Posted By Gayla Fleming,
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
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Theft Legislative Proposal - It appears that Rep. McGregor has
re-written his timber theft legislative proposal, although OFA has not formally
received a copy of the latest draft. Rep. McGregor is reportedly
requesting co-sponsorship for the bill from other House members at this
point. We will keep the membership apprised of the status as we learn
more. The legislative session for the spring is expected to be shorter
than normal due to election year, and this season is quickly winding down so it
will be interesting to see what happens with the bill.
Capital Budget - The 2-year Capital Budget, which covers major
construction and renovation for state agencies and universities moved quickly
through the Senate and was passed, moving it on to the House.. The $2.4
billion budget has several large conservation components including $100 million
for the Clean Ohio Fund, $236.4 million for ODNR facility construction which
would include funding for the Division of Forestry, and $10 million for the
Healthy Lake Erie Initiative.
310, Renewable Energy, Would Freeze Green Energy Requirements at Current Levels - Sen. Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) introduced SB 310, Renewable
Energy, that would freeze green energy requirements at current levels
and would authorize a committee to study whether further changes to the green
energy standards are warranted. Current law requires that electric
utilities must cut customer consumption to 22% reduction (from 2008 levels) by
2025. The bill would also freeze renewable energy at 2.5% of all energy
sold by utilities, which would require renewable use of 12.5% by 2025. An
"Energy Mandates Study Committee, composed of 21 people from the legislature
and various segments of the energy, manufacturing, business, industrial, environmental,
and public sectors. Sen. Balderson sponsor testimony indicated that the
bill would prevent energy bills from rising, a belief that is not held by
opponents of changes in the standards. Opponents believe that any change
in the renewable standards will effectively kill the growing renewable energy
industry in Ohio. House Speaker Batchelder (R-Medina) said that he
supported the bill and he expected that it would pass the House easily.
|Senate Finance Committee Passes Tax Extenders Bill|
U.S. Senate Finance Committee recently passed a "Tax Extender” bill to continue
allowance for a number of business and personal tax exemptions and credits that
essentially expired at the end of 2013. Although Congress is looking at
comprehensive tax reform, it is expected to take some time to accomplish.
The extenders bill provides another two years of the credits and exemptions
that will essentially offer a transition until a reform can be completed.
A summary of extenders can be found here. Included is a wide
variety of provisions for such things as deductions for mortgage interest and
business equipment and investments. You can read a brief
letter from the Business Roundtable that is supportive of the extenders
bill, particularly as it would pave the way for comprehensive tax reform.
In all honesty, as you read the summary, you can see why the tax code is in
such need of reform.
Support for USDA Funding on Forest Inventory
and Analysis (FIA)
More than 60 state and national forestry
associations and trade associations co-signed letters to the U.S. Senate and
House Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment, and Related
Agencies in support of sustained funding for the FIA program, which is a
long-term and critical program that has provided valuable information on the
nation’s forests and forest products. Here are letters that
went both to the House and the Senate in support of the funding.
ODA Expands Quarantine Area for Hemlock Wooly
ODA and ODNR announced that there are more areas with
incidence of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) and as a result are in the process of
expanding the quarantine in SE Ohio. ODA reported on HWA at the OFA
Annual Meeting. Currently, portions of Washington, Meigs, and Hocking
Counties were quarantined for HWA. ODA has found HWA in Lawrence, Monroe,
and Vinton Counties and is expected to complete quarantines in portions of
these counties also. The finds in Vinton and Lawrence Counties were on
State Forests. Here is a news
release on the latest infestations.
APHIS files 2014 Eradication Plan for Asian
Longhorned Beetle in Clermont County
Here is a news
release from APHIS outlining its 2014 plans for eradication of the Asian
Longhorned Beetle in Clermont County. On quick review, it appears that
the current activities will continue including detection, monitoring, tree
removals and other treatments.
E. B. Miller Memorial Scholarship Application
Deadline Coming Soon!
OFA is accepting applications for the E.B.
Miller Memorial Scholarship. Deadline for accepting applications is April
15. Those interested can either apply on-line or
download the application and submit a hard copy. As a reminder to those
applying, applicants must be residents of Ohio and must be interested in
pursuing a career in forestry or natural resources management.
Yale Study Supports Concludes More Wood
Construction Can Reduce Global Use of Fossil Fuels
A study led by
Yale University scientists concluded that building more with wood and less with
steel and concrete can in fact reduce global use of fossil fuels and lower
carbon dioxide emissions. According
to the study, the researchers estimated that only 20% of annual world
forest growth is harvested with much of that used to burn for cooking.
They estimated that if harvest were increased to 34% of growth to be used for
wood construction, 14-31 percent of global CO2 emissions could be
avoided. Wood construction takes far less energy than concrete or steel
construction. More environmental reasons to sue forest products.
Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC)
You can look at the WERC
Update on-line and find information on biomass fuels, workshops on such
topics as firewood processing, urban wood utilization, operating a small
sawmill, drying small quantities of lumber, and heat treating logs and firewood
using steam and vacuum. You can also see an Update
on the Housing Market by Urs Buehlmann from the Virginia Tech
Dept. of Wood Science and an Update
on Wood Markets by Dan Deckard from the Minnesota DNR.
Regional Forestry Association Newsletters
Here are the April Newsletters of the Southern Ohio Forestland
Association (SOFA) and the Northeast Ohio Forestry Association (NEOFA).
The SOFA Newsletter has information on the latest general meeting at which Lee
Crocker from the National Wild Turkey Federation talked about the present and
future wildlife in Ohio, the value of Hackberry, the effect of winter weather
on invasive species populations, spring mushrooms, and upcoming events and
gatherings. The NEOFA newsletter has information on the NEOFA Annual
Banquet on April 25 in Canfield, an update on the Constitution and By-Laws for
the association, the OFA Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp, spring
mushrooms, the Coldwell Family Tree Farm, and upcoming events and activities.
Glatfelter Job Opening
is seeking to hire a Merchandising Forester to work out of its Merchandising
Yard in Piketon, Ohio. Those
interested can find information on the OFA website. Check the
information right away as the closing date for the posting is very soon.
New Health Drink from Maple Trees?
According to this article
from Business Insider, the sap from maple trees is being marketed and sold
as a health drink. The product is called "Vertical Water” and is nothing
more than sap that is normally boiled down to make maple syrup.
Unfortunately, the article states that beyond the alleged health benefit of the
drink, the producers are marketing it as a way to save the trees from being
turned into lumber "unsustainably.” Another misdirected and incorrect
marketing concept relating to forest products.
Foundation Workshop on FOREST: Forest Restoration Specialist Training, April 9,
2014, Coshocton County Services Building, 5:30 – 9:00 pm. The first
in a series of three workshops that deals with American Chestnut restoration
and establishing hardwood plantations on degraded lands. Registration is
free and open to the public. The second session. Here is
a flyer on the workshop.
2014 Mid-Atlantic Biomass
Heat and Power Conference, April 23-24, 2014, Gettysburg, PA.
Learn the latest in biomass power technology at this seminar. It will
include field tours to some existing biomass facilities. You
can download a brochure here.
Lumberman's Outing - September 10 - Pines Golf Club in Orrville, Ohio and Lost Bird Sporting Clays in Frederecksburg, Ohio.
Paul Bunyan Show - October 3-5, 2014 - Guernsey County Fairgrounds, Cambridge Ohio
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