May 23, 2013

template top croppedads-templateACF approves two LUPC commissioners

Gwen Hilton of Starks.
Gwen Hilton of Starks.

After rejecting two earlier nominees this session, the ACF Committee confirmed two LUPC commissioners Wednesday.

Newcomer Everett Worcester of Piscataquis County was approved 8-3 and current LUPC chair Gwen Hilton of Somerset County won unanimous confirmation.

“And that’s the first time that’s happened, so congratulations!” said Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Aroostook, told Hilton. Read more.

Whitcomb: ‘It’s the best we’ve felt in a long time’

The discussion of the ACF merger bill Thursday was quiet, short and mostly technical, but the vote to approve this version of LD 837 was another major step, said ACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. When asked after the work session if he was relieved, Whitcomb smiled. “Oh yes,” he said. “It’s the best we’ve felt in a long time.” Read more.

What’s coming up next at the Legislature

By Executive Director Patrick Strauch

at the legislatureThe Energy, Utility and Technology Committee is working on the Omnibus Act to Reduce Energy Costs, Increase Energy Efficiency, promote Electrical Reliability and Protect the Environment.

At one point Patrick Woodcock, Gov. LePage’s energy director, introduced some amendments that include wind power issues which were not received well by the committee who wants to keep the issues separate. All the wind power bills have been pushed into next week setting the stage for an expected carry over and study group this summer and fall.

The budget remains the biggest challenge for this session. Recent votes by the House and Senate to approve paying the hospital debt linked to the expansion of Medicaid is creating a huge partisan divide and a governor who is not supportive of the approach. Predictions are that legislators will be in session until July before the budget is approved.

Stay tuned as we announce critical votes in the House and Senate on bills we feel are threatened or threatening. Your calls to legislators at that time will be important and meaningful to legislators who are whip-sawn by lobbyists and political deals in the late hours of the night.

tree planting

Madison students leave lasting legacy along Kennebec

Thanks to UPM’s global Plant-a-Tree initiative, eighth-grade students in Madison planted 500 trees along the Kennebec River at the Madison Boat landing. Several community partners came together for the event,  including the Maine Tree Foundation, Kohl’s Department Stores and Plum Creek Timber Co. Read more.

Maine Chamber asks for help on workers’ comp

We need your help!! Please call or email your legislators TODAY and ask them to Oppose the Majority Report to LD 443, An Act to Amend the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act of 1992 To Provide Benefits to Seriously Injured Workers. Attached is our action alert on LD 443. This bill is making its way to the Senate as early as next week. This bill will add SIGNIFICANT COSTS to the Maine workers compensation system.

Patrick at expo200 exhibitors and lots of people crowd Expo in Bangor

MFPC staff and board members spent two productive days at the 2013 Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Expo at the Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center May 17-18. “It was a good show — about 200 exhibitors.,” Pat Sirois said.” Read more.

Trucks legal on state highways can travel the interstate

Rules and regulations went into effect recently permitting truck configurations legally allowed on Maine state highways to operate on interstate highways in Maine during the period that the federal 100,000-pound pilot project is in effect. Read more.

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


The Maine Forest Products Council Annual meeting will be held Sept. 8-9  at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Carrabassett Valley.