Dimensions Fall 08 - Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group

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Dimensions Fall 08 - Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group

     Allegheny Hardwood

    Utilization Group, Inc.

    Fall 2008

    Quarterly Partnership Meeting The AHUG Wood & Lumber Partnership held it’s quarterly meeting on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at the Red Fern in St. Marys. Project Manager, Amy Shields, welcomed all of the members. Amy reviewed the highlights from activities

     held in 2007/2008.

     The partnership membership has grown to 55, which includes 39 hardwood companies, 8 logging operations, 18 sawmills, 8 secondary processors, 7 education institutions, 9 service providers and 5 others. Plans for the 2008/2009 years were outlined. They include possible programs to be offered such as LEAN Manufacturing, FSC Certification, New Technology, Green Building, Integrated Trucking, Basic Skills and Employee benefits. The partnership will continue activities on career awareness and distribute the new career DVD.

     Amy urged members to take advantage of our new Career Display for career fairs, etc.

     The Human Resources Best Practices handbook, by Jenna P. Stites & Judd H. Michael has been completed. This handbook can be downloaded at the AHUG website, We are continuing work with the Lumber Heritage Region on the Career Ladder project. A Training Needs Survey had been sent out to members with several ideas coming back with training that was needed, such as NHLA Certification, Saw Filing, Hardwood Bucking Optimization Training, Welder Training, Combustible Dust Training,

     Stewardship Plan Writing, Supervisory and Management Training. Partners will be notified of specific dates and times for all training.

     The Partnership will hold quarterly meeting in February, May, August and November.

     Wood & Lumber Resources Seminar The AHUG Wood and Lumber Industry Partnership and the Northwest PA Industry Resource Center (NWIRC) co-sponsored a half-day Wood & Lumber Industry Resources Seminar on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at the Holiday Inn in Warren, Pa. The seminar brought presenters offering information, grant opportunities, and resources for programs specific to the industry. Topics included “LEAN for Lumber”, presented by Vic Bowser, CEO of Bowser Enterprises; “Energy Saving Opportunities”, by John Pletcher, Forest Products Technical Specialist with PennTap; “IT Programs”, by Susan Hileman of NWIRC, who substituted for Brad Moore, Director of Marketing of eBizITPA - Center for eBusiness and Advanced IT; and “FSC Certification”, by Jason Shuey, Forest Products Marketing Coordinator for PA Certified Forest Products Initiative of the Rainforest Alliance. Vic Bowser spoke about concepts in LEAN manufacturing and the steps necessary to build a high- performance organization. John Pletcher talked about how businesses can save a considerable amount of money by improving problem areas that relate to compressed air, boilers, steam, hot water, pipes, lights, and motors. He also distributed a handout with potential funding sources for energy assessments that are available through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Susan Hileman explained how eBizITPA links talent, technology, and expertise of regional colleges and universities with their client companies in need of IT solutions. Barb Conti, from Matson Lumber, was on hand to give testimony on how well the program worked for her company. And lastly, Jason Shuey described the process companies undergo to become FSC Certified and he also sparked a discussion on green building and LEED’s credits for wood products. Amy Shields of St. Mary’s Lumber stated how becoming FSC Certified has influenced her company. If you are interested in any of the presentations, they have been made available on the NWIRC website by

    going to and clicking on “Resources”.


     (FRA Information Alert) The Pennsylvania Forest Web Seminar Center will On August 25, 2008, new drug and alcohol offer one-hour on-line, live presentations by experts in a testing requirements for drivers of commercial vehicles variety of fields related to the stewardship and issues of become effective. The U. S. Department of Transportation Pennsylvania’s forest resources. The online seminars offer a (DOT) amended certain provisions of its drug and alcohol chance for landowners, extension educators, and natural testing procedures to ensure “the complete reliability and resources professionals to learn and gain resources to accuracy of controlled substances tests.” enhance their own practices. While most commercial drivers do not test positive for drugs and alcohol, DOT data shows that each Live seminars are scheduled for the second Tuesday year (from 1994 to 2005), 1.3 percent to 2.8 percent of of every month at noon and 7 p.m., skipping July and truck drivers tested positive. August. The kickoff web seminar, “Introduction to the PA To help prevent accidents due to drug and alcohol Forests Web Seminar Series: Pennsylvania’s Private Forest use by commercial drivers, federal law requires drivers to Landowners and the Issues They Face,” occurred on October be tested: as part of the pre-employment screening 14. Future topics include: timber taxation; oil, gas, and process, on a random basis while employed, and following mineral leasing; harvesting; timber sales and markets; an accident involving a fatality. Commercial drivers who wildlife habitat; invasive insects; succession planning; fail a test, refuse a test, or otherwise violate the drug invasive plants; forest management and regeneration; and testing requirements are required to complete a return-to- water resources on your forestland. duty process before returning to work as a driver. A recent GAO Report (GAO-08-225T) revealed Each session will be recorded and loaded onto the several vulnerabilities in the DOT’s current drug testing web Seminar Center along with a copy of the presentation procedures. In a letter sent to House Transportation and and any handouts. So, if you are unable to participate in the Infrastructure Committee Chair James Oberstar on June “live” session, a recording of it will be available for you to 30, 2008, these vulnerabilities of the current drug testing view at your convenience. Of course, none of the interactive procedures were identified: use of synthetic products to elements will be available when watching the recording. To defeat drug and alcohol tests, failure to complete return-to- view the upcoming seminars schedule and to register to take duty requirements, and “job-hopping.” A job-hopper is a part in the live seminars, visit driver who tests positive for one carrier; is fired, quits or is not hired; and subsequently tests negative on a pre- employment test for another carrier. The GAO investigators noted that while some drivers abstained from drug and alcohol use to pass the second test, several others A MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL & used a wide variety of commercial products that mask MEDIUM SIZED PRIMARY FOREST PRODUCTS drug use. A copy of the GAO letter to Chairman Oberstar PROCESSORS is attached. Due to the significant number of drivers not in The Center for Forest Products Marketing & Management at compliance with the current drug testing procedures, the Virginia Tech and the U.S. Forest Service Wood Education DOT issued a new Final Rule (published in the Federal and Resource Center have a new publication available online Register, Vol. 73, No. 123, pages 35961-35975) on June at and in 25, 2008. A copy of the Final Rule is attached. CD format. Key changes to the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing procedures include: This guide provides marketing tips and information for 1) Drug testing facilities must now categorize non-entrepreneurs, owners, manager, and employees of small to negative drug tests as: positive for drugs/alcohol, positive medium sized primary forest products processors, such as (diluted), adulterated, substituted or invalid. start-up sawmills or existing sawmills, to help them maintain 2) Pre-employment and other drug tests that produce an a competitive edge. Specific subjects covered by the guide invalid result (i.e., pH and other values outside of ranges include: Fundamentals of Marketing, Entering Niche for normal urine), a second test must take place under Markets, Market Research Methods, Finding Customers, direct observation. Exporting, Internet Marketing. 3) Employers must direct a drug testing facility to collect urine specimens under direct observation for employees This guide will help primary processors develop their ideas subject to return-to-duty or follow-up drug tests. and visions for expansion. It explains marketing concepts, These changes in drug testing procedures for strategies, and methods used by companies; market research laboratories and employers regarding adulterated, methods; how to locate customers; international markets and substituted, diluted, and invalid urine specimen results exporting and the role of the internet. were deemed necessary by the DOT to ensure that commercial drivers who use drug and alcohol are removed

    from the road.

Environmental Awareness Could Lease to Wood Re-emerging as the Green Material of Choice

When people understand the true environmental impact of In addition to holding the title of Professor various building materials, wood could re-emerge as the material of Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of Bio-choice. So claims a leading authority on the environmental impact products and Bio-systems Engineering and Director of the of building materials in an article published in a recent issue (July-Responsible Materials Program of Dovetail Partners, Inc.- August 2008) of Forest Products Journal. a Minneapolis-based nonprofit consulting firm-Dr. James Bowyer, Director of the Responsible Materials Bowyer is President of Bowyer & Associates, Inc., a Program of Dovetail Partners and University of Minnesota emeritus wood science and bio-energy consulting firm. He is an professor of bio-products and bio-systems engineering, writes that, Elected Fellow of the International Academy of Wood “As people become more knowledgeable about environmental life-Science, chairman of the Tropical Forest Foundation cycle assessment, and as bio-energy and carbon storage and (Alexandria, Virginia), and member of the Governance mitigation move to the forefront of public discourse, wood could Board and chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of well re-emerge as the environmental material of choice for the 21st the Temperate Forest Foundation (Portland, Oregon). century and beyond.” Bowyer was founder and Director of the Forest Dr. Bowyer's analysis runs counter to claims that using Products Management Development Institute at the wood is somehow bad for the environment and to popular standards University of Minnesota from 1994-2003. He served as for so-called green construction that discourage the use of wood. project leader of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Life-cycle assessment is a process that analyzes the Station project “Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of environmental and social impact of producing and using a material Bio-based Materials and Products” from 1988 to 2003, such as wood, concrete, or steel. The process involves systematic and he also led a research team focused on global raw evaluation of the use of resources and the resulting environmental materials consumption and supply trends for more than impacts of a product from resource extraction and through 30 years. manufacturing, distribution, use, maintenance, and end of life. Bowyer has published more than 270 articles “Ironically, it may be environmental issues that cause dealing with wood science and technology, environmental society to 'rediscover' wood,” Dr. Bowyer writes. “Current attention life-cycle analysis, and environmental aspects of forestry, to carbon, for instance, could bring active forest management and timber harvest, and wood use. He is also coauthor of the use of wood squarely to the forefront in a society seeking solutions leading introductory wood science textbook, Forest to the threat of climate change.” Products & Wood Science-an introduction, now in its 5th Dr. Bowyer explains that wood is the only building edition. material that faces requirements that it be certified that it has been produced in a way that doesn't harm ecosystems. “There are no requirements or incentives for certification of steel, aluminum, concrete products or any other construction material,” he writes. This could lead to increased interest in wood. “An environmentally Proposed Rule Change Comments conscious customer who wants assurance that the materials he or she is specifying or about to purchase were produced in an The Forest Service is proposing to amend the environmentally responsible manner can only find that assurance in down-payment rule and the periodic payments rule to one line of products: certified wood,” he explains. reflect changes in contracting procedures adopted in the One obstacle to the increased use of wood, according to April 2004 and June 2006 timber sale contracts. These Dr. Bowyer, is widespread misinformation about forest conditions changes reflect stewardship contracting authorities, and and wood. reflect changes in forest products markets since these “Surveys of student and young adults' attitudes, rules were adopted in 1991. The proposed changes also perceptions, and knowledge regarding environmental topics over would remove obsolete references and procedures; make the past several decades have all pointed to deep and pervasive down-payments and periodic payments optional for misinformation among this age group. . . . Students were found to stewardship contracts; allow down-payment and periodic consistently underestimate the current extent of forests as compared payment amounts to be recalculated when contracts to original forest cover, to believe that the United States is being receive a rate re-determination; revise the procedure for rapidly deforested and that annual timber removals exceed releasing the down-payment/ and would allow down-growth… As homeowners, parents, and voters of today, and the payments to be temporarily reduced when Forest Service business., community, and legislative leaders of tomorrow, attitudes authorizes certain additions of contract time. they gained early-on are likely to influence decisions and to guide The intended effect of this proposed rule is to future behavior,” he writes. protect the Government’s financial security while Dr. Bowyer’s remarks are continued in an article titled providing financial relief to timber purchasers during “The Green Movement and the Forest Products Industry,” which periods when forest products prices drastically decline or describes how the green movement and other environmental purchasers receive additional contract time for periods initiatives have shaped the forest products industry, especially in when they are not expected to operate. the United States. Comments must be received in writing by Last year, in a previous article published in Forest Prod December 29, 2008. ucts Journal, Dr. Bowyer challenged many of the assumptions and Mail written comments to the Director of existing guidelines for so-called green construction, pointing out, Forest Management, MAIL STOP 1005, Forest among other things, that a number of materials listed as Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., environmentally preferable by green building organizations have Washington, DC 20250-1105 or e-mail demonstrably greater environmental impacts than non-favored alternatives.

    AHUG Upcoming Events Serving the 14 counties of

    Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, For any of the upcoming events, please call the

    AHUG office for more information or e-mail at Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango and

    Warren. May 29May 30, 2009TIMBER 2009, Rock

     Springs, PA. For more info call Event Manager at 814-

    863-2873 or e-mail Executive Officers

    President: Suzanne Klinger, Domtar Paper Company First Vice-President: Dave Morgan,, Edward Kocjancic, Inc. Second Vice President: Thad Taylor, AgChoice Farm Credit Secretary: Christine Perneski, NCPRPDC Treasurer: Dave Geci, Geci & Associates Past President: Todd Sparks, Hancock Forest Management Executive Director: Susan Swanson

    Board Of Directors Term ending 2009 Term ending 2010 Todd Sparks Bob Leslie Jared Fowler Blaine Puller Thad Taylor Dave Kiehl Dave Radzavich Scott Zimmerman Term ending 2011 Term ending 2012 Dave Geci Jack Hedlund Harry Bressler Suzanne Klinger Nancy McCloskey Amy Shields Ed Kocjancic Dave Trimpey

    Agency Positions Penn State Ext.: Dr. Tim Pierson NWPRPDC: NCPRPDC: Christine Perneski Hardwood Development Council: Keith Craig PFIA: Dale Anderson We’re on the Web! At

     Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group, Inc. PO Box 133 Kane, PA 16735 Phone: 814.837.8550

    Fax: 814.837.4950 E-mail:

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