Growing up in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Scott Pittack often found himself outside, either hunting, fishing, or helping his dad, Lowell, as he grew his logging hobby into a fully-fledged business. Established in 1979, Pittack Logging has always been a family affair, with Pittack taking over for his father in 2003. “We’re blessed in Minnesota to have such diverse forests,” Pittack says. “It’s a treat, getting to work with and harvest different species.” Today, with the help of his wife, son, and daughter-in-law, Pittack runs Pittack Logging out of Bovey, working with state foresters and private landowners to manage their lands for healthy forests. With three grandchildren, Pittack one day hopes to pass down his business, a family legacy of working in Minnesota’s dynamic woods.
For Pittack, each harvest has its own unique character. “That’s the cool thing about working in the woods,” he shares. “Every stand is different and presents its own challenge.” For this reason, Pittack is especially passionate about working with private landowners, whose objectives for their woods are highly specific and diverse. While these projects are often more challenging, they allow Pittack to think, plan, and harvest creatively. “It’s so rewarding to work with private landowners and help them reach their goals,” Pittack says. “The vast majority are tickled when the work is done and seeing their reaction, that’s a feather in the cap for me.”
Pittack is also passionate about educating everyday Minnesotans about his work as a professional logger and the key role he plays in ensuring the long-term vitality of forests, a role many still misunderstand. “There’s a huge need for the general public to learn [about why we’re logging],” Pittack says. On a recent project, Pittack spent twenty minutes talking with a curious couple who’d been enjoying a nearby ATV trail. “They wanted to know what was going on,” Pittack says. “And I thought it was a valuable moment to take the time to educate them.” Raising awareness and understanding is particularly important, Pittack notes, as more and more people venture into Minnesota’s forests, an uptick he noticed last year during the pandemic. “If we don’t have strong management of forests then we aren’t going to have healthy forests or trails or roads for everyone to enjoy,” Pittack says. Pittack himself has long invested in learning about diverse approaches to logging. In 2004, he traveled to Sweden to attend the Elmia Wood conference, a “global meeting place for the entire forest industry.” Here, Pittack toured forests in Sweden and Finland, learning about different management philosophies and harvesting techniques while evaluating the pros and cons of the approaches he’d grown up practicing.
In Minnesota, Pittack is active in the logging community, serving on the executive board for the Timber Producers Association (TPA), a group for all Minnesota loggers which addresses issues across the logging industry, both big and small. “A problem may not affect you personally [in your region] but is a problem down south or in the northwest,” Pittack shares. “And TPA will bring people together from all over to help resolve it.” In 2008, Pittack was named both the Lakes States Outstanding Logger by the Forest Resources Association and the Minnesota Logger of the Year by Minnesota’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee. In 2019, he joined the Minnesota Forest Resources Council as the commercial logging contractors representative. As a Council member, Pittack appreciates the flexible nature of the Council, which has allowed it to grow and shift focus over the years, addressing new issues within forestry as they arise. “The Council plays a huge role in protecting the forest for everybody,” Pittack says. “In the future, I’d like to see [the Council] continue to have a big presence in promoting and continuing to manage the forest.”
To connect with Council member Scott Pittack, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Minnesota Forest Resources Council exists to support and advocate for Minnesotans like you! Please join us for our bimonthly public meetings, with Zoom links available via our calendar . We hope to see you there.
Pittack speaks with Council Executive Director Eric Schenck during a recent outing.