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AFA Newsroom Archive [V7N24] [12-1-12]
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AFA Newsroom V7 No. 24, December 1, 2012 

As Housing Market Improves, LP Considers Opening Shuttered OSB Mill in Clarke County 

CLARKE COUNTY, Alabama -- The long-idle Louisiana -Pacific Corp. mill in Clarke County could be humming again as early as the second quarter of 2013, but it was not immediately clear how many of the former 130 positions could be filled should the shuttered plan restart.

“On our last call, I said that we would consider starting one of our curtailed (oriented strand board) mill if we saw housing starts approach 850,000. Well, it came quicker than we thought with last month's reported annualized housing start rate at 872,000 and permits at nearly 900,000,” Curtis Stevens, Louisiana-Pacific’s chief executive officer, said during a recent investor call.

PHOTO: The shuttered Louisiana-Pacific Corp oriented strand board (OSB) mill south of Thomasville, Ala., in Clarke County is shown Monday, July 13, 2009. The mill closed in 2008, laying off 130 people. (Mike Kittrell/mkittrell@al.com).
 
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Ray Talks About Recent North Carolina Scale Study With Some Interesting Preliminary Results 

The North Carolina Forestry Association (NCFA) participated in a scale study coordinated by the North Carolina State highway patrol (NCHP) that reviewed the three types of scales that the patrol uses to weight trucks as part of their enforcement responsibilities. The three systems are platform scales like those found alongside the highway in perminent weigh stations, portable scales and mobile scales.

For the 'Rest of the Story' in Logger Notes, click here.
   

National Wildland Fire Management Southeast Regional Risk Analysis Report  Released   

 Wildland fire management in the Southeastern United States is complex and multi-faceted. The significant threat posed by unplanned or undesirable fires threatens the lives and well-being of emergency responders and the public, and damages or destroys homes, and property. Although the Southeastern region includes just thirteen states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin islands, it leads the nation in the number of annual wildfire ignitions, with an average of 41,500 unplanned ignitions buring a total of 1.9 million acres every year.

NOTE: Because of the large file size of the full report, I distilled the report down to the executive summary and introduction. 
For the full report (which will require more download time), click here.  

AFC Calls for Proposals for Urban/Community Forestry Grants with Dec. 17 Deadline

The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) announces its FY12 Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program.  Attached... you will find the project proposal guidelines.  All proposals shall be postmarked no later than December 17, 2012. This is a competitive grant for communities, tribal, and educational purposes.

For questions about the grant program please contact 
matthew.mccollough@forestry.alabama.gov, or call 334-240-9360 or Clifford.hawkins@forestry.alabama.gov and 334-240-9306.


Deadline for Professional Logging Manager Renewal December 31, 2012

The deadline to renew the Professional Logging Manager designation is December 31, 2012. To check your status, visit www.alaforestry.org/plm. Cardholders can renew their designation by attending the few remaining classes around the state or by taking their classes online at the AFA website. To view remaining classes on the AFA calendar of events visit www.alaforestry.org. These include:

December 5 – Crossville, Perdue Hill, Clanton
December 12 – Fayette
December 19 – Montgomery


Contact Matt Vines or Chris Erwin at 334-265-8733 if you have questions.

Log a Load for Kids Closes out 2012 With a Bang!

The last Log a Load for Kids event took place on Saturday, December 1 on the beautiful farmstead of Mr. Perry Mobley in Henry County. About 60 shooters took to the field in a fine afternoon of dove shooting to close out the 2012 fund-raising year.

In addition to the shoot, a Benelli 20-gauge semi-auto shotgun was raffled off. A very happy 12-year-old Logan Caudill won the gun; an early Christmas present for the young shooter who attended the event with his father Zane Caudill of Troy, Ala.

After signing in, the participants were treated to a great lunch of camp stew and grilled chicken and afterward were  taken to their respective shooting stands.

The birds started coming in at about 3:30 pm and the shooting was pretty close to non-stop until a little before sunset. Allen Knight, a timber buyer for Mead WestVaco, was the event coordinator and worked with Mark Byal, Alan Peavey and others in the Wiregrass District to make this last event one of the best of the year.

Allen said over $6,000 was raised for Alabama's Children's Hospitals at the event. Combined with a perfect fall afternoon, and a great lunch, it doesn't get much better than the Saturday event! Congratulations to the Wiregrass crew for putting on a great shoot and special thanks to Mr. Mobley and his family for allowing their land to be used for this worthy cause.

Photos: Top left, State Log a Load Chair Janet Ison, and Wiregrass event coordinator Allen Knight sign up shooters for Dec. 1 event. In photo at right, a very happy 12-year-old, Logan Caudill of Troy, shows off the winning ticket for the Benelli 20-gauge he won at the event. At bottom left, Knight presents Perry Mobley with a plaque thanking him for his participation in the Saturday dove hunt.  

Environmental Groups Using Lawsuit to Attack Pulp & Paper Industry

"Massive emissions of greenhouse gases in the form of carbon dioxide make biomass and coal burning facilities major contributors to climate change. Yet one large source of climate pollution that's been flying under the radar has been pulp and paper mills--until now." So writes Josh Schlossberg, of the Energy Justice Network in announcing a lawsuit designed to force the EPA to clamp down on pulp and paper mill emissions.  
 
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F2M Says Housing Market Improving

Builder confidence jumped 5 points to 46%, its highest level since May 2006 in response to several strong residential construction numbers and signs that the market will get even better in 2013. Housing starts improved by 3.6%, up from 836,000 to 894,000. This is 41.9% higher than October 2011. Permits fell 2.7% from 890,000 to 866,000, still a 29.8% improvement over this time last year.

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SFI Wants You to 'Save The Date" for their 2013 Annual Meeting

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has announced that its 2013 Annual Meeting will be held September 17-19, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

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EPA Revised Stormwater Regulations to state NPDES Permit NOT Required for Logging Roads

The EPA announced that it has revised its Phase I stormwater regulations to clarify that a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is not required for stormwater discharges from logging roads. The EPA has added 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 Standard Industrial Code (SIC) code 2411 that are “industrial” are: rock crushing, gravel washing, log sorting, and log storage.

In Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Brown (NEDC), 640 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2011), a citizen suit was filed alleging violations of the Clean Water Act for discharging stormwater from ditches alongside two logging roads in state forests without a permit. The court held that because the stormwater runoff from the two roads in question is collected by and then discharged from a system of ditches, culverts, and channels, it is a point source discharge of industrial stormwater for which an NPDES permit is required.

The EPA did not intend for logging roads to be regulated as industrial facilities. However, in light of the NEDC decision, the EPA has revised 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14) to clarify the Agency’s intent. The EPA believes that stormwater discharges from forest roads, including logging roads, should be evaluated under section 402(p)(6) of the Clean Water Act because the section allows for a broad range of flexible approaches that are better suited to address the complexity of forest road ownership, management, and use.

The EPA published a proposal in the Federal Register on this revision on September 4, 2012 and has considered all public comments received before taking final action.

More information and a copy of this notice are available at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/forestroads. Contact: Jeremy M. Bauer, Environmental Scientist, US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Wastewater Management Water Permits Division (202) 564-2775.

Lame Ducks Quack Away in Washington D.C.

Yes, Congress is back in Washington, DC for a lame duck session. What if anything does this mean for private forest landowners and legislation supported by the FLA (Forest Landowners Association)? All discussions are focused on the 'fiscal cliff' and the budget. Facing a long to-do list that includes preventing the American economy from falling into a tailspin, it is highly unlikely that any action on legislation supported by FLA will occur before the end of the 112th Congress. 
  

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API Says Governor Right to Say "NO" to Obamacare Health Exchanges

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has made the right decision not to set up the health exchanges created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Contrary to what some state Democrats and other supporters of big government say, Bentley's decision is legally and fiscally on solid ground.
 
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Alabama Ag Credit Stockholders Participate in Farm Credit Young Leaders Program

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Timber farmers Aaron and Lindsay Kirkland of Deatsville recently learned firsthand about the role the Farm Credit system has on credit availability for the agriculture industry, and how Wall Street and Capitol Hill are connected to the process. They were among 28 young agricultural producers selected to attend the 2012 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program. the couple, member-borrowers of Alabama Ag Credit, which is part of the Farm Credit System, met with government officials and representatives of the financial and agricultural industries.

Photo: Aaron and Lindsay Kirkland recently participated in the Farm Credit Young Leaders Program on behalf of Alabama Ag Credit. They are pictured with Mike Garnett, right, chairman of the national Farm Credit Council Board of Directors.   


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Mark Your Calendar for June 5-7, 2013 Forest Products Machinery & Equipment EXPO

The 2013 Forest Products Machinery and Equipment EXPO will take place June 5-7 and features something for just about everyone, including everything you need to keep your operations at their best and state-of-the-art equipment, technologies and services.

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FROM THE EVP: Despite November 6 Losses, we Must Stay the Course

Like it or not, compromise is part of the political give and take that has evolved in the way our laws are made at the state and national level. So in an overall sense, compromise is not a bad thing. It becomes so, however, when our representatives compromise their principles because they can't stand the political heat. As Chris points out in his column, that kind of compromise often makes a bad situation worse!

Read Chris' EVP Column... 

 

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