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Timber Talk 11/18/13

Posted By John Dorka, Monday, November 18, 2013

OFA Governance Committees Meet
This past week,  the OFA Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, and Logging Standards Council held quarterly meetings in Columbus at the OFA office. President Ryan Redoutey presided over all 3 meetings as he is also the current Chairman of the Logging Standards Council. Key discussion included changes in the updates on Policy and Legislative issues, which include the latest on pending actions on timber theft and trespass legislation and OFA By-Laws revisions with a possible change in the size and make-up of the OFA Board. It appears that a general membership vote of the By-Law changes may be coming after the new year. There was also discussion about the very successful 2013 Paul Bunyan Show and the status on the agreement between the OFA Foundation and the Ohio Tree Farm Committee. At the Logging Standards Council meeting, committee members were introduced to Bill Metzger, President of the newly formed Northwest Ohio Loggers Chapter. The NW Ohio Loggers Chapter was chartered at the meeting on October 22 in Findlay.

House Passes HB 5, Municipal Tax Collections
The Municipal Tax Collections bill has been in the making for more than a year and was voted on by the House last week, approved by a 56-41 vote. The vote fell mostly along party lines although Rep. Stephen Slesnick (D-Canton) broke ranks with Democrats in supporting the measure while four Republicans were in opposition: Rep. Richard Adams (R-Troy), Rep. Louis Blessing (R-Cincinnati), Rep. Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) and Rep. Ross McGregor (R-Springfield). The bill is intended to streamline municipal tax collections with more standardization in forms and procedures among local and municipal jurisdictions. However, there has been consistent and vocal opposition from the Ohio Municipal League and local governments that, in spite of more efficient procedures, the changes will also result in lower tax collections and hurt the bottom line of many municipalities. The measure will now be sent to the Senate where there is expected to be the same ongoing debate between business and local government interests.

Former Strickland and Democratic Development Director Patt-McDaniel Suggests Lifting Constitutional Limits On Public Funds For Private Deals
Lisa Patt-McDaniel, a former Department of Development Director who served under Governor Strickland told members of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission (OCMC) that the Ohio Constitution should be modernized to ease restrictions on using government money for private enterprise. She told the OCMC Finance, Taxation, and Economic Development Committee that the current restriction impedes job growth in the state. The Ohio 1851 constitution states: "The credit of the state shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to, or in aid of, any individual association or corporation whatever; nor shall the state ever hereafter become a joint owner, or stockholder, in any company or association in this state, or elsewhere, formed for any purpose whatever." Ms. Patt-McDaniel said that this provision was passed following efforts in the 1830s to invest in failed canal and railroad projects that left the state saddled with debt. She now argues that times have changed and the state needs more flexibility to encourage job growth. The OCMC advised that it needs to hear more testimony from other interests before recommending changes.

Research Update from the Center for Forest Products Business
The Center for Forest Products Business at Virginia Tech just provided the Research Update: Exports of U.S. Hardwood Products: Increasing Performance in Asia and Western Europe (found here). This paper discusses hardwood exports over the previous 5-year period, identifying factors that determine the export performance of U.S. hardwood products in Asian and European markets The authors conclude that markets have risen over the last 5 years or so, although not reaching the record levels of 2007. They believe that there are expanding export opportunities in both the Asian and European markets.

OFA Part of Broad Coalition Supporting Silvicultural Activities Protections in the Farm Bill
Action has picked up in the Congressional Conference Committee on the Farm Bill, H.R. 2642, Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act. Added to the Farm Bill was an amendment, passed unanimously in Committee, for the same language as included in the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act (H.R. 2026) which would permanently exempt silvicultural activities from Clean Water Act NPDES permitting and following the BMP implementation policy that has been effectively in place in the states for nearly 4 decades. OFA signed on to a letter sent to the leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees urging them to include these provisions in the Farm Bill. Approximately 150 state and national organizations representing a broad range of trade and conservation interests signed on to the letter.

Free Webinar on "Status of Domestic Wood Packaging Material (dWPM)”
The West Virginia University Appalachian Hardwood Center and USDA Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) are cooperating on a free webinar on January 24, 2014 to discuss potential phytosanitary requirements on domestic wood packaging material. In 2009, APHIS announced an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue. The webinar will discuss current status of the proposed rules. Here is a flyer for the webinar. Even though the webinar is free, sponsors ask that participants register ahead of time as space to participate on-line is limited. Presenters include Jeff Slahor, AHC; Paul Chaloux, APHIS; Brent McClendon, National Wood and Pallet Container Association (NWPCA); John Swenby, 9BLOC Pallet Logistics & Unit Load Solutions; and Larry Osborn, AHC. To register, send an email to

NEOFA and ECOFA November Newsletters
Here are the November Newsletters of the Northeast Ohio Forestry Association (NEOFA) and the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA). Included in the NEOFA Newsletter is information on the coming monthly meeting on November 21 with guest speaker Jeremy Byers from the Division of Wildlife talking about wildlife food plots; Team NEOFA crew report which offers a day of work to landowners who bid on their services, proceeds going for OFA camp scholarships; forest facts and other bits on forestry in general; and a calendar of events through the new year. The ECOFA Newsletter has information on the most recent general meeting on November 6 at which veterinarian Dr. Scott Pendleton presented on Turkey Vultures; on pipeline concerns for forest landowners; and results of research from OSU on the impact of urban coyotes on feral cats. ECOFA meets the first Wednesday of the month at the Lewis Center in New Philadelphia.

Upcoming: 2014 OFA Annual Meeting, March 5-6, 2014, Columbus Sheraton Hotel on Capitol Square
Plans are underway for the this year’s annual meeting which will take place at the same location as last year’s meeting. There will again be a Legislative Reception at the Statehouse on Wednesday, March 5 followed by a day of presentations on Thursday, March 6, with a look at an Update of Regulations Facing Ohio’s Forest Industry.

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