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Weekly News 1.16.12

Posted By John Dorka, Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekly News 1.16.12

  • New Federal Truck Rules Ban the Use of Hand-held Cell Phones. Effective January 3, 2012 are new federal rules prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones for drivers with CDLs operating Commercial Motor Vehicles for interstate commerce and intrastate commerce (transporting hazardous materials). The new rules allow exceptions for the use of wired or wireless earpieces, but push-to-talk functions on mobile phones are not permitted. For those caught violating the rules, there are potential hefty fines that could be imposed both for the operators of the CMV (up to $2,750) as well as employers (up to $11,000 for those who fail to require their drivers to comply). Here is a link to Frequently Asked Questions on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website that should answer your questions about how the rules apply.

  • ODA Meeting on Invasive Pests. Last week OFA was invited to a meeting at the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), with representatives from the Division of Forestry including Chief Boyles, to discuss actions that are taking place on several invasive pests. We discussed currents actions on Asian Longhorned Beetle, Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut, and Gypsy Moth:
    1. Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB): Tree removal activities are proceeding in Clermont County. Only infested trees are being removed at the moment (approximately 15000 to date), but USDA-APHIS is working on an environmental assessment to include removal of un-infested host trees. Harvested trees are being ground and mulched and USDA is offering materials at no cost to residents of the township. However, only a portion of that material is being used. If USDA gets approval to remove host trees, a lot more material will be available for disposal. ALB has made a significant impact on the area and eradication will take a lot of work over a long period.
    2. Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) of Walnut. TCD has no been confirmed in Tennessee, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and a number of states have taken action to place quarantines on the movement of walnut products. To date Ohio has not done so, but a number of states have put interior and/or exterior quarantines in place. Because TCD is a "native” pest, it is not under APHIS jurisdiction. States are addressing the problem individually. ODA is now considering a quarantine and is working with OFA and the industry to get feedback on what a quarantine will mean to walnut product movement in Ohio.
    3. Gypsy Moth. ODA will once again treat Gypsy moth with BT in selected areas, mostly in state parks. Due to the emergence of other invasive species and the relative lack of Gypsy Moth impact in recent years, there has been little action taken and little funding provided for "Slow-The-Spread” efforts. ODA may consider quarantining the entire state for Gypsy Moth (see current quarantine map of Ohio – 51 of 88 counties are quarantined) depending on what happens with funding.
  • OSU Forest Operations and Products Extension Activity Review. Last week, several members of the SFI State Implementation Committee (SIC) met at OFA with Dr. Eric McConnell, Forest Operations and Products Specialist, OSU to discuss his current projects and activities and suggest opportunities for cooperative projects in the future. The discussion focused on such projects as workshops (logging contractor viability, log bucking for value, RR tie grading, wood properties, trucking configurations and weight limits), updating Ohio industry information and facts, and primary and secondary directory updates. We particularly felt that Logging Chapters offer an excellent opportunity and venue to provide targeted training and outreach to contractors and primary manufacturers. Dr. McConnell advised the group that he expects his primary focus will be to be the outlet for current wood industry data and information. He has recently acquired IMPLAN software which is an economic assessment package that includes current economic data. It allows him to obtain the most recent information on all segments of the Ohio forest products industry. He recently completed a preliminary update of Ohio’s forest products industry using 2009 data and reported the preliminary information in the most recent issue of the Ohio Woodlands Steward Newsletter.
  • Division of Forestry (DOF) Invitation to Bid for Timber Marking. The DOF has posted another invitation to bidfor timber marking services at Shawnee State Forest. It involves marking approximately 1.6 million BF on 242 acres of Deferment Harvests and Clearcuts. Bid opening will take place at 12:00 noon on February 2, 2012.
  • Forest Landowner Association Newsletters. Here are newsletters from the Southern Ohio Forestland Association (SOFA), the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA), and the Northeastern Ohio Forestry Association (NEOFA). All newsletters contain information on recent happenings with the association as well as offer valuable information about forests and forest management. The next SOFA meeting is February 9, 2012 at OSU South Centers in Piketon, potluck at 6:15 PM and meeting at 7 PM. ECOFA will meet February 1, 2012 at 7:30 PM at the Lewis Center in New Philadelphia with a featured speaker on restoration of blight resistant American Chestnut. NEOFA will meet January 19, 2012 at 7 PM at McMahon Hall at Millcreek Metropark Farm across from the Canfield Fairgrounds.
  • Satellite Map of US Forests. Take a look at the NASA Earth Observatory website to see a map of the US depicting the aboveground woody biomass of the nation’s forests. The map was produced by scientists from the Woods Hole Research Center in cooperation with staff from the US Forest Service and US Geological Survey.
  • OFA Annual Meeting, March 23 – 24, 2012, Crowne Plaza – Downtown Columbus, "Shale Formation Drilling – What is the Impact on Ohio Forestry?” You should soon be receiving registration materials in the mail. You can see the agenda now on-line at the OFA website. On-line registration capability will be available in the next day or two or you can print this brochure and register today!
  • Northwest and West Central Ohio Woodland Owners Association Meeting, January 21, 2012.The two northwest Ohio landowner associations are considering re-organization and are having a discussion meeting on Saturday, January 21, at 10 AM at the Hancock County Agricultural Service Center. You can look on-line herefor more information.

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