Being a lumber manufacturer takes a lot more than milling wood. It involves sourcing logs, transporting the logs, manufacturing products, finding suitable markets, and transporting the products to the markets. All these roles require people to do the work. A labor shortage has become a major concern for almost all industries in the United States and truck drivers are one of the positions most unfilled. According to the American Trucking Association the United States is projected to be short 175,000 truck drivers by 2026. Log truck driving companies are facing the same challenge. Driving a log truck takes experience and special skills beyond that of a common CDL licensed driver and there are limited venues for developing these skills around the country, with none currently nearby. Schools have typically been underused because they require a significant financial investment and a log truck certification is not generally required to work. It likely remains that there are people interested in learning about driving a log truck who don’t feel confident in making a commitment without some understanding of what the job entails. In 2018 over 143,000 log trucks delivered logs to Idaho Forest Group’s (IFG) mills. Timely delivery to mill after the harvest of these logs is crucial to our operations. Logs that sit at forest sites too long lose value, are attractants for pests, hold up payments to landowners, and are potential fire hazards. As fire threat increases in the region, the recognition of this threat also grows, bringing with it more landowners wanting to manage…
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) announced today a new strategy. for managing catastrophic wildfires and the impacts of invasive species, drought, and insect and disease epidemics.
The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and other parties are reaching out to various stakeholder groups right now to gauge support for the Central Idaho Land Exchange.
(Athol, Idaho, April 10, 2018) – Idaho Forest Group (IFG), a lumber producer in the Inland Northwest, has acquired the Merritt Brothers Finger Joint mill located in Athol, Idaho. Erol Deren, IFG VP of Sales and Marketing, commented “This acquisition gives us the opportunity to learn the value-added finger-joint manufacturing process. It will enable further utilization of the fiber resource and compliments our other facilities making the most of the logs that we procure for our mills. We will carefully evaluate the capital needs of this site and invest accordingly.” Buck and Wayne Merritt started Merritt Brothers Lumber Company in 1968 when they purchased an old sawmill in Priest River, Idaho. In 1990 they bought the Athol site and eventually sold off their Priest River location. Herb Janhsen, VP of Merritt Brothers, congratulated IFG stating “We wish IFG a prosperous future. We are happy to see the mill continue to move forward and offer employment opportunities to our valued team members. We are thankful for the hard work our employees have put in over the years.”