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Weekly News 5.14.12

Posted By John Dorka, Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weekly News 5.14.12

  • Quarterly Meetings - OFA Board Meeting, Logging Standards Council (LSC), Ohio Tree Farm Committee - This past week, OFA hosted the spring round of quarterly meetings for the Board, LSC, and Tree Farm Committee at the OFA office
    in Columbus. The OFA Board discussed several issues and recommended action
    on two:
    1. OFA Office - The Board recommended convening a committee to review a proposal for OFA to build its own office and headquarters. Several years ago, the OFA Board was interested in doing a similar project with a pending offer for a land donation in the Central Ohio area. Following a discussion of the pros (have a forestry "footprint” in Ohio; promote education and outreach, etc.) and cons (cost, maintenance and upkeep, bad timing, etc.) of having an office, the Board voted to have the Director form a committee to review the proposal over the next year and bring back a recommendation to the Board.
    2. Forest Products Awareness Week - The Board approved action to pursue designating the week of the Paul Bunyan Show as Ohio Forest Products Awareness Week. This is something that will take legislative action. A week designated for forest products awareness will offer an excellent platform to promote forestry and products from Ohio.

The Logging Standards Council was well attended and had good discussion on a number of issues. The LSC agreed to invest in a second set (approximately 15 training videos) of FRA safety training videos to complement the set OFA already owns. The two sets will be divided into 3-4 video packages and distributed to all 8 Loggers’ Chapters for regular training sessions. The Loggers’ Chapters will then trade packages each year to distribute the videos appropriately. In addition, the chainsaw training video that the LSC has been working on with ODNR is in the editing process and may soon be available for distribution to Loggers’ Chapters.

The Ohio Tree Farm Committee discussed a number of issues and current events. The Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour will take place on September 29, 2012 on the Wayne and Benita Lashbrook farm in Jackson County. Plans are progressing well and the committee hopes for a well attended event. The Spring 2012 issue of the Ohio Woodland Journal was distributed. Any OFA member company wishing to advertise in the OWJ should contact Tom Mills, the new Advertising Editor (419)-423-3422.

  • A Day in the Woods – 2nd Friday Series - The Education and Demonstration Subcommittee of the Vinton Furnace State Experiment Forest, with a number of sponsors, is hosting a series of woodland field days on the 2nd Friday of each month, May through November, 2012. The first was held on May 11 and the last will be held November 9. There are a series of workshops on a variety of woodland topics including tree identification, harvesting, forest measurements, forest management, wildlife (game and non-game) and wood from your woods. The sessions run 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM with a registration cost of $10 to cover lunch and handouts. You can learn more about this at Dave Apsley’s OSU Extension website: seohiowoods.
  • US Hardwood Consumption, 1999-2011 - The Hardwood Market Report recently provided US hardwood consumption by year from 1999 through 2011, by various categories of use. In 1999, the US consumed 12.91 billion board feet (BBF) of hardwoods while in 2011 the consumption was 6.95 BBF, a drop of 46.2%. During that time, most categories of products showed significant drops in consumption. Only railway ties showed an increase in consumption, with exports staying the same. Largest category drops were in furniture (2.6 BBF to 0.29 BBF, -88.8%) and millwork (1.3 BBF to 0.24 BBF,-81.5%) followed by cabinets (1.2 BBF to 0.34 BBF, -71.7%).
  • Northern Forests Growth Outpacing Other Parts of the Country - A recent report by the US Forest Service states that during the past century, forest land in the northern US has expanded in spite of population gains of more than 130% and other threats to forest land. More than 4 in ten acres within a 20 state area (Maine to Minnesota and Missouri to New Jersey) is forested and during the last 100 years, forest land increased from 134 million to 172 million acres. The rest of the country has essentially remained unchanged during that time. What is particularly amazing is that the northern forests states witnessed the increase in forest land while having the country’s highest regional population. This obviously flies in the face of current beliefs among the average US citizen on the loss of forest land in the country. The report indicates that 441,000 people work in the forest products industry in these states including forestry, logging, sawmilling, wood manufacturing, and pulp and paper and this represents about 40% of the US workforce in these fields. If you’re interested in taking a closer look at the report, you can find it here on the US Forest Service website.
  • Latest ALB News - You can read the latest news on Asian Longhorned Beetle here. The notes indicate that the Environmental Assessment for the project has been completed and can be viewed on-line through a link at that site. Those familiar with the project and issue are aware that infested trees within the quarantine area are being removed and chipped. The original plan called for additional removal of un-infested "host” trees. However, following public response against removing un-infested trees, USDA acknowledged that an environmental assessment had not been completed. You can read the assessment if you want, but it is lengthy (79 pages) and simply reviews the impacts of various treatment options, from doing nothing, to removal of host trees with variations on other treatment options. No recommendations are given.
  • Borate Treated Wood Framing Much Better Than Steel Framing - An environmental life cycle assessment of borate treated wood framing vs. steel framing was conducted by the Treated Wood Council (TWC) and the report is here. The wood framing was far and away the better choice. The results show that in all environmental categories of comparison, wood framing was far better is a very interesting report from the TWC with a Life Cycle Assessment comparison between borate treated wood framing and steel framing. In every criterion measured, wood framing was better than the steel. Wood uses less energy and less water; it has lower environmental impacts in all 5 of the impact indicator categories including anthropogenic greenhouse gas, acid rain, smog potential, ecotoxicity, and eutrophication-causing emissions; the fossil fuel footprint of wood is nearly one-fourth that of steel; and wood has an energy recovery potential that steel simply does not have. The report is short (6 pages) and well worth the time to read.
  • NEOFA May Newsletter - Here is the May Newsletter from the Northeast Ohio Forestry Association. The newsletter has information on the May meeting during which Bob Bergmeyer talked about Useable Plants From Your Woodlot, the recent Arbor Day Banquet during which the auction for the 91 attendees raised nearly $2,300 for OFA camp scholarships, a letter from a former camper to NEOFA talking about the great experiences he has had at several OFA Forestry camps, various tree blights and damages, some historic trees in Ohio, choosing a tree for planting, and upcoming events.
  • South Central Manufacturing Network (SCMN) Workshop - The SCMN, of which OFA is a member, is hosting an 8-hour workshop on Strategic Conversations over 2 days on June 21 and 28. The cost is $250 per person and the location is yet to be determined (probably close to Chillicothe). The flyer contains more information on the workshop and Jim Manson, contact person. If you are interested, please contact Jim directly.
  • F&W Forestry Report - You can read the F&W Forestry report on-line here. The report covers mostly southern forestry issues. There is an article on page 3 regarding the latest information on the Supreme Court review of logging road regulation ruling in the Pacific Northwest. Legal experts believe that the Supreme Court will decide by early summer if it will consider the ruling. Many of those experts considered it a good sign that the Supreme Court would review the case after it asked the US Solicitor General Donald Verily for his views on the case and other federal issues. The report also contains a summary on page 6 of a US Forest Service briefing paper describing the impact of the economic downturn on the forestry sector. Everyone is aware of the downtown, but the statistics are mind-numbing to read.
  • LEED Update - The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is providing information on the latest round of public comments for LEED 2012. The US Green Building Council continues to resist recognizing all credible forest certification programs in its wood sourcing system and only recognizes "FSC or better” programs (whatever that means). The public comment period runs May 11- 28, 2012. The SFI website provides access to the LEED 2012 standards if you want to see them.
  • Grasstops Webinar – Problems for Wood in Biobased Markets Program - The American Forest Foundation is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 2 PM to discuss issues and concerns with including wood in the USDA Biobased Markets Program. Currently wood is not an accepted "biobased” product in the program, but efforts are under way in Congress to change that. To learn about the issue and what is being done as well as register, to the webinar site.
  • Upcoming Events. (See OFA website for more information)
    1. Lumber Grading Short Course, June 4-7, 2012, Yoder Lumber Co., Inc., Millersburg
    2. OFA Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp, June 10-15, 2012, Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum
    3. OWIN Summer Meeting, July 25-26, Marietta, Ohio.
    4. Lumbermen’s Outing, September 15, 2012, Orrville/Fredericksburg, Ohio.
    5. Paul Bunyan Show, October 5-7, 2012, Guernsey County Fairgrounds.

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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