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Timber Talk 9/23/13

Posted By John Dorka, Friday, September 27, 2013

2013 Paul Bunyan Show
The Paul Bunyan Show is just around the corner and final preparations are taking place at a furious pace. We are hoping for a great show this year and exhibitor sign-ups have been very good. There are a few new twists and activities this year to add to the usual Paul Bunyan Show fare. For the first time this year, there will be Skid Steer Rodeo which will take place late Sunday morning, October 6. The show committee hopes that this will be a new fun event that will attract both competitors and viewers alike. Also, for those fans of the Discovery Channel’s reality program "Swamp Loggers”, Tigercat has invited star Bobby Goodson to participate in the Paul Bunyan Show for the weekend this year. A special Tigercat Trailer will be set up in the Ricer Equipment booth and Bobby will be available to meet attendees and fans at periodic times throughout the weekend. Make sure to stop by the booth and meet the start of the program. Also, Central Power Systems and Dolmar will be having special chainsaw raffles during the three days of the show for show participants. During the show, a total of 17 chainsaws valued at over $7,000 will be raffled at the show. Central Power Systems is also donating a Dolmar PS 351 Chainsaw for raffle for Log-A-Load for Kids in addition to the "guess the truck wood volume” at the OFA Booth. Finally, "Miss DOLMAR” , Brittney Leigh Glaze, will be at the show at selected times on Friday and Saturday to autograph pictures and ball caps. The show hours will be lengthened slightly with closing on Friday and Saturday at 6 pm. Click here for more information on the 2013 Paul Bunyan Show. Hope everyone can come and enjoy some time there.

OFA-Riverside Energy Services Program
You have received information in the past about the cooperative agreement OFA has entered into with Riverside Energy. The agreement facilitates an Energy Services Program for OFA members to assist them with securing the most cost effective electric rates for their facilities. This program is no-cost to members. We now have a specific link on the OFA website that takes you to the Riverside Energy site for more information. You can directly contact Sherri Loscko at Riverside Energy to get information. Riverside Energy will offer a free analysis of your electric accounts and advise you if you can purchase electricity at better rates, and if so, where it can be purchased most cost effectively. In addition, even if the analysis is provided, you have no obligation to make a purchase.

Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial on the BWC Lawsuit About Premium Rate Overcharges#
We have reported in the past on the lawsuit against the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation filed by a group of Ohio employers. The group believed it was overcharged for premiums and in turn subsidized the lower premiums for companies in group safety programs, like the one that OFA participates in. BWC lost the case in a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Common Pleas Judge Richard McMonagle ruled that BWC overcharged premiums and estimated that $859 million was owed to 264,000 employers for the period 2001 to 2008. BWC is appealing the ruling. The Op-Ed believes that the issue demands a full airing in court for the basic principle of fairness.

EPA Issues Draft Rules for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Coal-Fired and Natural Gas Power Plants#
Late last week, the U.S. EPA issued its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas emissions from new electric generating units (EGU). This has caused much interest from Ohio and other coal burning states as Ohio gets 80% of its electric generation by burning coal. The proposal is part of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Strategy and is very controversial. EPA is expected to complete these draft rules as quickly as possible as they must do so before completing rules for existing facilities. Under the proposal, new coal-fired units would need to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. New large natural gas-fired turbines would be restricted to 1,000 pounds of CO2 per MW, and smaller gas-fired facilities would be limited to 1,100 pounds per MW. The Ohio Coal Association is saying that these standards cannot be met without the use of carbon capture and storage technology, and further states that technology is unproven, cost-prohibitive, and not commercially available. Contrarily, the oil and gas industry applauds the new limits as natural gas facilities already meet or exceed the standards.

The State and Future of U.S. Forestry and the Forest Industry
Prepared by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, this report summarizes a workshop commissioned by the U.S. Forest Service to take a look at the state of forestry and the forest products industry in the United States, following two decades of volatile changes in markets and forest products demand. The workshop identified 5 key issues: 1) forest product markets; 2) forest land tenure and ownership; 3) the health and integrity of the current supply chain in forest products; 4) ecological health of federal forests (including issues of disease and vulnerability to catastrophic wildfire); and 5) tax policy and forest land tenure. Following discussion on the issues, recommendations on policy trends and action items were included in the report and can be found starting on page 19.

Paper Check-Off#
There has been work over the last several years to create a "Paper Check-Off” similar to other agriculture commodity check-offs like those for milk, pork, etc. Within the last two years, a softwood check-off had been enacted. Check-off funds are used to help promote the commodity as well as educate the public on its benefits. The American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) has been a proponent of a paper check-off and has worked diligently to get one created. The check-off must be enacted by federal law and because of that, there is a prescribed process that must be followed before it becomes effective. The USDA is the agency charged with commodity check-offs and responsible for any administrative process that is implemented. Here is a news release from AF&PA concerning the issuing of the second proposed check-off rule by USDA. The rule is officially called the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research, and Information Order. You can read the proposed order on the federal register here.

Ohio Sierra Club Sues ODNR Over Access to Public Records
The Ohio Sierra Club is suing ODNR because it says that ODNR has refused to honor public records requests for documents relating to fracking waste investigations. An article in the Columbus Dispatch indicates that the requests relate to the dumping of fracking waste by a Youngstown company last year. This is the second lawsuit by the group relating to public records request in last two years.

Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) September 20 Update
The USDA Wood Education and Resource Center provided its September 20 Update, which can be found at the link. It has information on upcoming training and information for the wood products industry. There is information on a study about firewood treatment that helps prevent the spread of diseases. You can view the report of that study here, which includes a statewide directory of firewood producers. There is also information on coming training sessions including Profitably Drying Small Quantities of Lumber, Sept. 25-26, Princeton, WV; Profitable Firewood Processing Workshop, Oct. 2, Princeton, WV; Small Sawmill Workshop, October 24, Princeton, WV. There is an Update on the Housing Market by Urs Buehlmann from Virginia Tech and an Update on Wood Markets by Don Deckard, MN DNR. There are also a host of studies on various aspects of the wood industry.

Other Upcoming Events#

2013 Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour, October 12, 2013, Amesville, OH.

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

Best Management Practices Training, October 24, 2013, Scioto Trail State Forest.

Chainsaw Level 1, October 25, 2013, Scioto Trail State Forest.

Lumber Grading Short Course, November 4-8, 2013, Taylor Lumber Co., McDermott, OH (Separate 1-day Walnut Grading Short Course on Friday, October 8.)

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