NO Park for ME
229 businesses with 5000+ employees oppose park
It’s been a whirlwind campaign, but the Council and its partners, including the Maine Woods Coalition and Maine Snowmobile Association have gotten out the other side of the story about the proposed national park, including the 229 businesses (the number keeps growing) that oppose the park. Perhaps the most shocking fact is that Roxanne Quimby’s Elliotsville Plantation LLC owns less that 60 percent of the 150,000 acres she’s been promising to donate (see map). The news conference and forum, where Executive Director Patrick Strauch and Bob Meyers of MSA squared off against park supporters, were covered by the Bangor Daily News, MPBN, NBC’s local channels, CBS local channels and others. Strauch also had an op ed in the Telegram, making the point that Maine’s forest products industry has far more job potential than the proposed park. Medway voters rejected the national park 254-102 in a non-binding referendum June 23 and the voters of East Millinocket have their say on Monday, June 29. Read more.
Legislative session extended again
By Patrick Strauch, MFPC Executive Director
If you’re still watching the legislative news, you know that it won’t be over till it’s over. On Wednesday (June 23), for the second time in less than a week, the Maine Legislature voted to extend its session for five more days.When the final dust settles, we’ll give you a wrap-up of all the action that affected forest products and how our issues ultimately fared.
Right now, though, I’m sitting on the third floor of the state Capitol waiting. We have several bills in the hopper that have cleared the House and Senate, but it’s not clear if they will be vetoed, so I’m following my long-standing rule not to go home until the last legislator leaves. Once legislators complete their business a return on June 29 will be required to review the governor’s anticipated veto of the budget.
My preliminary reflection on the session is that we again held off some potentially threatening bills. I’ll prepare a legislative summary for the next newsletter that will summarize these successes and describe how newly enacted public laws will affect your businesses. I’m going to focus on the Energy Committee actions because a tremendous amount of policy was discussed that would be of interest to our manufacturing members.
The fate of the Land for Maine’s Future projects that are currently in the pipeline is unknown, since a linkage I between the governor’s action on LMF was conditional on the passage of the governor’s bill to dedicate income from Bureau of Public Lands to low-income heating was defeated. It looks as if a task force will be created to address this issue over the summer.
I’ve also been spending some time in the Millinocket area debating the merits of a national park. We’ve partnered with the Maine Woods coalition to provide some perspective on the issues, and we were very happy to see Medway voters reject the park by a large margin yesterday. Now our attention turns to East Millinocket, where voters also are holding a non-binding referendum on Monday (June 29). Our message has been one of caution in determining the fate of these communities since a federal presence is forever!
MFPC Golf Tournament July 16th
Looking forward to a great time and good weather!
Our golf tournament fundraiser is underway and we would like to thank our many sponsors for their generosity and continued support. We have a full tournament of 132 golfers and we’re looking forward to a great time and good weather. The July 16th tournament is at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Please arrive between noon and 1 p.m. to register — and buy some raffle tickets! The barbecue will start immediately after the tournament and then prizes will be given out to the winners. We also have many raffle items donated by our members, but could always use more, so if you have any items to donate please let Sue McCarthy know. We appreciate all your help and support.
Challenges and opportunities for paper, pulp
You won’t want to miss MFPC’s annual meeting Sept. 13-14
One of our featured speakers this year will be Brian McClay, the principal consultant at Brian McClay & Associés Inc., a privately-held pulp and paper competitive intelligence consultancy based in Montreal, Canada. He’ll be filling us in on the challenges and opportunities for the pulp and paper industry, especially for Maine and our Canadian neighbors. But as always, we’ll start with a round of golf at Sunday River Golf Club on Sunday Sept. 13 and return to the Jordan Hotel for a cook-out. Monday, Sept. 14, begins with an early breakfast at the Jordan and then we’ll get down to business, including election of officers, a report on our legislative agenda and discussion of what’s needed for our industry to thrive. In the evening, we’ll enjoy a great banque and celebrate the 2015 MFPC award winners. You will be receiving your registrations forms soon, so save the date on your calendar. And be thinking about the outstanding people you know and get your award nominations in by July 27.
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