Due to the extended State of Emergency in Oregon and the restrictions that remain in place regarding COVID-19, the Oregon Logging Conference board of directors has announced the cancellation of the 2021 Annual Logging, Trucking, and Heavy Equipment Expo at the Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds in Eugene.
The conference had been scheduled for Feb. 25 to 27, 2021.
2021 Oregon Logging Conference president Scott Melcher said the board of directors had an extensive discussion and carefully considered all the issues before making the decision to cancel the annual conference.
"This was a very difficult decision for us to make," Melcher said. "We looked at a number of ways to have the conference as usual at the Lane County Events Center and Fairgrounds, but just could not make it work with the restrictions that are in place."
"The OLC Board felt that it was unlikely the conference could operate in a realistic manner with the state restrictions still in place," Oregon Logging Conference Manager Rikki Wellman said. She echoed Melcher's comment on how difficult it was to make this decision.
"However, on a positive note," Melcher said, "we are continuing to explore options for holding some of the events and activities associated with the 83rd annual Oregon Logging Conference both virtually, and at other locations in February of next year."
Melcher's theme of "Family, Friends and Forestry", will continue to be the focus. More details about these activities will be forthcoming in the near future.
The extended State of Emergency announced by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Oct. 28 includes the mandates of social distancing and wearing face coverings, as well as limitations of 100 people or less at indoor venues and gatherings of 250 people or less at outdoor venues.
In previous years, the Annual Oregon Logging Conference gathering included more than 300 indoor and outdoor vendors, representing over 2,000 sales staff, and attracts more than 4,000 industry individuals and companies during the three-day event. Hundreds of elementary and high school students also traditionally attend the conference to learn about the timber industry.
Wellman said the cancellation of the Annual Oregon Logging Conference will have a significant financial impact on the area.
"The annual conference brings in millions of dollars to the communities of Eugene and Springfield as well as Lane County," she said.
The revenue comes from money spent at hotels, restaurants, and other retail outlets.
For more information about the modified OLC, visit https://oregonloggingconference.com/program/
This story also appears on Forestry Equipment Guide.
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