The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: Woodhauler on February 02, 2017, 06:03:50 PM

Title: A not so funny story!!
Post by: Woodhauler on February 02, 2017, 06:03:50 PM
So last month my verso wood buyer told me I needed to put 8 ft hw in . It would determine my quota for this month. 2 Hw for one softwood this month. I went at it and hauled 9-10 loads of hw so I should get 5 loads softwood this month,I did what he said and low and behold I get my wood order and have 1 load of softwood for month!!!!!!! I texted him and he said put more hw in this month and I will give more softwood >:( >:(I said like last month??? Also have been hearing from mill workers, and other people that the jay maine mill is done in june.
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: thecfarm on February 02, 2017, 06:08:12 PM
A sad story. I have no idea what will happen with the surrounding towns. All I know is Jay taxes will go up. I use to live in Jay and liked the low taxes. I work at the hardware store just about in sight of that mill. I suspect our sales to drop. Yes,someone will come in and buy parts for a toilet,but they will get another year out of the broken rake.
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: Autocar on February 02, 2017, 07:07:39 PM
Worry some for you guys for sure, With all the forest you guys have up there you would surely think someone could figure out how to make money from it.
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: nativewolf on February 02, 2017, 10:19:26 PM
Tough for everyone around the mill but I have personal experience with Maine mills and they have been booming and busting for decades.  My grandfather and his brothers lost everything trying to restart one years ago, tough business.  The reality is that folks need to not be complacent and be willing to change. Instead of selling pulp you might find the best market is cross country ski trials, or birding groups, or canoeing, or bear hunters.  I have no idea, I do know that not being willing to change is a sure sign that life is going to run you over. 

We don't need as much paper, just a fact of life and that's a tough fact for someone whose family ran paper mills for decades.    At least the rivers will be a bit cleaner, someone is likely to pay to enjoy it. 
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: repmma on February 03, 2017, 12:17:13 PM
Whats the end game for the soft wood pulp markets?  Sure doesn't seem like there is going to be a Maine paper mill left in business.  Seems to the novice like myself the only option is going to be (or should i say continue) letting it rot in the woods unless biomass and pellet plants just start popping up everywhere. 
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: OntarioAl on February 03, 2017, 06:04:35 PM
I have reason to believe that the real route of the problem is poorly negotiated trade deals where the negotiator not only gave away the farm but also the money to pay for it.
my nickel's worth
Al
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: nativewolf on February 03, 2017, 08:38:02 PM
Just too many mills out there and they figured out how to grow pine in brazil and other parts of latin america.  The world does not run on paper anymore, just look at these here fancy computers we're using.

Same issue in Sweden and Finland, mills shutting or already shut.  Asia never really joined the paper based world so they are pretty much going straight to digital (except for Japan).  Even Japan has an issue with the countries softwood plantations finally coming on line (planted post WWII) and no one to harvest really nice timber. 

Canada to Finland to US...closures all over in mills.  What gets me is some folks are surprised ...or that anyone would even consider starting a business that relies on softwood pulp or pulp of any kind. 
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: OntarioAl on February 04, 2017, 09:15:44 AM
The internet and personal electronics killed the News Paper industry Their sole purpose in life was t sell advertising space. Most of us old farts can remember the Sunday additions of major North American cities huge, a paper boy's nightmare now all but history. The advertising dollar is still out their but the mode of delivery has changed.
The world has not stopped using pulp product derivatives and paper products other than newsprint. Case in point have you taken notice of the packaging that contains all the fine products (cough cough) arriving from China.
 North American forests are not part of the supply chain.
 Some but not all of the mills shutting down market a product which is still in demand but cannot compete with product landed in North America that is subsidised in one form or another by the hoist country lacking social and environmental costs
Again my nickels' worth
Al
 
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: nativewolf on February 04, 2017, 02:07:15 PM
At the top of the newsprint cycle we imported huge amounts of pulp from Scandinavia.  Huge amounts, even a whole port in Alexandria VA just for scandinavian paper.  They have just as strict rules, more tax, higher wages, full health insurance borne by tax.  They still bring paper in from Scandinavia, just a lot less, to print the washington post. 

The other big demand on paper was printing, corporate & personal printing is pretty small potatoes today.  Companies that bought into vertical integration got murdered.  Just demand issues and had nothing to do with the rest of your statement.  Mills all over the world closed and are still closing.  From Latin America to the US.  Latin America it is a better place to grow fiber, they have NO winter and labor is cheap.  Regulations & infrastructure have squat to do with it because our status in the US basically wash out, some help the paper mills and some hurt them.  Try figuring out how to ship wood in brazil, which police you have to pay off, which gangs, which union bosses, etc.  You want to see regulation, go to Scandinavia.  You'll see well run forest, with a few mills still working today. 
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: terry f on February 05, 2017, 01:29:45 PM
Nativewolf, you hit the nail on the head with the change on outlook. Oregon lost most of their mills 20--30 years ago, it hurt for a while, but things change and the state's economy is strong as ever. What does Maine have to offer after the mills close and the timber jobs are gone, whoever figures that out, will make a fortune. I can't remember the last paper or magazine I bought, I couldn't say that twenty years ago.
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: repmma on February 05, 2017, 10:06:47 PM
Some would like yah to think it's turning half the state into a park for people from "away".
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: Offthebeatenpath on February 05, 2017, 11:06:15 PM
Repmma- I sense a bit of sarcasm in your post, but (at the risk of saying something blasphemous on this site) conservation lands may well prove to be a better way to make money for us Mainers than having a couple huge timber companies own it. It's not just making a park for people "from away", but it's hiring local guys to build roads, bridges, trails, operate stores, act as guides, etc.

I'm truly heartbroken at the state of the timber industry here in Maine, but I sure as heck ain't going down with the ship... there are a lot of opportunities out there and more to come. There will always be a need for skidders, pulp trucks, welders, truckers, equipment operators, mechanics, guides... We may just need to be flexible and be open to the chances that we have based on the way that the economy changes.
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: thecfarm on February 06, 2017, 06:16:49 AM
Sappi is doing something right.
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: repmma on February 06, 2017, 06:59:38 AM
A national forest maybe, a national Park kills it for alot of traditional use.

Not sure the manufacturing jobs trade well for the (soon to be) $12/hr, part time convenience/gift store job but time will tell I guess.  I don't see alot of new roads being built, counter to Conservation land I'd imagine. 
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: nativewolf on February 06, 2017, 07:55:51 AM
I hate it for the guys in the pulp business too.  However, conservation related jobs can pay just as well, be less dangerous, take less equipment (lower overall costs), and be quite enjoyable.  Is it really "fun" to cut pulp all day long day in and out?  Frankly I'd rather guide a group of folks on a canoe trail, or take a bear hunt out, etc. etc.  Maine woods are a day's drive from some of the highest wealth pockets in the world. 

You just have to create experiences they'll want and pay for.  Or, something else entirely....something I'm not thinking of.  That's the real money.  Bert's bees was a good example- want to be really wealthy?  Do something everyone else is sleeping on. Maybe certification on the wood products? 

Maybe create a cross county ski trail with luxury cottages every 10 miles?  Shoot I don't know.  Good luck though, I can't imagine it is going to be ruinous for Maine just difficult for some of us.  Change happens...
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: nativewolf on February 06, 2017, 08:00:30 AM
Sappi is doing something right.

A foreign paper company diversified across with world that closed mills in the home country and Switzerland and the US.  They are a big player but they have stayed big by closing a plant anywhere it was not effective. 

Speaking of regulations, they were busted-turned state's evidence, on price fixing cartels.  That's where regulation helps us all.
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: coxy on February 06, 2017, 01:44:23 PM
I hate it for the guys in the pulp business too.  Is it really "fun" to cut pulp all day long day in and out?
to some people yes   ;D maybe that's all they know  some people cant just pick up and change and most would rather be dead than do change I have worked many jobs in my early teens and always found my self back cutting trees its never the same every min is different than the last every hour is different than the last see things every day that some wait a life time to see and never see it some days I just sit on a rock or stump and watch the wild life and don't get anything done  I guess I would rather be poor and happy than rich and grumpy  :) :) the world is changing and faster than most people can  change  ;D
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: Gearbox on February 06, 2017, 02:40:29 PM
Nativewolf this is not to sound mean . I tell people if you have to ask you would not understand why we get up every morning many weeks 7 days in a row at 3 or 4 am to  drive 100 miles to watch the sun come up over some swamp . Leave the woods after dark have a late supper without your little kids because they are in bed . All for less money than you could make in a factory . I don't expect you to understand that it takes 150 years to grow a black spruce that may have been seen by 2 or 3 foresters in its lifetime and would be dead in 20 more years . Sorry for the rant you would not understand .
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: Maine372 on February 06, 2017, 05:23:45 PM
\Is it really "fun" to cut pulp all day long day in and out?  Frankly I'd rather guide a group of folks on a canoe trail, or take a bear hunt out, etc. etc. 

well we aren't doing it to get rich! there is something satisfying about removing value from a natural resource and leaving it in a condition that it will replenish itself. perhaps the same feeling as harvesting veggies from your garden, or watching maple sap pour out the end of a pipeline.

many of us go to the woods so we don't have to deal with people. let alone figure out to how to take them with us and give them a good enough time that they would shell out to do it again.

now that's all an emotional statement, economically we will be forced to change.
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: coxy on February 06, 2017, 06:22:31 PM
\Is it really "fun" to cut pulp all day long day in and out?  Frankly I'd rather guide a group of folks on a canoe trail, or take a bear hunt out, etc. etc. 

well we aren't doing it to get rich!

many of us go to the woods so we don't have to deal with people.
8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: Maine logger88 on February 06, 2017, 11:00:35 PM
\Is it really "fun" to cut pulp all day long day in and out?  Frankly I'd rather guide a group of folks on a canoe trail, or take a bear hunt out, etc. etc. 

well we aren't doing it to get rich!

many of us go to the woods so we don't have to deal with people.
8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
Yup I agree i enjoy cutting wood more than most things. I would not make a very good guide and although I'm not against it by any means but I don't think the state will be in very good shape relying on tourism alone. We need industry
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: Woodhauler on February 07, 2017, 04:36:59 PM
Tough for everyone around the mill but I have personal experience with Maine mills and they have been booming and busting for decades.  My grandfather and his brothers lost everything trying to restart one years ago, tough business.  The reality is that folks need to not be complacent and be willing to change. Instead of selling pulp you might find the best market is cross country ski trials, or birding groups, or canoeing, or bear hunters.  I have no idea, I do know that not being willing to change is a sure sign that life is going to run you over. 

We don't need as much paper, just a fact of life and that's a tough fact for someone whose family ran paper mills for decades.    At least the rivers will be a bit cleaner, someone is likely to pay to enjoy it.
What mill?????
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: nativewolf on February 07, 2017, 09:57:47 PM
Tough for everyone around the mill but I have personal experience with Maine mills and they have been booming and busting for decades.  My grandfather and his brothers lost everything trying to restart one years ago, tough business.  The reality is that folks need to not be complacent and be willing to change. Instead of selling pulp you might find the best market is cross country ski trials, or birding groups, or canoeing, or bear hunters.  I have no idea, I do know that not being willing to change is a sure sign that life is going to run you over. 

We don't need as much paper, just a fact of life and that's a tough fact for someone whose family ran paper mills for decades.    At least the rivers will be a bit cleaner, someone is likely to pay to enjoy it.
What mill?????

I can't honestly remember, that was in 65 when I was but a twinkle in an eye.  I'll ask my uncle.  Before that my grandfather ran the mill (actually built the mill town too) in SE NC that became an IP facility, before that he ran a mill in Roanoke Rapids.  He was on the paper chemistry side of things, not the woodlands.  He ended up ok though, became a big conservationist later in life, maybe to make peace with killing one of the finger lakes in NY, he actually personally killed one...sigh.  Oh well, later on he would commission the first environmental impact assessment in the state of NC, as a private citizen.
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: nativewolf on February 07, 2017, 09:58:53 PM
\Is it really "fun" to cut pulp all day long day in and out?  Frankly I'd rather guide a group of folks on a canoe trail, or take a bear hunt out, etc. etc. 

well we aren't doing it to get rich!

many of us go to the woods so we don't have to deal with people.
8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
Yup I agree i enjoy cutting wood more than most things. I would not make a very good guide and although I'm not against it by any means but I don't think the state will be in very good shape relying on tourism alone. We need industry

I actually agree, it's just figuring out what industry that's the trick.  Good luck, I'd rather be in the woods too!
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: RPF2509 on February 15, 2017, 06:03:20 PM
The tourism dollar is a fickle one and many small towns have dried up waiting for it to materialize. It is also more susceptible to swings in the economy.  Mill employment will continue to decline due to automation. For the coming generation, robotics and autonomous/ remotely operated machinery will be big competitors for labor in the woods.  Still markets exist for many woods services and products, the tough part is finding and tapping into those markets and making money off them.  Wood is still the ultimate renewable resource whether for building products or fuel sources.  New products coming such as cross laminated timbers, nano cellulose and more will help the wood products industry.  Navigating the change is the hard part and there will be winners and losers.  As long as the wood keeps growing there will be a use for it. 
Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: nativewolf on February 15, 2017, 07:38:30 PM
Nativewolf this is not to sound mean . I tell people if you have to ask you would not understand why we get up every morning many weeks 7 days in a row at 3 or 4 am to  drive 100 miles to watch the sun come up over some swamp . Leave the woods after dark have a late supper without your little kids because they are in bed . All for less money than you could make in a factory . I don't expect you to understand that it takes 150 years to grow a black spruce that may have been seen by 2 or 3 foresters in its lifetime and would be dead in 20 more years . Sorry for the rant you would not understand .

I hear you gearbox, I'm actually a forester, well 2 degrees actually worked a while and then drifted into consulting.  I actually own and advise on timberland management, I still have a day job on a computer but I'm working at getting back to land management full time, more fun to me.  I'm at my happiest in the woods too and I know just what you mean.  However, pulp is just not a long term strategy for most landowners- that's all I was getting at.  Mills are closing all over the world and it has impacted landowners from Finland (worked in forest there and studied there too) to Thailand (worked there privatizing forest lands) to Canada.  It's not regulation here or tax there (they blamed tax in Finland) or big companies trying to screw people,   just markets changing and too many mills.  So, going to have to figure something else out.  Someone will, I'm optimistic and have seen worse situations end up ok (deforestation in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar). 

Title: Re: A not so funny story!!
Post by: Decked on February 15, 2017, 10:43:55 PM
I bought and paid for a brand new 540D cutting mostly pulp ( former  Hammermill Paper Co.). when we got in
  a good sized clearcut, it was as good as it could get. Maybe grab a nice log or two off the butts, rest to pulp. Loved it when we got in good sized beech, logs down to 22''..rest in pulp-weighed up quick  ;)