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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Notes from Annual NCFAE Meeting

Once a year, the National Council of Forestry Association Executives convenes for a couple days to discuss state specific and national forest industry association issues. This council consists of most state forestry associations from around the country as well as most of the major national associations including; Forest Resource Association, American Forest & Paper Association , American Forest Foundation, National Association of Forestland Owners, and Society of American Foresters, just to name a few. The conference this year was held on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, the week of July 29th.

I find this conference to be one of the most valuable meetings that I attend. Learning what works and doesn’t work in other state forestry associations is a huge help. The network of available knowledge in this group is also invaluable. The Forest Industries Association Council, of which OFA is a member, also holds a meeting during this conference.

Being that the meeting was being held in the west, forest fire discussions were a major component of the meeting, with several speakers focusing on this subject. In fact, while the group was having dinner on the final evening of the conference, a small forest fire erupted on the hillside adjacent to the small town we were eating dinner in, just a few blocks from our location. Towns people were evacuated as I took pictures of a fire-fighting helicopter dropping water on the fire. No injuries or building destruction was reported, but the irony of the timing of this event was not lost on the group.

Other speakers and presentations for the conference focused on topics including; Smart Wood Cities of the Future, Benefits of Working Forests and Using Wood, Forest Health and Wildfire, and the Outlook for Forest Products Markets.  (Click here to view or download presentations) Vicky Christianson, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, also gave a great speech on Lessons in Leadership, Wildfire Policy. The most notable part of the presentation on the Outlook for Forest Products Markets is the fact that forest economists are not seeing the hardwood industry recovering anytime soon from the effects of the China trade war. In fact, it was mentioned that even if tariffs were repealed, the Chinese people are now urging folks not to purchase products made from American Hardwoods because we have branded them as cheaters in this trade dispute.

One of the highlights of the meeting was out industry tour. We toured the Sierra Pacific Industries stud mill in Shelton, Washington. This is one of the newest, most productive and automated sawmills in the country. They are currently producing over 1.5 million bd ft per day in 2 10-hour shifts. Their plan is to eventually be producing 2 million bd ft per day. For a more in depth look at this mill, read the article printed in 2018 in Timber Processing Magazine. 

Forest Markets Weekly Newsletters

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. This week’s newsletter contains an interesting article on how a new paper developed by Domtar might help replace single-use plastics. See the complete newsletter.

2019 Lumbermen’s Outing – September 11, 2019

The Lumbermen’s Benevolent Fund will once again having a Golf Outing, Clay Shoot, Dinner and Auction to raise funds to support those in the forest industry that are in financial need due to a personal or family tragedy. The Golf Outing will be at The Pines Golf Club in Orrville, and the Clay Shoot will take place at a new venue this year, the East Holmes Sportsman’s Club. The steak dinner and awards banquet, along with a short charity auction, will take place at the end of the day’s other events, at the Pines Golf Club. Get all the details, including sponsorship opportunities, and registration options. 

ATTENTION LOGGERS – Updates for July and
August from American Loggers Council

The Ohio Logging Standards Council recently joined the American Loggers Council (ALC) to get national advocacy and representation. Read the updates from July and August from ALC Executive Vice President, Danny Dructor, concerning bills that ALC has been working on in Washington D.C., and details on how you can help, as well as other news from ALC.

NHLA National Convention – October 2-4

The National Hardwood Lumber Association invites you to attend the 2019 NHLA Annual Convention & Exhibit Showcase, October 2-4 in New Orleans! While the current business environment may be uncertain, this is your chance to get a first-hand look at the global hardwood community. You will find new customers, build relationships, get inspired as you network with industry peers, learn from specialized education sessions, and ultimately discover ways to make your business more profitable. Register today by clicking HERE.

New World Record for Trees Planted in a Day
350 Million!

On July 29, 2019, Ethiopian volunteers shattered the word record for tree planting. More than 350 million trees were planted across 1000 sites in just 12 hours. Read the details about this amazing achievement and what it means to the people of that region of the world. 

Independent Contractor Status Legislation Reintroduced
Issues & Advocacy Update

The following information is provided to OFA by Forest Resource Association President, Deb Hawkinson. 

Just before Congress recessed for the month of August, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced legislation addressing independent contractors—a labor pool utilized by the forestry sector. The bill—titled the Modern Worker Empowerment Act (H.R. 4069)—would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act by adopting a common-law test to define the term “employee.” Harmonizing the definition of “employee” across the many federal statutes under which this term has different meanings would bring much needed certainty to independent entrepreneurs that their intended independent-contractor relationships will be respected for purposes of federal law. Joining Representative Stefanik on this bill are Representatives Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Phil Roe (R-TN), and Ron Wright (R-TX). The text of the legislation may be found here

H.R. 4069 is identical to the Harmonization of Coverage Act of 2017, H.R. 3825, which was introduced in the last Congress. FRA has been working with the coalition advocating for passage of this bill focusing on recruiting Democrat support for the legislation. We signed onto this letter that expresses strong support for the bill that will be used to recruit additional cosponsors.

Can a Super-Thin Slice of Wood Be Used
To Make Saltwater Drinkable?

Scientists believe that it can. Using a thin membrane made from American Basswood, Princeton University researchers have found a less energy intensive medium that can be used in a process called “membrane distillation” to separate salt from water. Read more about this interesting development in the article from

(A close-up of the modified wood which filters salty water)

Welcome New OFA Members!

The Ohio Forestry Association would like to welcome the following new association members that came on board in June and July. New Members, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or anyone else at OFA to let us know if we are meeting your needs and expectations.

Service Firms

  • Mike Hall of The Nature Conservancy from West Union, Ohio
  • Curt Moore of Fisher Phillips from Columbus, Ohio
  • Susan Calhoun of Ohio University from Athens, Ohio


  •  Jim Ready of Ready Field Solutions from Streetsboro, Ohio

Secondary Manufacturer

  •  Scott Carlson of Sweetgrass Joinery from Huntsburg, Ohio


  • John Rogers from West Farmington, Ohio
  • Nancy Bernard from Shade, Ohio
  • Jamie Regula of the Ohio Division of Forestry from Salem, Ohio

Upcoming Events
For Details on These and Other Events

  • NWOLC Meeting – Tuesday, August 13 -  6:30 PM – New Carlisle, Ohio
  • SEOLC Meeting – Wednesday, August 14 -  7:00 PM – Jackson, Ohio
  • SVLC Meeting – Thursday, August 29 -  5:30 PM – Bergholz, Ohio

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