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Family Activities At The 77th Annual Oregon Logging Conference

Desmond O'Boyle

The 77th Annual Oregon Logging Conference returned to Eugene last weekend. Industry professionals, equipment, and networking are the main attractions. Saturday morning featured family activities and some friendly competition.

All the heavy equipment is on display and demonstrations are ongoing here at the 2015 Oregon Logging Conference. This mobile wood splitter can dissect a tree into firewood fast.

Big toys and industry information sharing aren't the only activities going on Saturday.

Credit Desmond O'Boyle

Milton: "My name is Milton Moran. I'm from Sweet Home. I work for Cascade Timber Consulting. I'm a Director of Sales and Logging Operations and I'm a past President here at the Oregon Logging Conference. We call it the log loader competition. It's an event that puts guys that run these machines into woods against each other for a top time of just stacking three sets of blocks, three different sets, three clocks high and they have to match numbers and colors, the fastest time right now we're working just under, just right at two minutes and forty seconds, fastest time. This is a skill that these guys have, they don't stack logs end to end in the woods of course, but it's kind of a way that we thought would be a good crowd pleaser."

Credit Desmond O'Boyle

The equipment being used in the competition is a Link Belt 290 Log, Load, and Shovel. Nearby in the Wheeler Pavilion, there are a few family activities to educate children about the forestry industry and have a little fun with some wood. Dick Powell is the Public Outreach coordinator for the Starker Forests tree farm in Philomath. He has been coming to the Conference for about 12 years. Today, he's helping kids color cross sections of trees.

Powell: "We call them wood cookies. The idea is, kids sit down and they take a wood cookie that they kind of like and they decorate it however they want. I think one of the important things of this family day is: everything they use comes from natural resources in some way. I mean just everything comes from natural resources. As society becomes more and more urbanized, people are losing their connection with where things come from. So I think having kids and families just opening it up to the general public, just helps them to see that things they use somehow has to be produced. Somebody has to grow it, somebody has to harvest it, and somebody has to manufacture it into a product that they can use."

Credit Desmond O'Boyle
Ami Tajiri helping some kids make some birdhouses

Just around the corner, Miss Lane County Contestant Ami Tajiri is helping kids build some birdhouses.  

Tajiri:"We're here with Women in Timber. And they provided the wood for us to help kids make birdhouses. I just really like how the kids are so enthusiastic. I personally love crafting and building things so I get to do that along the little kids and they are so interested in what we're doing, so it's really fun."

The 2015 Oregon Logging Conference wrapped up Saturday afternoon.