Posted By John Dorka,
Monday, January 21, 2013
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Weekly News 1.21.13
In this issue:
- Ohio Legislative News
- Work in the next legislative session is beginning to
pick up and more is coming out of the statehouse as legislative
committee assignments get made and position statements and agenda are
House and Senate Committee Assignments - Committee assignments have
been made in the Senate and Senate
Committees can be found here. House Committee assignments are still being
finalized and made available to the public. We will be sending a Legislative
Directory to our membership that will contain contact information for all
Senators and Representatives.
State of the State Address to be held in Lima - Governor Kasich has
elected to hold the State of the State address in Lima on February
19ththis year, continuing a change in tradition that he started last
year. These addresses have been traditionally held in the State Capitol
building, but last year Governor Kasich elected to take the message out to
Ohioans and give the address in Steubenville. According to information from
the Governor’s office, Lima was selected because it has had robust economic
growth recently, with unemployment going from 10.8% to 6.7% over the last
couple years through the addition of over 2,000 jobs since January 2011.
DOF doubled timber sales this past year, to over 14 MMBF. The majority was sold
as stumpage (12 MMBF), 1.5 MMBF was sold by merchandising, and 0.75 MMBF was
harvested via the Glatfelter fiber agreement from the former
An era came to an end as the former Marietta Nursery property was sold to a
local purchaser. The property will be operated as a truck farm.
DOF is working on mineral leasing on several state forests in eastern Ohio,
due to the shale gas interest. Seismic testing is taking place on Fernwood
(Jefferson County) and Harrison (Harrison County) State Forests.
DOF is considering changes to the designated fire protection area in eastern
and southern Ohio. At first glance, the proposed designated area will be
slightly expanded and could include all NE Ohio counties.
DOF forest crews are providing significant assistance to the State Parks on
hazard tree removals. Most assistance is taking place in northern Ohio
Staff Updates: DOF is currently filling 6 positions, including the Urban
Forestry Coordinator and Fire Program Manager
Forest Health Update: DOF continues working on Asian Longhorned Beetle in
Clermont County, Thousand Cankers Disease/Walnut Twig Beetle find in SW Ohio,
and discovery of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid on Shade River State Forest.
- OFA Recertified as BWC Group
Rating Safety Sponsor - OFA
was notified this week by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation that
the association has once again been certified as a Group
Retrospective-Rating and Group Rating Sponsor. The certificate is good
for 3 years during which OFA can continue to assist our member companies
with participating in a group rating program and received beneficial
worker compensation premiums.
- Asian Longhorned Beetle News
- The USDA has released a Revised
Environmental Assessment for Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication
actions in Clermont County. The assessment was completed in response to
concerns raised about the removal of un-infested host trees in the
quarantine area, an action that many local residents were opposed to.
The above link takes you to the assessment along with other documents
relating control of the pest. The assessment is a draft and USDA will
accept comments on it through February 16, 2013.
- More Action on Federal
Logging Road Case – OFA Requests Addition to
Join New Amicus Brief. As part of legal actions
dealing with the US Supreme Court hearing of logging road issues based
on Decker v NEDCand a recent case (Northwest Environmental
Defense Center v Jackson) in which NEDC seeks to invalidate EPA
revised stormwater regulation that exempts logging road runoff from
NPDES rules, the Pacific Legal Fund (PLF) is assessing whether to file
an amicus brief on the new case. OFA had previously joined a host of
state and federal associations on a PLF amicus brief relative to the US
Supreme Court case. OFA advised PLF that it would like to be included on
the new amicus brief as prepared.
- OSU Receives USDA grant for
Bioenergy Research - The
recently announced that OSU will receive more than $6.5 million to
conduct research at the OARDC campus in Wooster on a research project to
produce transportation fuels and electricity using an anaerobic
digestion system. The feedstock includes woody biomass as well as animal
manure, agricultural residues and energy crops. The project is one of 4
involving $25 million from USDA.
- Business Filings Up in 16.5%
in Ohio since 2009 - Secretary
of State John Husted is reporting that over the last 4 years, new
business filings increased from 75,000 in 2009 to 88,000 in 2012, an
increase of 16.5%. Filings have increased annually over the last 3
years. The Better Business Bureau is reporting a 4% growth of
BBB-accredited entities in 2012 which continues a trend of the last
several years. In a breakdown of the data, of the 88,000 new filings,
54,500 were limited liability corporations. Ohio Jobs and Family
Services reports that the professional and business services sector
provided the largest employment gain for 2012, while the manufacturing
sector provided 48,700 new jobs.
– Lumber Inventories Low, Some Species in Tight Supply - Here
is a brief article from the WoodworkingNetwork.com that talks about some
increasing optimism in the hardwood industry due to the recovering US
economy, with forecasts of 3% increase in GDP in 2013. Tight hardwood
inventories coupled with rising domestic and export demand should
continue to firm lumber prices. Privately owned building permit
authorizations rose 27% from the same period a year ago to 899,000. You
can read the article here. In another
article from WoodworkingNetwork.com, you
can download the third edition of the Sustainable Procurement of Wood
and Paper-Based Products put out by the Wood Resources Institute and
World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The guide is very
long but appears at first glance to contain everything and more that you
could ever want to know about the sustainable forestry issue in one
document. You can get more information from site here.
- FrackNation Premier,
January 22, 2013, AXS TV - Our members are well aware of
the many issues surrounding shale gas production in Ohio, as well as the
controversy surrounding "fracking.” An anti-fracking movie Gasland
was released in the last year and more recently Promised Land. An OFA
member advised me that a feature documentary titled FrackNation which
provides an opposing look at fracking from the other movies will soon
premier on AXS TV on January 22 at 9 PM, eastern time. For those
who can access that channel, you may want to see it. If you want to know
more about the movie before it premiers, you
can check here.
- 2013 OFA Annual Meeting,
March 6-7, 2013, Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square
material should be arriving in the mail soon. On-line registration
will be available on Tuesday, 1/22/13. Hotel reservations can be made here
or by calling the Sheraton at 800-325-3535. Be sure to ask for the Ohio
Forestry Association Rate.
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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