DYER BROOK — If there is a shortage of loggers entering the wood products industry today, don’t blame Dave Libby. Libby, Timber Harvesting and Forestry instructor at the Region Two School of Applied Technology in Dyer Brook recently received the “2007 Outstanding Contributions to Forest Industry Education” Award at the Northeastern Loggers Association (NELA) banquet held in Burlington last month. Libby has taught at the Region Two School since 1981. His program is unique because it teaches both conventional and mechanical harvesting. In 1999, the program was awarded funding for a new cut to length timber harvesting system by the Maine Legislature after Libby testified before a legislative committee. Before operating the processor or forwarder, a student must complete a computer simulated training program and be proficient with conventional equipment and practices. Following graduation, many of Libby’s students enter directly into the forest products industry as independent loggers or equipment operators for large logging contractors. Contractors hire graduates from his program because they are consistently trained to industry standards.
Libby has instructed hundreds of high school students at Region Two’s Forest Management and Operations program since 1981. Students that complete his program and graduate from high school receive Certified Logging Professional certification. An agreement with the University of Maine, Fort Kent, has enabled his students to earn college credits that can be applied toward a two year forestry degree. At least six of his students have attended or graduated from the University since 2000.
Dan Jacobs, Maine Forest Service District Forester in Island Falls, nominated Libby for the award and accompanied him to the NELA ceremony. His nomination cited the fact that Libby has also taught over 100 loggers directional felling and logger safety in the Qualified Logging Professional Program run by Otis Smith in Houlton.
Libby currently serves as a selectman in Mount Chase.