"...Given the duration of the pandemic and the uncertainty around markets, our members and those we represent are just now beginning to feel the full impact of the pandemic on their businesses..."
HEMPHILL, Texas (PRWEB) June 01, 2020
The American Loggers Council (ALC) and its member state logging associations delivered letters to U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen and U.S. Senators requesting their support for a Logger Relief Program that would provide low interest loans to family-owned timber harvesting and timber trucking businesses.
Consuming mills have reduced their consumption as a result of reduced or lost markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ripple effect has been a reduction in the amount of wood fiber being sourced from the forest by small, family-owned logging and log trucking businesses.
Assuming the country's economy reopens this summer, analysts predict it could take two years for log markets to recover. This amount of time will be a significant challenge for loggers and log truckers to survive and remain whole to continue their operations. With high operating costs, diminished markets and low returns on investments, logging and log trucking capacity throughout the United States could be deeply reduced and new investments into the logging sector may be limited.
Toni McAllister, President of the Louisiana Loggers Association reports that, "Small three man crews and one man hauling operations have lost between 33% and 40% of their production since the beginning of March."
On the other side of the country, the Associated California Loggers estimates that they have lost as much as 13% of their income from logging operations, while sources in other parts of the United States report economic or volume losses ranging from 7.5% to 40%.
In order to sustain the supply chain while adjustments are made to adapt to what may very well be a new normal, logging and log trucking businesses are requesting that Congress support a program that offer low interest loans intended to ensure contractors can have the opportunity to remain in business over the next 12 months and to adjust their operations as markets begin to stabilize. The loans could not be used for those items already covered by the Payroll Protection Program or any other federal assistance program that has been made available in previous COVID stimulus legislation.
ALC Executive Vice President Danny Dructor stated, "Logging and log hauling were on the initial list of essential services identified at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic at both State and Federal levels. Given the duration of the pandemic and the uncertainty around markets, our members and those we represent are just now beginning to feel the full impact of the pandemic on their businesses which are necessary to support forest health and provide the raw materials to which every U.S. citizen is dependent upon for their daily standard of living. We sincerely and humbly implore members of Congress to help us with the relief that is needed."