DULUTH — An Iron Range logger and trucker from Gilbert, Minn., was among the speakers on the third night of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 26.
Scott Dane, the executive director of the Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota, works as an advocate for Minnesota workers in the logging industry.
He's known in the region for his work advocating to overturn federal regulations restricting interstate highways to an 80,000 pound maximum for semi trucks. The restrictions forced truckers to haul logging loads down Duluth streets like Superior Street and London Road instead of Interstate 35 until an amendment passed in 2015.
The third night of the convention theme was "Land of Heroes" and focused on American heroes and their contributions to the American story.
Dane's remarks, delivered at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., focused on logging as "part of the Great American story."
"If you go to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and look up, you can see loggers on one of the panels — New England settlers carving out a new world from the wilderness," Dane said. "Logging is the most dangerous job in the country, but we embrace that risk because we know America was built by strong people building things together."
Dane stated that America needs to continue to build and that logging is a major part of the system. He claimed that last time that presidential candidate Joe Biden was in the White House, Minnesota mills closed, costing thousands of jobs.
"The administration just didn't seem to care," Dane said. "When plants closed in Duluth, Sartell, Cook and Bemidji, they were just numbers on a paper to the Obama-Biden administration. To me, they were people and jobs and families."
Dane also claimed that "radical environmentalists" allowed for forest fires to develop under the Obama administration and that President Trump saw the "value of forest management."
“Under President Trump, we’ve seen a new recognition of the value of forest management in reducing wildfires. And we’ve seen new support for our way of life — where a strong back and a strong work ethic can build a strong middle class," Dane said.
Dane concluded that he wants to continue to build families in communities where he was raised and for the logging way of life, and forests, to be available for the next generation.
"President Trump, thank you for helping us do just that," he said.
Dane spoke around 7:40 p.m., following South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and before Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
Other speakers Wednesday evening include Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, former University of Minnesota and University of Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), and Vice President Mike Pence.