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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Forest Markets Weekly Newsletters

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 and video on a 40-year forest transformation.  See the complete newsletter.                       

Protecting Bats On Your Land

The American Tree Farm System recently published information in their Forest and Families newsletter about how to protect bats on your property. That information has been reprinted here for your consumption.

Summer is an active time for bats.  For some species of lactating female bats, they can eat their weight in insects every night!  That is a lot of insects.  And they are eating the insects that are particularly annoying to us, from mosquitoes to garden pests. 

For the northern long-eared bat, a species that has been devastated by the White Nose Sydrome where mortality rates can be up to 90-100%, mother bats and their babies are particularly important for maintaining the species.   From June 1-July 31, northern long-eared mothers are the only food source for their pups.  That is why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed rules to protect this species and their maternity roost trees.  The American Tree Farm System has developed useful information to help landowners understand how these rules might impact their activities and outlines your responsibilities under these rules.

What else can you do to protect bats on your land?


The Ohio Hetuch Summer Newsletter

The Ohio Hetuch is the newsletter of the Ohio chapter of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). This newsletter announces their upcoming summer meeting, welcomes their new Chairman, and has a very nice article on Ohio State’s Forestry Forum going to the Midwestern Foresters’ Conclave. Read the newsletter for all the most recent SAF news.

Issues & Advocacy Update

On the national level, our partners at the Forest Resource Association (FRA) work hard to promote issues for the forest products industry. The issues taking center focus recently have dealt with Forest Service appropriations, H-2B Visas, Biomass Definitions, and truck driver concerns. Following is the latest update on some of these issues from FRA President, Deb Hawkinson.

House Passes Spending Package that Includes Forest Service Funding

On June 25, the House passed an appropriations bill (H.R. 3055) that includes funding for the U.S. Forest Service. The spending package titled as H.R. 3055 – Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2020 passed primarily along party lines by a margin of 33 votes (227 YEAS, 194 NAYS). The House approved amendments related to forestry including increasing the Forest Service timber program by $10 million, blocking funding of timber sales and road building on the Tongass National Forest and increasing funding for hazardous fuels preparation and fire suppression. The Senate has not taken action on appropriations as leadership continues to discuss overall budget numbers. Appropriations bills must pass and be signed into law by the end of September to avoid a government shutdown. 

Forest Service Hosts Webinar on Proposed NEPA Changes

The Forest Service hosted the first of two informational webinars to inform interested parties about the proposed revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. The proposed rule will allow the Forest Service to manage forestlands in a more timely and efficient manner. Included in the proposed rule are several Categorical Exclusions (CEs) that would be used for forest restoration projects, road and trail management, and special use authorizations. The last update to the NEPA regulations was in 2008. The next webinar is scheduled for July 12 at 3:30-5:00 PM (EDT). 

GAO Survey of H-2B Users

FRA continues to work with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess the effectiveness of the H-2B visa program with forestry employers. The GAO interviewed FRA on this matter earlier in the year. If your company or the contractors you hire employ H-2B workers for forestry work, contact FRA for more information. The GAO findings will be available in the last quarter of 2019. 

Senator Udall Introduces Renewable Electricity Standard Legislation—Biomass Defined

On June 26, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), along with U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Angus King (I–ME), introduced legislation  (S.1974) to achieve at least 50 percent renewable electricity nationwide in just 15 years. Included in the bill is a definition of renewable biomass that includes by-products of wood or paper mill operations, including lignin in spent pulping liquors, small diameter thinned trees, logging residues, or tops and limbs, and trees removed for purposes of ecological restoration. This legislation is among a number of bills introduced this Congress that define renewable biomass. FRA will be working with allied associations on how best to work through these multiple definitions of biomass being introduced.

DRIVE Safe Act Number of Cosponsors Grows

The DRIVE Safe Act (H.R. 1374, S. 569) has experienced growth in cosponsors over the last several weeks in both Chambers. Currently, in the House there are 91 cosponsors, which includes 17 Democrats. The Senate version of the bill now has 27 cosponsors, which include 3 Democrats and 1 independent. FRA and the DRIVE Safe Coalition will continue to work to build cosponsor numbers up to the August recess. The DRIVE Safe Act would allow drivers 18-21 to drive Interstate with an additional 400 hours of training. Passage of this legislation will increase the availability of truck drivers in the industry.  

FMCSA Seeking Comments to Expand Pilot Program for Young Drivers

Comments on a proposal from The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on expanding a pilot program that would allow drivers 18, 19, and 20 years-old to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in intrastate commerce. This is an expansion of the CMV program specifically for 18-20 year-olds with military training that was published on July 6, 2018. Comments are due by July 15. FRA was supportive of the earlier expansion to approve military trained drivers. We are especially interested in hearing from our members in the insurance industry on this latest pilot program. Please e-mail Tim O’Hara, FRA Government Affairs Manager,, with your feedback by July 10, 2019.

Dovetail Partners June “The Outlook” Newsletter

The June issue of Dovetail Partners “The Outlook” newsletter announces their new Executive Director and recaps their reports and news headlines. Read the newsletter"The Outlook" is the monthly e-newsletter of Dovetail Partners, Inc, a 501c3 non-profit corporation

Safety In The Woods

Chainsaw wielding tree fellers should always work a safe distance from active skidding/dozing/felling operations in the woods. This usually means at least 2 full tree lengths away, but should really be much further if possible. The Safety Alert from the Forest Resource Association describes an incident where a tree being winched knocked over another tree and seriously injured the feller. Use the information provided to remind your woods workers to keep a safe distance between themselves and all other woods workers and equipment. 

Workers Comp News for All Employers

OFA’s Workers Comp Group Ratings provider, CareWorks, has provided 2 pieces of information that is applicable to all employers, even if you are not a member of the Group Ratings program. One is their July Newsletter that contains a few valuable tips, as well as information on the proposed 88% rebate of the 2017 policy year premiums. The second is a flyer on the 2019 BWC True-Up period that begins July 1, 2019.

All-Green Woodland Gardens Can Provide Serenity

A recent edition of the Morning Ag Clips Newsletter had a story about monochromatic landscaping, using various shades of green (think ferns, moss, leaves, bark, etc.) to provide a restive, appealing design. Read more about this unique landscaping design and its intended benefits.

It’s Tick Season!

Every year, the incidence of illness caused by tick-borne diseases goes up. We hear about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease, but there are other tick-borne diseases that are also out there to be aware of. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a lot of good information on the web on identification, prevention, removal, and disease symptoms. Check out he information at the following 2 links to help protect yourself, your family, and your employees. and 

Upcoming Events

  For Details on These and Other Events

  • PVLC Meeting - July 8 - 7:00 PM - Bainbridge, Ohio
  • SOLC Meeting - July 9 - 7:00 PM - Lucasville, Ohio
  • ECOLC Meeting - July 15, 7:00 PM
  • Project Learning Tree-Ohio Facilitator Leadership Training - July 16-17 - Canton, Ohio
  • 2019 OFA Summer Outing - July 17 - Marietta, Ohio
  • SVLC Meeting - July 18 - 5:30 PM Bergholz, Ohio

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