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AFA Newsroom Archive [V7N18] [9/1/12]
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AFA Newsroom V7 No. 18 - September 1, 2012 

Vote on Taking Money From Alabama Trust Fund Set for September 18

Alabama voters will have the opportunity on September 18 to decide whether they want to take $145 million a year for three years from the Alabama Trust Fund to bail out state agencies funded by the General Fund Budget.  For AFA's assessment of the issue, click here.

Ray Encourages Loggers to Build Good Relationships with landwners

In his current issue of Logger Notes, Ray Clifton talks about the importance of loggers being friendly toward and making a good impression on landowners.

There is a great need for these two distinct groups, landowners and loggers, to work together for the betterment of both groups.
 
Click here for the latest edition of Ray's Logger Notes.

Coffee County Invasive Plants Workshop Agenda

The Alabama Cooperative Extension Service System, the Alabama Forestry Commission, the USDA and the Farm Service Agency will host a Forestry Invasive Plants Identification and Control Workshop on September 6, 2012 at the Coffee County Community Room in New Brockton, Ala. There is no cost for attending, but you need to  get your RSVP in by 4:30 p.m. on August 31 (TODAY) if you want to attend. Workshop topics will include Cogongrass identification and management, weed identification and management, proper use of herbicides for forest regeneration and Forest Certification.

For a flyer on the event
click here. To view the agenda for the workshop, click here.   

ForestPAC Holds Great Golf Event at StillWaters Resort in Dadeville

ForestPAC, the Political Action Committee held a fantastic golf event at the beautiful StillWaters Resort in Dadeville to raise money for the Association's political war chest.
 
About 40 golfers showed up to hit the links and enjoy the camraderie of the forestry community. Participants had the opportunity to win a $135,000 truck if they could score a hole-in-one on the 16th hole. Several players came close, but not quite close enough.


Read more... 

EPA Backs up on its Position on Naming Forest Roads as "Point Sources" for Water Pollution

EPA has posted a pre-publication version of a federal register notice for a revision to Phase 1 stormwater regulations that will clarify that NPDES permits are not required for discharges from forest roads.    The notice proposes adding language to existing stormwater regulations to clarify that, for the purposes of assessing whether stormwater discharges are “associated with industrial activity,” the only facilities under SIC code 2411 that are “industrial” are: rock crushing, gravel washing, log sorting, and log storage. 

The revision is in response to the Ninth Circuit decision in NEDC v. Brown (a decision that is currently awaiting U.S. Supreme Court review).  A 30 day comment period will begin once posted in the Federal Register. A copy of the pre-publication version can be downloaded here: 
http://image.exct.net/lib/fe651570766002797017/m/1/FR+9722-5_logging+roads.pdf.
 
A fact sheet and FAQ are available on EPA’s website here: 
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/forestroads.cfm. On the Supreme Court side the Petitioners have filed their brief and an amicus brief was filed by an Association of Oregon Counties on August 22.  Respondents have up until October 16 to file their reply.  The date has not been set for oral arguments.

More information including copies of the briefs are available here:
http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/georgia-pacific-west-inc-v-northwest-environmental-defense-center/.  

PLM Will Hold Initial Training Classes in November at Perdue Hill and Crossville 

The next two initial training classes for the Professional Logging Manager’s designation are set for the GP Training Center in Perdue Hill on November 8th and 15th and again at the Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center in Crossville on November 13th and 20th.

Participants can complete the form and fax back to us or go online and register at
www.alaforestry.org/plm. Contact Chris Erwin at cerwin@alaforestry.org or (334) 481-2133.

 Log a Load Update: Janet Ison's Piedmont District has Great Event  

If you like a good steak and fellowship with the “forestry family” in East Alabama, Saturday evening just west of Lafayette, Alabama was about as good as it gets. Janet Ison’s 2012 Log-a-Load “Piedmont Steak Supper” was a rousing success, raising nearly $22,000 for Children’s of Alabama and the CHIPS Center.

The festivities included dinner, an auction, and a drawing for $1,000 in cash prizes. The event has become an annual tradition not only for Log-A-Load, but also for many of the citizens of Lafayette and Chambers County who enjoy the family-oriented atmosphere.  Around 200 people participated. To review the Log a Load events for the remainder of 2012, click here.

Pictured above right, L to R, are, Log a Load for Kids State Chair Janet Ison, Sarah Newman Cox (Janet's sister) and Sheila Potts, wife of Alabama Loggers Council Chairman Chris Potts.

Read the Fine Print BEFORE Granting Conservation Easements

On August 9, 2012, the Superior Court of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, issued a ruling that could foreshadow the interpretation of conservation easements in the future. The Court found that a farm owner violated a deed restriction on the property by conducting certain earthmoving activities for the construction of greenhouses. New Jersey v. Quaker Valley Farms, LLC, No. 14007-08 (N.J. Sp. Ct. Hunterdon County Aug. 9, 2012).

The property was sold to the defendants in 1997 with a "use" restriction for "common farmsite" activities, including, among other things, a prohibition on activities that would be detrimental to soil conservation and the continued agricultural use of the property. The deed easement, however, specifically allowed the construction of buildings for agricultural purposes. Ultimately, the court found that "the deed is clear in that no action can be taken which destroys the conservation of the extant soils" and that "once the soil was detrimentally impacted . . defendants were in violation of the deed restriction."  

Alabama Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting Set for Sept. 4, 2012 at Auburn University 

The Alabama Prescribed Fire Council will hold its Annual Meeting on Sept. 4, 2012 in Conference Room 1101 at the Auburn School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. In addition to hearing all the latest developments on prescribed fire, State Climatologist, Dr. John Christy will also be there to discuss the effects of controlled burning and smoke management on "climate change."  

Read more...

Obama Accused of Killing the Coal Industry in West Virginia

There are lessons to be learned by all of the rural and extractive industries by what happened to the coal industry when the Obama Adnministration decided it likes windmills and solar panels more than it likes coal. West Virginian's say that Obama broke his promise to work to develop "clean coal" technology so that Americans dependent on the coal industry could continue to have the jobs and economic benefits that coal brings to certain regions of the country. 

The attached video is a bit long, but comprehensively shows what happens when government picks winners and losers in the competitive world of energy development. 

view video 

 Tuscaloosa 4-H'ers Take Second Place Among Teams from 14 States in National Competition 

The Tuscaloosa County 4-H Judging Team, which has excelled at the national competitive level for more than 30 years, secured the Reserve National Championship at the 2012 National Forestry Invitational in West Virginia. This year's team, represented by Brandon Bounds, Ben Calhoun, Katie Flowers and Austin Burke, earned 1,742.5 points,  securing the title following competition against 14 other state teams. Tennessee secured the National Championship, while the New York judging team secured 3rd place.

The team garnered the top spot in the forestry quiz, earning it a bye in the first round of the forestry knowledge bowl. After defeating New York in the second round and Georgia in the third, they were narrowly defeated by Tennessee's team in the final round. 

Pictured in above photo are, left to right, Assistant Coach Lisa Ford, Brandon Bounds, Ben Calhoun, Katie Flowers, Austin Burke and Coach Wayne Ford. 

Read  more...  

Rob Portman Says the "Regulatory Cliff" is as Potentially Bad as the "Fiscal Cliff"

Americans are learning more about the "fiscal cliff" approaching at the beginning of next year, when tax rates for families and small businesses are set to spike and new taxes in President Obama's health-care spending law take effect. But unless there's real change in Washington, we're also headed for a steep "regulatory cliff" that could compound the damage.

Read more...   

FROM THE EVP: Less Government Means Big Savings for Taxpayers  

In Alabama, we have endured more than 9,500 direct jobs (18%) lost in the forestry sector since 2005 while jobs across all sectors have decreased by 6%. There has been, however, one sector in our economy where job growth has continued. Can you guess which sector?

Click here for the Answer 

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