May 31, 2013

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Fate of ACF merger still uncertain 

By Executive Director Patrick Strauch

  Legislative approval of the merger of the ACF department still hangs in the balance. It should be coming up shortly and I would ask all of the members to weigh in on this issue and support the change.  As I work with my colleagues in Agriculture we find ourselves working against misinformation provided by environmental organizations that fear the synergies that would be created by a stronger natural resource department. But as we state in a letter soon to be sent to legislators all the needs of Maine citizens are honored in the cabinet of the commissioner’s office. Please reach out to your representatives and senators to let them know you are in support of the merger.  We will also send out an alert when the issue hits the floor of the legislature. Read more news from the Legislature.

  Maine Chamber says: Oppose majority report to LD 443

 As amended, LD 443, An Act to Amend the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act of 1992 To Provide Benefits to Seriously Injured Workers, represents a significant rollback, not only of the reforms passed in 2012, but of the reforms of 1992 as well, the Maine State Chamber reports. “Short version – estimated cost impact on comp rates of as much as $60 million.  You read that correctly, $60 million,” said Peter Gore, the chamber’s vice president for advocacy and government relations. Read the chamber handout.

 FIN connects those work to improve Maine’s fisheries

FIN LOGOAt its core, FIN — the Fisheries Improvement Network — is about information sharing. The idea for FIN came from the Maine’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee. The goal is to provide a forum where forest landowners and managers can interact with agency fisheries managers and organizations interested in improving Maine’s fisheries resources. One great way to provide timely information are “FIN Facts” information sheets, which allow all those involved to share information on new crossing design innovations, tools available to landowners to help prioritize crossings for replacement, new training opportunities etc. Read more.

Enjoy our proud history the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum

 rangele logging museumFor 33 years the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum has been preserving and building a collection of historical information, artifacts, heavy equipment, tools, and artwork pertaining to the logging industry in the Maine Woods. According to visitors, its  the best such collection anywhere in the state. Our intention is to make it even better in the coming years. This Museum has the opportunity to create a legacy for future generations of which they can be quite proud. MFPC members are invited to tour the museum. Read more.

harry dwyerHarry Dwyer ‘spoke for the forests’ 

 Maine’s forests lost a staunch champion this week. Harry Dwyer Jr., 55, died unexpectedly at his Fayette home. Harry, a licensed forester, certified master logger, licensed wood scaler and certified logging professional, received the Maine Forest Service Outstanding Forest Stewardship Award and the Natural Resources Council of Maine annual environmental award.

“He spoke for the forests,” said Pat Sirois, SFI Director. “He had a tremendous amount of energy and strong convictions about how forests should be managed.” Read more.

Don’t miss the MFPC Annual Meeting! Have fun and get the latest industry news Sept. 8-9

Interactive golf course tour
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