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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Tuesday, April 28, 2020


Governor DeWine Announces Details of Ohio's
Responsible Restart Ohio Plan

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the Responsible Restart Ohio Plan, designed to reduce the risk of people contracting COVID-19 while starting to get the economic engine of Ohio back up and running. The basics of the plan are as follows:

All Essential Businesses that have been operating or could have been operating can continue to operate, but need to be following the guidelines set forth in the state’s Responsible Protocols for getting Ohio back to work. These protocols can be found here.

Beginning May 1, 2020, all medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a healthcare facility or do not require inpatient hospital admission and minimizes use of personal protective equipment may move forward. This includes regular doctor visits, well-care checks, well-baby visits, out-patient surgeries, imaging procedures, and diagnostic tests. Dental services and veterinary services may also proceed if a safe environment can be established.

Healthcare providers and facilities that plan to resume providing these services must adhere to infection control practices, have sufficient PPE, and talk with patients about the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Beginning on May 4, 2020, manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. Here is the full Responsible Restart Ohio plan for manufacturing, distribution, and construction.

Beginning on May 4, 2020, general office environments may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. Here is The full Responsible Restart Ohio plan for general office environments.  

Beginning on May 12, 2020, consumer, retail and services, may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. Here is The full Responsible Restart Ohio plan for consumer, retail and services.

The General Safe Business Practices that all businesses must follow as they reopen are:

  • Requiring face coverings for all employees, and recommending them for clients and customers at all times
  • Conducting daily health assessments or self-evaluations of employees to determine if they should work
  • Maintaining good hygiene at all times such as hand washing and social distancing
  • Cleaning and sanitizing workplaces throughout the day and at the close of business or between shifts
  • Limiting capacity to meet social distancing guidelines

CONTINUED CLOSURES: The following types of establishments are ordered to remain closed due to their increased risk of potential COVID-19 exposure:

  • Schools and daycares
  • Dine-in restaurants and bars (carry-out is still permitted)
  • Personal appearance and beauty businesses
  • Older adult daycare services and senior centers
  • Adult day support or vocational rehabilitation services in group settings
  • Entertainment, recreation, and gyms

For greater detail on the types of businesses that must stay closed, visit this website.

Because the danger of COVID-19 still exists, Ohio's Stay at Home order will remain in effect to encourage Ohioans to continue making reasonable, rational decisions about leaving home.

Although anyone is susceptible to getting sick with COVID-19, those who are 65 or older are encouraged to be especially careful, as are those with high-risk conditions such as chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, heart conditions, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or liver disease, as well as those who are immunocompromised or obese.

Large gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited.  

More detailed information on the Responsible Restart Ohio plan can be found here.

Forest Markets Weekly Newsletter

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 on creating zero-energy houses, non-toxic glitter, and fossil-free glue with wood.  See the complete newsletter.

12 Nature Walk Activities for your Kids

Project Learning Tree (PLT) has put together a group of 12 kid-friendly nature walk activities to keep them learning from home during this time of COVID-19 concerns, or for any time. Check out the details for these fun activities.

Village of Swanton Tree Commission Announces
Photo Contest Named for Walt Lange

Former OFA President and Tree Farmer of the Year, Walt Lange, was a charter member of the Village of Swanton Tree Commission and was instrumental in many Arbor Day activities for the community. In honor of Arbor Day 2020, the Tree Commission announces the inaugural Walt Lange Arbor Day Photo Contest. See all the details in this press release.

Keeping Yourself and your Woodlands Healthy
“A Day In The Woods” Webinar – May 8

SE Ohio Woods will be offering a Zoom webinar on May 8, 2020, to discuss keeping your woodlands healthy, while at the same time promoting the effects that spending time in the woods can have on your physical and mental health. This series will consist of four one-hour live sessions featuring eleven foresters and natural resources professionals.   All sessions will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date. Feel free to join any or all these sessions. Get all the information, including the Zoom webinar info here.

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Early Survey Results

A couple weeks ago, we provided OFA members with the opportunity to participate in a short survey being administered by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). I don’t know how many of you participated, but the OFBF has released the following early results. I will provide full results when we get them.

The statewide Farm, Food and Agribusiness COVID-19 Impact Survey, distributed by Ohio Farm Bureau and a number of other agriculture groups, collected data to pinpoint areas of concern for every aspect of agriculture, including producers, retailers and food processors. With over 1,000 surveys returned, statistics show:

  • Nearly half (45%) of respondents have had their market distribution channels disrupted.
  • 29% of those taking part in the survey have cash flow issues.
  • Almost 15% of people polled cannot access the sanitation and protective equipment items required to operate (masks, sanitizer, etc.)

“This is a real-time snapshot of what the state’s agriculture community is dealing with as we work through the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “Even though everyone along the food supply chain is essential and the work continues from the farm to the grocery store, there is still more work to do to make sure we keep the system moving in the right direction.”
From the onset of the pandemic, Farm Bureau has been delivering the most up-to-date information from the state and national levels to help its members navigate through these challenging times. This survey will help further those efforts.
“The information we are receiving from this survey is going to help us on two fronts,” said Yvonne Lesicko, vice president of public policy for Ohio Farm Bureau. “We are lobbying hard to make sure USDA is allocating funds where they are needed the most across the industry, and we are trying to find solutions where we can for market disruptions.”

Results of the survey will also be shared across Ohio’s food sector to allow commodity groups and organizations to work with their members directly to discuss the challenges being seen in their part of the industry due to COVID-19.
Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

Issues and Advocacy – Waters of the US (WOTUS)
Update from the Forest Resource Association

Last week, the EPA published its Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the Federal Register, nearly four months after the Administration unveiled the regulation. This action starts a 60-day clock before the regulation takes effect on June 22. During this window of time, however, it is anticipated that numerous lawsuits will be filed challenging the rule. Environmental groups around the country have signaled they will sue to overturn the rule, arguing that it is too narrowly constructed and insufficient to protect our nation’s bodies of water. FRA will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep us apprised of developments.

Forest Health and Invasive Species Survey

The following information is from the desk of Kathy Smith, Extension Program Director – Forestry,  School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University.

Woodland Stewards,

Our colleagues at Illinois, Kentucky and Clemson are conducting a survey on forest health and invasive species information.  They have asked for our help in distributing the link for their survey.  So if you are interested in contributing to their survey please follow the instructions below.  Responses are due May 12th.

The University of Illinois, University of Kentucky, and Clemson University are conducting a survey to better understand how to best provide forest health and invasive species information to forest and tree landowners and managers. (IRB #20037).  Much information is available, but historically it has come in many forms, some of which may be less useful than in the past, and some of which are gaining in popularity.  By understanding how information is obtained and disseminated, it will help us improve forest health educational efforts, publications, and delivery systems.

  • If you are an Extension personnel or natural resource professional who provides information to the public related to forest and tree health issues, please fill out this survey.
  • If you are a forest landowner or manager of forested land, please fill out this survey.

The survey should only take about five minutes and all answers will be kept completely confidential.

FAQ’s on Workers Comp Dividend

We reported in an earlier edition of the Timber Talk Newsletter that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation would be issuing dividends to ease the financial pressures your organization may be experiencing amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about this process and the appropriate answers.

Upcoming Events
For Details on These and Other Events

In light of the Coronavirus COVID-19 concerns, OFA has cancelled all group activities in March and April, including CSAW Training classes, and is encouraging all the Loggers Chapters to do likewise. Watch this area for updates when it is socially and healthfully responsible to start rescheduling these types of activities.

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