Former County Supervisor Randy Hanvelt has been hired as a consultant for the Associated California Loggers, a Sacramento-based trade association that represents businesses and workers in the logging industry.

Mike Albrecht, owner of the logging company Sierra Resource Management in Jamestown, serves as the president of the Associated California Loggers and confirmed that Hanvelt was hired by the organization earlier this month.

“Randy still has a lot to give to society, and I think working with us is a way to continue what he’s doing,” Albrecht said.

Hanvelt did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. He has not returned phone calls from The Union Democrat since losing re-election in the Nov. 6 general election.

Albrecht said that Hanvelt was hired to represent the group on the state’s Forest Management Task Force and help facilitate master stewardship agreements with the U.S. Forest Service in other rural counties throughout the state.

Another part of Hanvelt’s appeal, Albrecht said, was the wealth of local, state and federal contacts that he amassed during his eight years of serving on the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors and as a high-ranking member in the Rural County Representatives of California, a group that represents more than 30 rural counties throughout the state.

“We were very thankful for him to come on board with the number of contacts he has and energy and knowledge he bring to these issues,” Albrecht said.

In addition to helping loggers keep their state-required certifications up to date, the group also lobbies state and federal lawmakers on forestry issues. Albrecht said they plan on sending a group to Washington, D.C., in the coming weeks to meet with about 40 legislators about forest management practices.

Albrecht said Hanvelt and other county supervisors deserved “tremendous credit” for helping to get the county’s master stewardship agreement with the Forest Service in place.

The agreement, which was approved by the board in late 2017, is intended to increase the removal of timber from public lands through projects coordinated by contractors hired by the county in conjunction with the Forest Service.

A timber sale is expected to occur by late spring or early summer for the first project under the agreement, which covers 994 acres east of Long Barn. Local contractors have been used for both the planning and brush shredding stages of the project.

“This is not to replace the Forest Service’s timber program, this is in addition to their normal program of work,” Albrecht said. “Hopefully, this is will create more work and treat additional acres” that the service otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to with its own resources.

The news of Hanvelt’s hiring was initially revealed to those who attended the Tuolumne County Alliance for Resources and Environment’s annual fundraising dinner on Saturday night at the Sonora Elks Lodge, where he and Albrecht received an award for their work on combating tree mortality due to bark beetles.

Melinda Fleming, executive director of TuCARE, said she was pleased to hear that Hanvelt will continue working on local and statewide forestry issues.

“He’s got that voice,” she said of Hanvelt. “He talks to people, they listen, and I think he’s going to help change some minds on things and get people activated and get those forests cleaned up.”

Companies and individuals involved with the logging industry were among those who contributed to Hanvelt’s bid for re-election last year, including nearly $2,500 from the Redding-based timber giant Sierra Pacific Industries, a total of $400 from Albrecht and his wife, Vicki, and $100 from Fleming, according to public records.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4530.

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