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timber Talk 8/24/15

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wood Education and Research Center Project Highlights
The Wood Education and Research Center (WERC) is part of the U.S. Forest Service State and Private Forestry Program in the Northeast Area of the United States. It is located in Princeton, WV and the mission is "to facilitate interaction and information exchange with the forest products industry to enhance opportunities for sustained forest products production in the eastern hardwood forest region of the United States.” You can read its August 2015 Project Highlights with information on a new publication: Business Management Practices for Small to Medium Sized Forest Products Firms, WERC’s Woody Biomass Technical Assistance Team, and an upcoming webinar on October 13 on Quarterly Urban Wood Utilization Webcast. You can also read information on the Update on the Housing Market (June 2015) from Virginia Tech the Update on Wood Markets (July 27, 2015).

Biomass and the Clean Power Plan, Still Uncertainty
We reported recently that the US EPA released Clean Power Plan which is supposed to reduce carbon emissions from the nation’s power plans. It establishes national standards on the amount of carbon that can be released from power plans, which is supposed to reduce carbon emissions by 32% by 2030. Each state must develop a plan on how it will meet goals. According the plan, biomass can be used as an energy source to help reduce carbon emissions, but it can be included only under unspecified conditions relating to the sustainability of the resource where the biomass came from. The plan does not indicate how to define "sustainable” but it does indicate that there will have to be some kind of "chain of custody” to measure the source. How these are determined will be up to each state. In short, some close to the issue on the biomass front believe that the federal government has simply "kicked the can down the road” on the carbon neutrality of biomass. It appears that state associations and other forestry interests will have to play a key role in state compliance plans if biomass is included as an energy source. For those who might be interested, you can read an Overview of the Clean Power Plan on the EPA website.

USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program Offers Assistance to Ohio Sawmills and Wood Manufacturers
The USDA Rural Development Program staff reached out to OFA to make the members aware that it manages a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to assist small, for-profit businesses with installing renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements to their businesses based on energy audits. This Fact Sheet provides a summary of the services offered as well as an explanation of available grant and loan money. Eligible energy efficiency or improvement projects can be eligible for a grant up to 25% of eligible project costs (total grant up to $500,000/$2,500 min. grant) or guaranteed loans up to 75% of eligible project costs (up to $25 million/$5,000 min. loan). The fact sheet provides contact and other information.

Tree Farm On-Line Mapping Tool for Forest Landowners
The American Tree Farm System provides some free on-line tools to help forest landowners manage data for their woodlands. My Land Plan can be accessed by a landowner and used to help build and manage a woodland plan. The website will take a landowner though the steps of creating a digital map and adding special goals and activities to the plan as their objectives dictate.

Asian Longhorned Beetle Update
The USDA APHIS and Ohio Department of Agriculture put out regular updates on the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) infestation in Clermont County. This release is another in the long line of news releases that have come out at least monthly since the first infestation was found in 2011. Usually, the release simply updates the number of trees surveyed, those found infested, and those trees removed or treated. Amazingly, since the project started, nearly 1.6 million susceptible trees have been surveyed, nearly 70,000 infested or high risk trees removed, and another 36,000 high risk trees treated.

Space Open for CSAW Level 1 Training, Friday, August 28, 2015 at Blue Rock State Forest
For those interested in getting training in CSAW Level 1, there is still space available for several attendees at a class taking place this Friday, August 28, 2015 at Blue Rock State Forest in Muskingum County. You can register on-line at the OFA website, or call the OFA office (614-497-9580) and register over the phone.

Upcoming Events:
    • Lumberman’s Outing, September 9, 2015, The Pines Golf Course, Orrville, and Lost Bird Sporting Clays, Fredericksburg. The Lumberman’s Outing this year will donate proceeds to the Rob McCarthy Family as they deal with costs associated with family health issues. Last week, Rob’s wife Martha lost her long-time battle with cancer, and we extend our sincerest sympathy and condolence to Rob and his children.
    • Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour, September 19, 2015, Sycamore Hill Tree Farm, Harrison County. Here is 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.
    • 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


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