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Timber Talk 9/16/13

Posted By John Dorka, Tuesday, September 17, 2013

OFA Lumberman’s Outing Another Great Success
OFA held the 5th Annual Lumberman’s Outing last week on September 11 at The Pines Golf Club in Orrville and The Lost  Bird Sporting Clays in Fredericksburg.  A total of 70 golfers and 39 shooters enjoyed a fantastic day of golfing and shooting as part of the special fundraising activities with this outing.  Additional participants joined the group for the awards banquet with a total of 122 enjoying the networking and fellowship to end the day. Proceeds of this event will go to the Lumberman’s Benevolent Fund with the Charm Share ‘N Care with funds used to assist wood industry member families with special needs.  A special highlight to end the event involved the live auction of a commemorative Browning BT99 single-shot shotgun with special engraving recognizing Dan Raber. Last year Dan’s family benefitted from the Outing following Dan’s passing. Proceeds from the sale of the shotgun this year, which sold for $4200, will be split with the Dan Raber Family and the Lumberman’s Benevolent Fund. Many thanks to all who attended and especially for all of the event, golf hole, and clay station sponsors who made the event so successful. You can see a full list of the sponsors and read a run-down of the day’s activities on the OFA website. Special thanks to Brenneman Lumber (gold sponsor), A&M Hardwoods (silver sponsor), and 77 Coach, ITL, Belgian Hardwood, and East Ohio Lumber (bronze sponsors).  Schlabach Printing sponsored the event brochure.

Meeting With New WV Forestry Association Executive Director Frank Stewart 
Last week, I had the opportunity to meet and spend a day with Frank Stewart, the recently hired Executive Director of the West Virginia Forestry Association (WVFA). The meeting was graciously arranged by Chuck Beach from Weyerhaeuser Corp. Chuck is a past OFA Board Member and current Board Member with WVFA.  We met in Marietta and discussed a range of issues important to both associations. Following our meeting, we visited Haessly Hardwood Lumber Co in Marietta and had an excellent visit with Jack Haessly. We then traveled to Rolling Ridge Woods, Ltd. In Parkersburg and met with Eugene Walters.  Frank has a long history of work with the forest products industry, having worked in logging in his early years and then working with a number of forestry associations down south and in Washington DC.  Frank appears to be exuberant about his new position and has many ideas to get the association moving ahead, representing West Virginia’s forest products industry. The OFA membership wishes Frank and the WVFA well with this new working relationship.

Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission Gearing Up for Work
Over the last two years, the Ohio legislature created the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission to review the current Ohio Constitution and make recommendations for changes.  Activity has picked up with the recent hiring of staff and budget adoption.  A number of areas of focus have already been identified in a strategic plan and include work on legislative redistricting, education funding, and tax reform.  The commission is also talking about developing a sound communications and outreach plan to deal with recommendations once they are developed.  It has been noted that the 1970s constitutional reform effort largely failed to enact many of the recommendations due to poor public outreach and advocacy.  The commission hopes to change that this time around with better communications with both the legislature as well as the general public. 

Ohio Sen. Portman Pushes Energy Savings & Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013
Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) is a co-sponsor of S. 1392, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013.  The bill is also sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).  The bill is being touted as a bi-partisan effort to encourage the use of energy efficiency technologies without hurting job creation.  According to Sen. Portman, the bill uses a variety of low-cost tools to reduce barriers for private sector energy users and push for adoption of off-the-shelf efficiency technologies that will save businesses and consumers money, as well as reduce emissions.  The bill has already received a broad base of support from many industrial and manufacturing, as well as environmental and labor, groups.  The bill has already been heard by the Senate Energy Committee which passed it by a 19-3 vote.  It will go to the Senate in September and then head to the House sometime after that.  You can read a summary about the bill and highlights here.  It addresses such things as developing greater efficiency in building codes, industrial efficiency and competitiveness, sustainable manufacturing initiative promoting manufacturing process assessments, manufacturer recognition programs, an energy saving motor control and transformer rebate programs, and funding for design updates.

Forest Regulations Hurt the Housing Market
An article from the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity argues that FSC certification is hampering the housing recovery, driving up the price of timber, and shipping jobs overseas. The writer points out that based on two studies from George Mason University and the American Consumer Institute, FSC standards are unusually strict.  According to the studies, if the standards were implemented nationwide, they would lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, reduce taxes for state governments, and would pull $34 billion out of the U.S. economy.  You can read the article here. Here is another opinion article from Oregon written by State Rep. Mike McLane that makes similar arguments against LEED building standards restrictions for FSC certified wood.

Spotted Owls and the Spotty Sciences that Spawned Them
I came across this paper in a forestry association newsletter from the Pacific Northwest. It deals with an issue that has profoundly impacted forestry in the western United States.  Although Spotted owls are not endemic to eastern hardwood forests, the questions raised by Dr. Zybach in the article about the real "science” behind the issue are pertinent to any part of the country and ones that should be asked any time endangered species or other environmental issues come up. The paper is worth reading. It begs questions about the validity of decisions that have forever impacted forests, forestry, and forest products manufacturing in the United States. At the very least, Dr. Zybach raises serious questions about the transparency of the scientific process used, or some would argue, abused in making hugely important forest management decisions.

Upcoming Events
Paul Bunyan Show, October 4-6, 2013, Guernsey County Fairgrounds

Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour, October 12, 2013, Lavelle Family Stonewall Coonskin Sugarbush Tree Farm, Amesville, Ohio.

Forest Heritage Festival, October 18-19, 2013, Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds.

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