March 14, 2019
WASHINGTON — Senator Angus King (I-ME) and Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation today to level the playing field for the logging trade with other agricultural fields, ready young Mainers for good jobs in the forest products industry, and support Maine’s family logging businesses. The Future Loggers Careers Act allows 16- and 17-year-olds to learn the logging trade under parental supervision so that they may carry on and contribute to the family business.
“Logging is more than just an occupation in Maine – it’s a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, supporting rural Maine families and boosting local economies,” said Senator King. “There are young people throughout Maine who have grown up waiting for their opportunity to enter this industry that plays such a vital part in their communities, and we should give them the opportunity to do just that. By allowing interested young Maine people to learn on the job with their parents and grandparents, we can help train the next generation of loggers, strengthen our forest products industry, and ensure that this vital rural Maine industry continues to grow and thrive.”
“I’m introducing the Future Logging Careers Act to allow the Mainers working our forests to bring on their family members earlier, better prepare Maine’s young people for good-paying careers in logging, and set family businesses in our forest products industry up for long-term success,” said Congressman Golden.
“Timber harvesting has a long and storied history in the state of Maine,” said Dana Doran, Executive Director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC). “It is a legacy industry in Maine consisting of family-based businesses that have been passed down from generation to generation, hire thousands of Mainers, and contribute hundreds of millions to our state’s economy. The Future Logging Careers Act will ensure that family-based businesses in the State of Maine can sustain themselves for the long term. Congressman Golden and Senator King should be applauded for their leadership on this common-sense legislation and their work to protect the future of Maine’s timber industry.”
King and Golden introduced the Future Logging Careers Act with Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) and Congressman Glenn Thompson (PA-15). The legislation amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 so that 16- and 17-year-olds are allowed to work in logging operations under parental supervision. The bill also contains safety measures protecting 16- and 17-year-olds in the forest products industry, such as prohibiting the manual use of chain saws in logging operations by those under 18.
Maine’s timber industry hires over 7,000 people and contributes more than $850 million to the state’s economy.