Choosing the Right Logger

Seven Areas of Responsibility: Performance Standards that must be met to become a Certified Master Logger

  1. Protection of water quality and soils.
  2. Compliance with governement regulations appropriate to a logging business.
  3. Compliance with acceptable silviculture and utilization standards.
  4. A provision for participation in an on-going training regimen. 
  5. Employment of aesthetic management techniques, where applicable.
  6. Follow a harvest plan that is site specific and agreed upon by the landowners.
  7. Employment of sound business management techniques.  

Choosing The Right Timber Harvesting Professional

Choosing the best timber harvesting company, or logger,  for your land can be a daunting process. Wood harvesting can have one of the greatest direct impacts on the health of the forest ecosystem, including the potential to preserve or compromise water and soil quality, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, forest aesthetics, and other diverse forest resources. Recognizing the need to certify wood harvesting companies, the American Loggers Council, the largest organization for professional loggers across the United States, initiated the Master Logger Certification© program in 2000. The American Loggers Council Master Logger Certification© endorsed programs are active in over 18 states and gaining momentum across the U.S.

Why Choose A Certified© Master Logger?

Companies who have attained Certified© Master Logger status consistently implement superior harvesting techniques, safety and business practices and supply forest products that are harvested in a sustainable manner. The harvesting work of Certified© Master Logger Companies is verified through a performance-based audit and interview processes that are certified by an independent third-party organization. By choosing a Certified© Master Logger you can be assured that your logger is setting himself apart by voluntarily participating in a rigorous performance standard and opening his/her jobsite to an outside entity for verification of those best practices.

Logger Certification vs. Logger Training - What's the Difference?  

The Master Logger Certification© program is sometimes confused with logger training programs. While there is some overlap between Master Logger Certification© and logger training, there are also substantial differences.

Master Logger Certification©

Master Logger Certification© is a third-party independent certification of logging companies’ harvesting practices. The certification system and performance standards are built around 7 areas of responsibility that have been cross-referenced to all of the world’s major green certification systems. Third party certification involves the independent evaluation of a claim by expert unbiased sources. Master Logger Certification© demonstrates accountability and high standards across all aspects of a timber harvesting business, from the company’s day-to-day work in the woods to the forest products it sends to market.

Logger Training Programs

Logger Training Programs are important vehicles for delivery of safety information and environmental topics. Logger training programs require an individual logger’s attendance at classes covering safety, environmental and other topics relating to the industry. Depending on the state regulations, there may be mandated attendance at ‘core’ classes and as well as opportunities for a wider variety professional development. Generally, there is an organization or state agency responsible for record keeping and recording of logger training programs. Loggers who complete the mandated programs in their state are often referred to as ‘Qualified’, ‘Trained’ or ‘Professional’ loggers.

Ask for Certified© Master Loggers

Certification programs, like Master Logger Certification©, are set apart from logger training programs in that they require third party verification. Because Master Logger Certification© is a voluntary, earned designation based on performance, it awards the certification only to true professionals in the industry who are willing to go through the evaluation process, something attendance-based training programs were never designed to do. By choosing a Certified© Master Logger, you can be sure that checks and balances are in place to provide you with a high-quality timber harvest and peace of mind.

Choosing to harvest timber and selecting the professionals to get the job done right are big decisions. Pam Wells, a landowner and Tree Farm Committee member from Maine, says her best advice is, “Ask questions, and keep asking until you understand. Communication between the landowner, the logger and the forester is key. Working with certified professionals helps this process.”

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