October 2015

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Farm Credit

Austin Wilkins ceremony website

Irving receives Austin Wilkins award

Working together for better managed forests

Just before the award ceremony, Jim Irving was talking with MFPC Board members Jimmy Robbins and Steve Schley, who he’s known for years.

“They were saying very nice things about our forestry practices,” Irving told the standing-room-only crowd at the Blaine House. “And I said, now boys, number one thing, it’s the spouting whale that’s the first to get harpooned.”

He got a huge laugh from an audience that’s very familiar with Irving Woodland’s long quest to become part of the state’s Outcome Based Forestry (OBF) “policy experiment.” Irving Woodlands officially received the prestigious Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award for “five generations of steadfast family commitment to forest stewardship,” but the speeches all focused on the company’s effort and investment in OBF.

“It’s been a great joy to me seeing what this state and this land can do when someone puts the time and effort and capital and human resources into it,” said Maine State Forester Doug Denico. “That’s what they have done.” Read more.

legislature sig for webAre you ready?

127th Legislature gearing up for 2nd session

How time flies after the Legislature adjourns. Like it or not, the 127th Legislature’s second session is on the horizon now and the optimists among us can only hope it will not be as painful or prolonged as the first. If the mere sight of the “At the Legislature” logo darkens your mood, you are not an optimist. But you won’t want to wade into the upcoming legislative session without the essentials. Read more.

Urban Forestry

Richard, Lynn and Tim Wing — part teachers, part diplomats

Richard and Lynn Wing

Even though Maine is the most forested state in the nation, some people are surprised to find out that not only is logging taking place in southern Maine, it also presents a unique challenge. The Maine Forest Products Council (MFPC) has nominated Richard Wing & Son Logging of Standish for the Northeastern Region Outstanding Logger Award, given by the Forest Resources Association in part because of the Wing family’s diplomatic skills.

While northern Maine logging is often conducted on a large scale, lots in southern Maine are small, so logging takes place in neighborhoods and close to roads.  “People are always checking us out. Most of the people down this way are worried ‘Is it a housing development?’ I’ve been sworn at a few times,” Tim Wing says with a laugh. Read more.


Gilbert takes over as MFS water resources specialist

Tom Gilb
Tom Gilbert
Gilbert began work in September and will be focusing on education and training needs for water quality issues including best management practices, timber harvesting within shoreland zones and stream connectivity. He also inspects timber harvesting sites, administers the Direct Link Loan Program and provides support for the Maine Forestry Bridge Program.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to work collaboratively with many organizations for the benefit of Maine’s forest and water resources,” Gilbert said. “I hope to continue the great work the Maine Forest Service has accomplished with its partners before my arrival.”
Gilbert has a B.S. in environmental biology from Plymouth State University and more than 10 years of professional experience in natural resource management. He’s also worked at Maine DEP, where he administered the Natural Resources Protection Act and Erosion and Sedimentation Control Law. Before that he worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on stream crossing and barrier surveys, and with the New Hampshire Wetlands Bureau where he aided in the development of the state’s Shoreland Program.
Gilbert resides in Topsham with his wife and enjoys travel and outdoor recreation including hiking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, canoeing, snowboarding and cross country skiing.
It's a tough job, but somebody had to attend the SFI Conference in Lake Tahoe.
It’s a tough job, but somebody had to attend the SFI Conference in Lake Tahoe.

2015 SFI Conference

Interaction and thought-provoking presentations

By Pat Sirois, Maine SIC Coordinator

Lake Tahoe, Calif., was the backdrop for this year’s SFI annual conference and 20th anniversary of the SFI Program. The conference offered a significant array of informative and thought-provoking presentations on topics including, Global Sustainability Issues and Trends, Risk and Rewards in Forest-based Supply Chains and Avoiding Deforestation and Integrating Corporate Values into Global Supply Chains. (Highlights of SFI Conference)

Many of the presenters took advantage of the 20-year anniversary to offer some thoughts about what’s changed relative to their respective topic over the past two decades.  The overall takeaway was that SFI has had a significant  influence in improving forest management during this period of time.We were also treated to an inspirational talk by Chuck Leavell, Tree Farmer and principle keyboard player with the Rolling Stones for over thirty years. He spoke of his experiences as a tree farmer and environmentalist and offered his thoughts on the positive influence he’s seen as a result of  SFI and the American Tree Farm System. He ended his talk by sitting down at a piano next to the stage for a three-song mini-concert.  No one left the room.

The Maine SIC along with Pennsylvania and Mississippi took part in a panel discussion titled, Making a difference in Local Communities.  Maine’s topics of interest were the Fisheries Improvement Network and the Pine Tree Camp, featuring an updated video about the camp and its renovation campaign. Although it was the last session of the day, all attention was focused on the kids of the Pine Tree Camps and the great work being done by the staff and organizers on their behalf. The Maine SIC is proud to be associated with this project through the generosity of some of SIC members.

The final keynote speaker was Michael Green. Michael is an architect who spoke on innovations in architecture, wood skyscrapers and the future of tall wood buildings.  It was fascinating to see what’s possible today with new technologies and research for the uses of wood in low, mid and even high-rise buildings constructed entirely from wood. His presentations, along with several others, can be seen online.

John Starrett barely needed to demonstrate the ever-popular flume table.
John Starrett barely needed to demonstrate the ever-popular flume table.

Another great snowmobile show

The message is definitely getting through 

A funny thing happened at this year’s Maine Snowmobile Association show at the Augusta Civic Center, Oct. 16-18. No, it was as just as lively and crowded as always (nearly 5,000 attended). And yes, the SFI flume table attracted a crowd, especially kids.

“It went over real well,” said John Starrett. “The kids always have a ball with it. Two or three of them hung around all Friday evening.”

But both Starrett and Pat Sirois, SIC coordinator, noticed something unusual, but heartening. Some who came to the flume table didn’t need to ask anything about it. They already knew what it was and how it worked. In fact, they were telling OTHERS how it works and why that’s important.

“There were a lot of people, many of them interested in forestry and the flume table’s purpose,” Sirois said. “Also many of them who had seen it last year were pleasantly conversant on how it worked and why. Maybe even more encouraging was that the most knowledgeable were children. Great show and very busy. No question about going back again next year.”

Global Trends in Market Pulp

It’s even more interesting the second time around

If you’ve wished you could remember more about the great presentation by Brian McClay, pulp and paper analyst, at our annual meeting, we can help you. Sue and Roberta typed a transcript of the presentation and matched it to the slides McClay showed (all except a few minutes at the start lost to technical difficulties). We also condensed it slightly so you won’t see the slide of Dustin Hoffman or the portable toilets. There’s a lot to be learned from McClay’s expertise and this time you won’t have to rely on your memory. Global Trends in Market Pulp – Brian McClay – 9-14-2015.


MFPC Board of Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 1 p.m. at the MFPC office.  A draft of the 2016 budget, submitted to the board for review at the annual meeting, will be voted on at that time.

About MFPC

Staff contacts

Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has been the voice of Maine’s forest economy. The MFPC represents the diverse needs of Maine’s forest products community. Our members are landowners, loggers, truckers, paper mills, tree farmers, foresters and lumber processors, but they are also bankers, lawyers and insurance executives. We feel we represent anyone who has an interest in seeing the Maine woods remain a viable, sustainable resource. We serve our community by gathering information, bringing groups together to discuss concerns, hosting events, conducting tours and helping people find common ground. We represent our members at the Maine Legislature, but also across the state, in Washington D.C. and across the nation.

Patrick Strauch, Executive Director;

Pat Sirois, SFI Coordinator

Roberta Scruggs, Communications Director

Sue McCarthy, Office Manager

Address: 535 Civic Center Dr., Augusta ME 04330
Phone: 207-622-9288  Website:  www.maineforest.org