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Timber Talk 7/30/13

Posted By John Dorka, Tuesday, July 30, 2013

OFA Summer Meeting/OWIN Tour
The OFA Summer Meeting and OWIN Tour are now history, but the two-day gathering turned out to be a great events. More than 110 participants took part in the two-day affair which started on Wednesday, July 24 with the OFA Board meeting, followed by the OWIN Tour in the afternoon. The tour first stopped at the OSU South Centers in Piketon for discussions from staff in the Business Development Center. The group then went to the Glatfelter Merchandising Yard which was directly behind the OSU facility to view the log merchandising operations. There was also a demonstration of truck mats produced by Kenny Adkins of Kenny Adkins Logging. Following the OWIN Tour, there was an enjoyable OWIN Reception at the Christopher Conference Center in Chillicothe. On Thursday, July 25, 20 teams played golf at the Portsmouth Elks Country Club and 30 shooters shot sporting clays at Andersons in Lucasville. Following the completion of activities, there was a steak dinner catered by the Scioto Ribber Restaurant from Portsmouth along with awards in the golf course club house to finish festivities. In spite of the change of location from Marietta which hosted the event the last 3 years, attendance was slightly higher and everyone truly enjoyed a day of remarkably good and unseasonably moderate July weather. We wish to thank our many sponsors who helped to make the event so successful:

  • OWIN Tour Bus – Brenneman Lumber Co.
  • OWIN Reception – Industrial Timber and Lumber Co., Ohio Valley Veneer, Inc., and Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, Inc.
  • Awards Dinner Reception – Glatfelter, Murphy Tractor and Equipment Co., and Yoder Lumber
    Company, Inc.
  • Outing Beverages – Superior Hardwood of Ohio, Inc.
  • Golf Hole and/or Clay Station Sponsors:
    • A&M Hardwoods, Ltd.
    • American Lumber
    • Armstrong Hardwood Flooring
    • Brenneman Lumber Co.
    • Brown Forest Products
    • Buckeye Resources, Inc.
    • Columbia Flooring
    • Columbus Equipment Co.
    • Crownover Lumber Co.
    • Glatfelter
    • H. Dewey Thompson Financial
    • Haessly Hardwood Lumber Co.
    • Inca Presswood Pallets, Ltd.
    • Interforest Lumber
    • Mark Cantwell
    • McKay Hardwoods
    • Murphy Tractor and Equipment Co.
    • Ohio Valley Veneer, Inc.
    • River Valley Hardwoods, LLC
    • Rolling Ridge Woods, Ltd.
    • Rudd Equipment Co.
    • S&J Lumber Co., LLC
    • Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, Inc.
    • Troyer Lumber LLC
    • Twin River Hardwoods, Inc.
    • Yoder Lumber Co., Inc.

See the OFA website for a list of award winners and other highlights of the event.

Thousand Cankers Disease Update/TCD Seminar July 31, 2013
Last week, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) held a conference call for a number of interested parties to provide an update on the latest information with Thousand Cankers Disease occurrence in Ohio. The news was not good as ODA advised that trapping this year has turned up more Walnut Twig Beetles in the area of the original find in Butler County. In addition, it appears nearly certain that the disease has been isolated from the Twig Beetles. ODA advised that parties should expect a news release to go out this week explaining the status of the latest finds and plans for a product quarantine for the area. I will forward that as soon as it is made public. For those who are in a position to attend, OSU Extension is hosting a TCD Seminar on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at the Butler County Extension Office, 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. The seminar is held in conjunction with the Ohio Society of American Foresters Summer Meeting. You can find more information at the Ohio SAF website.

Farm Bill May Go to Conference Committee
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee requested that the Farm Bill go to Conference Committee. You recall that recently the House passed a scaled down version of the Farm Bill that included only direct farm-related issues (imagine that!) and did not include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamp program) which traditionally included 80% of the total Farm Bill funding. The Senate had passed a one-year extension on the previous Farm Bill, which would expire September 30 of this year. But it maintained the SNAP funding, albeit at a lower level. Speaker Boehner indicated that he has no definite time frame to address SNAP in the House.

BWC Defends Group Rating Case in Appeals Court
The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation is in the process of defending the Group Rating Program in the 8th District Court of Appeals following a ruling by a Cuyahoga County judge that the Group Rating program resulted in premium over-charges to 264,000 Ohio employers while offering discounts of initially up to 90% (and is now at 53%) to employers in the program. The court judgment against BWC amounted to $859 million which would be paid back to the employers if the ruling proceeds. In an unusual case where business and labor stand together, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, NFIB, and the AFL-CIO have filed an amicus brief in support of the BWC program. BWC argued that the court made multiple legal errors in its determination and is strongly maintaining that the Bureau is acting within its authority to administer the program. Plaintiffs are expected to file a response in a month, with 3-4 months of oral arguments. A final decision may come in 6 months according to attorneys affiliated with the case.

"Clean Ohio” Bond Appropriation Doubled in Biennium Budget
After not providing for any Clean Ohio funding in the previous biennium budget, the legislature doubled the requested $26 million appropriation from the administration and approved $52 million in bonds for the next biennium. The funding will go toward a number of environmental programs: 75% will go toward the Green Space Conservation program which purchases environmentally sensitive areas. The remaining 25% will be used to preserve farmland and construct recreation trails. The Clean Ohio Fund program is currently authorized for $200 million in bonds and the most recent appropriation will exhaust that amount. The question now is what happens with Clean Ohio in the future, which could include going back for a new vote on the program, or simply trying to renew bond obligations as old bonds are retired.

Tennessee Company Patents and Commercializes Waste Wood to Coal-Like Biofuel
EnviraCarbon, a company from Kingsport, TN has commercialized its proprietary technology which turns waste wood into a coal-like biofuel through a process that molecularly changes the feedstock. It is called EnvirAnized Biofuel (EBF). The product literally looks like and has the physical properties of coal and because of that coal burning facilities can use the fuel without any expensive equipment changes or modifications. EBF has the same heat value as eastern, bituminous coal, but emits far fewer emissions and pollution. You can read more in this article.

Census Bureau New On-line Tool Sorts Statistics by Congressional District
Last week, the US Census Bureau unveiled My Congressional District, an on-line statistics tool that allows users to gather information by various categories including people, jobs, housing, economic and education. You simply go to the site, select a state and then Congressional District by number and then the site will provide statistics by the various categories.

Former ODNR Director Robert Teater Passes Away
Former ODNR Director Robert (Bob) Teater passed away on July 20 from complications with Parkinson’s Disease. Bob had an amazing career in public service where he held positions including Associate Dean of the OSU College of Agriculture and then Director of the OSU School of Natural Resources; he was ODNR Director under the Governor Rhodes administration and then made an unsuccessful run at governor in 1982. Bob founded a natural resources consulting firm, Robert W. Teater and Associates, which provided lobbying services to OFA via Karl Gebhardt when he was with the firm. (Karl also briefly served as the OFA interim Executive Director). Bob was a retired two-star general with the Ohio National Guard and then served as a Columbus City School Board member which I personally think is one of the most thankless jobs there is. Bob was always a friend of forestry and among his many positive traits, the two that stand out to me is that he served with the utmost honesty and integrity, and he had an astounding memory for names. He never forgot your name after meeting him once. Here is an article in the Columbus Dispatch on Bob.

5th International Hardwood Conference, September 18-20, 2013, Brussels, Belgium
The Belgian Federation of Sawmill Industries, on behalf of the European Organization of the Sawmill (EOS) Industries is hosting the a conference on hardwoods and related issues September 18-20, 2013. The three primary topic areas include reports and discussion on market developments and trends within the hardwood markets, wood mobilization, and marketing strategies and trends. You can find more information on the EOS website.

Upcoming Events:

  • Thousand Cankers Disease Seminar, OSU Extension, Hamilton, Ohio, July 31, 3013. See here for more details.
  • OFA Lumberman’s Outing, Orrville/Fredericksburg, OH, September 11, 2013
  • Paul Bunyan Show, Guernsey County Fairgrounds, October 4-6, 2013

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