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Timber Talk 9/28/15

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Monday, September 28, 2015

OFA Supports The Safe, Flexible, and Efficient Trucking Act
On September 10, 2015 Cong. Reid Ribble (R-WI) introduced HR 3488, The Safe, Flexible, and Efficient Trucking Act. The bill is intended to increase commercial truck GVW to 91,000# with the addition of a 6thaxle on federal highways. The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), of which OFA is a supporter, has pushed for changes in the federal truck GVW for a number of years. This most recent effort is a modified version of the changes that had been promoted, with a slightly lower GVW at 91,000#. Right now, bill proponents are working to get additional bill co-sponsors, with 9 current co-sponsors. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-7) from north central Ohio is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and would be an important sponsor of the bill. Any OFA member, particularly those within his district, willing to contact his office to urge his co-sponsoring the bill can do so simply through an email letter that can be accessed on the Forest Resource Association Take Action website. Just a minute or two of your time to fill in personal information will allow you to send a prepared electronic letter to the Congressman’s office. The letter can be modified if you wish to do so.

OFA Supports Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 (HR 2647)
OFA joined more than 50 other state and national forestry and trade associations and organizations to support efforts change management processes on federal forest lands and encourage reform of wildfire funding. Here is a coalition letter sent to the U.S. Senate briefly outlining the needs and concerns.

Manufacturer Reminder: Ohio River Shipping Survey
The Ohio Cooperative Development Center and the International Trade Assistance Center at OSU South Centers in Piketon are asking southern Ohio manufacturers to complete a short survey on the need for cooperative shipping and access to the inland waterway transportation system on the Ohio River. The survey is short and would only take a few minutes of your time. The information gathered will help the OSU agencies assess if there is sufficient demand to expand shipping opportunities. Just click on the link and you are at the survey.

Penalties for Truck Driver Cell Phone Use Can Be Expensive
The Forest Resource Association (FRA) recently reported information that it had gathered concerning the fines truckers have been assessed after being cited for cell phone usage while driving a commercial motor vehicle. Fines of $2,750 have been assessed for cell phone use citations, with multiple offenses leading to disqualification from operating trucks. In addition, trucking companies that employee commercial drivers who do not have written policies prohibiting cell phone use can ultimately be fined $11,000 if found guilty of not taking action to prohibit cell phone use. Employers are strongly recommended to implement policies prohibiting cell phone use while operators are driving. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Association offers examples of model company policies that can be used.

Ohio EPA Launches New Permit Wizard to Help Small Businesses Manage the Regulation Maze
The Ohio EPA announced that it created a new Permit Wizard website that will help small businesses navigate the various EPA permit, licensing, and regulation requirements that may apply to their business. EPA states that it is particularly helpful for new business start-ups but can be used by existing businesses to check on requirements affecting their activities.

Ohio Export Assistance Offers International Marketing Funding to Ohio Small Businesses
The Ohio Development Services Agency, Export Assistance offers funding to small businesses through its International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) Program. The grant provides a 50% reimbursement up to $10,000 per fiscal year for qualifying activities for small businesses to promote their products and services in international markets.Interested businesses can get information at the IMAGE website.

American Tree Farm Systems Seeks Certification Manager
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is looking for someone to fill its Certification Manager position. The ATFS manages a third party certification system for family and small-scale woodlands in the United States and the Certification Manager is responsible for coordinating and implementing all elements of the certification program. Those interested can find more information about the job posting here.

Ohio Oil and Gas Severance Tax Hike Still in Question
For more than 4 years, the legislature has been hashing out the Kasich Administration proposal to raise the severance tax on oil and gas in Ohio. At the moment, there does not appear to be consensus on a rate hike, and the industry position against the proposal appears to be hardening as commodity prices have flat-lined. In spite of numerous meetings between the industry and members of the legislature over the last several months, there is no agreement on all the measures. The industry maintains that it is flatly opposed to any increase in the severance tax, and the decline in prices have only intensified the opposition. The legislature continues to hold

SOFA October Newsletter
is the October Newsletter of the Southern Ohio Forestland Association.

Upcoming Events:

  • Paul Bunyan Show, October 2-4, 2015. It’s here! The show takes place this coming weekend. I hope many OFA members can attend the show at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds. It promises to be a great event. You should have received a copy of the show program with the schedule of activities. You can also go to the OFA website to get the information.
  • Forest of Honor Induction Ceremony, October 8, 2015, Zaleski State Forest. The ODNR Division of Forestry annually honors people and organizations that have made significant contributions to forestry in Ohio, and over the years many OFA members and supporters have been recognized. Last year, former OFA Executive Director Ron Cornell was so recognized. This year, DOF will recognize Dr. Randall Heiligmann, retired OSU Extension; David Gamstetter, and the East Central Ohio Forestry Association. The recognition will take place at 10 am on October 8, 2015 at the Forest of Honor in the town of Zaleski. Those who want to attend should RSVP Alice Glaser at the Division of Forestry,; 614-265-6694.
  • Ohio Woodland Stewards Conference: CAUV and the Ohio Forest Tax Law and Other Topics, November 6, 2015, Perrsyburg, OH.On November 6, 2015, the Ohio Woodlands Stewards will host a day-long conference for woodland owners that will explore a number of topics including the Ohio Forest Tax Law and CAUV, woodland wildlife, invasive pests and other topics. The session will take place in Perrysburg, Ohio at the Owens Community College. You can get more information and register for the seminar at the Ohio Woodland Stewards website. The session costs $40 and includes lunch and materials.
  • Ohio Chapter Walnut Council Fall-2015 Field Day, October 17, 2015, Lawrenceburg, IN. The Ohio Chapter of the National Walnut Council is inviting OFA members to attend its Fall Field Day on Saturday, October 17, 2015 in Lawrenceburg, IN, about 15 miles west of Cincinnati. President of the Ohio Chapter, Bill Hammitt, says that the field day will be a "dry run” of the Field Day that will take place at the 2016 National Meeting. There will be discussions on the management of walnut and will feature information on mixed plantings of walnut with Canaan fir and black locust. There will be visits to some outstanding examples of walnut plantations. See the attachedagenda for the full-days slate of activities as well as other information. Bill is asking for attendees to let them know if you plan to attend so they can prepare for lunch.

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