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By Emily Tadlock

WASHINGTON D.C. (WABI) –

$200 million in relief is headed to help loggers and timber haulers facing economic hardship due to COVID-19.

The logging industry has experienced a steep decline in demand for wood fiber since the pandemic began.

It’s lead to an estimated 20-percent or more drop in the timber harvest this year.ADVERTISEMENThttps://7ff0eca27354e28d3dc69cdca29e23b2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

The explosion at the Pixelle Mill in Jay earlier this year has also hindered the industry.

This part of the COVID-19 relief package that just passed Congress was authored by Maine’s delegation.

Senator Susan Collins says it is essential to support our state’s forest products industry.

Maine logging officials say this historic relief could not have come at a better time.ADVERTISEMENThttps://7ff0eca27354e28d3dc69cdca29e23b2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

”It’s a lifeline and a bridge to get from point a to point b until markets recover. The past eight months and possibly longer for some folks in the state have been a slog, and they’ve lost between 30 and 50-percent of their business. So, this is going to get them from here to there until markets can recover and they can get back to some sort of normalcy later in 2021,” said Dana Doran, Executive Director for Professional Logging Contractors of Maine.

How the funding will be dispersed has not been finalized.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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