AFA Newsroom V8 No. 5, March 1, 2013
FROM THE EVP: Will President Obama Ever Stop Campaigning and Start Leading?
Earlier this week, The Hill’s Floor Action Blog (an inside the Beltway publication) reported on an interview with Texas Republican Congressman Steve Stockman. According to Stockman, “Obama’s anti-gun campaign is a fraud.”
Following the President’s call for people to tweet their congressmen in support of gun control legislation, Stockman received 16 tweets. Of the 16, all of the messages were identical and, upon closer examination 6 were from “real” people (only one of which was his constituent) and the other 10 were computer generated.
Read the rest of Chris' column
Status Reports on House & Senate Bills Introduced in 2013 Regular Session
By Tom Saunders
Attached are the House and Senate Bill Status Reports reflecting activity at the legislature through Tuesday, February 26th, the 8th legislative day. The legislature will reconvene on Thursday, February 28th.
Of note, SB192 and HB213, companion bills that authorize the $25 million bond issue for counties to participate in the ATRIP program, both passed their respective houses. The bills now move to the opposite chambers for consideration. The bills create the RAMP program that allows counties that haven’t been able to participate in ATRIP due to lack of funding for the ATRIP match requirement, to each receive $1 million from the bond issue that will allow them to now access an additional $4 million in ATRIP funding so that they can now do $5 million in projects. Projects are limited to bridges that are posted to the extent to preclude school buses from crossing.
SB192 is sponsored by Senator Paul Bussman and HB213 is sponsored by Representative Mac McCutcheon. If you get an opportunity, please thank them for their assistance to this key issue for forestry.
STATESMAN'S CORNER: Representative Jay Love, R-Montgomery
Representative Jay Love was elected to District 74 of the Alabama House of Representatives in November, 2002. Rep. Love has been a consistent voice of fiscal conservatism in his position as chairman of the House Ways and Means Education Committee. He also sponsored and ushered through the House, HB94, a bill to pay back the $437 million that the voters authorized the Legislature to transfer from the Alabama Trust Fund last year in order to prevent a severe budgetary shortfall. HB94 became the first bill to receive final passage in the 2013 Regular Session and was signed into law by Governor Bentley on Feb. 20, 2013.
Born and raised in Montgomery, Representative Love graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and received his B.A. in Business Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery.
As a restaurant owner, he was selected as one of the Top 40 business leaders under 40 by the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
Jay and his wife, Cheri, have four children: Rachel, Addison, Rebecca, and Caroline. Representative Love is a member of First Baptist Church of Montgomery.
Rep. Love serves on the following Committees:
~ Ways and Means Education (Chair)
~ Montgomery County Legislation
Contact information: (W) 334-224-0822; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange Uses In-House Lawyers to Save State Big Bucks
Voters in our sister state of Louisiana might be feeling a bit of sticker shock based on how their Attorney General has handled the BP oil spill case, versus how Alabama's Attorney General has handled the same case for us.
Louisiana's attorney general has spent nearly $24 million building the state's legal case against BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with much of the money paid to outside law firms that have contributed to his campaigns. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's payments to outside lawyers — $15.4 million and counting — account for two-thirds of his total spending, according to figures requested by The Associated Press.
While Louisiana took a much harder hit than other states during and after the disaster, that spending far exceeds the contract work paid by Caldwell's counterparts, according to data provided by their offices.
By contrast, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange opted to let lawyers on his staff take on the work, and he says his office's tab is well under $200,000. Read the full article
The AG also wants Alabamians to know about possible claims opportunities from the BP oil spill. Click here for his press release.
Bob Woodward Calls Obama Threat Not to Deploy Aircraft Carrier Group "madness!"
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward attacked President Barack Obama on Wednesday, saying the commander-in-chief’s decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier because of budget cuts is “a kind of madness.”
“Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t do this because of some budget document?’” Woodward said Wednesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Or George W. Bush saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to invade Iraq because I can’t get the aircraft carriers I need’ or even Bill Clinton saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to attack Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters,’ as he did when Clinton was president because of some budget document?”
SequesterGate: Woodward Claims he Was "Threatened" by Obama Administration
Having observed the performance of the "mainstream media" for many years, it is easy to conclude that the phrase "media bias" is either oxymoronic or an objective truth. Yet occasionally, something happens that rekindles hope that the media will stop taking sides and simply do its job by providing objective news and analysis.
Bob Woodward, half of the famous team of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein which broke open the Watergate case resulting in the resignation of then-President Richard Nixon, has called out President Obama over who owns the so-called "sequester" which, if it goes into effect on March 1, will force billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts in the federal budget. Obama is claiming the cuts will cause furloughs and layoffs of federal workers and is using such scare tactics to try and force Republicans to agree to raising more taxes. For breaking from the herd to report that the sequester was conceived and signed into law by President Obama, Woodward says he was threatened by a "senior" White House official this week.
Bill Frazer Wins W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Award
At a recent meeting at Auburn University, Bill Frazer was awarded the W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Award for his "many years of volunteer service to the citizens of Chambers County." Bill worked as a tireless volunteer to help improve natural resources educational programs for youth and adults.
From his position on the Chambers County Forestry Planning Committee, Bill was instrumental in organizing such programs as in-service training for teachers, Classroom in the Forest and the annual Fall Festival. Our congratulations to Bill on his receipt of this great honor.
Read Bill's acceptance speech
We Need Your Participation in an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Survey
By now, most of you are aware that a group of environmentalists are attempting to get the US Fish & Wildlife Service to list the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake as a "threatened" or "endangered" species under the Endangered Species Act.
The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc., wants your help in trying to define the range and location of this snake. In an attached letter (see link below), NCASI wants information on any sightings you or your company employees might have had of an Eastern Diamondback recently. If this snake is listed it could impede or bar timber harvesting on many thousands of acres of Alabama Timber land. When the Northern Spotted Owl was listed under the ESA on the west coast, forestry activity was shut down on many thousands of acres devastating a once vibrant forest products industry.
Click here for NCASI Letter and Form
Alabama Ag Credit Giving Back .. to Their Members
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama Ag Credit, a rural lending cooperative serving southern Alabama, recently declared a record $5.6 million cash patronage to its customers. This amount was based on the co-op's strong 2012 financial results and was approved by the Alabama Ag Credit Board of Directors.
"This is a significant return to our borrowers," said W. Thomas Dozier III, chairman of the co-op's member-elected board of directors. "This patronage program is evidence that the cooperative system works and demonstrates our commitment to meeting the mission of enhancing the quality of life for the people of rural Alabama."
Longleaf Alliance sets 2013 Longleaf Academy Courses
The Lonfleaf Alliance is offering two different courses for the first part of 2013 and is working on additional courses for the second half of 2013, according to the Alliance.
Keep checking the website (www.longleafalliance.org) to pick up on when new courses are added.
Log a Load 2013 Fundraising Year Starts Out With John Deere Gator Giveaway
Richard Lewis, who recently retired as head of the Forest Resources Association, is the new national coordinator for the Loog a Load for Kids program, taking over from Linda Gibson, who provided many years of outstanding service to Log a Load and FRA.
Richard is overseeing the nationwide competetion for Log a Load to see which state can sell the most chances on a new John Deere Gator which will be given away at the end of the year.
For a release on the Gator Giveaway, click here. For a copy of the Gator Giveaway guidelines, click here. If you are interested in helping Log a Load this year and would like to have Richard send you some tickets to sell, click here.
Announced Log a Load Events in Alabama in 2013 include:
> March 15-16. A Log a Load event will be held in conjunction with the 56th Annual Southern Forestry Conclave at Auburn Unversity, sponsored by STIHL
> April 13. An event will be held in the Warrior District (details to follow in next Newsroom)
> April 20. Piedmont District will hold its 1st Annual Log a Load Turkey Shoot at the Oaks in LaFayette. See attached flyer
> May 3rd. Shannon White will hold his annual Piedmont Sporting Clays event at Selwood Farms (details to follow)
> May 18th. Angie Sherrill will hold her Annual Wiregrass District Trail Ride near Abbeville
> May 23rd. The Delta District will hold its annual golf event at Chatom
Editor's Note: Some of these dates are tentative. We hope to nail the 2013 event schedule down at the Log a Load Mid-Winter meeting Friday.
AF&PA Talks About Federal Court Upholding Bush Era Ruling on Polar Bear
On February 20th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a final special rule for managing the polar bear, which was listed as threatened in 2008, upholding the Bush Administration’s rule stating that activities outside the polar bear’s range are not subject to incidental take prohibitions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The final rule is available here.
This final rule was ordered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as a result of a lawsuit brought by a number of environmental groups arguing for the need to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that are altering polar bear habitat through climate change.
Photo: AP file photo/Courtesy of Mary Sage, Joseph Napaaqtuq Sage.
ALC Director Talks about FMCSA "Unsafe Driving" Overview
By Ray Clifton: In the last issue of Logger Notes I outlined the challenges our industry will face in complying with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA (FMCSA) program.
The CSA model measures and quantifies safety performance through a model they dub “BASIC” (Behavior, Analysis, Safety, Improvement, Categories). Data is collected. The measurement data is scored and weighted based on seven factors: Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving, Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances, Vehicle Maintenance, Cargo, and Crash Indicators.
For the rest of this issue's Logger Notes, click here.
PACE Says Sierra Club Can't See the Forest for the Trees
No one likes to pay more for electricity. At least rational customers don’t. That’s why it should come as no surprise that a recent Sierra Club poll of Mississippi Power customers found that nearly two thirds of the company’s customers didn’t like a new coal-to-gas power plant in Kemper County as much once they learned they would pay more because of it.
In the current economy, what else would you expect any customer to say, especially a power customer, who will experience no material difference by flipping the light switch. Sure, a customer might ask, the plant will add reliability to the system as a whole, but what difference will that make to me?
PLM Training Sessions March 21 & 28 at CAT Center Sponsored by SFI, AU and AFC
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Auburn University, and the Alabama Forestry Commission will host the first initial training for the Professional Logging Manager designation on March 21 and 28 at the Caterpillar Training Center near Auburn/Opelika. This class is required to receive the PLM designation for the first time but does not qualify for continuing education.
To register for the class, complete the registration form and return to AFA. For additional information Contact: email@example.com.
Montgomery School gets a Mention in Report on Campus Intolerance to Free Speech
A recent Wall Street Journal article noted how colleges and universities around the country have placed restrictions on free speech, including narrowing down areas where legitimate protests could be lodged to .1% of the space on campus.
Mentioned in the article is Auburn University at Montgomery which the report said: "blocks professors from making students 'feel insignificant or inferior' and from 'making judgments.' Since grading is a form of judgment, it is hard to understand how any university administrator could think such a policy belongs in an academic environment," the story notes.
TAPPI Names New Board of Directors
ATLANTA, Ga., February 26 , 2013 – Congratulations to TAPPI’s new Board of Directors: Robert A. Feeser (MeadWestvaco), Kirt Cuevas (International Paper) and Daniel D. Cappell (Asten Johnson). Elected to begin a three year term in March 2013, they will join Thomas J. Garland and Chris Luettgen, who will serve as TAPPI Chair, and TAPPI Vice Chair, respectively.
SFI to Work With Native Americans and Others in Use of SFI Standard
OTTAWA, CANADA and WASHINGTON, D.C. - Andrew de Vries has joined the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® as Vice President, Conservation, Indigenous and Government Relations. He will oversee the SFI® conservation program in Canada and engage Native Americans, First Nations and Metis groups both in the development and use of the SFI standard. Andrew will also work with governments in Canada and Europe to ensure inclusive forest certification related policies.
"Andrew brings more than 20 years of wildlife conservation and natural resource management experience to SFI and will lead our forest conservation efforts in Canada," stated Kathy Abusow, President and CEO.
SFI Certified Papers Included in iPhone App With Print Apply
SFI® is happy to announce the release of a recent project with Western States Envelope & Label and Print Apply to include SFI certified papers in a searchable iPhone app. Click on the Certified Papers SFI section to search by paper supplier or by paper brand name. Information on each paper listed includes basis weights, attributes and applicable SFI labels.
Field Day Event and PLM Credit Reminder for April 18 Event
The Conecuh County Forestry Planning Committee will host a landowner field day at Saloom Properties, LLC on April 18 from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The field day will include professional speakers on wildlife, longleaf and forest product markets, a free lunch and twenty nine vendors and exhibitors.
Salem and Dianne Saloom have been recognized as winners of the Helene Moseley Treasure Forest Award and were the National Tree Farm Family of the Year in 2010. Mark your calendars now for this opportunity to learn new ideas on wildlife and forest management and to network with like-minded landowners and resource professionals. Call 251-578-2762 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to pre-register.
Town May Take Down Wind Turbines Because Constant Pulsing Getting Under Resident's Skin
Two wind turbines towering above the Cape Cod community of Falmouth, Mass., were intended to produce green energy and savings -- but they've created angst and division, and may now be removed at a high cost as neighbors complain of noise and illness.
"It gets to be jet-engine loud," said Falmouth resident Neil Andersen. He and his wife Betsy live just a quarter mile from one of the turbines. They say the impact on their health has been devastating. They're suffering headaches, dizziness and sleep deprivation and often seek to escape the property where they've lived for more than 20 years.
OTHER MEETINGS & EVENTS
> STIHL Collegiate Timbersports Championship Series at Auburn University
> 17th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference
> Biomass Heating Expo
> Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition
> North American Wood Window and Door Symposium
> Forest Products Society and Society of Wood Science and Technology's combined 67th FPS International Convention
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