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www.northmainewoods.org 33 Maine forests provide products that are utilized all over the world from the basic framing of homes right down to the beauti- ful finished floors. The natural resources for these products are abundant right here in Northern Maine. MooseWood Millworks located in Ashland is a wood flooring manufacturing facility and recent acquisition of Seven Islands Land Company and the Pingree family. Purchased from the Kelly family in 2012 Moose- Wood Millworks has become a great addition to the Seven Is- lands family of companies. Only a short time ago in the extensive history of Maine logging hard- wood was a challenging species to manage effectively. Northern Maine markets were scarce and all-encompassing silviculture was difficult to implement. Seven Islands commitment to comprehensive and sus- tainable forest management drove the desire to develop enhanced utilization of the resource in Northern Maine. Members of the Pingree family supported goals to vertically integrate utilization of the hard- wood resource on their 800000 acres. In 1999 the family built a state of the art hardwood mill in Portage. Maine Woods Company has been producing high quality hardwood lumber ever since. Employing over 60 workers MWC continues to saw 16-20 million board feet of Hard Maple SugarSoftMapleRedBirchandWhite Ash a year. Maine Woods Company was engineered with a mini-mill line designed to saw short logs 4 -6 feet in length. This is a technology that the hardwood industry had not embraced previously. It results in high quality boards sawn from pieces of wood that were once considered stove wood. In 2006 Seven Islands continued to integrate by purchasing the chipping facility in Portage. As a result Portage Wood Prod- ucts became a home for the hardwood pulpwood generated from harvest operations on the Pingree ownership. The addition of MooseWood Mill- works to this portfolio of excellence completes the journey of a hardwood tree growing in North Maine Woods to becoming a showpiece in homes all over North America. Hardwood flooring has been around for hundreds of years in the United States. It is a market of small margins and fierce com- petition. To stand out above the crowd in this industry you need to have a product of superior value. When it comes to beauty Mainers have a great under- standing because of the envi- ronment that surrounds them. Ashland has these qualities and is a wonderful place to have a manufacturing facility that pro- duces some of the best Maple and Birch flooring in the world. MooseWood Millworks employs up to 30 people in peak process- ingandhasproductiongoalsof1.5million square feet of flooring per year. A biomass boiler recently added to the site helps generate steam to heat the facilities and power the on-site dry kilns. Kiln capac- ity was also increased with Seven Islands acquisition and the team operating the kilns excels at providing a piece of lumber of high enough quality to become a piece of MooseWood Flooring. From a board to beauty. Starting in the kilns green lumber supplied by Maine Woods Company is dried to a desired moisture content. This helps keep the flooring consistent in form during the manufacturing process and when in- stalled as a floor. These boards include many of the high-quality short length boards that were skillfully utilized in the Maine Woods Companys mini-mill line. From the kiln boards enter the flooring blank production process of the mill. Lumber is surfaced and ripped to desired widths. MooseWood Flooring manufactures multiple widths 2 3 4 and 5. Strips of lumber are then graded and chopped using com- puter guided technology. After the chopping process flooring blanks are graded sorted and trimmed by skilled workers. The flooring blanks then make it to the other side of the facility for the next part of the production process. Blanks are fed into the flooring machine by an infeed system and an employee. At this point in the manufacturing process flooring strips are milled to the desired thickness and a tongue and groove is also added to the From Forest to Floor MooseWood Millworks Ryan Wishart Operations Manager Seven Islands Land Company continued on page 35