Archive for the ‘Business Impact’ Category

Saviello, Hickman co-chairmen – land management fund commission

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Central Maine News Papers- 8/28/2015

By Staff Report
Sen. Tom Saviello and Rep. Craig Hickman will be co-chairmen of the Maine Legislature’s Commission to Study the Public Reserved Lands Management Fund.

The commission was formed by the 127th Legislature. The commission will evaluate the state’s use of public land, specifically harvesting practices, the preservation of forests for recreation, wildlife habitat and public use, according to a news release from the office of the Senate president.
Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, speaks to the Legislature in June. Saviello has been named co-chairman of the Commission to Study the Public Reserved Land Management Fund. Portland Press Herald file photo by Gordon Chibroski

Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, speaks as a chairman of the Legislatures Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry in April. Hickman has been named co-chairman of the Commission to Study the Public Reserved Land Management Fund. Portland Press Herald file photo
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Other appointees to the commission are Sen. Jim Dill, D-Old Town; Rep. Don Marean, R-Hollis; and Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake; commercial wood harvester Tony Madden; state-licensed forester Jonathan Robbins; forest health scientist Richard Smith; and tourism industry represtantive Bob Myers.

The commission, which will meet a minimum of four times, will offer recommendations to the Legislature based on its findings.

“This is an issue that I feel very strongly about, and I am thrilled to be a member of this study group,” said Saviello, R-Wilton, in the release from the Senate president’s office. “We need to ensure that the policies we enact in the Legislature are working for Maine’s public lands, which are so important to us and to future generations.”

Saviello is also chairman of the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee. He represents the Senate’s 18th District, which includes parts of Kennebec and Franklin counties.

Hickman, D-Winthrop, is in his second term, representing District 81 in the Legislature. His district includes Readfield, Winthrop and part of Monmouth. He is the House chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Click here for the original article.

PLC Board Member to Represent Logging Interests on Commission
A 15-member commission, appointed by Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau and Speaker of the House Mark Eves, will meet this fall to determine how much wood should be cut from 400,000 acres of state-owned land and the proper use for the related revenues. The panel will include lawmakers and foresters along with tourism, outdoor recreation and commercial timber industry representatives. PLC Board Member and Secretary, Tony Madden, AW Madden, has been appointed by Senate President Michael Thibodeau, to represent the interests of commercial loggers on the Commission. The PLC is proud to have Tony represent the interests of this industry

Legislation to Encourage Youth Loggers and Truckers

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Aroostook County – U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine has partnered with the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine to develop legislation to assist the logging industry in Maine and across the country. The proposed legislation, the ‘‘Securing America’s Next Generation of Safe Loggers and Truckers Act,’’ was introduced in Congress by Congressman Poliquin, will help family logging companies sustain themselves for future generations.
The bill will amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to allow 16 and 17-year-old children to be employed by their parents in certain logging operations and would also lower the minimum age requirement for the operation of commercial motor vehicles across state or international borders.

The goal of the legislation is to strengthen Maine’s strong family logging heritage and secure the future of an industry that capitalizes on Maine’s abundant natural wood resources while directly employing more than 2,300 people. Maine’s loggers are a vital part of the state’s forest products sector, which is worth an estimated $8 billion annually.

To see the video- click here: Youth Logger and Truckers Video


As We See It The Endangered Species Act – Second Take

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Myles AndersonGrowinALC Logo colorg up in a small rural town in Northern California I have seen first-hand how well intended regulation can destroy jobs once manipulated by the regulatory agencies and the environmental industry. Recently we saw how dwindling populations of the Northern long eared bat pushed Federal Fish and Wildlife to take immediate action. Many of us were to be impacted by this action, which raised the question of the quality of science, the proposed restrictions and the real reason for the decline. This action sent tremors across the wood products industry of our Nation. Industry professionals from across our country began to see first hand what those of us in the Pacific North West have been dealing with for over 25 years.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of economic growth and development un-tempered by adequate concern and conservation.” The U.S. Supreme Court found that “the plain intent of Congress in enacting” the ESA “was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost.”[i]

The summer of 1990 on the North Coast of California was a time that would change the course of our regional timber industry forever due to a pair of events. The first was Redwood Summer, where a few hundred college students decided to spend their summer vacation in sunny California protesting the nations most stringent forest regulatory system and sampling some of the regions local produce. The second event was the listing of the Northern Spotted Owl as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  Amongst other factors these two propelled the California timber industry into a death spiral, which led to the closure of 84 out of 117 sawmills and reduced the industry by 70% in just 20 years.

In order for any timber harvest in Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) territory to take place survey protocols must be followed to locate and protect the species. This process has evolved over the years and has become very burdensome; however the level of thoroughness has provided some very interesting data, collected mostly by biologists employed on private land. This data shows that the species is declining on Federal Forests, Parks and areas where management is nonexistent. While the opposite is true for private landowners that have continued to manage their land and are seeing NSO populations increase. As with all species they need life’s essentials to thrive and they are finding that in our managed forests.

More recently the finger has been pointed at the Barred Owl as one reason behind the decline of Northern Spotted Owl, and the solution has been to authorize management of the Barred Owl species by termination. A logical person has to ask how many years this termination policy will take to produce another endangered specie for us to protect. Termination seems like a simple solution because the Barred Owl is not a listed species but it begs the question, what do you do when a federally listed Southern Sea Otter is eating a federally listed Coho Salmon? History has shown that biologists, usually through the help of lawyers, add regulation to the fishing industry and others to make up for this natural process. Currently under the ESA it is not uncommon to shut down timber operations for months to protect potential habitat for species in areas that represent the extreme reaches of their range.

After 40 years of living and working with the Endangered Species Act I think it is time to revisit the actual intent of Congress. If nothing else we need an Endangered Workers Act, designed to protect critically imperiled Humans from extinction as a consequence of overzealous laws and regulations. After a 70% decline in the last 25 years it is time to petition the California State Fish and Wildlife to list the California Logger as an endangered species, but we wouldn’t stop there because we would have to add mill workers, log truck drivers, foresters and many other professions specific to the forest products industry. We would also have to look at indirect jobs that have been affected and why whole communities have become dependant on the government for support rather than their own initiative.

This trend is on the move across the Nation, and many states are already seeing the impacts from regulations like these being used for purposes other than their intended use. Perhaps if proper science rather than political science was the determining factor for these listings, the ensuing regulations and restrictions would actually help the species and lead to their recovery. At that point perhaps both the imperiled species and imperiled workers could be removed from their respective endangered list.

[i] Wikipedia, Northern Spotted Owl

Myles Anderson is the current President of the American Loggers Council and he and his father Mike own and operate Anderson Logging, Inc. based out of Fort Bragg, CA.

The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c) (6) corporation representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states across the US. For more information, visit their web site at or contact their office at 409-625-0206.



As We See It: It Just Makes Sense

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

September 2014

ALC Exec VP Danny DructorBy Danny Dructor, ALC Executive Vice-President

For seventeen years, members of the American Loggers Council have been making trips to Washington, DC, promoting the idea that trucks hauling state legal weight limits for agricultural commodities, including unrefined forest products, should be allowed to access the Federal Interstate Highway System, and for seventeen years, this common-sense approach to standardizing weight limits within state boundaries has gone unnoticed, until now!

On July 24, 2014, Congressman Steve Southerland from Florida introduced the Right To Haul Act of 2014, H.R. 5201, that if passed would do just that, allow these loads access to the Interstate Highway System as long as they do not exceed individual State weight limitations.

The language is simple, “…individual State weight limitations for an agricultural commodity that are applicable to State highways shall be applicable to the Interstate System within the State’s borders for vehicles carrying an agricultural commodity.”

An agricultural commodity in the Bill is defined as, “…any agricultural commodity (including horticulture, aquaculture, and floriculture), food feed fiber, forestry products, livestock (including elk, reindeer, bison, horses, or deer), or insects and any product thereof.”ALC Logo color

What does this mean for the logging industry? Several things. First, you will now be able to transport your state legal roads on a safer and more efficient route to the mill or processing facility, avoiding the intersections in town and communities where vehicle and pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur. Second, your loads will be hauled on infrastructure that is oftentimes much better than the secondary roads found in the state and county, and third, when you travel through a weight station along the Interstate, as long as you meet the state legal requirements of the state you are hauling in, you will not be fined for an overweight load.

There are many states that already have in place weight tolerances for agricultural commodities, and allowing those loads on the Federal Interstate Highway System helps to standardize state and federal policies and improves the overall safety to the general motoring public. One key element of the Bill is that it does not require the States to change their existing regulations. This has been a deterrent of other attempts to change weight limits on the Interstate as oftentimes the States and Counties simply do not have the available funds to bring secondary roads up to the level where they can support heavier loads. You might get a bill that allows 97,000 pounds on the Interstate, but the question remains, how do you get it there?

We thank Congressman Southerland for introducing the Right to Haul Act of 2014 and request that you seek the support of your members of Congress in seeing that H .R. 5201 is passed in both the House and the Senate. It just make sense!

Danny Dructor is the Executive Vice-President of the American Loggers Council. The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c) (6) corporation representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states across the US. For more information, visit their web site at or contact their office at 409-625-0206.

As We See It: Social Hypocrisy

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

August 2014

2013-2014 ALC President Brian NelsonBy Brian Nelson, ALC President

Do you know where the products you use and the food that you eat come from? Chances are good that if you live in rural America then you probably do. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans who live outside of rural America have no clue where the products they use come from, nor do they want to know, either out of ignorance or out of a sense of ideology that somehow they are protecting our planet.

Recently I saw a flyer in our local paper for a national pharmacy chain where they were advertising “tree free” products that they were now carrying. After seeing this flyer I couldn’t help but wonder how many other companies were catering to this “green movement” because it is the “in” thing to do. For many, the belief is that timber harvests lead to the destruction of the environment and our planet even though science has proven that sustainably managed timber harvests do the exact opposite because a well-managed forest is a healthy forest. Many times the science is irrelevant to these people as it is more of a cause to believe in than what is proven right or wrong.

We’ve all seen or heard of numerous examples – from animal rights activists who eat meat or wear leather to the tree huggers who use countless products that are derived from wood. The example that I find the most ironic are the movie stars or recording artists who use fame as an opportunity to get on their soap box to spout rhetoric on how they’re so concerned about global warming or the environment as they get aboard their private jets – or how they object to commercial timber harvesting and yet they build these multi-million dollar mansions.

Hypocrisy is the first word that comes to mind! ALC Logo color

There will always be those that say one thing publicly and do just the opposite privately. Many of our elected officials have made a career out of doing just that over the years by catering to the votes. The problem is that these are the people that are making decisions or influencing the decision making process that affects the lives of all of us who work in natural resource related fields or live in rural America. For every one of us who lives, works, or recreates in rural America, there are countless more that do not, yet they are making decisions that affect how we live or work because they have the numbers.

The farming community has overcome many of the same issues in the past by educating the public on what they do and why they do it. The public’s perception of a given industry may not always be positive or correct but it is powerful. If the timber industry is
ever to be perceived for anything but what it is now, we must all do our part to educate the public and our elected officials on what we do and why we do it. Every person in this country uses products derived from wood in one fashion or another every day whether they care to admit it or not.

If we all made a concerted effort to educate those that either don’t like our industry or just don’t understand it then just maybe the next decision they make regarding it will be positive rather than negative.

Until Next Time,


Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson is the current President of the American Loggers Council and he and his brother David and father Marvin own and operate Marvin Nelson Forest Products, Inc. based out of Cornell, Michigan.

The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c) (6) corporation representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states across the US. For more information, visit their web site at or contact their office at 409-625-0206.

As We See It: Youth Careers in Logging

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

July 2014

2013-2014 ALC President Brian NelsonBy Brian Nelson, ALC President

Are you concerned about the future of the timber industry? If not, you are most likely in the minority. Mill closures, mergers, high cost of raw materials, shortage of qualified operators, the constant barrage of government regulations, and the overall high cost of running a business today are just a few of the many hurdles that we all must navigate in order to stay afloat. While the American Loggers Council (ALC) can’t solve all these issues, they are currently working on many of them and will continue to do so into the future.

When my term as ALC President started last fall, I listed a set of goals that I wanted to accomplish. The issue at the top of that list was to address the entrance of the next generation of timber harvesters into our industry. In order for this industry to survive, we must have a qualified and competent work force to not only operate equipment but to also take over the reins of running the business when the current owner decides to step away. This issue is one that the ALC has been working on for a number of years now and just started to gain some momentum with the introduction of H.R.4590 and S.2335.

The Future Logging Careers Act – H.R.4590 was introduced by Rep. Labrador (R-ID ) while the Youth Careers In Logging Act -S.2335 was introduced by Sen. Risch (R-ID) and Sen.Crapo (R-ID ). Both of these bills would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 so that 16 and 17 year olds would be allowed to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision.2011 ALC logo b&w

Timber harvesting operations are similar to family farms – but with sophisticated and expensive harvesting equipment that requires young men and women to learn how to run the business, including equipment operation, maintenance and safety prior to the age of 18. However, young men and women in families who own and operate timber harvesting companies are denied the opportunity to work and learn the family trade until they reach adulthood. The potential next generation of professional timber harvesters are being denied the opportunity to make logging their career of choice until after they turn 18 because of outdated Child Labor Law Regulations while the agriculture industry is exempt from said regulations.

While much progress has been made in just the last couple of months, there is still a lot of work to be done if we want to see these bills passed into law. A vast majority of bills introduced in Congress end up dying in committee, so it is critical that we all do our part to ensure that these bills are passed out of committee and eventually signed into law.

Regardless of whether you work as a logger, work in a mill, or work for a timber company this issue has the potential to affect the entire wood supply chain because as current loggers leave the business there needs to be a new generation coming in or eventually our industry will cease to exist.

H.R.4590 has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce while S.2335 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

It is imperative that we contact directly as many House and Senate offices as possible and ask them to support the bill, so please pass this alert along to anyone who you feel is willing to respond, including other organizations and vendors who you do business with. We will need a majority in both the House and Senate to pass the bill once it comes to the floor for a vote!

If you are unsure of who your congressional delegates are then please contact the ALC office or go to the ALC website to find their contact information. I urge everyone in the timber industry to either make a call or send an email to their respective Senate and House members to get them to support this very important issue to our industry. The more Senate and House members hear from us the more likely they will be to support this and the more of them that support this the better chance we have of moving it forward.

Until next time,
Log Safe

Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson is the current President of the American Loggers Council and he and his brother David and father Marvin own and operate Marvin Nelson Forest Products, Inc. based out of Cornell, Michigan.

The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c) (6) corporation representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states across the US. For more information, visit their web site at or contact their office at 409-625-0206.

ReEnergy to Resume Operations at Ashland, Maine

Monday, August 4th, 2014

ReEnergy to Resume Operations at Biomass-to-Energy Facility in Ashland, ME

Ashland, ME – August 4, 2014 – ReEnergy Holdings today announced plans to resume operations at its biomass-to-electricity facility in Ashland, ME.

“We are very pleased to be resuming operations of this critical energy asset,” said ReEnergy Chief Executive Officer Larry D. Richardson. “This will restore jobs, improve forest health, and enhance reliability and stability in the delivery of electricity in northern Maine. This was only possible through the collaboration and support of key stakeholders.”

The 39-megawatt ReEnergy Ashland facility generates renewable energy from responsibly harvested green forest residue biomass and unadulterated wood. It is capable of producing approximately 284,000 MWh of electricity each year — enough to supply nearly 37,000 homes. The facility, which opened in 1993, was acquired by ReEnergy Holdings in December 2011 as part of a multi-facility portfolio purchase from Boralex Industries Inc. It has been idled since March 2011. It is anticipated that the facility will be fully operational by December.

“This is terrific news for Aroostook County,” said Governor Paul R. LePage.  “I thank ReEnergy for their investment and congratulate them on the decision to restart operations.  My team has worked proactively with ReEnergy over the last few years in an effort to get where we are today.  This is what happens when government partners with the private sector in efforts to improve our economy for the benefit of all Mainers.  ReEnergy’s decision is further proof Maine’s economy is headed in the right direction.”

Senator Susan Collins said: “The reopening of the Ashland biomass facility is welcome news for the important jobs it will restore and the renewable energy it will generate. The forest economy is a tremendous asset in our state and biomass plants like the one in Ashland play a vital role.”

The facility has a significant economic impact in northern Maine. The resumption of operations will restore 25 well-paying direct jobs and an estimated 150 indirect jobs associated with the facility, many of them related to the supply of the forest residue fuel supply to the facility and additional jobs tied to local goods and services related to the facility. At full production levels, the facility purchases more than $16 million annually in fuel from local loggers. When considering the payrolls of the direct and indirect jobs along with taxes paid by ReEnergy Ashland, the annual economic impact on the region is well in excess of $20 million.

ReEnergy’s plans to restart the power plant in Ashland is great news for the community,” said Ashland Town Manager Ralph Dwyer.  “It will create many well-paying direct jobs at the plant as well as other indirect jobs supplying the facility with biomass fuel.  The Town of Ashland appreciates ReEnergy’s commitment to our community and look forward to seeing the plant in operation again.”

ReEnergy has achieved certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Standard for the facilities that are currently operating in Maine and New York. ReEnergy will seek similar certification for the Ashland facility, and this certification will provide third-party verification that ReEnergy’s biomass procurement program promotes land stewardship and responsible forestry practices.  ReEnergy is the first company solely devoted to electricity production to be certified to the SFI Standard.

ReEnergy’s strategy is to own and operate its facilities in regions capable of supplying raw materials while simultaneously ensuring the long-term sustainability of the forests where those facilities are located. The company owns and operates three other biomass-to-energy facilities in Maine: ReEnergy Stratton (48 MW); ReEnergy Livermore Falls (39 MW); and ReEnergy Fort Fairfield (37 MW). ReEnergy also owns and operates a facility in Lewiston that processes construction and demolition material. With Ashland operating, ReEnergy will employ more than 140 people in Maine and support more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Biomass-to-energy offers substantial long-term employment and positive rural economic impacts. With in-state equipment manufacturing, fuel harvesting, processing, and jobs from facility construction to ongoing boiler service, the bioenergy industry contributes significantly to the state’s economy. As a rule of thumb, each megawatt of biomass-fueled electricity supports approximately five full-time jobs: one direct job in the biomass facility, and four indirect jobs in surrounding forests and communities.

The Ashland facility has been idled since March 2011 due to market conditions. The restart has been made possible due to a confluence of factors, including an increased need for electric grid stability in northern Maine, availability of transmission capacity, a growing need for a local outlet for mill and forest residues, and energy market changes.

The facility has been maintained in a manner that will allow for a prompt return to its previous high standard of reliability, but several months of preparation will be necessary to hire and re-hire employees, build fuel supply, and assess and re-tune equipment.

NewPage ‘indefinitely’ idles Rumford paper machine

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

By Whit Richardson, BDN Staff

RUMFORD, Maine — NewPage on Tuesday said it would “indefinitely” stop operation of one of the paper machines at its Rumford paper mill by mid-February because of tough economic conditions.

Employees at the Rumford mill — there are about 830 — received the news Tuesday morning, according to Anthony Lyons, a mill spokesman….

Click to read more from the: Bangor Daily News


Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013


Click Link Below for Long Notice or the logo at left to visit the MTA’s

Construction Contracts Page

MTA: 2013.13 Roadside Clearing Notice to Contractors

Nathaniel F. Carll

Purchasing Manager

Maine Turnpike Authority

2360 Congress Street

Portland, ME 04102

Phone: (207)482-8115

Fax:   (207)871-7739


Display of USDOT Numbers Now Required for All Motor Carriers in Maine

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Enforcement to begin January 1st

All Motor Carriers in Maine are now required to obtain and display a USDOT number.  Beginning January 1, 2013, the Maine State Police will begin enforcing the requirement for all motor carriers.

By way of background, prior to 2007 only interstate carriers and intrastate carriers of hazardous materials were required to display a USDOT number.  Those carriers with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 but under 26,001, who did not haul hazardous materials, were not required to have a USDOT number at all. Intrastate motor carriers over 26,000 have always been required to have a USDOT number but were not required to display it.

For the last year, Maine BMV through their municipal agents has required all motor carriers registering commercial vehicles over 10,000 to obtain a USDOT number.  Maine BMV will issue USDOT numbers to motor carriers over 26,000 pounds and will direct motor carriers between 10,001 and 26,000 to the on-line registration system of FMCSA.

The change in policy occurred because the Maine State Police now adopt Part 390 without amendment, thus the marking requirements in Part 390.21 apply to all motor carriers who operate commercial vehicles.  The definition of commercial vehicle is found in Part 390.5:

Commercial motor vehicle means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle—

(1) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or

(2) Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or

(3) Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or

(4) Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C.

All Motor Carrier’s must now conform to Part 390.21 which means having the legal trade name of their company and their USDOT number on each side of their vehicle.  The name and number must be in contrasting colors to their truck and visible from 50 feet during daylight hours.  The most common size for compliant lettering is 2 inches.

If you have questions or need assistance in obtaining a USDOT number, please feel free to contact the staff at MMTA who can assist with this and all of your compliance requirements.

Editor’s Note: This requirement will also apply to logger’s service trucks!

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