Did You know

Wood is sustainable, renewable, greenhouse-gas friendly, highly versatile, grown with relatively little effort. Forests provide clean air, water, wildlife habitat and biodiversity.

2018 seems like a year of recovery for forest products

After a roller-coaster period of declines, 2018 seems like a year of recovery. Investments in our remaining pulp and paper mills are strong as they diversify their production lines. Markets for lumber and building products also are doing well and there is significant activity surrounding emerging technologies that could fit in Maine. However, there are still regions where markets are poor and more should be done to attract investments.

The Council has made considerable investment in the FOR/MAINE strategic planning process, with many members involved in this broad-based effort. Consultants have provided us with a better idea of where we fit in the global economy. We know where and what species of wood we need to focus on, and we’re developing recommendations for the coming administration that are an important part of implementing the plan. We think we can grow Maine’s forest industry from $8.5 billion to $11 billion if policymakers make the right choices.

To be honest, I’m not sure I can make any sense out of the drawn out “short session” of the 128th Legislature. Energy issues were not significantly advanced. Some gains were made with tax conformity. The Taxation Committee was responsive to our policy concerns and rejected changes to the Tree Growth and forestry excise tax programs, and the UT budget. The Agriculture,Conservation and Forestry Committee was engaged in battles with the administration and was hearing mixed messages from the industry. The governor’s record use of vetoes – 643 over his eight years, according to the BDN, compared to 469 for all governors dating back to 1917 – affected the discipline of the legislative body.

We pushed back on threatening policies and mainly prevailed. However, our 20-year resistance to arming forest rangers was overruled this session. There’s a certain irony in that because the emerald ash borer invasion demonstrated our point that threats to natural resource protection – not ranger safety – are growing.

On the regulatory front, we made some gains. LUPC is leading a discussion about planning in the unorganized territory by examining the adjacency rules. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a determination that the endangered species designation for Canada lynx should be dropped. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection petitioned the federal EPA to remove Maine from the Ozone Transport Region. DEP’s action was based on sound science and an understanding that these regulations are detrimental to our recovering industry. The Council’s advocacy efforts, including strong testimony from sawmills, pulp and paper mills and wood manufacturers, resonated with state regulators, who moved forward with these important changes.

Many thanks to the talented MFPC team, Sue McCarthy, Roberta Scruggs, Pat Sirois, Michele MacLean and Bill Ferdinand, who are committed to serving members and looking out for our collective best interests.

To me, these are rewarding times in the management of the Council! I look forward to the next year armed with proactive legislative ideas from you and our strategic planning process. I also count on your active involvement as we work together to build a stronger forest economy in the coming year.

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Calendar of Events

Maine Forest Products Week

Celebrate Maine Forest Products Week! Congress designated the third week of October (October 18-24, 2020) as National Forest Products Week (NFPW) to recognize the value of forest products and commit to conservation practices that help responsibly manage U.S. forests. This week celebrates the role and impact of forests and wood as an integral component to our nation's society. The week provides an opportunity to focus public attention on Maine’s forests and forest products industry and celebrate their importance to our state. Members of the industry, led by the Maine Forest Products Council, are planning a series of activities designed to engage and educate the public and the media.

When: Sun October 18 8:00 AM - Sat October 24 11:00 PM

MFPC Board Meeting

When: Thu November 12 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: MFPC Office, 535 Civic Center Drive, Augusta Maine
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Make your voice heard in Augusta and Washington! MFPC employs three lobbyists who stay on top of legislative and regulatory initiatives affecting Maine’s forest products industry.

 

Networking
You’re invited! Take advantage of the Council’s many opportunities to visit with the who’s who of Maine’s forest products industry at any of our special events.

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