Forests, logging and lobbying

  • Wendell State Forest FILE PHOTO

Published: 2/8/2023 9:17:30 AM
Modified: 2/8/2023 9:16:49 AM

A Jan. 28 Recorder article detailed opposition to Gov. Maura Healey’s planned temporary moratorium on the roughly 20% of Massachusetts forest lands that are owned by the public.  The purpose of the moratorium is to review forest policy in the light of scientific evidence.  

The article describes one opponent, the Massachusetts Forest Alliance (MFA), as a “forest advocacy group.” In reality, MFA is a trade association for the timber industry. They do “advocate” strongly, but for cutting of forests on our public lands, without even a pause in the cutting. Yes, they literally do have an ax to grind.    

In the Biomass Industry Directory, a listing of trade associations supporting forest biomass incineration, MFA is listed as an association that “represents forest landowners, foresters, timber harvesters, sawmills, forest products companies and wood energy companies in Massachusetts.” In this listing, MFA notes, “We represent our members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, educating policymakers and the public at large.”

Dan Bosley is the paid lobbyist for MFA, who in revolving door style, went into public relations and became a lobbyist for MFA after retiring as a Massachusetts legislator.  In recent legislative sessions, Bosley lobbied against bills expanding state forest preserves. He also lobbied against bill H.853, which would have prohibited raising residents’ electricity rates to subsidize companies generating electricity from forest-biomass incinerators.

Additionally, Mr. Bosley lobbied against restrictions on the use of glyphosate (the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup), which, with similar herbicides, is used by state agencies to “manage” forests.

Possibly Chris Egan, the executive director of the Massachusetts Forest Alliance who was frequently quoted in this piece, didn’t mention that he is paid to do public relations for this timber industry trade association.  Such information might have been helpful to the readers understanding. 

Bart Bouricius, Wendell State Forest Alliance



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