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Timber Talk 1/4/16

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year to All!
We hope that everyone had a great holiday with family and friends and good times. It’s time for 2016. This report is short with only a few nuggets of information as the last couple weeks of December were typically slow.Things will pick up going forward. Just a reminder of the 2016 OFA Annual Meeting, March 9-10, 2016 at the Dublin Embassy Suites. Final plans are being worked on and registration information will be coming out in the near future. Hope to see many of you there.

Division of Forestry FY 2016 Report on Timber Revenue Sharing with Local Governments
Many of you are aware that the ODNR Division of Forestry by law shares its timber harvest and sales revenues with local government. The law has been in place for many decades, and it has been repeatedly modified over the years. This report summarizes the payments that will be made to local governments (counties, townships, and school districts) for FY 2016. The distribution is based on revenues received the previous fiscal year (2015) and not necessarily for the timber sold during that period. According to the report, the Division of Forestry received $3,722,799.62 in timber and log sale revenues. After deducting its direct cost of administration, the Division shares 65% of the net amount ($2,054,354.47)with the local political subdivisions, and retains the remaining 35% of the net ($1,668,445.15).

Congress Makes Conservation Easement Tax Break Permanent
Late in the year, Congress passed legislation (S. 330/H.R. 641 – The Conservation Easement Incentive Act) to make permanent tax incentives for conservation easement donations. Both the Senate and House passed the measure by significant, bi-partisan votes. Those supporting the bill, particularly a broad group of forest landowner associations argued that permanently enacting this type of tax incentive will provide significant help to family forest owners as properties are passed along to family in estates.

OFA Agrees to Support HR 712 – The Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlement Act of 2015
OFA has agreed to be included on a letter to the House of Representatives supporting HR 712, referred to informally and the "Sue and Settle” Act. Under the leadership of the U.S. Chamber of Congress, support is sought from groups around the country to promote the legislation which is intended to stem the tide of "sue and settle” actions whereby groups sue the federal government and then agree to altered regulatory actions and decisions without any general public knowledge and participation. Opponents of the sue and settle actions believe that these lawsuits lead to modifications of federal regulatory authorities and rules without the full involvement of federal rule-making processes.

American Tree Farm System Celebrates 75th Anniversary in 2016
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) has been around since 1941, when it was started by cooperative actions between Weyerhaeuser Corp. and the State of Washington with the dedication of the country’s first Tree Farm. Since then the program has grown to include more than 80,000 Tree Farmers and covers tens of millions of acres of woodlands. You can take a look at a digital version of the ATFS Woodland Magazine to learn more about the history and see where the program is going in the years ahead.

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