207-688-8195 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine

Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) holds 21st Annual Meeting Raises record $33,000 to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

BREWER – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine held its 21st Annual Meeting Friday, April 29 with guests including U.S. Senator Angus King, and raised approximately $33,000 for the Log A Load for Kids Foundation to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The event also included the presentation of awards to Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau and Maine House Speaker Mark Eves for their work on behalf of Maine loggers. Senator King welcomed the crowd of more than 150 Maine loggers, supporters, forest products industry business owners and representatives, lawmakers, and family members attending the evening dinner and awards ceremony that followed a day of meetings, presentations, and the auction in support of the Log A Load for Kids Foundation. The Senator noted the difficult times Maine’s forest products industry has experienced in recent years and said preserving Maine’s professional logging infrastructure is critical to the long-term health of a viable forest products economy in the state. “You’re it – it all starts with getting the wood out of the forest,” King said. “This is really crucial for the future of Maine.” The meeting is one of the PLC’s major fund-raisers for the Log A Load for Kids Foundation to benefit Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, and this year the event set a new record for funds raised. PLC members are well known for their generosity in supporting charitable causes benefiting children and are sponsors of the Log A Load For Kids annual campaign here in Maine, which encourages loggers and others in the forest products community to donate the value of one load of logs, or any amount,...

Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine to hold 21st Annual Meeting April 29

BREWER – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine will hold its 21st Annual Meeting Friday, April 29 with speakers including U.S. Senator Angus King, and awards presented to Maine’s Senate President and House Speaker. The meeting is one of the PLC’s major fund-raisers for the Log A Load for Kids Foundation to benefit Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, and last year raised approximately $20,000 in support of the cause. The event will include luncheon remarks from American Loggers Council (ALC) National President Richard Schwab on the national perspective for loggers, and the evening dinner and awards ceremony, where Senator King will make remarks and where Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau and Maine House Speaker Mark Eves will receive awards. The meeting will be held at Jeff’s Catering at 15 Littlefield Rd. in Brewer. The full schedule may be viewed at: http://maineloggers.com/21-st-annual-meeting-2/ Founded in 1995 with a handful of members who were concerned about the future of the logging industry, the PLC has grown steadily to become a statewide trade association which provides independent logging contractors with a voice in the rapidly changing forest products industry. Board membership consists of only loggers, making it an organization that is run by loggers on behalf of loggers. PLC Members employ nearly 2,500 people and are responsible for 75 percent of the timber that is harvested from Maine’s forests annually. “The PLC represents the root of the forest products industry in the state of Maine,” Dana Doran, Executive Director of the PLC, said. “Our annual meeting is a time to reflect, a time celebrate and a time to plan for the future....

Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine applauds passage of biomass and sales tax bills by Maine Legislature and Maine Governor Paul LePage

AUGUSTA – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine is applauding the Maine Legislature and Maine Governor Paul LePage for pulling together to pass two bills that will aid the state’s logging industry by providing short term contract opportunities to producers of biomass electricity and exempting commercial loggers and farmers from paying sales tax on fuel. The biomass bill, LD 1676, “An Act To Establish a Process for Procurement of Biomass Resources”, was passed by both the Maine Senate and House with strong bipartisan support April 15 following debate in each chamber. The sales tax exemption bill, LD 1481, An Act To Protect Maine’s Natural Resources Jobs by Exempting from Sales Tax Petroleum Products Used in Commercial Farming, Fishing and Forestry, also drew strong bipartisan support. It was included in an omnibus spending bill, LD 1606, which passed in the Legislature early on April 16. Both bills were signed into law by Governor LePage on April 16. “In a legislative session where disagreement drew most of the headlines, Maine’s lawmakers and the Governor pulled together in support of Maine’s loggers and the entire forest products value chain,” PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, said. “Logging is a legacy industry and is the root of Maine’s forest products industry and we applaud our elected officials for coming together at a critical time to support it. Both bills provide relief to an industry that is struggling due to factors beyond its control.” The biomass bill’s passage comes as the biomass industry is teetering on the brink of collapse in the face of competition from cheaper natural gas and loss of renewable energy...

PLC applauds passage of biomass and sales tax bills

AUGUSTA – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine lauded the Maine Legislature’s passage Friday of two bills that will aid the state’s logging industry by providing short term contract opportunities to producers of biomass electricity and exempting commercial loggers and farmers from paying sales tax on fuel. The biomass bill, LD 1676, “An Act To Establish a Process for Procurement of Renewable Resources”, was passed by both the Maine Senate and House with strong bipartisan support Friday following debate in each chamber. The sales tax exemption bill, LD 1481, An Act To Protect Maine’s Natural Resources Jobs by Exempting from Sales Tax Petroleum Products Used in Commercial Farming, Fishing and Forestry, also drew strong bipartisan support. Both bills must now go to Maine Governor Paul LePage for final approval. “This is a win not just for the logging industry in Maine, but for the entire forest products value chain,” PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, said. “Logging is a legacy industry and is the root of Maine’s forest products industry and we applaud the Legislature for coming together at a critical time to support it. Both bills provide relief to an industry that is struggling due to factors beyond its control.” The biomass bill’s passage comes as the biomass industry is teetering on the brink of collapse in the face of competition from cheaper natural gas and loss of renewable energy credit agreements in neighboring states: Covanta Energy has idled its two Maine biomass plants and ReEnergy Holdings has stated its four Maine plants are imperiled if conditions do not improve. The loss of the biomass market would be...

Misinformation isn’t helping the debate over biomass

Over the past eight months, the state has lost 1,000 direct jobs and an equal number in associated businesses, such as logging, as a result of the shutdown of three pulp and paper facilities, four pellet mills and two biomass electric facilities. As Sen. Angus King described it recently, Maine is in the midst of an “economic hurricane.” Now, as a result of the warmest winter on record, the lowest fossil fuel prices in six years and a glut of natural gas, another hit to Maine’s forest products industry is right around the corner. This will potentially eliminate $300 million in annual economic investment and create a multimillion-dollar waste wood disposal problem for which no one has a solution. These are the primary concerns as state lawmakers consider legislation to aid Maine’s six remaining grid-scale biomass electricity plants owned by ReEnergy Holdings and Covanta Holding Corp. and the plant workers, loggers, sawmills, pellet mills and truckers who depend on them. The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine is troubled by the BDN Editorial Board’s decision to oppose the legislation, LD 1676, in an editorial April 6 that focused on opposition arguments and half-truths while ignoring, in our opinion, the strong arguments in favor. The logging industry of today is complex and evolving, and those within the industry like us and our members are far more qualified to judge what’s best for it, and that is why we are fighting so hard for this legislation. While debate over this legislation is certainly healthy, a number of misconceptions are preventing an honest argument. Here is our attempt to correct them: —...

Why losing Maine’s biomass electric industry would cost more than just jobs

By JOE RANKIN Maine’s forest products industry has seen its share of ups and downs over the decades. But the slide that started last summer rapidly became an avalanche that threatens to bury one of the state’s legacy industries, one that provides thousands of jobs and pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy. At stake are the jobs of loggers, sawmill workers and biomass electricity plant workers, the businesses that supply them, and the people who depend on the dollars those people spend in the larger economy, all down the line. Like many complex catastrophes, you’d be hard pressed to tease out exactly what happened first, and when. You could probably follow some threads back for years. But the storm started to form in the middle of last year. Developments feeding into the mix include everything from reduced paper usage to cheap oil and natural gas; a very warm winter to the low Canadian dollar. “It’s the perfect storm for the entire forest products sector,” said Lloyd Irland, a forest economist and president of the Wayne, Maine-based consulting and research firm The Irland Group. “It’s the worst possible outcome of that kind of storm, the culmination of all those factors. Utter devastation,” said Dana Doran, the executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine. Breaking it down a little more:  The paper industry continues to shutter mills and bleed jobs. Expera Specialty Solutions closed its pulp mill in Old Town. Lincoln Paper and Tissue closed its mill and auctioned off the facility. Verso Paper announced it would lay off 300 workers at its Jay mill; the...

Professional Logging Contractors of Maine urges support of bill to save Maine biomass industry

AUGUSTA – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine is urging the LePage administration and legislative leaders to support a bill designed to save the Maine biomass electric industry by providing an opportunity for biomass power producers to compete for short-term energy contracts. A public hearing on LD 1676, “An Act To Establish a Process for Procurement of Renewable Resources,” will be held Monday, March 28 at 2:30 p.m. in Room 211 of the Cross Building in Augusta. The bill comes as the industry is teetering on the brink of collapse in the face of record-low wholesale electricity prices and the loss of a renewable energy credit market in Massachusetts and the potential loss of a renewable energy credit market in Connecticut. Covanta idled its two Maine biomass plants this month and some of ReEnergy Holdings’ four Maine plants are imperiled if conditions do not improve. “This bill is the last, best chance we have this legislative session to preserve this important industry,” PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, said. “Doing nothing means we may lose the biomass industry entirely, with consequences not only for hundreds of workers and their communities, but for the environment, forests, and the future energy security of Maine.” The recent and rapid decline in the price of natural gas has cut deeply into demand for biomass, and Maine loggers saw the market tighten significantly in the second half of 2015. In addition, the loss of renewable energy incentives in Massachusetts and the potential loss of incentives in Connecticut could lead to the elimination of markets for Maine biomass altogether as soon as 2018. The bill...

PLC issues statement on Madison Paper Industries shutdown

AUGUSTA – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine issued a statement of support today for the workers and communities affected by the announcement that Madison Paper Industries (MPI) will shut down by May, eliminating more than 200 mill worker’s jobs and affecting hundreds of loggers throughout Maine. The PLC also renewed its call to the LePage administration and state legislators to take action to sustain the Maine logging industry before it is too late. MPI announced Monday it will close the supercalendered paper mill, laying off approximately 214 employees. The company said some employees will stay on past May to maintain buildings and operate a 27-megawatt hydropower generation facility that the company plans to sell. “Maine’s forest products industry needs direct action by the state’s elected officials if it is to survive,” PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, said. “For Maine loggers, the closure of Madison Paper means the loss of the last major buyer of spruce-fir pulp in the state. Now is the time for our elected officials to support legislation to help loggers and the industry.” Maine Governor Paul LePage and the Maine Legislature are currently discussing two bills that would provide relief to Maine’s embattled logging industry, without which the forest products industry cannot function. The first is LD 1481, An Act To Protect Maine’s Natural Resources Jobs by Exempting from Sales Tax Petroleum Products Used in Commercial Farming, Fishing and Forestry. The bill is designed to provide relief to industries including professional loggers by exempting them from sales tax on fuel – including off-road diesel – used in commercial wood harvesting. The bill is expected...

As We See It – April 2016

Relationships People crave relationships. After the necessities of life are attained (air, food, and drink) good relationships come into focus. We were created for relationships. Working on relationships consumes much of our lives. Even though loggers work in the woods away from most people we still spend a lot of time working on relationships. We all know that if we have relationship problems especially with the opposite sex it can consume our thoughts and energy. During safety training we are encouraged to leave our personal issues off the job but we all know that is impossible. That’s how much relationships affect our lives. Even if we have a hard time relating to people, we still end up having relationships with our pets. I think that’s why I have two dogs that go to work with me every day. What I want to discuss today is our professional relationships and how they’ve changed over the years. Today we are experiencing three to four different generations of loggers and other professionals in our industry working together. It’s interesting how the different generations relate to one another and how our culture has changed the way we treat each other and the value we place on each other. The way we view relationships depends on what generation we are in and what we expect from one another. My grandfather’s generation that built our industry into a mechanized work place “The builder generation”. Their relationships were strictly business. Most of their generation acted honorably because it was the right thing to do. They operated out of a sense of duty.  Not that they didn’t...

PLC 2016 Legislative Breakfast Feb. 23

AUGUSTA – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine held its 2016 Legislative Breakfast Feb. 23, as legislators joined logging contractors from around Maine at the Senator Inn to hear about the challenges facing the state’s logging industry. More than 120 people including 50 legislators and 35 logging contractors attended, a new record for the annual event. “I want to thank everyone wholeheartedly for coming this morning,” PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, said. “We’re very excited to have so many of you who are supportive of the logging industry.” PLC Member Contractors spoke to the assembled legislators about the history of the organization, the importance of professional logging, and the challenges facing the industry – particularly the recent loss of paper mills and biomass markets. “This is an unprecedented time,” Brian Souers, President of the PLC said. “As I grew my business over the last several decades, we’ve had our ups and downs, but nothing like what’s going on today.” Many other PLC Member Contractors including Andy Irish, Don Cole, Tom Cushman, and seven members of the Madden family representing seven businesses – Steve Madden, Tony Madden, Randy Madden, Derek Madden, Andrew Madden, Corey Madden and Fernald Madden – spoke about their businesses and the crisis facing Maine’s loggers and why it matters, citing the hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars the industry contributes to the state’s economy. Most shared the personal stories of their businesses and families and employees, providing powerful testimony to legislators about why action to preserve the state’s biomass market and pulp and paper industry is critical. The event also provided an opportunity to...