Posted By Gayla Fleming,
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
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2015 OFA Annual Meeting Recap
2015 OFA Annual Meeting is in the books. From a variety of comments
received during and after the annual meeting last week, it appears that many
thought it was a success and many found it a worthwhile event.
year’s theme, The Changing Business Climate for Ohio Forestry and the
Hardwood Industry, was addressed by a number of presenters, starting
with keynote speaker Rep. Al Landis (R-Dover) from the 98th
District in Tuscarawas and Holmes Counties. There were also timely
presentations from David Caldwell with the Hardwood Market Report, John
M. Lawrence discussing the latest on the Affordable Care Act, Pat Rita
from Orion Advocates in Washington DC talking about a number of federal issues
including the Northern Long Eared Bat, and finishing with a panel discussion
from various hardwood industry sectors including flooring with Gale Keener
from Mullican Flooring and Gordon Kendrick, Rockland Flooring; hardwood
furniture with Ernie Hershberger from Homestead Furniture and Dave
Forst from Woodcraft Industries; hardwood lumber and export with Larry
Evans from Industrial Timber and Lumber; and home construction with Merle
Stutzman from Weaver Custom Homes.
of Caretta Workspace - A large group of meeting participants traveled
a short distance from the meeting location to tour Caretta Workspace in
the Polaris area north of Columbus. Caretta Workspace is a home and
corporate office furniture manufacturer specializing in creating beautiful
workspaces that integrate Ohio sustainable hardwoods with the latest in
technology. The group found the tour very enlightening and were impressed
by both the manufacturing process and equipment as well as the final
product. Many thanks to Larry and Andy Tracewell for their hospitality
and hosting the tour.
Awards Luncheon - The Awards
Luncheon annually recognizes the 2015 OFA Conservation Award Winners as well as
the 2015 Ohio Tree Farmer of the Year. Recognized at this year’s event
were the following:
- Ohio Logger of the Year:
R.L. Lute Logging (Ray Lute II) from Lucasville, Ohio;
- Outstanding Individual in Government Service:
Mark Wilthew, retired ODNR Service Forester;
- Outstanding Individual in Conservation
Education: Marne Tichenel, OSU
Extension, Wildlife Program Specialist and OFA Camp Co-Coordinator;
- Outstanding Logging
Activist: Stanley Swierz, S.D. Swierz Consulting Forester;
- Outstanding Individual in
Industry: Ed Robbins, Ohio
- 2015 Ohio Tree Farmer of the
Year: Alan Walter, Sycamore
Hill Tree Farm, Harrison County;
- Tree Farm Inspector of the
Jeremy Scherf, ODNR Service Forester
- Ohio Tree Farm Committee Lifetime Achievement
Award: Walt and Donna Lange,
Thanks to the Meeting Sponsors and
Exhibitors. We always appreciate the support we receive from
our meeting sponsors and the exhibitors who participate.
- Industrial Timber & Lumber Co.
- Brenneman Lumber Co.
- Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, Inc.
- Yoder Lumber Co., Inc.
- Trumbull County Hardwoods Ltd.
- Glatfelter Woodlands
- Crownover Lumber Co., Inc.
- Tiverton Timber Ltd.
- Rudd Equipment Co.
- Columbus Equipment Co.
- Corley Mfg. Co.
- Columbus Equipment Co.
- Rudd Equipment Co.
- F4 Tech
- Corley Mfg. Co.
- TSI Western
- Battle Wagon Trailer
- Sawmill MD
- The Hummel Group
- National Hardwood Federation
- Ohio Tree Farm Committee
Virginia Forest Products Association Takes
Position Against Hardwood Check-off
Last week, the Virginia Forest
Products Association (VFPA) notified the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
that it had changed its position from Neutral to one of Opposition toward the
proposed Hardwood Checkoff Proposal. Here is a news release
from the US Hardwood Lumber Industry Coalition on the change in the VFPA
position. Virginia joins the Missouri Forest Products Association with
taking a position opposed to the proposal. Most associations, including
OFA, had taken a position of neutrality on the proposed Checkoff. Last
week at the OFA Annual Meeting, there was discussion during the industry sector
panel on Thursday afternoon concerning the recent action by VFPA as well as
other efforts by Checkoff proponents to continue pushing for enactment of the
Checkoff. During the discussion, OFA was challenged to survey OFA members
who would be affected by the Checkoff fee to determine their opposition or
support for the proposal. To that end, OFA is in the process of getting
feedback from affected OFA members. Information from that survey will be
assessed by the OFA Board for association action.
December 2014 Housing Commentary from
Here you can find the December 2014 Housing
Commentary from Urs Buehlmann from the Virginia Tech Department of Sustainable
Biomaterials. It contains detailed information on US housing market
information including employment and income statistics. Good information.
|President’s Budget Includes Large Increase for the
Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program
FIA is a key US Forest Service program that provides invaluable information on
state forest resources and is one immensely valuable to private forestry and
the forest products industry. FIA has provided periodic state reports
since the early 1950s and now uses annual survey practices to constantly update
data. It is a program strongly supported by forestry associations.
The President’s budget includes an 18.5% increase from $70 million per year to
$83 million per year proposed. OFA and other associations will watch this
issue closely and work toward maintaining the increase in funding.
Income Tax Reduction Proposal Gets Nod from
Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) indicated
strong support last week for the executive budget proposal to reduce income
taxes and further predicted that portion of the tax plan will pass the
legislature. However, other proposed tax revisions have not yet received
the same endorsement. Senate President Faber indicate those changes
will need a lot more discussion. Last week, Tax Commissioner Joe Testa
told the House Finance and Appropriations Committee that the overall budget
proposal, including a host of tax changes, was all about balance. In
general, the combined tax changes will result in an estimated tax cut of $523
million over the 2 year biennium. The cuts again include a 23% reduction
in personal income tax, business income tax cuts for those businesses with less
than $2 million in annual gross receipts, higher exemptions for lower-income
earners, a sales tax increase from 5.75% to 6.25%, an increase in tobacco
taxes, and an increase in the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) from 0.26% to 0.32%
while reducing the minimum tax owed, an increase in the oil and gas severance
tax, means testing for higher income taxpayers, a 50% reduction in sales tax
discounts for used car trade-ins, and a reduced sales tax vendor discount.
Companies Launch Cogeneration Coalition
Last week, 4 companies including General Electric, IGS Energy, Energy Systems
Group and Hull & Associates created the Cogeneration Coalition to promote
the use of combined heat and power (CHP). During the last session,
legislators modified the state green energy law to allow cogeneration to
qualify toward the Ohio energy efficiency standards. CHP in general uses
natural gas to generate power for larger commercial operations while capturing
the resulting heat for the customer’s use. CHP would be included in
the benchmark standards required for renewable fuels in Ohio.
Proctor and Gamble to Purchase Biomass Power
Proctor and Gamble Co. (P&G) headquartered in Cincinnati announced that it
will purchase steam from a new biomass power plant being built at its P&G
paper mill in Albany, Georgia. The 50 megawatt power plant will
burn woody biomass waste from the paper mill and provide combined heat and
power for nearly the entire paper mill operation. P&G has set a
company goal of getting 30% of its global power needs from renewable energy
sources by 2020. You can read
a brief article from the Cincinnati Enquirer online.
State Auditor Says ODNR Should Charge Higher
Hunting and Fishing License Fees
Ohio Auditor Dave Yost recently
released a performance
audit of selected recreational programs within the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources. Among those was an audit of Wildlife Licenses.
The auditor recommended an increase in a number of license fees and among them,
suggested resident fishing licenses should increase from $19 to $23 and deer
permits from $24 to $38. The auditor says that fees have not increased
with inflation. ODNR says it is already following a number of the
suggestions in the audit but has not indicated what it will do with
recommendations on the license fee increase.
Hemlock Wooly Adelgid Found in Jackson
The Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources
announced that Hemlock Wooly Adelgid was recently found at Lake Katherine State
Nature Preserve in Jackson County.
Regional Forestry Association
Attached you can find the February NEOFA and March ECOFA
Newsletters from the regional forestry associations. Both contain
information on the latest general meetings as well as upcoming events and
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