We’re entering the 128th Legislature with a significant amount of change having taken place in Maine’s forest industry. While our members are weathering the storm I wanted to provide some perspective on what’s happening in light of our challenges.
Gov. Paul R. LePage continues to champion of our industry and Maine’s congressional delegation has been looking for ways to help as well. In the same way our incoming Legislature will be eager to help if we can provide them with good ideas for their action. The “Roadmap” strategic planning project we put forward last session with the University of Maine has been joined by additional industry partners and we’ll be following up with legislators on that project. Read more.
Tumultuous election barely alters Maine’s legislative landscape – Michele MacLean. MFPC is developing its legislative agenda now in order to identify issues for consideration before the Dec. 12 deadline for bills. The Manufacturing Committee is planning to meet and a joint meeting already is scheduled (11 a.m., Dec. 8, MFPC office) for the Landowner and Wildlife committees. Here are some of the topics expected to be on the Landowner-Wildlife agenda: Tree growth planning; windpower visual standards (AMC bill to extend range from 8 to 15 miles); timber trespass; Spruce Budworm Act rule-making, and market development.
Franklin County Tax Alert: Dec. 12 hearing set on proposed new deputy in UT: Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols has proposed adding a deputy position in the county’s unorganized territory (UT) that would add $100,000 to the UT budget in the first year, including the deputy’s salary, benefits and cruiser, with that cost decreasing to roughly $69,000 annually until the cruiser needs to be replaced. According to Nichols’ proposal, the position is needed to reduce response times and “create a more visible police presence.”
Please tell us why you think Maine is a great place for a forest industry. MFPC has just begun developing a new stand-alone website to highlight what’s good about our industry for potential investors, Maine businesses that might be considering expanding and our neighbors across the state. We hope to provide useful information, contacts and links to available services or incentives. Any ideas, comments or suggestions would be valuable and much appreciated. Contact Communications Director Roberta Scruggs (207-622-9288).
Why have enrollments at the University of Maine forestry program more than doubled since 2008? For some very good reasons, according to faculty and students.
Good news on budworm — Maine’s trap numbers, the L2 data and ground and air observations all confirm we are still in a period with low populations of spruce budworm across Maine’s forests.
Wagner explores a new world: Indiana. Our good friend Bob Wagner, formerly of the UMaine is in new, but also familiar territory in his new job as director and professor of Purdue’s Department of Forestry & Natural Resources. “Lesson learned so far,” he emailed, “is that secondary manufacturing is very important to a healthy forest products economy.”
A common-sense pathway to build jobs in rural timber communities — If the outcome of the 2016 presidential race has taught us anything it is that our country needs to pay greater attention to building reliable, good paying jobs for families in rural communities who have for too long been left out of our nation’s economic recovery. Many of these communities are located in heavily forested states in the West, Upper Midwest, Northeast and South, where the forest products sector suffered historic economic setbacks during the Great Recession.
Recommend a new member! Jim Robbins Sr., chair of our Membership Committee, has written a great letter that is about to go out to potential members, along with an MFPC fact sheet about the benefits of joining the Council. If you know someone who would be an asset to the Council, please contact Jim (207-342-5221) or Sue McCarthy (207-622-9288). It will take all of us working together to build a stronger forest products industry in Maine.
In case you missed this . . .
- U.S. housing starts jump 25 percent in October
- Maine Voices: See the forest for the trees and recognize benefits of biomass — Sherry Huber
- Steady rise in North American softwood lumber production
- How plywood on steroids reduces construction time and payroll costs — Mainebiz
Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has been the voice of Maine’s forest economy. MFPC’s members are landowners, loggers, truckers, paper mills, tree farmers, foresters and lumber processors, but they are also bankers, lawyers and insurance executives.We represent our members at the Maine Legislature, but also across the state, in Washington D.C. and across the nation. We serve our community by gathering information, bringing groups together to discuss concerns, hosting events, conducting tours and helping people find common ground.