Social Justice, Social Equality, Sustainable Development, Comprehensive Planning, New Economy, Global Economy, Shelter for All, Centralized Control, Ecological Restoration, Connectivity, Reinvention of Government, and the newest one of the bunch, GEOPARK, are all terms being used in many documents coming from sources such as the Federal Government and United Nations.
Before we go any further, please be informed that I am taking off my hat as GLTPA Executive Director and putting on my entrepreneurial hat as a 3rd generation logger/trucker owner ofSchienebeck Renewable Resource Management and LIFE Business. Is it okay if we talk frank for a paragraph or so? I will assume it’s okay, so here we go:
It’s my personal belief that many of you likely did not read the words in the first paragraph. If you did, you may have thought they sounded so nice, warm, and fuzzy feeling that you were not alarmed enough to ask what, exactly, they mean. Now I know that you’re all busy making a living and all, but it’s time to look up and see what direction the world is headed around you. While you may choose to ignore things and hope they go away, your competition is vehemently planning to shut your natural-resource-dependent business down.
Your competition is not the person you bid against for a timber sale. It’s a faction of folks who look just like you, but have extremely different beliefs about how things should run and who should be entitled to what. Take the term Social Justice/ Social Equality for instance. What do those words mean? This means that some believe if you have worked hard and made a great deal of money you should be forced to share with those who sit by the sidelines and watch you work to see what their benefit will be. It also means taking money from an industrialized country, such as the United States, to pay third world countries promoting “Social Injustice and Equality”. We (the U.S.) have built wealth through industry, which the competition interprets as being “polluters” of the environment, especially air, so we should buy carbon credits from those have no industry. The program should be called what it is, redistribution of wealth in disguise as an apology for being ambitious and proactive to provide financial benefits for US citizens. It’s also called WELFARE! Who ever said wealth should be fair? You work your butt off to provide for your family yet we are basically forced to share with those who choose not to work. Like any of you, I’m all for helping the elderly and those in need who have been affected by unforeseen circumstances. However, when I’m at the local gas station and witness a person buying $12.43 worth of cigarettes and a $1.69 soda with a Quest Card while telling the clerk where he’s going ice fishing, I tend to look for physical ailments. Seeing none, I can’t help but engage in conversation to find out the cigarettes are only one days’ supply and the benefits being received from Welfare are much better than working. And by the way, smoking two packs a day there’s a good chance we’ll be paying his way for cancer treatments as well.
Enough venting on that, let’s get back on track with the issues and GLTPA. The words in the opening statement are becoming more common every day. They are primarily promoted by ultra-rich people from around the globe who will most likely not be affected economically like middle class citizens. These individuals would really like to have a majority of the forests as playgrounds, like those already in the Geopark program. From what I have read, this initiative was started 11 years ago and there are now 77 Geoparks in the world primarily in Europe and China. The Keweenaw in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is now the focus for the UN to create the first Geopark in the United States. One thing to keep in mind is that projects like comprehensive planning, sustainable development and Geoparks always have grants tied to them. If you read documents closely you can always find wording that says once an entity has taken the money and approved the language they then have to implement the rules of the plan. You can get more information on what a Geopark is by going to http://www.geo.mtu.edu/~raman/Geopark to read about this “act locally-think globally” UN directed international initiative.
Early in 2012 the FISTA Board made changes in staffing to accommodate an updated SFI training standard. While safety is still a number one training priority for FISTA, ecological concerns have become equally as important. Issues such as invasive species, forest ecology, and forest management play a big part in today’s SFI education. During the process of re-evaluating class offerings it was perceived that FISTA would no longer be doing chainsaw safety training. NOT TRUE.FISTA is in fact offering all levels including advanced chainsaw training through a variety of trainers who have kept current with Game of Logging criteria. FISTA coordinator Ben Parsons is also in the process of completing his advanced Game of Logging Training to be a certified trainer and will be offering his expertise to those who need chainsaw safety training in the near future.
Another program FISTA may be involved with in regard to chainsaw safety is the new Safety And Woods Worker Trainer (SAWW) program. SAWW’s primary focus is to promote safety and efficiency for anyone using a chainsaw, either professional or hobbyist. SAWW will also provide an association umbrella for certified chainsaw trainers to maintain the highest level of certifiable training.
One a final note, the Spring Meeting is shaping up to be the best Spring Logger Celebration yet. Many members and non-members alike have registered for the event, along with a variety of industry vendors. The Island Resort is a great venue and the speakers for this year are second to none. The Board and Staff look forward to seeing all of you on April 16th at the 4th Annual Member Meeting and Spring Celebration.
Until Next Month,
Henry Schienebeck is the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA), which is headquartered in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and represents over 1000 timber industry professionals in Wisconsin and Michigan. He is also the Editor for the Great Lakes TPAmagazine. Henry’s understanding of industry issues comes from 37 years in the forest products industry as an owner/operator of a trucking business and a logging operation. For more information please contact Henry at 715-282-5828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.