Posted By John Dorka,
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
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Weekly News 4.2.12
- Oops! Annual Meeting Correction. In my haste to get the report out last week, I
forgot to mention two award winners recognized at the meeting and made an
error in the name of our Loggers’ Supper entertainment. My sincere
apologies for failing to mention Bob Glandon from Glandon Lumber as
the recipient of a very special Director’s Award for Lifetime
Achievement. Congratulations to Bob for his deserving
award. I also failed to mention that the Tree Farm Inspector of
the Year recognized at the Tree Farm Awards Luncheon was Adam
Beichler, consulting forester from The Wilderness Center in Wilmot. Finally, our speaker
after the Loggers’ Supper was Joan Brock who I mistakenly
identified as John.
- Annual Meeting Survey. If
you attended the meeting last weekend and have not had time to complete
the survey we would appreciate your input. Please take a few minutes to
complete this survey and return it to us. You may email it to gayla@OhioForest.org or fax to 614-497-9581.
- AEP Rate Issue.
On Friday, AEP announced that it will soon file a revised rate plan with
PUCO that at first glance may positively affect small businesses and
households, at least from the original proposal approved by PUCO.
You can read a Columbus
Dispatch article on the announcement. Once the proposal is
filed, we will get a better chance to know the impact of the new
proposal. To that end, OFA is part of the "Construction Materials
Energy Coalition” with the Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals
Association, the Ohio Ready Mixed Concrete Association and Flexible
Pavements of Ohio, and the coalition will file to intervene in the rate
case so that we have standing on the issue and can represent our member
interests. AEP asked PUCO to issue a ruling on the proposal by the
end of May so that AEP could have new rates by June 1. However, it
appears that there is a large number of groups who will be intervening in
the case so it may take longer to work out a final plan.
- Timber Theft and Trespass Legislative Meeting.
Last week, OFA participated in an "interested
parties” meeting called by Rep. Ross McGregor (R-72 – western Ohio)
and Rep. Bill Hayes (R-91 – east central Ohio) to discuss
timber theft and trespass concerns. Many will recall that Rep.
McGregor attempted to write new laws on timber theft two years ago
never completed a legislative proposal. The meeting last week
included the Representatives with two aides, an aide from Speaker
Batchelder’s office, an aide from the office of Sen. Hite (Chair of
Senate Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee),
Division of Forestry, Farm Bureau, Ohio Association of Consulting
Foresters, OSU Extension, and two landowners from Perry County who
dealing with timber theft issue. Rep. McGregor advised that he has
no proposal in mind but wanted to hear from the interested parties
the landowners air their concerns. There was open discussion from
the parties. OFA maintained the position that it has from the
which in summary is that there is a timber theft law in the Ohio
Code now, but County
Prosecutors as a
group will not pursue prosecution and rarely apply the law. Rep.
McGregor has recognized that point and suggested he will invite
Slaby (R-41) from Akron who has a long
history as a County Prosecutor as well as the County Prosecutors’
Association to a follow-up meeting. Before adjourning the meeting,
Rep. McGregor mentioned that he will be term-limited after one more
in office (through 2014 if he successfully runs again). He would
like to come up with some kind of legislative proposal that
existing law and he appears committed to that end.
- Environmental Professionals Network. I was again asked to participate in a planning
meeting on behalf of OFA at OSU to help develop an Environmental
Professionals Network (EPN). The EPN is being developed through the
OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources and is intended to create
a forum whereby professionals in a broad range of environmental
disciplines can give and receive information about any environmental issue
that is taking place. For example, shale drilling would be a topic
of current discussion if the network existed. OFA will continue to
support the effort. I noted that forestry, forest products and
woodlands were frequently cited as topic areas, but OFA was the only
interest group representing those disciplines. (As an aside to this
issue, I’ll mention that we met in the Nationwide – Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H
Center on OSU campus which was built in the last several years as the
first LEED accredited "green” building on campus. Unfortunately,
there was no use of hardwoods, let alone Ohio hardwoods, in the building.
However, there was noticeable amounts of bamboo and compressed corn
stubble used throughout the building. This failure should be a topic for
much needed professional discussion in the future).
Ohio Forestry Association is managed by Offinger Management
Company, a member of the International Association of Exhibitions and
Events (IAEE), "Charter-Accredited" Association Management Company
member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and a
member of the Association Management Company Institute (AMC Institute). www.Offinger.com
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