to follow in their family’s proud tradition. We applaud Congressman Labrador for his leadership.”

Background:Timber harvesting operations are similar to family farms with sophisticated and expensive harvesting equipment that requires young men and women to learn the intricacies of the business prior to the age of 18. However, young men and women in families who own and operate timber harvesting companies are denied the opportunity to work and learn the family trade until they reach adulthood.  It is supported by over 30 logging industry groups and companies, including the American Loggers Council (ALC), a non-profit organization representing timber harvesters in 30 states.