MFPC newsletter December 2017

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How will forest products be challenged this session?
 The first session of the 128th Legislature was very busy and MFPC was involved right down to the closing days of the session. I was hoping that in the second session, which starts Jan. 3, there would be enough legislative discipline – and to some degree it looks like there has been — to limit the number of issues we have to deal with. There are 319 total carryover bills and about 10 of those are on our watch list, ranging from the age-old guns and rangers effort, to a lot of important discussion about biomass, biomass energy and energy policy. And, of course, the governor’s Tree Growth bill, LD 1599, was carried over, too. Read more
Keeping a sharp eye on the Medicaid funding debate: A lot of seemingly unrelated bills and programs, including ones we care about, are likely to get caught up in THE top issue this session — how to fund the Medicaid expansion.  A concern for MFPC, along with other interest groups, is whether the Legislature might sweep money from other accounts and programs to come up with that funding. Read more
Jim Robbins and Sen. Jim Dill

SAVE THIS DATE: Jan. 23, Legislative Reception! When do MFPC members and legislators get a chance to talk in a relaxed setting? At our annual legislative reception! Please join us Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 4-7 p.m. at the MFPC office. And this year, we plan to display as many of our members’ great products as the building will hold (upstairs and downstairs). So let Sue McCarthy know what you’ll be bringing to showcase your business.  

Low budworm counts allow more time to prepare: The Maine Forest Service (MFS) has completed a defoliation survey in sites across the northern boundary of the state, counted some of the budworm tracker’s citizen scientist site samples (all those that have been mailed in), tabulated light trap samples, collected L2 samples (second instar larvae) for the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit (CFRU)-led study, and we are chugging through samples from the network of cooperator pheromone traps. A summary of the results of those efforts follows. The continued low populations give landowners and managers, as well as others who will be impacted, additional time to prepare for the next spruce budworm epidemic. Read more.
SFI and Project Learning tree — a win/win: Last summer SFI announced it had become the new home of Project Learning Tree (PLT), taking over for the American Forest Foundation. Are you wondering how this new relationship is working out nationally and it Maine? Just like they were made for each other. Read more. 
Mike keeps his promise: Mike Thurlow of Lee, a lifelong Maine logger, kept his promise at the Millinocket Marathon Dec.  9. He pledged he’d run the half marathon in full logging gear and carry his chainsaw if donations to the Make – A – Wish Maine Foundation exceeded  $1,000 and they’re now at nearly $3,500. “Our friend did it! 13.1 miles in 4 hours, 20 minutes, and 56 seconds carrying a 13-lb chainsaw,” said Mike St. Peter of CLP. “Quite an accomplishment. We should all sign up to accompany him next year! I asked him at one point how it felt lugging the saw. He stated, “like carrying a bulldozer.” Thurlow set an ambitious overall goal, hoping to raise $7,000 (the average cost of  a wish) to grant the wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions. It’s not too late to help him reach that goal. Make a donation. Marathon results Half marathon results. Hear what SFI’s Pat Sirois said about Make-A-Wish’s holiday campaign to raise funds for 15 wishes on 107.5 Frank FM and 99.9/99.3 The Wolf. 
 Coming up: The 2018 Maine Invasive Species Network Annual Meeting is set for Friday, March 16, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Maple Hill Inn & Conference Center in Hallowell. It’s approved for four pesticide applicator recertification credits. Registration details should be out in February. More information.

The campaigns already have begun for the 2018 elections. This is a great time to consider how you and your business can make a difference. A good way to get started is by talking with Patrick Strauch. Call 207-622-9288.