The Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference and Equipment Expo got underway Thursday morning at the fairgrounds in Anderson. The 68th annual event features the latest in logging equipment. Some of the machines dwarf their predecessors but are designed to make less of an impact in the woods. There are many informational events during the conference, as well as an array of skills competitions, including the log loading skills and the popular excavator rodeo. The lumberjack games is also a popular attraction, with chopping, whip-sawing, ax-throwing, and choker setting. Everything except the meal events are free of charge. A new feature this year is the “Strongest Logger” competition, which is a strong man contest with events similar to Scottish Highland Games. At its heart, though, the conference is still about the business of logging. Conference President Ted James says a lot of the general public is concerned about forest management and wildfire prevention, but forest thinning to use in biomass cogeneration plants is not profitable unless some timber is harvested as well. A complete schedule of events is available at sierracascadeexpo.com.