Maine’s forests in good shape….. 

Forest products are a vital part of Maine’s ecomony, traditions and character.There’s been a lot done to ensure the viability of Maine’s forests, while at the same time making sure they’re protected.That’s why a group of maine lawmakers, representatives from the pulp and paper industry, and land conservationists, gathered at a conference on *forest legacy* in Orono today.Govenor Baldacci says forest products and forest based recreation contribute more than 11-billion dollars to Maine’s economy, while employing mor than 30-thousand people.Department of Conservation commissioner Patrick McGowan says there’s been a lot of progress in protecting Maine’s woods, since the Maine Woods Legacy program was established.”The forest legacy program, as I mentioned….we receive more money than any other state, and we want to thank you for that….45 million dollars for 650-thousand acres since the program began, in 1994, with Senator Lahey and former Senator Mitchell as sponsors.”>McGowan says while there’s been a lot of progress, there’s still a long way to go.He says there are still several conservation projects in the works for this year.He credits the success thus far, to the cooperation of both government and private organizations.