MFPC's 2020 Annual Meeting was like no other

Even though it’s been 60 years since the Maine Forest Products Council was founded, it’s safe to say that MFPC’s Annual Meeting Sept. 21 was unique. Instead of unfolding over two days, it lasted two hours. There was no time spent on the road, no expenses, no food or drink, no golf and not a single hand was shaken. Like all MFPC meetings since Maine’s first COVID 19 case was reported in mid-March, it was a “virtual” meeting, attended by 88 ...

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LUPC executive director gets ‘real insights' on MFPC tour

Executive Director Patrick Strauch was happy to oblige when Judy East, executive director of Maine’s Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC), expressed interest in touring forestlands owned or managed by MFPC members. “I appreciated Judy’s initiative and genuine interest in seeing the forests through our perspective, especially in the COVID environment,” Strauch said. The tour on Aug. 20-21, organized by Gordon Gamble, Wagner Forest Management; Hannah Stevens, Seven Islands, Chris Fife, Weyerhaeuser, and the MFPC staff, and had an ambitious itinerary.

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What's the difference?

Governor Mills has encouraged Maine small businesses affected by the COVID-19 virus to apply for loans, but which one would work best for your business? Paycheck Protection Program vs. Economic Injury Disaster Loan? Check out links to information on disaster loans and how to access them.

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COVID-19 Resources and Guidance

The COVID-19 virus brings many challenges for Maine's forest products industry, but fortunately there also are resources and guidance that can help. MFPC is working with Gov. Janet Mills’ administration, the congressional delegation and national trade associations. We have compiled and will constantly update information about what's happening, what options are available to your business and how you can respond.

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What can drones do? A lot

In Maine's forests, drones (aka UAVs or UAS) are contributing to sustainable forest management plans, monitoring harvest operations, finding forest fires, tracking invasive insect infestations, search and rescue, and much more. Drone enthusiasts everywhere are finding new uses for them, including catching fish,  washing windows, and selling homes 68 percent faster than houses without aerial images.

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Innovation is Fueling Maine’s Forest Products Industry

Sen. Susan Collins: Throughout Maine’s history, our forest products industry has helped drive local economies and sustain rural communities. As the economy changes, this vital industry is evolving to meet the challenges of the 21st century. I have seen firsthand this evolution around our state in recent months. In addition, they are the hosts for our increasingly important recreation economy and uphold the Maine tradition of public access to private lands.

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Intro to mechanical engineering

We often hear that students in northern Maine may no longer see job opportunities in the forests, with wood and with wood products. If that's true, it may be because students don't heard about the wind turbines, bridges, composites, pulp and paper, health and engineering research. Fortunately Project Learning Tree's statewide network includes outstanding teachers who seek to bring the best of Maine to their students.

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Importance of forest products industry to Maine's economy

Last spring MFPC added one question to the Critical Insights on Maine survey, a comprehensive, statewide public opinion survey of registered voters, which has been documenting the attitudes, perceptions, and preferences of Maine’s residents for more than 20 years. “On a scale from 1 to 7, how important to Maine’s economy is the state’s forest products industry? (1 not at all important to 7 very important).”

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What's up with Maine's white pine?

Ken Laustsen, biometrician for the Maine Forest Service, reported on the status of white pine at the MFPC Board meeting Nov. 9, saying “Eastern White Pine is still ranked statewide as #3 in total live merchantable volume and #1 in sawtimber volume,” Laustsen said. “Over the last 20 years, concerns have been occasionally raised about the status and prospects of this species.The presentation addresses both issues, looking at the forest type’s core area and the broader statewide trends.”

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After a dark decade, secondary wood manufacturing rebounds

Secondary wood manufacturing once played an enormous role in Maine’s rural economy, with mills in many towns across the state. Then from roughly 1998 to 2008, a flood of imports put many mills out of business. In 2003 alone about a dozen closed. But the survivors learned how to survive in global markets and their industry is now growing again.

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Check out Maine's budworm website

A new spruce budworm website, designed to be a comprehensive communications outreach tool and resource for the coming outbreak in Maine, has been launched by a statewide task force.The website provides facts about the natural cycle of the budworm, current information regarding the approach and potential impacts of the next outbreak, an historical backdrop, and interactive maps on current outbreak status and citizen science. It also includes an interactive Q&A on the site, and the ability to request experts to ...

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Amazing lynx photos

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.

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Maine's 'Battle of the Budworm'

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.”

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Join us!

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.

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About MFPC

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, 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.

MFPC fact sheet

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 Denico receives 2020 Abby Holman Public Service Award

Don Mansius, director of Forest Policy and Management Division at the Maine Forest Service (MFS) not only nominated Doug Denico for the Maine Forest Products Council’s 2020 Abby Holman Public Service, also presented the award at MFPC’s “virtual” annual meeting September 21, saying:  “Doug Denico is one of those rare people who was able to move from the private sector into the public sector and step into the role of public servant without missing a beat. As state forester for eight years, Doug took care of Maine’s forests and forest policy and left both in better shape. He reached out to a diverse forestry community to implement  progressive forest policies.” Read more.

The state of Maine’s forest economy in 2020

With roughly $1 billion dollars invested in Maine’s forest economy in the past few years, there’s a lot to talk about. So the Maine Forest Products Council (MFPC) invited all legislative candidates and MFPC members to attend one of the four regional online meetings.

Traditionally, the Maine Forest Products Council holds a series of regional breakfasts — and we provide the breakfast! — to give candidates and MFPC’s members a chance to get to know each other. In the COVID era, though, that tradition had to change, so we turned to ZOOM to bring everyone together. Candidates got a chance to hear about our industry, from the effects of COVID to the rapidly developing market for new forest-based products. The webinars were designed to bring candidates and constituents together to ask questions and discuss issues. See video and/or download the powerpoint 

 

Calendar of Events

Let's stay in touch and help each other

Like all of you, the Council's staff hopes to stay safe and also remain productive. So our staff will be working at home whenever possible. This includes SFI activities. Please call or email.
Patrick Strauch, Executive Director, 207-841-6869, pstrauch@maineforest.org
Pat Sirois, SFI, 207-837-0101, psirois@maineforest.org.
Roberta Scruggs, Communications, 207-689-6401, rscruggs@maineforest.org.
Sue McCarthy, Office Manager, 207-841-1651. smccarthy@maineforest.org,

When: Thu November 19 12:00 AM - Mon February 15 2021 12:00 AM

130th Legislature to be sworn in

The time and place has not yet been announced.

When: Wed December 2 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Let’s preserve public access to private land

Maine has a tradition that’s unique in our nation. Maine landowners have traditionally allowed the public to use their properties for recreational activities, while in other states access to private land is often severely restricted. The Council’s report — Understanding public access to private working forests in Maine — is designed to help preserve that tradition. Read more.

 
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U.S. Forest Service accepting applications for $10 million in grants

The USDA Forest Service announced it is now accepting applications for approximately $10 million in funding through the 2021 Wood Innovations Grant and the 2021 Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation Grant.

These grants seek to support local economies through wood products and wood energy innovations while reducing hazardous fuels and improving forest health.

“Healthy and productive markets for wood products and wood energy are integral to supporting sustainable management and improving conditions of our nation’s forested lands,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “We can enhance the health and resilience of public and private forests while fostering innovation and strengthening economic opportunities around wood products.” Read more.