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Timber Talk 2/8/16

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Brad Perkins on Board!
New Executive Director Brad Perkins is now on-board with OFA and quickly getting involved with association business and issues. He is currently working with John Dorka during a transition period that will run through the annual meeting in March. The Annual Meeting (see more information below) will be a great time to meet with Brad and talk about current and future OFA activities. We hope many of you can take the time to attend the meeting and connect with many people in the industry and in forestry in general.

BWC Offers "Free” First Aid/CPR for participating employers
The OFA Master Logger Program requires that participating loggers earn a First Aid/CPR card as part of the eligibility in the program. It is often mentioned that arranging training through loggers’ chapters can be difficult at best. You should know that companies who participate in the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Program can get employees trained in First Aid/CPR at no additional cost through BWC-scheduled training around the state. The program allows companies to send up to 4 employees to a scheduled training class. Classes are scheduled around Ohio. You can get information on the courses and locations at the BWC website. There will be information on courses as well as a portal to register for classes on-line. Doing so requires for you to create an account and provide your Workers’ Comp Policy Number. It appears that classes fill up quickly so check the lists and enroll early if you are interested. This opportunity is not arranged just for Master Logging Companies. It is good for any company in Ohio who participates in Ohio’s Workers Comp Program.

December 2015 Housing Report
The regular Housing Report from Urs Buehlmann at Virginia Tech can be found here. December data is mixed with starts slowing down from the previous month while there was an increase for completions (5.6%) and existing home sales (14.7%). The report indicates "real” unemployment at 10.3% and housing income growth is zero to negative growth.

Caterpillar Announces Close of Forest Products Facility in Wisconsin
Caterpillar, Inc. announced recently that it is closing its forest products manufacturing facility in Prentice, WI and is restructuring for cost reduction. Production from this facility will be moved to facilities in LaGrange, GA and Victoria, TX. The move is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 and will affect approximately 220 employees.

ODA Recommends Silvicultural BMPs for Ohio Pipeline Construction Standards
In a news release from last week, the ODA Division of Soil and Water Conservation (recently moved from ODNR to ODA) announced that it has updated the Ohio Pipeline Standard and Construction Specifications and included among them the addition of Silvicultural BMPs (from the Ohio Logging BMP Handbook) when right-of-way construction includes the clearing of brush and trees. The guidelines are voluntary and apply to activities that take place on agricultural land.

OFA Providing Chainsaw Training to Volunteer Fire Departments
OFA has signed an agreement with the ODNR Division of Forestry to provide chainsaw training to a number of volunteer fire departments in southern Ohio. The training is part of a federal grant that offers equipment and services to local volunteer fire departments to assist them with wildfire fighting needs. As part of the grant, volunteer fire fighters from a number of departments will receive CSAW Level 1 training. In addition, with the completion of the training, the participating volunteer fire departments will receive chainsaws and personal protective gear to be used for wildfire fighting duties.
Kentucky Addressing Timber Theft Issue
As Ohio dealt with a timber theft legislative proposal over the last several years, the Kentucky forest products industry also found itself wrestling with the issue. Recently, the Kentucky legislature passed a resolution to establish a Timber Theft and Trespass Reduction Task Force charged with studying the timber theft issue while attempting to develop a consensus on recommendations for action. The Task Force would have 19 members from various forestry and forest products interest groups. The group was charged with filing a final report by late 2016.
Wayne National Forest (WNF) Changes Firewood Permit Program
Those who live in the vicinity of the Wayne National Forest and use firewood for personal use may want to take a look at the news release concerning some changes to the WNF Firewood Permit Program. WNF allows collection of firewood for personal use as long as users obtain a $20 firewood permit first, which allows collection of up to 5 cords of wood from dead and down trees. The news release outlines the specifics of the program.
"Contrary to Popular Thinking, Going Paperless Does Not Save Trees”
At the link, you can read an interesting white paper produced by Dovetail Partners, Inc. which counteracts the commonly held belief that "going paperless saves trees.” The paper highlights the importance of viable markets for forest products and the positive influence of those market forces on the maintenance and enhancement of forest resources. It highlights the common misconception that if the public stops using forest products then there will be more forests and trees. The opposite is true – forests and trees can be lost as markets and demand for the products decline while demand for higher value alternative land uses. In fact according to the report, global data shows that regions of the world with the highest levels of industrial timber harvest have the lowest rates of deforestation.

Upcoming Events

OFA 2016 Annual Meeting News
The meeting is a little over a month away and approaching quickly. You can now register on-line at the OFA website. Please note, to insure meeting rates for hotel rooms that you should register by February 16, 2016. After that date, special rates will still be honored so long as space is available.

OWIN Tour, Wednesday afternoon, March 9, Rickenbacker Inland Port
There will be a tour of the Rickenbacker Inland Port the afternoon of the first day of the meeting. Those wishing to participate will have to travel by bus from the hotel to the location. Port Authority Staff at Rickenbacker advise that they cannot accommodate additional vehicles for those who wish to drive separately. If you want to attend the tour, please make sure to register.

Tree Farm Silent Auction
The Ohio Tree Farm Committee is once again hosting a silent auction to raise funds for Tree Farm Program activities. Anyone wishing to donate for the auction can bring items to the meeting or send them to the OFA office in Zanesville.

Registration Discount Through March 4, 2016
Those who register before March 4receive a discount of $50 if registering for the full meeting.

Forest and Wood Products Export Conference, April 27, 2016, OSU South Centers, Piketon
If you are interested in learning more about exporting hardwoods and would like to listen to experts in the field, put this session on your schedule. Mike Snow, Executive Director of the American Hardwood Export Council(AHEC) is scheduled to attend, along with Dana Spessert, National Hardwood Lumber Association Chief Inspector. Expect to hear about the latest in European Regulations on ash shipments as well as other concerns.

Ohio Woodlands, Water, & Wildlife Conference, March 2, 2016, OSU Mansfield
OSU will be holding its annual Woodland, Water, and Wildlife Conference on the OSU Mansfield Campus at the Mid-Ohio Conference Center on March 2, 2016. The day-long conference is intended for natural resource professionals and land managers. There is a $60/$80 registration fee with lunch included in the conference. See this flyer for registration details and agenda.

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