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Timber Talk 10/27/14

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HB 515 to Get Another Hearing
It appears that the timber theft legislative proposal, HB 515 – Timber Harvesting, is scheduled to get another hearing, sometime in November and most likely the second or third week. Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Dave Hall says that he wants to give proponents a chance to provide testimony on why they believe the proposal is necessary. Here is an analysis of the bill and a summary provided by the Legislative Services Commission. OFA will attend the hearing and continue monitoring activities.

Shawnee Forest Management in the News
Environmental groups have been pushing against management of State Forests lately, and in particular they have been protesting forestry at Shawnee State Forest. Several weeks ago, as we reported in Timber Talk, there was a front-page article in the Columbus Dispatch talking about the Division of Forestry overcutting on state forests. That was followed by an editorial in the Toledo Blade against the rate of cutting on state forests and that the forest should be managed for "old growth.” The latest was a brief news cast from Columbus Channel 4 during which a reporter traveled to Shawnee State Forest and met with a small group of Save Our Shawnee Forest protesters. The group is against increased logging on state forests and is trying to link it to budget needs. As you listen to the video, you’ll hear that the reporter was confused on several issues. OFA has worked to provide responses as appropriate, with a Letter to the Editor that was printed in the Columbus Dispatch and another that has not yet shown in the Toledo Blade.

Chillicothe VA Hospital Biomass Boiler Tour
Last week, the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Chillicothe hosted a tour of its new combined heat and power biomass boiler facility. This was done as part of National Bioenergy Day activities during which biomass energy facilities were highlighted at dozens of locations throughout the country. The VA facility installed a new biomass boiler about 2 years ago, in conjunction with new natural gas boilers that provide heat to the entire VA facility. According to officials, heat for the entire facility is provided by the biomass boiler, burning 35,000 tons of wood chips and wood waste per year. During heavy demand periods, the facility burns about 75 tons per day (3 truckloads). Interestingly, the facility housed no wood chip inventory which required delivery of chips on an as-needed basis. Reportedly, the facility is working on building covered warehouse capacity for the chips. It is also in the process of developing a new 5-year chip supplier contract and has been receiving proposals for delivery.

Healthy Water Ohio Initiative Schedules Input Meetings
The Healthy Water Ohio Initiative is an effort to develop a long-range plan for Ohio protecting its water resource and maintaining both economic and environmental benefits. To that end, the Healthy Water Ohio Steering Committee has scheduled a series of 5 hearings around the state to invite interested parties to share opinions, idea, and recommendations on water issues. OFA was invited to attend a session and share association concerns. This flyer has information on the dates and locations for the 5 hearings. OFA members who would like to attend and share thoughts may do so. I will most likely attend the November 19 session at ATI in Wooster. If you think you would like to attend or have special issues to discuss, please let me know ahead of time.

CSAW Training
Most OFA members are aware that OFA provides chainsaw training as part of Master Logger certification requirements as well as offering training to other chainsaw users in general. OFA will schedule classes as requested throughout the state. Generally, CSAW Level 1 and 2 classes (8 hours each) will host a maximum of 12 people in each class as both involve hands-on training. The CSAW Custom class is a 4-hour training designed to provide general instruction to those who have need for occasional or lighter use of chainsaws. These classes can be for up to 30 people. Chainsaw safety training is a huge need throughout the state and most casual users never obtain necessary instruction is proper handling and use. National statistics bear out that chainsaws can cause significant injuries. Please don’t hesitate to let people know that the OFA CSAW class is available to anyone who uses a chainsaw. You can find a CSAW Brochure on the OFA website explaining the training and providing other information.

17 Gorgeous Tree Houses That are Nicer Than Your Real House
Thought you might enjoy seeing this news item. It seems that with cable TV programs on building elaborate trees houses, more and more people are interested with living in the trees. Quite honestly, there are some amazing tree houses here. Sure hope that all the people who build and live in these things are active supporters of forest management and wood products.

For Your Calendar!
OFA Annual Meeting, February 11-12, 2015, Embassy Suites Columbus-Dublin; "Changing Business Climate in Ohio for the Forest and Hardwood Industry.”

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