Idaho Senator introduces a bill to allow 16-year-olds to work in logging operations

Senator Jim Risch is working on a bill that would allow older teenagers to work in logging operations.  The legislation amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision.

A press release from Senator Risch’s office says the legislation would level the playing field for the logging trade with other agricultural fields. 

In the release, Senator Jim Risch said “The agriculture industry currently enjoys regulatory exemptions that permit family members to participate and learn the operations of the family business under the direction and supervision of their parents…However, young men and women in families who own and operate timber harvesting companies are denied the opportunity to work and learn the family trade until the age of eighteen. This bill would equip these young loggers with the knowledge and experience needed to carry on the family trade. Further, it would help to restore Idaho forests and all national forest lands into healthy, fire-tolerant forests while bringing much-needed natural resources into the marketplace.”

The legislation was introduced on March 14th in both the U.S. House and Senate.  It’s co-sponsored in the Senate by Idaho’s Jim Risch, and Maine’s Angus King.  The House legislation is sponsored by Representatives from Maine and Pennsylvania.