June 7, 2013

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Members of the “regular team” listens to the House debate the ACF merger.


House approves ACF merger 93-49

After a “rollercoaster” week of lobbying by supporters and opponents, the Maine House approved the ACF merger bill, 93-49, Friday on first reading.

Executive Director Patrick Strauch called the last few days “a rollercoaster” for the “regular team,” including Tom Doak and Bill Williams of SWOAM, Jon Olson and Clark Granger of the Maine Farm Bureau, Bob Meyers of MSA, Kimberly Cook of the Wild Blueberry Commission and Michele MacLean, MFPC lobbyist.

“We’ve also had a significant amount of help from Tom Abello of the Nature Conservancy and Jeff Roman from Maine Coast Heritage Trust,” Strauch said.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill next week, Strauch said, and he urged MFPC members to contact their senators and urge them to support it.

“I think that’s really important, even though we had all three senators on the ACF Committee who voted in favor of the bill,” Strauch said. “The Senate remains the last place where those opposed to it can work hard to turn around those legislators.” Read more.

New Maine sales tax exemption for equipment

At Thursday’s FRA Forestry Forum in Brewer, Sara Lewis, deputy director of sales, fuel and special taxes at the Maine Revenue Service, outlined the new Maine sales tax exemption for commercial wood harvesting machinery and equipment purchases. This legislation will become effective on July 1, and will be a significant opportunity for Maine loggers

Maine Revenue Service is requesting feedback on the draft Bulletin as well as any questions loggers may have concerning how the program applies to their operations. Please direct questions or suggestions to:  Peter Beaulieu and Sara Lewis, 207-624-9608.

We are considering hosting additional Forestry Forums on this topic in other areas of the state. Let me know if you have interest. — Joel Swanton, Northeast Region manager, Forest Resources Association

SAM offers experimental wildlife seed mix

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) and Central Maine Power (CMP) are collaborating to establish wildlife-friendly seed mixtures along a portion of CMP 300+ mile electrical transmission line right-of-ways in southern and central parts of the state.  That project is in full swing, as CMP’s contractors will be using SAM’s Wildlife mix to re-establish vegetation along several experimental plots.

SAM would also like to offer this new mix to anyone interested in testing it and reporting their results back to SAM.This experiment would be great for contractors and loggers who need to re-establish herbaceous vegetation on disturbed sites like log landings, along logging roads, or on any site where ground cover is needed to prevent erosion.  Hunters and wildlife enthusiasts may be interested in using SAM’s Wildlife mix to establish long-term (five to seven years) fall and spring food plots for deer, turkeys, bear, and other wildlife. Read more.

Have fun and get the latest news at MFPC’s annual meeting

Interactive golf course tour

This year’s MFPC annual meeting is the perfect mix of business and pleasure. On Sunday, Sept. 8, you can play golf at the award-winning Sugarloaf Golf Course, enjoy a barbecue right at the clubhouse and, of course, catch up with all your friends. At the business meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, you’ll get a report on how legislative activities affected us, participate in a discussion about where the industry is headed and hear the results of the University of Maine research — going on right now — about the economic impact of Maine’s forest products industry. The afternoon will be devoted to a tour of the UPM-Madison paper mill and other interesting stops. Read more and register.

 And don’t forget to tell someone they’re outstanding!

Each year, the Maine Forest Products Council asks members to nominate outstanding individuals from the forest products community. Please take a moment to consider those who have done an exemplary job deserve recognition for their positive impact on our industry. (See earlier winners). The recipients of the awards will be honored at the Maine Forest Products Council Annual meeting awards banquet on September 9 at the Sugarloaf Conference Center. Click on the links below for criteria and a nomination form for:

 Outstanding Logger

Outstanding Trucker

Outstanding Manufacturer

 Outstanding Forester