Author: Roberta Scruggs

Maine Forest Service online session March 3rd: Submitting Forest Operations Notifications with the new Forest Online Resource Tool

Maine Forest Service online session March 3rd at 8 a.m.

As announced last June, FONS (Forest Operations Notifications) transitioned to the online Forest Online Resource Tool (FOResT) on 01 January, 2021.

To help landowners, loggers, and foresters become familiar with the new online system, the Maine Forest Service will offer a public, online overview and demonstration session on FOResT on March 3rd. Licensed Forester Continuing Education Credits have recently been approved for these sessions. Credits: 2 hours – Category 1. Sign up for the March 3rd session

This session will contain:

  • 40-45 minute overview of FOResT followed by 15-20 minutes for attendees to ask questions.
  • 10 minute break
  • 1.5 hour in-depth demo of FOResT followed by 30 minutes for attendees to ask questions

If you have any questions or have trouble signing up, contact the Maine Forest Service at forestinfo@maine.gov or 207-287-2791.

There is no maximum number of attendees. These sessions will be repeated throughout the winter to ensure that people have multiple opportunities to attend.

In addition to March 3, future sessions will begin at 8 a.m. on the following Wednesdays: March 17 and March 31.
Invitations to each of these sessions will be sent out for you to sign up. Updates on scheduling and other information regarding FOResT will be announced via MFS’s electronic newsletters for landowners, foresters, and loggers.

All sessions will be recorded for those who are unable to attend or would like to review what was covered.

For more information about FOResT and to view recordings of previous sessions visit: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/rules_regs/forest_home.html

NOTE: If you have attended one of these sessions in the past and would like to receive these credits, please contact the Maine Forest Service at forestinfo@maine.gov with your name and the date of the session you attended.

MFPC Legislative Update Feb. 12

What a surprise! Tree Growth Tax under attack again

 

No, you’re not experiencing deja vu. LD 188 An Act Regarding the Transportation of Products in the Forest Products Industry is yet another bill that proposes to use the Tree Growth Tax to promote an unrelated issue — and this bill is similar but even worse than last session’s LD 2061 An Act Regarding the Transportation of Products in the Forest Products Industry, which squeaked out of the Taxation Committee on a party-line vote and died when the pandemic ended the session.

We hope many members will again testify against LD 188 on Tuesday, February 23, at 9:30 a.m. We’ll be sending out talking points shortly. You can submit testimony and sign up to speak at the hearing here. If you’d like to see if you know someone on the Taxation Committee, their names and contact information can be found here. Find your Legislator.

Below is a comparison of the 129th’s summary of LD 2061 and the 130th’s summary of LD 188:

  • LD 2061 Summary: This bill provides that land of a landowner that owns 50,000 or more acres of forest land in the State and allows transportation of forest products harvested on the landowner’s land from a location in the State to another location in the State in violation of federal law or regulation or an international trade agreement is ineligible for classification under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law and the landowner may not receive certain tax incentives or state grants or other state funding.
  • LD 188 Summary: This bill requires that owners and managers of log yards and mill sites present a copy of a trip ticket to a forest ranger in the log yard or mill site upon request. The bill adds a requirement related to the transportation of forest products by providing that a landowner of 50,000 or more acres of forest land in the State may not allow the transportation of forest products harvested on the landowner’s land from a location in the State to another location in the State in violation of federal law or regulation or an international trade agreement that prohibits the transportation of goods from a location in the United States to another location in the United States. The bill also provides that a landowner with 2 prior violations of the new transportation requirement is ineligible for classification of the landowner’s land under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law and the landowner may not receive certain tax incentives or state grants or other state funding.

 

What happened Feb. 8-12

Monday Feb. 8

Inland Fisheries & Wildlife: Twenty-three people submitted testimony at the public hearing on LD 142 An Act To Give the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Rule-making Authority To Establish a Bear Season Framework and Bag Limits. This bill is the result of a compromise in the 129th Legislature. The work session is Wednesday, February 24, 10 a.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, 9 a.m.: James May was confirmed to the Land Use Planning Commission, and Catherine Robbins-Halsted and Bob Meyers were confirmed to the Land for Maine’s Future Board.

Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry: 1 p.m. MFPC submitted testimony supporting LD 90 An Act To Amend the Removal Process Applicable to the Position of State Supervisor of the Forest Protection Unit of the Bureau of Forestry. The work session has not yet been scheduled. MFPC testimony on LD 90 final.

Health & Human Service, 10 a.m.: MFPC supported LD 129 Resolve, To Protect Consumers of Public Drinking Water by Establishing Maximum Contaminant Levels for Certain Substances and Contaminants, and opposed LD 164 An Act To Establish Maximum Contaminant Levels under the State’s Drinking Water Rules for Certain Perflouroalkyl and Polyflouroalkyl Substances. Read testimony. Bill Ferdinand testified for MFPC and was quoted in the Portland Press Herald. “These are important decisions both economically and for the public health,” Ferdinand said, “so we want them to be based on the best science and do not want to use standards in other states without a thorough review.” MFPC testimony on LDs 129 and 164 final.

Thursday, Feb. 11

Judiciary, 10 a.m.: LD 159 An Act To Extend Time Limits for Placing Land in Trust Status under the Maine Indian Claims Settlement. MFPC is monitoring, but sees no cause to oppose.

 

Coming up Feb. 15-19

With President’s Day on Monday and the winter school break, we expect a fairly slow week. We will continue to monitor budget deliberations. There are public hearings on the two bills below.

Thursday, Feb. 18

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, 9:30 a.m. LD 207 Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 1: Fee Schedule, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Land Use Planning Commission. Monitoring.

Judiciary, 11 a.m.:

 

To submit testimony click here

To find your legislators click here and enter your address.

To watch a committee hearing click here to choose the right committee from a dropdown list and then on the top right side of your screen, click on YouTube (audio and video) or Live Audio.

 

About MFPC

Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has been the voice of Maine’s forest economy. MFPC’s members are landowners, loggers, truckers, paper mills, tree farmers, foresters, lumber processors and the owners of more than 8 million acres of commercial forestland, but they are also bankers, lawyers and insurance executives. The Council represents members at the Maine Legislature and across the state, in Washington D.C. and across the U.S.

MFPC Legislative Update Friday, Feb. 5, 2021

What happened this week

Monday, Feb. 1, 9 a.m.

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

LD 88 An Act To Amend Maine’s Wildlife Laws Regarding Species of Special Concern. MFPC supported this legislation with amendments clarifying the definition and how the list is used in regulatory and permitting matters. Read MFPC testimony.

All hearings on Feb. 2 were postponed because of the snowstorm.

Thursday, Feb. 4, 9 a.m.

Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry

LD 34 Agriculture, Conservation & ForestryAn Act To Create the Maine Forestry Operations Cleanup and Response Fund. MFPC supports creation of the Maine Forestry Operations and Response Fund reflected in section 1 and 2 of the legislation, but as a matter of due process we recommend a general “reasonable notification efforts” provision in the lien section to ensure responsible parties have an opportunity to take corrective action on their own. Read MFPC testimony.

LD 36 An Act To Amend the Definition of “Timber Harvesting, MFPC supports the effort by Maine Forest Service to track green wood movement in Maine. To better define the intent of the legislation in these instances we suggest the following clarification language: “Timber harvesting” means the cutting or removal of timber for the primary purpose of selling or processing forest products trees or forest products that when cut or removed are transported to a roundwood processing operation, as defined in section 8881, subsection 10. This does not include removal and transport of trees, logs or bark from wood reclaiming operations.” Read MFPC testimony.
Coming up Feb. 8-12

Online Public Hearings Feb. 8-11

Monday, Feb. 8, 9 a.m.

Inland Fisheries & Wildlife: LD 142 An Act To Give the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Rule-making Authority To Establish a Bear Season Framework and Bag Limits. This bill is the result of a compromise in the 129th Legislature. MFPC is monitoring.

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 9 a.m.

Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry

Confirmation hearings for James May to the Land Use Planning Commission, read MFPC testimony and Catherine Robbins-Halsted, read MFPC testimony, and Bob Meyers, read MFPC testimony, to the Land for Maine’s Future Board. MFPC supports the nominees.

Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry: 1 p.m.

LD 90 An Act To Amend the Removal Process Applicable to the Position of State Supervisor of the Forest Protection Unit of the Bureau of Forestry. MFPC supports because it will help insure the Forest Protection Unit (FPU) can retain experienced, knowledgeable officers after they have served as the FPU state supervisor. LD 90 would simply clarify that if a state supervisor is not chosen to continue serving in that position, he or she can resume the position held previously or a position equivalent in salary grade “without impairment of personnel status or the loss of seniority, retirement or other rights.” Read MFPC testimony.

Health & Human Services, 10 a.m.

LD 164 An Act To Establish Maximum Contaminant Levels under the State’s Drinking Water Rules for Certain Perflouroalkyl and Polyflouroalkyl Substances. MFPC opposes because of concerns about the lack of a scientific approach to establishing a drinking water standard without a process administered by the Maine Center for Disease Control in collaboration with the U.S. EPA.

Thursday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m.

Judiciary

LD 159 An Act To Extend Time Limits for Placing Land in Trust Status under the Maine Indian Claims Settlement. MFPC is researching.

  • To submit testimony click here
  • To find your legislators click here and enter your address.
  • To watch a committee hearing click here to choose the right committee from a dropdown list and then on the top right side of your screen, click on YouTube (audio and video) or Live Audio.

 

About MFPC

Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has been the voice of Maine’s forest economy. MFPC’s members are landowners, loggers, truckers, paper mills, tree farmers, foresters, lumber processors and the owners of more than 8 million acres of commercial forestland, but they are also bankers, lawyers and insurance executives. The Council represents members at the Maine Legislature and across the state, in Washington D.C. and across the U.S.