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Weekly News 11.12.12

Posted By John Dorka, Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Ohio Forestry Association

Weekly News 11.12.12
In this issue:

  • Post Elections News / New Ohio Legislative Directory - The elections are now past and there is little need to go over the details of the national and state elections, save for possibly a few comments about how some forestry issues may play out in the future.
    1. To see Ohio’s new legislative directory for both the state legislature and Ohio Congressional seats, you can view this list on the Gongwer Statehouse website. Ohio was a swing state that swung for the Democratic president again, but Republicans continue to command significant leads in both the Ohio Senate and House. In addition, Republicans hold 12 Congressional seats to 4 for Democrats. Ohio’s Senate representation is split. Of note is that Senator Tom Niehaus, currently President of the Senate and a past friend of forestry, will leave the legislature due to term limits. It will be important to see who takes over the leadership. At this point, it appears that Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina), Sen. Chris Widener (R-Springfield), and Sen. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) are the 3 leading candidates to take over the Senate presidency. Rep. William Batchelder (R-Medina) is expected to remain as the Speaker of the House.
    2. According to the AF&PA Election 2012 Snapshot, the election provided mixed successes and losses for both Republicans and Democrats among at the state levels. In short, Republicans remain in control of more state legislatures, governorships (30 R, 19 D, 1 Ind.) lieutenant governorships, and secretaries of state and half of the nation’s attorneys general.
    3. It will be important to help get the word out to our elected officials about the importance of Ohio’s forest products industry and our forests for all their tangible and environmental benefits. To that end, we will be making contacts with our legislators throughout the year. An important early activity will involve a legislative reception at the Statehouse at the OFA Annual Meeting on March 6. We hope to make this a great opportunity for many members to visit with their representatives and senators and to share with them the value of our industry in this state.
    4. The Ohio legislature will enter into a lame duck session to finish out the year. It appears that there will be a fair amount of activity during this time. Among many bills that will at least be heard are one on tax changes for financial institutions (a priority for Governor Kasich) and a bill proposing changes to the new markets tax administration.
    5. At the Impact Ohio 2012 Post Election Conference, Secretary of State John Husted said that US Supreme Courts Citizens United ruling, which in essence treated corporations the same as individuals on political donations, provided more benefit to Democrats as union organizers targeted non-union interests.
    6. Federal issues that remain unresolved and in the forefront are the yet-to-be-passed Farm Bill with its proposed overhaul of commodity payments and re-worked forestry incentives programs as well as the US Supreme Court hearing on the Ninth Circuit Court decision affecting EPA permitting of logging roads under the NPDES permit system. Of course, the primary concern at the moment is what will Congress and the Administration do to prevent the country falling off the "fiscal cliff” with the current budget sequestration scheduled to kick-in the first of the New Year.
  • Harsher Energy Regulations Expected in Obama’s Second Term- Here is an article from Reuters that goes into some detail about how tighter regulations on the energy sector is expected over the next 4 years of the second Obama term. It specifically discusses the impact on the coal, oil and natural gas industries and in particular there is expectation that the EPA will go hard at implementing tougher emissions regulations through the Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology). There may also be tighter regulations, according to the article, on dioxin, mercury, and carbon dioxide emissions. This has been a particular concern to the forest products industry and is an issue that will take considerable attention over the next year.

  • OSU Extension Seminar: Wood Identification Techniques for Proper Utilization - OSU Extension is planning a Wood Identification Techniques for Proper Utilization seminar at Keim Lumber Company on Monday, December 10, 2012 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The class is for professionals to wood hobbyists and will be focused on how to identify the major woods of Ohio from key wood characteristics. It will be taught by Dr. Eric McConnell, OSU Extension Forest Products Specialist and Gary Graham, OSU Extension Natural Resource Specialist. The cost of the seminar is $35 but is $60 for those who would like to purchase a wood ID kit. Lunch is included with the registration. The class size will be limited to the first 15 registrants. For more information and registration, go to the OSU Woodland Stewards website. A brochure can also be found here.

  • International Trade Symposium at the OSU Fisher College of Business - On December 6, 2012, the OSU Fisher College of Business and the Small Business Administration will host a FREE symposium on Export Assistance: Government Programs and Grants. This will be the first of a series of monthly workshops on an international trade topic. They will be held on the first Thursday of each month from 7:30 am to 9:00 am at Mason Hall on the OSU campus in Columbus. Representatives from the Small Business Administration, US Dept. of Commerce, and State of Ohio will be available at the workshop. For more information and to register contact Alex Kohls at, 614-633-6372.

  • Logging Standards Council (LSC) Meeting - The LSC met last week in Columbus. Attendance was down a bit no doubt due to weather factors, but the meeting went very well none-the-less. Jeff Jenkins presented the new Tree Felling training video that has been worked on with key help from the media section at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The new video will be available for all logging chapter to use in their continuing education efforts. A 2012 BMP monitoring update was provided by Katie Rudd and monitoring is moving along at a good pace with more than half of the reviews completed for the year. Ryan Redoutey and Jason Good were again elected as Chairman/Vice-Chairman of the LSC. There was discussion on a meeting in northwest Ohio with several loggers to see about starting a Loggers’ Chapter in that part of the state. The LSC agreed to proceed with a chapter even if only a few show interest to start as others may join the chapter over time. The LSC completed a review of the By-Laws.
  • Ohio Tree Farm Committee (OTFC) Quarterly Meeting- Due to building renovation issues at the OFA office in Columbus, the OTFC held its fall quarterly meeting this past week at the Beech Maple Lodge at Blacklick Woods Metropark in Reynoldsburg. Most of the work involved regular business concerns, with the committee approving a 2013 budget, reviewing the 2012 Tree Farm of the Year Tour at the Deseret Tree Farm (Wayne and Benita Lashbrook) in Jackson County, nomination for the 2013 Tree Farm of the Year Award, tree farm inspection status reports, the Ohio Woodland Journal update, and reports from sponsors and cooperating programs.
  • 21st Century Manufacturing Legislative Task Force Hearing, Thursday, November 15, Worthington, Ohio - The fifth and last in a series of legislative hearings around Ohio will take place on Thursday, November 15 in Worthington, at Worthington Industries. The 21st Century Manufacturing Task Force is designed to facilitate discussion and interaction between Ohio’s manufacturing community, public policy makers, and interested parties regarding strategies to improve Ohio’s manufacturing competitiveness. Each hearing focused on a different topic area and this one will focus on education and training needs for Ohio manufacturing. The hearing will start at 1:30 pm and will involve short presentation from the committee and from a number of manufacturing interests around Ohio. If you are interested in attending, Here is a news release on the event.

  • Glatfelter seeks Procurement Forester - Glatfelter is seeking a Procurement Forester in their southern district. Click here for more information and how to apply.

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).

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