Forest Association (AFA) began on Friday, March 6, 1956, when
a group of loggers met in Ketchikan to establish an association
for Alaska loggers. At the conclusion of the meeting,
they voted to affiliate with the Timber Operators Association
and selected the name S.E. Division of Timber Operators Association.
During the first year of operation, the group developed a worker's
compensation program and hired a safety engineer.
In 1957, the group
withdrew from the Timber Operators Association and formed its
own association, the Alaska Loggers Association. In 1960,
the organization voted to admit as Regular Members, sawmills
and pulp mills that had logging operations. Also at this
time, the Associate Member category was created.
The Association is
one of the oldest in the State of Alaska and provides members
the opportunity to participate in programs such as Tongass Timber
Trust (group health), Alaska Loggers Retirement (pension plan)
and a public information program which promotes the facts concerning
the forest products industry.
In the past
decade, many changes have taken place in the industry resulting
in the need to broaden our image and scope. AFA no longer
services only "loggers" but all facets of the industry.
The Board of Directors has been enlarged to 24 directors and
the organization renamed the "Alaska Forest Association"
effective January 1, 1991.
following the start of the Alaska Loggers Association in 1957,
the founders realized that suppliers of equipment, goods and
services to logging operations were interested in participating
in the Association's development. In May, 1960, a motion to
create the membership category of "Associate Members"
was approved and suppliers officially became dues paying members.
years of hosting a "beer bust" at the annual meeting,
in 1976 the event was given the title of "Red Suspenders"
party. The event, marked by the emphasis on wearing of red suspenders,
hickory shirts, high cut pants, and Alaska slippers, was a gathering
of friends not seen since the last winter.
the years following, and growing to a membership of over
120, the Associate Members have been active in helping
to promote and defend the industry in its trials and challenges.
With letter writing, contacting legislative delegations,
and lobbying trips to Washington, D.C., the Associate
Members continue to be an important part of the Association.