Congressman Mac Collins (R-GA8), who passed away on November 20 at the age of 74, was a lifelong advocate for Georgia forestry and a devoted public servant for our state. He served for four years in the Georgia Senate and twelve years in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he was a champion of small landowners and loggers throughout his entire career.
A former GFA Board member and long-time chair of the Transportation Committee, he was instrumental in overhauling the regulations and tax codes that impeded our industry and state. A log trucker himself, he was extremely effective at mobilizing change for the industry because he knew the ins-and-outs of logging logistics better than anybody who sat across the table from him.
Rep. Collins used his folksy approach and deep experience and knowledge of the industry to not just legislate but change attitudes, spreading the working forest message at both the state and federal level. He was instrumental in changing regulations around securing timber to logging trucks, moving the industry away from heavy metal chains and towards high-strength nylon straps or steel cables, which is much safer for both the logger and the truck.
“He never tooted his own horn. He just wanted to be known as a simple man from the country,” said Mr. Bob Izlar, Director of the Center for Forest Business at the University of Georgia and former executive director of GFA. “But our industry owes him a debt of gratitude for all he did to help us bring our product to market safely and efficiently. We’re all going to miss Mac.”
We thank Mac for his years of dedicated service to GFA, Georgia, and our country.