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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Monday, March 30, 2020


OFA Office Staff Still Working
for OFA Members

Even though we are not physically at the OFA office, the OFA staff is still hard at work on all things OFA. We are well connected to our systems through the internet and mobile phones as we work remotely. If you call the office number and dial one of our extensions, your call will ring in to our mobile phones. If you email us, we will get your email quickly and respond. If you mail us something, someone will be picking mail up at the post office once a week to take care of payments received, invoices to be paid, contracts to be entered into the system, etc.

We are currently making business-as-usual plans for all events that take place after June 1, knowing that we may need to make adjustments. These events include: Camp Canopy, OFA Summer Outing and Board Meetings, the Lumbermens Outing, and of course, the Paul Bunyan Show.

Speaking of the OFA Office………….

On Wednesday of this past week, I met with Past President, Adam Conway and his son, Addison, at the OFA Office to unload, assemble, and arrange new solid walnut tables for the OFA Conference Room. These tables are an awesome gift to OFA from Adam and Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, Inc. They give us a much more professional looking and functional conference room, and I can’t wait to use them at one of our next Board meetings. Thanks again to Adam and Superior Hardwoods of Ohio. Here are a couple pictures taken of the new tables right after we finished assembling them.


FRA Launches Online Tool Showing
the State-by-State Impact of COVID-19
on the Forest Products Industry

The Forest Resource Association (FRA) has launched a tool where you can get the latest info on how each state is handling the manufacturing and transportation of forest products. It includes maps and information on: Logging, Lumber/Panels, Pallets, Pulp & Paper, and Biomass/Pellets. It also contains other relevant COVID-19 information.

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 continues to discuss business conditions and the Coronavirus issues. See the complete newsletter.

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.

American Loggers Council Update

Shannon Jarvis, American Loggers Council President, recently wrote an article for the American Loggers Council March 2020 Newsletter entitled discussing the recent Logger Survey conducted near the end of 2019. The survey was completed by 580 logging professionals from around the country. Read Shannon’s full dialogue in this article.


The WORK SAFE article, reprinted from the March 2020 edition of the Northern Logger and Timber Processor magazine, gives example of fatalities and injuries that happened at job sites and on the road, that could easily have been avoided. Use these examples to keep yourself, your coworkers, and your employees safe, so that everyone can go home to their families at the end of the day in the same condition that they left in the morning.

Muskingum River Woodlands Interest Group
(MRWIG) Newsletter

MRWIG has distributed their March/April 2020 newsletter. Read the newsletter to see their upcoming schedule and other news. It also includes a couple good articles on the growth of Deer Antlers and the reintroduction of Wild Turkeys to Ohio.

Scientists Plant 'Sentinel Trees'
to Warn of Devastating Pests

Researchers from the United States, Europe, and China are planting “sentinel” trees from their own countries into distant nations, to see what insects attack them. This information could give scientists a head start on developing ways to quickly snuff out an attack  on native trees by an exotic pest. Read more about this unique approach in the newsletter.

Hummel Group Provides Guidance on
Health Insurance and Tax Credits
During COVID-19 Period

As a business owner, we understand that you have concerns for your employees, clients, and health of your business. Please know that we are available and ready to assist you. Here are several resources you may find helpful during this time.

Health Insurance Coverage Flexibility For OH Employees

Bulletin from the Ohio Department of Insurance that orders and directs Insurers to comply with the requirements regarding employee eligibility for coverage, premium payment grace periods, continuation of health insurance coverage and special enrollment for coverage due to loss of employment.

Read More

IRS Guidance on Tax Credits for Coronavirus Paid Leave

Small and midsize employers may begin using two new refundable payroll tax credits to obtain reimbursement for the costs of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on March 20, 2020.

Read More

If you have any questions on these items or would like to discuss any other coverage or employment related issue, please feel free to contact your agent. We are a resource for you as you navigate the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

You can review our coronavirus resource page for more information.

Visit Hummel Group's Coronavirus Resource Page

Decline of Ruffed Grouse Linked to Loss
of Young-Forest Habitat

Warmer temperatures and West Nile Virus taking their toll on the Ruffed Grouse. But also, the loss of young-forest habitat is playing a role. Read more about this situation in the mid-Atlantic states in this article.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
Deadline Extended to April 15, 2020

Rural Development has extended the deadline for accepting REAP Grant applications until April 15, 2020. This extension was published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2020. Additional information regarding the deadlines, program or necessary application materials can be found at the following webpage: Rural Energy for America Program Please contact Randy Monhemius should you have any questions or concerns. Randy’s contact info is as follows:

Randel Monhemius
Business Program Specialist
Ohio State Office, Rural Development
United States Department of Agriculture
200 North High Street, Room 507
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-255-2424

Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA)
April (Spring) 2020 Newsletter

For those of you on Ohio’s eastern border, you may be interested in some of the information in the PFA April 2020 newsletter. This edition has a very informative article on the effects on the landscape involving native and invasive species during a time of climate change.

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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