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MFPC Newsletter September 2020

SAVE THESE DATES!

MFPC’s virtual meetings with candidates and members:  

Northern Maine,  October 20

Southern Maine,  October 21

Western Maine, October 22

Down East Maine. October 23  

 

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MFPC’s 60th Annual Meeting: ‘All in all, well executed’

Even though it’s been 60 years since the Maine Forest Products Council was founded, it’s safe to say that MFPC’s Annual Meeting Sept. 21 was unique. Instead of unfolding over two days, it lasted two hours. There was no time spent on the road, no expenses, no food or drink, no golf and not a single hand was shaken.

“The presentations were fine,” said Jim Robbins, Robbins Lumber. “Of course, we all, I am sure, would rather meet in person. I miss the camaraderie. I think I may be getting a new type of virus called Zoom fatigue.”

Like all MFPC meetings since Maine’s first COVID 19 case was reported in mid-March, it was a “virtual” meeting, attended by 88 people, “which is great,” said Gordon Gamble, MFPC Board president. “I’d like to thank everybody for participating and for the continued financial support for the council in this very strange and challenging year.”

Executive Director Patrick Strauch talked about The State of Maine’s Forest Products Industry (see video above), detailing the challenges and some surprised since the first COVID 19 case was reported in Maine in mid-March.

“You can see the supply and demand forces that included a stay-at-home, do-it- yourself fix-up trend that started the rally on lumber and we really saw a dramatic increase in demand for primarily softwood,” Strauch said. Hardwood has been a slower picture of recovery.” See presentation.

Denico receives 2020 Abby Holman Public Service award

Doug Denico, left, and Pat Sirois, right, display Denico’s Abby Holman Public Service Award.

Don Mansius, director of Forest Policy and Management Division at the Maine Forest Service (MFS), presented Doug Denico with the Maine Forest Products Council’s 2020 Abby Holman Public Service  at MFPC’s “virtual” annual meeting September 21 in recognition of his lifelong commitment to Maine’s forests, including a decades-long career in the private sector and his service as Maine’s State Forester, in which he implemented the state’s first Outcome Based Forestry agreements, consolidated forestry regulations under the authority of the Maine Forest Service, chaired the Baxter State Park Authority, embraced the Urban and Community Forestry program and improved operations on Maine’s Public Lands. “Doug Denico is one of those rare people who was able to move from the private sector into the public sector and step into the role of public servant without missing a beat. As state forester for eight years,” Mansius said. “Doug took care of Maine’s forests and forest policy and left both in better shape.” Read more and watch video. 

Tour gives LUPC executive director ‘real insights

into markets all along the wood fiber supply chain’

Executive Director Patrick Strauch was happy to oblige when Judy East, executive director of Maine’s Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC), expressed interest in touring forestlands owned or managed by MFPC members.

Judy East

“I appreciated Judy’s initiative and genuine interest in seeing the forests through our perspective, especially in the COVID environment,” Strauch said. 

 

The tour on Aug. 20-21, organized by Gordon Gamble, Wagner Forest Management; Hannah Stevens, Seven Islands, Chris Fife, Weyerhaeuser, and the MFPC staff, and had an ambitious itinerary.

“Everyone enjoyed meeting her, and we were impressed with her engagement and interest in what we were doing,” said Hannah Stevens, Seven Islands. “She seemed genuinely interested in the perspective of the forestry sector, and undoubtedly walked away with a better understanding of the challenges (and opportunities) the industry faces. It’s a positive thing for both sides to have a personal connection, rather than just a company or agency name.”  Read more.

Tim, Lynn and Richard Wing

The Wing family: ‘Always willing to help out” 

In early September, Gretchen McCloy, director of Community Partnerships, South Portland School Department, sent MFPC and other forestry organizations a plea for help.

“As are so many schools in our state, we are building out our Outdoor Classroom spaces,” McCloy emailed MFPC. “We are on a wild goose chase to find some donated stumps/logs to be used as outdoor seats (each chunk about the size of a 5 gallon bucket, or so).

“We have 8 schools in our district who would each love 15-25 log chunks,” she wrote. “Do you have any advice or recommendations on who I might contact who would be able to help us out with this?”

Several MFPC members tried to find ways to help, but in the end Richard Wing and Son Logging, a member of both MFPC and Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC), came up with just what the South Portland schools needed.

“We are always happy to help out,” Lynn Wing said.

Students at Brown Elementary School in South Portland students enjoy log seats donated by Richard Wing and Son Logging.

Anyone who knows the Wings know that is true. This wasn’t even the first time they’ve supplied logs seats for outdoor classrooms. They’ve also helped out the Gorham schools and they are stalwart volunteers for on SFI Maine’s Make-A-Wish projects.

“We were cutting on Phinney Lumber property in Gorham. We have a dump truck so we just cut them up in the landing, threw them into the dump truck. We ended up taking them some hemlock made them kind of roughly the size of a five gallon bucket,” Lynn Wing said. “I think we did a little over 100 of them.”

McCloy was thrilled.

“I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful log seats you donated. While I haven’t gotten photos from every school yet, here is one of some students at Brown Elementary School taking a Mindfulness Break (practicing their breathing and being peaceful),” she wrote. “Really appreciate the donation.”

Jobs: 

  • Pleasant River Lumber has an exciting full-time position is available for an Accountant to join a progressive, fast paced company. The ideal candidate has a strong background in accounting (Bachelor’s degree or combination of lower degree and experience), with experience in general and manufacturing cost accounting preferred. This role provides assistance to the Financial Officer in providing quality financial statements, and provides support to Sales, Logistics, and Operation’s Team ensuring the effective & smooth running of the day to day operations. Read more.
  • The Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP), a division of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, seeks to fill a Biologist II (Forest Ecologist) vacancy in Augusta. The Forest Ecologist will be responsible for overseeing, prioritizing and conducting field-based inventory and research to document the location, condition, and status of Maine’s natural communities and ecosystems of statewide significance and Rare, Threatened, and Endangered plant species. Read more.
  • The Maine TREE Foundation is seeking a dynamic leader to serve as our Director of Education to develop and guide forest-based education programs, including its sponsorship of Project Learning Tree. Read more. 

Covid-19 federal and state resources and guidance

MFPC has created a page on our website to list forest products industry resources and guidance documents that we hope will prove useful to members and others. We will be updating it daily. If you see something online that would be helpful to others, please email it to Roberta Scruggs. Most recent posts:

To Protect the Health of Students and Staff, Governor Mills Announces Additional Financial Support for School Systems Across Maine

Mills Administration Broadens Standing Order to Allow Anyone in Maine To Get Tested for COVID-19

Governor Mills Announces Phase 2 of Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program Funding for Expanded Pool of Maine Businesses & Non-Profits

As flu season nears, experts recommend getting a flu shot sooner than later

With Deadline Approaching, Governor Mills Encourages Maine Small Businesses to Apply for Economic Recovery Grant Program

Governor Mills Signs Executive Order to Facilitate Voting, Protect Health of Voters & Election Officials Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Gov. Mills launches $200 million economic recovery grant program to support Maine small businesses