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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-ID) and Angus King (I-ME) and U.S. Representatives Jared Golden (D-ME) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) today introduced the Future Logging Careers Act in the Senate and House of Representatives. This legislation would level the playing field for the logging trade with other agricultural fields by allowing family members to learn about and get experience in the trade of logging from an earlier age so that they may carry on the family business.

"The agriculture industry currently enjoys regulatory exemptions that permit family members to participate and learn the operations of the family business under the direction and supervision of their parents,” said Senator Risch. "However, young men and women in families who own and operate timber harvesting companies are denied the opportunity to work and learn the family trade until the age of eighteen. This bill would equip these young loggers with the knowledge and experience needed to carry on the family trade. Further, it would help to restore Idaho forests and all national forest lands into healthy, fire-tolerant forests while bringing much-needed natural resources into the marketplace.”

“Logging is more than just an occupation in Maine – it’s a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, supporting rural Maine families and boosting local economies,” said Senator King. “There are young people throughout Maine who have grown up waiting for their opportunity to enter this industry that plays such a vital part in their communities, and we should give them the opportunity to do just that. By allowing interested young Maine people to learn on the job with their parents and grandparents, we can help train the next generation of loggers, strengthen our forest products industry, and ensure that this vital rural Maine industry continues to grow and thrive.” 

“I’m introducing the Future Logging Careers Act with Senator King to allow the Mainers working our forests to bring on their family members earlier, better prepare Maine’s young people for good-paying careers in logging, and set family businesses in our forest products industry up for long-term success,” said Congessman Golden.

“For generations, young people have been learning the family agri-business under the supervision of their parents,” Congressman Thompson said. “This bill puts the logging families on par with the same rules so that the next generation can learn the trade and obtain essential knowledge through the guidance and safety of family members. I urge my colleagues to support this common sense legislation.”

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.