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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Thursday, June 20, 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 about alternative pallets for greener operations.  See the complete newsletter.                        

Camp Canopy 2019 Update
Another season of OFA’s forestry and wildlife conservation camp, Camp Canopy, concluded last Friday. With the exception of a couple afternoon/evenings with rain, and a couple untimely power outages, it was another great week of Camp. 98 students attended this year, up in numbers again for the 4th consecutive year, and 40+ different resource professional showed up throughout the week to instruct the great variety of classes. 

The students were quite interested in learning, as evidenced by their attendance at voluntary study sessions during their recreation break periods. It paid off for several of them, as over $8,000 in college scholarships were handed out at the closing ceremony to the week’s top performing campers. A big thank you goes out to Hocking College, Ohio State University, Ohio University, Zane State College, and the Northeast Ohio Forestry Association for these scholarships. 

Camp Canopy has also always been supported by various divisions of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), especially the Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife. This year, we were paid a visit on Tuesday by several new members of the ODNR team, including; Mary Mertz – ODNR Director, Steve Gray - ODNR Assistant Director, Dan Balser – Chief of Division of Forestry, Kendra Wecker -Chief of Division of Wildlife, and Alyssa Sarko – ODNR Youth Coordinator. They spent some time observing classes and eating camp food for lunch with the students and instructors. I think I even saw a picture somewhere of Director Mertz using a Biltmore Stick to measure a tree in class. I have no doubt that they were impressed with what Camp Canopy is all about and will continue their strong support. 

We were also fortunate this year to have a visit from Gordy Mouw from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Camp Canopy received a $5100 grant from SFI this year to help offset the costs for the next 3 years of printing Learning Manuals for the students and for renting buses to take students on field trips. Gordy joined the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year campers on a field trip to a furniture manufacturing company, riding in one of the buses their grant paid for, attended an SFI State Implementation Committee meeting, and joined me for a visit to a local sawmill, before eating dinner with several of the camp committee members and instructors.

Once again, OFA wants to sincerely thank all the contributors that make this great Camp a reality. This includes the volunteer Camp Committee members that give of their time and hearts to put this together, the many volunteer instructors that relay their knowledge and expertise to the campers, the camp staff that keeps the facilities running smoothly, the parents that encourage and bring their kids to this great opportunity, and the colleges and many student sponsors that financially make this camp a possibility for so many. Thank you!!

Issues & Advocacy Update
The following update on the Safe Routes Act is provided by the Forest Resource Association, our partner in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, June 12, the House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit held a hearing to discuss the state of trucking in America. Transportation Committee Chair Congressman DeFazio, in his opening comments, stated that the trucking industry is at a tipping point. He went on to discuss the need to retain drivers with better pay and benefits and advocated the importance of safety in the trucking industry. Although the hearing focus remained on safety, the driver shortage, and better pay and benefits, the FRA supported Safe Routes Act was touted by Representatives Gallagher and Westerman.

Gallagher promoted his bill, the Safe Routes Act (H.R. 2453) that would improve the safety of trucks hauling raw forest products. The bill would allow logging trucks to access the safer Interstate System at legal state weight limits. “Giving those logging trucks the ability to navigate safer routes would increase safety and result in more efficient use of fuel for that truck,” said Gallagher. Gallagher additionally encouraged the committee members to support the Safe Routes Act. Congressman Westerman provided specific comments regarding the transportation of logs in his district. Westerman identified a safety concern where several hundred trucks daily pass through two college campuses on a narrow two-lane road because they can’t use the Interstate System at Arkansas legal state weight limits. He stated that this situation could be avoided if these trucks had access to the interstate to bypass the college campuses. “If there is no room for exemptions or common sense then we will continue running log trucks down a two-lane road between two college campuses, said Westerman. FRA’s goal is to build broad support for both H.R. 2453 and S. 1509, its companion in the Senate, on a bipartisan basis so that the provisions of the legislation are a good candidate for inclusion in the highway bill which is up for reauthorization in 2020.

Muskingum River Woodlands Interest Group (MRWIG) Newsletter
MRWIG has distributed their May/June 2019 newsletter. Read to see their upcoming schedule and other news, which includes an article on “selective cutting” and an upcoming program on July 10th at the Zuck Riparian Preserve.

Northeast Ohio Forestry Association (NEOFA) Newsletter
Here is the June 2019 edition of the NEOFA newsletter. It recaps their Twilight Tour at the Tree Farm owned by Wil Fuhrman and Janice Cowell, their Work Day at the Backwoods Resort, and introduces ODNR Foresters, Adam and Jamie Regula.

East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA) Newsletter
The East Central Ohio Forestry Association July 2019 Newsletter, as always, gives reports from their previous meeting, which was a presentation by MaLisa Spring on woodland dragonflies. It also gives information on Oak Wilt, how it is spread and how it is controlled.

From The Hardwood Leader – The Big Picture
Following is “The Big Picture” from the July 2019 Hardwood Leader, produced and distributed by Hardwood Publishing Inc. This “Big Picture” summary discusses the continuing issues concerning trade negotiations with China, with a few positive comments on other worldwide markets and domestic consumption.

A month ago, in what may be the understatement of the year, we said the delayed trade resolution would have a depressing effect on hardwood prices. In fact, the rate of reported price declines since have rivaled—or exceeded— those during the market crashes of 2006-2008. It is also the first time in recent memory that demand declines have triggered short-term price corrections, rather than oversupply. Lumber prices will continue to struggle through the summer, as more supply is pushed into domestic and non-Chinese global
markets. U.S. plywood and cabinet manufacturers continue to seek government protection from unfairly subsidized Chinese imports, but lower lumber prices and Trump’s unilateral wood products tariffs should provide at least a little summer relief for the cabinet sector. As one lumber buyer put it, however, “I care more about my suppliers surviving for the long term than about getting cheaper lumber.”

Birch is getting a little lift from seasonally stronger housing markets, but largely because it is produced in relatively low volumes. Prices for everything else, even some low-grade items, will struggle as higher production collides with stalled exports and less-than-expected summer housing activity. At this point, sawmills are still talking about shifting  between species, not slowing down.

Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) June 2019 e-Newsletter
For those of you on Ohio’s eastern border, you may be interested in some of the information in the PFA June 2019 e-newsletter. This edition highlights some of their conservation awards, discusses issues with the Spotted Lanternfly, and promotes Ohio’s upcoming Tree Farm of the Year Tour, and PA’s Wildlife and Woodlands Symposium.

“Could Trees Be The New Gravestones?”
This is the title to an article recently published in The New York Times explaining how a California start-up wants to “redesign the end-of-life experience. Read about how one man’s vision is trying to have forests be the answer to “eternity management” in this interesting article.  

Money Does Grow on Trees: Parts 2 & 3
After a very successful session in Guernsey County on how Money does Grow on Trees, it was decided that this educational program would become a 3 part series, expanding on topics introduced in the original session. Jeremy Scherf - ODNR Forester, Cliff Little – OSU Extension Educator, and Jay McElroy – USDA District Conservationist, will conduct Parts 2 and 3 of this series on July 11 and August 22 at the Deerasic Park education Center just east of Cambridge. See the flyer for complete details including cost, location, and registration details.

Upcoming EventsFor Details on These and Other Events
SRVLC Meeting – Thursday, June 20 – 7:00 PM – Wakefield, Ohio
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 Faciliatator 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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