The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) announced the winners of its 2013 round of grants. The Commission’s focus is to help address the community and economic development needs of the most severely distressed portions of the Northern Forest region.

The Cooley-Jericho Community Forest in Easton, NH has been established this week of September 9th! The Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust (ACT) has acquired the land on behalf of four communities. Now, the communities of the communities of Easton, Franconia, Landaff, and Sugar Hill will permanently protect this special place, benefit from the economic proceeds from timber sales, and enjoy public access to the forest. Congratulations to our Director of Forestry, Julie Renaud Evans; Rebecca Brown, Executive Director of ACT and the Planning Committee.

The Maine Wood Products Association will present its Pine Tree Award to Maine Wood Concepts, a family-owned and operated custom wood products company in Franklin County, in August for its contributions to innovation in the local forest-based economy. The Fletcher family has guided the business since it started 40 years ago, right through their recent acquisition of a line of gourmet kitchen products. Bangor Daily News

U.S. Representatives Mike Michaud (ME) and Peter Welch VT) have introduced the Biomass Thermal Utilization (BTU) Act, a bill to spur the adoption of sustainably-harvested woody biomass as a heating fuel. This bill is a House companion to a similar bill introduced in the Senate by Senators Angus King and Susan Collins (ME) with co- sponsorship from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH). Current law leaves biomass out of energy tax credits that other renewable sources like solar and geothermal receive. The BTU Act will help level the playing field for biomass by: