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Timber Talk 10/31/2017

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Monday, October 30, 2017
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Important Notice: OFA's 614 area code phone and fax numbers have changed! The new phone number is 1-888-38-TREES (888-388-7337). The new fax number is 740-452-2552. Please update your records accordingly and change any speed dials you might have set up for us.

OFA Issues & Advocacy Update
Following are some of the issues that we have been working on and/or tracking since our last update. Most of our time in late September through mid-October was consumed with preparing for and running OFA’s trade show, The Paul Bunyan Show, but we still found time to work on other issues.

Local

  • Road use issues for loggers and sawmills have been an ongoing priority. We met with the Trumbull County Engineers for the 2nd time, on October 11, 2017, to continue our work on road use, permit, and bonding issues. We were joined by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Director of State Policy and a member of their legal team. It was a rather contentious meeting, but we are still focused on working with the Engineers to develop a fair and equitable road use permit process for the forest products industries operating in Trumbull County. More to come later.
  • Mohican Memorial State Forest – We are meeting with State Representative Romanchuck on October 31, 2017 to discuss with him our support for the proposed changes to the current management plan of the Mohican Memorial State Forest that will benefit both the forest, and the industry. We are also participating the next day in a media event at the Mohican State Forest
  • Dry-Kiln Cooperative – OFA and some of its members, along with the OSU South Centers, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, and others, have been working on a potential Dry-Kiln Co-Op in southern Ohio that would boost dry kilning capacity in that area for both large and small industry lumber producers. The project team will be meeting again on December 6, 2017. Stay tuned!

Statewide

  • We have spent a lot of time and effort in addressing the issues with forest landowner taxes through the CAUV and OFTL programs.
    • CAUV: We recently received information to the effect that forest land owners in Pike County have been receiving inaccurate information from the Auditor’s office concerning their requirements for having commercial or non-commercial timber acreage enrolled in the CAUV program. We tried addressing the situation directly with the Auditor’s office, with no success. We, along with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, have sent information on these issues to the Ohio Department of Tax Equalization asking them to contact the Pike County Auditor to get things corrected there. We hope to be able to update this situation in a positive manner in our next OFA Issues & Advocacy update. Again, if you have concerns with your county, please contact me.
    • OFTL: We continue to support rule changes to the Ohio Forest Tax Law program that have been requested by the Ohio Division of Forestry.
  • Ohio Division of Forestry (DOF) Budget: We have met with the new Forest Economist hired by the Ohio State University, Sayeed Mehmood, and asked him to work on a project to update the economic impact of Ohio’s direct forest products industry, and specifically on the state’s tax revenues generated by the industry. This information is critical to our attempts to support the Ohio Division of Forestry (DOF) and their many beneficial programs. The DOF is a very active and important partner with OFA.
  • Wood Markets: Markets for residual wood materials continue to be a big problem in parts of Ohio. We continue to monitor progress on a couple of potential projects, and are continually looking for opportunities to help address this problem.
  • Industry Recognized Certificates for Schools: The Ohio Department of Education recently accepted OFA’s CSAW Level 1 and 2, and the Best Management Practices for Logging in Ohio, as Industry Recognized Certificates for Schools. We are meeting with educators from around the state on November 2, 2017, to provide them with information about these credentials and discuss the best way to get them to students.
  • OFA has agreed to sign a letter of support being promulgated by one of our partners, the American Forest & Paper Association, in support of Senate Bill 210. This bill is known as the Auxiliary Container Bill, and has the purpose of prohibiting a municipal corporation from imposing a tax or fee on auxiliary containers. This is important to our industry as it relates to packaging made from paper and cardboard.

National

As reported earlier, there are several national level issues that can affect the forest products industry. Following is an update on some of the national issues that we have been supporting and advocating for.

  • The Forest Resource Association (FRA) recently had a Fly-In to Washington to advocate with the leaders in Washington on several issues that OFA has joined forces on. These included the: Future Careers in Logging Act, the Resilient Federal Forests Act, the Right-To-Haul Act, and Wildfire Funding. All of these topics are important to OFA and we will continue to support and participate in efforts to move these pieces of legislation forward.
  • Forests in The Farm Bill Coalition: OFA is part of this coalition that is trying to make sure that all the programs that are supported through the U.S. Department of Agriculture get addressed with proper funding in the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill. OFA and the Coalition recently participated in a conference call with Tony Tooke, the new Forest Service Chief, to relay to him the importance of maintaining a strong forest policy presence in the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • H-2B Worker Visa Program: This program supports many of the folks that come to the U.S. from other countries on a temporary work visa to work on tree planting crews and other intermittent jobs, but has recently bumped up against worker visa limits. There has been recent movement on Chairman Goodlatte’s AG Act-H-2C Agricultural Guestworker Program: Reforms H-2A adds Forestry

Miscellaneous

We continue to be active participants in many committees across the state that work on logging and forestry issues, including: Ohio Tree Farm Committee, Agricultural Advisory Committee to the Ohio Department of Taxation, Ohio Woodland Stewards, Ohio Forestry Advisory Committee, Ohio Forest Stewardship Program, Sustainable Forestry Initiative State Implementation Committee, and others.

If at any time you have a question about one of these subjects, or have other issues that you would like OFA to assist with, please do not hesitate to contact myself or someone else at the OFA office.

Brad Perkins – OFA Executive Director


Forest Markets Weekly Newsletter
The National Association of State Foresters' Forest Markets Committee releases a Weekly Newsletter full of all things Forestry and Forest Products Industry related. Each week’s newsletter has articles about: Forest Markets, Housing, Working Forests, New Products and Technology, and Renewable Energy. See this week’s complete newsletters here.


Northeast Ohio Forestry Association (NEOFA) Newsletter
Here is the October 2017 edition of the NEOFA newsletter. It contains information about their next meeting topic, which will focus on conservation easements. Brett Rodstrom, Vice President of Eastern Field Operations for the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, was the featured speaker at the October 19th meeting.


Logging of Long-Gone Days
For a great trip down memory lane, although most of us are too young to remember the logging portrayed in this video, an awesome collection of pictures was put together and put into a video showing early logging, transportation, the trees, and the sawmills. This approximately 11 minute video is well worth watching.  


Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) Now Accepting Applications for FY 2018
These grants are supported by the Small Business Administration and are targeted to help exporters increase their business by exhibiting at domestic and foreign Trade Shows, participating in Trade Missions, performing Individual Market Visits, as well as helping with Advertising, Translation of Marketing Materials, Website Development, and Export Training Programs. Application deadline is April 1, 2018 and activities must be completed by September 29, 2018. These grants can provide 50% reimbursement for up to $12,500 in qualifying activities. See complete details here.


Prescribed Fire Plans for the Wayne National Forest
The Wayne National Forest uses prescribed fire to help maintain healthy oak forests. “Fire rejuvenates the forest. It increases nutrient availability, favors some plants over others, and can remove some of the leaf litter and smaller trees and brush. This lets more sunlight into the forest floor, which is important for regenerating oak trees, the dominant tree in Ohio forests, and many sun-loving plants,” said Athens District Ranger Jason Reed. The approximate burn window for their projects this fall is October 30th thru December 31st, 2017. You can see their detailed plans for prescribed burning in the Athens and Ironton Ranger Districts here.


New Chainsaw Classes
Additional Chainsaw Classes have been added. Please register at the links below.
Chainsaw Level 1 - November 3, 2017 - Scioto Trails

Chainsaw Level 1 - November 16, 2017 - Maumee State Forest

Chainsaw Level 2 - November 17, 2017 - Maumee State Forest


Other Upcoming Events:

  • Chainsaw Level 1 – 8-Hour Session – 11/3/17 – Scioto Trail State Forest, Chillicothe, Ohio
  • MVLC Meeting – 7:00 PM - 11/8/17 – McConnelsville, Ohio
  • PVLC Meeting – 7:00 PM - 11/13/17 – Bainbridge, Ohio
  • SOLC Meeting – 7:00 PM - 11/14/17 – Lucasville, Ohio
  • OFA Exec. Committee Meeting – 10:00 AM – 11/14/17 – Hampton Scioto Downs – Columbus, Ohio
  • OFA Board of Trustees Lunch and Meeting – 12:00 Noon – 11/14/17 – Hampton Scioto Downs – Columbus, Ohio
  • Logging Standards Council Dinner and Meeting – 5:00 PM – 11/14/17 – Hampton Scioto Downs – Columbus, Ohio
  • SRVLC Meeting – 7:00 PM - 11/16/17 – Wakefield, Ohio
  • SVLC Meeting – 5:30 PM - 11/16/17 – Bergholz, Ohio
  • Ohio Tree Farm Committee Meeting – 10:00 AM – 11/16/17 – ODNR – Fountain Square – Columbus, Ohio
  • Chainsaw Level 1 – 8-Hour Session – 11/16/17 – Maumee State Forest, Swanton, Ohio
  • Chainsaw Level 2 – 8-Hour Session – 11/17/17 – Maumee State Forest, Swanton, Ohio
  • A Day in the Woods-2nd Friday Series -Evening Stargazing – 11/17/17 – 6:30 PM – Vinton Furnace State Forest

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