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Timber Talk 8/17/15

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hardwood Check-Off News/Agricultural Marketing Service Webinar
USDA continues to receive comments on the revised order for the Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information order (aka "Hardwood Check-Off”). Last week, the Hardwood Lumber Coalition, a large group of industry and representatives opposed to the Hardwood Check-Off, filedthese comments with the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in reference to concerns with information collection by industry members per the check-off order. These comments were filed per the Paperwork Reduction Act. The 7-page document is written specifically to address concerns with the amount of paperwork that both assessed and non-assessed wood manufacturers will incur if the order is ultimately passed as written. But the document also contains very good information about the specifics of the check-off order. I strongly encourage OFA members, particularly manufacturing members who could be affected by the order, to read these comments. They provide a comprehensive look at what could be involved with the order if it is implemented, and it offers a good explanation of how the proposal is structured. The Hardwood Check-Off proposal is complicated and confusing for many. You can also see anews release that the coalition released as a result of the filing. For those who may have been able to listen to the USDA webinar on the Hardwood Check-Off last Tuesday, August 11 (sorry to the membership for the email indicating it was Wednesday, August 11, 2015. My mistake.), there was not much information provided and virtually no opportunity for questions. Since the USDA is currently in what they refer to as an "ex parte” communication period (rules are currently open for public comment), then they could only answer procedural questions. They said they were prohibited from commenting on substance. Furthermore, procedural questions could only be asked via written electronic communication. There was no oral exchange between the webinar host and attendees. Thus, if you could not participate, you did not miss much.

Logging Standards Council Meets
The Logging Standards Council (LSC) held its quarterly meeting at the OFA office in Columbus on Wednesday evening, August12, 2015. Attendance was a little light, partly because the Southeast Ohio Loggers Chapter held its meeting the same evening, as well as the run of dry weather no doubt had some loggers working. In spite of a smaller crowd, there was excellent discussion on several topics. The group discussed and reviewed the new BMPs for Boundary ID and Maintenance presentation that had recently been developed by a small group in OFA. The presentation was developed to expand training opportunities for Master Loggers, particularly to help loggers carry out "due diligence” with establishing boundaries with timber harvests. The presentation There was also discussion about the need for additional logger training on silviculture. OFA has been contacted about a logging concern in northeast Ohio relating to harvests with poor silvicultural practices. The LSC discussed training opportunities and what OFA could do to address the concern. There was agreement to further review the need for training and consider if additional training on silviculture would be beneficial for the Master Logging community. Bob Mulligan from the ODNR Division of Soil and Water Conservation advised the group that based on results of the recently passed budget bill, the Agricultural Pollution Abatement Program (which traditionally oversaw silvicultural issues) is moving to the Ohio Department of Agriculture on January 1, 2015. However the silvicultural component, which Bob is in charge of, will stay at ODNR and be transferred to the Division of Forestry. We hope that will be a good transition for the Master Logger Program. There is a reminder that Master Loggers can get their full complement of recertification credits at the Paul Bunyan Show by attending the Friday, October 2 training.

OFA Meets with Rep. Terry Johnson at Shawnee Forest
OFA recently met with Rep. Terry Johnson (R-McDermott)and ODNR Division of Forestry at the Shawnee State Forest to view and discuss the Shawnee Wilderness Area. Rep. Johnson had spoken with OFA Past President Ryan Redoutey, who lives in the Representatives District, about the Shawnee Wilderness Area and wanted more information on why it is there and how it is managed. To that end a meeting was set up for the parties to visit the area and fully discuss the management. The group spent a Saturday morning walking through a significant section of the area, talking about the intensive past land use of the area and discussing how it is currently managed. Rep. Johnson advised that he had received an inquiry from a couple constituents asking about managing more of the forest for wilderness use. The group helped Rep. Johnson understand the role of harvesting and forest management in the use of a forest and wilderness area that has had significant land use in the past.

 

Recent Developments With Thousand Cankers Disease in Ohio
There is an article in the Summer/Fall 2015 issue of the Ohio Woodlands, Water, and Wildlife Newsletter from the Woodland Stewards Program on the latest information with Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) of Walnut. Many are aware that the fungus that causes Thousand Cankers Disease had been found in Ohio in 2012 and since then ODNR, ODA, and OSU Extension have worked to address what many fear could be a significant problem to Ohio’s walnut. The fungus is carried by the Walnut Twig Beetle (WTB) and efforts to find other occurrences of TCD are done by trapping for WTB. The first infestation of black walnuts was isolated in Butler County in 2012. According to research that has been ongoing, WTB is attracted to stressed walnut trees and TCD may be a "decline” disease affecting trees that are weakened by various factors. Interestingly, there are indications that trees previously affected by TCD have recovered after conditions that first paved the way for the disease changed. This may indicate that an infestation of walnut does not dictate the immediate removal of the trees.

Paul Bunyan Show to Add Truck Cruise-In
The Paul Bunyan Show is coming quickly approaching once again. Believe it or not, this will be the 10th anniversary of the Paul Bunyan Show at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds. How time flies! This year, the show planners have decided to add a new event, the "1st Annual Bobtail and Boom Truck Cruise-In” on Saturday, October 3 of the show. It will be an open invitation to any trucker wishing to display his or her bobtail or boom truck. There will be first and second place awards given to the winners in each of the two categories. Winners will be decided through a "Peoples’ Choice” vote. Trucks will be on display from 10 am to 3 pm with awards made at the end of the day. The show is quickly filling up with exhibitors so make plans to attend this year’s event.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Request for Grant Proposals Now Open
Each year, SFI funds a number of grants through its SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. Since it started in 2010, nearly $2 million has been awarded for 66 grants. Funds are provided for research in conservation as well as community development. This year, $400,000 are available for the program. Potential applicants have until October 2, 2015 to submit proposals. Successful applicants will be informed by December 18, 2015.

New Utica Shale Pipeline Plan Announced for Ohio
MarkWest Energy Partners and the Energy and Mineral Group last week announceda partnership to develop a $1 billion dry gas gathering system for Utica Shale in Ohio. There will be more than 250 miles of pipeline.

Industry Strikes Back at Eco-Green Groups
This is an interesting take on an issue we are all familiar with: the never-ending battles between environmental groups and the forest products industry. This involves a large company from Canada (Resolute Forest Products) but it has interesting ties to Ohio in that the Limited Brands is involved as a business partner in the monitoring activities of the Resolute Forest Practices. Radical eco-activitist groups GreenPeace and ForestEthics have targeted Resolute in Canada for its forest practices in the Canadian Boreal Forest, a common practice among these groups. Apparently, Resolute decided to counter what it believes are massive lies and misinformation about what it does for sustainable forestry and maybe more importantly for a significant number of Canadian communities within the boreal region. To that end it has launched a campaign to counter the environmental groups. In so doing, a powerful editorial has appeared in the National Post supporting the Resolute position and its action against the environmental groups. The editorial praises Resolute’s CEO Richard Garnea for the company’s courage and reasoned stand. Maybe this is an indication that more such approaches should be taken against unfounded attacks on the forest practice.

Tall Timber Buildings Continue to Get Attention
Here is another article on the growing trend of "tall timber buildings” and why they are becoming such a good alternative to concrete and steel. There are a number of interesting benefits to wood cited in the article, some of which we normally don’t think about. Take a look at the article. Also, see the article in Woodworking Network describing the world’s tallest timber being now being built, a 10-story apartment complex in London.

2015 Endangered Species Act Workshop
In May, OSU Extension – Woodland Stewards Program, OSU, School of Environment and Natural Resources, and ODNR hosted a workshop of the Endangered Species Act. OSU-SENR has now postedthe power point presentations and videos from the workshop on-line for others to view.

East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA) September Newsletter
Here is the ECOFA September Newsletter with information on activities within the landowner association. ECOFA has been a great sponsor of the OFA Forestry and Wildlife Conservation camp and this year provided scholarship funding for 5 campers. ECOFA also paid for 10 local school subscriptions for the Ohio Woodland Journal.

Upcoming Events:
    • Lumberman’s Outing, September 9, 2015, The Pines Golf Course, Orrville, and Lost Bird Sporting Clays, Fredericksburg.The Lumberman’s Outing is now about a month away. 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. Please consider attending the event or if you can’t, consider a sponsorship of a golf hole, clay station, or being an overall event sponsor. Click on the link above for information to participate in the outing.
    • Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour, September 19, 2015, Sycamore Hill Tree Farm, Harrison County. Hereis a flyer on the Tree Farm Tour with information on presentations and activities for the day. There are numerous presentations on landowner management activities. Of special note is that there will be information on past and present oil and gas activities in that part of the state. The Sycamore Hill Tree Farm recently had a horizontal, Utica Shale well drilled on the property and visitors will get the chance to see first-hand what kind of "footprint” the well produces in a forested landscape. The agenda promises to offer a great day for all who attend. Please note that the planners would appreciate an "RSVP” if you plan to attend.
    • 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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