MFPC newsletter January-February 2018

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On an icy night, legislators and members warmed up at our Legislative Reception, including member Steve Schley, Senate President Mike Thibodeau and Sen. Jim Dill. More photos.

Tree Growth, State of the State and ‘roadmap’ progress

There’s a lot to talk about today, including the release Thursday of the new report on the Tree Growth Tax Program, the governor’s State of the State address Tuesday, and an update on the progress of our industry’s roadmap. But the big news is Verso’s announcement to start up its idled machine — employing 120 workers — and produce container board and employee 120 workers. This is great news and opens up markets for softwood and sawmill residuals.  It’s also exciting to learn they are diversifying their production into container board products. Also exciting is the announcement by two cross laminated timber (CLT) firms this week of their intentions to build facilities in Maine. We’re making great progress in building a stronger forest economy. Read more.

Expect legislative pace to speed up after holiday break

When legislators return after next week’s holiday, they’ll be facing deadlines that will be tough to meet. Leadership has directed committees to get all bills reported out of committee the second week in March. Then they face a pretty short turnaround time – probably just three to four weeks – to sort out some very big issues before statutory adjournment April 18. Read more.
Ya can’t get there from here: That old punchline from Marshall Dodge’s Burt & I routines almost never failed to get a laugh fifty years ago, but even today like all good comedy, it’s the hint of truth in it that makes it work. On January 24, I attended the latest of the series of planning meetings for the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in East Millinocket. The theme was winter use because it turns out that snowmobiling is the predominate use of the monument during the winter months. The almost immediate comments were directed at the lack of facilities and lack of access in the wintertime. Read more.
DEADLINE TO RESERVE SPACE IS FEB. 16 for 2018 Wood Buyers’ Guide: Local Wood WORKS and Green & Healthy Maine HOMES magazine are partnering to produce a Buyers’ Guide to Maine Local Wood Products that will be distributed in the 2018 Spring edition of the magazine. The guide will educate readers about the variety and quality of Maine wood products with an emphasis on how home building, design professionals and homeowners can source Maine products. Contact Heather Chandler207-221-3450. Advertising in the guide is a great way to reach the people most likely to conduct business with local wood producers, manufacturers and suppliers. A listing in the guide is available for free. More information at Wood buyers guide
Photo by Lonnie S. Jandreau, Prentiss & Carlisle

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Canada lynx may be taken off endangered species list – “Through the stewardship of our partners such as the Maine Forest Products Council and many other private landowners, the population [of Canada lynx] in Maine is growing and expanding,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, in a prepared statement. “Not only are lynx found in more places, but signs of lynx are found more frequently during our surveys. And the research conducted by our biologists in conjunction with the USFWS showed modern forest management practices are compatible with lynx conservation.”  Read BDN story. 

COMING UP: The 2018 NERCOFE workshop is scheduled for March 12-13. The deadline to register is Friday, February 23. The agenda includes:

  • History of Maine’s Forests, Richard Judd, University of Maine
  • A Mill Story Jim Robbins, Jr., Robbins Lumber
  • Alternative Markets and Adaptations, Donna Cassese, SAPPI
  • FIA Program – How it works, data trends, market info, and Use and Implementation of FIA Data, 
    Ken Laustsen, Maine Forest Service

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. More information.

ExporTech Maine 2018, sponsored by the Maine International Trade Center. ExporTech™ is a national export assistance program that applies a structured export strategy development process to help companies enter or expand in global markets. Since 2007, 196 ExporTech™ programs have been delivered in 34 states and Puerto Rico with over 1,000 participating companies. Over a 10-week period, participants attend three one-day workshops (April 5, May 10, and June 14); obtain individualized coaching to develop an actionable export growth plan, and present your company’s export growth plan to experienced international business people for feedback. 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.