MAINE - A new plan hopes to expand Maine's lumber and forest products industries by 40 percent by 2025.
 
The Forest Opportunity Roadmap outlines strategies for increasing the state's annual economic impact of lumber, wood, and forest products from $8.5 billion to $12 billion over the next seven years. The plan includes attracting new investment and national & international marketing and promotion, along with the development of new, eco-friendly products made from the waste wood of traditional wood manufacturing processes.
 
 
"Maine has an incredible, sustainable forest resource … In the past, this resource went primarily to papermaking and saw logs. While these products will remain the backbone, the industry will look much more diverse over the next few years," Patrick Strauch, FOR/Maine co-chairman and executive director of the Maine Forest Products Council, said in a news release.
 
The roadmap also plans to attract investment in the state's mill towns, which would be used to build up a wood products workforce and improve sustainable managing of wood resources.
 
Two years of research and strategy went into the roadmap, taking input from the wood industry, local communities, nonprofits, and the education sector. The Economic Development Administration and the Department of Agriculture are funding.

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