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Timber Talk

Posted By Denise Foster, Tuesday, January 14, 2020


It’s Almost Time for the 2020 OFA Annual Meeting

March 4-5, 2020 are the dates for this year’s OFA Annual Meeting. It will “tee-off” Wednesday evening, March 4, 2020 with an Industry Reception at the Jack Nicklaus Museum. Buses will transport attendees from the University Area Marriott to and from the Jack Nicklaus Museum on a constantly rotating basis throughout the evening. This is a great venue for a reception, even if you don’t know or care about the game of golf or Jack Nicklaus. Don’t miss this unique event!

Thursday, March 5, 2020 will feature a full slate of speakers/presenters for both the industry members and the forest landowner membership. Topics will include national, state, and local issues.

Following a long established tradition, we will have the annual Awards Luncheon on Thursday, featuring Ohio Tree Farm Committee awards, Logger of the Year award, and the OFA Conservation Awards.

As always, we provide sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities at this annual event, and encourage you to take advantage of these.

To see the schedule of activities, line-up of speakers and topics, attendee registration, and exhibitor and sponsorship options, please visit our website.

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 value of chopping your own wood.  See the complete newsletter.  

American Loggers Council Update

Danny Dructor, the Executive Vice President of the American Loggers Council (ALC), recently wrote an “As We See It" article for the Associated Logging Contractors newsletter, entitled “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome”. It discusses how this phrase not only applies to the Marine Corps where it is credited with originating, but how it applies to most logging contractors as a matter of daily routine. Read Danny’s full dialogue.

Workers Comp Group Retrospective
Enrollment Packets due Soon!

The deadline to enroll in our workers’ compensation group program is approaching! Make sure you choose our program administered by CareWorks Comp.

Your organization requested a quote, and enrollment paperwork was sent to you for our group retrospective rating programs.  The deadline to enroll in these programs is quickly approaching.  Don’t miss out on your opportunity for significant premium savings!

January 24, 2020 - Deadline for CareWorks Comp to receive Group Retrospective Rating paperwork (U153 Form)

As a member, our program offers a full range of services designed to help lower your costs:

  • Group Rating
  • Group Retrospective Rating
  • Safety & Risk Management Consulting
  • Unemployment Compensation

CareWorks Comp has helped Ohio employers save more than $3 billion in upfront, premium discounts and returned more than $300 million in premium rebates.

Contact Cordell Walton, CareWorks Comp Program Manager, at 800.837.3200, ext. 52398 or for more information about your program options.

Time is running out - Deadline to submit group retrospective paperwork is
January 24, 2020!

2020 Ohio Woodland Water and Wildlife Conference

Go to the Ohio Woodland, Water and Wildlife Conference on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, then head on over to the OFA Annual Meeting Industry Reception that evening. Continuing education credits will be available for ISA, SAF and ODA pesticides where applicable. You can see the agenda or register.

Issues & Advocacy

The Forest Resource Association (FRA), of which OFA is a member, works very hard at the national level to promote legislation that is good for our industry. We have reported on many of these issues in previous newsletters. Following is a review of some of the issues they worked on in 2019 on our behalf.

FRA Policy Priority Review 2019–FRA had a busy 2019 with the advancement of our top policy priorities.

As FRA reflects on 2019, we would like to highlight some of our successes during the year in advancing our top policy priorities of transportation, non-immigrant labor, and biomass. We look forward to working with our members in 2020.

On the transportation front, FRA had success in drafting and having the Safe Routes Act (HR 2453) introduced by Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-8-R). This legislation allows trucks transporting raw forest products access to the safer U.S. Interstate System at state legal weight tolerances and vehicle configurations that are traveling a distance not greater than 150 miles from origin to a processing facility or storage yard. The bill additionally provides for state-legal weight tolerance in effect on the enactment date of the legislation. This assures that states cannot arbitrarily raise their weight limits after the bill is passed into law. Our goal is to include the Safe Routes language in the House highway bill which we expect to be introduced in February.

FRA additionally prepared and provided comments on the rulemaking efforts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that would benefit log truck drivers. FRA’s comments were in support of the proposed changes to the short-haul exception. The changes would increase the short-haul distance from 100 to 150 air miles and increase the on-duty time from 12-14 hours. FRA also worked with the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference to include raw forest products in the definition of ag commodities in comments that were submitted to the FMSCA on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking. If forestry is included in the final definition of an agricultural commodity it would allow raw forest products to be transported 150 air miles and be exempt from the Electronic Logging Device requirements.

FRAs top policy priorities of H-2B visas and carbon biomass neutrality were included in the fiscal year 2020 final spending bills. The Department of Homeland Security was provided authority to release additional H-2B visas. This will assure that seasonal employers of forestry non-immigrant workers have a better opportunity to get employees to regenerate forestlands. The final spending bills also included language that directs federal agencies to recognize forest-based biomass as carbon neutral in energy projects. This is important as the climate change debate will continue to intensify during 2020.

Finally, FRA led the effort and provided comments in opposition of Department of Labor’s proposed rulemaking that would move forestry from the H-2B visa program to the H-2A program. Although this proposal had some benefits, the changes to the H-2A program would significantly increase the costs for H-2B visa employers when compared to the existing H-2B visa program. FRA expects the final rule to be completed in April 2020, and we will keep you informed.

Trump to Sign China Trade Deal

President Trump this week stated that he will sign the Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15th. The signing of the trade deal will take place at the White House. In December, both sides reached a preliminary agreement on several trade issues which included a commitment by China to increase its purchase of U.S. agricultural products. As FRA reported in the last issue update the agreement purportedly includes U.S. hardwood lumber as part of the mandated purchases.

FOR Logo
FRA Government Affairs, Forest Resources Association
1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 303
Washington, D.C. 20006, 202-296-3937

E.B Miller Memorial Scholarship
Application Deadline April 15

The deadline for applications for the Ohio Forestry Association Foundation’s E.B. Miller Memorial Scholarship is April 15, 2020. If you know a student that is going into, or is currently enrolled in, a course of study in a natural resources field, have them fill put an application for this worthwhile scholarship. The application form is attached, or can be found on the OFA website.

Northeast Ohio Forestry Association
(NEOFA) Newsletter

Here is the January 2020 edition of the NEOFA newsletter. It recaps their presentation on Woodland Taxes, presented by Greg Cecconi, introduces their January meeting topic on “Selling Timber”, presented by consulting foresters Jim Elze and Dan Castellucci, and highlights their recent trip to the “Cradle of Forestry”.

CareWorksComp January 2020 Newsletter

Useful News For All Employers - See the OFA’s BWC Group Ratings provider, CareWorks, newsletter full of BWC information. This newsletter discusses the upcoming Ohio BWC Annual Safety Congress & Expo, the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Workplace Safety Violations Named for 2019, and other safety related information.

Smells of Nature Lower Physiological Stress

There have been many studies done over the past several years showing the benefits of walking or spending time in forests to alleviate stress, tension, and to lower blood pressure. Now, a recent study has connected the smells of nature with the lowering of physiological stress. Read about this interesting study

Upcoming Events
For Details on These and Other Events

  • MRWIG Meeting – Wednesday, January 15 – 6:00 PM – Zane State Natural Resource Center – Topic: Prescribed Fire
  • ECOLC Meeting – Monday, January 20 – 6:00 PM – Sugarcreek, Ohio
  • NEOLC Meeting – Wednesday, February 12 – 5:30 PM – Middlefield, Ohio
  • MVLC Meeting – Wednesday, February 12 – 6:00 PM – McConnelsville, Ohio
  • SRVLC Meeting – Thursday, February 20 – 7:00 PM – Wakefield, Ohio
  • LSC Meeting – Wednesday, March 4 – 3:30 PM - University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • 2020 OFA Annual Meeting – March 4-5 – University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • OFA Executive Committee Meeting – Friday, March 6 – 8:00 AM - University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • OFA Board of Trustees Meeting – Friday, March 6 – 10:00 AM - University Area Marriott – Columbus, Ohio
  • Best Management Practices (BMP’s) Training – 8-Hour – Thursday, March 19 – 8:00 AM – Fernwood State Forest – Bloomingdale, Ohio
  • CSAW Level 1 Training for Professional Loggers – 8-Hour – Friday, March 20 – 8:00 AM – Fernwood State Forest – Bloomingdale, Ohio

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