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Timber Talk 9/1/14

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Monday, September 8, 2014

Division of Forestry Seeking Public Input on Sustainability Certification for State Forest Land
The sustainability certification (SFI,FSC) of ODNR Division of Forestry state forest lands will expire in the fall of 2015. The DOF will have a final audit for the current certification period this fall. Before renewing the audit contract or moving ahead with another certificate, DOF is asking the public whether it should continue certifying state forest lands and whether there is any economic or environmental benefit to doing so. So that you know, the cost of the 5-year audit contract for the current period is $167,034, a pretty significant cost for the state land management program. There are approximately 200,000 acres of state forest land. DOF would like to hear from stakeholders on whether it is worth the public cost to maintain certification. Any OFA members wishing to weigh in with comments can contact the Division of Forestry directly (614-265-6694) or contacting Greg Guess at Greg.Guess@dnr.state.oh.us or you can contact the OFA office and we will share member feelings with the Division.

Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) News

  • Congressional Contact - The public comment period for the Northern Long-Eared Bat closed last week, but you can still take some action by contacting your Congressional representative to let him or her know that an NELB listing as an endangered species can have a profoundly negative impact on forestry, the forest products industry, and on action to protect other species of concern. To make it easier to do so, you can visit the Forest Resource Association (FRA) Take Action website. OFA and FRA are part of a forestry coalition working on this issue. The site contains background information that you can refer to. It also uses a form letter that can be mailed

    · Winter Blackouts a Danger in Rapid Transition from Coal. Ohio electricity generation is going through a transition from coal to natural gas. According to the PJM Interconnection, the group that manages the transmission grid in Ohio and a 13-state region, the "rapid transition” that is taking place as coal plants are retired and natural gas production comes on-line could cause blackouts, especially if we experience a bitterly cold winter similar to what we had last year. The reason is that whereas coal can be stockpiled for use at any time, gas is delivered on an as-needed basis and pipeline capacity is yet to reach the point needed to take advantage of all the drilling. PJM is attempting to address possible shortages by changing requirements for electric capacity providers to be able to diversity generation during peak winter conditions. You can read more about this in an article in Columbus Business First.

    and all you need to do is fill in your information. The site will automatically find your representative and mail the letter accordingly. You can revise the letter as much as you want or simply go with the form that is written. My suggestion is to go with the form letter as it is more important to simply weigh with Congress rather than get caught up with content.
  • Congressional Committee to Hold Pennsylvania Hearing - Here is a news release on a field hearing of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on September 18, 2014 in Harrisburg, PA on the Northern Long-Eared Bat. The Hearing will focus on the Endangered Species Act and the Impact of listing the species on Pennsylvania and 37 other states. The field hearing was initiated by Cong. Glenn Thompson from Pennsylvania who is a member of the Natural Resources Committee. Ohio has no members on the Committee. However, it is still helpful to let your representative know your concerns about listing the NLEB as endangered.

Forest Road Case is Over
An 8-year battle in a court case over Clean Water Act point-source permitting for forest roads that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court appears now to be completely over. After the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in favor of forestry interests that forest roads were not subject Clean Water Act NPDES permitting, the Northwest Environmental Defense Fund (NEDF) attempted to modify its original complaint with new arguments. The Oregon District Court denied NEDF’s request to amend on the basis that the arguments were not evident in the original filing and would be "fundamentally unfair” to defendants to defend against new arguments 8 years later. The Court said a new lawsuit would have to be filed.

Winter Blackouts a Danger in Rapid Transition from Coal
Ohio electricity generation is going through a transition from coal to natural gas. According to the PJM Interconnection, the group that manages the transmission grid in Ohio and a 13-state region, the "rapid transition” that is taking place as coal plants are retired and natural gas production comes on-line could cause blackouts, especially if we experience a bitterly cold winter similar to what we had last year. The reason is that whereas coal can be stockpiled for use at any time, gas is delivered on an as-needed basis and pipeline capacity is yet to reach the point needed to take advantage of all the drilling. PJM is attempting to address possible shortages by changing requirements for electric capacity providers to be able to diversity generation during peak winter conditions. You can read more about this in an article in Columbus Business First.

Workshop: Promoting Hardwood Processing and Economy
The U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) has announced a free, 1-day workshop on September 4, 2014 in Princeton, WV for the wood industry on hardwood processing and economy. The workshop will cover topics including hardwood log processing optimization, hardwood log scanning and defect detection, marketing, sawmill energy efficiency, and strategies to improve the performance of existing wood energy systems. The workshop will be provided by the WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources in cooperation with WERC. See the this flyer for more information and registration.

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