Industry forges ahead
Updates on four important efforts
- Federal EDAT Team: Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Angus King and Rep. Bruce Poliquin are continuing their efforts to seek federal assistance to help Maine deal with the loss of jobs and markets in the forest industry. At a new conference in Orono Friday, some details emerged about the form that help will take.
- Industry leaders met to discuss six important issues: In late June, our industry asked Eric Kingsley from Innovative Natural Resource Solutions LLC to facilitate a discussion. The goal was to coordinate our collective industry thoughts in response to the EDAT event and to have a chance to build a common message among trade group members.
- Update on the Long-term Vision & Roadmap for Maine’s Forest Sector: We should hear soon about our proposal to the Northern Border Regional Commission for $250,000 to initiate benchmarking, forest products market analysis, and a wood supply analysis. This award would jump start the larger project and begin to provide more immediate information in the first phase of the project.
- Maine Biomass Study Commission meeting: The challenges faced by our biomass industry were hotly debated last legislative session and the commission set up to examine options for the industry and establish recommendations holds its first meeting of this group is Tuesday, Aug. 2, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Room 216, Cross State Office Building in Augusta. Read more.
A great day for golf
Plenty of fun, fellowship and valuable networking
This year’s golf tournament was a huge success, with 128 golfers enjoying a perfect (if hot) day on the Bangor Municipal course. There were winners, of course, and a lot of other folks who had plenty of fun, fellowship and valuable networking.
We couldn’t have this great event or fulfill our mission to represent and promote the Maine’s forest products industry without the contributions and generous support of our sponsors. Our thanks go out to everyone who helped, especially:
- Brian Flewelling of Key Bank for helping out with this tournament for more than 10 years.
- All the folks who contributed to the raffle, which raised $1,000.
- Quirk Auto, sponsor of the driving range, where a lot of golfers got to hit balls free.
- Varney Buick-GMC’s Hole-in-One sponsorship. All players received a $100 Travis Mathew gift card from Varney Buick-GMC. If you want to redeem the $100 value all you have to do is go to the dealership in Bangor and test drive a vehicle.
Don’t miss this annual meeting
Cross laminated timber — An opportunity for Maine
The construction of tall wood buildings with cross laminated timber (CLT) is increasingly in the headlines, but what does it mean for Maine? Get the big picture at MFPC’s annual meeting, Sept. 18-19, at the University of Maine. We’re bringing together experts, including Marc Rivard, New England Regional Director of WoodWorks, and Matt Tonello, project executive, Consigli Construction, and more to give you all the information you need to decide if this is an option your company should explore or at least understand better. The presentation will be followed by a chance to see not only CLT, but many other new products on tours of UMaine’s Advanced Structures & Composites Center (CLT, structural testing, offshore wind lab, additive manufacturing, nanocomposites) and the Process Development Center (nanocellulose production, nanocomposites). Read more and download registration form.
MFPC’s new forest economy report will be available to members at the annual meeting and Dr. Mindy Crandall, assistant professor of forest landscape management and economics, will be on hand to answer your questions about the 2016 economic impact of the forest products industry.
Now within 25 miles of Maine’s border
Last year, spruce budworm was about 50 miles from Maine’s border. This year it “seems to be getting closer,” said Dave Struble, Maine state entomologist.
The Maine Forest Services wants to know if you’re seeing large amounts of moths around your porch or street light in northern Maine? They might be spruce budworm and could provide valuable information about the dynamics of the current outbreak. Here’s how you can help. Read more.
How the industry is reaching its goals
The American Forest and Paper Association (AFPA) released its 2016 Sustainability Report this month, including a progress report on how the industry is reaching sustainability goals. You can download the report and see a video of highlights and other materials at AFPA’s new website.
“Through the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative, our members are successfully pursuing one of the most extensive sets of sustainability goals established for a U.S. manufacturing industry,” said Donna Harman, AFPA president and CEO. “Member efforts to increase efficiencies and further enhance sustainability performance within their companies resulted in the early achievement of our safety and greenhouse gas emission goals.
“Our industry’s commitment to sustainability reaches far beyond fulfillment of the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 goals. We work with our members, government agencies, communities, and other stakeholders to employ advanced sustainability practices benefitting the economy, the environment and society, and transparently report on our performance.”
NPS timber policy
No units in park system have ongoing management
Just in case you were wondering about the National Park Service’s timber management policy, here’s how NPS Director John Jarvis spelled it out a recent letter to Rep. Tom McClintock, R-California, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands.
“There are no units of the National Park System that have ongoing timber management, Jarvis wrote. “The NPS does not engage in larger scale commercial timber sales or salvage, nor do we generally allow other extractive or consumptive uses of park resources. “However, the Secretary may dispose of timber under the purposes identified in 54 U.S.C. 100753, which are to control insects and disease, or to conserve the scenery and resources of a national park. Also, the NPS has historically engaged in limited timber salvage in specific cases where hazardous trees needed to be removed to protect the health and safety of visitors.” Read the letter.
Best of Down East!
Congratulations to Maine Wood Concepts
Doug Fletcher, president of Maine Wood Concepts, was thrilled to share the good news that Fletchers’ Mill Pepper Mills were selected by DownEast Magazine as “Best of Maine” in the Kitchenware category for 2016. Here’s how the magazine editors described this great product. “Pepper mills are the workhorses of the kitchen. Nearly everything we cook, from simple scrambled eggs to rich spaghetti alla carbonara to porterhouse steak, is finished with a liberal grind of pepper. Fletchers’ Mill’s pepper mills keep up with the demand: they’re sturdy, easy to fill, and most important, the mechanism is easy to adjust with a twist of the top nut and locks in place for a consistent grind. As fine as all the mills’ features are, however, we admit we fell for their looks first. Made by Maine Wood Concepts, the largest custom woodturning shop in the country, the mills come in such a variety of styles, sizes, and luscious colors that we’ve looked for excuses to own more than one. Luckily, there are salt mills too.”
EPA decision on forest roads
No additional regulations are needed to address stormwater discharges
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its decision on June 27 that no additional regulations are needed to address stormwater discharges from forest roads under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This determination recognizes the success and continual improvement of state best management practices programs, which are proven to be effective in protecting water quality.
“EPA’s decision confirms the added value of voluntary certification standards like the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, coupled with state forestry programs and federal laws, to ensure responsible forest operations and environmental protections,” said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. “The SFI Program has long been a leader in the protection and enhancement of water quality, both through its standard requirements and the training of harvesting professionals. Today’s decision demonstrates that EPA can rely on this robust framework to achieve water quality goals.”
EPA was under a court order to respond to the remand in Environmental Defense Center, Inc. v. EPA (EDC v. EPA, 2003) to address whether the Act’s section 402(p)(6) requires additional regulation. EPA concluded that efforts to help strengthen existing programs addressing forest road discharges would be more effective than superimposing additional federal regulations.
“This is a real membership benefit resulting from training by SFI, MFS and CLP,” said Pat Sirois, SIC Maine coordinator. Read more.
A total of 6,646 loggers, contractors and others trained since 1991
The Certified Professional Logging (CLP) program was founded in 1991 as a combined effort of loggers, landowners, environmental specialists and safety consultants to establish a standard for professionalism in the Maine woods. An immediate goal of the program was to combat the high rate of logging accidents and the resulting Worker’s Compensation costs for logging contractors.
Under the sponsorship of the Maine TREE Foundation, CLP takes pride in the fact that the accident rate for loggers is less than what it was when the program began. As a result, mechanical certified loggers have earned a Workers Compensation rate less than that on non-CLPs. Equally important, participants have helped CLP meet its overall objective of cultivating skill, knowledge and pride in the Maine woods. Read CLP Program Summary, July 2016.
Combined heat and power forum
Join Efficiency Maine at the University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Center in Portland, 2-6 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 29 to learn more about combined heat and power (CHP) technology and the significant opportunity for expansion here in Maine.
Participants will have the oportunity to hear about the role of CHP in Maine’s energy future, project incentive opportunities, and customer implementation experiences. The event is open to all stakeholders, including end users, engineering consultants, contractors, equipment manufacturers, utilities and government. More information.
MFPC legislative breakfasts
Especially with a new Legislature on the way
Preliminary plans are underway for the MFPC legislative breakfasts in October. We are thinking of holding them in Gray, Old Town, Farmington, Sanford, Fort Kent. We do not have a set schedule of dates yet. If you have any preferences on dates or if you would like to help with sponsoring these events, please contact Sue McCarthy. If you would like us to have a breakfast at another area, please let us know that, too. Sue will start making the arrangements during the week of August 8th.
Get to know legislators vying for leadership positions
The Maine Forest Legacy PAC, an organization independent from the MFPC, that makes contributions to the various political parties and leaders that support a healthy forest economy. We’re planning to hold two events in early fall, one in Banogr and one in Portland, to bring members together with legislators who are running for leadership positions. The key to success in Maine’s Legislature is investing in relationships with policymakers. Stay tuned for more details. For more information, call 207-622-9288 or email.