Along with paper, forest products and wood products are among the Maine's top 11 exports by industry, with a combined value of $736,783,355 – 27 percent of Maine’s total exports in 2015. Canada continues to be the top destination for all Maine exports, including forest products. Total U.S. exports of forest products topped $33.7 billion last year.
Gov. Paul R. LePage and members of the Maine Spruce Budworm Task Force will unveil “Coming Spruce Budworm Outbreak: Initial Risk Assessment and Preparation & Response Recommendations for Maine’s Forestry Community” at a news conference in the Cabinet Room on Wednesday, March 16 at 9 a.m. “Maine assembled an impressive team of experts in advance of this spruce budworm outbreak to learn from the last outbreak and take steps to help minimize damage from this one,” Gov. LePage said.
This year’s reception Jan. 26th may have been the most lively one ever. The MFPC conference room was packed and the noise level was high as legislators and MFPC members enjoyed great food, good company and the chance to talk informally. “There are two sides to every story and this is where we get the chance to hear that other side,” said Rep. Catherine Nadeau, D-Winslow. “You have to lighten the mood with a little bit of humor. It makes ...
MFPC certainly achieved its goal of helping legislative leaders better understand the Maine’s forest products industry, but also gained an unexpected bonus. During the panel discussion at our board meeting, a strategy started to emerge, along with a sense of purpose and list of short- and long-term actions that could strengthen Maine’s forest economy.
Entomologists from the Maine Forest Service noted a steady rise in the numbers of budworm moths caught in pheromone traps concentrated along the Canadian border in 2015, according to a new report. Quebec's infestation now encompasses 15.6 million acres and has spread south onto the Gaspe Peninsula and toward Maine. The insect's potential to become an outbreak over vast regions of commercially valuable spruce-fir forests has scientists and public officials concerned.
Fred Huntress, a consulting forester for six decades, advises every forester to buy forestland, if only to learn about consequences. “Working other people’s land, you’re going to make totally different decisions than you are working on your own land,” Huntress says. “I think it’s done me a heckuva lot of good because most foresters never see the consequences. They plant trees and they never know whether the trees lived or died.”
Richard Wing practiced sustainable logging before anyone even called it that. His clients say Richard and his son Tim leave a stand “better than it was." That's just one of the reasons that the Maine Forest Products Council (MFPC) has nominated Richard Wing & Son Logging of Standish for the Northeastern Region Outstanding Logger Award, given by the Forest Resources Association.
Jim Irving, president of J.D. Irving, made a point of saying he was accepting the Austin Wilkins Award on behalf of the Irving team that earned it. The award recognizes people or organizations that stand above their peers to further forestry, forests or forestland conservation in Maine. “We’re pleased to be the first forest products company in Maine to receive this award for this type of work on Outcome Based Forestry,” Irving said. “It’s a great recognition of our team.”
How time flies once the Legislature finally adjourns. Like it or not, the 127th Legislature’s second session is on the horizon now and the optimists among us can only hope it will not be as painful or prolonged as the first. THe Legislature officially convenes January 6, but you'll need time to to pore over the lists of bills accepted, rejected and carried over.
Staff from the Maine Forest Service, CFRU and Baxter State Park got a close look at budworm-affected areas on a Canadian tour and "agreed that this was one of the most valuable field tours they had ever attended."
Leaders of several groups that oppose a national park in the Millinocket area have called upon park proponents Roxanne Quimby and her son, Lucas St. Clair, to abandon their plans now that voters in Medway and East Millinocket have rejected the park proposal in recent advisory referendums. The coalition leaders asked them to “apply your substantial land holdings and financial resources to more realistic and meaningful economic development in the region.”
MFPC just sent comments, reports and photos regarding the Canada lynx status review. Foresters working for a number of MFPC members in the northern forests are seeing a lot of lynx. Even if you just want to look at the great pictures of beautiful lynx, this report is worth a look.
It’s a shame that Mary Booth’s prejudice against biomass led her to attack Sen. Angus King in her May 28 BDN OpEd. King has shown real leadership on energy and the environment with his bill, S.1284, “to clarify the treatment of carbon emissions from forest biomass.”
It’s sad to see Buzz Caverly, who served the park faithfully for 45 years, support a national park right on Baxter’s border. “There are some who will argue that such a plan would take over Baxter,” Caverly wrote, “but I am confident that a new park will not provide such a threat..." With due respect to Caverly, Baxter wasn’t so trusting.
When you look at Maine's top 10 exports by industry, paper is Number 1, while forest products and wood products also are among the state’s top 10 exports, with a combined value of $758,423,964 – 27.5 percent of Maine’s total exports.
Most Mainers barely recall the last spruce budworm infestation, when the northern forests turned red as they came under attack. Nor do they realize how budworm has shaped Maine’s history, economy, laws and culture. But those who lived through the 1970s outbreak are watching with dismay as another outbreak heads our way. They vividly remember the devastation, including moth flights “so severe that they literally had to be scraped off the road with snow plows.”
Fortunately for Maine, Canada has set aside $18 million for spruce budworm research funds -- and the Canadians are willing to share what they learn. Entomologist Rob Johns of the Canadian Forest Service came to Augusta in April to deliver a fascinating update on the Canada's ongoing research and early intervention efforts. He also said that researching spruce budworm while coping with a growing infestation is like “trying to build a plane and fly it at the same time.”
Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has been the voice of Maine's forest economy, including landowners, paper mills, sawmills, wood pellet plants, biomass energy plants, loggers, truckers, primary and secondary wood processors, and related service industries. The primary purpose of the Council is to provide a supportive economic and public policy climate for the forest products community and promote a healthier, more vital forestry sector.
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.
As Baby Boomers retire, jobs are opening up in Maine’s forests. Do you have what it takes to work in the largest contiguous privately owned working forest in the U.S.? Don’t decide until you’ve watched this video.
Two themes have dominated during the last few months: Energy and the path forward for Maine’s forest products industry. While biomass certainly grabbed the headlines in the Legislature and several in Congress, a lot more has been going on. Here are some of the highlights.
The Press Herald and Bangor Daily News ultimately called LD 1676, An Act To Establish a Process for the Procurement of Biomass Resources a “biomass bailout.” Even MFPC members initially were divided on this bill, but with a lot of work by many parties the final language addressed many of the concerns in the original language. The debates in the House and Senate demonstrated bipartisan concern about the health of the logging community and sawmills, and acknowledged the challenge of biomass economics.
When Fred Huntress looks back on his much-younger self, he can’t help but laugh.
“When I was in high school I wouldn’t even talk on the phone,” he says. “Gosh, it took me a long time to get out of that shell. Now you can’t stop me from talking.”
Huntress is celebrating his 50th year as a member of the Maine Forest Products Council and he likely holds the record for the longest tenure on the Council’s Board, including president from 1983 to 1985.