KENTUCKY’S BAD ACTORS By Ken Negray, Communications Committee
The Kentucky’s Forest Conservation Act (KFCA) became law in 1998. The primary driving force behind the KFCA was the protection of water quality within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. KFCA stipulates that there must be a trained Master Logger on harvesting sites, the Master Logger receives continuing education training every 3 years, best management practices are mandatory, and a designated Bad Actor list for operators in non-compliance with KFCA.
Today there are over 2500 Masters Loggers operating legally in Kentucky. The increased level of professionalism of these loggers helped to reduce the level of non-point source water pollution attributed to logging in Kentucky.
Unfortunately there are over 200 designated Bad Actors (BA) who continue to operate in non-compliance of the KFCA. These BA are loggers who fail to comply with the rules and regulations specified in the KFCA, and are responsible for a specific water quality violation or other violations that have not been corrected for a particular logging site or sites. These designated BA are not only harming the sustainability of Kentucky timber resource, but are also impacting the clean waters of Kentucky by disregarding the KFCA. Over 95% of the loggers in Kentucky are conducting legitimate timber harvests, providing a valuable renewable resource that has a regional and national demand, and are doing so within the laws and regulations of Kentucky.
Kentucky loggers have done an outstanding job of helping the Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) implement KFCA. The KDF has gone to great lengths to work with loggers to help them stay off the Bad Actor list and have developed procedures where a designated Bad Actor can work to be removed from the list. In spite of all these efforts, Repeat Bad Actors (RBA) continue to log in Kentucky. Although there are procedures in place to ostensibly stop RBA’s from working until they become compliant with KFCA, those procedures have had little effect on loggers that have decided not to comply.
Kentucky annually ranks in the top five hardwood producing states in the U.S. Kentucky’s hardwoods are nationally sought for their quality and diverse species composition. Bad Actors are detrimental to the outstanding and law abiding timber harvesting industry in the Commonwealth. If you know or are aware of a designated Bad Actor harvesting operation, reach out and encourage the operator to become compliant with KFCA, and offer assistance to keep his operation off the Bad Actor list. The entire forest industry in the Commonwealth will benefit from your positive actions.
For more information on KFCA, Kentucky Master Logger & the current list of designated Bad Actors visit http://dept.ca.uky.edu/maserlogger/bad_actor.php.