Communities & Banking, the magazine of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, included our article, "Wood Products Manufacturing in Northern New England: Building the Workforce." The article addresses how a skills gap in new, young workers will limit the growth of this important part of the rural economy in Northern New England. See how we plan to address the issue through our Skilled Workforce Initiative. To read our article, visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's page on the article.

In December of 2013, Loon Echo Land Trust purchased a 1,600-acre property from K&W Timberlands to create a Community Forest. Loon Echo Land Trust is collaborating with the towns of Denmark, Bridgton and Sebago, Maine on the project. The Community Forest will allow the local communities to carefully conserve wildlife habitat and water quality of many beautiful ponds and high quality wetlands through sustainable forestry. The property contains snowmobile and regional ATV trails, as well as Pickerel Pond and Willett Pond. Congratulations to Loon Echo on this enormous accomplishment.

President Obama signed into law the 2014 Farm Bill on February 7, 2014. The new law provides many important authorizations for rural development, energy, forestry, and conservation programs that serve the Northern Forest. This is a significant step forward after Congress delayed passing a Farm Bill for two years. Congratulations to all the advocates and partners that worked hard to make sure a collective voice for the Northern Forest was heard in the process.  Some provisions of note:

With funding from the USDA Rural Development program, the Center is underwriting a series of profiles in Northern Woodlands magazine to showcase innovative wood product manufacturers. Read about Lyndon furniture in the fall issue,  and Maine Wood Concepts in the winter edition. The magazine kicked off the series with a feature article on how the industry has changed.