Posted By Gayla Fleming,
Monday, July 6, 2015
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USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
Provides 60-Day Extension on "Hardwood Check-Off” Comment Period
learned last week that the USDA has extended
the comment period on the Hardwood Check-Off by 60 days, through September
7, 2015. This is welcome news for those wishing to provide comment as
a number had expressed concern that the initial period of approximately one
month did not provide adequate time to fully review the revised order and
develop comments. Those wishing to see the comments already filed for the
latest revised order or wishing to file comments of their own can do so on the Regulations.gov
website. You can read all the documents and get information on the order here.
OWIN (Ohio Wood Industry Network) Summer
Meeting and Gathering
Time to Register!
The meeting is only a couple
weeks away, on July 22-23, 2015 in Marietta. Come on Wednesday
afternoon for a leisurely ride on the Valley Gem Sternwheeler down the Ohio
River. There will be a reception with drinks and food to go along with
the sound of a churning paddle wheel and the feel of an Ohio River breeze as we
enjoy our river ride. The next day will feature golf at the Marietta
Country Club and sporting clays at Hilltop Sports in Whipple. Register now!
As always those wishing to support the events with a sponsorship can do so and
the assistance would be most welcome. You can register at the link or contact
Gayla or Pam by phone at 614-497-9580. .
OFA Agrees to Sign-on to The Resilient
Federal Forests Act of 2015 (HR 2647)
Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 (HR 2647) was introduced in the House
by Cong. Bruce Westerman (R-AR). In brief, the bill would provide federal
forest land managers tools to streamline bureaucratic procedures with planning
forest management projects and get more accomplished on the ground. With
the increasing threat to forest lands from wildfires and invasive pests, it
becomes ever more critical to use forest management to reduce the risks,
increase the health of the forests, and produce valuable forest products for
the nation. The bill was referred to two House committees, the Natural
Resources Committee and the Agriculture Committee and was passed by both.
It now will go to the House for full passage. To encourage the House membership
to pass the legislation, a coalition of state and national forestry and forest
product associations have co-signed a letter that will be
sent to all members of Congress. A total of 58 organizations have
signed-on. OFA will reach out to members of the Ohio delegation to make
sure they are aware of our support for the bill.
|Ohio Senators Portman and Brown Co-Sign
Letter to USDA/EPA/Energy Supporting Biomass as Carbon Neutral|
show of strong bi-partisan support, 44 Senators (26 Republican, 18 Democrat) co-signed
a letter to the administrators of the US Department of Agriculture,
Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Energy supporting biomass as
a carbon neutral fuel source. The carbon neutrality of biomass has become
a big issue as the administration develops carbon emissions rules. Some
interests are claiming that biomass causes more serious carbon loads than
traditional fossil fuels while a coalition of forestry interests strongly argue
that biomass produced from sustainable forest management is carbon neutral and
good for the environment. Carbon neutrality of biomass is supported by
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Energy Information
Administration as well as a group of 100 nationally recognized forest
scientists from 80 universities who fully comprehensively reviewed the best
science and research available to support the position. OFA thanks
both Senator Portman and Senator Brown for their support in this effort.
Attorney General DeWine Files Suit Against US
EPA WOTUS Rules
Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced
that he had filed
suit against the US Environmental Protection Agency’s new rules vastly
expanding the definition of the "Waters of the United States” (WOTUS).
The new rules could have significant impact on farming and forestry and could
increase regulation of activities dealing with drains, ditches, and other
constructed runs that have water only when it rains. The Clean Water Act
is supposed to govern "navigable waters” but many are arguing that EPA has
vastly exceeded a reasonable interpretation of navigable waters. OFA
contacted the Attorney General to thank him for the support and last week the
Ohio Farm Bureau commended the AG for his action.
Ohio Budget Signed By Governor
legislature has essentially wrapped up business for the summer and last week
Governor Kasich signed the Biennium Budget (HB 64) with a variety of vetoes on
specific items. The Columbus Dispatch gives
an interesting summary of the budget highlights and how all of us may be
affected in some way.
Wood Supply Research Institute Notes
Last week, OFA participated in a conference call with the staff
from the Wood Supply Research Institute (WSRI) to discuss opportunities
for increasing outreach and awareness with WSRI. WSRI is a joint venture among loggers,
manufacturers, consuming mills, educators and forest landowners to fund and
carry out research on increasing the efficiency of the nation’s wood-supply
system. Here is a brief statement from an article on WSRI: "The
Wood Supply Research Institute (WSRI) was founded in 1999 when a group of wood
consuming mill representatives and loggers met to establish a way to resolve
wood supply business issues on a third party research basis. Sixteen years
later, WSRI is a non-profit 501-C-3 organization whose member’s annual dues
have funded twenty- four Research Projects that have the potential of improving
the bottom line for wood supply chain partners (forest owners, loggers, and wood
consuming mills) by billions of dollars.” The OFA Logging Standards
Council joined WSRI within the last 2 years. The following is a run-down
of the research completed by WSRI (a click on the link will provide a brief
summary of the findings of each project:
|"Truth About Trees” PLT Workshop at Vinton
Furnace Forest a Success! |
On June 10-11, 2015, Project Learning Tree
– Ohio held a 2-day workshop at the Vinton Furnace State Forest to highlight
Ohio’s forest products and work around a theme of "Truth About Trees.”
Truth About Trees is an educational component developed by the Hardwood
Forest Foundation to help our youth understand where wood comes from and
the important part forestry plays in their lives. This year, with a
sponsorship from the Ohio Forestry Association Foundation, PLT conducted this
workshop to provide important information to teachers about the role of forests
and the value of wood products. Twenty six teachers from around
southern Ohio participated in the event and coordinator Greg Smith, from
the Division of Forestry advised that there were 11 Ag/FFA teachers in
the group, which is the largest FFA component he has had. As part of the OFA
Foundation sponsorship, each teacher was provided a Truth About Trees
teacher’s kit for each to take back and use in his or her classroom. The
OFA Foundation has plans to conduct two other similar programs this year, one
in SE Ohio and one in NE Ohio.
Hocking College Graduate Looking for
If you may be in the market for a technically trained
forestry graduate, see the resume for Tyler Middaugh. Tyler
is just now graduating from Hocking College but has some experience as a
forestry technician intern at the Vinton Furnace State Experimental
Forest. Tyler’s resume will be posted at the OFA
Career Center under the Membership drop down on the website.
- Ohio Society of
American Foresters Summer Meeting, July 8-9, 2015, Cambridge, Ohio.
The Ohio SAF Summer Meeting will
feature reforestation reclamation of strip mine sites and will include a
tour of a number of tree planting projects. You can find an agenda
and register on-line.
Summer Meeting, July 22-23, 2015, Marietta, Ohio.
- 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.
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