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AFA Newsroom Archive [V8N2] [1-15-13]
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AFA Newsroom V8 No. 2, January 15, 2013 

AFA Supports Barton in Senate District 35 Primary on January 29

The Alabama Forestry Association is supporting Jim Barton for the District 35 Senate vacancy created when incumbent Ben Brooks was elected to a Mobile County circuit court judgeship last year. Barton (right) is currently the incumbent in House District 104, a position he has held since 2000. 

Barton will be running against Bill Hightower and Nick Matranga for the Republican nomination. Since the Democrat Party failed to field a candidate, whoever wins of the Republican Primary will take the District 35 seat and hold it until they have to stand for election to a full term next year.


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Jimmy Parnell Takes the Helm at Alabama Farmers Federation/ALFA Insurance

Jimmy Parnell, a 5th generation farmer who raises cattle and timber and is a longtime member of the Alabama Farmers Federation and the Alabama Forestry Association, has been elected President of the Alabama Farmers Federation, the largest agriculture-related orginzation in Alabama, and President of Alfa Insurance Company. The Alfa president wears the dual hat of Federation and insurance company boss. Parnell took over from Jerry Newby who did not seek reelection to the post.

In addition to his longstanding affiliation with Alfa, Jimmy has also been a leader in the forestry community for many years. For the past six years, Jimmy has been a trustee on the ForestFund Board of Trustees, which carries a 9-year term. ForestFund is the self-insurance fund for the forest products industry. Jimmy and his father James H. Parnell and younger brothers Jeff and Joseph run a highly efficient and large-scale logging operation, in addition to their extensive cattle farming operations. Parnell Logging was named Alabama Outstanding Logger of the Year in 2006. In 1999, Jimmy and his wife Robin and children James Robert and Anna Grace were named Alabama's Outstanding Young Farm Family. 

Parnell, 48, served on the Federation's State Board of Directors from 1999-2008, was chairman of the Federation's State Young Farmers Committee in 1997 and has served as president of the Chilton County Farmers Federation since 2006.


"I'm humbled by the support I received from farmers across Alabama," Parnell said following his election. "I look forward to representing them as we work with elected officials, government agencies and other farm organizations to protect families who grow our food and fiber. Alabama is blessed with a rich agricultural history and abundant natural resources that allows us to grow everything from cotton and cattle to poultry and peanuts. But its greatest strength is our people. For 91 years, the Alabama Farmers Federation has worked to improve the way of life of all Alabamians. I'm excited about the opportunity to build on the foundation established by farmers who started this organization."    

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Charles Sykes New Wildlife & Fresh Water Fisheries Director

Charles "Chuck" Sykes has been named director of the Alabama Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries (WFF). As director, Sykes will oversee the daily operations of WFF which regulates hunting and fishing, manages wildlife populations, wildlife habitat, and freshwater fisheries for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).  Chuck is taking over for Corky Pugh, who ran the division for about 12 years before retiring last year.

Sykes is a native of Choctaw County in west Alabama and has been hunting and fishing since the age of six. In 1992, Sykes received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Sciences from the Auburn University School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences. After graduating from AU, Sykes formed a natural resources consulting firm, C&S Wildlife Services, which managed thousands of acres of land for landowners throughout the United States. 

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ALC Director Provides County Logging Ordinance Update

By Ray Clifton
Many of you have asked about the status of the "model logging ordinance" and which counties have passed a resolution or are considering doing so. 

In order to keep you informed and allow you the opportunity to interact with your local ELECTED officials, the ALC has compiled and published information on each county and made that available on our website: www.bamaloggers.org.


To read the rest of Logger Notes, click here.

Groups Line up to Seek a Rehearing on Ruling in Town of Gurley vs. Rock Quary

Attached is the final version of the brief that was filed with the Alabama Supreme Court on Friday in the Town of Gurley v. M&N Materials case.  As we expected, the filing has generated some publicity in the Huntsville area.

Click here for news report.

F2M Reports on Alabama Battle Over County Logging Ordinances

F2M, in its Market Watch publication, has included a comprehensive report about the issue of county logging ordinances that has been ongoning in Alabama over the past several years.

The report notes how the AFA attempted to clear up the problem of the counties adopting ordinances that were piecemeal and often conflicting in intent by passing a statewide notification bill through the Legislature designed to bring uniformity to the issue and repeal the patchwork of ordinances that were cropping up across the state.

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Neal Wade Takes Over as Head of PARCA as Albert Brewer Bows Out

The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama has named Neal Wade as chairman. Wade succeeds former Gov. Albert Brewer, who led the Birmingham-based research group since its founding in 1988. Wade, a Monroeville native, is a veteran business recruiter who comes to PARCA from the Bay County Florida Economic Development Agency. Prior to that, he headed the Alabama Development Office (now the Alabama Department of Commerce) under Gov. Bob Riley from 2003-2010.

It should be noted that Albert Brewer and the PARCA were big supporters of Amendment One in 2003 which would have raised taxes by $1.2 billion and could have been devastating to the forest products industry because of the plan's huge proposed increase in property taxes. Fortunately, that plan was defeated by a three-to-one vote in a referendum. PARCA is also heavily involved in constitutional reform. As many of you know, the existing Alabama Constitution contains many provisions that protect taxpayers from having their taxes raised without their consent. Thus the danger of any constitutional revision that would remove those protections.     

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Random Lengths Reports Continuing Uptick in Lumber Production

U.S. lumber production through October totaled 24.144 billion board feet, up 7.4% compared to the same period in 2011, according to the Western Wood Products Association. 
  
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NAFO Says Forest Roads "Legal Quagmire" has Been Realized  

As expected, the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule clarifying that logging is not an industrial activity under the Clean Water Act (CWA) has precipitated a legal quagmire.
 
Last Friday the Northwest Enviromental Defense Center filed a new lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the  Ninth Circuit challenging the EPA rule. This comes just ahead of the Supreme Court's order inviting further briefing on the impact of the EPA's rule on Decker V. NEDC currently pending before that court.

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Northeast Biomass Heating EXPO Set for April 3-5 in Saratoga Springs, New York

The 5th Annual Northeast Biomass Heating Expo is set for April 3-5 in Saratoga Springs, NY. The 2013 program emphasizes practical learning for developers, installers, and suppliers of biomass (wood and agricultural crops) heating and combined heat and power (CHP) equipment. 

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American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 Provides Little Relief

The firm of JMF (Jamison Money Farmer, PC) has provided a succinct assessment of the so-called "fiscal cliff" deal passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

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In memoriam: Joe Sistrunk

Joe "Papa Joe" Sistrunk, a longtime sawmiller and lifelong resident of Society Hill, Alabama, passed away recently.

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As Usual, it's Time to Get Ready for the Taxman

The National Timber Tax Website was developed to be used by timberland owners, as well as a reference for accountants, attorneys, consulting foresters and other professionals who work with timberland owners regarding the tax treatment of timber related activities.
 
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Alabama Sheriffs Make Recommendations on the School Security Issue

TUSCALOOSA | On Feb. 2, 1988, a homeless man wielding two pistols and a rifle walked through the front door of West End Christian School in Tuscaloosa and took nearly 60 elementary school students and a teacher hostage.

No one was injured in the stand-off that lasted for several hours and made national news. But the frightening event had little impact on the way schools regulate access. Anyone can walk through the front door of most schools in Tuscaloosa County, Sheriff Ted Sexton said.

“We still haven't learned from that issue,” said Sexton, who spoke at a joint legislative committee hearing held in Montgomery on Wednesday. He spoke on behalf of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association, which offered suggestions for specific legislation aimed to tighten security on school campuses with uniform, statewide policies. 

In above photo, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ted Sexton talks with students in Mary Beth Hindman's third grade class during lunch at Huntington Place Elementary School recently.
  

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2013 Timber Investment Conference Set for February 27 - March 1 on Amelia Island, Florida 

UGA is sponsoring their annual Timberland Investment Conference February 27 - March 1 at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida. One of the themes added for the 2013 Conference is the long term nature of forest investment. 

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17th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference Set for March 5 - 7 in Shreveport, La. 

Early registration for the 17th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference ends on January 31. So if you're interested in attending, you might want to go ahead and register.

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Biomass Project Becomes First Biomass Green Heat Registration Site 

Lyme, N.H./Washington D.C. - January 14, 2013 - The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) announced recently that Tarm Biomass has become the first participant in the Biomass Green Heat Registered Site program. 

The BTEC program allows residential, business, and facility owners to proudly showcase their biomass thermal appliances to colleagues and neighbors with a professionally designed plaque and registration in an online catalogue.
  

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FROM THE EVP: Be Prepared for the Battles Ahead 

The year 2012 ended with all the drama of a bad Hollywood movie as the nation hurtled toward the fiscal cliff while hoping someone would slam on the brakes as the narrator (media) provided a running commentary of the dire consequences of a brake failure. 

Now that the movie is finished and the credits are rolling, I feel an irresistible urge to hit the stop button on the DVD, go back to the menu, and see if there are any “alternate endings.”  Not that I want to see what would have happened if we’d gone over the cliff.  Rather, I would like to rewind to the first Tuesday in November and see if we could have taken an alternate route that would have steered us far away from the precipice altogether.

Read the rest of Chris' Column... 

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