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Timber Talk 2/15/16

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, February 16, 2016

OFA Meets with Ohio Farm Bureau, The Nature Conservancy on CAUV Issues
Last week, OFA had the opportunity to meet with staff from the Ohio Farm Bureau and The Nature Conservancy to discuss issues with the CAUV program and review legislation on CAUV currently in front of the Legislature (HB 398). HB 398 would change the way the capitalization rate is determined in CAUV valuations, as well as allow lands enrolled under conservation programs for at least 3 years be eligible for CAUV determinations. OFA had a good opportunity to discuss problems with forest land valuations under CAUV and potential legal remedies for forest land clearing cost concerns. All parties agreed we shared common interest and would work together on mutual solutions.

OFA Meets with Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG)
OFA also met with Craig Rosenlund, Senior Project Associate for the APEG Forest Products Innovation Cluster Initiative to discuss ongoing projects and mutual concerns.OFA has been working with APEG on a forest products sector supply chain database for Ohio primary and secondary wood manufacturers and there was discussion on challenges with completing the project. APEG will be well represented at the OFA annual meeting with other state and federal technical assistance and financial aid partners to discuss new wood fiber supply chain opportunities for Ohio.

Ohio Senate Discussing Plans for an Ohio Clean Water Infrastructure Bond Issue
There are currently bi-partisan discussions taking place in the Ohio Senate on the recommendation to create a 10-year, $1 billion water and sewer system capital improvements bond issue that would help local communities address aging systems throughout Ohio. The proposal has been teed up through Senate Joint Resolution 3 and is now before the Senate Finance Committee. It appears that the measure needs to be vetted by many interest groups before it becomes ready for a ballot vote.

Clean Power Plan Supreme Court Stay
Following last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which according to experts took unprecedented action to "stay” the Clean Power Plan, there has been discussion by those experts on what the action means. Here is a brief on "Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) about the stay, presented by legal experts. In short, unlike other "stay” actions taken by courts where agencies are allowed to continue enforcing rules while the court action is pending, this one stops EPA from enforcing rules and requiring states to implement plans. The ruling followed a petition by more than 2 dozen states, including Ohio, to stop the Clean Power Plan. Of course, all Supreme Court actions are now clouded even more with the untimely loss of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away suddenly over the weekend. His loss will no doubt have huge implications on not only the Supreme Court but also general political activities in the year ahead.

Energy Bill Amendment Supports Biomass
In related news, wood products industry interests support an amendment to the Energy Bill which would require the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture and the U.S. EPA to ensure that all federal policy relating to forest bioenergy be consistent among federal agencies and that biomass energy if fully recognized for its energy and conservation benefits, including its carbon neutrality. Here is a statement from the American Wood Council on the inclusion of the amendment in the bill.

Apply for Appalachian Export Grant Through OSU, South Centers
OFA members in the Appalachian region are eligible for financial assistance to promote their products and services in international markets. Companies can receive up to $5,000 in assistance in a 50% grant arrangement. Eligible expenses include things as booth space rental and construction for trade shows, registration fees, freight costs, advertising, costs, website costs, etc. For specific information on the program and to sign-up on-line, go to the Ohio Development Services Agency website.

CSAW Level 1 Training
The OFA Chainsaw Safety and Awareness that Works (CSAW) Training program continues to expand training opportunities around Ohio and well beyond the immediate needs of the Master Logger Program. Instructors for the program are providing training all around Ohio to a wide variety of chainsaw users. Last weekend, instructor Ryan Redoutey taught a CSAW Level 1 class to 9 participants from the Aullwood Audobon Center and Farm in Dayton, Ohio. Ryan advises that he believes it was the coldest it had ever been for a class he taught, but it was highly successful nonetheless. Chainsaw safety training is sorely lacking among the vast number of chainsaw users in the state. To help reduce potential injuries and encourage safer chainsaw handling by both professionals and amateurrs alike, OFA offers the training as an important education and safety program. Any OFA member wishing to have training, especially for non-professional groups that they work with, please contact the OFA office to arrange a class.

ODNR Reports Higher 2015/2016 Deer Kill
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reports that 188,335 deer were taken during the 2015-2016 deer season, up from 175,745 taken the year before. ODNR reports the 7% increase occurred in spite of reduced bag limits and the elimination of antlerless permits in most counties. ODNR also believes the increase was due to a poor mast crop in much of the state as well as more favorable weather for hunters.

NEOFA February 2016 Newsletter
is the February Newsletter for the Northeast Ohio Forestry Association with information on recent meetings and other activities with forestry in northeast Ohio.

Jeremy Scherf Receives National Recognition from American Tree Farm Program
Last week, Jeremy Scherf, ODNR Service Forester in Eastern Ohio, OFA Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp Co-Coordinator and long-time OFA member was recognized by the American Tree Farm System as the National Tree Farm Inspector of the Year. Jeremy received the award at the Annual Tree Farm Conference in Seattle, Washington. Jeremy was first recognized as the Regional Tree Farm Inspector of the Year and invited to receive the award at the conference. He was then recognized as the nation’s best inspector for 2015. Shown in the photo is Jeremy receiving his award from American Forest Foundation CEO Tom Martin. Congratulations Jeremy for a well-deserved award!

Coming Events
  • Ohio Woodland, Water, Wildlife Conference, March 2, 2016, Mid-Ohio Conference Center, Mansfield, Ohio. This is a resource management conference for forestry and natural resource management professionals and land managers. Here is a flyer that has information on registration and an agenda. There is an opportunity to register and pay on-line.
  • 2016 OFA Annual Meeting, March 9-10, 2016, Dublin Embassy Suites; "Ohio Hardwoods – Changes and Challenges.”Time to register for the meeting. Those wishing to stay at the Dublin Embassy can still do so and insure meeting rates. Anyone wishing to exhibit or sponsor at the meeting still has time to do so. Please contact Gayla (614-497-7580) at the OFA office for arrangements. Please be advised that we have added another speaker to the Thursday afternoon panel. Randy Monhemius, Business Program Specialist with the USDA Rural Development will be there to discuss grant, loan, and technical assistance opportunities available for those interested with new or expanding business developments in the wood products or wood fiber sectors.
  • Forest and Wood Products Export Conference, April 27, 2016, OSU South Centers, Piketon, Ohio. Speakers will include Mike Snow, American Hardwood Export Council and Dana Spessert, NHLA Chief Inspector. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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