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Weekly News 1/21/13

Posted By John Dorka, Monday, January 21, 2013

Ohio Forestry Association

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 established.

o 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.

o 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.

o 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 Mead/Mead-Westvaco/NewPage lands.

o 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.

o 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.

o 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.

o DOF forest crews are providing significant assistance to the State Parks on hazard tree removals. Most assistance is taking place in northern Ohio

o Staff Updates: DOF is currently filling 6 positions, including the Urban Forestry Coordinator and Fire Program Manager

o 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 USDA 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.
  • WoodworkingNetwork.com – 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 - Registration 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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