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Timber Talk 7/28/15

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, July 28, 2015

OWIN Summer Meeting Recap
It was a great gathering for the summer meeting in Marietta last week on July 22ndand 23rd. A total of 171 OFA members and friends participated in all or part of the two-day event. Following the Board meeting on Wednesday afternoon, a large group of 120 enjoyed a reception and leisurely ride on the Ohio River aboard the Valley Gem Sternwheeler. As in the past, we were blessed with pleasant weather for the ride. The following day brought a round of golf for 67 at the Marietta Country Club and shooting for 37 at Hilltop Sporting Clays. The day finished up with dinner and awards at the country club. Take a look at the list of winners for the golf and sporting clay shoot. The following is the list of sponsors who helped make the Summer Meeting a great success:


Sternwheeler

  • Glatfelter Woodlands
  • Haessly Hardwood Lumber
  • Industrial Timber & Lumber
  • Superior Hardwoods of Ohio

Clay Stations

  • American Lumber
  • Glatfelter Woodlands
  • Glockner Enterprises
  • Industrial Timber & Lumber
  • Interforest Lumber
  • McKay Hardwoods
  • Rudd Equipment
  • Superior Hardwoods of Ohio

Golf Cart Beveralges

  • Ohio Valley Veneer

Clay Shoot Beverages

  • Hummel Group


Golf Hole

  • A&M Hardwoods Ltd.
  • A&M Kiln Dry
  • American Lumber
  • Armstrong Flooring
  • Brown Forest Products
  • Buckeye Resources
  • Butler Wood Products
  • Columbia Flooring
  • Glatfelter Woodlands
  • Glockner Insurance
  • Inca Presswood Pallets
  • Industrial Timber & Lumber
  • Interforest Lumber
  • McKay Hardwoods
  • Murphy Tractor & Equipment
  • Pro-Lift Industrial Equipment
  • River Valley Hardwoods
  • Rudd Equipment
  • Salamanca Lumber Co.
  • Superior Hardwoods

 Golf Course Reception

  • Murphy Tractor & Equipment Co.
  • Yoder Lumber Co.

Request for CAUV Actions; OFA Board Declines to Make Financial Commitment
The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) has issued its new CAUV rates for the coming year, but there are many people unhappy with the value calculations, particularly as they relate to woodland value determinations. A group is considering legal action against the Department of Taxation challenging the woodland values. Specifically, the woodland clearing cost of $1,000 per acre adopted by ODT is far below current actual costs, as determined by an OFA survey of members involved in woodland clearing activities. To that end, the group is looking for potential appellants who would be interested in participating in legal action. The group has identified legal counsel to file the appeal and fight the case. Counsel has made it clear that there would be no cash settlement as an outcome of this case, only the opportunity to lower future property tax rates. If any OFA members would be interested in learning more or becoming an appellant, please contact Larry Gearhardt (Gearhardt.5@osu.edu; 614-309-8992) per this notice. You need to respond quickly as the appeal must be filed shortly to meet legal deadlines. So far a number of affected landowners have contacted Larry to inquire further about the issue. The OFA Board reviewed a request for OFA to become involved in the potential appeal. OFA was advised it could not be an appellant since the organization does not own land affected by CAUV rates. However, OFA could elect to help finance the action on behalf of its members if it elected to do so. At last week’s Board meeting, the Board discussed involvement but voted not to make a financial commitment.

BMPs for Boundary Line Identification
Most of you no doubt remember that last year, OFA responded to a legislative proposal to greatly expand state law regarding theft of timber in Ohio. That proposal never moved beyond the Ohio House Committee. However, following a review of what had taken place with the proposal, OFA and the Logging Standards Council identified a need for more Master Logger training on Best Management Practices (BMP) for boundary line determination prior to timber sales and harvest. To that end, a small group of OFA members has put together a list of BMPs appropriate to help identify and locate property and timber harvest boundaries. The group recently met to develop a presentation for Master Loggers that will be used at Master Logger meetings and for other appropriate venues. OFA plans to include a presentation as part of the Master Logger Re-certification session at the Paul Bunyan Show this fall. Although designed primarily for loggers, the presentation would also be beneficial to landowners and others who get involved in a timber sale transaction.

Ohio House Members Support Wildfire Disaster Funding Act
U.S. Forest Service funding to support wildfire fighting has been a chronic issue for many years. Costs are often excessive as the Forest Service has paid more than $1 billion over the last 3 years alone for wildfire fighting. Funding must come out of existing appropriations, often diverting funding from other programs that should be benefiting forestry and industry interests across the country. The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (S. 235 in the Senate; H.R.167 in the House) would create a separate disaster fund to fight wildfires, preventing diversion of other appropriations. Although largely a western issue, the bill has bi-partisan support from Ohio’s delegation including Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9), Rep. David Joyce (R-OH-14), Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) all who have become co-sponsors of the House bill.

ODNR and Rattlesnake Researchers at Odds
Here is an article in the Columbus Dispatch about an issue between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and researchers tracking rattlesnakes on Ohio State Forests. The two are at odds over permit and fee requirements by ODNR with oversight over electronic monitoring and tracking of snakes. The Division of Forestry is currently working on a revision of its rules regarding permit requirements for research on state forests.

State Energy Mandate Council Completes Hearings
The Energy Mandates Study Committee which was charged with reviewing Ohio’s green energy standards which were passed by legislation in 2008 completed hearings this past week and will soon complete a report of its findings. A number of the members are indicating they are not sure how they are leaning on the issues. The Ohio green energy standards were temporarily frozen while the study committee reviewed the standards. They are set to resume in 2017 unless lawmakers take action on changes. The committee report is due September 30. During the committee hearings members heard from a number of technical experts on what impact the green standards have had so far. One expert testified that in 2013, Ohio lost $18 billion from expected real personal income and the state had over 29,000 fewer jobs than it had without the standards. Contrarily, a group of green energy advocates believe that rising energy costs in Ohio have nothing to do with the implementation of green energy standards and testified accordingly to the committee.

Ohio Finishes Year on Sound Financial Footing
Budget reports issued by the administration and legislative branch indicate that Ohio finished the last fiscal year on sound financial footing due to a surge in tax revenues and underspending in Medicaid, both of which are indicators of an improving economy. The state General Revenue Fund (GRF) had an unobligated balance of $1.29 billion due to higher than expected federal grants and strong performance with the income tax. The commercial activity tax exceed expectations at $81 million. It was also reported that bond raters give Ohio’s debt a ‘AA+’ rating on $8.4 billion in general obligations and a ‘AA’ rating on $1.7 billion in outstanding appropriation-backed bonds. The debt burden is considered moderate and rapidly amortized and is conservatively managed.

Ohio Manufacturing Impact
The Ohio Manufacturer’s Association recently reported on updated information on the impact of manufacturing in Ohio. According to the report, manufacturing is the largest of 20 sectors in the Ohio economy, contributing 18% of the state’s gross domestic product and totaling $99.8 billion. That makes Ohio #4 in the nation for manufacturing GDP. Ohio also exports $52 billion in products to 216 countries and territories. There are 670,000 manufacturing jobs in Ohio, one in 10 workers. The average annual earnings are $55,733 with a total annual payroll of $37 billion, the highest total wages of any industry sector in the state.

Southern Ohio Forestland Association (SOFA) August Newsletter
Here
is the latest newsletter from SOFA with a wide variety of information on meetings, activities and general forestry interests. Of particular note is the latest general meeting at which Jim Savage, a lawyer from Chillicothe spoke about his experience in dealing with timber theft and trespass. Jim passes along some lessons learned in his dealings.

Coming Events

Pipeline Easements and Right-of-Way Agreements, August 3, 2015, Cadiz, Ohio.
OSU Extension and the Ohio Farm Bureau are co-hosting a free, evening seminar (6-8 pm) at the Puskarich Library in Cadiz, Ohio for landowners and others interested in learning more about pipeline easements and right-of-way agreements. Even though the seminar is free, sponsors ask that attendees register ahead of time. Attached is a flyer on the event.


Ohio Woodland Stewards Workshop: The Good, The Bad, and The Hungry: Managing Wildlife Conflict in the Landscape, August 7, 2015, Perrysburg, Ohio. OSU Extension is hosting a day-long workshop (9 am – 3 pm) to talk about wildlife problems in Ohio rural and urban areas. We are all too familiar with the numerous problems a host of wildlife are causing. This workshop will discuss the problems and offer some solutions for management. The workshop fee is $35 and includes lunch. You can find information on-line at the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program website. You can also register on-line.


Forest Heritage Festival, August 8, 2015, Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds.

Tree Diagnostic Workshop, Friday, August 14, 2015, OSU – Mansfield Campus
.
Get information on common and not-so-common tree problems from OSU Extension Specialists in this all-day session (9 am – 3 pm), sponsored by the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program. There is a $35 cost and pre-registration is required. You can register on line at the Woodland Stewards Website.

Lumberman’s Outing, September 9, 2015, The Pines Golf Course, Orrville, and Lost Bird Sporting Clays, Fredericksburg
.
Plans are being finalized for this event but put this fundraiser on your calendar for a day of golf or sporting clay shooting. This event is conducted to raise money for the Lumberman’s Benevolent Fund which helps our friends in the wood industry in times of special need. This year, proceeds from the event will be used to help the Rob McCarthy family. Rob McCarthy is Past President of the OFA Board and this year has been especially trying for his family. Rob suffered a broken back from a sledding accident a year ago. More recently, his wife Martha has been diagnosed with cancer. She has been undergoing aggressive treatments at both the Cleveland Clinic and the OSU James Medical Center. Please join in the fellowship of the event and help one of our friends in the process.

Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour, September 19, 2015, Sycamore Hill Tree Farm, Harrison County.


Southeast Ohio Tree Care Conference, Wednesday, September 30, 2015, Athens, Ohio. This is a tree care conference designed primarily for tree care in community settings. But there are a couple presentations that may be of interest to those interested in forest tree care as well. Dr. Joanne Rebbeck, researcher with the U.S. Forest Service in Delaware, Ohio will talk about biocontrol for Ailanthus and possible future opportunities to control this invasive pest. (See a Columbus Dispatch article about the work Dr. Rebbeck is doing to control Ailanthus with a fungus.) There is also a presentation on Saving Ohio’s Pollinators by Diane Kahal-Berman, an Engineer with the Ohio Department of Transportation. The one-day workshop has a $23 registration fee which includes lunch. The workshop will be at the ODNR headquarters in Athens.


Paul Bunyan Show, October 2-4, 2015, Guernsey County Fairgrounds.

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