2019 FRA Western Region Fall Meeting


FRA’s Western Region recently held its 2019 Fall Meeting in Lewiston, Idaho. The region planning committee has a long-standing commitment to content, collaboration and networking. This meeting saw over 90 people come together to discuss the forest industry, network, tour three sites in Lewiston, and learn from fourteen presenters over a two-and-a-half-day event.

The audience was diverse and included representation from: logging businesses, pulp/paper mills, landowners, equipment companies, truckers, sawmills, and consultants. The state with the most attendees was Washington, with representation from these states also in attendance: Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Alabama, California, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia. There were also Canadians in attendance: British Columbia and Alberta were represented.

On Tuesday, August 27th, many attendees participated in the Activity Day, with fishing, golfing, and wine tasting as the activity choices. This networking day wrapped up with the ever-popular Icebreaker Reception.

Wednesday, August 28th brought a change in our traditional lineup. We held the technical seminar in the morning, with tours in the afternoon.

The presentations for the seminar are dedicated to fitting into three region sub-committees: Fiber Quality, Forestry/Biomass/Environmental, and Transportation. Following are the speakers from each group:

Transportation Sub Committee; Moderator: Josh Melton, Veneer Chip Transport

  • Jerry Whitehead (Western Trailer) – Trailer Innovations
  • Peter Stegner (Riley Stegner & Associations) – Idaho Coalition Project: Building a Sustainable Wood Supply Value Chain

Forestry/Biomass/Environmental Sub Committee, Moderator: John Northey, Harbor Timber

  • Stan Parton (Forest2Market) – Update on Activities Related to EPA Biofuels RFS Feedstock Qualifications – Trying to Get PNW in the Game
  • Ron Gray (B2E Consulting) – A to Z: A New Approach to Funding Forest Restoration

Fiber Quality Sub Committee, Moderator: Joel Swanton, Forest2Market

  • Leon Thomas (WestRock) – Fiber Quality Strategy
  • Jeff Widmer (3Log) and Scot McQueen (ESRI) – Fiber Quality – Best Business Practices

The afternoon tours included:

  • Clearwater Paper Chip Barge Facility
  • Clearwater Paper Whole Log Chipping Operation
  • Idaho Forest Group Lewiston Sawmill

Nick Smith with Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities was our Dinner Speaker on Wednesday night.

General Session Speakers:

Moderator: Dale Lemmons/Signature Transport, FRA WR Policy Committee Chair

  • Senator Dan G. Johnson (State of Idaho) – Idaho Legislative Update
  • Waylon Buchan (Oregon Truckers Association) – Oregon Legislative Update
  • Chris Isaacson (Alabama Forestry Association) – Workforce Development Successes
  • Gregory Latta, Ph.D. (University of Idaho) – Industry Outlook
  • Arnie Didier (Forest Business Network) – Cross Laminated Timber Update
  • Mike Bradley (Beacon Builders) – Pre-Fabricated Building Components Value Comparison

The conference wrapped up with the Region Policy Committee Meeting where fifteen members met to discuss region business and future action items.

The presentations from all speakers who utilized technology are on the FRA members only portion of the website. There is much insight and knowledge included in the .pdfs. Check them out here: Western Region Meeting Presentations.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 10:13
Vickie Swanton | Western Region Manager

Vickie serves as the region manager for the Pacific Northwest