Maine Forest Products Council Legislative Update Jan. 22, 2021

MFPC Policy Committee goes to work

More than 30 members joined in Friday morning as the MFPC Policy Committee convened for the first time (virtually on Zoom) to discuss the bills to be considered by the 130 Legislature. So I thought this would be a good time I’d briefly run through our procedures.

I check through all the bills — out of nearly 2000 proposed only 187 LDs have been printed as of today — and then flag the ones of interest to MFPC members. Office Manager Sue McCarthy places them in an Excel file and updates them as public hearings and work sessions are scheduled.

Then the Policy Committee, which includes lobbyist Michele MacLean and attorney Bill Ferdinand, discusses what positions MFPC should take. We are still researching these bills, but by next Friday’s update we’ll likely have decided whether we are for, against or just monitoring. Communication Director Roberta Scruggs and I will then start work on the Council’s testimony, which members help us refine.

Below you’ll find the first bills from out watch list that are scheduled for public hearings. Feel free to contact Roberta or me if you have comments, questions or simply share your opinions. Our contact information is below. If you want to submit testimony, we are happy to help in any way, including with research.

This session, which will almost entirely virtual, will be challenging, but we always know we can count on our members to work with us. As always, we appreciate all you do for the Council and for the forest products industry.

 

Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Public Hearings

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m.

LD 90 An Act To Amend the Removal Process Applicable to the Position of State Supervisor of the Forest Protection Unit of the Bureau of Forestry, Sponsor Rep. Thomas Skolfield, R-Weld.
LD 65 An Act To Invest in the Stewardship and Management of Properties Acquired with the Proceeds from the Land for Maine’s Future Fund or the Public Access to Maine Waters Fund, Sponsor Rep. Margaret O’Neill, D-Saco

Thursday, Feb. 4, 9 a.m.

LD 36 An Act To Amend the Definition of “Timber Harvesting, Sponsor Sen. James Dill, D-Penobscot.
LD 34 Agriculture, Conservation & ForestryAn Act To Create the Maine Forestry Operations Cleanup and Response Fund, Sponsor Sen. James Dill, D-Penobscot.

 

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Public Hearing

Monday Feb. 1, 9 a.m.

LD 88 An Act To Amend Maine’s Wildlife Laws Regarding Species of Special Concern, Sponsor Rep. Lester Ordway, R- Standish.

 

Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Commerce

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m.

LD 105 An Act To Adopt the Department of Economic and Community Development’s 10- year Economic Development Strategy for Maine, Sponsor Sen. Donna Bailey, D-Saco.

 

About MFPC

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, lumber processors and the owners of more than 8 million acres of commercial forestland, but they are also bankers, lawyers and insurance executives. The Council represents members at the Maine Legislature and across the state, in Washington D.C. and across the U.S.