For Immediate Release..... Oct. 19th, 1998
FR: Jonathan Carter, Dir. Forest Ecology Network 623-7140
FOREST ECOLOGY NETWORK STANDS WITH LOGGERS AT ST. PAMPHILE BLOCKADE
The Forest Ecology Network applauds Hilton Hafford of Allagash (398-4171) and the other loggers for their courageous efforts to bring attention to the loss of Maine logging jobs to Canadian workers. "No tree should leave the state with its bark on" says Jonathan Carter, Dir. of the Forest Ecology Network. Carter further stated "that the decades of exploitation of Maine loggers needs to stop and we must make sure that the value added economic potential of Maine timber be given to local Maine communities and the hard working folks who live in those communities".
The large timber corporations who replace 30% of the loggers with Canadians and ship hundreds of millions of board feet across the boarder to Canadian mills, are stripping Maine's natural resource base and depriving residents in the North Woods of an opportunity to make a decent living. "There would not be the great economic disparity between northern and southern Maine, if the wealth of the timber resource was managed properly and the economic rewards were kept for Maine citizens", said Jonathan Carter.
It has been estimated that five to ten thousand Maine jobs are exported to Canada. "It is long overdue for Maine to curtail this export by funding the construction of state of the art sawmills on our side of the border, by making it illegal to hire Canadian replacement workers, and by mandating long term harvest sustainability standards", said Jonathan Carter.
In the last decade loggers have seen close to 50% of their jobs disappear. They have seen their real dollar buying power decline significantly. In order to make ends meet, they have to harvest more wood faster. This has resulted in loggers being forced economically to carry out corporation demand clearcutting and to cut corners on safety which has led to numerous logging related injuries. "In the forest debate, loggers are not the villains, but the victims of large multinational paper corporation greed. It is time that we stand up for the loggers in this state by defending their interests", Carter further stated.
The Forest Ecology Network stands with Hilton Hafford and the loggers of Maine in their efforts to establish their legitimate right to Maine timber. We will work with them to bring about changes which will protect their jobs and their way of life.