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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Monday, April 20, 2020


Camp Canopy Cancelled for 2020

It is with great sadness that the Ohio Forestry Association Foundation and the Camp Canopy Co-Directors have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Camp Canopy session due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Rest assured that we are already planning for a great Camp Canopy week for 2021. In the meantime, we will be staying in touch with our core of campers through some exciting virtual events to take place the week of Camp (June 7-12) through our Camp Canopy Facebook platform!

U.S. Department of Agriculture Produces
Federal Rural Resource Guide for Individuals,
Businesses, and Rural Communities

The Federal Rural Resource Guide has been produced as a one-stop-shop resource of all federal assistance programs designed to help individuals, businesses, and rural communities during the COVID-19 outbreak. The matrix is categorized into three main areas of assistance: Technical Assistance/Training/Management, Financial Assistance, and General State/Local Resources. The resources available in each of these categories is then listed for the following customers: For-Profit Businesses, Agricultural Producers and Ranchers, Government Entities, Nonprofits, Cooperatives, Individuals/Households, Health, and Federally-recognized Tribes, or Tribal Organizations.

There is a wealth of information available in this concise, well laid out document. If you or your business needs assistance, this is a great place to start.

Opening Up America Again Guidelines

President Trump has issued a set of guidelines for how to gradually and safely open the country back up from the COVID-19 disruptions. These guidelines offer a 3-phase process, with specific recommendations for vulnerable populations, general businesses, and some specific employers. All of this is contingent on the individual states meeting certain disease tracking criteria. The governor of each state will be given a lot of flexibility in assessing the tracking and meeting of the requirements, and also the implementation of the phase recommendations. Ohio Governor DeWine has indicated that he would like to start opening the state’s economy and social activities back up beginning May 1, 2020. See the guidelines.

If You’re First, You’re Last

This is the title of an article written by David West of the Forest Resource Association, looking at the statistics of occupational fatalities in the U.S. Sadly, the 2018 statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show that logging leads all fatal work injury rates per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. David’s report included the following 2 charts which reflect where logging fatalities stand against selected other occupations, and how the logging industry has been making slow progress to better this poor statistic.

Mechanized logging has more than likely contributed to the improvement in these numbers, but they are still bad. One insurance executive that David interviewed claimed that 83% of their fatalities in logging reflected workers with “boots on the ground”, and 67% of those were operating a chainsaw.

Maybe it’s time that our professional loggers took a refresher course in chainsaw safety. As we come out of the current COVID-19 issues, the Ohio Forestry Association will once again be conducting Chainsaw Safety Awareness that Works (CSAW) training sessions. Contact us at the OFA office to sign up yourself or your employees for one of these trainings.

Yes….logging is a dangerous occupation…..but it doesn’t have to be deadly.

Save Small Business Fund Offering $5000 Grants

The Save Small Business Fund is an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They are offering $5000 grants to small businesses with 3-20 employees, that are located in economically vulnerable communities, and have been financially harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can quickly check the zip-code for your business address to see if you are in an eligible area. A lot of Ohio fits this criteria. They will start taking applications on April 20, 2020. The application process only takes about 10 minutes and all you need to fill out the application is your business W-9 form. Access this link to check your zip-code and apply for these grants. You can also access the Distressed Communities Index Map

America’s “Smallest National Forest” is
Composed of just 33 Trees

According to the sign located since the 1960’s beside a clump of 33 trees on Adak Island, “You are now Entering and Leaving the Adak National Forest”.  Read about the origins of the bizarre 'forest' which can be traced back to the Second World War – and the National Forest declaration which began as joke, but whose title has stuck (though it's not officially recognized).

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 the projected rise in demand for the Molded Pulp Packaging sector.  See the complete newsletter.

NHLA Lumber Grading Short Course
Rescheduled for August 17-20, 2020

Due to COVID-19 and uncertainty about the size of groups that will be allowed, we have decided to reschedule the Lumber Grading Short Course that was to be held June 8-11. The new dates for the class will be August 17-20, 2020. It will still be held at Yoder Lumber Company’s Buckhorn facility. You may register here.

From The Hardwood Leader – The Big Picture

Following is “The Big Picture” from the May 2020 Hardwood Leader, produced and distributed by Hardwood Publishing Inc. This “Big Picture” summary discusses issues surrounding the COVIC-19 outbreak, and entertains questions on how the future looks for the hardwood industry.

The industry outlook for the next two months is as cloudy and potentially dark as at any time in the 15 years we have been forecasting markets. It’s nearly impossible to know how markets might react to such anomalous demand factors as the lifting of tariffs or the rapid onset of a global pandemic. On the one hand, the pandemic is affecting producers and consumers alike, and markets could slog along at some relatively balanced but reduced volume of trade. On the other hand, long-term structural changes could result—in supply or demand—if this continues for too much longer. As one lumber supplier wondered, “Will hardwood products still be in high demand during times of elevated unemployment and uncertainty?” In the short-term, rather strong market price corrections are possible given that secondary manufacturers have stockpiled large quantities of lumber in anticipation of peak production seasons that aren’t going to happen.

Yet, this too shall pass. And, when it does, we believe the fundamentals remain for a slow, steady recovery in global hardwood demand and pricing. “After tremendous costs and social upheaval,” one longtime industry member reminded, “Americans finally overcame the Civil War, the Great Depression and WWII. And the hardwood industry has weathered many storms before, including the demise of our domestic wood furniture manufacturing industry.”

“Purple Paint Law” May Be Coming To Ohio

On March 4, 2020, Senator Coley introduced Senate Bill 290. This bill is designed to allow for landowners to mark the boundaries of their property with specifically defined purple paint marks, which will have the same connotation as posted No Trespassing signs. Several states, including our neighbor, Pennsylvania, have recently added this non-damaging way of marking the boundaries of a property. See the full text of the introduced bill

East Central Ohio Forestry Association
(ECOFA) Announcement

The ECOFA Board has made the decision to suspend any future meetings and newsletters until the COVID-19 sanctions have been lifted and the Dover Public Library is allowing public meetings to be held there.

Dovetail Partners April “The Outlook” Newsletter

The April issue of Dovetail Partners “The Outlook” newsletter discusses Shopping Bags: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Tote? It also has a very good interview with a biologist on White Nose Syndrome that affects several bat species. See the complete newsletter for these and other interesting articles.  "The Outlook" is the monthly e-newsletter of Dovetail Partners, Inc, a 501c3 non-profit corporation.

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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