There is a new crisis in the region’s forestry industry. Apparently, due to market conditions, what is left of the paper industry wants only hardwood to make paper. Increasingly, there is no market for softwood pulp.

The forests around here are made up of stands of hardwood and softwood. Markets for both types of wood must be found or the entire industry could collapse. Is there really enough of a tax base left in the private sector to allow that to happen? There seem to be enough abandoned houses in the area as it is.

People all over the world love our white pine boards, but if loggers can’t get rid of the pine that isn’t good enough for boards (pulp), how will the saw mills get the logs they need to keep going? (Red oak pulp is a problem, also.)

Canada has always subsidized its industries. America pays some farmers to grow crops. The world has a refugee problem. Perhaps the U.S. and Canada could combine their energies to encourage the manufacture of particle board, framing timber and other products from the unwanted wood.

Those products could then be used to build communities in peaceful areas of the Middle East. This would be a win-win situation — maintaing a healthy forestry industry here and promoting a healthy, peaceful community over there.

I would vote for that.

Andy Bennett, Buckfield

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