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Timber Talk June 23, 2014

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Monday, June 23, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Treating for Gypsy Moth in several Ohio Areas
ODA reports that during the week of June 23, there will be aerial treatments for gypsy moth covering approximately 112,000 acres in 15 different counties in 3 regions of Ohio (Northwest, Central, and Southeast Ohio.) The treatment will involve the spraying of Disrupt II, a product that does not kill gypsy moths but disrupts the mating process by confusing male moths. The application will be done by airplanes flying above tree tops and take several days, weather permitting. You can read a news release on the treatment on the ODA website.

Workers Compensation MBR Legislation (HB 493) Signed by Governor
Governor Kasich signed HB 493 which makes changes to the Workers’ Compensation program. It helps BWC shift its retrospective billing to a prospective billing cycles which entails a $1.2 billion credit to employers to avoid double billing them during the transition. It also give authority to BWC to allow employers to pay premiums in monthly installments, with a potential for end-of-the-year "true up.” The bill also authorizes BWC to seek proposals from private carriers to offer workers’ compensation coverage for Ohio companies that regularly have employees working in other states.

Governor Signs "Renewable Energy Freeze” Legislation
Governor Kasich defended his signing SB 310, Renewable Energy, which will freeze renewable and energy efficiency standards for two year pending the results of a legislative review of the renewable energy standards. He says he still believes in promoting renewable energy, but had concerns that consumers would be hit with increasing energy bills due to legal requirements on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

AF&PA / American Wood Council Statement on GHG Emissions and Biomass
Here is a joint statementfrom the American Forest and Paper Association and the American Wood Council expressing concern to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Power over the proposed EPA Green House Gas Emissions rules and their treating biomass emissions the same as fossil fuel emissions. EPA acknowledges that there are environmental benefits to burning biomass versus fossil fuels, but in spite of that concurrence, still treats the two fuels the same regarding emissions. The statement recommends that EPA not treat the fuels the same until scientific evidence proves otherwise.

Farm and Dairy Articles on Ohio and Holmes County Forestry Industry
Over the last two weeks, Farm and Dairy, an Ohio agricultural newspaper, printed two articles about the Ohio and Holmes County forest products industry. The first article talks about Ohio forests and the forest products industry in general, highlighting some statistics about the size of the forest and the amount of forest growth before talking some about the Holmes County industry. The second article
focuses primarily on the industry in Holmes County and the part it plays in employment and feeding the American made/locally made manufacturing importance. Both articles mention Yoder Lumber Co., Inc. quoting Mel Yoder as well as Homestead Furniture owner Ernest Hershberger. The articles by Chris Kick are very well done and informative and do a commendable job talking about the industry. They are well worth several minutes of your time to look at.

National Public Radio (NPR) Story on the Growing Shortage of Loggers
Here is a link to a story that NPR ran last week concerning the looming shortage of loggers in the country. This story highlights a 4th generation Tennessee logging family but makes the point that the issue is nationwide. The article mentions the pending federal legislation which would provide an exemption for younger family members to work in the logging business under the supervision of family members. There are also other efforts to encourage young people to get into the business. But even all of these may do little to address the situation that is affecting the industry. You can read the article but the audio provides a more information on the story.

A Second OFA Lumber Grading Short Course
OFA completed another very successful Lumber Grading Short Course the week of June 9, 2014 at Yoder Lumber Co., Inc. in Millersburg. Due to the very strong demand for the course, we have scheduled a second Hardwood Lumber Grading Short Course for this summer during the week of August 25-28, 2014 at Yoder Lumber Co., Buckhorn mill. Those interested can register on-line at the OFA website. The course will again be taught by NHLA Inspector Barry Kibbey.

OWIN Summer Meeting, July 23-24, 2014
The date is quickly rolling around. Registration materials should be in your mailbox. You can register for the event on-line at the OFA website. Sponsorships are needed for golf tees, clay shoot stations, both receptions and beverages! Your support is appreciated.

We Say Goodbye to June Waldron
Long-time Superior Hardwoods of Ohio employee June Waldron passed away last week in Columbus. She had retired in 2013 after working for 28 years with the company and had barely had a chance to enjoy her time after working. June served as the Controller for Superior and had worked for several companies in the hardwood industry over the years. She had worked for Sherwood Forest Products, Inc. in Waverly a number of years ago and then in 1973 went to Cambridge to work for Hinchcliff Lumber Co. as a secretary. June started working for Superior Hardwoods in 1985 when the Hinchcliff mill was purchased by Superior. You can read June’s obituary on the McWilliams Funeral home website. We pass along our prayers and thoughts to June’s family.

Forestry Press, Inc. Releases New Edition Introduction to Forest Ecology and Silviculture
OFA was provided complementary copies of the 2014 Update of the Introduction to Forest Ecology and Silviculture by Thom J. McEvoy, Professor Emeritus of Forestry Extension at the University of Vermont. This is an third edition of the book. A quick glance indicates that the publication is written for the general practitioner such as loggers, landowners, resource managers and foresters interested in a review of ecology and silviculture. Also included was a copy of the publication Planning Family Forests, How to Keep Woodlands Intact and in the Family, also written by Thom J. McEvoy. Copies of the book can be acquired from Forestry Press.

Columbus Dispatch: Policy Changes Shift Tax Burden to Homeowners and Farmers
There was an article in the Columbus Dispatch about an analysis of property taxes over the last 20 years and how the majority of school funding has shifted to homeowners and farmers. In short the article states that in 1991, homeowners and farmers paid 47.5% of the $4.4 billion in property taxes to schools. In 2011, the same group paid 70% of the $8.75 billion paid in taxes to schools. According to the study, reduced property taxes to utilities and the elimination of the tangible personal property businesses paid on equipment and inventory are the reasons for the shift. Businesses and commercial property are still taxed and produce 24% of all school property taxes, an increase of 4% since 1991 and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce says that businesses continue to pay property tax rates 10-30 percent higher than homeowners. The article provides a link for someone to see what property taxes were paid in local school districts in both 1991 and 2011.

ECOFA July Newsletter
Here
is the July Newsletter for the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA). It has information on the June general meeting during which Marne Tichenel, OSU Extension Wildlife Program Specialist presented on woodland butterflies (Marne is also a Volunteer Coordinator for the OFA Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp.); splitting logs with black powder; and upcoming events and activities. ECOFA meets the first Wednesday of each month at the Lewis Center in New Philadelphia.

Other Upcoming Events:

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