The first candidate breakfast in Gray got MFPC off to a great start. About 30 people attended Oct. 1, about evenly split between candidates and folks from the forest products industry. Executive Director Patrick Strauch's presentation not only was very informative, but sparked lively discussion about our issues, including what the industry needs to prosper.
"It was a great dialogue and illustrates how well the candidate breakfasts work," Strauch said. "They give us a chance to help candidates understand our industry ...
The reviews are in, and the consensus is that the 54th MFPC Annual Meeting was, as members said, “one of the best,” “valuable and enjoyble” and “whoever is in charge of the weather gets extra points.” The weather certainly could not have been more accommodating for the meeting, which was held in Bar Harbor on Sept. 7 and 8. With a beautiful backdrop, the business and informational sessions were well attended and so was the tour of Pleasant River ...
Each year, the Maine Forest Products Council asks its members to select outstanding individuals from the forest products community. Nominees for best logger, forester, truck and manufacturer must not only excel in their professions, but they also must exert a positive impact on our industry. The nomination criteria is rigorous and each nominee is closely scrutinized by MFPC staff. the scrutiny by MFPC is exacting. The winners of MFPC awards are the best in the business.
"Woody" -- a walking tree! -- was a big hit as the mascot of the first Festival of the Forest, sponsored by the Bucksport Bay Chamber of Commerce. MFPC, which partnered with the Chamber on the event, was on hand, along with Robbins Lumber, SWOAM and the Maine Forest Service. Verso Paper conducted tours for about 250 people and “the response has been extremely positive, including nice notes from several individuals thanking us."
Gov. Paul LePage told the MFPC Board that his concerns include Democratic control of the Legislature, a national park, aging loggers and taxes. He also talked about areas where progress has been made or soon will be, including infrastructure, investment and Maine's financial outlook.
Congressman Mike Michaud began his discussion with the MFPC Board by answering a question he said he is often asked: "Why are you going to give up a safe seat in Congress to come back to run for governor? A lot of people think it's because Congress is dysfunctional, which it is, but I really do love my job, what I'm doing in Washington," Michaud said. "It was a very difficult decision for me to come back and decided to ...
Several species of bats are in big trouble due to a fungus that causes what is known as “white nose syndrome.” Bats that hibernate in caves are the the species most affected, including the Northern Long Eared Bat, which is currently under consideration by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
With help from landowners, the Maine Forest Service dramatically increased the number of budworm trapping sites from about 100 last year to around 400, so it can better monitor the budworm population. With an 8 million-acre infestation in Quebec, Maine and New Brunswick already have seen a sharp increase in the number of budworm moths caught in both pheromone and light traps.
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.”
Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler spent an hour with the MFPC Board on May 8, telling them how strongly he believes in "substantial equality of opportunity," because with opportunity comes "at least the possibility of success." And the biggest problem that we have in Maine today is that for too many people in Maine, young and old, there is not opportunity and there can be no success," Cutler said, citing 11 straight years of a decline in economic activity.
After 60 good years and a half dozen bad ones, it looked as if the only sawmill in Sanford might not survive. But the owners of Pleasant River Lumber Co. saw potential, not just problems. Pleasant River Lumber bought the former Lavalley sawmill in December 2012, and what a difference that’s made – the difference between bankruptcy and a bright future.
In 2013, Maine’s forest products exports totaled $891 million, which is 33 percent of the state's total $2.6 billion exports. The forest industry’s three major categories claimed three spots – first, second and fourth -- in the year’s list of Maine’s top exports.
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.
$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.
One day, three great reasons to celebrate Maine’s forest economy
Oct. 2 will be remembered as a red-letter day in Aroostook County and the forest products industry because:
Irving Forest Products held the grand opening of its new sawmill in Nashville Plantation. The investment of more than $30 million will lead to the creation of more than 60 new jobs.
ReEnergy restarted its biomass plant in Ashland as part of National Bioenergy Day. The restart will restore 25 well-paying direct jobs and an estimated 150 indirect jobs in the region.
Ecoshel’s Smart Shingle Production opened its facility in Ashland. When fully operational it’s is expected to employ about 80 people and lead to the creation of a significant number of indirect jobs throughout the region.
All three gubernatorial candidates talked with the MFPC Board about their strategies to improve Maine’s economy, especially its forest economy.
Gov. Paul LePage outlined his concerns, including Maine’s regulatory environment, Democratic control of the Legislature, a national park, aging loggers and taxes .He also talked about areas where progress has been made. Read more.
Congressman Mike Michaud said he’s determined to bring stability back to state government and emphasized his “proven track record” with Democrats, Republicans and independents. Read more.
Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler told told the board how strongly he believes in “substantial equality of opportunity,” because with opportunity comes “at least the possibility of success.” Read more.
Outstanding! MFPC honors best of 2014
Outstanding Manufacturer: Hardwood Products of Guilford
Outstanding Logger: Richard Wing, Richard Wing & Sons Logging, Standish
Outstanding Forester: Tricia Quinn of Plum Creek
Outstanding Trucker: Jim Carrier, Richard Carrier Trucking, Skowhegan