Posted By Gayla Fleming,
Monday, June 30, 2014
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Celebrate America and Our Rights of Life,
Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Happy 4th of July!
|Thousand Cankers Disease Detected in Indiana|
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources in reporting that it has detected an incidence of Thousand Cankers Disease on Yellowwood State Forest in Brown County, Indiana, about 40 miles south of Indianapolis and 60 miles west of Cincinnati. Interestingly, IDNR reports that the fungus causing the disease was not isolated on the walnut twig beetle (WTB), but on a small weevil (Stenomimus pallidus). This is reportedly the first time it has been detected on an insect other than WTB. The plantation where the fungus was found has been quarantined, but Indiana already has a state TCD quarantine which restricts movement of walnut into the state from other infested states, of which Ohio is one. Here is a link to an IDNR news release about the find here.
USF&WS Extends Northern Long-Eared Bat Final
Listing Determination and Re-Opens Comment Period
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) has extended the listing determination period for the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) until April, 2015 with a decision on the final listing expected by April 2, 2015. In addition, the public comment period has been re-opened for 60 days through August 29, 2014. The Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) until is a woodland mammal native to eastern North American and is found in 39 of the contiguous United States. Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) proposed listing the species as endangered due to the threat of white nose syndrome, a white fungus affecting the head and wings of the bats. It reportedly is leading to significant declines in populations, currently in the northeastern part of the range but moving westward. The bat currently has an ample population, but the USF&WS is alleging that the bat needs to be placed on the endangered species list to protect it in the future. If it becomes listed, it could have a profoundly negative impact on forest management in the bat range. You can read a primer of sorts on the bat included in the Northern Long-Eared Bat Interim Conference and Planning Guide that includes suggested management recommendations. Among many things it addresses, it compares NLEB with Indiana bat, starting on page A-1. Then starting in Appendix D, it talks about conservation measures and some of these could be particularly important in forest management activities. Most importantly, take a look at the definition of "take” in the very last statement on the last page. If the species becomes listed as endangered, then any "take” of a bat would be a violation of the federal law and liable for prosecution. OFA will be working with state and national organizations to coordinate a response for the open comment period.
Ohio Supreme Court Justices Consider Whether OEPA TMDL Pollution Standards Should Be Subject To Rulemaking
A case before the Ohio Supreme Court last week dealt with whether Ohio EPA’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standards should be subject to the Ohio rulemaking process. The Board of Commissioners of Fairfield County v. Scott J. Nally, Director of Environmental Protection case examines whether Ohio’s TMDL rules must be promulgated according to Ohio law before they can be used as a basis for the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits. The suit also questions whether the US EPA approval of the Ohio standards limits review under Ohio law and prevents meaningful challenge and due process of law. Fairfield County is suing on the basis of phosphorus water standards which "never saw the light of day” by public review and if enforced, would cost the county millions to comply. Fairfield County asserts that the Ohio rules and standards were only approved by US EPA but never received public review at the state level. Ohio EPA contends that it does not have to go through the rule making process with these standards and that doing so would provide no additional benefit, arguing that TMDL reports are subject to public review. The Supreme Court will rule on the case in the near future.
Scientists Call on President to Order National Policy to Conserve Old Growth Forest
According to news sources, a group of 75 U.S. and Canadian scientists, two of which were former U.S. Forest Service Chiefs, Jack Ward Thomas and Michael Dombeck, sent a letter to the President asking him for a "policy to preserve what remains of America's old-growth forest.” Articles do not clarify where the scientists believe the action should take place, but my presumption would be that it would apply to "federal” lands. In a classic head-scratching case for me, I thought that this has already taken place and that federal forest areas like the Wayne National Forest have been declared de facto "old-growth” reserves already.
U.S. Hardwood Exports to China Fueled by Chinese "Domestic” Demand
There was an article from Chinadaily.com that talks about an expected surge in hardwood shipments this year from the U.S. to China while exports from selected other countries to China will decline. Mike Snow, Executive Director of the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) says that China has entered a second phase of urbanization which will trigger an increased demand for timber and hardwood products. In 2013, hardwood exports to China totaled $1.13 billion, an increase of 33% over 2012. China’s increasing economy is fueling a new generation of more affluent people who are seeking better interior furnishings made from American hardwoods. The Chinese government expects Chinese demand to increase to 800 million cubic meters by 2020. Some of the demand for the wood is coming from China’s protection of its limited native forest resource. This is in contrast to America’s forest resource that is sustainable with a standing volume that more than doubled from 1952 to 2010, during which a significant amount of wood was harvested. The U.S. is well positioned to increase harvest for export demand and still remain well within sustainable levels.
|Proposed State and Federal Legislation to Crack Down on Companies that Classify Workers as Contractors|
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) announced last week that he is introducing legislation to crack down on worker misclassifications and to use fine money to support the Highway Trust Fund for road maintenance. The Senator maintains that too many businesses misclassify workers as contractors to avoid paying benefits and other costs and said a 2009 study indicated Ohio lost $900 million per year from misclassifications. State legislation (HB 338) sponsored by Rep. Ross McGregor (R-Springfield) and Rep. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) would define and clarify employees versus contractors for motor transportation companies and motor carriers, using 8 factors to determine if an individual is exempt under state law. HB 347 sponsored by Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) and Rep. Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) would create a 7-point test that would determine if someone is an employee versus a contractor for all industry sectors.
Tall Wood Buildings
Here is an interesting report on what is happening in the international world of Tall Wood Buildings. Most of the buildings are in Europe and the report indicates why there is more tall wood buildings there than in other parts of the world. The report provides a lot of detail on why buildings are chosen and the infrastructure needed to make them work. It is interesting to note the use of wood for both the structural as well as the aesthetic benefits. It will be interesting to see if this trend will catch on in North America.
OWIN Summer Meeting, July 23-23, 2014, Portsmouth, Ohio
It is time to sign up for the OWIN Summer Meeting in Portsmouth. Come and share some time and network with other OFA members on the golf course or during the clay shoot. You can see the schedule of events and location for all the activities on the website where you can also register for the event. Those wishing to sponsor golf holes or clay stations or portions of the meetings can do so with the registration. For any questions, contact Gayla at 614-497-9580.
Other Upcoming Events
Master Logger Certification Training, BMP Training, July 17, 2014 and CSAW Level 1, July 18, 2014, Scioto Trail State Forest. You can register for both on-line at the OFA website by clicking on the links. You can also print the registration form from these sites.
National Tree Farm Convention, July 17-19, 2014, Pittsburgh, PA. You can register on-line at this site.OWIN Summer Meeting, July 23-24, 2014, Holiday Inn, Portsmouth, Ohio.Registration for this event is now open and on-line at the link.
Forest Heritage Festival, August 9, 2014, Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds.Lumber Grading Short Course, August 25-28, 2014.
Lumberman’s Outing, September 10, 2014, The Pines Golf Course (Orrville) and the Lost Birds Sporting Clays (Fredericksburg).Farm Science Review, September 18-20, 2014, Molly Caren Agricultural Center, London, Ohio. On Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 1 pm in the Gwynne Conservation Area, there will be a special ceremony dedication a new wetland viewing platform dedicated in the memory of John Rockengaugh, a tireless conservationist who gave so much to conservation education. If you would like to be there for the ceremony, please RSVP Marne Titchenell (firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-292-0402) with your name, email, and mailing address by Monday, August 25th. The event will finish with an ice cream social.
2014 Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour, September 20, 2014, Coldwell Family Tree Farm, Salineville, Ohio.Paul Bunyan Show, October 3-5, 2014, Guernsey County Fairgrounds.
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