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Weekly News 4/1/13

Posted By John Dorka, Friday, April 5, 2013
Ohio Forestry Association

Weekly News 4.1.13

In this issue:

  • Ohio Statehouse News - The legislature was off last week due to the Easter break and there was little information coming from the Statehouse. I did learn however that Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) has introduced Senate Bill 94 to designate an Ohio Forest Products Awareness Week during the first week of October, to coincide with the Paul Bunyan Show activities. This should be very simple and non-contentious legislation to go through the Senate and the House. I’ll keep you informed of the status as it makes its way through the legislature. Our hope is to have it passed in time for this year’s show.
  • BWC News - News from the Bureau of Workers Compensation and the CCI, the OFA Group Safety Administrator can be found here. The first news release contains information on the April 26deadline for companies interested in applying for the CCI Group Retrospective Rating Program. Those companies interested in the program and wishing to receive a quote on premium costs can contact CCI at 800-837-3200. The other press release has information on safety seminars that will be offered in April around Ohio. All 5 topics will be covered in day-long workshops and include training on: Keys to Lowering Claims Costs; OSHA Regulation Change on Hazard Communication; Hearing Representation – Legal vs. Laymen; Vocational Rehabilitation; and Rates and Underwriting: Retrospective Group and Traditional Group Rating. The dates and locations are: April 19 – Cleveland; April 22 – Cincinnati/Dayton; April 23 – Columbus; April 25 – Canton; and April 26 – Toledo. There is a $40 fee for each seminar, which include a continental breakfast and lunch for all attendees. Attending these sessions fulfills BWC’s group 2-hour safety training requirements for policy year 2012 for group-rated and group retrospective employers with a claim in 2011.
  • Timber Theft Workshop for Ross County Deputy Sheriffs - OFA is working with the Division of Forestry (DOF) to conduct a timber theft and trespass workshop for a group of Ross County Deputy Sheriffs on April 12 at Scioto Trail State Forest. The workshop request resulted following an incident in Ross County where a landowner fired a gun at a logging contractor (and an OFA member) due to a boundary line dispute. The Sheriff arrested the landowner, but in the process learned about the complexity of timber theft and trespass issues through the investigation. The Sheriff asked the DOF if some training could be provided on the issue. OFA will assist DOF with the presentation.
  • Asian Longhorned Beetle News -USDA APHIS and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture has announced in a press release that the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) has been eradicated from the state. In a rare instance of the fight against invasive species, this is a battle that has been won, at least for the moment, although it was waged for 10 years. Among the many invasive pests that have hit the country, virtually all of which have defied control and eradication efforts, the Asian Longhorned Beetle is one that appears to offer some hope for removal. Efforts to fight the ALB in southwestern Ohio continue, and you can read a status report here. Battles continue to be waged in Massachusetts and New York.
  • Mississippi Endorses Inclusive Approach to Forest Certification - Recently, Mississippi joined 3 other states (Maine, Georgia, and Oregon) in requiring that green building standards employed in state building projects cannot restrict the type of forest certification used to certify wood products. Currently, LEED Green Building Standards allow only wood certified by FSC to earn credits through the program. The new Mississippi law, as those in the other 3 states, prevent that type of restriction. As a result, if LEED standards do not become more open, the standards cannot be used to certify green building in state funded projects. This action parallels others to make sure that all third-party verified forest certification systems are treated equally in green building and other environmental standards. You can take a look at this page on the SFI website that characterizes the extent to which efforts have been directed at state, national, and international levels to insure equal treatment for all forest certification systems.
  • Ohio Woodland Journal Wins Publication Award - Word came down last week that the Ohio Woodland Journal (OWJ) is the recipient of the Publication Award from the Environmental Education Council of Ohio. The award is given for significant contribution to the public understanding of environmental issues. The OWJ editors will receive the award on April 13 at a ceremony at the Mohican State Park Lodge.
  • American Forest Foundation Seeks Donor Coordinator - The American Forest Foundation (AFF) which oversees the American Tree Farm System would like to hire a Donor Coordinator in the Washington DC area to oversee fundraising strategies and activities for the Foundation. You can find more information on the position and complete an application on-line here.

    • Logging BMP Training - Thursday, April 4, 2013; Tappan Lake Park, Deersville. Registration is still open. You can do it on-line or call OFA at 614-497-9580.
    • Timber Theft and Trespass Workshop, April 12, 2012, Scioto Trail State Forest. Attendance limited to Ross County Deputy Sheriffs.
    • Forest and Wood Products Export Conference - Thursday, April 25, OSU South Centers Endeavor Center, Piketon. Registration information can be found here.

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