Additional Congressional staff from other offices attended the reception along with representatives of the United States Forest Service, John Deere, and the Biomass Power Assn. The Reception was sponsored by ALC Gold and Platinum Members (Tigercat, International Truck, John Deere, Cat, Southern Loggers Cooperative, Fuel & Resources, Morbark, Bitco Insurance Companies, Bandit, and Ponsse) with specific portions also sponsored by International Truck, International Union of Operating Engineers, the Louisiana Loggers Assn., the Louisiana Logging Council, Southern Loggers Cooperative, Walsh Timber, the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Assn., the Associated California Loggers, and the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine.
The day on the Hill saw timber industry representatives from Louisiana, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, California, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho, Oregon, and Maryland meet directly with their respective state Congressional Representatives and their staffs. These industry representatives left their logging operations in the woods to bring the U.S. timber industry’s voice to the halls of Congress and the White House.
Paper Market Woes
East Coast paper markets have been jolted this spring with closures at major wood-consuming facilities in Maine and North Carolina.
Already hard hit by pandemic issues, lack of fiber log markets and a tough winter with lots of weather-related downtime, loggers in Maine took another lick after Nine Dragons announced an indefinite downtime at its Old Town, Maine, pulp mill claiming rising fiber and energy costs and an eventual evaluation for “a potential restart.”
Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Executive Director Dana Doran said, “Since 2020 we’ve seen a 30% reduction in logging contractors. The markets aren’t there; wood prices are depressed; and there’s inflation. The contractors have had enough.”
Meanwhile, farther south mid Atlantic loggers were rocked by the announcement that the Pactiv Evergreen Canton Paper Mill, which has operated more than 100 years, is closing. The facility consumed about 1.5 million tons a year, roughly 50-50 hardwood and softwood.
The closure affects 1,100 direct mill jobs and many more in other companies that worked with the mill. According to a report in the Fastmarket RISI North American Woodfiber & Biomass Markets newsletter, the Canton closure is one of seven uncoated paper machine or mill closures since 2020.
North Carolina state officials also say that closing the Canton plant would be a “clear breach” of a $12 million economic development agreement with the Department of Commerce. The breach would require full repayment of money that was paid to Pactiv Evergreen from 2015-2021.