SAPPI Sells 905,000 acres of Maine forest land near Moosehead Lake to Plum Creek, October 6, 1998. Bowater sells 1 million acres of Maine forest land to Canadian Firm J.D. Irving, October 21, 1998, then 656,000 acres to an Alabama-based investment company on November 2, 1998.
The MWNP is a proposal of RESTORE: The North Woods.
Augusta, Maine. March 25, 1998. The 118th Maine State Legislature has failed to enact reforms that would have changed the state's notorious reputation as "The Paper Colony." Over two million acres of Maine's forests, immortalized in Thoreau's The Maine Woods, have been clearcut and over cut in the past twenty years. A handful of multinational corporations own over ten million acres of Maine -- a treasure that they have proven time and again unwilling to manage responsibly. Once again the tools of industrial forestry have proven as powerful in the forests of Maine as they have in the state's legislature and agencies.
Chuck Gadzik, Director of the Maine Forest Service, acted as an unabashed proponent of the industry's "do nothing" plan the legislature did pass. Even in light of recent reports from the US Forest Service which conclude that industrial landowners are cutting trees twice as fast as they are growing back, Gadzik advocated for further "study" of the situation. Gadzik actively lobbied legislators, and was observed repeatedly in legislative proceedings taking counsel directly from industry representatives. One member of the Agriculture and Forestry Committee noted that the proposal from the Maine Forest Service and the industry proposal "look like they were written by the same person."
Concerned citizens have tried for years to change Maine's infamous Forest Practices Act (FPA), which allows clearcuts 250 acres in size and permits an entire ownership to be clearcut in just eleven years. The North Woods Coalition, an alliance of Maine's environmental community, worked to pass a modest "Four Point Plan" that would have ensured that large landowners did not cut more trees than were growing, would have limited clearcutting and provided for an audit of the landowner's forestry activities. The plan was endorsed by editorial boards and some lawmakers throughout the state but was soundly defeated by a legislature unable to stand up to the power and influence of the corporations. The Bangor Daily News noted,
"the failure of the legislature to fully support meaningful forestry reform is a blunder of significant consequences. The committee gave Maine blather. More study committees. More reviews and surveys and talking in circles."
"We are proud of the legislators who did vote for the Four Point Plan and offered the points as amendments to the Committee bill," said Jonathan Carter, Executive Director of the Forest Ecology Network, "unfortunately they were in the minority. Perhaps the voters will change that next November." Carter pointed to two recent state-wide referendums on forest practices in which three-fourths of Mainers voted to replace the FPA with plans similar to that of the North Woods Coalition's four points. "The people of Maine understand that we need to fix this problem, and it is they who now have the ability to do something about it."
The Maine legislature needs to get the message! Call, email or write your legislator today and tell them your concerns for the forest. You may want to look over the joint policy for talking points, or see a sample letter. Remember to follow up your contact.
Note: Some legislators courageously supported the "Four Point Plan" to protect Maine's Forests. Find out how your representative voted before contacting them so you'll know whether they should be lauded or chided.
Email addresses are provided below for those representatives (House and Senate) that have them. See the Maine Legislature Home Page to find out who your representative is or to get their phone number. You can also call toll-free 1-800-423-2900 for the House or 1-800-423-6900 for the Senate.
Please cc: your correspondence to FEN with firstname.lastname@example.org or by post -- thanks!
The Senate list follows the House list. Most Representatives don't have e-mail addresses at the State House because Maine has a part-time legislature which only meets 5-6 months in odd-numbered years and 3-4 months in even-numbered years. For now the fastest way to reach your representative is by telephone. Messages for House members can be left at the Clerk's Office:
Following are e-mail addresses for members with home addresses.
Please keep in mind that members may not receive these messages
immediately. If time is crucial, please use the phone numbers
Barth, Alvin L., Jr. (R-Bethel)
Belanger, Irvin G. (R-Caribou)
Berry, Donald P., Sr. (R-Belmont)
Berry, Randall L. (D-Livermore)
Bragdon, Tarren R. (R-Bangor)
Brooks, Joseph E. (D-Winterport)
Bruno, Joseph (R-Raymond)
Buck, John T. (R-Yarmouth)
Bumps, Randall L. (R-China)
Cameron, Robert A. (R-Rumford)
Carleton, Joseph G., Jr. (R-Wells)
Cianchette, Peter E. (R-South Portland)
Clukey, Dean F. (R-Houlton)
Cowger, Scott W. (D-Hallowell)
Davidson, Thomas M. (D-Brunswick)
Desmond, Mabel J.. (D-Mapleton)
Donnelly, James O. (R-Presque Isle)
Farnsworth, Richard R. (D-Portland)
Gagnon, Kenneth T. (D-Waterville)
Goodwin, Albion D. (D-Pembroke)
Gooley, Walter R. (R-Farmington)
Jabar, Joseph M., Sr. (D-Waterville)
Jones, Sharon Libby (D-Greenville)
Joyner, Jeffery G. (R-Hollis)
LaVerdiere, Charles C. (D-Wilton)
Lemont, Kenneth F. (R-Kittery)
Lindahl, David A. (R-Northport)
Mack, Adam (R-Standish)
Marvin, Jean Ginn (R-Cape Elizabeth)
Mayo, Arthur F., III (R-Bath)
McKee, Linda Rogers (D-Wayne)
Meres, June C. (R-Norridgewock)
Muse, Christopher T. (D-South Portland)
Pieh, Wendy (D-Bremen)
Povich, Edward J. (D-Ellsworth)
Powers, Judith A. (D-Rockport)
Quint, Michael W. (D-Portland)
Sanborn, Laura (D-Alton)
Shiah, David C. (D-Bowdoinham)
Vedral, John W., III (R-Buxton)
Volenik, Paul (D-Brooklin)
Winsor, Tom J. (R-Norway)