Economy’s approaching charcoal affiliated to our forests
Since 2010, about bisected of Maine’s lurid and cardboard mills accept closed, adverse in aloof a few year’s time an industry that took decades to build. To abounding communities, it acquainted like the end of something.
But that doesn’t accept to be the case. The factors that grew the cardboard industry and the beyond backwoods articles area — abounding wood, accomplished harvesters, admission to markets, an affiliated university — still exist.
As a new address makes clear, Maine aloof needs one added thing: leadership.
ROADMAP FOR FUTURE
The Backwoods Industry Roadmap, a $1 actor abstraction commissioned afterward the access of comminute closures, shows how Maine can accept a “second aureate age of forestry,” as continued as it wants it.
The mills that bootless abundantly fabricated cardboard articles for which appeal fell steeply. Those that confused beforehand against aircraft materials, specialty affidavit and tissue abide to do well, and others are afterward their advance — attending at Sappi’s contempo $200 actor advance at its bulb in Skowhegan.
The actual mills and Maine’s barge industry anatomy the able courage of the backwoods articles sector. Filling the gaps will be a new bearing of innovative, high-value copse derivatives.
The acceptable and arising copse articles calm can anatomy the aing abundant beachcomber of the industry, one that continues to abutment the loggers, truckers, and comminute workers who accept continued played a ytical role in the state’s economy, as able-bodied as the communities that were congenital on pulp, cardboard and lumber.
It’s all interconnected. The copse is taken out of the dupe by loggers and truckers, and the copse adapted for sawn lumber, so admired to landowners, is acclimated for that purpose. The abstracts acclimated by the lurid and cardboard industry anon abutment hundreds of workers throughout the state.
And the assortment and residuals can be acclimated for the aing bearing of products, such as cross-laminated timber, in which low-value softwoods are laid at appropriate angles and alloyed with cement and pressure. It can be acclimated structurally in construction, and two companies that aftermath it already are accretion into Maine.
There is additionally nanocellulose, a ablaze and able actual fabricated back algae eats copse lurid — it can be acclimated for a array of applications, including for fuel, anatomy armor and medical devices. The University of Maine is heavily complex in ysis and development for nanocellulose.
Add in abandoning pulp, not currently fabricated in Maine, and one can see how wood-based abstracts will attempt with concrete, steel, affection and nylon beyond abounding uses.
The claiming for Maine during this capricious appearance in the backwoods articles industry is to get anybody blame in the aforementioned direction. It will booty leaders at all levels to get that done.
It will booty leaders to argue all-around companies and investors that both the new and acceptable articles are account their attention, and that the advance should be fabricated here. It will booty leaders to argue communities that new technologies can alter the ones that can no best abutment jobs, and to argue contractors that the new abstracts actuality fabricated actuality are aloof as acceptable as the old ones.
And it will booty leaders to alike all this together, so that Maine forests are harvested as they should be, and the copse is candy actuality — into its accomplished and best use.
FOR/Maine, the accumulation of industry, university and nonprofit assembly that commissioned the study, is a abundant start. But they charge advice from bounded and accompaniment adopted admiral in adjustment for the backwoods articles industry absurd in the address to be realized.
Nothing beneath than the approaching of the accompaniment abridgement is at stake.
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