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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Monday, April 6, 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine Extends Ohio Stay-At-Home
Order Until May 1

Ohio's stay-at-home order will now run through the entire month of April at least – with additional limitations – as announced yesterday by Gov. DeWine and Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton. The new order becomes effective when the current order ends at 11:59 pm Monday, April 6, 2020.

This new order includes some changes and clarifications, including:

  • Creating a dispute resolution panel to address discrepancies in enforcement between political subdivisions.
  • Directing retail businesses to establish a maximum number of people inside at a time.
  • Requiring people traveling to Ohio to self-quarantine for 14 days, except for those who work in other states or along border areas.
  • Forcing wedding receptions to follow social distancing rules.
  • Prohibiting organized sports.
  • Specifying that garden centers can be open.
  • Allowing fishing.
  • Clarifying that state parks will not be closed unless people are not following social distancing rules.

This new order does not impact the forest products industry, as it has already been given clearance to operate as a part of the state and country’s essential workforce.

If your business is operating during this time, please protect your employees and others by following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control.

Ohio’s resource for all COVID-19 information, including Resources for Economic Support

Other great resources for COVID-19 information for your business include:

Forest Resource Association (FRA)

National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA)

These personal and business limitations that we are all experiencing right now are not easy, but the experts say that it is making a difference and saving lives.

Please keep yourselves, your family, and your employees safe and healthy!

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 a couple informative articles on the toilet paper shortage during the current COVID-19 outbreak.  See the complete newsletter.


Activities to do with Children at Home

Do you have a home full of out-of-schools kids now do to the COVID-19 situation? Are they going stir crazy already? Project Learning Tree (PLT) has put together a list of FREE family activities that you can do at home. Some are inside activities and some can be done close-by in a safe outdoor environment. See what PLT has to offer.

On this same front, Rural Action has developed “The Young Naturalists Club” as a way for young folks to learn more about the outdoors while being at home during the COVID-19 restrictions. Learn more about The Young Naturalists Club, its activities, and the use of the App, iNaturalist.

#forestproud Update

Forestproud has released their March 2020 Newsletter. It discusses the changes they have made this year in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what they are doing to continue reaching out to the public on the great story that our forests tell. Read about these activities and much more in the newsletter.

USDA Trade Finance Programs

Did you know USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provides trade finance solutions for exporters of U.S. agricul¬tural products to developing markets? International sales can pose financing challenges into these markets as U.S. banks may be reluctant to assume the associated credit risk. FAS administers two programs to help overcome some of these challenges and encourage expansion of U.S. agricultural exports.

The GSM-102 program provides credit guarantees to encourage commercial financing of exports of U.S. agricultural products. Under this program, FAS guarantees payments due from foreign banks under letters of credit (LCs). Because payment is guaranteed, U.S. banks or exporters can offer competitive credit terms to the foreign bank that issue the LC for the importers of U.S. agricultural products. The U.S. exporter must apply for the guarantee and pay a risk-based fee. FAS covers up to 98 percent of the loan principal and a portion of interest for terms up to 18 months. The U.S. exporter can be paid at export by assigning the guarantee to an approved U.S. bank. Most agricultural products are eligible for coverage, including bulk commodities, intermediate goods and consumer-oriented products.

The Facility Guarantee Program (FGP) provides guarantees to finance commercial exports of manufactured goods and U.S. services that will be used to establish or improve agriculture-related facilities in emerging countries. Inadequate storage, processing or handling capacity can limit trade potential. FGP provides a way to finance these goods and services if FAS determines there is a downstream benefit to U.S. agricultural exports. Some examples of potential FGP-eligible projects include: construction of a soybean crushing facility for U.S. soybeans; construction of a corn silo for imported U.S. corn; cold storage for U.S. seafood products.

Every fiscal year, USDA makes $5.5 billion in guarantees available for over 130 destinations. To find out more about GSM-102 or FGP, including eligibility requirements, visit their website, call 202-720-5711, or email

Northeast Ohio Forestry Association
(NEOFA) Newsletter

See the April 2020 edition of the NEOFA newsletter. It updates their list of cancelled activities due ro COVID-19, but highlights sponsorship opportunities for the as-of-now still scheduled Camp Canopy. See this and more in the newsletter.

Upcoming Landowner On-Line Webinars

Provided by Seohiowoodlands

On April 14th Dave Apsley will be presenting Is it time to harvest your timber? How do you know? At noon and again at 7 pm.   This is hosted by the PA Forests Web Seminar Center.  See complete information.

On EARTH DAY - April 22nd the Southeast Ohio Women Owning Woodlands will have guest speaker Anne Bonner join via webinar to discuss Tree Care and Planting Tips that Everyone Can Use, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. See information on this webinar.

Are Your Forest Lands Ripe for the Carbon Markets?

If you own 3000 acres or more of forest land, and your long-term plan is to harvest the growth (or less), there may be an opportunity for you to get paid for following your management plan. Eric Kingsley, of Innovative Natural Resource Solutions LLC, is working with a group that is structuring voluntary carbon market deals for forest landowners that meet the above mentioned criteria. These voluntary carbon deals are for 40 years, and while they do have some restrictions, they are more flexible than some of the other carbon markets.

Some details include:

  • Landowners can select what property is – and is not – included in the carbon deal, so for larger holdings there may be some areas to have in or out, depending upon your future plans.
  • As a rough rule, you need about 3,000 acres to make the economics of a deal work.  If it’s a well-stocked holding that is a little smaller, there still may be an opportunity.
  • In the event of some sort of natural loss (fire, insect and disease outbreak, etc.) the landowner isn’t responsible for the loss – a small percentage of credits from every deal gets put into an insurance pool to cover this.  
  • There aren’t a lot of transactions to confirm this, but it’s probably a good assumption that a carbon deal impacts sale price – for that reason the best projects are those where landowners don’t plan on an exit in the next 40 years.  This is certainly the case for many family forest owners.
  • That noted, some landowners are using this as a form of temporary estate planning – basically entering a carbon deal now, before handing land to a younger generation, so they’ll be less inclined to sell (and will be older and maybe wiser when their options change).
  • The group has had luck developing carbon market projects with properties where the terms of the carbon deal and the management are already aligned – these can include properties where harvest is less than or equal to growth, large sugarbushes, and areas that are hard-to-harvest (but can be legally harvested).

There is no cost to evaluate this opportunity. If you think a voluntary carbon deal may be a good fit for some of your land holdings, contact Eric at:

Eric Kingsley
Innovative Natural Resource Solutions LLC
Phone 207-233-9910

E.B. Miller Memorial Scholarship Application
Deadline April 15

The deadline for applications for the Ohio Forestry Association Foundation’s E.B. Miller Memorial Scholarship is April 15, 2020. If you know a student that is going into, or is currently enrolled in, a course of study in a natural resources field, have them fill put an application for this worthwhile scholarship. Print application form, or can be found on the OFA website

HMA April Newsletter

Read the April HMA Link newsletter describing the recent and upcoming activities of the Hardwood Manufacturing Association (HMA).

April CareWorks Comp Newsletter

Here is The CareWorks Comp April Newsletter. This month's newsletter includes information on COVID-19 and its effects on unemployment, workers comp claims, and other BWC policy changes. This is good information for all employers.

A Forest Submerged 60,000 Years Ago Could Save Your Life

This is the title of an article published on March 31, 2020 by the New York Times. It describes a forest off the coast of Alabama that was submerged under sand for thousands of years until it was uncovered by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and was accidentally found by some fishermen. Scientists have been collecting specimens of rare, wood eating “worms” which have unique compounds in their bodies that may help in the creation of future medicines. Read the story on this development.

An ancient log, home to shipworms, which may help researchers discover new medicines. Photo: Annie Flanagan

Upcoming Events

For Details on These and Other Events

In light of the Coronavirus COVID-19 concerns, OFA has cancelled all group activities in March and April, including CSAW Training classes, and is encouraging all the Loggers Chapters to do likewise. Watch this area for updates when it is socially and healthfully responsible to start rescheduling these types of activities.

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