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Timber Talk 10/20/14

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Another Newspaper Editorial Against State Forest Harvesting
Following the Columbus Dispatch article on State Forest Timber Sales that OFA responded to with a letter to the editor, the Toledo Blade last week wrote an editorial on the same subject. Unfortunately, the Editor has a number of things wrong that will be responded to. Stay tuned for our response.

Reminder: National Bioenergy Day Open House, VA Hospital, Chillicothe
This is a reminder that Wednesday, October 22, 2014 there will be a Bioenergy Open House from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Chillicothe, Ohio.Here is a map and directions to the site and a link to more information about the event. The Open House is for anyone who wants to know more about the combined heat and power biomass boiler recently constructed at the medical center, the first of its kind at VA facilities in the country.

"Femme Fatale” Emerald Ash Borer Decoy Lures, Kills Males
Some of you have already heard about research directed at creating decoys to lure and kill emerald ash borer males. Work is being conducted at Penn State University, to that end and you can read about some preliminary finding on the Penn State News website. Briefly, Penn State Researchers have been working with a decoy and electrocution process to lure males to fake females and then killing the males. The article explains how the decoys are fabricated using bio-replication and 3D-printing as well as how the decoys are electrified to stun males when they landed on the decoys.

Emerald Ash Borer Attacking More than Ash?
A researcher at Wright State University may have found that the Emerald Ash Borer is now eating more than just ash trees. EAB has been found feeding on White fringetree which is a native hardwood that grows in the eastern U.S. This unfortunate find was discovered in southwest Ohio. You can read more about this find in an article on

Optimism for Fight Against White Nose Syndrome on Bats?
Here is an article from the Columbia Missourian about research being conducted on a bacterial treatment that could be used to fight White Nose Syndrome of bats. As we are well aware, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is now considering listing the Northern Long Eared Bat as endangered which if it does, could have devastating impact on forest practices. The reason for the listing is that populations are being reduced due to the disease. If a treatment could be found to fight the disease, it could have a major impact on the bat listing. The article talks about work at Georgia State University and positive efforts testing a bacteria that slows and inhibits the fungus that causes the disease. The treatment is only now being tested in the wild for the first time following promising lab results. So it appears final results are still off in the future. But the initial findings appear very hopeful.

Ohio Businesses Slow to Seek Workers Comp Premium Refunds
The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation is reporting that only a fraction (7%) of businesses eligible for a share of the $420 million class action settlement from the past overpayment of premiums through group safety programs have applied for refunds. A total of about 300,000 businesses could apply for refunds. Any business that paid workers comp premiums curing the lawsuit period (from 2001 through 2008) are theoretically eligible, but each company will have to be reviewed for eligibility. BWC says most claims amount to less than $25,000 but some can go as high as $2 million. All OFA Ohio business members should at least consider filing an application to determine eligibility.

PUCO Eliminates 2014 Renewable Requirement Per SB 310
SB 310 placed a 2-year moratorium on the Ohio’s renewable energy requirements when it was passed earlier this year. In carrying out the wording of the law PUCO was unsure how to implement the bill language since the bill was passed mid-year. PUCO had the choice of pro-rating the year’s requirement or eliminating it entirely for 2014. Energy producers were in favor of the full-year reduction, while alternative energy interests preferred that the change be pro-rated or that it only be halted for the two year period. PUCO decided to go with eliminating the requirement for the full year. The bill also required that utility companies list the cost of renewable energy on consumer bills. PUCO asked stakeholders how that should be done. Following input, PUCO decided to itemize the costs for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and peak demand reductions.

New U.S. DOE Rule Allows for Expanded Green Building Standards
Late last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a final rule on green building standards for federal buildings. DOE took the appropriate approach and allowed for an inclusive array of standards, including both the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards and the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes. This is good news for the forest products industry as some standards are more inclusive of wood products than others. You can read a news release from the Green Building Initiative which obviously supports the decision.

USDA to Push Tall Wood Buildings
In related news from last week, the USDA partnered with the BiNational Softwood Lumber Council and the Softwood Lumber Board to launch a tall wood building design competition to stimulate tall wood building construction. To that end, there is a Toward Taller Wood Buildings Conference on November 6-7 in Chicago, IL sponsored by the WoodWorks, Wood Products Council designed for those who want to learn more about Tall Wood Buildings and the opportunities in today’s environment. Registration is $125 and you can register on-line.

Wood Supply Research Institute Expands Communication Tool Kit
The Wood Supply Research Institute (WSRI) is a joint project of professional loggers, forest landowners, wood-consuming mills, educators and manufacturers to fund and promote research to improve wood supply efficiency. WSRI is also directly linked to the Forest Resource Association (FRA) through support services and administration. The WSRI Board recently announced efforts to upgrade and expand its communications through the creation of a WSRI Facebook page, a quarterly E-Newsletter, a WSRI "tag-line” and WSRI "Media Briefings” with the executives of forestry and logging association executives. You can go to the Facebook page right now to see the information offered there. Foresters and loggers who want to receive the soon-to-be-published WSRI Quarterly E-Newsletter should contact WSRI Executive Director Jim Fendig at

Troubles With Rail a Help for Truck Weight Reform?
The Forest Resource Association (FRA) reported rail interests, which are the primary opposition to commercial truck weigh reform, have been criticized of late by both shippers and legislators for poor service and high prices. The September 15 Transport Topics says that through August of 2014, rail freight has been running 11% slower than the previous year and shippers have been very critical of the rail industry for the slower efficiency. This resulted in criticism from the Senate Commerce Committee in a September hearing. FRA Board members are also reporting rail shipping rates have escalated dramatically, with a doubling of rates over the last year. Some wonder if this is a situation that will help push for the passage of the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (HR 612) which is intended to increase gross vehicle weights with the addition of a 6th axle on commercial trucks traveling federal and interstate highways.

ECOFA November Newsletter
is the November issue of the East Central Ohio Forestry Association Newsletter.

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