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Timber Talk 10/19/15

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, October 20, 2015

WestRock Coshocton Mill to Close
The news hit Friday afternoon that the WestRock mill in Coshocton, Ohio which makes corrugated containerboard for packaging will be closing. An article in the Coshocton Tribune indicates that officials confirmed what had been learned by the industry. According to the statement in the newspaper from the company, the Coshocton mill will be closed November 28, 2015, affecting 225 employees. Staff and the mill learned of the closing on Friday, October 16, 2015 and that wood would no longer be accepted almost immediately. The closing is already having ramifications among the wood suppliers in eastern Ohio as many have been caught off guard with the announcement and few if any alternatives for the significant amount of sawmill waste and harvested wood that went to the facility for product and energy production can be sold elsewhere. OFA is working on any effort to help the industry find other outlets for the available wood supply. Over the last 5 years, the mill was involved in two separate acquisitions, when Smurfit-Stone was acquired by RockTenn which later became WestRock in a merger between RockTenn and MeadWestvaco.
OFA Supports ODNR Acquisition of AEP Lands
Earlier we reported that the OFA Board had agreed to support a coalition letter from a number of interest groups urging that the ODNR Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife acquire 60,000 acres of AEP land in southeast Ohio that are now to be sold. Here is a copy of the letter that was sent to Governor Kasich.
US Court of Appeals Stays WOTUS Rule
This past summer, the US EPA and Corps of Engineers promulgated the Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule that greatly expanded the definition of what was previously considered "navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. If allowed to stand, the rule would have a huge impact on agriculture and forestry land activities in the United States, requiring permits on a wide range of activities. As a result of that action, 18 state Attorney Generals, including Ohio AG Mike DeWine petitioned the US Court of Appeals, claiming that the methodologies used to determine which waterways fall under the new definition are not consistent with the Clean Water Act. On October 9, 2015, the Court moved to stay the WOTUS rule while the court evaluates its jurisdiction. Here is a copy of the court ruling.
Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) Announces $2.5 million Grant to Promote Appalachian Wood Manufacturing
Last week, APEG announced that it had received a $2.5 million grant from the Small Business Administration to work on activities to increase furniture and other hardwood manufacturing within Ohio’s Appalachian region. Involved in the initiative is Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs which will work on research and Washington State Community College in Marietta which is supposed to work on a certification training program for wood products manufacturing. Here is an article from the Cincinnati Enquirer on the project. OFA has worked with APEG on a project to update the Ohio primary and secondary wood manufacturing directory and develop an online portal for manufacturers to put information on line as well as for users to locate information on Ohio’s wood manufacturers.
Ohio Signs Tri-State Agreement on Shale Gas Production
Last week, Ohio announced that it had signed a shale production agreement with Pennsylvania and West Virginia that will involve mutual cooperation on marketing, research, transportation, and workforce development of oil and gas deposits in the three states to maximize their development. Ohio reported that horizontal shale wells produced a record 10 million barrels of oil and 405 billion cubic feet of natural gas for just the first half of 2015 and the production continues to rise. Oil production increased 126% over the first half of 2014 and gas increased by 160% for the same period.
Summer 2015 Forest Operations Review Quarterly
Take a look at the latest quarterly newsletter from the Forest Resource Association, the Forest Operations Review. The issue has a feature article on managing chip quality and contains the usual technical releases and safety alerts. Of particular note is an article on using wood matts to increase timber availability and fuel consumption data collection.
Global Forestry Leaders Show Mutual Support for Sustainable Forestry
Recently, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the American Forest Foundation (AFF/American Tree Farm System), and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) announcedinterest in working together on new approaches for forest management planning and certification. The joint effort will involve a pilot landscape management program that is intended to bring more certified wood to the marketplace.
Diverse Uses of Woody Biomass in Europe and US
Here is an articlefrom Forest2Market that talks about expanding markets for biomass energy in western nations, specifically Europe and the United States, and cites several initiatives demonstrating that growing demand.
Upcoming Events
  • Master Logger Training: Best Management Practices, October 29, 2015, Scioto Trail State Forest - Training needed for Master Logger Certification. The day-long training requires pre-registration. Lunch is provided. ·
  • CSAW Level 1, October 30, 2015, Scioto Trail State Forest - Chainsaw training for Master Logger Certification. Pre-registration required. Lunch is provided.
  • Ohio Woodland Stewards: Winter Tree Workshops, October 30, 2015, Geauga County; November 6, 2015, Butler County - The Ohio Woodland Steward Program is hosting Winter Tree Workshops in northeast and southwest Ohio to help participants identify Ohio trees in the winter. Both are full day workshops which require registration, and a fee of $35.

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