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Timber Talk 3/7/16

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Saturday, March 12, 2016

Department of Taxation Holds CAUV Ag Advisory Committee Meeting
The Ohio Department of Taxation held an Agricultural Advisory Committee meeting last week to review the proposed CAUV rates for the coming year. OFA is an invited member of the committee. Brad Perkins and John Dorka attended on behalf of OFA. The testimony provided by committee members was relatively brief and focused on the chronic concerns of inappropriate capitalization rates and woodland clearing rates. OFA, the Ohio Farm Bureau, and the Farmers’ Union all provided testimony that woodland clearing rates are sorely undervalued. Taxation staff maintained that data supporting increased woodland clearing rates that would lower woodland CAUV values is lacking and until defensible data can be provided, they will continue using the $1,000/acre woodland clearing cost. OFA committed to securing data that would support the higher costs . Taxation staff indicated that since there is no accepted market report for woodland clearing rates, then they would like to have information supported by written invoices and bills of sale to review higher rates. Over the next two months, OFA will be seeking help from members to document actual woodland clearing costs. Any OFA members willing to share information on the costs of woodlands that they cleared or had cleared should contact Brad Perkins or John Dorka at the OFA Office. Steve Maurer, Executive Director of the Ohio Farm Services Agency, who is also on the Ag Committee, advised that he is tasking his staff to find similar information on costs relating to draining and tiling "wet” fields. Drainage and tiling costs are also included where appropriate in CAUV woodland value determinations.

OSU Extension Moving Ahead with Forest Products Extension Position
OSU Extension is working to replace the Forest Products Extension Specialist position vacated last year by Dr. Eric McConnell, who had been serving on the OFA Board representing education interests. OFA was asked to be part of a selection committee to find a replacement for Dr. McConnell. The position description had been changed to a stronger focus on economics while still maintaining a major extension outreach component. The selection committee has identified 3 candidates to interview and interviews will take place over the next two weeks.

BWC News on New Prospective Billing
is a note from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation concerning the next steps in the process of moving the insurance program into the new Prospective Billing System. The attachment discusses the "True Up” which will take place in July. It is a process whereby employers will report the true payroll for the policy year and reconcile any differences in premiums paid. The report will be sent July 1 with employer reports due August 15.

ODA Updating Gypsy Moth Management Rules
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is updating rules for Gypsy Moth Management, per state requirements to complete rule reviews every 5 years. Here are two documents relating to the proposed changes. At first glance it appears that there are no substantive changes to the rules, other than to include additional quarantined counties. Please review the changes if they apply to you in any way and if you have comments or concerns, contact OFA and we will make sure ODA is aware of them.
Our Ohio Magazine Features Woodland Management Article Featuring Ohio Tree Farmer and OFA Member Consulting Forester
In the March/April issue of The Ohio Farm Bureau Magazine Our Ohio, there is an articlefeaturing the Keith Smucki Tree Farm in Stark County. The article also highlights OFA member and Consulting Forester Randy Clum. The article discusses woodlands and CAUV and also provides other great information about Ohio forests and forestry. Worth a moment to read.

Industry Study Says Pipelines Have No Effect on Property Values
A study completed by Integra Resources on behalf of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Foundation, Inc. found that underground natural gas transmission pipelines do not have a measurable impact on the sales prices or property values of home. In addition, the study found that the size and age of a pipeline does not affect prices, property demand and development is not impacted by proximity to a pipeline, and insurance companies and agents indicate they have seen no indication that the presence of a pipeline hinders a buyers ability to acquire insurance or that premiums are affected by pipelines. The study apparently looked at properties in various areas around the state and other states in the region.

Other Events:

  • Maple Syrup Festival, March 26, 2016, Williams County Fairgrounds. Here is a flyer for the Maple Syrup Festival which will be at the Williams County Fairgrounds on March 26. The morning festival will include a number of forestry and forest management presentations which will be of interest to landowners. Note there is an entrance fee of $5 for adults.
  • Wood Products Council to Host Wood Design Seminars in Columbus/Cleveland, April 12/13, 2016. The WoodWorks Program of the Wood Products Council will be hosting two Wood Design Seminars in Ohio that may be of interest to OFA members. According to the flyer, "This presentation will provide an introductory review of allowable uses and best design practices associated with wood-frame construction. Wood science including wood’s cell structure and moisture interaction properties will be discussed.” The seminar clearly has a softwood construction focus and is aimed at those involved with non-residential construction. The seminar in Columbus is April 12 at Smith and Wollensky and in Cleveland on April 13 at Morton’s Steakhouse. Each seminar has a $20 fee which includes lunch. You can register on-line.
  • Project Learning Tree (PLT) Facilitator Workshop, April 20-21, 2016, Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center. PLT-Ohio is hooking up with Project WET to co-host a facilitator workshop on April 20-21, 2016 at the Shawnee State Park Lodge and Conference Center (see flyer). PLT is a great environmental education program for youth and OFA supports its activities. Those wishing to become a PLT facilitator can attend this conference to do so. There is a $104 registration fee that covers all meals, lodging (one night) and program costs. Those wishing to participate are asked to register on-line by April 13, 2016.
  • Forest and Wood Products Export Conference, April 27, 2016, OSU South Centers, Piketon, Ohio. Hereis a flyer from OSU South Centers concerning the seminar there on April 27 on Forest and Wood Products Exports. The conference features Mike Snow, from the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Dana Spessert from NHLA. There is a $25 registration fee and the flyer has registration information.

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