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Timber Talk 6/19/17

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, June 20, 2017
 To view previous issues advance pages with buttons at the bottom of this page.
Important Notice: OFA's 614 area code phone and fax numbers have changed! The new phone number is 1-888-38-TREES (888-388-7337). The new fax number is 740-452-2552. Please update your records accordingly and change any speed dials you might have set up for us. 
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 interesting article on the three year Wood2New research project. See the complete newsletter here.
Northeast Ohio Forestry Association (NEOFA) Newsletter
Here is the Jun 2017 edition of the NEOFA newsletter. It contains information about their next meeting topic, which will be a visit to Hillcrest Lumber Company and Keim Lumber.
East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA) Newsletter
Here is the East Central Ohio Forestry Association July 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 the talk given by special guest, Brian Marsh, of Marsh Industries.
Monthly Housing Starts Data & Commentary
Following are two links to the Virginia Tech - U.S. Forest Service housing market commentaries for April 2017. These files contain in-depth data and comments on the U.S. housing market. Part 1: Main Report link, Part 2: Economic Conditions Report. The housing report is a free service of Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the U.S. Forest Service.  The reports are intended to help gauge future business activity.
Kentucky Forest Industry Association (KFIA) May 2017 Newsletter
For those interested to see some of the same, as well as different, issues that our forest industry members in neighboring Kentucky are dealing with, read the KFIA June newsletter. Thanks to former OFA president, Rob McCarthy for forwarding us this information.
USDA Secretary, Sonny Perdue, Well Versed On Forestry Issues
Forest Resource Association (FRA) President, Deb Hawkinson, updated FRA members on a meeting that FRA participated in with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. Following is the update that she provided from that meeting:

FRA participated in a meeting Monday with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. Our key take away from this meeting is that the new Secretary has a complete understanding of the forestry/forest products/biomass value chain and is eager and willing to address our policy needs. On the forestry front, he is very much a proponent of active forest management as a simple fact of stewardship, and he expressed dismay at those that would prefer to leave our nation’s forests untouched, characterizing that as neglect. A discussion ensued about anti-forestry groups that take a different view on stewardship focusing on preservation rather than managing for the overall health of the resource. Secretary Perdue is fond of the “timber is a crop” tag line and used it often during our discussion.   

Regarding the Forest Service, he commented that this is going to be an area of focus for him and his team.  His goal is to bring efficiency to the Service and solicited us for recommendations. He is mystified by the fact that all sides of the federal forest management issue are in favor of a wildfire borrowing fix, yet the problem persists. Secretary Perdue committed to doing everything under his authority to drive a solution to this issue, which has become a crisis threatening to undermine the U.S. Forest Service’s overall mission.     
 
On bioenergy, we implored the Secretary to work with his colleagues at EPA and DOE to ensure that the newly minted appropriations language that recognizes biomass carbon neutrality is fully and consistently implemented. On the carbon neutrality issue he was well versed and fully supportive of our sector’s position.  

We look forward to working closely with Secretary Perdue and his new team as they come on board.  One development in the staffing area that we see as a positive is that Perdue has appointed an Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development.   The move has been billed as an effort to remove existing bureaucratic layers and provide a direct line to the Secretary for more expeditious decision making.  This position will oversee bioenergy programs, among other things.     

This week also marked the launch of the Intergovernmental Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity hosted by Secretary Perdue. At USDA headquarters, Secretary Perdue was joined by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai, and representatives from a total of 22 executive branch departments and agencies. This task force was billed as the first part of the implementation of President Trump’s Executive Order on rural prosperity.

“The Task Force is working to improve quality of life for people living in rural areas, develop a reliable workforce, spur innovation and technology development, and roll back regulations to allow communities to grow and thrive. By directly engaging stakeholders to develop an action plan for legislative reforms and regulatory relief, the Task Force is expected to accomplish a great deal for rural Americans. President Trump has asked for a report with concrete recommendations within 180 days of the Task Force’s creation.” -- Whitehouse.gov

From The Hardwood Leader – The Big Picture
Following is “The Big Picture” from the July 2017 Hardwood Leader, produced and distributed by Hardwood Publishing Inc.

The U.S. economy will continue its slow growth in the months ahead. Seasonally adjusted job gains thus far in 2017 have been less than stellar, but actual performance is stronger, with net employment for working-aged Americans up more than 400,000 jobs per month, on average. The Fed raised interest rates another quarter-point on Thursday, indicating confidence in stronger economic growth even though consumer inflation stalled during the first five months of the year.

Existing home sales were up-and down through Apr, with supply limiting what would otherwise have been steady growth. The median duration for existing homes on the market is now 29 days, the lowest ever recorded. Labor supply will continue to limit the rate at which builders can complete starter homes for the first-time homebuyers now returning to the market. Growth in cabinet sales slowed in the second half of 2016 and the first part of 2017, but the quickening pace of new home construction and remodeling should support another solid year of higher sales.

Supply and demand are back in balance for many species, though strong summer production will likely oversupply upper-grade markets. Exports slowed a bit in Apr, but remained on a record pace for the year and, combined with higher domestic demand, should prevent major price corrections.


AEM Safety Manuals: Five For Forestry
If you are in need of training manuals for employee “tailgate” training lessons, check out the five manuals geared towards forestry/logging operations provided by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). These manuals can be viewed and purchased on-line. They currently provide safety manuals for: Feller/Buncher; Forwarder (Log); Knuckleboom Log Loader; Log Harvester/Processor; Log Skidder.


Upcoming Events:

  • PVLC Meeting - 7/10/17 - 7:00 PM – Bainbridge, Ohio
  • SOLC Meeting - 7/11/17 - 7:00 PM – Lucasville, Ohio
  • ECOLC Meeting - 7/17/17 - 7:00 PM – Location TBD
  • OFA Summer Meeting - Valley Gem Sternwheeler Reception - Golf/Clay Shoot - July 18-19, Marietta, Ohio
  • OHIO SAF Summer Meeting - Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest
  • Lumber Grading Short Course - 8/14 thru 8/17 2017 - Yoder Lumber Company, Millersburg, Ohio

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