| Comments (0)
The Woodworking Network Notes OFA Opposition
to the Hardwood Check Off|
With OFA taking a position against the
Hardwood Check Off in the last couple weeks, several outlets have been
reporting on the action. Recently, Woodworking
Network reported on the action, and then in another
statement, indicated that 4 trade associations from Missouri, Virginia, and
Michigan, in addition to Ohio have taken positions against the proposal.
The Woodworking Network had reported
in March that the Blue Ribbon Committee had submitted recommendations on
changes to the original proposal, and since then, there are reports that USDA
is revising the proposal due to be released in the near future.
BWC Offering Free Webinars on New Prospective
Many employers are aware that the Ohio Bureau of
Workers Compensation has changed to a prospective billing process, which in
essence is charging up front for workers comp coverage. In doing so,
procedures for premium payments have changed. Companies can learn the
specifics of the changes through free webinars offered by BWC. Information
on the webinar schedule is available on the BWC website. Webinars
will be offered multiple times during May, June and August, with registration
already full for the May and early June offerings. Attendees need to
register for the classes ahead of time.
Ohio Legislative and Policy News.
to Start Gypsy Moth Treatments in Ohio. The Ohio Department of
Agriculture (ODA) announced that it will begin aerial sprays to control Gypsy
Moth in Ohio, treating a total of 3,779 acres in 14 different
areas. Over 2,000 acres will be treated in 5
locations in southern Ohio in Athens, Hocking, Pickaway, and Ross
Counties. In southwest Ohio, 105 acres will be treated in Clermont
County. For a full view of all treatment blocks, you can go to the Gypsy
Moth Treatments for 2015 site on the ODA website. ODA will use
low-flying aircraft to apply Foray (Btk) which is a bacteria that interferes
with the feeding cycle of the gypsy moth caterpillars and Gypchek (NPV), a
virus that attacks only gypsy moth caterpillars.
Proposes Privatizing Wetland Determinations. Ohio Environmental
Protection Agency (OEPA) Director Craig Butler told the Senate Finance General
Government Subcommittee that the agency has a plan to create a "certified water
quality professional program” which would privatize state assessments of
wetlands. Indicating that it would be the first of its kind in the
country. Currently, assessments are often initiated by private
consultants working for developers who may be affecting a wetland. These
assessments are then reviewed by agency staff with site visits. Under the
proposal, if an assessment is completed by a "state certified water quality
professional” then the assessment would be accepted as is, reducing the amount
of time to review applications, in many cases by half the time according to the
Cost Savings - At a recent Energy Mandates Study Committee meeting, it
was reported the energy efficiency savings compare favorably to the cost of new
energy supply. A report
by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab indicates that energy efficiency
programs cost residential ratepayers an average of 3.3 cents per KWH saved,
while commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers paid an average of 5.5
cents per KWH. It should be noted that the study included 20 states, but
Ohio was not one of them.
Signs Off on AEP Auction - Recently, AEP held a wholesale auction to
determine electric generation service rates through May 2018. This
auction, along with some in the near future will determine rates beginning in
June 2015. The winning bid during an 18-round auction resulted in an
average clearing price of $53.79 per megawatt hour for delivery during the
period from June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016. A two-year bid product
with 7 suppliers bidding produced an average price of $53.51 per MWH for
2015-2017. Five suppliers bid on a 3-year product with a clearing price
of $55.58 for a period running through May, 31, 2018.
Tax Coffers Surge with Tax Filing Season - Ohio’s income tax intake
surged last month by more than 23% and the state could end the year with a
general revenue balance of more than $1 billion, according to the Ohio Office
of Budget and Management. And Personal Income Tax (PIT) collections were
$1.222 billion and nearly $228 million above expectations. The Sales Tax
intake was up 3.7%, grossing almost $911 million. Recently, the House had
thwarted the governor’s plan to shift away from income taxes toward consumption
taxes, but the figures are showing a move in that direction already as sales
taxes are on track this year to exceed income taxes by more than $1
billion. In recent Senate Ways and Means Committee hearings on the budget
bill, a number of business groups lead by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce
supported the House version of the tax proposals over the governor’s version,
which would have raised sales taxes, as well as commercial activity, oil and
gas severance and tobacco taxes to offset a cut in the personal income
taxes. The House version expects more tax revenues along with revisions
in Medicaid spending to go along with a smaller PIT reduction and a permanent
income tax cut for small businesses.
Northern Long Eared Bat (NLEB) Threatened
Listing Effective May 4, 2015
The listing of the Northern Long Eared
Bat as "Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act took effect last week on
May 4. The listing came with a "4(d) rule exemption” for forest
management activities. At first glance, that may appear to be something
good, but there are a huge number of questions to be answered on how the
exemption and the specific limitations will play out. The specific
guidelines on the rule are yet to become final, and the US Fish and Wildlife
is now taking public comments before those become final. It appears that
although forest management activities will be allowed, there will be specific
restrictions relating to management around winter hibernaculum as well as
around roost and "pup” trees. Forest management has not been the problem
with NLEB as white nose syndrome is the cause of death with the bat. Many
have argued that management can in fact help the species. It will no
doubt take a long time before we fully understand the impact of the listing and
how much forest management activities will be impact in the process.
Ohio Farmer Editor Urges Eliminating Woodland
In the May, 2015 edition of the Ohio Farmer, retiring editor Tim White suggested eliminating property tax for
Ohio woodlands as eleven other states currently have. He suggested that
there are numerous benefits to maintaining trees and eliminating taxes and that
wildlife, recreation, and the timber industry would benefit. The editor
is a well-known and long-time writer on agricultural issues who retired at the
end of April, 2015. Originally published in the May issue of Ohio Farmer. Reproduced with permission.
|State Forester Video: Protecting Water
Quality Through State Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs). |
recently reported that the National Association of State Foresters had compiled
a report on the status of state forestry BMP programs and their effectiveness
at protecting water quality. To help in passing along the message, the
NASF produced a short video
highlighting program accomplishments. The video, which is a narrated
power point presentation, features the Paul Tauke, Iowa State Forester and the
work of the NASF Forest Resources Management Committee.
|Virginia Tech February 2015 Housing
Each month, Urs Buehlmann from the Department of
Sustainable Biomaterials, Virginia Tech and Al Schuler, retired USFS economist,
produce a Housing Commentary that highlights last statistics and information on
the housing market. The February
2015 Housing Commentary is now available online. There is a
lot of good information, but for a quick overview of his comments, you can look
at the end of the report for his short term and long term solutions. In
the short term, the authors indicate the economy will continue to improve with
housing lagging behind, and we need more first-time home buyers who are
having difficulty finding jobs. In the longer term, the US economy is
changing which is impacting the housing choices, and the job market is undergoing
long-term structural changes.
- Appalachian Ohio State of the Region
Conference; Manufacturing Workforce: Building Capacity; May
12, 2015, Ohio University, Athens. there will be a conference hosted by
Ohio University in Athens and sponsored by the Appalachian Partnership for
Economic Growth (APEG) on opportunities for building workforce capacity in
manufacturing in Appalachian Ohio. The full-day conference will give
attendees the chance to interact with local and state leaders, economic developers,
and manufacturers in the region. You need to pre-register and to do so,
and click on "Register Now.” See the flyer for more
- Employment Law Seminar, May 15, 2015, Dublin
Embassy Suites. See the flyer for the event.
The session is the morning of May 15 and includes a continental
breakfast. There is a $10 registration fee.
- Seminar: The Federal Endangered Species
Act: Implementation, Effectiveness and Implications for Natural Resources
Management. May 29,2015, OSU, Columbus. A group of sponsors
including OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources, ODNR Division of
Wildlife, and OSU Extension are hosting a full-day seminar on the Federal
Endangered Species Act. It is designed for Natural Resource Managers who
have to deal with Endangered Species issues. It will be held on May29,
2015 at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on the OSU campus in
Columbus. The Ohio
Woodland Steward website has information on the seminar. Registration
is $30 with a breakfast and lunch included. The registration deadline is
- Second Annual Tree Autopsy Workshop, June 6,
2015, Newbury, Ohio. This workshop is intended for arborists and
those with a focus in urban forestry, but it may have interest for foresters
and those working with traditional forest products. The Ohio Independent
Arborist Association is hosting the workshop at the Independent Tree Service in
Newbury, Ohio. The workshop is free but the organizers ask for RSVP on
registration. Here is a flyer.
- OFA Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp,
June 7-12, 2015, FFA Camp Muskingum. Go to the OFA website for camp information.
Grading Short Courses:
8-11, 2015, Yoder Lumber Company, Millersburg, Ohio. OFA is once
again hosting the Lumber Grading Short Course at the Yoder Lumber Company,
Buckhorn Mill in Millersburg, Ohio. The course is taught by NHLA
Inspector Barry Kibbey. The fee for the course is $325 for OFA
members/$400 for non-members. You
can find information about the course here.
29-July 3, 2015, Piketon, Ohio. A second
lumber grading short course has been added this year. It will take
place in Piketon at the OSU South Centers facility. The course is billed
as a 4/5/1 Flex Day Short Course during which attendees can attend the usual
4-day short course, or attend a 5-day course which will include a 1-day walnut
grading seminar. Those wishing can attend only the one-day course if they
want. Instructor for this course will be Barry Kibbey, NHLA
inspector. Note: for both courses, there is grant money available
from the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) for attendees to
pay fees for the course. Contact OFA or OSU for information on
registration and course fees.
Summer Meeting, July 22-23, 2015, Marietta, Ohio. Check the OFA
website for information and registration. Those wishing to sponsor at
the meeting or during the events should contact Gayla at the OFA office,
614-497-9580, ext. 5.
- Forest Heritage Festival,
August 8, 2015, Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds.
- Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour, September
19, 2015, Sycamore
Hills Tree Farm, Harrison County.
- Paul Bunyan Show,
October 2-4, 2015, Guernsey County Fairgrounds.
This post has not been tagged.