New Forest Economy Forum

Biobased Power, Products, & Fuels

Friday, March 24, 2017,  7:30 AM – 12 PM
Maple Hill Farm, 11 Inn Road, Hallowell, Maine

This event has concluded. See below for digital presentations from panelists and more information.

April 3rd Article from the Bangor Daily News: As paper mills die, here’s how Maine’s loggers hope to survive

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Maine’s forest products industry has been declining for years, forcing closure of six pulp and paper mills in the last three years and reductions in workforce in others. Expiring contracts, lower oil prices, and the elimination of incentives in neighboring states have pushed Maine’s biomass sector to the brink of collapse. What does the future of the forest economy look like?

Federal and State leaders are now engaged in multiple activities to rescue a struggling industry. The Maine Public Utilities Commission approved a $13 million taxpayer subsidy to reopen or keep open several biomass electricity generation plants in the state. A legislative commission evaluated the economic, environmental, and energy benefits of Maine’s biomass resources, as well as public policy and economic proposals to create and maintain a sustainable future for the Maine biomass industry. And, the U.S. Economic Development Administration is investing $1 million to implement a strategic plan to identify and support new markets for wood products.

E2Tech and GrowSmart Maine are bringing together key players in Maine’s biomass/biofuels, bioproducts, and community development worlds to discuss both the policy and the economic development challenges and opportunities in Maine’s new forest economy. What are our forests producing now and how does that connect with regulation and demand in the state, regional, and larger energy and economic systems? What is needed to move this sector forward in an economic and environmentally sustainable way?

See the Print Program and Full Presenter Bios Here


7:30 a.m. – Networking Breakfast

8:15- 10:00 a.m. – The New Forest Economy: Biobased Power, Products, & Fuels – Overview

Moderator: Sarah Curran – Program Director, Maine Forest Economy Growth Initiative

  • Yellow Light Breen – President & CEO, Maine Development Foundation – Presentation Here
  • Eric Kingsley – Vice President, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions – Presentation Here
  • Charlotte Mace – Executive Director, Biobased Maine – Presentation Here
  • Patrick Strauch – Executive Director, Maine Forest Products Council – Presentation Here

10:00- 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Three Facilitated Breakout Sessions:

1. Community Development in the New Forest Economy

Moderator: Nancy Smith – Executive Director, GrowSmart Maine

  • Tom Abello – Director of External Affairs, The Nature Conservancy – Presentation Here
  • Theresa Kerchner – Executive Director, Kennebec Land Trust, Local Wood WORKS Program – Presentation Here
  • Mike Wilson – Senior Program Director, Northern Forest Center – Presentation Here
  • Ted Wright – Exec. Director of the Trust To Conserve Northeast Forestlands and the Northeast Master Logger Program – Presentation Here

2. Emerging Biobased Products in the New Forest Economy

Moderator: Lee Burnett, Project Director, Forest Works!

  • Donna Cassesse – Managing Director, Wood Resource Strategy, Sappi North America – Presentation Here
  • Philip M. Pastore – President, GlobEcoMaine – Presentation Here
  • Nadir Yildirim, Ph.D. – Co-founder & CEO, Revolution Research Inc. – Presentation Here

3. Sustainable Biomass Energy in the New Forest Economy

Moderator: Dana Doran, Executive Director, Professional Logging Contractors of Maine

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