Dan Qualey chosen as “Outstanding Logger” of 2017

Dan Qualey and Ben Carlisle

“For those of you who don’t know, Prentiss & Carlisle is a forestland manager overseeing a little under 1.5 million acres in the northeast and north central United States and in Canada,” said Ben Carlisle, P&C president. “As a result of this management, we contract with a variety of different logging contractors, each of whom we trust to do efficient, dependable, high-quality work and many of whom have been working for us for years.  We are proud of the relationships we have built with all of them.  However, when the MFPC called out for nominations for Outstanding Logger, the choice of who to nominate for this award in my mind was clear.

“Dan Qualey and his company Qualey Logging has operated on P&C-managed ground for nearly 20 years, primarily in the Sherman-Patten-Stacyville region, just to the east of Baxter State Park. Based in Benedicta, Qualey Logging originally started as hand crews working for the Sherman Lumber Company, but through the years evolved into mechanical operations, and is now a full-service contractor with both a woods crew and roadwork crew that set the standard for equipment that is well-maintained and regularly updated.  Qualey Logging is CLP (Certified Logging Professionals) certified, and has been since 1994, and is a member of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine.

“Among our staff, Qualey’s crew is known to be well-managed – organized, responsive and efficient. Whether the concern is following a complicated harvest prescription, observing biodiversity guidelines, or addressing environmental issues, our foresters know that they can depend on them to get the job done.  Their record-keeping and accounting – something P&C and our clients value greatly – is top-notch; organized, prompt, and accurate.  In the woods, they perform a variety of treatments, all cut by prescription, and the crew is adaptable despite the many challenges that both we and mother nature occasionally – maybe regularly? – throw at them.  Our district forester sums it up in one phrase:  ‘Can Do.’ Everyone on the team has a great mindset and are always attentive to doing things the safe way, and the right way. 

 “In recognition of exemplary on the ground performance and an unwavering commitment to meeting the management objectives of the landowner.” 

“Although he has been well-known among our group of foresters for the caliber of his work, Dan started to get my attention recently as a result of some pretty significant ownership changes just to the east of Baxter State Park.  Some of you may have heard about this, but we recently got a new neighbor.  Because we are all having a good time tonight, I’ll avoid the politics. But naturally this concerned both Dan and I because, the land that Dan has cut on for years – P&C ground – shares over 45 miles of boundary lines – and many miles of roads – with our new neighbor.  All this has cast a newfound, and I’ll say for the most part unsolicited, public spotlight on the region’s forestry & logging activities.  And I know that if there is one thing that can sometimes cause folks in our industry to want to crawl into a hole, it’s the public spotlight.

“However, I’d venture a guess that Dan and his crews may have provided more directions and assistance to lost tourists than the National Park Service has.  He’s played the role of tour guide many times, including when Congressman Poliquin and more recently Senator King have cast their own spotlight northward to the forest economy of Dan’s region.  He’s taken time out to answer questions from the public, to show them his equipment, to tell the story of our industry.  He’s maintained the strictest attention to safety, keenly aware of the fact that he is working around a public that is largely naive about his everyday job, but now necessarily a part of it.  He’s been an active and voluntary participant in an informal working group to address access and public safety matters around the Monument.  He’s done all this all while keeping his production up. 

“In short, Qualey Logging has taken these changes in stride, showing they can adapt, with that “Can Do” attitude of theirs and not compromising in any way that for which they have become so known and so appreciated among P&C staff.  So, now it is our time to turn our spotlight on him – so would you please join me in congratulating Dan Qualey and Qualey Logging for the 2017 Outstanding Logger Award.”

Dan Qualey with his wife Cindy, son Jordan and daughter-in-law Amanda.

Dan Qualey replied, “I’d like to take a minute to thank Ben and the entire Prentiss & Carlisle operation for not only nominating me for this award, but for giving me the opportunity and the work that you’ve given me. For the last couple of years, it’s kind of changed from logging to being a little bit of a social director.

“I also want to thank the Maine Forest Products Council for picking me over other very worthy candidates. My crew is not able to be here, but I’ve been fortunate to work around a very good work force. They all share the same vision that I do for the forest, which has made it really very easy to adapt, as Ben said, on the run, because I think they have the same outlook as I do. We just want to see a healthy forest moving forward for the next generation.

“I’d also like to thank my family. Forty years ago when I started this I never thought I’d be here for such a thing today, but through the ups and downs they’ve been with me through it all. So I would like to extend my thanks to them.

“And I think all of you at the Council. For someone like me, this is such an honor and I’m very humbled by it. I really appreciate it.”