Maine’s Forest Roadmap Themes
While we have succeeded in the past, rapidly changing dynamics and markets require new approaches to sustaining and growing the forest economy cluster in order to leverage new opportunities.
The following principles will guide the growth and diversification of Maine’s forest economy.
Theme 1: Maine’s forest products industry is highly inter-connected and interdependent.
The success of each subsector (landowners, loggers and truckers, mills) relies on the health of the whole.
Theme 2: A strong forests products industry supports vibrant Maine communities.
For generations, forest products manufacturing has provided economic opportunity for Maine families and communities. Maine’s forest economy communities have existing sites with the infrastructure to support new and re-development, and they are eager to attract forest products manufacturing. Maine’s working forests also provide social and environmental benefits for Maine residents, including opportunities for recreation and habitat for wildlife. Our forests sequester carbon and produce clean water.
Theme 3: Wood is a sustainable, renewable resource.
More than half of Maine’s forests are certified sustainable by an independent third party, managed for the health of the forest, wildlife, water quality, and economic contributions to the surrounding communities.
Consumer demand for sustainable products and materials is growing globally, and companies from toy manufacturers to beverage makers are looking for safer, greener alternatives to petroleum. Wood can meet that growing demand.
Theme 4: Wood is versatile.
In addition to traditional products such as sawn timber and packaging papers that will continue to be a strength for Maine, forest outputs can be made into a staggering array of products, including advanced building materials, eco-friendly chemicals and biodegradable plastics (replacing petro-chemicals), textiles, and cutting-edge medical and technical products made of nanocellulose.
Theme 5: Embrace the global economy.
The forest products industry is global, with companies manufacturing products and shipping them all over the world. Maine has to be ready to compete with other states and countries for the forest products investments of the future.