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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Wednesday, February 19, 2020

REMINDER: OFA Annual Meeting – March 4-5, 2020

To see the schedule of activities, line-up of speakers and topics, attendee registration, and exhibitor and sponsorship options, please visit our website

Forest Markets Weekly Newsletter

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 an interesting article on a new process for preserving lumber that could offer advantages over pressure treating.  See the complete newsletter.

Photo Credit: Allison Carter, Georgia Tech

Northeast Ohio Forestry Association
(NEOFA) Newsletter

See the February 2020 edition of the NEOFA newsletter. It recaps their January meeting topic on “Selling Timber”, presented by consulting foresters Jim Elze and Dan Castellucci, and introduces their upcoming presentation on the Holden Arboretum’s “Working Woods”. See all this and more in the newsletter.

East Central Ohio Forestry Association
(ECOFA) Newsletter

Read the East Central Ohio Forestry Association March 2020 Newsletter. As always, it gives reports from their previous meeting, which was a presentation by John Oliver from the Buckeye Career Center and some of his students, on the Natural Resources program there at the school. It also gives information on other upcoming events.

Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) February 2020 Newsletter

For those of you on Ohio’s eastern border, you may be interested in some of the information in the PFA February 2020 newsletter. This edition provides a deer management update, announces the upcoming 2020 Conservation Banquet, discusses the new Purple Paint Law in PA, and contains other useful and interesting news on forestry and upcoming events.

From The Hardwood Leader – The Big Picture

Following is “The Big Picture” from the March 2020 Hardwood Leader, produced and distributed by Hardwood Publishing Inc. This “Big Picture” summary discusses how the coronavirus outbreak may delay the recovery that the Phase 1 China agreement on tariff relief was starting to slowly show.

Hardwood industry optimism had been growing, and for good reason. Domestic demand for hardwood lumber was starting to rebounded from its seasonal low, and Chinese buyers were kicking tires, inquiring about short- and long-term log and lumber availability, and even placing new orders. KD 4/4 #1/Btr Red Oak prices had begun to trend slightly higher after nearly two years of declines. The industry was on the cusp of a slow-but-steady recovery… until the coronavirus outbreak. Now, unfortunately, it appears some Chinese buyers may be leveraging the outbreak to force U.S. hardwood lumber prices lower, telling exporters that containers can’t be picked up at ports due to worker health concerns…unless prices are slashed. We don’t foresee an impact as large as at the start of the trade war, when containers were similarly refused, but it could well delay the start of meaningful recovery until late spring.

Moulding sales rebounded at the end of 2019 alongside rising single-family housing starts, which will continue to expand in 2020 due to wage growth and low mortgage rates. Other secondary manufacturers are also reporting steady-to-stronger demand early in 2020. All in all, 2020 will feel better than 2019, and would already be doing so if not for a literal “bug” in the system.

Dovetail Partners February “The Outlook” Newsletter

The February issue of Dovetail Partners “The Outlook” newsletter discusses their Consuming Responsibly Series: An Environmental Assessment of Transportation Alternatives. See the complete newsletter for these and other interesting articles.  "The Outlook" is the monthly e-newsletter of Dovetail Partners, Inc, a 501c3 non-profit corporation.

Wayne National Forest Plans Spring Prescribed Fires

Burn Window: Approximately Feb. 16 through May 31, 2020

NEWS RELEASE - NELSONVILLE, Ohio (Feb. 14, 2020) – This spring, the Wayne National Forest is planning prescribed fires in two areas totaling up to 2,341 acres. The planned burn areas are located on the Wayne’s Athens Ranger District, northeast of Nelsonville and Buchtel, and northwest of Chauncey and Millfield.
Prescribed burns are planned fires that are overseen by professional firefighters. “Fire helps maintain oak trees,” said Athens District Ranger Jason Reed. “That’s why the Wayne National Forest uses prescribed burns as a tool to support healthy oak-dominated forests on the landscape of southeast Ohio.” This forest type is fire-tolerant, and occasional prescribed fires help oaks outcompete shade-tolerant species of trees like maple and beech. Oak-dominated forests provide critical habitat to a variety of wildlife species.

Depending on weather and landscape conditions, fire crews may use traditional ground-based or aerial ignition methods to conduct prescribed burns. Aerial ignition involves the use of a Plastic Sphere Dispenser (PSD) machine mounted in a helicopter to drop ignition spheres onto a targeted area.
“There are several reasons why we use aerial ignition when conditions are right,” said Reed. “We can do several weeks’ worth of ground-based prescribed burning in just a few hours, and also take advantage of short windows of opportunity when weather conditions allow these operations. But the main reason is to reduce the risk to our firefighters on the ground by limiting their exposure to the fire.”
Reed emphasized that the concern for safety will extend to all aspects of the operation. If it is initiated with aeriel ignition, a broad area will be treated with prescribed fire during a short time. “Because of this,” Reed stressed, “the public should be aware that a large smoke column could be produced. It may be visible from Athens, Nelsonville, and other nearby communities, but it is not cause for alarm.”

Read the summary details about the planned prescribed burns. More detailed information, including the decision memo, can be found there.

Long Ridge Prescribed Burn
Size: Approximately 1876 acres
Location: Hocking County, Ward Township; near the following areas: Buchtel and Murray City, Nelsonville-York High School, and adjacent to State Route 78

Carr-Bailey Prescribed Burn
Size: Approximately 465 acres
Location: Athens County, Dover Township; near the following areas: north of Chauncey, west of Millfield and Redtown

Prescribed Fire Goals and Parameters:
Prescribed fires are performed under specific weather conditions. The Wayne National Forest follows strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns, and uses environmental factors including temperature, humidity, atmosphere stability, wind direction, wind speed, and smoke dispersion. If any of these conditions are not within limits, the burns will be postponed.

Through the use of prescribed fire, 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 many 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 down, dead wood in the forest. That way if a wildfire happens, 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.

About the U.S. Forest Service:
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 their website.

Researchers Seek to Restore Appalachia's Forests

This article is a very good read about how the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative came into being. It tells the story of the efforts of a few people to reverse the effects of growing nothing but grass on the hillsides and mountaintop removal mining areas in Kentucky and other Appalachian states, and planting these coal era lands back to the forests that were there prior to the coal mining days.

Westerman Introduces the Trillion Trees Act

On Wednesday, February 12th, Representative Bruce Westerman (R-AR-4) introduced the Trillion Trees Act (HR 5859). This legislation supports the U.N. Initiative to plant one trillion trees globally by 2050 by planting more trees in the U.S., incentivizing the use of wood products to store carbon, improving carbon storage through active forest management, and directing the EPA to establish policies reflecting the carbon neutrality of biomass. The legislation also directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish targets for increased wood growth on domestic forests and create a reforestation task group that will advise the Secretary on wood growth targets. A summary of the legislation can be found here. Westerman was joined by nine Republican original cosponsors of the Trillion Trees Act.

“Trees are the ultimate carbon sequestration device,” Westerman said. “Every day, countless billions of plant cells are pulling carbon from the atmosphere and permanently storing it in wood. That’s why this legislation is so important. We’re taking proven science and turning it into practical solutions. Not only are we setting an ambitious goal of planting 1 trillion new trees by 2050, but we’re also reinvesting resources into managing forests and using wood products. Since wood continues storing carbon long after the tree is cut down and turned into furniture or building materials, there is no limit to how much carbon we can sequester. We have an obligation to conserve our resources and make them available to future generations, and I challenge anyone to find a better climate solution than taking care of our forests. I’m pleased to have so many of my colleagues joining me in this effort, and I look forward to moving this bill through the legislative process.”

Upcoming Events 
For Details on These and Other Events

  • SRVLC Meeting – Thursday, February 20 – 7:00 PM – Wakefield, Ohio
  • LSC Meeting – Wednesday, March 4 – 3:30 PM - University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • 2020 OFA Annual Meeting – March 4-5 – University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • OFA Executive Committee Meeting – Friday, March 6 – 8:00 AM - University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • OFA Board of Trustees Meeting – Friday, March 6 – 10:00 AM - University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • Best Management Practices (BMP’s) Training – 8-Hour – Thursday, March 19 – 8:00 AM – Fernwood State Forest – Bloomingdale, Ohio
  • CSAW Level 1 Training for Professional Loggers – 8-Hour – Friday, March 20 – 8:00 AM – Fernwood State Forest – Bloomingdale, Ohio

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