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Timber Talk 2/23/15

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, February 24, 2015

OFA Taking a Closer Look at the "Hardwood Checkoff;” Board to Consider Taking a Position
We had reported last week that there was discussion at the OFA Annual Meeting about current actions relating to the Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research, and Information Order, commonly referred to as the "Hardwood Checkoff.” Based on past activity, including a tremendous number of comments provided to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service AMS), many of which were opposed to the proposed program, the prevailing belief was that the USDA would not move ahead with the proposal. It now appears that AMS is still considering the proposal. OFA, which had remained neutral on the proposal, is now considering taking a position and is in the process of seeking input from members who would be directly affected by the checkoff. OFA Manufacturers and lumber producers have been queried for their support of or opposition to the proposal. Once responses are compiled, the OFA Board will review the feedback.

Ohio Legislative and Policy News
Supreme Court Says State Law Trumps Local Oil and Gas Drilling Ordinances
- Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that state law takes authority over local rule and that city efforts to block oil and gas drilling within city limits exceeds home rule authority. The decision was based on an ordinance passed by Monroe Falls in northeast Ohio which would halt drilling within city limits. In a 4-3 decision, the Court ruled that local licensing provisions cannot restrict an activity that state law allows.

SB1, Algae Control, Clears Senate Panel; House Now Reviewing - The bill seeking to reduce algae problems in Lake Erie and other Ohio water bodies cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee but only after the language transferring the agricultural pollution abatement program (which governs silvicultural sedimentation and pollution) from ODNR to ODA was removed. The committee said that the transfer would take place through the budget bill but there was more discussion needed on the transfer. The bill that has been sent to the House for review places new requirements for fertilizer and manure applications in certain parts of the state. The House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee continues to hear testimony on a version of the bill that is similar to SB 1.

State Land Oil and Gas Drilling Gets Debate - HB 8, Oil and Gas Law, sponsored by Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Uniontown) and Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem)would address provisions for "unitization” orders which place multiple landownerships under drilling permits. In some cases, landowners may be unwilling. The bill would expand authority to include state lands in the unitization orders, excluding state nature preserves. The bill would place a time limit on ODNR to process permit applications.

SB 57, Local Roads, Introduced - Sponsored by Sen. John Eklund (R-Chardon) this bill would authorize counties to adopt resolutions regulating motor vehicle traffic on county and township roads. OFA is particularly concerned about this bill as it would give local authorities considerable discretion over controlling local road use. Stay tuned for more information on this proposed law change.

Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) Offers Grant Opportunities for Exporters
The Ohio Department of Development is offering an International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) to small businesses interested in expanding export opportunities. IMAGE is designed to incentivize small businesses to develop international markets by providing a 50 percent reimbursement for international marketing activities, including trade shows and missions, marketing material and website translation, and international advertising. Those interested in more information can go to the ODOD websiteto find out how to apply and specific grant requirements.

Wood Supply Research Institute (WSRI) Spring E-Newsletter
Here you will find the Spring E-Newsletter from WSRI of which the Ohio Logging Standards Council is currently a member. The newsletter update has information on current research and outreach activities, the upcoming Annual Meeting on April 27, 2015 in Nashville, TN, and other news relating to the institute activities. WSRI is a member organization promoting key research on wood supply issues and opportunities in the United States.

2015 Ohio Woodland, Water, & Wildlife Conference
The OSU Extension Woodland Stewards Program is hosting the 2015 Woodland Water & Wildlife Conference on March 4, 2015 at the Mid-Ohio Conference Center in Mansfield, Ohio. You can register and get more information on the Woodland Steward Program website. The conference is intended for natural resource professionals and land managers. Registration at this point is $80 for the day-long session (8:30 am to 4:00 pm). Registration includes lunch, breaks and resource materials.

SOFA March Newsletter
The Southern Ohio Forestland Association (SOFA) March Newsletter can be found here.Take a look at the activities for the southern Ohio group. Next meeting will be on March 12, 2015 at the OSU South Centers facility in Piketon. You can also see all the scheduled meeting dates for the coming year.

OFA Annual Meeting Survey Reminder
The 2015 Annual Meeting is over, but feedback from those who attended as well as those who did not is invaluable for planning future meetings. For those who attended, please take a moment to complete this short survey.

The reasons for those that did not attend are just as important for future planning. If you did not attend please complete this one question survey.

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