Good news about logger safety!

The Maine Department of Labor statistics for the most recent year reports the incidence rate for occupational injuries and illnesses for the logging sector is one half that of the national average. MFPC thanks the Certified Logger Program (CLP) for its 30-year commitment to logger education and safety.

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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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Legislative update

This session, which will almost entirely virtual, will be challenging, but we always know we can count on our members to work with us. More than 30 members joined in Jan. 22 as the MFPC Policy Committee convened for the first time (virtually on Zoom) to discuss the bills to be considered by the 130 Legislature. Executive Director Patrick Strauch checks through all the bills and flags those of interest to MFPC members. Then the Policy Committee discusses what positions MFPC should take. After the discussion, we send out a Legislative Update so all members see what what bills will coming up before committees. Read more.

MFPC watch list has many bills, including  familiar ones

By Patrick Strauch, MFPC Executive Director

Despite a pandemic and a crisis in national leadership, Maine’s forest industry keeps adapting to changing conditions as it works to remain competitive in a global marketplace. So we want to ensure that every newly elected Maine legislator understands the relationship between supporting businesses in their community and protecting jobs.

Legislative exuberance is rarely limited so at last tally, Rep. Christopher Kessler, D-South Portland, of South Portland, had the highest LR number on the list – LR 1957 An Act To Enact the Zero Tolerance Hazardous Air Emissions Act. 130th Legislature – possible bills of interest.   Read more.

 

Calendar of Events

Please stay in touch

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: Sat January 2 12:00 AM - Tue June 15 12:00 AM

130th Maine Legislature First Regular Session

When: Fri January 8 9:00 AM - Wed June 16 6:00 PM
Where: Virtual session

Find your state legislators 

The biggest challenge facing the Maine Forest Products Council is how to advocate on behalf of membership in the first session of this “virtual 130th Legislature. It’s essential that members get to know and communicate with their legislators, because your representative and senator want to know how legislation will affect their constituents.  The first step is finding out who represents you in the House and Senate. Click here to find out.

 

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UMaine awarded $4.8M to upgrade Forest Bioproducts Institute

The University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) will upgrade its Technology Research Center (TRC) in Old Town and Process Development Center (PDC) in Jenness Hall to bolster ongoing efforts to create new bioproducts, increase production and find uses for woody biomass materials typically considered waste.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) awarded FBRI $4.8 million on Jan. 7, 2021, for its research in crafting renewable fuel, heating oil, chemicals, plastics and other goods from woody biomass at a large scale.

Institute director Hemant Pendse says his team will invest about $2 million in processing technology infrastructure improvements for the off-campus TRC facility, as well as the on-campus PDC facility, with the balance supporting ongoing research. Read more.