U.S. Sen. King visits Pleasant River Lumber
DOVER-FOXCROFT – On Oct. 26 U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine addressed attendees at the Forest Community Readiness Forum in Bangor, where he emphasized the importance of the forest economy in Maine’s rural communities and highlighted his continued efforts to support Maine’s rural economy. The event was hosted by the Forest Opportunity Roadmap (FOR/Maine) and Maine & Company, and focused on economic investment strategies that support rural community redevelopment efforts and included leaders from various mill communities throughout Maine, local, state, and federal officials, and representatives of philanthropic organizations. Following his remarks at the forum, U.S. Sen. King visited Pleasant River Lumber, a sawmill in Dover-Foxcroft, to hear about their ongoing investments, tour their new construction and meet with the management team to discuss job creation and economic development in rural Maine.
“Maine forests have powered our state’s economy for generations,” said U.S. Sen. King. “In rural communities across our state, the forest industry has been – and continues to be – an important economic engine. And this industry has a bright future here thanks in large part to forward-thinking collaborations like the FOR/Maine Initiative and the continued investments and dedication of management and employees alike at places like Pleasant River Lumber. Maine is a special place and thanks to so many here today, it can and will be a special place for Maine families for generations to come.”
U.S. Sen. King has been a strong supporter of Maine’s forest economy, which plays a vital role in the state’s rural communities. Last month he joined with U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine to applaud the 2018 FOR/Maine Initiative to grow Maine’s forest economy and increase workforce prosperity in rural communities, which came after U.S. Sens. King and Collins called on the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2016 to establish the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT). The EDAT worked across federal and state agencies, industry sectors, and municipalities to create strategies for job growth and economic development in Maine’s rural communities, and its subsequent recommendations led to the EDA and the U.S. Forest Service providing funding for the FOR/Maine initiative. The forest industry has been a cornerstone of rural Maine communities for generations and has recently received significant investments: in February, Verso Corp. announced $17 million in upgrades in their Jay Androscoggin mill, earlier this month, ND Paper announced it will invest $111 million in its Rumford Mill and that it will purchase the Old Town Mill that had been idled since 2015, and in September, Sappi North America announced the completion of a $200 million project at the Somerset Mill in Skowhegan.