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|Your Help Requested Contacting Ohio Senator Portman on Federal Legislation - Amendment to S 1706, Fair Playing Field Act|
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has sponsored S 1706, the Fair Playing Field Act which could affect the forest industry through changes to the Independent Contractor Status Determinations. The amendment would effectively repeal Section 530 Safe Harbor for independent contractor determinations and many believe this could have a very negative impact on the forest products industry, particularly businesses that do work with independent contractors. Action is being requested from the national Forest Resource Association (FRA), a partner organization with OFA on many issues. For more information and suggestions for a letter for submission, you can see a Fact Sheet and position statement from FRA and a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp. Also hereis brief suggested letter to Senator Portman. You can submit comments on-line and it should only take a couple minutes of your time. Please go to FRA Action Website to weigh in. Follow the directions and use the attached wording for comments
OFA Participates in Horse Progress Days in Mt. Hope
Over the July 4th weekend, there was a big event at the Mt. Hope Horse Auction Grounds called Horse Progress Days. It is an international trade event organized for the Amish community that features newly manufactured and modified horse drawn equipment. Part of the larger event involved a "Logging” area featuring horse drawn logging arches and other equipment. Exhibitors included portable sawmill dealers, firewood processors, and chainsaw dealers along with organizational displays like OFA, Tree Farm, and the Division of Forestry. The event drew a reported 19,000 people on July 4th alone. There was a good representation of forestry and wood industry representatives and it provided a great opportunity to talk about OFA activities and programs.
Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) Public Comment Period Extended Until August 29, 2014
Last week we had mentioned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) had extended both the time frame during which it would make a decision on the listing of the NLEB (through April, 2015) and the public comment period on the proposed listing. The comment period was extended for an additional 60 days through August 29, 2014. Those wishing to provide comments on-line may go directly to the USF&WS comment website and do so here. OFA has not yet finalized its comments on the NLEB for submission. We are also working with other forestry partners on joint efforts. In the meantime, for reference, you can look at the joint letter from 4 state DNR agencies in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin for guidance on comments. This statement essentially asks the USF&WS to delay the decision until more information is gathered and that the recommended actions could have a profound effect on forest management activities in those states, especially on private lands. Another joint statement from the State Society of American Foresters from the same 4 states provides very similar comments and can be used for personal comments. As soon as OFA has comments finalized we will make them available to the membership upon which each can also provide comments.
Legal Briefs for the Timber Industry
Smith, Currie, and Hancock, LLP publishes a periodic news brief of updates and developments for those who contract with the federal government. This current issue involves Legal Briefs for the Timber Industry and contains an array of national issues affecting the forestry activities, and among the items summarized is the latest on the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB). There is also a brief summary of the impact of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) which applies to companies or subcontractors of companies who hire seasonal workers. The infamous Ninth Circuit court ruled that this act applies to commercial forestry workers who get involved activities such as tree planting, brush clearing, or pre-commercial operations. You should take a quick look at the briefs.
Supreme Court Rules EPA Exceeds Clean Air Act
Authority Regarding GHG Emissions
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled recently that the EPA erred in its interpretation of portions of the Clean Air Act in regard to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). In particular it ruled it could not require Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V permits for stationary sources based on GHG emissions. The Court also said EPA went too far by setting thresholds in the Tailoring Rule below which the previously mentioned permits would be required. Finally, the Court ruled that EPA can continue to require Best Achievable Control Technology (BACT) for new major sources of GHGs or for major modifications to existing sources, but that EPA could not apply its regulatory authority with BACT with "free rein.”
Truth About Trees DVD Available for Youth Programs
Do you have need to give or participate in a youth program and would like to do something promoting our Hardwood Resource. Consider using the DVD Truth About Trees produced by the Hardwood Forest Foundation, the education arm of the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA). You can see the video on the OFA website. The DVD is an excellent tool for teaching young students about where trees come from and how they are turned into products. Some OFA members have used it already and had great success. The OFA Board is encouraging the use of this DVD as an outreach tool this year and anyone within OFA that would like to get a copy of the DVD can do so by contacting the OFA office.
Asian Longhorned Beetle Ohio Impact
The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) was first found in Ohio in 2011 in Clermont County and since that time, state and federal agencies have been working to eradicated the beetle. It is rare for invasive species to be successfully eradicated once an area is infested, but ALB is one of few that has been successfully eradicated in other areas. The goal is to do the same in Clermont County. The ALB prefers maple trees of any species, although it is known to attack a large array of hardwood trees. It particularly poses a threat to Ohio’s maple resource, which totals about 7.5 billion BF of standing inventory and is approximately 15% of Ohio’s 50 Billion BF inventory. Columbus CEO recently had an article about Asian Longhorned Beetle eradication activities with some explanation on why ALB can be attacked through tree removals and other treatments.
North America Looking at Much More Cross-Laminated Timber
A report from Timber-online.net, and international news firm has an article about North America’s hugely growing interest in cross-laminated timber for construction. According to the article, the target for use appears to be for taller or "high-rise” buildings with more than 4 floors.
OWIN Summer Meeting Coming Soon, July 23-24, 2014
You should have received notice for the OWIN Summer Meeting coming up on July 23-24 in Portsmouth. You can find information and registration information on the OFA website. There has been a small change in the schedule with the addition of a field tour to Shawnee State Forest on Wednesday afternoon, July 23. The Division of Forestry offered to make arrangements for our group to view some land management activities on their largest forest and we decided to go with it. Also, the start time for the Clay Shoot has been changed to 10:00 am. Registration will begin at Anderson's at 9:00 am. The meeting is always a great chance for some business networking and a little fun. Hope to see many of you there. Those interested in sponsoring the event or golf holes and clay stations may still do so. Please contact Gayla at 614-497-9580, ext. 5.
Master Logger Certification Training, BMP Training, July 17, 2014 and CSAW Level 1, July 18, 2014, Scioto Trail State Forest
There are still plenty of openings for these Master Logger training sessions. In fact, we need attendees particularly for the BMP training or it may have to be cancelled for low attendance. You can register for both on-line at the OFA website by clicking on the links above. You can also print the registration form from these sites.
Oregon State University College of Forestry Offers Chilean Forest Study Tour Opportunity to Forest Products Individuals
Last week, OFA received notice from the Oregon State University College of Forestry of an upcoming 10-day forestry study tour to Chile for foresters, forest landowners and forest industry representatives. The trip will take place in November of 2014. To learn more about the opportunity, you can visit the Chile Forestry Study Tour website. The study tour is organized by retired OSU Forestry Professor Dr. Fred Smith who now operates Anglatin Ltd, a travel company that organizes study tours. You can contact Dr. Smith directly for questions about the tour: email@example.com.
National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Program
(NAAMLP) Annual Conference, Sept. 21-24, 2014
Former OFA President Jim Bishop, now working for the ODNR, Division of Mineral Resources in the Abandoned Mine Land Program, would like to make OFA members aware of the NAAMLP Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio from September 21-24, 2014 at the Sheraton Hotel on Capital Square. There will be agenda items dealing with tree planting and other forestry components to mine land reclamation which could be a benefit to some of our members. There will also be a wide variety of sessions dealing with the broad range of abandoned mine land reclamation issues. You can find more information about the conference on the NAAMLP website.
Other Upcoming Events:
National Tree Farm Convention, July 17-19, 2014, Pittsburgh, PA. You can register on-line at this site. I just heard a report that this is expected to be the last National Tree Farm Convention. If that is the case, you may want to take it in as it is so close to Ohio.
OWIN Summer Meeting, July 23-24, 2014, Holiday Inn, Portsmouth, Ohio.
Forest Heritage Festival, August 9, 2014, Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds.
Lumber Grading Short Course, August 25-28, 2014. Register soon if interested. Class is filling quickly!
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 Rockenbaugh, 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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