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Timber Talk 9/15/14

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2014 Lumberman’s Outing a Great Success
Last week, 109 golfers and gunners enjoyed a great day at the 2014 Lumberman’s Outing helping to raise funds for the Lumberman’s Benevolent Fund. Although there was threatening weather throughout the day, the rain held off for everyone to take in a round of golf or shoot sporting clays for fun and networking. The event was sponsored by the OFA Foundation and all proceeds will go to the Lumberman’s Benevolent fund which is used to assist members and employees of Ohio’s forest products industry with special needs. Many thanks to the sponsors and donors of the event and congratulations to the award winners as well as to all who participated. Here is a summary sheet with information on both events.

Southworth Logging LLC Receiveward from the Pike SWCD
Last week, the Pike SWCD recognized Mack Southworth of Southworth Logging LLC with the 2014 Friends of Conservation Award at its annual banquet. Southworth Logging LLC is a Master Logging Company with the Scioto River Valley Logger’s Chapter and is located in Lucasville, Ohio. Here are a couple pictures of Mack, his wife, and his son Ryan Southworth receiving the award. Also pictured is Mike Gaus, forester with Glatfelter and Kevin Yost with the Pike SWCD who is also a BMP instructor for the Master Logging Company program. Congratulations to Mack and Ryan and the company for their outstanding work and the appropriate recognition.


Congressional Panel Critical of Plan to List Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) as Endangered
Last week, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a field hearing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to discuss the potential listing of the NLEB as endangered. The hearing was called at the request of committee member U.S. Rep Glenn Thompson from the 5th District in Pennsylvania. There were a number of business people and a Republican state lawmaker who testified against the listing while and member of the Center for Biological Diversity lobbied in favor or listing. Paul Lyskava, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association, reportedly also testified. You can read a brief write-up of the hearing on the website.

Forest Resource Association (FRA) and American Loggers Council (ALC) Collaborate on Logging Career Promotion
The FRA and ALC recently announced a project to encourage men and women to consider logging as a career. They have prepared a brochure Is Working as a Logger for You? which you can see by clicking on the link. The brochure briefly describes qualifications it takes to be a logger and talks about logging in general and includes a number of quotes from employers on the advantages of being a logger. OFA will work with the organizations to make this information available to those seeking more information about a career in logging.

House Passes Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Act (H.R. 5808)
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed R.R. 5708, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Act of 2014. The bill bars the Administration from finalizing the proposed Waters of the U.S (WOYUS) rule and the Interpretive Rule that would be applicable to certain agricultural and forest management activities. It also established a process for the feds to consult with state and local governments to develop alternative approaches for establishing jurisdiction. The bill received good bi-partisan support with all but one Republican and 35 Democrats voting for the bill (262-152). Apparently, the White House has threatened to veto the bill if it should pass the Senate, but at this point, there is no Senate action planned.

Ohio Renewable Energy Certification Process Now Open for Methane Gas/Older Hydroelectric Facilities
When SB 310 (Renewable Energy) was passed earlier this year, one of the allowances in the bill was that energy from biologically-derived methane gas and older hydroelectric facilities could not become eligible for renewable energy credits (REC). The previous 2008 Renewable Energy Bill did not allow those facilities to earn RECs. The 2008 bill required that energy from methane gas had to first be converted to electricity before earning RECs. This waived requirement under SB 310 will allow the agricultural industry, food processing companies, municipal solid waste facilities, and other biomass producers to use methane more efficiently for clean-burning fuel. Environmental groups had opposed this change arguing that doing so would lower the value of RECs and discourage the development of new renewable energy sources. The new certification process for these energy sources started this past week.

WSRI Report Highlights Global Diversification of Softwood Fiber Industry for Energy and Biomaterials. This report is not directly related to Ohio’s hardwood market, but it speaks to an expanding pulp and paper market and a changing worldwide marketplace for wood fiber in general. The report indicates that the Nordic countries have invested in a growing demand for pulp and paper products from long-wood fiber and are considering investing in biomass energy markets. WSRI speculates that these developments may be the beginning of the biggest transformation of the softwood fiber-based industry in decades, not only in Europe, but in other softwood regions of the world.

USDA BioPreferred Program Changes Announced.The USDA announced changes to the Bio-Preferred Program authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. Forest products can be accepted and recognized with a BioPreferred brand, but only if manufacturers can demonstrate with adequate written documentation that they have applied an "innovative approach to growing, harvesting, sourcing, procuring, processing, or manufacturing” their wood products. To find out more if companies may want to seek the BioPreferred brand, they can go to the USDA website on the BioPreferred Program Criteria.

BWC Announces Launching of San Allen Settlement Website. The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, pursuant to the outcome of the San Allen Lawsuitin which courts ruled against BWC’s past management of group rating safety programs and improper premium charges, announced that it has created a website to assist eligible employers with collecting premiums paid from 2001 through 2008. BWC is working through The Garden City Group, Inc. a third-party administrator, to handle the administration of the settlement. Here is a short news release on that website.

Another Informative Message from the Go-Wood Website. Chuck Ray, Associate Professor of Wood and Forest Science at Penn State University maintains a Go Wood website where he regularly posts a diverse array of information about wood and forests to educate both professionals and generalists about the wonder of wood. Last week, he posted this brief video from The Danish Wood Initiative that tells the great value of wood and forests in a very clever and short animated video. Take a look at it and enjoy.

NEOFA September Newsletter. Here is the September Newsletter for the Northeastern Ohio Forestry association. The Newsletter highlights the upcoming Coldwell Family Tree Farm Tour, recognizing the Coldwell Family as Ohio’s 2014 Tree Farmers of the Year. Also here is a Farm and Dairy flyer on the upcoming event this weekend. It should be a great event. The newsletter also has information on the NEOFA display at the Canfield Fair, a recap of the August Tree Farm Tour at the Royer Tree Farm, a recap of the Twilight Tour at the Beaver Creek Wildlife Center, and a variety of information on trees.

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