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Timber Talk 10/13/14

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, October 14, 2014

OFA Meets with Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) for Manufacturer Directories
Last week, OFA met with representatives from the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG), a JobsOhio organization funded with both state and private dollars. The group serves the 28-county Appalachian Region and is acts as the "front door” for business access to JobsOhio and the Ohio Development Services Agency. APEG received a federal grant to create a comprehensive directory of primary and secondary forest product manufacturers for the Appalachian Region and has asked OFA to assist on the project. It appears that the project will encompass a full directory for all Ohio forest product manufacturers. Included in the project will be the Appalachian Regional Commission for additional funding and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs for staff capacity. OFA suggested that the Division of Forestry and OSU Extension be included in the project.

Former OFA Executive Director Receives "Forest of Honor” Award at Division of Forestry Ceremony
Former OFA Executive Director Ron Cornell who served from 1987-1998 received one of two Forest of Honor Awards at a ceremony last week at Zaleski State Forest. Ron was not able to attend the ceremony due to declining health but his wife Ann attended on his behalf and graciously received the award with heart-felt emotions. Chief Bob Boyles noted Ron’s service to Ohio forestry in general and specifically to OFA with his great work establishing Ohio’s logger chapters and Master Logging Company Program and making OFA a prominent voice for forestry in Ohio. Also receiving the award was Professor Emeritus Jack Vimmerstedt, retired from OSU at the Ohio Agricultural and Research Development Center who had completed significant work with soils research, particularly on disturbed mine lands and work on White pine in Ohio. Congratulations to both for outstanding contributions to forestry in Ohio.

National Biomass Energy Day Open House – Chillicothe VA Medical Center
There will be a National Biomass Energy Day Open House on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 from 9 AM – 3 PM at the Chillicothe Veterans Administration Medical Center to view the biomass boiler system installed at the facility in 2012 to generate combined heat and electricity. This Bioenergy Day Open House will be one of approximately 4 dozen open houses held across the country. The open house is available to anyone interested in learning more about the system, and all OFA members are invited to attend. The biomass boiler system was the first in the country at a VA facility to convert to biomass. The system replaces a natural gas fired system. Click here for a flyer providing directions and a link to the website.

House Speaker Batchelder Announces Members for Energy Mandates Study Committee
When SB 310 was passed earlier this year, the energy legislation postponed and eased compliance requirements with Ohio’s current renewable and energy efficiency standards. As part of that legislation, the bill designated that a committee of legislators would be charged with recommending further changes to requirements on utilities to obtain 12.5% of electricity from renewable sources and to help customers cut usage 22% by 2025. House members appointed to the committee are House Public Utilities Committee Chairman Rep. Peter Stautberg (R-Cincinnati) as co-chair the committee, Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster); Rep. Louis Blessing (R-Cincinnati); Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Uniontown); Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire); and Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus). The committee must submit a report of findings by Sept. 30, 2015.

OFA Responds to Columbus Dispatch Article on State Forest Timber Harvesting
Late last week, the Columbus Dispatch printed a Letter to the Editor from OFA concerning an article on state forest timber harvesting that ran on the front page of the newspaper on September 23. Here is the Letter to the Editor and the original article from the Dispatch.

Make a Donation to the American Forest Foundation, Receive Printed Copies of Woodland Magazine
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) which runs the American Tree Farm Program recently announced that donors of $25 or more to the American Forest Foundation will received print copies of the Woodland magazine.Those wishing to find out more or to make a donation to the AFF can do so on-line.

Senate Leadership Reception
OFA and the Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association hosted a fund-raising reception for the Senate Leadership Team last week at the law offices of Eastman and Smith in Columbus. Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina), President Pro Tempore Chris Widener (R-Springfield), and Majority Whip Larry Obhof (R-Medina) attended the reception.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Wants to Break Guinness World Record for Tree Planting
SFI is assessing whether it can break the current Guinness World Record for tree planting in one hour. Currently, the record is 40,885 trees planted in one hour by a combination of teams. SFI would like to put together 12 teams of planters, with approximately 20 to 100 planters in each team to do a planting sometime during the third week of May 2015.

EPA Extends Comment Period On Definition of Waters of the US
(WOTUS) Proposed Rule

The U.S. EPA recently announced that it has extended the comment period for the WOTUS definition until November 14, 2014. The extension is granted, according to EPA, to give the public more time to comment on the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board study on the connectivity of streams and wetlands, which is still being completed. OFA has been part of a coalition providing comments on the definition. There is major concern that the definition will be tailored so tightly that virtually any man-made ditch or intermittent stream that holds water only a portion of the year will fall under the jurisdiction of Clean Water Act regulations.

Biochar Used Successfully to Treat Fracking Water
Researchers at two institutions in Texas have determined that biochar, a charcoal like solid made from wood chips, paper, leaves, and other plant fiber products, can be effectively used to treat flowback water from hydraulic fracturing ("fracking”) operations. This could be a huge plus for the oil and gas industry as significant amounts of waste water are produced from every "fracked” well. You can read a brief article about biochar on the Energy & Environment website. Disposal of waste water from gas operations in Ohio has been a huge issue, such that pumping waste water into old well locations has resulted in earthquakes in eastern Ohio. It appears more research on the use of biochar is still in order.

White House Council on Environmental Quality Recognizes Forest Products’ Carbon-Friendly Attributes
Recently, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released its Climate and Natural Resources Policy Agenda, summarized in a Fact Sheet that outlines programs to support the Climate Action Plan announced by the Obama Administration last year. The document affirms the role of forestry and the forest products industry in carbon reduction measures. One of the key recommendations noted in the agenda is the support for the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA), a program the forest products industry considers critical in maintaining a valuable data base on the nation’s forests. If you are interested, you can read the full document here.

BWC Announces Recipients of Safety Grants
The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation manages a Safety Intervention Grant Program which was created to assist employers in reducing illnesses and injuries. There are several grant programs that provide a 3 to 1 funding match up to a maximum of $40,000 per project. Money can be used to purchase special equipment that substantially reduces or eliminates injuries and illnesses and is available to any company that pays into the Workers’ Compensation Program. You can get more information on the Ohio BWC website here and see the list of recipients of these grants.

OSU Extension Workshop for Businesses on the Affordable Care Act
OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center is holding half-day workshop for businesses under 50 employees and over 50 employees on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 in South Point, Ohio at the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. Here is a flyer on the sessions. The morning session from 9 AM to noon is for businesses with less than 50 employees. The afternoon session from 1 PM – 4 PM is for businesses with over 50 employees. The cost to attend is only $5.00. To register, email Janie at Janie@ledcorp.orgor call 740‐377‐4550.

Northeast Ohio Forestry Association October Newsletter
Here
is the NEOFA October Newsletter with the latest information and activities for the regional forest landowner association. It has information on the very successful Coldwell Family Tree Farm Tour on September 20, the upcoming general meeting on October 16, and other information on trees and forestry and upcoming meetings and events.

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