The logging industry in Elk County was the featured topic at this year's 15th annual Elk County Farm Bureau Legislative Tour, held Monday morning at Dave's Saw Shop on Linwood Avenue in St. Marys.
Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-5) and state Representative Matt Gabler (R-Elk/Clearfield) were among the attendees at the event, which included a group discussion on the logging industry, the challenges it faces and its affiliation with the agricultural industry. They were joined by Farm Bureau members and lumber industry representatives.
Following a brief introduction, Dick Cooney, owner of both Dave's Saw Shop and Cooney Logging, Inc., and his wife Ruth provided a tour of their facilities, which include the saw shop, a large garage for equipment repairs and an adjacent outdoor area where their logging equipment is stored.
Cooney provided an in-depth look inside the logging industry. He described the various equipment used and the drastic increase in costs throughout the years, the many regulations and certifications required of logging business owners and an overview of the logging process.
"Our business is growing every year. My numbers with Stihl are up every year, even though other places have dropped sales, ours have always continued to grow and that's through the help of all these gentlemen that work here. They do a really good job," Cooney said. "If you can specialize in a certain area and stay with that, you're going to be more successful in the long run. It's proven to be effective because we've been here for over 30 years and [are] still going strong."