Posted By John Dorka,
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
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Weekly News 8/20/12
In this issue:
Luke Horn Selected FRA Regional Logger of the Year, 2012
BWC Net Assets Grow – BWC Considers Employer Refund or Premium Reduction Options
BWC Transitional Work Grants
PUCO Decisions on AEP Cases Continue to Draw Criticism and Raise Concern
Hardwood Lumber Price Changes in Real Terms
Governor’s Taking Action Against Discriminatory Green Building Standards
Ohio Tree Farm Committee (OTFC) Meets
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Survey
Ohio Woodland Stewards Program – Workshops and Events
ECOFA September Newsletter
- Luke Horn Selected 2012 FRA Regional Logger of the Year
- Ohio Master Logging companies continue to do well being recognized
for their outstanding work. This past week, the Forest Resource
Association, a national forest products industry trade association,
announced that L.A. Horn Logging and Landclearing, owned by Luke Horn
from Logan, Ohio will be recognized at the FRA regional meeting in
September as the Outstanding Regional Logger of the Year. Earlier this
year, the company won the Ohio Logging Company of the Year at the OFA
Annual Meeting and was then submitted for regional and national
- BWC Net Assets Grow – BWC Considers Employer Refund or Premium Reduction Options - BWC
reported last week that its net assets at the end of June are $7.6
billion and higher than any time in the last decade. As a result,
Director Buehrer and the Board are reviewing options to deal with the
fund surplus. Options being considered are a 25% refund of employer
premiums this year, a reduction in employer premium rates, or
transitioning to a prospective billing cycle as opposed to the current
billing in arrears system. Of course, some of the options are considered
controversial, particularly the refund option, especially during an
election year. Different groups have varying views. At this point, the
Director has not committed to take any action but will continue to
review all options.
- BWC Transitional Work Grants - This document
contains information from CareWorks about Transitional Work Grants from
BWC. These grants allow employers to secure professional assistance to
help companies with early return work policies and procedures and to
help get employees back to work as soon as possible. The grants will
cover 75% of the cost. The attached also has information on the recently
streamlined Physician’s Report of Work Ability (MEDCO-14) and the
Request for Temporary Total Compensation (C-84) forms and changes in
completion requirements. As always if employers have any questions, they
can contact Ron Lucki at CareWorks, 614-760-3510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PUCO Decisions on AEP Cases Continue to Draw Criticism and Raise Concern - Most
are aware that AEP has been at the heart of controversy over its
electricity pricing plans for some time. Within the last month or so,
PUCO has ruled on two electric rate cases, one concerning capacity
pricing and the second on its electric security plan. Some are happy
with the decisions and some continue to have major concern. Yesterday,
the Columbus Dispatch carried an article
outlining that AEP competitors are happy with the decisions. However,
customers are going to see an increase in their electric bills as a
result, for some up to 12% over the next 3 years. At this point, the
only way to change the PUCO decision is to appeal it to the Supreme
Court. There are indications that some groups may elect to do so.
- Hardwood Lumber Price Changes in Real Terms - In the most recent issue of the Hardwood Market Report, there was an article (How Low are Hardwood Lumber Prices in Real Terms?)
by Bill Luppold from the USDA Forest Service analyzing the trend in
hardwood lumber prices in real terms since 2005. We know that they have
been low, but he states that except for yellow poplar, prices for most
#1C lumber Appalachian lumber is 3 to 50% lower than they were in the
fall of 2005, even though they have come up since the bottom in 2009.
Dr. Luppold says that hardwood lumber prices are a somewhat unique
commodity in that different species do not necessarily trend with one
another, unlike softwood lumber, grain crops, and base and precious
metals. By using a composite price index of all reported Appalachian
species, Dr. Luppold says that the price
peaked in the fall of 2004 and declined the next 57 months before
hitting its low in the summer of 2009, with a 38% decline.
Further, he says that although the composite price this spring was
higher than the summer of 2009, it has been easing down the last couple
years and is now at early 1990s levels. Dr. Luppold says the decline is
due to reduced domestic demand, which started in 2000, stemming from a
number of factors including the home construction decline which by 2011
had declined 75% from the 2005 high. Dr. Luppold says that the
short-term outlook for grade lumber consumption and price remains bleak
over the next year, because new home construction still remains low. If
the US economy starts to grow, then this could change.
- Governor’s Taking Action Against Discriminatory Green Building Standards - For
the second time, a state governor has issued an executive order
requiring that state standards for "Green Building” cannot discriminate
against forest certification programs. Not long ago, Maine Governor Paul
LaPage issued such an executive order to that end and recently, Georgia
Governor Nathan Deal did the same. The executive orders were clearly
designed to prevent the use of LEED-only building standards as LEED will
offer credits for wood coming from FSC certified woodlands. You can
read a copy of the Georgia Executive Order which was effective August 10, 2012, as well as a news release
from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative who obviously support such
actions. Over the last couple years, the Ohio legislature has introduced
legislation to require Ohio-funded capital projects be completed
according to Green Building standards. The draft Ohio legislation to
this point allows building according to a variety of green standards.
The legislation has not developed much traction as there have been
concerns about added costs associated with the standards.
- Ohio Tree Farm Committee (OTFC) Meets
- The OTFC met at the Dr. Richard Rudy Tree Farm in Hocking County near
South Bloomingville last week for the summer quarterly meeting. A large
crowd had a good discussion before getting a tour of the property and
the house Dr. Rudy is building on the property. Wayne and Benita
Lashbrook are preparing for the tour of their 2012 Ohio Tree Farm of the
Year (Deseret Tree Farm) in Jackson County. The tour will be held on
September 29 and all are invited to what looks to be a great day. It was
also reported that OFA and the OTFC are cooperating to secure an
American Forest Foundation grant to fund an educational project to
highlight the wood used in the renovation of the OSU Thompson Library.
Thompson Library officials have indicated a willingness to create an
exhibit, brochure and website tools to capture and tell the story behind
the Ohio wood used in the project.
- Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Survey
- The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI), a
non-profit research center for the forest products industry, has
distributed a survey to state associations, industry members, and others
who may come across a rattlesnake sighting in the woods. NCASI advises
that the US Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing a proposal to list
the eastern diamondback on the endangered species list. NCASI is
assisting efforts to review the prop http://www.ohioforest.org/events/event_details.asp?id=245376osal and distributing the survey. Here is a letter explaining the survey as well as a survey that can be filled out.
- Ohio Woodland Stewards Program – Workshops and Events - The
Ohio Woodland Stewards (OWS) Program hosts a variety of workshops and
events throughout the year and the state. For a schedule of those
workshops, check the OWS Website.
Scheduled classes include a session on storm damage and how to deal
with damaged timber (Athens and New Concord), Wildlife Conflicts
(Medina), and a forum on Why Trees Matter (Wooster).
- ECOFA September Newsletter - Here is the September Newsletter
from the East Central Ohio Forestry Association. The newsletter
contains information on the recent general meeting with guest speaker
Dr. Glenn Needham talking about ticks and Lyme Disease, the Tree Farm
tour to the Tom Cushing farm near Scio on September 22, and other
- Upcoming Events:
- Logging Contractors to Meet with Chief Bob Boyles, Division of Forestry, August 23, 3:30 PM.
Logging Contractors wishing to meet with Chief Boyles to ask him
questions about state forest timber sales policies and procedures can do
so at the Vinton County Community Center on SR 93 just north of
McArthur. It will be an informal meeting with the Chief and DOF reps.
- Register for the Lumberman’s Outing, September 5! The fund-raiser golf outing and clay shoot is just a couple weeks away. You can register on-line at the OFA website.
Please consider sponsoring for either or both the golf outing or clay
shoot. Proceeds will benefit the Lumberman’s Benevolent Fund through the
Charm Share ‘N Care and this year we have very special needs for
families of friends we lost.
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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