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MFPC Newsletter September 2018

Forest products showing signs of recovery 

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Forest products showing signs of recovery

After a roller-coaster period of declines, 2018 seems like a year of recovery. Investments in our remaining pulp and paper mills are strong as they diversify their production lines. Markets for lumber and building products also are doing well and there is significant activity surrounding emerging technologies that could fit in Maine. However, there are still regions where markets are poor and more should be done to attract investments.
The Council has made considerable investment in the FOR/MAINE strategic planning process, with many members involved in this broad-based effort. Consultants have provided us with a better idea of where we fit in the global economy. We know where and what species of wood we need to focus on, and we’re developing recommendations for the coming administration that are an important part of implementing the plan. We think we can grow Maine’s forest industry from $8.5 billion to $11 billion if policymakers make the right choices. Read more.

More than 100 people attended MFPC’s 58th Annual Meeting, which included appearances by all four gubernatorial candidates, great presentations and awards for outstanding contributions to Maine’s forest products industry.

MFPC 58th Annual Meeting: Candidates and much more

PHIPPSBURG — Maine’s four gubernatorial candidates, Republican Shawn Moody, Democrat Janet Mills, and independents Terry Hayes and Alan Caron, spoke about forest products issues, including Tree Growth Tax, work force development, and research and development for new wood-based products at the Maine Forest Product Council’s 58th Annual Meeting on Sept. 17.

“Access to the gubernatorial candidates was very much appreciated by the members,” said Executive Director Patrick Strauch. “Our industry has a lot at stake in picking the right leader because we can offer the next administration an opportunity to capitalize on our ability to grow the economy in rural parts of Maine if we make the right decisions.” 

Thanks to our generous sponsors (see below), more than 100 people enjoyed the two-day event at Sebasco Harbor resort, which included awards for outstanding contributions to Maine’s forest products industry and presentations on: 

  • The unified paper industry’s effort to slow the decline in paper consumption from Mary Anne Hansan, president of the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB), who spoke about the “How Life Unfolds” campaign. Since 2015, about $20 million annually has been spent to reach a target audience of 38 million Americans and, according to Cornell economist Harry Kaiser, the marketing campaign has contributed nearly 500,000 short tons a year to paper-based packaging consumption from 2015 to 2017. See report.

“I only wish they were promoting all wood products, not just paper and packaging,” said Bill Ferdinand of Eaton Peabody. “Maine should consider ways to promote wood products from our state.”

  • How St. Croix Tissue has revitalized Woodland Pulp from Marco L’Italien, vice president of International Grand Investment Corp. Marco L’Italien, vice president of International Grand Investment Corp., owner of the Woodland mill.
  • FOR/Maine update from Steve Schley, chair, Executive Committee; Sarah Curran, FOR/Maine program director, and Charlotte Mace, executive director, Biobased Maine, will talk about the progress of the roadmap and about promising companies that have been identified as part of the Maine Technology Institute process. 

“I heard lots of comments about the quality of programming,” Strauch said, “including Marco’s commentary on the success and opportunities of the Baileyville mill, a report on the FOR/Maine planning process and Mary Ann Hansan’s description of the paper and packaging campaign.” 

Outstanding! Brian Souers, Mark Doty, Jim Nicols, Vern Labbe, Ken Laustsen, Sarah Medina and Robert Linkletter.

MFPC also announced its annual awards for the best of 2018, including:

  • Mark Doty of Madison, retired, Weyerhaeuser, winner of the Albert D. Nutting Award, “in recognition of his innovative and effective leadership; his exceptional communication skills; his strong commitment to sustainable forestry and conservation and his unwavering advocacy for the forest products industry not only in Maine, but also in New Hampshire and Vermont.” Learn more.
  • Sarah Medina of Dixmont, Seven Islands, Abby Holman Public Service Award, “in recognition of her lifelong commitment to Maine’s natural environment and those that enjoy it, with particular focus on her work with North Maine Woods, IF&W’s Sportsman/Landowner relations program, Maine Snowmobilers Association, Maine Sporting Camp owners Association, Maine’s UT land use planning, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, and her leadership at UMaine.” Learn more.
  • Ken Laustsen of Oakland, retired biometrician, Maine Forest Service, President’s Award, “in recognition of his public service to the forest products industry as state biometrician, as well as his unique ability to make a complicated subject easily understood. His advocacy for better forestry communications went far beyond insuring that facts and figures were correct. He helped people evaluate the credibility and usefulness of information so that they could make better decisions.” Learn more. 
  • Vern Labbe of Frenchville, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Outstanding Forester, “in recognition of 44 years of exceptional service in implementing sustainable forest management for the people of Maine on the Bureau of Public Lands.” Learn more.
  • Robert Linkletter, Maine Woods Pellets, Athens, Outstanding Manufacturer, “in recognition of outstanding innovations and investments to merge technologies for the efficient production of wood pellets and electrical power.” Learn more.
  • Jim Nicols, Nicols Brothers, Mexico, Outstanding Logger, “in recognition of exemplary on-the-ground performance, longstanding commitment to the well-being of their employees, the community and Maine’s logging profession.” Learn more.
  • Brian Souers, Treeline Inc., Lincoln, Outstanding Trucking, “in recognition of outstanding forest products trucking through tireless pursuits of innovation, loaded miles and a commitment to quality service.” “Thank you for a really nice time on Monday evening!” Souers emailed. “The venue was perfect, the room was very comfortable and we certainly appreciated the recognition.” Learn more.

“It’s always rewarding to me to see the wide variety of our membership and to know that no matter how competitive we may all be in the marketplace,” Strauch said, “when we come together as the Maine Forest Products Council, we all understand the power of seeking common ground in advancing our forest economy.”  

“The Maine Forest Products Council meeting was very well attended this year.  The program was very interesting with emphasis  on the status of the paper industry in Maine, which actually is much healthier than I had realized,” said Jim Robbins of Robbins Lumber. “Another highlight of the meeting was the appearance of all four gubernatorial candidates who each spent about a half hour explaining their positions and answering questions.”

News Archive
Calendar of Events

MFPC Board Meeting

When: Thu November 12 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: MFPC Office, 535 Civic Center Drive, Augusta Maine

MFPC Exec. Meeting

When: Thu December 10 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where: MFPC Office
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You’re invited! Take advantage of the Council’s many opportunities to visit with the who’s who of Maine’s forest products industry at any of our special events.