to head LFA
By James Ronald Skains
Paul Spillers, new LFA President
Paul Spillers, long time timberland attorney and Monroe resident had perhaps the hardest job of all in the LFA in 2018. It became Spillers lot by selection of the LFA Board members to finish out the term of the of popular 2018 LFA Marty Toms who unexpectedly died in mid-January of 2018.
In his 2017 message to his fellow LFA members, Marty Toms pointed out: "The two biggest issues facing our industry is insurance for loggers and the need to find markets for the larger pine sawtimber."
"Housing markets, from an excess inventory 10 years ago, has finally been absorbed;" Toms, a forester for Weyerhaeuser pointed out in late 2016.
"As the markets have come back, the mills are beginning to see an opportunity through higher prices for lumber and other construction materials produced from wood to regain stability in their operations."
"We are competing with the other Timber-belt states for new manufacturing capacity in the industry so we must be viligent and not let any new manufacturing opportunities slip through our hands," Toms cautioned a few months before his untimely death.
On the loggers crisis with the insurance companies, Toms stated firmly: "Efforts are underway to work with the state insurance commissioner's office to seek answers to the crisis. The crisis only deepens when more companies writing policies leave the state. To me it's going to take a lot of efforts by mills, the companies who depend upon our logging force, to be attentive to helping the loggers leverage their voice."
"We have to help them meet the challenges they are going to face. Alone, they can't really tackle the huge insurance issue facing them through cooperation with our association in bringing our whole group to the table.," Toms concluded before his death. The big question is: Has anything really changed in this issue?
"We chose our word phrase carefully for this 71st convention," Spillers told the crowd at the President's Dinner on Tuesday evening. "I think our phrase which you will find on our convention agenda, 'Valued Past; Exciting Future' is really appropirate in 2018."
"The future for our industry is exciting because more and more uses are being found for wood. Those indicate solid opportunities for all of us. People prefer wood for building products over plastic and metal"Spiller added."Our forest industry here in the state strictly adheres to all best management practices including forest sustainability. We are well prepared for all forest industry opportunities that might come our way."
Paul Spillers is a Tree Farmer and a Board Certified legal Specialization in tax law, estate planning, and estate administration. Spillers earned his LLM tax degreee form Southern Methodist University and his Juris Doctorate from Indiana University.
Spillers was born in Calhoun which is between Ruston and Monroe. His academic career started in the late 1960's at LSU where he obtained his B.S. Degree in 1971. He next enroled at Purdue University where he obtained a M.S in 1974. In 1976, he received his law degree from Indiana University in 1976. From 1975 to 1976, Spillers was Associate Editor of the "Indiana Law Review."
Spillers was admitted to the United States Tax Court