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MFPC Newsletter January 2017

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You’re invited! To MFPC’s Legislative Reception 

Please join us Thursday, Feb 9, 4-7 p.m., for delicious hors d’oeuvre, beverages and great conversation and an update on our $8.5 billion industry. Register now.

We all know that necessity is the mother of invention, which is why the Council teamed up with the University of Maine to build a roadmap for our industry, an effort endorsed by the 127th Legislature last spring in a resolution. January has been a month of announcements centered on efforts of many Maine companies and organizations to build this roadmap for Maine, so it’s a good time to let you know the progress of our efforts. 
The good, the bad and the familiar — Many of the legislative debates we’ve been involved with in years past will be back, including arming rangers, attacks on Tree Growth, Sunday hunting, mining regulations, the citizen-initiated referendum process, landowner liability, biomass and scores of bills to improve the energy market in Maine.
By Barry Burgason, MFPC Wildlife Committee
public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Augusta Armory on a state exemption from “take” of three bat species for forestry and other land use activities.
In 2015, U.S. Fish and Wildlife issued a 4(d) exemption for forestry and related activities after it listed the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species due to the precipitous decline caused by the fungal white-nosed syndrome. Since Maine listed northern long-eared, little brown and small-footed bat as endangered or threatened, MFPC and others have worked with Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to develop an exemption modeled on the federal exemption. Once in place, there should be no question that forestry is not a concern for bats affected by a disease and not a habitat issue. Feb. 16 is the deadline for comments, which can be sent to Becky Orff, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State Street 41 SHS, Augusta ME 04333.
You won’t want to miss this year’s NERCOFE conference March 13-14 at the University of Maine, because the agenda includes workshops on everything from plyscrapers to an update on forest products markets. But space is limited, so register now and reserve your place. For more information, contact Cynthia Paschal. 
The 2nd annual International Mass Timber Conference also is coming up in Portland, Oregon, March 28-30, focusing on innovative building products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail-laminated timber, and other mass timber. Hundreds of attendees from 13 countries have registered so far and many more are expected. A pre-conference mass timber building tour precedes two days of educational panels, an expo, and networking events. More information.

Sheriff Nichols

UPDATE — Franklin County commissioners approved a $1 million budget for the unorganized territory for 2017-18, but rejected Sheriff Scott Nichols’ proposal for a UT deputy that would have added $100,000 to the UT budget in the first year. Commissioners also asked the sheriff to reimburse the county $170.37 for the mass mailing to UT residents about his proposal. A deputy delivered the letter to residences who could not be reached by the mailing. Commissioners later decided that Nichols would not have to repay the mail money.

“I wasn’t campaigning for the position, just trying to get the information outo the public,” Nichols said, according to Donna Perry’s story in the Sun Journal Jan. 3.

This week at the Legislature

Public Hearings Tuesday Jan. 3: Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Cross Building, Room 214. Testimony can delivered in person or emailed to ACF Clerk Rebecca Harvey.
LD 8 An Act to Protect Maine’s Forest Rangers. Summary: This bill prohibits the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry from prohibiting a forest ranger from carrying a personal concealed firearm for the forest ranger’s protection while on duty. 
MFPC position: Opposed. Since 1997, the Legislature has considered many divisive bills that would arm rangers since 1997.
LD 128 An Act to Prohibit Foraging on Private Land Without PermissionSummary: This bill requires anyone harvesting edible wild food to have written permission or a bill of sale from the landowner before harvesting or transporting. 
MFPC positionTo be determined.While the council is not generally concerned with noncommercial foraging, we’re researching whether landowners would forfeit liability protection by allowing commercial foragers to access their land with or without permission. 
On February 2, the members of the Maine Forest Economy Growth Initiative (MFPC, PLC, SWOAM, MDF) will be making a presentation to the Labor, Commerce Research and Economic Development Committee about our priorities to strengthen the economy and how the recently completed EDAT report addresses these priorities. This same group will be presenting on February 7 to the Energy and Utilities Committee about our priorities and findings in the EDAT report that relate to the topic of biomass energy in Maine.

About MFPC

Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has represented our state’s diverse forest products community, including logging contractors, sawmills, paper mills, biomass energy, facilities, pellet manufacturers, furniture manufacturers, and the owners of more than nine million acres of commercial forestland in Maine.

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

News Archive
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
Membership Benefits

Up-to-Date Information
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Legislative Advocacy & Regulatory Monitoring
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.


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.