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Timber Talk 10/7/13

Posted By John Dorka, Friday, October 11, 2013

Paul Bunyan Show a Success!
The 2013 Paul Bunyan Show was held during the traditional first weekend of October. The 2013 show turned out to be a resounding success. It was at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds for the 8th consecutive year (hard to believe already). Preliminarily attendance this year was up nearly 13% from last year and continues a 5-year trend with increasing attendance. Based on gate counts, 9,742 attendees were at the show. Weather for an outdoor trade is always important and this year, we were blessed with outstanding weather, albeit unseasonably warm. When major portions of Ohio were contending with heavy rains and severe weather over the weekend, the show was virtually rain-free except for a brief heavy shower on Saturday afternoon. The number of exhibitors was up over last year with a 13% increase. Many exhibitors indicated either having good sales or generating good contacts. This year the show featured the Sawmill Shootout conducted in cooperation with the Sawmill and Woodlot magazine and 15 sawmills competed over a 2-day period. The show also featured the Ohio (held Friday afternoon) and International Lumberjack Competitions, the Log Loader Competition, and for the first time, a skid steer rodeo on Sunday morning, and was a great start for the first year. As added interest this year, Tigercat sponsored TV personality Bobby Goodson from Swamp Loggers to attend the show, and he was available to meet show attendees at various times throughout the weekend. In addition, Central Power Systems hosted Miss DOLMAR, Brittney Leigh Glaze, at its booth at the show who signed autographs and ball caps for attendees. A full show report will be provided when all the information is compiled.

State Energy Law News
The Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee is currently reviewing legislation (SB 58) that could substantively change the state’s renewable and energy efficiency standards. Proposals in the bill include measures that would eliminate the mandate for half of Ohio's required renewable energy; codify the method for determining whether a utility has exceeded the 3% cost cap for renewable energy; allow hydropower from Canada to qualify under the renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS); allow more power-saving upgrades to be counted toward the energy efficiency standards; create a streamlined process for large industrial customers to opt-out of EE programs; and implement a new cost cap on how much utilities could spend annually on those programs. The committee held a hearing last week that drew a number of witnesses opposed to the changes in the law that was enacted in 2008. Witnesses included the usual environmental groups but also included businesses that have strong interest in renewable energy. Meanwhile, the Ohio House is expected to begin reviewing a companion version of SB 58 in about 2 weeks.


Truck Weight Reform Update
OFA continues to work with the Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP) to push for truck weight reform on U.S. highways. On October 1, the Freight Movement Panel of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on issues relating to multi-modal freight movement in and out of the United States. At the hearing, an International Paper senior executive provided testimony on what an increase in commercial truck GVW would mean to the company. The testimony is outstanding and the best example I’ve seen of the importance of a GVW change. Particularly compelling are the arguments that the changes would increase efficiency and decrease company costs and that they would complement rail transportation. Rail lobbying has been particularly hard against any changes in commercial truck GVW and that has always seemed unnecessary and counterproductive. This testimony makes strong arguments for the importance of maintaining manufacturing competitiveness while maintaining and even increasing safety on the roads. It is well worth the time to take a look at this testimony. Also included in the testimony is the importance of work to improve the nations shipping ports.


Article on BWC Premium Rebates for Businesses
We have reported on this action in the past, but here is an article from the Toledo Blade on how well the premium rebate checks are being received by local northwest Ohio businesses. This year, BWC announced that due to favorable investment returns and improvement in reduced injury losses, there would be a 3-pronged effort to provide businesses premium breaks totaling $1.9 billion. The first involves a 2% premium break next year for private employers (4% for public); a switch to prospective premium payments in 2015 which involves paying for the coming period rather than for the period already passed, which involves forgiving payments for what would have been the previous period; and increasing the amount of grant money available for improving workplace safety.


U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Stops Logging on National Forests Due to Federal Shutdown
The USFS has announced that it has shut down 450 timber sales across the country (including Ohio) due to the federal shutdown. Operators were apparently contacted in writing and given 7 days to discontinue cutting and hauling. (Why they can continue for 7 days and then be shut off makes no sense.) The Wayne National Forest is taking the action and has reportedly shut down harvests on the Ironton Ranger District. Wayne National was scheduled to have a display at the Paul Bunyan Show but a staff member contacted OFA early in the week before the show to advise that they could not attend.


US EPA Increases Pesticide Registration Fees
The U.S. EPA has announced that it is increasing the pesticide registration service fees for pesticide applications by 5% beginning October 1, 2013. The increase is for specific pesticide applications that will affect wood preservative manufacturers and agricultural manufacturers. This federal register announcement contains the details of the fee increase and the specific affected applications.


Wood Gaining Interest as Preferred Tall Building Construction Material
Here is an interesting article from the Science Section of the New York Times that talks about the increasing interest among architects for using wood as a preferred "environmentally friendly” construction material for tall buildings. For so long, it seems that wood lost ground to other building materials like concrete and steel with the false perception that it was not environmentally friendly. It appears the tide may be turning. Some of The increased interest comes from wood’s benefit at sequestering carbon and having a smaller carbon emission footprint than carbon or steel. Regardless of how you feel about the "climate change” debate, it is encouraging to see that the positive environmental benefits of wood are being recognized. It is also interesting to note that engineered wood has favorable characteristics in tall buildings for resistance to earthquake and high wind damage.


Upcoming Events

Ohio Tree Farmer of the Year Tour, October 12, 2013; Amesville, Ohio at the Lavelle Family Tree Farm. See the Tree Farm website for more information and schedule.

Forest Heritage Festival, October 18-19, 2013; Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds. See the OFA website for more details.

Northwest Ohio Logger Chapters Charter Meeting, October 22, 2013, Findlay, Ohio. This is the organization meeting for the newly-forming Northwest Ohio Loggers Chapter. All loggers who may be interested in becoming a Master Logger and joining the chapter are welcome to attend. There will be drinks and food at 5:30 followed by a meeting at 6 pm to discuss details. The meeting will be held at the ODNR District Office in Findlay. See the OFA website for more information.

Best Management Practices Training, October 24, 2013, Scioto Trail State Forest. See the OFA website to register and get more information.

CSAW Level 1 Chainsaw Training, October 25, 2013, Scioto Trail State Forest. See the OFA website to register.

4-Day Lumber Grading Short Course/1-Day Walnut Grading Short Course, November 4-8, 2013, Taylor Lumber Co., McDermott, Ohio. There will be a 4-day lumber grading short course conducted by NHLA Instructor Barry Kibbey from Nov. 4-7, followed by a separate 1-day walnut grading short course on Nov. 8, 2013 at Taylor Lumber Co. in McDermott. You are welcome to take either or both courses. If attending both, separate registration is required. To register, go to the OFA website. For those coming from a distance, there is hotel information available.


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