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Weekly News 9/24/12

Posted By John Dorka, Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Ohio Forestry Association

Weekly News 9/24/12

In this issue:

Scioto County Road Issue
Columbus Dispatch article on Timber Theft
Keep the Forest in the Family Estate Tax Coalition Letter
New Farm Bill Not Passed
Rolling Stones Keyboardist Opposes LEED Green Building Program
Terrorists Reported to be Targeting Western Forests for Wildfires
Upcoming Events

  • Scioto County Road Issue- OFA has been dealing with a recent truck issue in Scioto County involving a county road with a weight restriction. The road has had a 12-ton weight restriction for a number of years but only recently the County Engineer has started demanding bonds. Last week, it was $200,000. At least two logging jobs were scheduled to take place on property along this road. A local insurance agent who works with a number of logging contractors in the area has indicated that he cannot find any carriers he deals with who have heard of that amount of bond let alone will provide it. The County Engineer has flatly refused to meet with OFA to see if something could be done to modify the bond or work out a resolution. At the moment, work is halted unless the County Engineer agrees to modify the arrangements.
  • Columbus Dispatch article on Timber Theft- About 2 weeks ago, I was contacted by a Columbus Dispatch reporter about questions on timber theft. She wrote an article covering the same Perry County theft issues that had surfaced some months ago and that prompted OFA to meet with Representatives McGregor and Hayes, the affected landowners and other interested parties. There is not much new information in the article. There is also no indication at this point that legislative changes will be re-kindled. Also, this past weekend, there was a letter to the editor in the Columbus Dispatch on the same issue. The writer is mistaken and misdirected with his understanding of timber valuations as well as how current law on timber theft would be applied.
  • Keep the Forest in the Family Estate Tax Coalition Letter - OFA recently agreed to be part of a coalition of forestry associations and wood industry groups to support Keep the Forest in the Family Act of 2012, HR 6439. Here is the coalition letter. This legislation is intended to lessen the estate tax burden on forest land owners who inherit property by using current use valuations as forest land instead of fair market value determination. To receive the current use valuation, the heir(s) must agree to keep the forest in the family and maintain it as a working forest for at least 10 years from the point of taking ownership. The legislation has been co-sponsored by Reps. Diane Black (TN-06) and Mike Michaud (ME-02). So far 8 additional co-sponsors have signed on but none from Ohio. It would help if at least one of our Representatives would agree to sponsor. To that end, if you would like to request your Representative to co-sponsor, you can do so at this website. You can submit a letter on-line to your Representative through the American Tree Farm System site.
  • New Farm Bill Not Passed - Last week, the House of Representatives did not take action to vote on the 2012 Farm Bill which had been voted out of committee in June. Speaker Boehner advised that there would be not action until the 2-month lame duck session in November and December. There is no indication as of yet what the House will do in the interim since the current bill is expected to retire on September 30. There are a number of forestry programs at stake in the current bill as well as re-worked programs in the Farm Bill that had passed the Senate and House committee.
  • Rolling Stones Keyboardist Opposes LEED Green Building Program - No doubt many of you are aware that the Rolling Stones keyboardist, Chuck Leavell, is a Tree Farmer certified in the American Tree Farm System. He has been a spokesman for the ATFS and been a strong advocate for working forests. Recently, as a native of Georgia, he publicly supported Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s executive order requiring all state building projects to give equal recognition to all forest certification programs. That order in turn prohibits the use of US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED standards for building because it recognizes only wood from FSC certified forests. Leavell apparently voiced his concerns in an editorial with the Mother Nature Network, which you can read here, and then follow that with this editorial.
  • Upcoming Events:
    1. Tree Farm of the Year Tour, September 29, 2012, Deseret Tree Farm, Jackson County. This is an all-day event to celebrate Ohio’s Tree Farm of the Year owned by Wayne and Benita Lashbrook.
    2. Scioto County Conservation Fair, September 29, 2010, Scioto County Fairgrounds, 10 AM to 4 PM. The Southern Ohio’s Logger Chapter will be represented at the Fair, along with a number of other organizations.
    3. Paul Bunyan Show, October 5-7, 2012, Guernsey County Fairgrounds. Looks like another great year for the show with exhibition space filling up and activities throughout the weekend.
    4. Forest Heritage Festival, October 19-20, 2012, Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds, Dover. The 17 th annual show is staged for another great year. Proceeds of this event help the Children’s Miracle Network, Akron Children’s Hospital.

Ohio Forestry Association is managed by Offinger Management Company, a member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), "Charter-Accredited" Association Management Company member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and a member of the Association Management Company Institute (AMC Institute).

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