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Timber Talk

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, October 15, 2019

 2019 Paul Bunyan Show Final Statistics

Please visit our website to see the statistics, contest winners, etc., from the 2019 Paul Bunyan Show.


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 several articles dealing with the Chinese tariff situation and the hardwood industry.  See the complete newsletter.     


Some Maples Are More Desirable Than Others

Unless you are seriously into trees, you may not realize the many differences between a Norway Maple and a Sugar Maple. The article, recently published in the Morning Ag Clips Newsletter, not only describes their differences, but points out the harm to other parts of our wooded environment that one of them can bring about. 


The leaves of sugar maples are set ablaze each fall in yellow, red and orange. When Norway maple leaves do finally turn color, it's just yellow. (Heather Katsoulis, Flickr/Creative Commons)


America’s Gift to the World: Giving Up Sprawling Lawns for Trees

This is the title of an opinion piece recently written by Dan Rodricks for the Baltimore Sun. It explores the questions around what kind of differences it would make if we would quit mowing and maintaining extensive grass lawns, and replace them with trees. This piece, which includes a lot of statistics related to our obsessions with mowed lawns, can be read here.


Hocking College Career Fair

Are you looking for skilled, professional students to fill your companies job needs? Sign up to participate in the Hocking College Career Fair on November 12, 2019. To register fill-out and submit the following google form. Employer Registration, or contact Elizabeth Messer, Hocking College Career Center, 740-753-6108 hccareer@hocking.edu



CareWorksComp October 2019 Newsletter

Useful News For All Employers - Here is OFA’s BWC Group Ratings provider, CareWorks, newsletter full of BWC information. This newsletter discusses Experience Modifier Rates, your Billion Back Rebate Check, and other important safety related information.


Northeast Ohio Forestry Association (NEOFA) Newsletter

Here is the October 2019 edition of the NEOFA newsletter. It recaps their Pawpaw presentation by Ron and Vickie White, and discusses their upcoming meeting which will be highlighted by an informational presentation by ODNR Forester, Jamie Regula, on the EQIP program.


A Clever Gel That may Work Like a Vaccine for Wildfires

A materials scientist from Stanford has developed a way to mix fire retardant with an environmentally safe gel, made from the natural materials of cellulose and silica, that can be sprayed on areas of high flammability probability and keep them fire retardant for months. Read about this innovative product, and its potential uses, in this article

A utility pole was treated with viscoelastic fire retardant fluids and subjected to control burns. The treatments protected pole from fire damage. Photograph: Jesse D. Acosta


Prescribed Fire Brings Life to the
Wayne National Forest
Burn Window:
Approximately Oct. 15 through Dec. 31, 2019

Following is a news release from the Wayne National Forest pertaining to their burn schedule on the Ironton Ranger District. 

PEDRO, Ohio (Oct. 8, 2019) – Fire helps maintain healthy oak forests, according to scientists who study native plants, birds, and other wildlife. That’s why the Wayne National Forest uses fire as a tool to restore southern Ohio forests.

“Fire rejuvenates the forest. It increases nutrient availability, favors some plants over others, and can remove some of the leaf litter and smaller trees and brush. This lets more sunlight into the forest floor, which is important for regenerating oak trees, the dominant tree in Ohio forests, as well as many other sun-loving plants,” said Acting Ironton District Ranger Pat Mercer. 

Prescribed fire is a planned fire that is overseen by professional firefighters. Fall marks the beginning of the forest’s prescribed burn season, during which professionals plan to burn up to 626 acres between Oct. 15 and Dec. 31, 2019, on the Ironton Ranger District. Areas include the following:

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 3 acres
Location: Lawrence County, Lawrence Township, in the vicinity of Fradd Hollow

Prescribed fires are performed under specific weather conditions and are designed to mimic fire that historically occurred on the forest. The Wayne National Forest follows strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns, and uses environmental factors including temperature, humidity, atmosphere stability, smoke dispersion, and wind direction and speed. If any of these conditions are not within limits, the burns will be postponed.

By bringing fire back to the forest, 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 about 100 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 dead and down wood in the forest. That way if a wildfire occurs, 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.

To learn more about prescribed burning on the Wayne, contact the Wayne National Forest Public Affairs Office at (740) 753-0862.

 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 www.fs.fed.us.


American Loggers Council Update

Danny Dructor, Executive Director of the American Loggers Council (ALC), recently wrote his “As We See It" article for the GLTPA magazine, entitled “Success Starts at Home”. It discusses ways in which logging activism starts at a “grass roots” level, and gives a great example of the “Timber Unity” movement that helped defeat restrictive legislation in Oregon earlier this year. Read Danny’s full dialogue in this article.



Issues & Advocacy Update

The following updates on national level issues was provided by Forest Resource Association President, Deb Hawkinson.

Biomass                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved FY 2020 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations legislation on 9/26/19. As expected, the legislation included FRA-supported language reauthorizing the directive that the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture recognize the carbon neutral nature of forest biomass energy in their regulatory policies.   

Inclusion in this legislation is a positive development, but our work is not done. Recall that the House Interior appropriations bill does not include this language, which sets up a negotiation between the House and Senate at some point. A Continuing Resolution (CR) was sent to the President on 9/26/19 which would fund the federal government past the September 30 expiration of the current fiscal year and through November 21. This will allow time for the Senate to continue work on the 12 FY appropriations bills. If considerable progress on appropriations is not made before November 21, we could have a scenario where Congress simply passes an additional CR that would extend government funding well into next year and possibly for a full year. If that scenario unfolds, our biomass carbon neutral provision would also be extended for that duration as the CR simply reauthorizes existing funding levels and the policies that are tied with them which includes our biomass provision.   

The bottom line is that this appropriations development in the Senate is very good news and we will use this momentum as we continue to push for a favorable policy outcome this fall.

FRA Provides Comments to Change HOS Ag Definition to Include Forestry 

FRA worked with the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of the American Trucking Associations and provided language on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The letter requests that the “new” agriculture definition include raw forest commodities in the final rule. Also, the comments urge that the FMCSA “season of harvest” language be eliminated in favor of a calendar year approach. There are only 17 states that do not have a year-round designation. If the FMCSA adopts the recommendations, log trucks would be allowed to operate within a 150-mile air radius without being required to have an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) or keep paper logs. A copy of the letter can be found here.


WORK SAFE

The attached WORK SAFE article, reprinted from the September 2019 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.


Reminder - Fiscal Year 2020 - Rural Energy
for America Program (REAP)

The following information on the REAP Grant program comes from the desk of Randy Monhemius, Business Program Specialist with USDA/Rural Development.

Rural Development is seeking applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  The next application deadline is October 31, 2019. 

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 or $500,000, whichever is less. The loan guarantee can cover up to 75% of the eligible project costs.  Federal participation cannot exceed 75% of eligible project costs. 

In previous years, this program has helped with the following projects:

  • Small Solar PV installation – 17.4kW system producing 21,257 kWh annually and replacing 100% of the farm’s annual consumption. The project was funded with a REAP grant of $13,279 and a non-guaranteed bank loan of $38,841 for a total project cost of $53,120. 
  • Biomass/Wood Gasification boiler -  The project involved the replacement of propane fired heaters with a biomass fired boiler. The firewood generated sufficient heat to replace 6,550 gallons of propane saving in excess of $13,000 per year. The total project cost was $$31,200. A REAP grant in the amount of $7,800 was awarded this project. 
  • Grocery Store lighting upgrade – The project involved the replacement of florescent light fixtures throughout the store with energy efficient LED lighting.  Total project costs were $77,500. The project was awarded a REAP grant in the amount of $19,375. The replacement of the lighting fixtures with LED lighting saved the store $9,800 per year in energy costs, reduced maintenance costs and improved the overall visibility of the store. 

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, please contact one of the persons listed below:

Josh Smith - Joshua.Smith7@usda.gov - 614-255-2426
Jennifer Brown - Jennifer.Brown@usda.gov - 614-255-2423
Randy Monhemius - Randy.Monhemius@usda.gov - 614-255-2424


Upcoming Events
For Details on These and Other Events

  • Lumber Grading Short Course – October 21-25, Nelsonville, Ohio
  • Best Management Practices – 8-Hour Course – Thursday, October 24 – Chillicothe, Ohio
  • CSAW Level 1 – 8-Hour Course - Friday, October 25 – Chillicothe, Ohio

 

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