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Important Notice: OFA's local 614 area code phone and fax numbers are changing! The new phone number will be 1-888-38-TREES (888-388-7337). The new fax number will be 740-452-2552. Please update your records accordingly and change any speed dials you might have set up for us. The 614 numbers will be disconnected effective May 1!
Save These Dates For OFA Summer Meeting!
Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18-19, 2017 – Back by popular demand, OFA will be visiting the Marietta area for its 2017 Summer Meeting, Clay Shoot, and Golf Outing. The ever popular Valley Gem Riverboat Cruise Reception will again be on the agenda, this year on Tuesday afternoon, July 18. The Sporting Clay Shoot at Hilltop Sports outside Whipple, and the Golf Outing at Lakeside Golf Course in Beverly will be on Wednesday, July 19, followed by dinner at the golf course. Postcards with details for times and overnight accommodations, as well as registration and sponsorship opportunities, will be coming in the mail soon. On-line registration will also open in the next couple weeks. IMPORTANT NOTICE!! – The 2017 Event is on TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY this year, NOT the usual Wednesday and Thursday.
OFA Now Offers Health Benefit Plan to Members
The Ohio Forestry Association has partnered with Andrako Insurance Consultants to offer our members the opportunity to obtain health care benefits through the Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan. The OFB Health benefits plan is available to sole proprietors and employers in the agricultural sector, of 1-99 employees, with headquarters in Ohio. The Ohio Forestry Association has endorsed Andrako Insurance Consultants to provide their members access to this new self-funded medical plan. The OFB Health Benefits plan is a self-funded medical plan that offers the following:
* Competitive rates through a self-funding arrangement
* Fixed, predictable monthly payments
* A variety of 8 different plan designs: 4 with coinsurance and co-pays; 4 with higher deductibles
* Medical Mutual of Ohio’s broad provider network and Prescription Formulary
* Protection from liability, should your business choose to leave the plan
* A wide array of ancillary products for dental, life, vision and short term disability
Click here for more information on this exciting new member benefit, and to inquire about eligibility.
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 includes an article on the launch of the US Senate’s Working Forests Caucas. See the complete newsletter here.
Wayne National Forest Launches Digital Permit Option for Recreation Fees
The “Wayne’, in conjunction with digital government service provider NIC Inc., is now offering a new paper-free, smartphone-enabled method for visitors to pay recreation fees through an online service called “YourPassNow”. The Wayne National Forest trails open April 15, 2017, and trail uses other than hiking require a permit. Get all the details on this Press Release.
Workers Comp Rebates, Deadlines, Seminars
The following information is provided by OFA’s Workers Comp Group Rating Program provider, CareWorksComp. Please read carefully as some of the information applies to members in the CareWorksComp program, and some applies to all companies paying into the Bureau of Workers Compensation.
CareWorksComp Annual Seminars: It’s not too late to register for our annual workers’ comp seminars! The registration form is here, and we have availability at all three locations. We are also offering the seminar content as a video/webinar option; identical materials will be provided and both will satisfy the BWC’s Two-Hour Group Safety Training requirement for 2016. The seminar schedule is:April 25, 2017: Cleveland / May 2, 2017: Columbus / May 3, 2017: Cincinnati
2017 Premium Installment Notifications: The BWC will issue 2017 estimated annual premium notices on May 1, and you should receive your updated premium installment schedule at that time. We recommend using that schedule to keep track of your payments all year, as sometimes BWC monthly invoices have different due dates listed and it can be confusing to know which date to use.
Please note these upcoming dates and deadlines in May (none for April!):
May 1, 2017 is the date the BWC will send out notices of estimated annual premium for the 2017 policy year.
May 15, 2017 is the last day you can change your premium installment plan for the 2017 policy year.
May 31, 2017
Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP) application deadline for a 7/1 start date.
Industry Specific Safety Program (ISSP) application deadline for a 7/1 start date.
Application deadline for the Transitional Work Bonus (TWB) for a 7/1 start date.
Billion Back Rebate: You may have heard this good news
BWC is proposing to once again return over $1 billion dollars to private and public employers! If the rebate is approved at the end of the month by the BWC Board of Directors, the rebates will begin to be given in July*. Here are the highlights:
• This is a one-time rebate.
• The rebate will be 66% of 2015 policy year premium (premium paid 7/1/15 – 6/30/16).
• If an employer has an outstanding balance, the rebate will be applied to the balance first.
• An employer must be current with BWC policy requirements.
• The reason the BWC is able to give this rebates is because of successful investments…it in no way jeopardizes
the care of and benefits for Ohio’s injured workers.
*(Group Retro participants will receive their rebate after the group retro refund is calculated in October). There will be more specific information to come!
East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA) Newsletter
Here is the East Central Ohio Forestry Association May 2017 Newsletter. As always, it gives reports from their previous meeting, as well as a schedule of upcoming events. This newsletter contains an account of their recent visit to DeNoon Lumber and ClayCo Dry Kilns, as well as information on the “Rover Pipeline” going through the area.
Woodland Landowner Workshops Offered in Ironton and Athens
The Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture (AMJV) will hold free woodland landowners workshops on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Collins Center, Lecture A, on the Ohio University Southern Campus in Ironton, and Wednesday, April 26, 2017, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources District 4 office at 360 E. State Street in Athens.
The workshops will cover management practices that can improve woodland habitats for turkey, grouse, forest birds, and other wildlife. The workshops will also describe how specific forest management practices can benefit wildlife, and includes discussions of landowner assistance and easement programs available to assist woodland landowners with implementing this type of management.
These events are being held in partnership with the Wayne National Forest, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Divisions of Wildlife and Forestry, Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, Ohio State University, National Wild Turkey Federation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Click here for more information or to register online, or contact Todd Fearer, the Coordinator for the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture, at email@example.com or 540-231-9519.
For more information, visit their website. Follow the Wayne National Forest on Twitter: @waynenationalfs and also on Facebook.
They’re Back! – It’s Tick Season!
If you have been out in the woods or fields in the last couple weeks, you probably already know that ticks are out and actively looking for a meal of human blood. I have already had to dispatch of a few myself while out hiking, bird watching, and mushroom hunting. Learn more about the different ticks, tick borne diseases, tick checking and removal, tick repellants, and prevention methods by reading about them at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention site here.
Sawmiller LLC Highlighted in Pallet Enterprise Magazine
OFA member company, Sawmiller LLC, is featured in the April 2017 edition of Pallet Enterprise magazine. This article, highlighting Sawmiller’s operations in Haydenville, Ohio can be read here.
Does A Logging Self-Proprietor Need To Carry Workers Comp Coverage?
At a Logging Standards Council meeting earlier this year, there was a good discussion as to the necessity of Master Logging Companies to show proof of Workers Comp coverage when a self-proprietor or partnership in Ohio is not required by law to carry Workers Comp coverage. David Coil, of Hummel Group, Inc, explained to the Council both the protection provided to the self-proprietor, and possible benefits provided to a sub-contractor that may get injured, if the State makes a determination that a supposed sub-contractor really wasn’t a sub-contractor. Here is an article from a recent Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA) magazine, written by Dale Kleffman, that explains this issue in detail. In this article, Dale talks about the concerns in states other than Ohio, but David Coil confirms that the information is highly accurate for Ohio, with the exception of the rates for the coverage. For the reasons stated by David Coil in the meeting, and confirmed by Dale Kleffman in the aforementioned magazine article, the Logging Standards Council of Ohio agreed to maintain the requirement that all Ohio Master Logging Companies provide proof of Workers Comp Coverage.
o Planting and Caring for Young Trees - April 17th, - 6:30 PM – Steve Barnett Property, Meigs County
o MVLC Meeting – 4/19/17 – 7:00 PM, McConnelsville, Ohio
o SRVLC Meeting – 4/20/17 – 7:00 PM, Wakefield, Ohio
o SVLC Meeting – 4/20/17 – 5:30 PM, Bergholz, Ohio
o Fruit Tree Pruning Clinic, April 22, 2017 – 1:00 PM – White House Fruit Farm – Canfield, Ohio
o ECOLC Meeting – 4/24/17 – 7:00 PM, Millersburg, Ohio
o National Firewood Workshop – April 27, 2017, Statesville, NC
o Ohio Chapter Walnut Council Meeting - April 29th – Tim Brouse farm near Bucyrus, Ohio
o NWOLC – 5/2/17 – 6:00 PM, Findlay, Ohio
o MRWIG Bald Eagle Presentation – 5/2/17 – 6:00 PM – Bladensburg Church of Christ – Bladensburg, Ohio
o Capturing Nature’s Wonders – 5/6/17 – 9:00 AM – Mansfield, Ohio
o NWOLC – 5/9/17 – 6:00 PM, New Carlisle, Ohio
o SOLC – 5/9/17 – 7:00 PM, Lucasville, Ohio