MFPC Newsletter January/February 2016
A strategy begins to emerge
Legislative leaders, MFPC Board speak face to face
MFPC certainly achieved its goal last week of helping legislative leaders better understand the Maine’s forest products industry, but also gained an unexpected bonus. During the panel discussion at the Jan. 26th board meeting, a strategy started to emerge, along with a sense of purpose and both short- and long-term actions that could strengthen Maine’s forest economy.
The conference room was crowded with more than 40 members and four legislative leaders — Senate President Mike Thibodeau, House Speaker Mark Eves, House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe and House Assistant Minority Leader Ellie Espling. House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, an attorney, sent his regrets because he had to be court.
“I thought it was great that the leadership was here to listen to us and spend as much time as they did right in the middle of the session,” said Gordon Gamble of Wagner Forest Management. “The panel was very diverse and brought out all aspects of the industry. I thought it was great.” Read more.
The other side of the story
Reception brightens mood for legislators
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 things go so much smoother.”
Lightening the burden
Federal NLEB rule goes into effect Feb. 16
On January 14, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service published its much-awaited Final 4(d) Rule, outlining allowable “incidental takes” of the threatened Northern Long-Eared Bat, superseding the Interim Final 4(d) Rule (IFR) published last summer. The Final 4(d) Rule will go into effect on February 16, 2016. Please note FWS’s on-line information resource. Generally, the Final 4(d) Rule appears to lighten the regulatory burden on forestry activities, and on other non-forestry activities involving tree removal, compared to the more burdensome terms of the IFR, although significant and potentially troubling restrictions remain. Read more.
2016 NERCOFE workshop
Get updates on budworm, invasives and bat regulations
Northeast pulpwood market
Challenges and uncertainty on wood prices
If you’re interested in wood prices in the Northeast — and who isn’t– you’ll probably want to read the new blog by Eric Kingsley of Innovative Natural Resource Solutions. Kinglsey writes that “in the thirteen-month period from November 2014 through December 2015, Maine lost markets for about 2 million green tons of pulpwood and mill chips. In a state where the total pulpwood use was 8.1 million green tons in 2014, that’s a big deal. With mill closures in Bucksport, Old Town and a capacity reduction at Verso’s Androscoggin mill in Jay, the state and the Northeast region have suffered real market losses. It was only a matter of time before these losses would affect fiber pricing, and it appears that time has finally come.” Read more.
‘Plywood on steriods’
UMaine grad student evaluates cross-laminated lumber
2016 Outstanding Tree Farmer
“They chose a good name and they have the pine trees to back it up.” That’s how Andrew Shultz, landowner outreach forester for the Maine Forest Service describes the Tree Farm at Pine Tree Camp. Pine Tree Camp, a project of the Pine Tree Society, was selected by the Maine Tree Farm Committee as the state’s Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year for 2016. Read more.
Pepper has a share in Pine Tree Camp award
Logs for scouts
White pine logs needed for dining hall