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Weekly News 6.18.12

Posted By John Dorka, Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekly News 6/18/12

In this issue:

  • OFA Provides Input Letter to EPA on Logging Road Issue - Not long ago, the US EPA announced that it would not require NPDES permits on logging roads and filed a notice of intent on those actions. At the same time, however, EPA advised that it is going to look at how logging road issues are now being handled in the states with the intent that it may revise current approaches. EPA asked for feedback on what is going on in each state now and thoughts on how to best address any problems. To that end, OFA sent this letter to the EPA providing information on what is now being done in Ohio. We emphasized that the Ohio Master Logging Company Program was developed following changes in the Clean Water Act in the late 1980s and that this program has been very beneficial in dealing with logging road issues. We encouraged the EPA to help extend these efforts and further not require NPDES permitting.
  • OFA Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp - OFA held its annual OFA Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp last week at FFA Camp Muskingum in Carroll County. This was the 63rd consecutive camp since starting originally in 1950. Attendance at camp was down a bit this year with 75 campers participating. I should point out that 53 of the 75 campers received sponsorship support for all or part of the camp fees and sponsorships came from 40 different organizations or individuals. Many thanks to all who helped financially support these young people with their week at camp. All campers were asked to be sure to thank those who made it possible for them to attend. The camp dates for next year are June 9-14, 2013. Please spread the word to anyone you know that has high school aged kids that may be interested in camp.
  • Policy and Legislation - The Ohio House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing this past week on the state amending municipal tax codes to make them more uniform. Ohio is one of few states that do not have statutes establishing standards for local tax collections. A number of organizations including the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Associated General Contractors of Ohio, Ohio Bar Association, as well as a number of local mayors and government officials testified at the hearing to provide input on the impact of a variety of taxing jurisdictions and systems. It appears that most who testified indicated that the state needs a fair and uniform tax code and appeals process and a uniform definition of residency. The informational hearing was intended to gather input on the issue with the possibility of future legislation. Note: If any OFA members have specific comments, concerns or issues with Ohio’s local tax codes, please pass them along to me.
  • Gas Severance Tax Proposal Still Has Life - House Speaker Bill Batchelder indicated last week that in spite of the legislature’s initial swift rejection of Gov. Kasich’s severance tax proposal on gas and oil, the legislature may give the proposal a second chance in the lame duck session after the November elections. Last week, the Governor stated the "(gas proposal) is going to happen. It’s just a matter of when and what it’s going to look like.” It is likely that the House Ways and Means Committee will review the proposal during the summer recess along with a broader review of other extraction industry taxes for coal and gravel. You will recall that earlier this year, OFA was asked by the governor’s office to support the severance tax proposal, but OFA elected to take no position.
  • ODNR Catalogs Shale Holdings on State Forests and Parks - The Columbus Dispatch reported last week on ODNR efforts to determine mineral ownerships under ODNR holdings in eastern Ohio in an effort to prepare for possible shale drilling on State Forest and Park lands. Five state forests that were reviewed specifically were Beavercreek and Yellow Creek (Columbiana Co.), Fernwood (Jefferson Co.), Harrison (Harrison Co.), and Sunfish Creek (Monroe Co.).
  • China Substantially Increases Forest Area in Last 20 Years - According to a recent report from the China State Forestry Administration, the country has added nearly 150 million acres of forestland since 1992 with its forest inventory increasing by 3.6 billion cubic feet to 13.7 billion cubic feet. Following its signing of a global environmental treaty in 1992, the country has substantially focused financial resources toward increasing forest area and implemented a compulsory nationwide tree planting program. It apparently intends to continue its reforestation priority through 2020, and has made considerable efforts in converting cropland to forestland through what it has called a "grain for green” program. The article gives no specifics on the species that have been planted and what impact the vastly increased forest reserves may have on future global trade in forest products.

  • Upcoming OFA Events:
    • OWIN Summer Meeting - July 25-26, 2012 - Marietta, OH
      Visit our website for details and to register or watch your mail for the printed brochure soon. Those interested in sponsoring a golf hole or a clay station should contact Gayla, 888-388-7337.
    • Lumber Grading Short Course - August 20-23, 2012 - Yoder Lumber, Millersburg. OH. You may register here or watch your mail for the printed registration brochure.
    • Walnut Grading Short Course - August 24, 2012, Yoder Lumber, Millersburg, OH. You may register here or watch your mail for the printed registration brochure. Space is limited to 15 attendees.
    • Lumberman's Outing - September 5, 2012 - Details and registration material coming soon. All proceeds will benefit the Lumberman's Benevolent Fund and the families of Daniel Raber and Laverne Raber.
    • Paul Bunyan Show - October 5-7, 2012 - Guernsey County Fairgrounds, Cambridge, OH.


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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