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Timber Talk 9/7/15

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Monday, September 14, 2015

Hardwood Check-Off Comment Period Closes
September 7, 2015, Labor Day, was the last day for the public to comment on the proposed Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Hardwood Check-Off). OFA elected to turn in comments. Comments can be viewed on the website. You can also read them here.

Workers Compensation Invoice News
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has sent out the first invoices for employers who still have a few days to make payments. They also sent out a news release clarifying a couple issues including a delay in the processing of submitted payroll reports which was supposed to be cleared up by September 4, 2015 as well concerns about recent payments not being reflected with the latest invoices. Note the message in the release in which BWC notes that employers may receive early September invoices in which recent payments made on time are not reflected.

Ohio Sends Third Crew to Fight Western Wildfires
It seems like each year as western wildfires rage, Ohio is asked to assist interagency efforts to combat the fires. This year, Ohio is doing its part again and recently sent a third crew. The first crew served in northern California in the Shasta Trinity National Forest; the second Ohio Wildfire Crew was dispatched to Oregon where it was assigned to two different fire complexes on the Malheur National Forest. The latest crew is fighting the Bear Fire in the Six Rivers National Forest in northern California. Here is a news release on the third crew.

#Healthy Water Ohio Releases Strategic Plan for Ohio’s Water Quality Improvement
Last week, a group called Healthy Water Ohio released a long-term planaimed at improving and protecting Ohio’s water resources for a variety of purposes including agriculture, tourism, and other consumptive purposes. Healthy Water Ohio is a coalition of numerous agricultural and resource management organizations and business who are joining forces to help push a clean water agenda. A quick look at the plan on page 5 shows key recommendations to achieve water quality goals. It appears that the strategy is focused on using voluntary management practices in conjunctions with new funding sources through a state bond initiative and other research and educational components. The strategy includes establishing a formal research group, leveraging existing watershed districts to facilitate collaboration, conducting a needs assessment, establishing the Ohio Water Trust, and a broad education agenda.

Confessions of a Former Tree Hugger
The Country Journal recently printed an article on the 2015 Ohio Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year, Alan Walter who has a Tree Farm in Harrison County. It’s titled Confessions of a Tree Farmer. It relates Alan’s journey from first acquiring the 150-acre farm in 1990. He was a card-carrying Greenpeace member who wanted "to hunt mushrooms.” He has since become a full-fledged owner of a working tree farm that also is into heavy oil and gas production from a well drilled on the property. He credits advice he received from then ODNR Service Forester and now current Consulting Forester Randy Clum to encourage him to pursue forest management goals and better use the woodlands. The article is a prelude to the Annual Tree Farm Tour which will take place on Alan’s Tree Farm on September 19, 2015. This flyer contains directions to his property west of Scio in Harrison County, as well as information on the day’s activities.

Dayton-Based NewPage Holdings Inc. Potential Acquisition by Verso Paper Corp
The Dayton Daily News last week reportedthat Verso Paper Corp. had acquired NewPage Holdings Inc. but the acquisition was being reviewed in federal court to determine if Verso would end up controlling too much of the coated paper market in North America. The acquisition was completed in January but is still under federal review per the Tunney Act to make sure that the acquisition "protects the public interest.” The federal review allows public comment on issues related to the acquisition and it appears that actions being questioned are recent company layoffs and price increases on some of the Verso paper products. Verso employs about 300 people in Miami Twp. near Dayton.

Truck Weight Reform Update
Last week, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) introduced HR 3488, The Safe Trucking Act (The Safe, Flexible and Efficient Trucking Act) which would increase the Gross Vehicle Weight on commercial trucks to 91,000# with the addition of a sixth axle, which is compliant with bridge formulations. The bill would provide states the authority to designate interstate or portion thereof as eligible for the higher GVW. In the meantime, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee is planning to "mark up” the Highway Bill this coming week. This will provide an opportunity to get the Safe Trucking Act provisions included within the Highway Bill, if that can be negotiated. It will take Congressional support to get the bill passed. Anyone wishing to weigh in with their Congressman/woman can do so easily at the Forest Resource Association "Take Action” website. You can write your legislator simply and quickly on-line at this site. Note that the first 3 items relate to truck weight reform. It only takes a couple minutes to send a letter and it can have a big impact on gathering support.

Lumberman’s Outing a Success!
The Lumberman’s Outing was held on September 9 and included the traditional golf outing and clay shoot. According to many who attended and the comments received it was successful outing and day. A total of 121 attended the day’s events, with 76 golfing and 32 shooting. Fundraising at this event was for the Rob McCarthy Family who has had its share of difficulties this year with the loss of Rob’s wife Martha. We extend our gracious thanks to all the companies and individuals included on this list who sponsored and contributed to the event.

2015 Paul Bunyan Show
It’s just about that time again - the 2015 Paul Bunyan Show (PBS) is just a couple weeks away. It’s hard to believe that this will be the 10th consecutive year the PBS has been at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds. Time flies when there is so much fun to be had! OFA Members should have received a copy of the show program in the mail already. We can always use more volunteers for the show, particularly in the pre-show set-up, but during the show as well. Contact Gayla at the OFA office if you think you would like to help. Forest product industry professionals – did you know that you can pre-register for a trade buyer badge that will give you admission to the show all three days and make you stand out in the crowd as a buyer to the exhibitors? Register on the OFA website. If you haven’t been to the show recently, think about coming this year for a great event.

Upcoming Events:
Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour, September 19, 2015, Sycamore Hill Tree Farm, Harrison County - hereis a flyer on the Tree Farm Tour with information on presentations and activities for the day. There are numerous presentations on landowner management activities. Of special note is that there will be information on past and present oil and gas activities in that part of the state. The Sycamore Hill Tree Farm recently had a horizontal, Utica Shale well drilled on the property and visitors will get the chance to see first-hand what kind of "footprint” the well produces in a forested landscape. The agenda promises to offer a great day for all who attend. Please note that the planners would appreciate an "RSVP” if you plan to attend.

Renewable Energy Workshop, September 22, 2015, USDA Service Center, Butler County, Ohio - The USDA, Rural Development is offering a free seminar in Hamilton County, Ohio for agricultural producers and rural businesses who may be interested in developing an alternative energy or energy efficiency improvement project. The seminar will discuss grant opportunities through the Rural Energy for America Program(REAP), which can offer grant funding up to 25% of the total project cost. GC-Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) will also be on hand to present renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement financing options for business owners. The PACE program can be used by REAP applicants to help finance their projects. Please check out their website at, Contact Chris Jones at 513.621.4232 with any questions on the GC-PACE program. All are welcome. Reservations are not required. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call Randy Monhemius at 614.255.2424 or by email at

Belmont County Conservation Cookout, September 24, 2015, Barnesville, Ohio - Landowners in Belmont and Monroe Counties interested in finding out about the types of conservation assistance they can receive can do so at a cookout in Barnesville at the USDA office on September 24, 2015 from 11 am to 1 pm. Representatives from the ODNR Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife, NRCS and the Belmont SWCD will be there to answer questions and offer advice.

Southeast Ohio Tree Care Conference, Wednesday, September 30, 2015, Athens, Ohio - This is a tree care conference designed primarily for tree care in community settings. But there are a couple presentations that may be of interest to those interested in forest tree care as well. Dr. Joanne Rebbeck, researcher with the U.S. Forest Service in Delaware, Ohio will talk about biocontrol for Ailanthus and possible future opportunities to control this invasive pest. (See a Columbus Dispatch article about the work Dr. Rebbeck is doing to control Ailanthus with a fungus.) There is also a presentation on Saving Ohio’s Pollinators by Diane Kahal-Berman, an Engineer with the Ohio Department of Transportation. The one-day workshop has a $23 registration fee which includes lunch. The workshop will be at the ODNR headquarters in Athens.
Paul Bunyan Show, October 2-4, 2015, Guernsey County Fairgrounds

Woodland Management Seminar, October 15, 2015, Old Washington, Ohio - Forest landowners and others interested in knowing more about managing your woodlands and improving wildlife habitat can attend a seminar on October 15, 2015 at 5:30 pm at the Moore Memorial Woods in Old Washington (Guernsey County). There will be several speakers including Jeremy Scherf, ODNR Service Forester for Guernsey County. This flyer has details on the class.

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