When the Madison Paper mill in Maine closed this month, it marked the loss of the last major softwood pulpwood market in New England. Since early 2014, mill closures in Bucksport and East Millinocket, a capacity reduction at the mill in Jay, and the recent Madison closure have cut roughly 2.1 million tons of softwood pulpwood demand in the state. The closures have also have left loggers and landowners struggling to move softwood pulpwood to other regional mills that use some volume of softwood as part of their species mix.
To put this volume in perspective, 2.1 million tons equates to 192 truckloads of wood running 365 days per year—and that only represents the volume lost in the softwood markets. Maine has also lost a hardwood pulp mill in Old Town, two biomass electricity plants, as well as biomass markets at a number of the closed pulp mills.