This year’s MFPC legislative reception was lively, loud and a great opportunity for legislators, state officials and members to meet or get to know each other better. About three dozen legislators, another three dozen members, state officials, lobbyists and others crowded the MFPC conference room. “It's a place where we can be comfortable having conversations that never could take place otherwise,” said Sen. Doug Thomas, R-Somerset.
The debate about arming forest rangers has reached a new low. Some are saying that rangers are the only force holding back a host of evils, from polluted brook trout streams to a dramatic increase in posted property. Some see Maine’s landowners, state officials and their co-workers at the Maine Forest Service as enemies. Rangers insist that guns won’t damage their relationship with others in the forest community, but that’s already happening and it saddens us all.
The Wind Power Act of 2008 sailed through the Maine Legislature with a unanimous vote and barely a discouraging word. The economy was in freefall then, global warming concerns were rising along with the price of gasoline (above $3!) and wind power seemed like a what’s-not-to-like proposition. But that perspective was in short supply at the public hearings bills to rewrite Maine’s wind power laws.
“I won the shack?” Sen. Tom Saviello said Monday when he got the call. ”I won the shack!” Sen. Saviello (R-Franklin) and Ben Starrett of Topsham, each won a Fish Friendly Ice Shack in a raffle to benefit Maine’s fish and other aquatic creatures. In an odd twist of fate, Starrett’s father, John, was one of the volunteers who built the ice shacks. “I am very happy,” Ben Starrett said. “And I’m sure Dad will be very happy as well.” ...
The members of a task force on arming Maine's forest rangers were invited to discuss their report with members of the Criminal Justice Committee but declined, saying “the report speaks for itself.” House Chair Mark Dion disagreed, saying, "To have effective legislation, we need all branches of government. Therefore, I’ll talk to the empty chair.”
“It was good to get the new legislators out into the field and let our members tell them about our industry," said Executive Director Patrick Strauch. “It’s great for them to meet foresters, loggers, biologists, sawmill workers. It’s a good investment for us because when we see them in the halls of the State Capitol, they’ll understand more about who we represent and the scope of our industry.”
There was a great turnout for MFPC's 53rd annual meeting at the Sugarloaf Inn. There was a great mix of fun, fellowship and serious business as members reviewed the results of a new economic impact study and began the work to develop a statewide strategy to address the coming budworm infestation.
Maine's forest products industry directly provides 17,17075 jobs, in forestry, logging, paper manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, and other sectors and its total employment is 38,789 full and part-time jobs. One out of every 20 jobs in Maine is associated with the forest products sector.
Few can forget the devastation of the last spruce budworm outbreak. Now Maine is gearing up for another. Find out what happened here the last time, learn about Quebec’s efforts to combat its ongoing spruce budworm infestation and get an update on the prospects for an infestation in Maine.
This year’s MFPC golf tournament drew 132 golfers to the Bangor Municipal Golf Course July 18 and once again showed why it's the best networking event in the forest products industry and also a lot of fun.
“ReEnergy believes that sustainable, renewable energy production is essential to reducing the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels and is committed to creating renewable sources of electricity while respecting the environment,” said Larry Richardson, Chief Executive Officer of ReEnergy Holdings. “In securing SFI certification, ReEnergy has committed to broaden the practice of sustainable forestry with its suppliers and wood producers. Promoting sustainable forestry practices allows ReEnergy to meet the environmental and social needs of the present without compromising the needs ...
Rules and regulations went into effect recently permitting truck configurations legally allowed on Maine state highways to operate on interstate highways in Maine during the period that the federal 100,000-pound pilot project is in effect.
The whole industry wrings its hands, in Maine and across the nation. The story is the same, the older generation is retiring and new entrants to the business are scarce as crosscut saws. Luckily, as the logging force gets smaller productivity gains have picked up much of the slack. But that luck won’t last forever, it’s finite and every mill owner or manager has to ask themselves daily, “How am I going to log my mill when ...
Chad Bamford found out something that many have discovered before him: Logging is "a lot harder than it looks," even, or perhaps especially, with high-tech equipment. Fortunately, Chad, a senior at Foster Technology Center in Farmington, didn’t have to get his first experience on equipment that cost $500,000. Thanks to Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Franklin, ReEnergy and Nortrax, students from Foster Tech, Mt. Blue High, Spruce Mountain, Rangeley and Mt. Abram had a chance to operate simulators that allowed them to ...
Maine’s forests are essential to the quality of life that Mainers cherish. Forests provide clean water and air, crucial habitat for wildlife and great recreation opportunities. “Undeniably, what sets Maine apart from the rest of the country — and the major reasons that Maine’s forests remain largely intact and healthy — are the diversity of markets that Maine’s forestland owners have and the ability of forest-based industries to adapt, strengthen and diversify those markets.” –Keeping Maine’s Forest-Based Economy
MFPC stays on top of legislative and regulatory initiatives affecting Maine’s forest products industry by:
• Working with policy makers to enhance Maine’s business climate for our members.
• Creating important policy dialogue among members.
• Conducting outreach efforts to inform the public about Maine’s forest products industry.
• Helping members stay informed on the industry in Maine and beyond.
• Providing opportunities for fun, fellowship and networking with industry and political leaders.
Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has been the voice of Maine’s forest economy. The MFPC represents the diverse needs of Maine’s forest products community. Our members are landowners, loggers, truckers, paper mills, tree farmers, foresters and lumber processors, but they are also bankers, lawyers and insurance executives. We feel we represent anyone who has an interest in seeing the Maine woods remain a viable, sustainable resource.
We serve our community by gathering information, bringing groups together to discuss concerns, hosting events, conducting tours and helping people find common ground. We represent our members at the Maine Legislature, but also across the state, in Washington D.C. and across the nation.
The MFPC Board is very active, and holds weekly policy teleconferences during each legislative session to discuss legislation of interest and arrive at a position.
$1 out of every $16 in Maine’s gross state product and one out of every 20 jobs is associated with the forest products sector.
Dr. Todd Gabe, a University of Maine economist, recently completed a study showing forest products contributed $8 billion to Maine’s economy in 2011. Read more about Maine’s Forest Economy.
Rangers, wind, mining and confidentiality
The debate on LD 297, which would arm Maine’s forest rangers, continues to echo in the halls of the Legislature. The initial vote in the House Feb. 25 was a strong showing — 139-7 — in favor of arming of rangers, but the issue is far from resolved. We’re also concerned about how LD 616 might harm landowners’ rights, monitoring mining regulations and the need for confidentiality in wood processor reports. Read more.
An op-ed piece by Executive Director Patrick Strauch published in the Maine Sunday Telegram.
It’s not just about big mills anymore. Maine’s forest industry offers some of the ‘greenest’ jobs.
We’re on the cusp of a new kind of thinking in Maine and across the nation. People are realizing our economy can’t be solely a service economy, nor can it be designed around financial institutions. There’s a growing consensus that, as Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute said last fall at the GrowSmart Summit in Augusta, “Going forward, we will innovate less if we do not produce more. We must make things again.” Read more.