What do manufacturers need most?
Join us for an important meeting Aug. 17 to define common issues
Now that the legislative session is over, the Maine Forest Products Council is turning its attention towards the update of our strategic plan. Many manufacturing members have expressed the desire to convene the manufacturing committee in order to define common issues. We’re inviting you to attend a committee meeting from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday, August 17, at the MFPC office in Augusta. MFPC’S strength is its broad base of perspectives that our collective membership provides. It’s time to work together to define our common manufacturing issues, and determine what actions are needed to advance them. Read more.
Still in limbo
Spruce Budworm Management Act among 65 vetoed bills
Unless you’ve tuned out the news lately, you know there is at least one more act to the long-running drama of the 2015 legislative session. The argument over 65 vetoed bills is now in the hands of Maine’s highest court. What you may not know is that one of those bills is LD 870 An Act To Amend the Maine Spruce Budworm Management Laws.
The court has fast-tracked Gov. Paul LePage’s request for an opinion on whether he could veto bills the Legislature says have already become law. Responses to initial filings are due Wednesday and oral arguments are scheduled for July 31.
What you may not know is that one of those bills is LD 870 An Act To Amend the Maine Spruce Budworm Management Laws. Maine’s highest court has fast-tracked Gov. Paul LePage’s request for an opinion on whether he could veto bills the Legislature says have already become law. Responses to initial filings are due Wednesday and oral arguments are scheduled for July 31. This was not a bill that the governor opposed – in fact, his veto message expresses no criticism of LD 870. It was simply caught up in end of the session politics. Read more.
Best tour ever
A close look at Quebec’s budworm damage
Staff from the Maine Forest Service, CFRU and Baxter State Park got a close look at budworm-affected areas on a Canadian tour July 10-12 and “agreed that this was one of the most valuable field tours they had ever attended.” They spent a day on the north shore with more than a dozen stops between Forestville and Baie-Comeau. In the Matapédia Valley, the damage was unmistakable — with reddened foliage ringing the host trees and larvae, pupae and moths observed. Read more.
Wildlife Action Plan released
IFW requests public review and comments by August 30
On July 14, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) released a draft of the 2015 Wildlife Action Plan. The deadline for public comments is August 13. The draft has been a year in development and is required of all state wildlife and fishery agencies in order to qualify for federal funding for some programs. The plan is designed to prioritize work on species and habitats that show declining populations or trends or need more work to establish trends. These species are not yet endangered or threatened but may require some attention to prevent them from becoming so. The plan goes on to examine possible stressors to those populations and potential conservation actions that may address the decline. Read more.
Redefinition of WOTUS
A flood of lawsuits from states and organizations, including NAFO
More than two dozen states — Maine is not one of them — and at least a dozen organizations, including the National Alliance of Forest Owners, have filed lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for redefining the “Waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, erasing “navigable” and usurping states’ rights by including local seasonal streams, farm irrigation ponds, roadside ditches, and even “connective” dry lands placed under authority of the Clean Water Act. David Tenney of NAFO told Biomass Magazine that the EPA’s proposal threatens to impose costly, new administrative burdens and litigation risk for states and forest owners. Read more.
Benefits of biomass
Sen. Collins leads bipartisan Senate effort to promote forest bioenergy
U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) led a bipartisan letter, signed by 46 senators, including Angus King (I-ME), urging the leaders of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to recognize the clear benefits of forest bioenergy in federal policy. “Many states are relying on renewable biomass to meet their energy goals, and we support renewable biomass to create jobs and economic growth while meeting our nation’s energy needs,” the senators wrote. “Our constituents employed in the biomass supply chain deserve a federal policy that recognizes the clear benefits of forest bioenergy.” Read more.
‘Sometimes big ideas are just plain bad ideas’
Leaders of several groups that oppose a national park in the Millinocket area have sent a letter to Roxanne Quimby and her son, Lucas St. Clair, to abandon their proposal for a national park now that voters in Medway and East Millinocket have rejected the park proposal in recent advisory referendums. The letter noted that Quimby and St. Clair have spent several years and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to build support for a national park among people in the Millinocket area, and “hired public relations consultants and outreach coordinators; held public forums; paid for numerous ads, mailings and robo-calls; commissioned polls, and made large donations to environmental and community groups” in an effort to influence the votes in Medway and East Millinocket, two of the towns that would be most impacted by the proposed national park and national recreation area. Read more.
Community Guided Planning
Committees continue work in four counties
Committees continue to work on Community Guided Planning and Zoning (CGPZ) in Aroostook, Washington, Franklin and Somerset counties.
- A joint meeting of the Franklin and Somerset subcommittees is scheduled for 4 p.m., Tuesday, July 28 at the Kingfield Town Office. The meeting will review progress to date of each subcommittee and discuss common themes and the timetable, process and results to be expected moving forward. The agenda for the meeting. More information.
- In Aroostook County, a public meeting was held on July 15 meeting, but only three people attended and just two asked questions. The CGPZ Committee then started discussing things LUPC had added since the past meeting. The committee couldn’t reach consensus on an approach, so decided to reconsider at a later meeting. More information.
- Washington County Commissioners approved the Process Document at their July 9th meeting and a preliminary list of Planning Committee members but more UT residents are needed and put their names forward before July 31. The Commissioners will finalize the Planning Committee at their Aug 13 meeting. The Process Document also must be approved by LUPC, which will review it Aug 12. meeting. Planning Committee meetings are expected to start in September. More information.
Four days of great family fun from Aug. 6-9
The popular Forest Heritage Days event will return to Greenville Aug. 6-9, offering people of all ages a behind-the-scenes experience of Maine’s working forests. The free event is the only place in Maine where guests can take a bus tour through the state’s magnificent woods, try their hand at ax throwing, cheer on loggers as they race head-to-head in a speed cutting competition, and eat a traditional bean hole dinner all in one weekend. Now in its 24th year, the festival has expanded to offer four days of family fun beginning Thursday, Aug. 6 through Sunday, Aug. 9 at Greenville Consolidated School, 130 Pritham Ave. Read more.
Find out what’s happening at MFPC’s annual meeting Sept. 13-14
The opportunity that most excites Brian McClay, the principal consultant at Brian McClay & Associés Inc., is “the potential for wood pulp-based rayon to take market share from polyester in the textile business. This opportunity comes from polyester’s contribution to micro-plastic pollution of the oceans and rivers and the fact that polyester is not biodegradable whereas wood pulp-based rayon is. This is a pretty new topic but it could be a game-changer for pulp.” We’ll also tackle one of the toughest issues facing our industry and many others – energy. A representative from ISO New England, the independent, not-for-profit corporation responsible for keeping electricity flowing across the six New England states, will update us on the status and outlook of demand response programs in the region. And we’ll take a tour of the Irving Mill in Dixfield. Read more.
Long-time MFPC member Gilbert Cyr dies
Gilbert L. Cyr, 87, passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, July 20, 2015, in the presence of his loving family, following a short illness. He operated a farm and a sawmill, and became a self-employed logging contractor. He was the president of Cyr Lumber Inc. and Cyr Leasing Inc. in Portage Lake. Read more.
Lionel Tardie, 96, of Winterville, the father of MFPC Board Member Don Tardie, died Thursday, July 23. He was a resident of Winterville for his whole life, helping his father pioneer a family farm out of a forest as a teenager. He passionately mowed the family farm until the age of 95. He was well known in the trucking circles as he owned and operated a logging and gravel truck for a greater part of his professional life. Read more.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.
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.
Patrick Strauch, Executive Director;
Pat Sirois, SFI Coordinator
Roberta Scruggs, Communications Director
Sue McCarthy, Office Manager
Address: 535 Civic Center Dr., Augusta ME 04330
Phone: 207-622-9288 Website: www.maineforest.org