Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) Confirmed in
The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has confirmed what had
been feared, that Thousand Canker Disease of walnut is in fact in Ohio.
Previously, walnut twig beetles, which carry the TCE fungus, had been found in
a couple locations in Butler County. However, the fungus had not been
isolated from tests. That changed recently when the fungus was
is a news release from ODA. OFA has been sent a copy of the draft
quarantine rules for walnut products. Once these are
finalized ODA will formally pass the rules which should not take effect for at
least 90 days. If any OFA members has comments on the attached draft
rules, particularly as they will affect the movement of walnut forest products
in Ohio, please forward them to me at the first chance.
Ross County Landowner Who Shot at Logger
About a year ago, there was an incident in Ross County
where a landowner shot at a logger operating equipment on adjacent
property. The landowner claimed that the logger was cutting timber on his
property. The shooting landowner was arrested and recently pleaded guilty
to felony aggravated assault. According to a newspaper
on the case, the landowner will likely receive a sentence of
"community control.” The logger involved in the incident was an OFA
Master Logging Company who owned the land on which he was logging. The
land in question apparently had a survey on it to confirm the location of the
boundaries, but the adjacent landowner questioned the survey, to the extreme
point of shooting at an employee of the logger. This was an extreme
boundary dispute case that nearly resulted in disaster for an employee of the
Ohio Wood Fiber Request for Biomass Energy
OFA was contacted recently by a representative from Evergreen Energy in
St. Thomas, Ontario inquiring about possible wood fiber sourcing from
Ohio. He is interested in wood in various forms to produce wood pellets
and briquettes for burning in a large industrial power plant with a 4300 MW
capacity. The plant currently burns coal from Ohio but the utility is
interested in some conversion to biomass energy. The representative
indicated eventually trying to acquire 2 million tons per year. This sounds
very similar to the Burger Power Plant proposal with First Energy from several
years ago that ended up as a non-starter. The representative asked about
possible Ohio producers and is interested in one-on-one talks at some time in
the future. Initially it appears that the wood source would be shipped
across Lake Erie to Nanicoke from a location in NE Ohio. I will
share any additional information as I receive it.
FRA Article on Kenny Adkins Logging "Logging
AT the OWIN Summer Meeting, attendees toured the
Glatfelter Woodyard in Piketon. While there, Kenny Adkins displayed his
"wood mats” that he uses in a new business where he rents the mats for use on
logging jobs in Ohio and West Virginia. The August issue of the Forest
Resource Association (FRA) Newsletter contained a Technical Bulletin that
described Kenny’s business in detail. Here is a copy of
for your reading. Many thanks to FRA for their permission to
share the article.
Ohio Authorities Make a Case for More Tax
Last week, the Columbus Metropolitan Club held a forum
to talk about Ohio’s recently passed budget. Office of Budget and
Management Director Tim Keen and Tax Commissioner Joe Testa both spoke about
recent changes to Ohio’s tax code included in the recently-passed budget.
The changes were intended to shift Ohio away from reliance on income taxes and
toward consumption taxes, which the administration believes is a strategy to
spur economic growth. If you recall, the budget cut personal income taxes
by 10% (over 3 years) and business income taxes by 50% on the first $250,000 of
business income. Both administrators indicated that the Kasich
Administration is may still consider further changes to the tax code in an
upcoming mid-biennium review and capital budget, both of which would be
presented next year. Relating to the tax change issue, there was a
"field” hearing in Chillicothe last week by the House Tax Reform Study
Committee which was intended to seek input from the public on additional tax
reform ideas. In spite of the intent to seek new ideas on reform, the
forum became an opportunity for many to voice opposition to the reform already
included in the budget. The administration testified that the 8.5%
personal income tax scheduled for the first year is set to take effect
September 1. Other local officials testified that the cut in state
sharing with local subdivisions was having major negative impacts on local
operations. The Ohio Manufacturers Association urged the panel to resist
changing the broad-based, low rate nature of the commercial activity tax.
Selected exemptions should be avoided. Some complained that shifting
taxes to consumption hurt lower and middle-income Ohioans. A number
testified that income tax rates should be maintained and corporate taxes should
be increased to maintain funds for "quality of life” concerns.
Ohio July Unemployment Rate Unchanged
Ohio’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at 7.2% for July despite a slight
increase in the number of jobs. The number of unemployed also raised
slightly to offset the increase in job numbers. The national unemployment
is 7.4%. The Department of Jobs and Family Services reported that
non-farm wage and salary employment increased by 5,300 to 5,210,900 with the
number of unemployed rising by 3,000 to 416,000. The biggest job swings
occurred in construction which lost 3,100 jobs while the leisure and
hospitality industry increased by 4,500.
ODNR Sends Second Wildfire Crew to Fight
As the first Division of Forestry wildfire
crew returned home from fighting wildfires in Oregon last week, a second
crew was deployed last week. The second crew is reportedly fighting
wildfires in Northern California.
Cellulosic Ethanol Industry Faces Big Challenges
Cellulosic biofuel plants are coming on-line in America, but it appears that
due to a number of factors, their future does not currently look bright.
By next year, a dozen commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plants will be
operating in the United States. Each plant will probably produce less
than 10 million gallons per year which makes them small in scale compared to
corn ethanol plants. Cellulosic biofuels were intended to be part of the
national portfolio of alternative fuels commissioned under the Bush
Administration to make the U.S. independent of foreign oil. But getting
these plants operating has offered a number of challenges. The most
significant right now is the economics are not there. The plants cannot
compete without subsidy from the government as cellulosic ethanol costs more
than gasoline or corn ethanol to produce. Not a good formula for
success. Here is an article
from the MIT Technology Review on the issue.
Here is the latest Newsletter from the East Central Ohio Forestry Association.
The newsletter highlights the most recent Board and General Meeting on August 7
during which Jim McCormack, Division of Wildlife non-game specialist spoke to
the group; the most recent timber price report; upcoming events; and recent
articles in the Farm and Dairy magazine about Ohio’s Forest Economy (next
month’s speaker at the meeting) and the history of logging in the U.S.
Outing, September 11, 2013. The outing is approaching quickly.
This has become an annual fundraising event, with proceeds from the event this
year to be donated to the Lumberman’s Benevolent Fund with the Charm Share ‘N
Care. Funds will directly benefit wood industry members in need.
Golf will be at The Pines Golf Course in Orrville with Clay Shooting at The
Lost Bird Sporting Clays in Fredericksburg. You can register
on-line at the OFA website. Those wishing to sponsor for golfing
and/or clay shooting can also do so on the registration website.
Bunyan Show, October 4-6, 2013, Guernsey County Fairgrounds. Get
ready for the 57th running of the Paul Bunyan Show. The
Guernsey County Fairgrounds will host the show for the 8th
Tree Farm of the Year Tour, October 12, 2013, The Lavelle Family Stonewall
Coonskin Sugarbush Farm, Amesville. The weekend following the Paul
Bunyan Show, make plans to attend the Annual Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour in
eastern Athens County near Amesville. Dr. W.J. Lavelle and family will
host the event which should prove to be a great fall day. Those attending
will receive a special farm-made maple gift.