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Please join your friends and colleagues at MFPC’s 2021 Annual Meeting!

Download Registration Form

Maine Forest Products Council 61st Annual Meeting, 

Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, Sept, 19-20, 2021

 

Dear members and friends, 

The Maine Forest Products Council invites you to attend our 61st annual membership meeting at the beautiful Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, 5092 Access Road, Carrabassett Valley, Maine. It will be great to see you all in person after only meeting “virtually” for more than a year. 

Sunday, starts with a bit of fun for golfers. We won’t have a tournament this year, but let Office Manager Sue McCarthy know if you want to play a round  —  $85 per person — and we will get you a tee time. Then we will all get together for a BBQ Sunday night.

Monday morning we’ll get down to business, starting with an early breakfast at the hotel before our annual membership meeting.  The meeting will involve an election of officers and a full report the 130th Legislature — a session like no other. 

We’ll also have speakers on what’s happening in pulp and paper, and wood markets and a panel discussion on the potential impact of carbon markets in Maine. Some say the trading of carbon credits can help companies—and the world—meet ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

The success of this meeting depends greatly on membership support. As a MFPC member, I would like to extend to you the opportunity to participate as a sponsor. As you know, sponsorship is an essential component to all the events we hold, and it is especially important to subsidize the cost of the events. This allows broader participation of our members by keeping individual expense down. A special form for sponsorship registration is enclosed with your registration materials. We hope that you will join us for our biggest event of the year.

Registration forms for all events and meals are below. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our staff at 622-9288 or email Officer Manager Sue McCarthy at smccarthy@maineforest.org.  I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Sincerely,

MFPC President Gordon Gamble,  Wagner Forest Management.

 

DON’T WAIT! REGISTER NOW.

Overnight Accommodations

All attendees will make their own reservations directly with the Reservations Department.  To do so, please call 1-866-865-1019.  Be sure when making your reservations you tell them that you are with the Maine Forest Products Council Group.  A deposit of 50% will be required at the time the reservation is made.  They will accept, MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express.  You may choose from the following list of rooms that are available.  All the rates are subject to the current Maine State room and lodging tax of 7% plus a resort charge of 4%.

Hotel Alcove…………….…………. $114

Hotel Superior/Queen Bed.….. $118

Hotel Superior / 2 Queen…….. $138

______________________________________________________________

Sponsorships

           _____  Lunch                                   Sponsor $400         

         _____  Award Winning                Sponsor $350

         _____   Meeting                               Sponsor $350

         _____   BBQ sponsor                     Sponsor $400

         _____   Breakfast                            Sponsor $400

         _____   Speakers                             Sponsor $500

         _____  Banquet Reception          Sponsor $500.00

     _______________________    Silent Auction Item

    _______________________    Live Auction Item 

Download Registration form MFPC 2021 Annual Meeting September 19-20

Sunday
     BBQ @ 6             $50.00
     Total Cost for Sunday      $50.00
Monday
      Breakfast         $25.00
      Business Meeting         $20.00
      Lunch               $30.00
      Banquet @ 5 p.m.       $55.00
     Total Cost for Monday      $130.00

Please make checks payable to the Maine Forest Products Council and send to the address below. You can also request an invoice. You can email this form to smccarthy@maineforest.org.  

Maine Forest Products Council, 535 Civic Center Drive, Augusta ME 04330

 

Name: ________________________________________________

 

Business: _______________________________________________

 

Address: ________________________________________________

 

Amount paid: _____________

Legislative Update June 25, 2021

Gov. Mills vetoes LD 125 An Act To Prohibit the Aerial Spraying of Glyphosate and Other Synthetic Herbicides for the Purpose of Silviculture
 

Late Friday afternoon, Gov. Janet Mills vetoed LD 125, a bill to ban aerial spraying. Now we all need to urge our legislators — ASAP! — to sustain her veto when the Legislature reconvenes at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 30. Find your legislators by entering your address here.

“We appreciate Gov. Mills veto very much. She clearly understood the issues and our concerns, about the effect on Maine’s forest economy,” said MFPC Executive Director Patrick Strauch. “We encourage Maine’s legislators to sustain her veto.”

The majority of the ACF Committee agreed to turn the bill into a resolve to establish more setback standards for aerial application of herbicides, but Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostook, used the power of the Senate President’s office to support the minority report and ban aerial spraying for forestry.

In Gov. Mills veto message she wrote: “Spraying for site preparation is conducted once or twice over the course of a 40- to 60-year rotation of a forest stand. It is applied with careful thought, planning, and consideration.

“It is applied under strict adherence to practices that account for weather conditions, wind direction and speed, rate of application, and the location of streams, brooks, and other water bodies. Banning aerial application, however, would force landowners to conduct ground application, which is manually intensive, has a potential for greater site disturbance and soil compaction, and may require multiple applications with higher and more dangerous concentrations levels to achieve the same level of effectiveness.

“The environmental concerns associated with aerial application need to be balanced with the goal of decarbonization and the legitimate needs of silviculture enterprises. This bill, the minority report of the Committee, fails to achieve that balance.”

When the Legislature adjourned June 17, it expected to deal with a flood of vetoes even though Gov. Mills had only issued 10 vetoes in her first two years in office. As of today, she has vetoed a total of 11 this week, including another bill MFPC opposed.

LD 194 An Act To Prohibit Contributions, Expenditures and Participation by Foreign Government-owned Entities To Influence Referenda. Excerpt from Gov. Mills’ veto message: “As an initial matter, L.D. 194’s definition of those entities subject to its prohibitions is broad, and would reach dozens of businesses that we regard as very much part of the fabric of the Maine community. Entities with direct foreign investment employ thousands of Mainers.They include Stratton Lumber, Woodland Pulp and Paper, Backyard Farms, McCain Foods, and Sprague Energy, to name just a few. Legislation that could bar these entities from any form of participation in a referendum is offensive to the democratic process, which depends on a free and unfettered exchange of ideas, information, and opinion. Such limitations on what the Supreme Court has called “core political speech” are also highly suspect as a constitutional matter.” Click here to see all her vetoes.

Unfortunately, LD 188 An Act Regarding the Transportation of Products in the Forest Products Industry, which MFPC opposed, became public law without Gov. Mills signature. Although the federal government has authority of immigration law, this bill created a state law violation for landowners and contractors who hire nonresident truckers who are lawfully working in the U.S. (specifically H-2A workers). We hope to work with federal authorities for guidance on how to proceed.

The Legislature has processed more than 1,700 bills this session and has about 30 left to vote on, according to the Portland Press Herald.

To see the status (as of today) of all the bills that MFPC is tracking click here

 

Maine’s Forest Action Plan Earns USDA Forest Service Approval
 
10-Year strategic document will help  guide state’s forest management actions
 
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service (MFS) has received official approval for its 2020 Forest Action Plan from the USDA Forest Service. The plan is a ten-year strategic document designed to help guide policies, priorities, and actions to conserve Maine’s forest resources. Read Maine’s Forest Action Plan.
 
Maine’s Forest Action Plan analyzes current conditions and trends of Maines trees and forests and provides strategies and actions to ensure a sustainable future for the state’s forests. The program is complementary to the Maine Climate Council’s recommendations in “Maine Won’t Wait,” as well as the State Wildlife Action Plan and other planning documents.
 
All U.S. states and territories must have Forest Action Plans to receive federal aid through USDA Forest Service’s State Private Forestry programs. A US Farm Bill requirement designed to support private woodland owner stewardship, urban and community forestry, and assistance to rural fire departments.
 
“This is the culmination of a great deal of hard work, research, and input by MFS staff, partner agencies, stakeholders, and members of the public,” said State Forester Patty Cormier. “We appreciate the USDA Forest Service’s acceptance of Maine’s 2020 Forest Action Plan and look forward to using it as an important tool in Maine’s forest policy toolbox.”
 
 
 
June Newsletter: Focused on the future of Maine’s forest economy
 
The work of FOR/Maine continues to be accomplished through robust and dynamic committees comprised of leaders from industry, nonprofit, government, education, and communities. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
 
WORKFORCE: FOR/Maine’s Workforce Committee is focused on understanding the industry’s labor demand, identifying appropriate labor pools, and recruiting and training the workforce necessary to drive growth and innovation in Maine’s forest products economy. The committee has been working with the Center for Business and Economic Research at USM to complete a study including recommendations for an industry workforce strategy. The Final Draft Workforce report has been received from the University of Southern Maine team and approved by the Workforce Committee. The final report will be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval and posted on FOR/Maine’s site by the end of June.
 
MARKET ATTRACTION: The Market Attraction Committee is focused on developing a Strategic Investment Attraction Strategy for Maine’s forest economy. The committee contracts with Indufor for strategy generation, lead development and lead stewardship. Monitoring this relationship and the leads generated is the committee’s primary focus as we strive to attract new business to Maine, and spur re-investment in businesses in the state. An MOU group has been formed to manage leads generated by Indufor. Leveraging the work of five other FOR/Maine committees, the MOU group is able to efficiently compile responses for interested companies.
 
EMERGING TECH: The purpose of the Emerging Technologies Committee is to scan the local and global landscape of research and business development activities to identify opportunities in new forest products that may be a good fit for Maine and to assess the potential of these companies. The committee continues to accomplish this work through utilizing a standard memo to assess companies as they arise, and partnering with Indufor to improve an existing database of emerging technology companies.
 
WOOD SUPPLY: The purpose of the Wood Supply Committee is to assess species variety and availability under different environmental and economic scenarios. The Wood Supply Committee has worked with Sewall Company to complete an updated analysis, which will be released in July.
 
SMALL LANDOWNERS: The purpose of the Small Woodland Owner Committee is to improve outreach and engagement with Maine’s small woodland owners, with the goals of increasing engagement with forest land and increasing sustainable yields from small woodlots. The committee contracted with the Center for Non-Profit Solutions to conduct a study and develop a strategy for engaging “Woodland Retreat” landowners, which the committee reviewed in early June and will be released in July.
 
TRANSPORTATION: The purpose of the Transportation Committee is to examine opportunities for improved efficiency in the transportation of forest products, associated machinery and vehicles. The transportation continues to work with DOT to elevate priority route improvements to roads and bridges and is in the process of drafting a scope of work for a study that will assess the possibility of expanding a pilot for the movement of empty low beds and forest harvesting equipment at night.
 
COMMUNICATIONS: The focus of the Communications Committee is to oversee a marketing and public relations campaign, managed by Sutherland Weston, that seeks to amplify visibility and positive perception of the sector. The committee is working on compiling a set of interviews with equipment operators, foresters, mill workers, researchers, community members, etc. that will be used in video clips to illustrate career possibilities in Maine’s forest economy. 
Do you know someone who is doing an outstanding job?
 
Do you know someone who is outstanding? It’s time to nominate him/her for MFPC for annual awards
 
Each year, the Maine Forest Products Council asks its members to select outstanding individuals from the forest products community who excel in their professions. Please take the time to consider those people in the forest products community who have done an exemplary job in these areas and deserve recognition for their positive impact on our industry. It is an important opportunity for us to look within our industry and provide recognition and public attention where it is due. Nominations are due by July 31. The recipients will be recognized at the MFPC annual meeting banquet on September 20 at Sugarloaf.
  • Abby Holman Public Service Award
  • Outstanding Logger Award
  • Outstanding Trucker Award
  • Outstanding Manufacturer Award
  • Outstanding Forester Award
 
Don’t forget to sign up for the 2021 MFPC Golf Tournament on Thursday, July 8!
 

MFPC Legislative Update, May 14, 2021

Legislative committees have May 21 deadline to report out all bills

Things are moving very fast in the Legislature now and we may see some of our most important bills — see below — taken up in the House and Senate at their next session Wednesday. So it’s vital that members stay engaged now and be ready to contact legislators.

ALERT! URGENT ACTION IS NEEDED — CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY

Find your legislators

LD 188 An Act Regarding the Transportation of Products in the Forest Products Industry. Senate President Troy Jackson has tried to tie his campaign against Canadian truckers to Tree Growth Tax, His amendment replaces the original bill, but doesn’t improve it.

It still penalizes landowners for the potential actions of subcontracted trucking companies by forcing them to pay a penalty for violations of federal cabotage laws committed by subcontractors. The current language kicks landowners out of the Tree Growth Taxation program for 2 years leaving lots of unanswered questions about the enforceability of the law.

MFPC, the Maine Chamber and state business leaders strongly oppose LD 553 An Act to End At-Will Employment, which the Labor and Housing Committee has voted ought to pass.

LD 553 proposes a seismic shift in decades of employment policy and law in Maine – restructuring Maine’s current at-will system – a system with no widespread reports of abuse regarding employment discharges to our knowledge. It would impose a costly, burdensome, complicated, and litigious discipline and termination process for all but Maine’s smallest employers – the types of provisions that are part of job-security collective bargaining contracts negotiated between management and labor, where workers are unionized.

Sponsored by Rep. Michael Sylvester (D-Portland), LD 553 would prohibit an employer with five or more employees from terminating the employment of an employee without just cause. The bill specifies an employer may – with limited exceptions – terminate an employee only after applying a written three-step progressive discipline policy, documenting each step in writing and providing written notice of termination in accordance with certain requirements.

LD 553 also includes a private right for aggrieved employees to sue employers. The bill also eliminates references to “at-will employment” in current law. Read more.

Urge your legislators to vote ought not to pass on LD 553

LD 489 RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Establish a Right to a Healthy Environment

The State currently protects public resources like air and water on behalf of the people of Maine. It does so as the governing body of the state, and along with federal rules, establishes the rules and regulations that protect those resources. The public guides this process through the ballot box, legislative hearings, and the passage of laws.

LD 489 turns that relationship upside down, by giving the public the right and responsibility of determining what constitutes protection and conservation of the environment. With these new constitutional rights, any group representing the public could sue the state for any law, permit, action, or rule that it felt did not adequately protect and therefore infringed on the public’s environmental rights. It creates a new way to slow and stop not only new development projects but existing businesses. It doesn’t matter if new or existing projects meet all local, state, and federal regulations. All that matters is the perceived protection of these newly created rights.

The result of these new rights is to remove decision making from the legislature and Governor and give it to the courts. Even if the State prevailed in court, the process would drag on, potentially for years, driving investment away from Maine. The damage from the cessation of new and existing business activity could be catastrophic to Maine’s economy.

Urge your legislators to vote ought not to pass on LD 489.

STANDBY NOTIFICATION on LD 125

Aerial spraying is a safe and essential tool for Maine’s forestry products industry. Please urge your legislators to vote ought to pass on LD 125 as amended to change buffers for aerial spraying.

The ACF Committee reviewed the amendment proposed by Rep. David McCrea, D- Fort Fairfield, to enhance protection zones for water and residential protection. The vote was 9-4 in favor of the amendment.

After a review of the language by the committee it may move to the general session on Wednesday for votes in the full House and Senate. Please be on standby for action. We’ll send out a separate alert once we know the schedule.

Committee action this week

Energy, Utilities and Technology

LD 1554 An Act To Provide Climate Change Transition Assistance for Maine’s Energy-intensive Businesses. Work session. Divided report. MFPC supports.

Environment and Natural Resources

LD 676 An Act To Reclassify Part of the Androscoggin River to Class B. The committee voted to carry over this bill to allow the DEP tri-annual review of the river to proceed over the summer and to allow interested parties on all parts of the river to meet and discuss issues. So it’s paused until next year. MFPC opposes.

LD 1503 requires manufacturers who use PFAS in their process to inform the DEP. Voted OTP in committee. MFPC opposes.

LD 1163 An Act To Reduce Pollution by Prohibiting Metallic Mineral Mining. Tabled. MFPC opposes.

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

LD 1599 An Act To Establish A Maine Pesticide Sales and Use Registry. Work session. Divided report. MFPC opposes.

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee

LD 883 An Act To Protect Endangered Species Whose Life Cycles Include Maine Land or Waters, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. Public hearing followed by Work Session. Raises concern about migratory bird and fish species traveling through Maine. Majority vote ought not to pass. MFPC opposes.

LD 404 An Act To Preserve Deer Habitat. An amendment proposes changes to Land for Maine’s Future acquisitions of deer yards. As long as the principle of a willing buyer and seller are maintained, the state-acquired deer yards will be mandated to be managed for the species. Voted ought to pass as amended, but amendment is not available yet.

LD 1468 An Act To Support All-terrain Vehicle Trail Improvement. Voted ought to pass as amended. MFPC supports.

Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business

LD 768 An Act To Explore Alternative Uses of Pulpwood and To Support the Logging and Forestry Industries. Amended to form task force with DECD to review market development for softwood. MFPC supports.

LD 1691 An Act To Require Licensing for Certain Mechanical Trades. Several union members supported the bill, but many more people testified against it. Work session, Tuesday, May 18, 9:30 a.m. MFPC opposes.

Taxation

Martin’s bill linking access to the Tree Growth Tax voted ONTP at his request

LD 1283 An Act To Amend the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law To Encourage Public Access. This is the same bill placed in the 129th Legislature. Rep.John Martin, D-Eagle Lake sent a letter to the Taxation Committee asking members to vote ONTP, saying the bill was no longer necessary. Legislators voted ONTP at their work session Thursday.

LD 1209 An Act To Establish Municipal Cost Components for Unorganized Territory Services To Be Rendered in Fiscal Year 2021-22. While state services were stable county services were variable and require input from taxpayers at the local budget level. Voted ought to pass as amended, but amendment is not available yet.

LD 1524 An Act To Amend the Maine Exclusion Amount in the Estate Tax, this bill returns the exclusion amount, below which the Maine estate tax does not apply, to $2,000,000 from the $5,600,000 and additional exclusion amount from the estate tax for family farms and aquaculture, fishing and wood harvesting businesses. MFPC opposes, we need to keep taxation rates stable. MFPC opposes.

Coming up May 17-21

Energy, Utilities and Technology

LD 1689 An Act To Ensure Equity in the Clean Energy Economy by Providing a Limited Tax Exemption for Certain Clean Energy Infrastructure Projects Hearing: May 18, 1 p.m.

Taxation

LD 1637 An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Provide Funds for Maine To Meet the State’s Carbon Reduction Goals by Supporting the Use of Biofuels, May 18,10 a.m. MFPC supports.

Appropriations and Financial Affairs

LD 1569 An Act Regarding an Excise Tax on Water Extracted for Commercial Bottling, May 18, 1 p.m. MFPC opposes.

State And Local Government Committee

LD 229 An Act To Increase Investment Caps in the Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit Program, Work session, May 20, 9 a.m. MFPC supports.

Other news of interest

U.S. Geological Survey to measure natural magnetism and radiation with passive detectors in northern Maine

A contractor for the USGS will be flying low-altitude flights over northern Maine beginning later this month and extending possibly through August. The low-level airplane survey will take place within the polygon on the map above, which covers several counties in northern Maine.This is a geophysical survey which will measure natural magnetism and radiation with passive detectors. It’s goal is to provide us much better information on the geologic framework of this mostly remote region: Read USGS press release here.

The last time such a survey was done was 60 years ago. The improvement in technology is akin to the difference between a crank phone and an iPhone 12!

I’m happy to discuss this survey with you anytime.

Robert G. Marvinney, Ph.D.
State Geologist, Maine Geological Survey
robert.g.marvinney@maine.gov, 207-287-2804

JOBS: The Forest Entomology Lab at the University of Maine invites applications:

Spruce Budworm Processing Lab Manager – Maine has implemented a statewide spruce budworm monitoring program to assess populations as the current outbreak approaches the state. The successful candidate will be responsible for processing spruce/fir branches from over 300 sites in Maine to determine budworm population densities, and work with landowners, agencies, and researchers to evaluate management options.

Ph.D. Assistantship – The Forest Entomology Lab at the University of Maine has a fully-funded Ph.D opportunity working on the ecology and management of browntail moth. In particular, research will investigate the use of sex pheromones for both developing a monitoring program and as a potential mating disruption tool.

Contact: Allison Kanoti, State Entomologist, Maine Forest Service, Forest Health and Monitoring, DACF | 87 Airport Road | Old Town, ME 04468 |(207) 827-1813, allison.m.kanoti@maine.gov,
maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/index.htm

Sign up for the 2021 MFPC Golf Tournament!

2021 MFPC Golf Registration Form

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 throughout the state, in Washington D.C. and the U.S.

Patrick Strauch, Executive Director
Pat Sirois, SFI Coordinator
Roberta Scruggs, Communications Director
Sue McCarthy, Office Manager
207-622-9288, www.maineforest.org.

Gov. Mills unveils plan to spur economic recovery, encourage growth

Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan draws on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and Maine’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy

On May 4, Gov. Janet Mills unveiled the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, her administration’s proposal to invest more than $1 billion in discretionary federal relief funds allocated to Maine under the American Rescue

Gov. Janet Mills

Plan Act. The governor’s plan makes historic investments in unaddressed needs and longstanding challenges to achieve three goals:

  1. Immediate economic recovery from the pandemic;
  2. Long-term economic growth for Maine; and
  3. Infrastructure revitalization.

The plan accomplishes these goals by supporting Maine small businesses and heritage industries, encouraging new businesses and job creation through innovation and entrepreneurship, and investing in essential infrastructure – broadly defined as roads and bridges, broadband, affordable housing, and child care – to keep and attract young families.

The plan draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming these best-made plans into real action to improve the lives of our people and to strengthen the economy.

“This Federal funding represents an unprecedented opportunity to address the longstanding challenges that have constrained our state’s ability to thrive over the years. By encouraging innovative small business growth, investing in our workforce, and building essential infrastructure, like housing, child care and broadband, we can accelerate our recovery from the pandemic and build a stronger, more prosperous Maine,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This plan will help us ensure that Maine is renowned as a place where you can get a good education, have a rewarding career that pays well, raise a happy and healthy family, and live comfortably in a community that you love.”

“The Maine Forest Products Council is appreciative of Governor Mills support of the forest economy in her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan,” said Patrick J. Strauch, Executive Director of the Maine Forest Products Council. “My members have invested in Maine with past support of the MTI Maine Technology Asset Fund, providing jobs and business growth in Maine’s rural economies. The opportunities for encouraging investment in emerging wood technologies and in training the workforce of today and tomorrow are imperative for a growing forest economy. We appreciate her leadership through difficult times and into a more prosperous future.”

“By emphasizing investments in economic recovery, broadband, childcare, innovation and workforce development, Governor Mills has set the right priorities to support Maine’s people, while creating a strong foundation for economic growth,” said Joshua Broder, CEO of Tilson, and Laurie Lachance, President of Thomas College, co-chairs of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee. “We commend the governor and her administration for their dedicated attention to the issues facing Maine’s families and communities, and for bringing forth bold initiatives to restore Maine’s economic trajectory, grow jobs in our state, and further establish Maine as among the nation’s best places to live and work.”

“The Maine Jobs & Recovery plan balances short term economic need with an ability to invest in long term economic growth and good jobs,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner to the Department of Economic and Community Development. “This is an investment in talent and innovation, which are critical as we move forward in the growth of Maine’s economy. The State is fortunate to have a roadmap for the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan in the 10 Year Strategic Plan along with the recommendations of the Economic Recovery Committee.”

“As Maine continues to work through the pandemic and into full economic recovery, it is fortuitous that Governor Mills had already established a ten-year Economic Development Strategy to grow the state’s economy, coupled with the Economic Recovery Committee’s recommendations to guide our investments,” said Dana Connors, president and CEO of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “Using these documents as our road map, the Maine State Chamber supports the Governor’s proposal for use of the American Recovery Act funds, because they represent short-term investments that will result in long-term gains to Maine employers and their employees.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare deep inequalities of income, wealth and power that cut along lines of race, class, gender and geography,” said Matt Schlobohm, Executive Director of the Maine AFL-CIO. “As we forge Maine’s economic recovery we must build back better by growing our economy from the bottom up and the middle out, by addressing these deep inequalities head on and by being laser focused on creating high quality, union jobs. We applaud the proposed investments in apprenticeship and worker training, housing, childcare, broadband, fixing our state parks and rebuilding Maine’s infrastructure.”

“State government has an important role to play ensuring that Maine recovers faster from the pandemic and 2020 economic downturn than it did after the Great Recession, and recovers in a way that engages all Mainers,” said Keith Bisson, President of CEI, and Betsy Biemann, CEO of CEI, and member of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee. “We are pleased that the Governor’s Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan includes key investments that will help recover and grow Maine’s economy and enable Maine people to thrive. To be successful Maine must invest more in a sustainable food economy, child care and broadband infrastructure, especially in rural areas and this package is an important indicator of our state’s values and tremendous opportunities.”

“Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan includes investment priorities for local government,” said James Bennett, Maine Municipal Association Vice President, Legislative Policy Committee Chair, and Biddeford City Manager. “Investment in roads, bridges and broadband will help Maine communities grow and prosper. Investments in wastewater and drinking programs and climate adaptation support our efforts to protect the natural resources that make Maine a vacation destination and support our heritage businesses. Investments in home weatherization and municipal energy efficiency will help residents cut heating costs and help communities make the best use of taxpayer resources. Maine municipal officials support these initiatives in the proposal as a means for sustaining Maine’s economic vitality.”

“FOR/Maine (Forest Opportunity Roadmap) applauds Governor Mills for advocating forward-thinking investment for forest sector economic development opportunities,” said Steve Schley, Chair of FOR/Maine Executive Committee. “These ideas fit within the framework of our multi-year, unique, and diverse, industry-led coalition that includes communities, government, education, and non-profits, which have come together to realize the next generation of Maine’s great forest economy. Investments of innovation capital, and within workforce systems expansion/development, are critical to driving success toward our goal of expanding and diversifying Maine’s rural Maine forest industry job opportunities and economy from $8.5 billion to $12 billion in the next few years.”

For more reaction to the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, see the attached “What They’re Saying” document (PDF).

In total, the American Rescue Plan Act invests approximately $4.5 billion in Maine. Of this $4.5 billion, Congress has directly committed nearly $3.2 billion to various recovery efforts, including significant support for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, enhanced unemployment benefits, stimulus payments to families, and funds for businesses, counties and municipalities, education, behavioral health, child care, and more.

The remaining $1.13 billion is allocated to the State of to Maine to respond to the pandemic and support economic recovery. The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan aims to complement, not duplicate, funding already specifically committed by Congress to other recovery efforts.

To that same end, the Mills Administration is also preparing a bond proposal and a supplemental budget, or “part two budget,” proposal for the next biennium. While these proposals are different and will be offered separately, they aim to complement one another to maximize impact and ensure robust and widespread economic recovery and growth.

The Mills Administration will present the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to the Legislature. By offering the plan now, the Governor hopes to engage in a robust, bipartisan discussion with the Legislature about the transformational opportunity presented by the funds, take into consideration the forthcoming guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury, and prepare for swift and decisive action to continue Maine’s economic recovery and achieve long-term growth for Maine people, businesses and communities. Funding under the plan can be deployed through 2024.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is attached (PDF) and is outlined below:

Goal 1: Immediate Economic Recovery ($260M)

  • Provide Recovery Grants & Loan Guarantees ($80M)
  • Invest in Heritage Industries ($50M)
  • Lower Health Care Costs for Small Businesses ($39M)
  • Replenish the Unemployment Trust Fund ($80M)
  • Sustain New Businesses and Entrepreneurs ($8M)
  • Encourage Business Diversity ($3M)

Goal 2: Long-term Economic Growth ($305M)

Make Strategic Investments for Future Prosperity

  • Jumpstart Innovation ($80M)
  • Launch Health Workforce Initiative ($15M)
  • Create Clean Energy Partnerships: ($8M)
  • Establish A Domestic Trade Program ($15M)

Expand and Strengthen Maine’s Workforce

  • Attract and Retain Workers ($18M)
  • Expand the Maine Career Exploration Program ($28M)
  • Create the Remote Worker Welcome Program ($5M)
  • Train Workers Through Maine’s CTEs & Higher Education Systems ($105M)
  • Advance Equity ($8M)
  • Connect Workers to Job Opportunities ($15M)

Regulatory Reform

  • Increase Licensing Efficiency ($8M)

Goal 3: Infrastructure Revitalization ($547M)

Build Out Family Infrastructure:

  • Establish the Maine Connectivity Authority to Achieve Universally Available Broadband ($150M)
  • Build More Affordable Housing for Maine’s Workforce ($50M)
  • Save Money Through Energy Efficiency ($50M)
  • Expand Childcare & Early Childhood Infrastructure ($20M)

Invest in Transportation Improvements:

  • Fix Maine Roads and Bridges Through the 2021 Capital Work Plan ($50M)
  • Protect Infrastructure from Climate Change ($20M)
  • Launch A Workforce Transportation Pilot ($5M)
  • Expand Municipal and Public EV Charging ($8M)

Invest in Outdoor Recreation & Marine Resources

  • Upgrade Maine State Parks ($50M)
  • Bolster Fisheries and Wildlife Infrastructure ($20M)
  • Improve Fishing Industry Infrastructure & Monitoring ($16M)

Support Essential Drinking and Wastewater Projects

  • Ensure the Safety of Drinking Water ($25M)
  • Repair Wastewater Infrastructure ($25M)

Facilitate Energy Needs

  • Create Interconnection Grants ($8M)

Modernize State Technology

  • Upgrade Government Systems, Accessibility, and Cybersecurity Protections ($50M)

The proposal also includes $20 million to cover administration and successful deployment of funds.

Legislative Update

The Essentials: What you need to understand aerial spraying in forestry

Dr. Robert Wagner

Comments from Robert G. Wagner, Professor and head of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, and formerly Henry W. Saunders Distinguished Professor, School of Forest Resources, University of Maine.

Fields of expertise: Academic and research leadership, industry/university partnerships, silviculture, forest management, forest regeneration, vegetation ecology and management. Robert Wagner CV

Forest managers must be able to determine which tree species make up future forest

In order to successfully manage forests to achieve ecological or economic goals for the people of Maine, foresters must be able to promote the kinds of tree species needed to achieve specific forest management goals. This is a core principle that determines whether forestry is a viable business or public enterprise or whether it is a total failure. Decades of research from around the world (Wagner et al. 2006) have clearly shown that effectively managing vegetation is vital to the success of forest regeneration. Indeed, one of the longest running studies in the world, the Austin Pond study in northern Maine, has clearly demonstrated the important role that herbicides play in providing for successful conifer regeneration over many decades (Olson et al. 2012, Bataineh et al. 2013). The inability to use herbicides, especially glyphosate, will lead to forest regeneration failures in many places that will have negative repercussions for many decades to come.

Herbicides are vital for preventing the spread of invasive exotic plants in Maine’s forests

Invasive plant species are threatening native tree regeneration in forests across the United States. A number of invasive plant species are increasing in abundance across Maine’s forests every year. The Maine Natural Areas Program has identified 52 plants species that are severely invasive, and 31 species considered to be very invasive. Herbicides, especially glyphosate, are highly effective, and in most cases, the only effective and affordable tool for combating the spread of invasive exotic plants in Maine’s forests. Loss of this safe and effective tool will severely reduce the ability of forest managers to help stop the spread of invasive exotic plants.

Photo by Lonnie S. Jandreau. Forester, Prentiss & Carlisle

Herbicides are important tools for providing critical habitat for snowshoe hare and Canada lynx

Research has shown that snowshoe hare, a primary prey species of Canada lynx and other major forest carnivores, prefer habitats with high densities of young conifer regeneration. These conditions were provided in abundance following the salvage cutting and subsequent herbicide spraying following the spruce budworm outbreak of the 1970s. The increases in snowshoe hare populations were followed by substantial increases in Canada lynx populations (Simons-Legaard et al. 2013) and produced the largest lynx populations in the lower 48 states. Reduction in the use of harvesting that produces large forest openings and herbicide treatment in recent decades is associated with a projected decline in lynx habitat in the coming decades. Herbicides, particularly glyphosate, are important tools used by professional foresters to create the young, conifer-dominated habitats that are needed to promote Canada lynx and other major forest carnivores in Maine’s forests.

Reducing abundance of diseased beech in Maine’s forests

The abundance of American beech has increased substantially across the Northeastern U.S. forests over the past three decades (Bose et al. 2017). Beech has been shown to competitively exclude more desirable tree species such as sugar maple and yellow birch. Since beech across Maine is also universally infected with the invasive beech-bark disease, reducing its spread in portions of Maine forests is important to providing desirable wildlife habitat and healthier forest stands. Glyphosate has been shown to be one of the most effective herbicides in controlling beech (Nelson and Wagner 2011) and is the only affordable approach to addressing the beech problem. The loss of glyphosate will prevent forest managers from reducing the dominance and spread of diseased beech in many circumstances. Read American Beech — A Tree in Trouble

Increased carbon sequestration comes from a larger wood products pool

The important role of forests in sequestering carbon comes not just from carbon in trees and vegetation itself, but also in the carbon that can be sequestered synergistically in wood products, the use of wood energy, as well as from the forested landscape (Lippke et al. 2011, Cameron et al. 2013, Oliver et al. 2016). Therefore, long-term enhancements in carbon sequestration in Maine’s forests should also consider the ability of the forest to contribute to the long-term wood products pool. The Austin Pond study in northern Maine has clearly demonstrated the crucial role that herbicides can play in producing commercially viable forests that will be able to contribute to the wood products pools of the future (Olson et al. 2012, Bataineh et al. 2013). The loss of herbicides, therefore, could reduce the overall ability of Maine’s forest to sequester carbon by reducing the successful regeneration of commercially viable tree species and thereby reducing the abundance of forest species and stand conditions that can make a greater contribution to the long-term wood products pool, not to mention the associated gains in the state’s economy.

MFPC answers frequently asked questions

What does the EPA say about glyphosate?

When it comes to safety assessments, glyphosate is among the most extensively tested pesticides on the market. Evaluations spanning more than 40 years, and the overwhelming conclusion of experts and regulators worldwide, support the safety of glyphosate and that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

When it comes to safety assessments, glyphosate is among the most extensively tested pesticides on the market. Evaluations spanning more than 40 years, and the overwhelming conclusion of experts and regulators worldwide, support the safety of glyphosate and that glyphosate does not cause cancer. Regulatory authorities routinely review all approved pesticide products. Most recently, in January 2020, the U.S. EPA published its Interim Registration Review Decision on glyphosate and stated EPA scientists performed an independent evaluation of available data for glyphosate and found:

  • No risks of concern to human health from current uses of glyphosate. Glyphosate products used according to label directions do not result in risks to children or adults.
  • No indication that children are more sensitive to glyphosate. After evaluating numerous studies from a variety of sources, the Agency found no indication that children are more sensitive to glyphosate from in utero or post-natal exposure. As part of the human health risk assessment, the Agency evaluated all populations, including infants, children and women of child-bearing age, and found no risks of concern from ingesting food with glyphosate residues. EPA also found no risks of concern for children entering or playing on residential areas treated with glyphosate.
  • No evidence that glyphosate causes cancer in humans. The Agency concluded that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. EPA considered a significantly more extensive and relevant dataset than the International Agency on the Research for Cancer (IARC). EPA’s database includes studies submitted to support registration of glyphosate and studies EPA identified in the open literature.
  • EPA considered a significantly more extensive and relevant dataset than the International Agency on the Research for Cancer (IARC). EPA’s database includes studies submitted to support registration of glyphosate and studies EPA identified in the open literature. For instance, IARC only considered eight animal carcinogenicity studies while EPA used 15 acceptable carcinogenicity studies. EPA does not agree with IARC’s conclusion that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
  • EPA’s cancer classification is consistent with other international expert panels and regulatory authorities, including the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority, European Food Safety Authority, European Chemicals Agency, German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority, and the Food Safety Commission of Japan and the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR).
  • For more information, read the Revised Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential “EPA has thoroughly evaluated potential human health risk associated with exposure to glyphosate and determined that there are no risks to human health from the current registered uses of glyphosate and that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
  • No indication that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor. Glyphosate has undergone Tier I screening under EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. Based on all available information, EPA concluded, using a weight-of-evidence approach, that the existing data do not indicate that glyphosate has the potential to interact with the estrogen, androgen or thyroid signaling pathways. The screening program did not indicate the need for additional testing for glyphosate. All registered glyphosate uses have value for weed control in agriculture and non-agricultural land management.
  • In addition, The National Pesticide Information Center reports that “in humans, glyphosate does not easily pass through the skin. Glyphosate that is absorbed or ingested will pass through the body relatively quickly. The vast majority of glyphosate leaves the body in urine and feces without being changed into another chemical.
  • Also it’s important to keep in mind that most studies have focused on agriculture, not forestry where trees would be treated perhaps one or twice in 40-to 80 years.

What did Canada’s in-depth research conclude about glyphosate? Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)recently conducted an in-depth analysis of the latest scientific data on assessed the potential human health risk of glyphosate from drinking water, food, occupational and bystander exposure, as well as the environmental risk to non-target organisms and sale and use in Canada in 2017 and concluded:

  • Glyphosate is not genotoxic and is unlikely to pose a human cancer risk.
             o Dietary (food and drinking water) exposure associated with the use of glyphosate is not expected                 to pose a risk of concern to human health.
            o  Occupational and residential risks associated with the use of glyphosate are not of concern,                           provided that updated label instructions are followed.
  • The environmental assessment concluded that spray buffer zones are necessary to mitigate potential risks to non-target species (for example, vegetation near treated areas, aquatic invertebrates and fish) from spray drift.
  • When used according to revised label directions, glyphosate products are not expected to pose risks of concern to the environment.
  • All registered glyphosate uses have value for weed control in agriculture and non-agricultural land management. Read more.

Sen. Jackson testifies: “I’m definitely against glyphosate”

 
In a revealing answer to a question from Sen. Russell Black, R- Franklin, Sen Troy Jackson, D-Aroostook, shared his support for an outright ban on glyphosate at the ACF work session Tuesday on LD 125 An Act To Prohibit the Aerial Spraying of Glyphosate and Other Synthetic Herbicides for the Purpose of Silviculture. See video above.
 
Sen. Russell Black asked:”Is it just the aerial spraying you’re against or is it the glyphosate that you’re against, could you answer that for me please?”
 
Senator Troy Jackson: “I’m definitely against glyphosate. But look at the trouble we’re having just banning aerial herbicide spraying. It certainly was not something that I thought we were going to have an outright ban on, but certainly making sure that there’s less opportunity for drift, less opportunity for this to get in the water is at least a good start. I’m certainly more than happy, Senator Black, if you want to amend this (bill) to ban glyphosate, I’m a supporter of that.”
 
Earlier in the work session Karen Nadeau, OPLA analyst (Office of Policy and Legal Analysis), reminded the ACF Committee that Patty Cormier, director of the Maine Forest Service, that MFS “had some technical concerns, basically, I think, In a nutshell, they felt my sections, two and three, the bill were not necessary. And on some level I have to agree with that.”
 
“What I would do is I would strike sections, two and three,” Nadeau said, “and simply add a phrase to Section One of the bill at the end, that would just say, ‘including but not limited to timber harvesting activity is conducted in accordance with Title 12 Chapter 805, subchapter 3A, which is a Forest Practices Act.” 
 
The Council’s testimony, as well with that of many of our members, focused on the fact that aerial spraying is a proven and safe silvicultural tool used in Maine for decades. It is an essential part of forest management, and very important for control of invasive and other undesirable vegetative competition.
 
When the tone of the discussion seemed to be moving in that direction and Rep. Scofield said, “I would like to move not to pass on this on this bill.” But supporters of the bill said they were not ready to vote and the bill was tabled. The date of the next work session has not yet been set, but it may be set for the week of April 5.
 
According to the National Pesticide Information Center animal and human studies have been evaluated by regulatory agencies in the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the European Union, as well as the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues of the United Nations and World Health Organization (WHO). These agencies looked at cancer rates in humans and studies where laboratory animals were fed high doses of glyphosate. Based on these studies, they determined that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic.(National Pesticide Information Center, glyphosate General Fact sheet.)
 
ACF will be changing its process slightly for work sessions
  • Just like for public hearings, ACF work sessions will be held on a Zoom webinar platform, where “attendees” will be able to see and hear ACF members and those individuals recognized to speak but will not be able to speak or be heard unless and until recognized by the Chairs. Unlike a public hearing, there should be no expectation that work session attendees will be called upon to provide input or additional comment. As has always been the case, work sessions are an opportunity for the committee to discuss and vote on proposed legislation and comments from non-members are typically only requested as necessary to clarify questions raised by the legislation.
  • Cheryl McGowan, committee clerk will send out a Zoom webinar registration link to those on the ACF mailing list. If you wish to attend that committee meeting, please use that link to register for the meeting. Upon registration, you will be sent by Zoom a meeting access link, which you can use to join the meeting when it begins or when the matter you are interested in is taken up. Click here if you would like to sign up for the ACF mailing list.
  • If a work session follows or is held on the same day as a public hearing and you have registered for that public hearing but also wish to attend the work session, there is no need to separately register for the work session – you can use the same meeting access link you are sent upon registering for the hearing to attend any part of the meeting. If you did not register for the hearing but wish to attend a work session on the same day, you will need to use the registration process described in above.
If you are interested in observing a work session but have no interest in providing additional comment, you should plan on viewing the meeting livestream on YouTube instead of attending directly.

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.