The nonprofit Wood Supply Research Institute (WSRI) has completed a six-month national study on the value of Certified Master Logger Programs, finding they have real worth to loggers and forest industry stakeholders, but face challenges achieving the recognition with the public that could expand their reach.

In late March 2018, WSRI contracted with the James W. Sewall Company to explore the value proposition of these programs. The American Loggers Council (ALC) Master Logger Certification Program, which is one of the programs included in the research, requires that the on the ground performance of professional timber harvesting businesses comply with seven areas of responsibility that ensure environmental protection, forest sustainability, and business accountability.

The study focused much of its work on active programs in Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Interviews and data were collected from loggers, landowners, mills, and forestry consultants. Some of the key findings of the study include:

1. Certified Master Loggers have a real sense of professionalism and take pride in being recognized for the good work they are doing in the woods.
2. Industry stakeholders perceive that Certified Master Loggers offer more consistent compliance with “Best Management Practices” designed to protect water, soil, and forest quality and do a higher quality job on timber harvests.
3. There is a real preference for Certified Master Loggers among forestry consultants and small landowners who are aware of the Certified Master Logger programs.

“The top three benefits can be summarized with alliteration as pride, performance, and preference. They are the hallmarks of a successful certification program. While they are not true everywhere the program has been implemented and among every stakeholder, we were able to document that there is a definite beachhead established in most of the states,” the report stated.

The study concludes Certified Master Logger programs are near the, “tipping point” of achieving real value nationally.

Read more on this from the American Loggers Council at http://www.amloggers.com/news/wood-supply-research-institute-wsri-completes-national-study-on-certified-master-logger-programs/.