U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo introduced the Future Logging Careers Act, which would equalize the status of those coming to the logging trade with other agricultural fields.  The Act allows family members to learn the trade of logging from a younger age so that they may carry on the family business.

 “In the logging industry, as in many other agricultural industries, family business is a way of life,” said Risch. “We can bolster the entire logging industry by allowing young adults to begin helping their parents operate safe and modern machinery at an earlier age. This bill would equip these young loggers with the knowledge and experience to carry on the family trade and help to restore Idaho forests and all national forest lands into healthy, fire-tolerant forests while bringing much-needed natural resources into the marketplace.”

 “One of the biggest concerns I have heard at town meetings I’ve convened around Idaho is the need for a strong future for our timber industry,” Crapo said. “This legislation streamlines work for the next generation of Idaho’s loggers.  Now the federal government must meet its obligations to bring increased restoration and logging within our national forests producing healthier economies, forest health and habitat.”

 The bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 so that 16- and 17-year-olds would be allowed to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision.

 Companion legislation has already been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.