Martinez is Outstanding Logger at LFA conference

• Lake Charles LA

The Louisiana Forestry Association (LFA) and the Louisiana Logging Council has named Kevin L. "Man" Martinez as the 2016 Louisiana Outstanding Logger. The award was presented Aug. 31 at the annual convention in Lake Charles.

Martinez, a Louisiana Master Logger, began logging right out of high school 32 years ago. In 1988, he sought to begin his own business with the help of his father, A.T. Martinez, himself a logger, who helped Kevin and his brother Jeff get their first skidder.

And that's not all they have in common. All these Martinezes are Outstanding Louisiana Logger recipients: A.T. (1987, the inaugural year), Mark (2009), Jeff (2012) and now the youngest of the clan, Kevin in 2016.

KLM Logging Inc. has 12 employees, including Sherry Rivers, who is Martinez's sister. She is the bookkeeper.

One of the benefits Martinez offers his crew is health insurance, a rarity in the business.

"Insurance means a lot," he said. "It's expensive, but I know how much it means to a family."

Included on the woods crew are three sawhands and a dozer operator. Few loggers have sawhands these days, but Martinez likes their versatility.

"There have been tracts we've gotten because we have sawhands."

Forester David Cupp nominated Martinez.

"Kevin is extremely professional and safety conscious," said Cupp, president of Walsh Timber Co. "He is also a people person so he cuts a lot of private timber for us. We have a lot of repeat business that is generational (asking for Martinez by name)."

The judging team included Dr. Niels de Hoop of LSU, Alvin Bell of the U.S. Forest Service and Malcolm Sibley, last year's winner of the award.

Martinez lives in Zwolle. He has four adult children, sons Kyle, Kent and Kade, daughter Kendall and grandchildren.

Photo by Jeff Zeringue, Louisiana Forestry Association

Kevin L. "Man" Martinez works Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at a worksite in DeSoto Parish. Martinez, owner of KLM Logging Inc. was selected the Outstanding Louisiana Logger for 2016 by the Louisiana Logging Council. Martinez, of Zwolle, was the fourth member of his logging family to receive the coveted award. His father, A.T. Martinez was the inaugural winner and brothers Mark (2009) and Jeffrey (2012) also won the award.