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Weekly News 10/1/12

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Ohio Forestry Association

Weekly News 10.1.12

  • OFA Energy Buying Group Forming; Information at Paul Bunyan Show - OFA is completing details on a new Energy Buying Group that will offer no-cost, no obligation services to members to help each sort through the competitive electric rate markets, receive an expert analysis of your company electric profile and then get a recommendation on the most cost-competitive deal. We are still completing details but are ready to provide information to members on what the services and opportunities can be. To that end, Sherri Loscko from Riverside Energy, the energy buying group provider, will be at the Paul Bunyan Show on Saturday, October 6 from 1–4 PM at the OFA display to talk with any member who would like to find out more about information. (Information Sheet) She will have information about her services and what she can do to analyze your company situation.
  • Ohio's L.A. Horn Logging Wins FRA Regional Logger of the Year Award - This past week, the Forest Resource Association (FRA) recognized Luke Horn or L.A. Horn Logging from Logan, Ohio as the Appalachian Region Outstanding Logger for 2012. Following Luke’s selection as the Ohio Logger of the Year, he was submitted as Ohio’s nomination for the national recognition. As the winner of the regional award, he will now be one of 4 nominees for the National Logger of the Year.
  • Workers Compensation News - Here is a news release from CareWorks Consultants, Inc. (CCI) about the amount of premium refunds projected for employer participants in the CCI Group Retrospective Rating Program. It appears that collectively participant companies will save $48 million, an average of $28,000 per employer, on premiums. CCI indicates that the participation in Group Retrospective Rating among CCI employers has increased 3,000% since the plan was introduced in 2009. CCI says its current projection for 3-year premium refunds is ranging from 33% to 70%. Any OFA member company interested in finding out more about the program and getting a free evaluation can contact CCI at 1-800-837-3200. Also here is an article on rule changes relating to mobile phone use among Commercial Motor Vehicle drivers. Drivers should know about the rule that took affect the first of the year on limiting use of hand-held mobile phone devices. The article contains information on what phone devices may be used by CMV drivers. In essence they must be fixed and hands-free.
  • Portable Timber Bridge for Sale - The Belmont SWCD is advertising a used portable timber bridge for sale. Here is an announcement for the sale of the bridge. The bridge will be sold by sealed bid with bids being accepted from October 1 through October 8 at the Belmont County Soil and Water Conservation District Office. Bids will be opened at the October 8 board meeting at 7 pm. The attachment contains specific information on the bridge.
  • Federal Budget Thoughts from Smith, Currie, and Hancock - Smith, Currie, and Hancock is a national legal firm with a number of specialties, timber contracting among them. This past week, one of its staff prepared a brief impact statement of a potential federal budget sequestration which is scheduled to take place on January 2, 2013 if Congress does not take any other actions to prevent it. You can read the impact statement here. It is very brief and gives you a good sense of what is involved in the sequestration. It highlights the amount of automatic budget cuts (by % and $) for each federal agency.
  • Tax Reform Efforts Could Affect Timber Tax - Tax reform could become a priority for Congress in the next session and if it does, most likely there will be a major effort to adjust capital gains taxes. The Forest Resource Association (FRA) is alerting interested parties that now is not too soon to begin developing a defense for the protection of capital gains treatment for timber revenues. FRA is proposing that as Congress recesses and members return to home districts in the weeks ahead, it may be a good time to talk about the three main elements of timber tax treatment that should be maintained:
    1. Deduction for timber growing costs
    2. Timber revenue subject to capital gains
    3. Deduction and amortization of reforestation costs

The National Alliance of Forest Owners published a study it commissioned: Private Forest Lands:Jobs, the Environment, and the Role of the U.S. Tax Code which addresses the tax issues. You can find the 46 page report on the NAFO website.

  • Report on Environmental Life Cycle of Treated Marine Pilings- More effort is being directed these days in showing the environmental benefits of wood versus alternative products, and a number of efforts are using Life Cycle Assessments to make the determinations. Here is a report on one such LCA for treated wood marine pilings. You can access an abstract of the report at the Journal of Environmental Engineering website. The abstract is very short, but the key finding is this: "This life cycle assessment (LCA) finds that the manufacture, use, and disposition of CCA-treated wood marine piles offers lower fossil fuel use and lesser LCIA indicators than competing products manufactured of concrete, galvanized steel, and plastic, while water use is lower for two of the three alternative products.”
  • New European Laws Prohibiting Illegal Wood Due in March, 2013 - The European Union has passed the EU Timber Regulation which will prohibit putting illegal wood in the market and it is scheduled to take effect in the spring of 2013. It will affect any company who exports wood to EU countries. The regulation is similar to the Lacey Act in the United States. It appears that how the regulation will play out is yet to be determined and what kind of a burden will be placed on US exporting companies. For those wanting to find out more about the regulations and what they might mean, you can download a copy of the regulation from the British Woodworking Federation website. You can also read more in this web article.
  • OSU Extension Forestry Seminars, October 18 and 19- The Ohio Woodlands Stewards Program has two seminars coming up in northeast Ohio that may be of interest. The first is on Wildlife Conflicts on October 18 at the Chippewa Lake Park in Medina. The workshop will run from 9 AM to 3 PM with a lunch included, and a $35 registration. The following day, those wishing to learn about wood identification can attend a What’s that Wood? The Basics of Wood Identification presented by OSU Extension Forest Products Specialist Dr. Eric McConnell. The workshop will be held at the Geauga County Extension office in Burton, Ohio from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Registration is $35/$60 (additional fee for those wishing to purchase a wood sample kit with 24 different species.) Click on the seminar titles for more information.

  • Ohio State Treasurer Announces New On-line Interactive Map of State Properties- State Treasurer Josh Mandel last week announced that the Treasurer’s office is offering Ohio citizens an on-line service to see where approximately 36,000 state-owned properties are located in Ohio. The intent is to make the public aware of underutilized properties which could possibly be purchased or leased for other purposes. You can check the site here. The site has search capabilities that allow a visitor to visit any county or location in Ohio to view state-owned properties.

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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