Sustainable forestry
Forest products remained Maine’s largest export industry in 2016, with $626 million in sales in 2016, nearly 22 percent of all state exports.

Tree Growth, excise tax and Roadmap updates

The generally positive trend in housing starts is good for our lumber manufacturers, but they are keeping a weary eye on the growing sawdust and other wood waste piles whose markets are decreasing. We have ongoing challenges but a history of resilience and innovation that will keep Maine’s forest economy vibrant for generations to come.

On another note, despite the furor of the legislative session, we have been making great progress on the Roadmap Initiative with the establishment of the executive and working committees for the  Global Assessment, Inventory, Transportation and Emerging Technologies sectors. Some of the proposal requests from committees are advertised in our May newsletter. (Request for Information Global Market Analysis and Benchmarking; Request for Proposal Maine Wood Supply Projections

This work is establishing a strategic plan that we look forward to sharing with policymakers and the public. There is also a lot of activity around new opportunities for manufacturing that we should be hearing about in the next few months. Members are traveling internationally to check out technologies that could be used in Maine and manufacturers are assessing opportunities to move their production facilities to our state.

The Governor’s Tree Growth bill finally arrived and after careful review and discussions we testified in favor of the bill as long as significant changes were made.

The Amendment to LD 1599 presented by the Maine Forest Service was responsive to these concerns and focuses on establishment of a pilot program where the MFS can conduct an audit of inactive woodlands for the purpose of helping landowners to come into compliance or assist them in switching to an appropriate taxation program. We think this limited program with a sunset provision is a good way to evaluate the extent of program misclassifications and ensures the long-term integrity of the Tree Growth law and public support of the program.

The majority of the Taxation Committee did not support the bill and voted ought not to pass (9 to 3) with a letter to stakeholders to meet and bring suggestions to the table next session.  But after meeting with the administration and stakeholders this week, MFPC thinks the minority report has merit and will support its passage. 

LD 541 An Act Regarding the Commercial Forestry Excise Tax bounced back to the committee for an updated vote. I’ve previously referred to this bill as a political football, which has been transformed from a proposal to increase the tax rate to an outright repeal of the tax in its current form. The Republicans have consistently supported our ONTP position on the bill and a $2.5 million dollar fiscal note likely makes the bill DOA. So although we won’t fight an elimination of the tax, landowners don’t get your hopes up!

The MFPC staff followed more than 130 industry-related bills through this session, and Michele McLean has written her column  about some of the others that are important to us.

On another note, despite the furor of the legislative session, we have been making great progress on the Roadmap Initiative with the establishment of the executive and working committees for the  Global Assessment, Inventory, Transportation and Emerging Technologies sectors. Some of the proposal requests from committees are advertised in the our May newsletter. (Request for Information Global Market Analysis and Benchmarking; Request for Proposal Maine Wood Supply Projections

This work is establishing a strategic plan that we look forward to sharing with policymakers and the public. There is also a lot of activity around new opportunities for manufacturing that we should be hearing about in the next few months. Members are traveling internationally to check out technologies that could be used in Maine and manufacturers are assessing opportunities to move their production facilities to our state.

The generally positive trend in housing starts is good for our lumber manufactures, but they are keeping a weary eye on the growing sawdust and other wood waste piles whose markets are decreasing. We have ongoing challenges but a history of resilience and innovation that will keep Maine’s forest economy vibrant for generations to come.

News Archive
Calendar of Events

MFPC Annual Meeting

When: Sun September 17 12:00 PM - Mon September 18 11:00 PM

Executive Committee Meeting

When: Thu October 12 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Executive Committee Meeting

Budget Meeting
When: Thu November 9 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Board of Directors Meeting

When: Thu November 9 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

MFPC Executive Committee Meeting

When: Thu December 14 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where: MFPC Office
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