Written By: Wendy Farrand
A hint of daylight seeps through the wooden blinds as I rise from my cherry bed, and go down the old pine stairs to the kitchen to make my husband’s lunch. Holding onto the oak banister, I make my way slowly as my muscles wake up. Moving over the wide pine floors, they creak in harmony, singing the stories that they have entertained in this 250 + year old farmhouse that I call home.
I open the oak drawer, grab a knife to spread the butter for my husband’s sandwich. My kitchen is warm with planks of pine enveloping the fireplace that once served as the focal point for the lives that came before me. I finish packing my husband’s lunch, throw in a paper napkin, and clean up my morning mess.
I work in the forest products industry, mostly the logging portion of that industry. I have a heightened awareness of all the things that fill my day, that come to me as a result of a logger risking his or her life to bring that product to me. I have worked in the woods, been a part of a working clan that moves the wood. I have stood in the pouring rain trying to remove a cracked slasher saw with my crew mates, and I have carried buckets of hydraulic fluid, determined to earn my own way. I have worked in the dust, heat, cold, mud and snow. I have worked with the DEP, MFS and other regulatory bodies. I have faced all the challenges that working in the woods brings with it. That is why I have such a great respect for loggers who work to bring the wood into our homes, in spite of all the daily challenges that go above and beyond what a normal business deals with.
As I write this, the paper scattered on my desk reminds me of the smell of pine pulp upon a visit to the paper mill. I look around my office and I see a beautiful oak desk, books, a handmade carved wooden clock my Dad gave me. Pine shutters to keep the outside beauty from distracting me when I need to concentrate. Beyond the shutters stately phone poles, most likely fashioned from southern yellow pine, carry much needed utilities to the homes in my community. Industry magazines beside me are a constant reminder of my mission statement to “strengthen the people side of timber harvesting”. Turning on my radio, I can hear the musical instruments and know that that most are carved from different kinds of wood that a logger risked life and limb to bring to the crafts person. Pieces of a logger’s day surrounds us as we live with the forest products that we can’t live without. Loggers are the heroes of the forest products industry, willing to risk their lives to bring us the much needed and desired forest products we use every day.
In my world, and your world, we are surrounded every day with products that we don’t even consider where they came from. Products that have arrived in our lives from the forest. We sometimes forget that we are a part of the forest products chain, and we most definitely cannot escape it. We cannot judge something we are a part of, we need to come to the realization that we are a part of that chain, on the opposite end from the logger. We need to remember that loggers are working to serve us, and when someone risks their life for someone else, they are considered a hero. So when you reach for that piece of paper, baseball, golf tee, tooth pick, take out carton, paper coffee cup, coloring book, crayon, or take a ride on a yacht, or canoe, reach for a guitar to serenade your loved ones, or enjoy a lobster dinner, you can thank a logger for risking his life, to make your life more enjoyable.
We cannot live without the forest products we use everyday. So that means we need to expect the best from our loggers, and if you really care about the environment, purchase certified products in order to reward the loggers who live up to the highest of environmental standards. Good logging is the answer to maintaining a renewable resource for years and years to come. Also, if you bump into a logger, thank him or her for risking their life to bring you the products that you cannot make it through your day without using.