“Maine’s Working Forest: Take Another Look” will be the Council’s focus as we celebrate Maine Forest Products Week October 20-26 in conjunction with National Forest Products Week. This is a terrific opportunity to let our neighbors across Maine know the industry is rebounding and that forest industry impacts are felt in every county across our state.
Building upon the work of FOR/Maine and its associated publicity, plus all the investments in research and facilities in recent years, we will focus on the bright future of Maine forest products, from traditional manufacturing to hi-tech wood fabrics, and the related benefits for people. The four themes for Forest Products Week messaging are: Economic Impact and Jobs, Forest Recreation and Public Access, New Products and Uses for Wood, and Stewardship, Sustainability and Climate Change.
We will convey statewide economic impacts with special importance to rural economies and highlight the myriad of jobs, careers, and new technologies within the forest products industry. People will be reminded of all the recreational opportunities, and corresponding health benefits, that are available to them on (primarily) private forest lands. We will showcase new uses of wood, from food grade packaging and release papers, to nanocellulose insulation and bio-fuels. And we will stress the value of forests in cycling and renewal, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services.
The MFPC Communications Committee is working with Roberta Scruggs, communications director, to coordinate messaging. Our goal is to reach multiple audiences in a variety of ways, from print to social media to events. We will celebrate statewide, though much of the activity will be focused locally and be personally meaningful to the particular audience. For example, a forester may lead a walk and do some Project Learning Tree activities with a school group or a forest products company manager may speak to the local chamber about innovative technology. The Maine Bureau of Public Lands suggested enjoying the forests on our state’s public lands. Social media, radio, TV, print and face-to-face meetings will all be employed.
Here are some Ways to celebrate Maine Forest Products Week and other useful information such as our Maine Forest Products Week Tool kit and Forest products photos. Teachers might be especially interested in information about our list of game changers — events, innovations and issues that changed Maine’s forest industry and often Maine itself.
How will you participate? You can download a high quality pdf of the Celebrate Maine Forest Products Week sign (shown above) and we hope you’ll post it at your office and send it to others to display. Will you offer a facility tour, hold an open house, write an op-ed or take a school or community group on a walk in the woods? Will you speak to a local civic organization, or better yet, get the members out in the woods or at manufacturing facility? Participate in an event such as a job fair or staff a booth at a local fall event in your region? Write a letter to the editor, do an interview, or write newspaper or newsletter articles? Just think of the impact if everyone of us in the industry reached at least few people. We have not celebrated Forest Products week in Maine (the most heavily forested state in the nation) since 1985. Let’s make up for lost opportunities!
The possibilities are almost endless. So please let us know what you are planning and if the Council can help you in any way.
Statewide forest products events:
- Oct. 18-20, Augusta Civic Center, Visit the Council’s booth at the Maine Snowmobile Show. Nortrax is loaning us a logging simulator!
- Oct. 22, 9 a.m., Blaine House, Augusta – Gov. Janet Mills will announce the winner of the 2019 Austin Wilkins Award, created by the Maine TREE Foundation to recognize outstanding stewardship of the working forest.
- Oct. 23, 1 – 4:30 p.m., Symposium on Maine’s New Forest Economy, Wells Conference Center, University of Maine. Free and open to the public. Learn about national trends and innovations in sustainable forestry practices, product technologies, innovative applications and business reinvestment into Maine’s forest economy. Moderator Steve Schley, FOR/Maine, speakers Adam Constanta, Program Manager of Sustainability Metrics: NCASI; Dr. Adam Daigneault, UMaine School of Forest Resources; Dr. Joshua Henry, GO Lab; Beth Cormier, SAPPI North America. Read more.
- Oct. 23, Celebration of National Bioenergy Day, ReEnergy Liyermore Falls. Tours at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. RSVP to Jamie Jackson: (207) 320-7022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more.
- Nov. 4, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. – 3rd Maine Modern Wood Heat Symposium, USM, Portland, 96 Falmouth St., Events Room, 7th floor, Glickman Library, sponsors,Maine Forest Service, Maine Statewide Wood Energy Assistance Team. Features panels and discussions about important new incentives for heating commercial and institutional buildings; industrial process heat, plus how public institutions and private companies can creatively finance new wood chip and pellet heating and CHP installations.
- Check out three display cases devoted to the Maine forest products economy at Fogler Library, University of Maine, now through November.
- Read the Bangor Daily News special section devoted to Maine’s forest products economy, available Oct. 25. Ad deadline Oct. 9.