Poll shows Mainers know importance of forest economy
Those of us inside Maine’s forest products industry know there are many positive events occurring, but we also have wondered how the closure of five pulp or paper mills from 2014 to 2016 has affected public perception. So this spring we added one question to the Critical Insights on Maine survey, a comprehensive, statewide public opinion survey of registered voters, which has been documenting the attitudes, perceptions, and preferences of Maine’s residents for more than 20 years. We were happy to see that 44 percent of residents statewide said the forest products industry is very important to the state’s economy, compared to 41.7 percent in 2009, and a solid majority of 64 percent chose the top two categories (6 and 7). Read more.
Maine Wood Conference connects forest products and design community
For those who attended MFPC’s 2016 annual meeting in Orono, there was a definite deja vu vibe at the Maine Wood and Sustainability conference May 9 at the University of Southern Maine. The conference, attended by about 170 people from Maine, New York, Massachussetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, brought together architects, engineers, builders and developers.
It also highlighted the use of mass timber/CLT and three of the panelists, Russel Edgar, Casey Malquist and Matt Tonello, also gave presentations at our 2016 annual meeting.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection held a public hearing Tuesday on a citizen-initiated proposal that would require the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent annually while imposing new regulations on the trucking and biomass industries.
Here’s how the subhead in the Portland Press Herald story summed up the hearing: “Attorneys, students and other supporters of 8% annual cuts in emissions say urgent action is needed, but industries call the proposed standards unrealistic and warn of a severe impact and business shutdowns.” MFPC testimony.
Are drones a viable option for forest managers? On April 25, MFPC resurrected its Technical Committee to try to find an answer to that question. Attending the initial meeting were representatives from many large landowners, mills, political entities, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Presentations from Seven Islands Land Company (SILC) personnel highlighted the potential use of sUAS technology for forest management, and the struggles that SILC has encountered thus far. Read more.
Wildlife Committee Update: The Wildlife Committee met in January to discuss a robust agenda, which included a National Alliance of Forest Landowners (NAFO ) partnership, on-going wildlife research, and formation of a sUAV Technical Committee. “We are still awaiting a decision on the 90-day petition for the Tricolored Bat being listed under the Endangered Species Act,” said Nathan Kay of Seven Islands, who chairs the committee. “The Wildlife Committee presented to the Executive Committee a proposal to enter into a voluntary partnership with NAFO in regards to studying endangered and at-risk species. This partnership by landowners is completely voluntary, and this was a way to open the conversation between landowners and NAFO, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
SFI, PLT booths crowded at Green ME Up!
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI Maine) and Project Learning Tree (PLT) booths were big hits at the Earth Day event Green Me Up! at L.L. Bean on April 21. The event, designed to encourage the public to learn more about sustainability and help them be stewards of the earth, was organized by Girl Scouts of Maine and open to the public. Read more.
Please join us for fun, food and a great day of golf at MFPC’s 2018 Summer Tournament on Thursday, July 12: You can register to play and sign up for sponsorships on our website or contact Sue McCarthy, 207-622-9288 for more information.
COMING UP: The Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) will hold:
- A public hearing on a plan to rezone 51,000 acres within the Fish River Chain of Lakes will be held starting today (May 22) at 1:30 p.m. through May 24 at the Caribou Inn & Convention Center, 19 Main Str., Caribou. Hearing schedule. BDN story.
- A public hearing on proposed rule revisions related to review of the adjacency principle at 1 p.m., June 20, at Jeff’s Catering, 15 Littlefield Way, Brewer. More information
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Just after the Legislature adjourned, MFPC lobbyist Michele MacLean gave us a nice overview of where our issues stood and what to expect next. Read more.
The 2018 campaigns are in full swing for the June 12 primary. 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. We’ve also created a calendar to post the various fundraising events to which we’ve received invitations.