Agriculture Committee Sending Full Funding of FPA to Appropriations Committee

On Feb. 5th, 1998, with no fanfare, and with only about 4 or 5 people in the audience, the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee quietly did the right thing and now our job is clear: Put sustained pressure on the Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Forest Practices Act. It required no bill at all to do what we were all asking for during the last two forest Compact debates: Fully fund the FPA, then evaluate the situation and make adjustments to the FPA through the legislative process. Yesterday it happened. There was no press there, so you’ll read it here first.

In a letter dated Feb. 5th, Chuck Gadzik submitted a two-page letter to the Committee, giving them a figure of what it would cost to fully fund the FPA and collect better data for annual forest inventories. The amount requested is $409,000 a year. Chuck assured me that this would fully fund the FPA as far as he is concerned. The Ag Committee plans to forward Gadzik’s letter to the Appropriation Committee with a cover letter, so that the request gets its place in line. I told the Committee that if it would be helpful, I would be glad to help make a pitch with them to the Appropriations Committee. They didn’t take me up on the offer, but suggested that we feel free to contact Appropriations. (If you want a copy of the Gadzik letter, email your fax # to me and you’ll get it.)

The Appropriations Committee members are:

  • Michael Michaud, Senate Chair ( from Millinocket,
  • George Kerr, House Chair (no email address) Tel: 934-7364, 206 East Grand Ave., Old Orchard Beach ME 04064,
  • Senator John Cleveland of Auburn (,
  • Senator Rick Bennett of Norway (,
  • Rep. Thomas Poulin (no email), Tel: 465-7228, RR4, Box 1060, Oakland ME 04963,
  • Rep. Elizabeth Townsend (no email), Tel: 761-2902, 44 Byfield Road, Portland ME 04103,
  • Rep. Kathleen Stevens (no email), Tel: 866-3697, P O Box 226, Orono ME 04473,
  • Rep. Randall Berry of Livermore (,
  • Rep. Patricia Lemaire (no email), Tel: 782-3117, 11 Moreau Avenue, Lewiston ME 04240,
  • Rep. David Ott (no email), Tel: 363-2141 fax: 363-5322, 52 Long Sands Road, York ME 03909,
  • Rep. Richard Kneeland (no email), Tel: 488-5311, RR1 Box 11, Easton ME 04740,
  • Rep. Jean Ginn Marvin of Cape Elizabeth (, and
  • Rep. Tom Winsor of Norway (

Please contact the Appropriations Committee members as soon as you can and follow up in a week or so with a reminder. Also, please send this email to others who will do the same. This is where the emphasis should be now regarding our main objective: get the FPA fully funded and get a current forest inventory so that people can form their future debates around reality.

Also in work session of the Ag Committee yesterday, LD 253 (dealing with “right of entry”) was taken up. That deserves a separate news report, which I’ll get to the Common Sense network later in the day.

Also… Yesterday the Committee removed one of the forestry bills from the table. LD 968 was voted unanimously ought-not-to-pass, upon the recommendation of it’s sponsor, Rep. Volenik of Brooklin. That bill, now gone, is “An Act to Require Recommended Silvicultural Stocking Standards on Land Ownerships Enrolled under the Tree Growth Tax Laws”. Cross it off your list.

It’s a good idea to continue our message when contacting legislators: Enact no forestry bills this session, except LD 253 (dealing with right of entry in the FPA). Just fully fund and support the current FPA. That was the NO message from Nov. 4th, 1997. We’re one of the most highly regulated states in the country with a very high “Green Rating” (1st or 2nd in the country). No more new rules and regulations! Enough is enough!!

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