MFPC Newsletter October 2017

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Glimpses of the challenges in the upcoming session
Every legislative session since I began this job in 2004 has been unique, but the first session of the 128th — which only ended the first week in August — was what I call “historic.” On several issues our members’  response to alerts made the difference in the outcome of legislation. The net result was a very good batting average. But now we’ re gearing for the second session, which begins Jan. 3.  Here are some of the areas of focus that I think will be challenging as we move forward. Read more.

A second chance to profit from our ‘great’ annual meeting: There was so much good, practical information available at the MFPC annual meeting Sept. 18, that it was hard to take in all at once. That’s why we’re offering a second chance to understand how Finland has reinvented its forest products industry; the ins and outs of Combined Heat and Power (CHP); game changers in biomass since 2000; an update on mass timber in our state; the status of Maine’s road map project and how Maine’s secondary wood manufacturing industry rebounded to contribute $1.8 billion to the state’s economy. Here’s your chance to absorb it all at your own pace.
  • Get the details about Finland’s experience in reinventing its forest products industry in a presentation by Petri Sirviö of Stora Enso. Watch video above or see slides. 

  • Find out everything you ever wanted to know about CHP, thanks to practical advice from Alden Robbins, vice president, Robbins Lumber; Robert Linkletter, owner, Maine Wood Pellets Co.; Chuck Qualey, Sr. Engineer of Utilities & Recovery, SAPPI, and Ben McDaniel, U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Northeast CHP Technical Assistance Partnership. See video
  • Catch up on mass timber in Maine with Russell Edgar, senior lab operations and wood composites manager at UMaine. Watch video or see slides.
  • Hear what’s happening with the Vision & Roadmap for Maine’s Forest Sector from Sarah Curran, program director for the Maine Forest Economy Growth Initiative. Watch video or see slides.
  • Take a look at industry game changers since 2000ranging from energy mandates to legalized marijuana from Craig Rawlings of the Forest Business Network. Watch video or see slides.

See how Maine’s secondary wood manufacturing industry survived a dark decade to contribute $1.8 billion to the state economy and become the “strongest in Northern New England.” Read 2017 report: Secondary Wood Manufacturing in Maine or contact Roberta Scruggs for a printed copy. Read more.

Pat Sirois

Maine SIC wins top award for the fourth time: The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) chose the Maine SFI Implementation Committee as the winner of the 2017 SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award. This award, announced at the SFI Annual Conference in Ottawa Sept.  28, recognizes the exceptional work of the grassroots network of 34 SFI Implementation Committees across the U.S. and Canada. Maine’s SIC also won the award in 2000, 2009 and 2013 (sharing it with Georgia and Minnesota). Maine and Minnesota are the only SICs to win four times. “Education and outreach have long been a strength of the Maine SFI Implementation Committee. Every year we hold multiple events and workshops that involve hundreds of people and benefit our communities. Having these efforts recognized with an SFI award is hugely gratifying,” said Pat Sirois, Maine SFI coordinator. Read more.

RFP Cost of Wood Study: The Maine Forest Economy Growth Initiative is requesting proposals to document historic wood fiber costs and forecast future costs. This data will be utilized to identify and attract forest industry investment that will result in increased forest industry employment and revenues. Issue Date: October 27, 2017; Closing Date: November 17, 2017.  Read RFP.

Please help Mike make wishes come true: Mike Thurlow of Lee, a lifelong Maine logger,  will run half of the Millinocket Marathon on Dec.  9, 2017, in full logging gear and 100 percent of all donations will go to the Make – A – Wish Maine Foundation to grant the wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions. If donations exceed  $1,000, he’ll carry his chainsaw as he runs. Read more. Make a donation.

What’s up with Maine’s Eastern White Pine?  You won’t want to miss MFS biometrican Ken Laustsen’s report on the status of white pine Thursday, Nov. 9, at the MFPC Board meeting at 1 p.m. “Eastern White Pine is still ranked statewide as #3 in total live merchantable volume and #1 in sawtimber volume,” Laustsen said. “Over the last 20 years, concerns have been occasionally raised about the status and prospects of this species. The presentation will address both issues, looking at the forest type’s core area and the broader statewide trends.”

Defoliation by spruce budworm at Maine’s border: Although we have still not picked up defoliation by spruce budworm in Maine, surveyors in New Brunswick have, including some right across our border.  Observers recorded very light and scattered defoliation on the New Brunswick side of the St. John River between Madawaska and St. Francis in ground plots. Read more.   

Emerald Ash Borer

Slowing the movement of invasive plant pests: Invasive plant pests and diseases are primarily introduced through commercial trade, but once they’re here, these destructive plant pests don’t move far on their own; they are mostly spread by us. They hide in firewood or on wood packaging material (crates, pallets, etc.) that accompanies products from other countries. Damaging pests like the Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer threaten the entire State of Maine. These pests can hide in firewood or on wood packaging material (crates, pallets, etc.) that accompanies products from other countries. Fortunately, these pests are not in our state and we need your help to keep it that way. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn more about these destructive plant pests and help us stop the spread of invasive species. Don’t enable this alarming migration. Read more.

USFS to award $7 million in grants for projects that expand wood products and energy markets: The U.S. Forest Service is taking grant applications for projects that expand wood products and wood energy markets, especially in areas with high wildfire risk. Applications may be submitted through Jan. 22, 2018. Funding is available to support a diverse range of activities, from completing engineering designs, cost analyses, permitting for commercial construction projects using wood as a primary building material or for developing a cluster of wood energy projects in a specific geographic area. Funding may also support business planning and efforts to accelerate manufacturing, market adoption, and demonstration of innovative wood products, such as cross-laminated timber. Read more.

Free Apprenticeship Works seminars for manufacturers Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2: The Maine Apprenticeship Program at the Maine Department of Labor is offering manufacturing employers a free, two-hour seminar about the benefits of sponsoring an apprenticeship. Registered Apprenticeship is an “earn and learn” training model that combines work-based learning with related classroom instruction using the highest industry standards. Read more.

Dear Member of the Logging or Farming Community: Recently, Emera Maine has experienced a number of incidents with logging and farming machinery coming close to or having contact with power lines. Fortunately there were no injuries associated with the recent events we’ve experienced. However, extensive damage to machinery and power outages did result from these incidents. In some cases, power outages affected local businesses, schools, and emergency services. Expenses were also incurred from the time and effort Emera Maine needed to determine the cause of the outage and re-establish power. There is nothing more important to us than sending our employees home safe and well each and every day, so we are reaching out with information to help those in the logging and farming industry do the same. Read more.

Do you have a colleague or work with a company that would be a great addition to MFPC’s membership? Please let Office Manager Sue McCarthy know.