The Oregon Logging Conference, held in Eugene Feb. 22–24, had a new twist this year. The legendary equipment show expanded beyond the logging and trucking industries to include construction equipment in 2007, its 69th year.
"The Oregon Logging conference continues to evolve to address issues relevant to professionals in the forestry, trucking and construction industries," said Mack Brown, 2007 OLC president. "We're thrilled to expand our equipment show and look forward to welcoming construction professionals who share similar experiences and challenges as those in the forest industry."
This year's theme, "Showcasing Our Professions," was highlighted during the conference's education program. Participants of the program could earn up to nine professional credits in only two days while attending seminars on a variety of topics such as new technology, logging safety and first aid. None of the educational programs specifically addressed construction topics, but several sessions — such as emergency response training and OR-OSHA Operator Cab Requirements — were of interest to contractors.
But the core interest to contractors attending the show was in the equipment displays at the Lane County Fairgrounds. Most of the major construction-equipment manufacturers were represented by their dealers from the region with extensive outdoor displays. Interspersed among log loaders, harvester, stackers, tub grinders, and other staples of the timber industry were the newest models of all sorts of construction machines, from skid-steer loaders and compact excavators to loaders, dozers, graders, articulated haulers, full-sized excavators, and much more.
Inside the exhibit halls, contractors found numerous displays of smaller items, such as equipment attachments, safety gear and accessories, plus information on a wide variety of professional services.
After long days of attending seminars and viewing logging equipment, OLC conference participants were ready to kick up their heels and have some fun. From the casual Sawdust Bowl to the elegant Oregon Women In Timber Fund Raiser Auction, Reception, Dinner, and Dance, there was something for everyone.
Those attending the fundraiser had the opportunity to bid on some great silent and oral auction items. Later in the evening, dancers enjoyed Top-40, new country and oldie-but-goodie music.
OLC First Lady Sally Brown hosted the 4th Annual Ladies Desserts for Dreams Event on Friday at the Eugene Hilton. It featured delicious desserts from many bakeries in the Eugene and Springfield area. The charity Mrs. Brown selected to benefit from this event was the award-winning Provider Pals program.
This year's OLC wrapped up on Saturday morning with the High School Forestry Skills competition, held in the outside display area at the fairgrounds.
The Oregon Logging Conference will return to Eugene Feb. 20–23, 2008, for its 70th annual show.