Header

Inside This Issue

COVER: Young Faces Of Logging’s Future

This month, SLT is focusing on the future of logging with feature stories profiling three of the bright young men taking up the mantle for the next generation. South Carolina’s Rick Bennett and Louisiana’s Thomas Johnson both grew up around longtime logging families, but only just started their own companies last year. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s Zachary Comer has a similar multigenerational timber pedigree but has been on his own a little longer, since 2016. It’s a difficult time to start logging, but these three are meeting the challenge.

READ MORE

SOUTHERN STUMPIN': What’s Next?

Note: This month Jessica Johnson (our youngest editor, even though she’s been at it 10 years) asked to tackle the Stumpin column. It was her idea to focus on young loggers and the future of the industry, after the last two issues referenced older loggers retiring or considering it.

READ MORE

Article by Jessica Johnson, Senior Associate Editor, Southern Loggin’ Times

BULLETIN BOARD

Our Best Leisure Selections From Our Not-So-Sharp Minds

FROM THE BACKWOODS PEW: Fire Lines

Since spring and summer bring on fire season across the Southeast, perhaps some reminders for the sake of The Bear would be in order. Winter-burns often take place even as spring is budding, and as is often the case, a good day to burn is often the wrong day to burn.

Excerpted from Faith, Fur and Forestry by author Bradley Antill.

INDUSTRY NEWS ROUNDUP
  • As We See It: Missouri, Going Back To Where It All Began
  • STP-Tolko Plan Ackerman Expansion
  • Paper Excellence (Domtar) Buys Resolute
  • Komatsu Buys Silviculture Firm
  • Teal Jones Digs Into Louisiana
  • PalletOne Purchases Half Of Dempsey
  • Arbor Gas Inches Closer To Port Allen
  • Schwab To Distribute Proteng Fire System

Latest News

Sponsored Content Provided By John Deere

Sponsored Content Provided By John Deere

Forestry is a complex business that requires seamless coordination in the woods and the office. John Deere Precision Forestry helps increase the efficiency and productivity of your operation. Focusing on jobsite technology lets you select and adopt solutions based on your unique applications…

What’s Next?

What’s Next?

As I look at my little boys I often think about what’s next for them; how can I set them up for success? Is playing ball their future? Am I doing right by forcing them to eat zoodles? In my personal life, in the daily grind, it is easy to see how fast (and slow) time moves. I know one day I will no longer be my kids’ taxi service and will be ugly crying at their high school graduations. But that’s expected: the natural order of time marching on.

Enviva Establishes Heirs Property Fund

Enviva Establishes Heirs Property Fund

Enviva Inc., the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets, has announced the establishment of the Enviva Heirs Property Fund (EHPF), an initiative dedicated to ending involuntary land loss across the U.S. Southeast. Enviva has formally…

Pumpin’ Pain

Pumpin’ Pain

This month I was determined to find out how rapidly increasing fuel prices are impacting the logging industry, so I reached out to a lot of the people I know. I got enough responses to fill the whole issue, but I only have a page available, so I was forced to cut out a lot of really good observations. Here we go…

Young Faces Of Logging’s Future

This month, SLT is focusing on the future of logging with feature stories profiling three of the bright young men taking up the mantle for the next generation. South Carolina’s Rick Bennett and Louisiana’s Thomas Johnson both grew up around longtime logging families, but only just started their own companies last year. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s Zachary Comer has a similar multigenerational timber pedigree but has been on his own a little longer, since 2016. It’s a difficult time to start logging, but these three are meeting the challenge.

Young Gun

Article by David Abbott, Managing Editor, Southern Loggin’ Times

SUMMERVILLE, South Carolina Rick Bennett, 29, embraces his identity as one of the younger generation of loggers. In one sense, he’s super green: Bennett just started his company, Bennett and Sons Logging LLC, in October of 2021, less than a year ago. But in another sense, he’s far from a novice. In fact, you could say he’s been preparing for this his whole life.

First of all, he came from a long line of loggers, though he is the first in his family to have his own company. “My granddaddy is real proud,” he smiles.

“I remember being a little boy, going out with my granddad on some jobs. My granddad, all my uncles, they had been in logging and forestry many years. I heard so many stories of going in the woods with just a saw, a can of gas and a lunch pail, and stumping trees by hand, loading trucks by hand. I used to hear those stories when I was young and thought, ‘Oh, I want to do it!’”

Blessed with short hauls to partially mitigate high fuel costs this summer, Bennett hauls about 40 loads a week with contract trucks.

Up To Bat

Article by Patrick Dunning

CROSSVILLE, Tennessee – At 28 years old, Zachary Comer, owner of Comer Logging, is one of the youngest loggers currently contracting for Huber Engineered Woods in Spring City. Being a greenhorn in the wood-products industry is something Comer is proud to acknowledge; he believes more millennials are getting involved with the business. His employees are even younger; loader man Jacob Futrell is 27, and cutter driver Seth York is 25. They have been with Comer Logging since the start.

Comer gives his grandfather, Danny Futrell, 70, credit for the sawdust in his blood. “We’ve always been in logging,” the young Comer reveals. “My grandfather and his brother even had a sawmill for a little bit. Logging can get the best of you sometimes but I enjoy it.”

Comer started out six years ago with equipment he bought from his uncle, who was retiring from the woods. Two years later he upgraded.

Something Different

Article by Jessica Johnson, Senior Associate Editor, Southern Loggin’ Times

DeRIDDER, Louisiana – Though it seems obvious after talking with 33-year-old Thomas Johnson for any length of time that he’s got logging in his blood, the relatively new owner of Cutting Edge Logging says in school he wasn’t sure it was what he wanted to do. When pushed, he explains that while he might have entertained other forms of work, Johnson has always been a logger, having got his start at the age of 11 picking trash off his dad’s job.

In 2021, the timing was right for Johnson to buy out the crew of his dad’s he’d been running and start his own journey as a business owner. After asking the timber company for a few months to get his financial house in order, and bring him and his wife up to speed on that side of running a job, Cutting Edge Logging was born. It was a pretty straightforward transaction, and Johnson signed as a contractor with Bennett Timber.

From left, Mickey Townsley, Bradley “Puppy” Willis, Thomas Johnson, Charlie McKelvey and Michael Townsley

Have A Question?

Send Us A Message