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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Register Now for OFA Annual Meeting
March 4-5, 2020

To see the schedule of activities, line-up of speakers and topics, attendee registration, and exhibitor and sponsorship options, please visit our website.

Additional hotels, if you still need a room. Hampton Inn (across the parking lot) 614-268-8700 or Holiday Inn Express (across the street) 614-447-1212.

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. This week’s newsletter contains several interesting articles on new products and technology.  See the complete newsletter.

Ohio NRCS Announces New EQIP Application Deadline

The following is a news release on the EQIP program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced Friday, March 20, 2020, as the deadline to submit applications for Ohio’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

EQIP is a voluntary conservation program which helps producers make conservation work for them. Together, NRCS and producers invest in solutions that conserve natural resources for the future while also improving agricultural operations.

Through EQIP, NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices. Using these practices can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations. Through EQIP, you can voluntarily implement conservation practices, and NRCS co-invests in these practices with you.

Financial assistance is now available in a variety of agricultural categories such as cropland, forestry, pasture operations, and organic.  Several special projects are also available which address water quality, forestry management, improving pollinator populations and wildlife habitat, pasture improvements and many more.  All available agricultural categories are listed on the Ohio NRCS website under “EQIP Application Deadlines.”

To participate in USDA conservation programs, applicants should be farmers or farm or forest landowners and must meet eligibility criteria. Applications signed and submitted to NRCS by the March 20 deadline will be evaluated for fiscal year 2020 funding.

To learn more about EQIP or other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or visit your local USDA Service Center.

Program Contact:  John Wilson
(614) 255-2480

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 the application form, or it can be found on the OFA website.

Pallet Enterprise Classifieds

Here is a recent offering of classified ads from Pallet Enterprise. These classifieds consist of machinery, lumber, job openings, etc.

Rural Energy for America Program
Promotional Workshops

Rural Development is accepting applications for the Rural Energy For America Program.  The next application deadline is March 31, 2020. This application deadline is for projects which request $20,000 or less and for projects which request up to $500,000.

In an effort to help applicants understand the program and submit an application, Rural Development is hosting two workshops which are designed to explain the program and discuss the requirements of the application.

These meetings are:

March 3, 2020   Time:    9:30 - 12:00
                Findlay Area Office
                7868 County Road 140 Suite D
                Findlay, OH 45840

March 5, 2020   Time:    9:30 - 12:00
                Massillon Area Office
                2650 Richville Drive SE, Suite 102
                Massillon, OH  44646

In brief, this program is designed to assist rural, small, for-profit businesses and agricultural producers install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. These types of improvements can help eligible applicants control energy costs and improve the overall profitability of their operations. The grant program can cover up to 25% of the eligible project costs while the loan guarantee can cover up to 75% of the eligible project costs.  Federal participation cannot exceed 75% of eligible project costs.

Grants can range from $1,500 to $500,000 with loan guarantees up to $25,000,000.

Examples of the assistance provided in previous years include:

  • A grant for $49,950 to assist a North Central Ohio waste treatment and disposal business install a 124.74kW roof mounted solar array which offsets 90% of the company’s annual electrical usage. The expected annual electrical cost savings for the company will exceed $15,000.
  • A grant for $19,285 to assist a Northwestern Ohio manufacturing company replace outdated and inefficient florescent light fixtures within their manufacturing facility with state-of-the-art LED light fixtures and controls. The anticipated kWh saved will exceed 75% while the estimated financial payback will be less than 4 years based upon the energy savings alone.
  • A grant for $15,250 to assist a farmer in Western Ohio replace an outdated and inefficient grain dryer. The expected energy savings will provide a return on this investment of less than 10 years.

As shown above, this program has helped farmers replace grain dryers; fans and lights for livestock operations; and install solar PV arrays to help offset electrical consumption. Small businesses have benefited through high efficiency lighting; improvements to HVAC systems; and the installation of a renewable energy system to help offset electrical consumption.  

Additional information can be found at: Rural Energy for America Program.

Should you be interested in discussing a specific project or in receiving an application for your project, please contact one of the persons listed below:

Jennifer Brown                  614-255-2423
Randy Monhemius      614-255-2424

Wayne National Forest Plans Spring Prescribed Fires
Burn Window: Approximately Feb. 24 through May 31, 2020

Press Release: PEDRO, Ohio (Feb. 20, 2020) – This spring, the Wayne National Forest is planning prescribed fires in three areas totaling up to 628 acres. The planned burn areas are located on the Wayne’s Ironton Ranger District, near the Pine Creek area.

Prescribed burns are planned fires that are overseen by professional firefighters. “Fire helps promote oak trees,” said Ironton District Ranger Tim Slone. “That’s why we use prescribed burns as one method to support vigorous oak-dominated forests across southeast Ohio.” This forest type is fire-tolerant, and occasional prescribed fires help oaks outcompete shade-tolerant species of trees like maple and beech. Oak-dominated forests provide critical habitat to a variety of wildlife species.

Depending on weather and landscape conditions, fire crews may use traditional ground-based or aerial ignition methods to conduct prescribed burns. Aerial ignition involves the use of a Plastic Sphere Dispenser (PSD) machine mounted in a helicopter to drop ignition spheres onto a targeted area.

“When conditions are right, we prefer to use aerial ignition for a couple of reasons,” said Slone. “Several days’ worth of ground-based prescribed burning can be accomplished in just a few hours. We can also take advantage of short windows of opportunity when weather conditions permit these techniques.”
Slone emphasized that the concern for safety will extend to all aspects of the operation. If it is initiated with aerial ignition, a broad area will be treated with prescribed fire during a short time. “Because of this,” Slone stressed, “the public should know that a large smoke column could be created, but residents should not be alarmed.”

Summary details about the planned prescribed burns are as follows:

Pine Creek Unit F Prescribed Burn
Size: Approximately 281 acres
Location: Lawrence County, Decatur Township, in the vicinity of Howard Ridge

Pine Creek Unit G Prescribed Burn
Size: Approximately 342 acres
Location: Lawrence County, Decatur Township, in the vicinity of Howard Ridge

Fradd Hollow Prescribed Burn
Size: Approximately 5 acres
Location: Lawrence County, Lawrence Township, in the vicinity of Fradd Hollow

Prescribed Fire Goals and Parameters:
Prescribed fires are performed under specific weather conditions. The Wayne National Forest follows strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns, and uses environmental factors including temperature, humidity, atmosphere stability, wind direction, wind speed, and smoke dispersion. If any of these conditions are not within limits, the burns will be postponed.

Through the use of prescribed fire, the Wayne National Forest hopes to accomplish these goals:

  • Encourage the growth of a diverse array of plant life, including sun-loving plants and grasses.
  • Ensure oaks remain the keystone species in our forests. Oaks provide food for many different animals. Using fire to bring light into our forests helps oaks grow. Without fire, shade-tolerant species will take over and eventually replace oak as the dominant species in our forest.
  • Protect human property by reducing the amount of down, dead wood in the forest. That way if a wildfire happens, it would be less intense, and potentially easier to control.
  • Perpetuate oak barrens and woodlands found within the forest. These remnant plant communities provide habitat for several early successional species. Maintaining these open woodland conditions with prescribed fire increases biodiversity in both plant and animal species.

About the U.S. Forest Service:
The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the country’s 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Its public lands contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year and provide 20 percent of the country’s clean water supply. For more information, visit their website.

Can Forests Provide a Solution to the
Single-use Plastic Problem?

Jessica Kaknevicius, vice-president of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative thinks so, and she talks about it and the possibilities in this article.

Upcoming Events
Details on These and Other Events

  • LSC Meeting – Wednesday, March 4 – 3:30 PM - University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • 2020 OFA Annual Meeting – March 4-5 – University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • OFA Executive Committee Meeting – Friday, March 6 – 8:00 AM - University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • OFA Board of Trustees Meeting – Friday, March 6 – 10:00 AM - University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • Best Management Practices (BMP’s) Training – 8-Hour – Thursday, March 19 – 8:00 AM – Fernwood State Forest – Bloomingdale, Ohio
  • CSAW Level 1 Training for Professional Loggers – 8-Hour – Friday, March 20 – 8:00 AM – Fernwood State Forest – Bloomingdale, Ohio

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