MFPC Board discusses forest economy with LePage and Michaud
Gov. LePage and Congressman Mike Michaud met with our board and other MFPC members to talk about their strategies to improve Maine’s economy, especially its forest economy. Each discussion lasted an hour and covered a wide range of topics, from BETR to a national park. (The board had a similar discussion with independent candidate Eliot Cutler in May). Below are links to each discussion.
Looking forward to bigger gains in next 4 years
Gov. Paul LePage began by telling the MFPC Board that “most of my career was in forestry and forest products,” and went on to talk about outline his concerns, including Maine’s regulatory environment, Democratic control of the Legislature, a national park, aging loggers and taxes. He also talked about areas where progress has been made or soon will be, including infrastructure, investment and Maine’s financial outlook.
“It’s going to be very, very difficult if we win in November and we still have both Houses with the Democrats,” LePage said. “I found out one thing – that it’s nearly impossible to move the ship when the ship in mud.” Read more.
‘This is a two-way race between Gov. LePage and myself’
When Congressman Mike Michaud met with the MFPC Board, he told them he is determined to bring stability — especially budget stability — back to state government and emphasized his “proven track record” at working with Democrats, Republicans and independents. But he began by answering a question he said he is often asked: “Why are you going to give up a safe seat in Congress to come back to run for governor?”
“A lot of people think it’s because Congress is dysfunctional, which it is, but I really do love my job, what I’m doing in Washington,” Michaud said. “It was a very difficult decision for me to come back and decided to run for governor. But I love the state of Maine more . . . I’m very concerned with where we’re heading as a state under the current leadership of this governor.” Read more.
The opportunity to speak to gubernatorial candidates is important
We’ve been fortunate to welcome each of the three gubernatorial candidates for frank discussions with the MFPC Board of Directors and any MFPC member who wished to sit in. Independent Eliot Cutler spoke with the board on May 8 and Gov. Paul LePage and Congressman Mike Michaud met with the board on June 5. I thought our opportunity to speak with the gubernatorial candidates was important for several reasons. Read more.
Strauch gets high marks for presentation to KVCC
“Excellent . . .Very interesting topic and well presented . . . Relevant to everyone . . . Enjoyed it!” Those were just some of the positive comments that MFPC Executive Director Patrick Strauch received after his June 18 presentation to the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Bill Stone, president and CEO of Promising Futures, a career consulting firm in Winthrop, encouraged the KVCC to invite Strauch after dropping by the MFPC office and taking away a copy of Maine’s Forest Economy.
“Industries that are so primary to our economy need to be recognized and understood,” Stone said. “I was very glad that I asked that he be invited. He is an excellent speaker, very well informed and he made it entertaining, which helps keep our attention.”
Landowners work with MFS to increase sites to about 400
With a spruce budworm outbreak expected in the next few years, the Maine Forest Service dramatically increased the number of traps set out for budworm moths in June. Last year there were about 100 trap sites, but this summer MFS worked with landowners to set up around 400 sites, with cooperators tending from one to 100 (literally) sites, according to Charlene Donahue, MFS forest entomologist. Read more.
Decision on listing may come this fall
By Barry Burgason
Bats, especially those that hibernate in caves, are in big trouble because of “white nose syndrome,” a deadly fungus. One of the Maine species affected is the Northern Long Eared Bat (NLEB), which is currently under consideration for listing as endangered or threatened. A final determination on the listing may come in October 2014. Read more.
We’ll be at Bucksport’s ‘Festival of the Forest’ — Will you?
MFPC, SWOAM, the Maine Forest Service and Robbins Lumber will be at the first Bucksport Bay Festival of the Forest on July 25-26, focusing on Maine’s forest economy, including tree growth, management, products, equipment and the $8 billion economic impact on our state. MFPC members are encouraged to support this worthwhile event by becoming sponsors, vendors or just attending the festival. “Our forest industry is vitally connected to the communities and people where we work,” said Patrick Strauch, “That’s why the Council is pleased to partner with the Bucksport Bay Chamber of Commerce to help demonstrate this heritage and build into the future.” Read more.
Learn, laugh and catch up with your friends
Please join us in beautiful Bar Harbor Sept. 7-8 and, as always, you’ll enjoy good food, good conversation, a fun round of golf (at Kebo Valley) and the latest news about what’s going on in Maine’s forest products industry.
This year we’ll start Monday, Sept. 8, with a 9 a.m. tour Pleasant River Lumber’s newly modernized sawmill in Hancock. Then we’ll head back to the Bangor Regency for our annual membership and business meeting. Then we’ll welcome:
- Paul Jannke of Forest Economic Advisors, a great source for North American wood products analysis and information. He’ll give us an update on the global market.
- Mike Bilodeau, director of UMaine’s Process Development Center (and formerly of Sappi and S.D. Warren) will update us on existing and new nanotechnology applications in paper-making, composites and rheology modifiers and also review the latest research from the joint venture between UMaine and the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Product Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, WI.
- MFPC Executive Director Patrick Strauch will report on what’s happened on the spruce budworm front since the nine task teams began their work at last year’s annual meeting.
- And just for fun, Tim Sample, Maine’s premier native humorist, will make us laugh at the evening banquet.
Register or for more information. Please consider becoming a tournament or annual meeting sponsor, because sponsorship allows broader participation of our members by keeping individual expenses down. Email Sue McCarthy or call her at 207-622-9288.
Great carving for a great cause
Enjoy Forest Heritage Days August 8-9
It wouldn’t be Forest Heritage Days in Greenville without a great chainsaw carving to benefit a great cause — the Children’s Miracle Network. Mike Thurlow, a self employed logger from Lee, has generously donated a number of carvings over the years, including an outstanding carving of three bears, which will be raffled off on August 9, just before the last tree is felled in the Game of Logging (GOL) competition.
The chainsaw carving/chainsaw raffle is one of the most popular fundraisers and the winner will have his or her choice of carved bears or a Dolmar 420 chainsaw, with the second winner getting the other prize. Tickets will be sold at all Forest Heritage Days events, August 8-9. Read more.
Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has been the voice of Maine’s forest economy. The MFPC represents the diverse needs of Maine’s forest products community. Our members are landowners, loggers, truckers, paper mills, tree farmers, foresters and lumber processors, but they are also bankers, lawyers and insurance executives. We feel we represent anyone who has an interest in seeing the Maine woods remain a viable, sustainable resource. We serve our community by gathering information, bringing groups together to discuss concerns, hosting events, conducting tours and helping people find common ground. We represent our members at the Maine Legislature, but also across the state, in Washington D.C. and across the nation.
Patrick Strauch, Executive Director;
Pat Sirois, SFI Coordinator
Roberta Scruggs, Communications Director
Sue McCarthy, Office Manager
Address: 535 Civic Center Dr., Augusta ME 04330
Phone: 207-622-9288 Website: www.maineforest.org