AFA Newsroom V8 No. 8, April 15, 2013
FROM THE EVP: Sometimes it Comes Down to One Key Vote
In 2008, Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright was elected to represent Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District filling the seat vacated by the retirement of Congressman Terry Everett. Congressman Bright, a Democrat served his constituents well and voted “right” on every issue (including forestry)…except one. That one issue was a big one and it was the first vote he cast, electing Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House.
Fast forward a year, as we entered the 2010 election cycle, the Alabama Forestry Association’s Political Action Committee Board voted to endorse challenger Martha Roby (R). This endorsement put us in conflict with all national forestry-related groups who either endorsed or raised money for Congressman Bright as well as almost every other association in Montgomery.
In fact, we were the only state level association that endorsed Mrs. Roby.
Read the rest of Chris' Column
Legislative Update of House and Senate Action in 2013 Regular Session
By Tom Saunders
Attached are the House and Senate status reports for legislative activity through Thursday, April 11th, the 20th legislative day. There are 10 legislative days remaining. The legislature met for 3 legislative days last week and the reports reflect activity that occurred over the course of the week.
1. The House passed the Education Budget (HB166), it now goes to the Senate.
2. The House passed HB506 that provides liability insurance for teachers, it now goes to the Senate.
3. The Senate passed SB326, AFA’s priority bill regarding green building standards, it now goes to the House.
4. The Governor signed SB192, the RAMP bill providing funding for rural bridges.
5. Senator Shad McGill (R- Woodville) introduced SB415 which would exclude assets valued at less than $250 from the calculation of determining ad valorem taxes on business personal property.
6. Representative Harry Shiver’s (R- Bay Minette) bill to provide a referendum to impose fuel taxes in Monroe County was reported out of the Local Legislation committee and is now subject for consideration before the full House (AFA opposes this legislation)
STATESMAN'S CORNER: Senator Paul Bussman, R-Cullman
Senator Paul Bussman has been a great friend to forestry. Senator Bussman recently sponsored SB192, which established the Rural Assistance Match Program (RAMP), which will provide funding to poor counties that do not have the matching funds for the Governor's highway and bridge infrastructure program, ATRIP. Senator Bussman did a great job of husbanding the bill through the Senate, as Rep. Mac McCutcheon did in the House. The Governor signed the bill into law on April 10.
The significance of SB192 is that it will allow funding to get down to the level of greatest need for critical bridge and road construction projects in the poorest counties in the state, some of which are located in the heart of Alabama's timber basket. Please let Senator Bussman know that our industry is greatful for his enlightened leadership!
Senator Bussman is currently serving his first term in the Alabama Senate. He was born in 1956 in New Orleans, LA, and lived there until the age of 3 when his family first moved to Cullman.
Senator Bussman attended Troy State University where he was a 4-year letterman and received his Bachelor of Science degree. He then attended the University of Alabama, School of Dentistry where he received his Doctoral of Dental Medicine. Senator Bussman has been a general dentist in Cullman since 1983 and is also the local entrepreneur and developer of FUNZONE, Cullman’s only family entertainment center including miniature golf, go-karts, batting cages, an inflatable gymnasium and an electric train.
Paul and his wife, Holly, have been married for more than 15 years. Their children, Noah, 11, and Kendall, 12, live at home in Cullman. For more information on Senator Bussman, click here.
The RAMP bill was one of the AFA's major legislative initiatives in the 2013 Regular Session. Governor Bentley signed the bill into law on April 10, 2013. Click here for story on Governor signing the bill.
AFA Priority Bill Dealing With Green Building Passes Senate
AFA Priority Bill SB326 sponsored by Senators Marc Keahey (D- Grove Hill) and Tom Whatley (R- Auburn) passed the Senate recently on a unanimous 28-0 vote. The bill also received its first reading in the House and has been assigned to the House Ag & Forestry Committee which has a meeting set for next Wednesday. Please let your senators know your appreciation for their support. Click here for contact information for the Senate. To contact your House members to encourage them to report the bill from committee and support it on the floor, click here. Please copy me on correspondence that you send to your senators.
HB457 is the House companion bill to SB326 and is sponsored by Representative Mike Jones (R- Andalusia). HB457 has been reported out of committee and is awaiting action on the House floor. We will need to contact House members in the near future to ask for their support. I will provide more detail on that later.
SB326/HB457 is legislation that precludes the State from using tax dollars on public buildings that are constructed utilizing a green building standard that includes a requirement to use a specific wood certification system that results in discriminating against Alabama wood. Click here for the legislation.
Teachers Conservation Workshop set for Auburn July 8-11, 2013
The 2013 Teachers Conservation Workshop for Auburn is set for July 8-11, 2013 at the Hotel at Auburn University. The goal of the workshop is to help teachers and particularly agri-science teachers learn about forestry through programs on forest ecology, forest management and forest products. The teachers receive instruction through guest speakers, field trips and hands-on activities.
The Goal is to demonstrate the importance forests have to the environment and the economy of the state.
Hauling Diesel to the Woods
By Ray Clifton
At least two of our members have been delayed or ticketed in the last few days by the Alabama Department of Public Safety (ALDPS) due to portable fuel tanks used to haul off-road diesel to the work site.
The federal regulations regarding fuel-hauling are somewhat confusing — I believe that even some troopers are unsure of how they apply.
Continue reading Logger Notes...
We Need Your Help Finding and Honoring 2013 Outstanding Logger
By Ray Clifton
The logging industry has been hit hard during the economic downturn of the past several years. Even so, there are many outstanding logging companies in our state that are among the best in the nation.
Each year we honor one of our own as “Alabama’s Outstanding Logger of the Year.” Winners of the award are those who exhibit the highest standards in business management, professionalism, safety, and community involvement.
Please take a moment to consider nominating a logger you know who is worthy of consideration by completing the attached “Nomination Form.”
PHOTO: Pictured at right are last year's Outstanding Logger of the Year Ray and Kathy Singleton. At left is ALC Director Ray Clifton.
Time to Break out the Sun Screen and Get Ready the 2013 Sunburn Classic
The AFA Sunburn Classic Committee recently announced that the the Annual Sunburn Classic Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, September 9, 2013 at the Craft Farms’ Cotton Course.
The Classic will have a shotgun start at 1:00 pm. The Sunburn Classic, held in conjunction with the Alabama Forestry Association’s Annual Meeting in Orange
Beach, Alabama, has become a preeminent fundraising opportunity for ForestPAC, the AFA’s political action committee.
Weyerhaeuser CEO to address AFA Annual Meeting
Plans are beginning to take shape for AFA’s Annual Meeting scheduled for September 8-10th at Orange Beach’s Perdido Beach Resort. Daniel S. Fulton, Chief Executive Officer of Weyerhaeuser confirmed that he will participate in the conference’s main track on Monday, September 9th. Mr. Fulton has been the company’s CEO since his election in April 2008.
There will, of course, be lots of other participants in our largest meeting and as the confirmations come through we will inform you via AFA Newsroom, and/or Alabama Forests of new participants. So watch the newsletter and magazine for the latest meeting developments.
MeadWestvaco Supports Tree Farm Certification Program
WASHINGTON—One of the world's foremost packaging companies has announced a supply chain preference for certified material sourced from the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS).
MeadWestvaco Corporation (MWV), a global leader in packaging and packaging solutions, has reaffirmed its commitment to wood fiber sourced from sustainable third-party suppliers including America’s 89,000 ATFS-certified family forest owners.
Alabama Certified Prescribed Burn Manager 2013 Training Schedule
Details about the Alabama Forestry Commission Alabama Certified Prescribed Burn Manager Program may be found on the AFC website. Kent Hanby, RF, CF, CPBM and John Stivers, RF, CF, CPBM are the instructors of the courses and workshops.
These courses/workshops are sponsored and funded by the Alabama Forestry Commission. Who should take the CPBM Certification COURSE? Any forest land owner, forester, wildlife biologist, consultant, contractor, or agency personnel who are interested in the use of prescribed wildland fire as a management tool and who are seeking certification should attend.
Out of state participants are welcome.
Who should take the CPBM recertification WORKSHOP? Any currently Alabama Certified Prescribed Burn Manager who needs the
required 6 CEU every 5 year re-certification should take the workshop.
Read full Schedule...
Adrian Blocker Joins Weyerhaeuser as Lumber VP; Robert Taylor Retires
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) announced earlier this month that Adrian M. Blocker will join Weyerhaeuser as Vice President of Lumber, effective May 1, 2013. Blocker’s appointment follows Robert Taylor’s planned retirement from the company in May.
“We are excited to welcome Adrian to Weyerhaeuser,” said Larry Burrows, senior vice president, Wood Products.
“He will be a great addition to our team, bringing more than 30 years of broad forest products operational and corporate experience in forestland management, fiber procurement, and lumber and plywood manufacturing.”
Professional Logging Manager Initial Training
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Forestry Commission will be hosting the initial training program for the Professional Logging Manager designation on Saturday, April 27 and Saturday, May 18 at the LP mill in Thomasville.
To receive the designation you must participate in both days of the program. These programs are intended for those who have never participated and do not count as continuing education for current cardholders. To register for the program click here.
Alabama Project Learning Tree Committee Hosts the International Coordinators Conference
The Alabama Project Learning Tree Committee will be hosting over one hundred environmental education specialists from around the world on April 29 – May 2 at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala. The program will include plenty of speakers on providing quality EE programs and running sustainable organizations. Field trips include a “Forests of the World” workshop at the Port of Mobile, Five Rivers Delta Resource Center, Orange Beach Elementary School, Bon Secour and Weeks Bay.
The Committee is asking for donations for its silent auction at the conference. All proceeds from the auction go back into the state committee budget and are used to support workshops to implement the Project Learning Tree materials into Alabama schools. Please contact Chris Erwin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (334)300-0254 if you can help.
Log a Load Update: May Will be the Busiest Month for Log a Loaders!
This year's Log a Load for Kids program started with the 5-K run over in Demopolis. That was followed by a fundraiser held in conjunction with the 56th Annual Forestry Conclave at Auburn University. The Warrior District had planned an event for April 6, but it was cancelled. The local Warrior group plans on getting back together to decide when and where to have their event.
Announced Log a Load Events in 2013 include:
> 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. Contact Shannon White at (256) 207-0166 or via email at email@example.com. For a flyer/registration document, click here.
> May 13. Wiregrass District Golf event in Troy. Click here for Flyer.
> May 18th. Angie Sherrill will hold her annual Wiregrass District Trail Ride near Abbeville. Click here for flyer.
> May 21. Capital District golf event will be held at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. Click here for flyer.
> May 23rd. The Delta District will hold its annual golf event at Chatom. Click here for event flyer. For registration document, click here.
> June 12. Piedmont District Golf Tournament will be held at Greystone in Birmingham.
If you have any need for additional information, or have information about future events, contact State Log a Load Chair Janet Ison at (334) 757-8282 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Forestland Owner Tax Guide Available Online
Since yesterday was "tax day" we decided to re-running this short on the document the USDA has worked up to update Forest Landowners about the Federal Income Tax liability potential on forestland.
For the tax information, click here.
If You Want another Reason to be Thankful that You Live in Alabama, This is a Must Read
California, the poster child for how not to run a state, has decided that one way to keep the timber industry under control is by greatly increasing the taxes associated with producing forest products. Through the ballot initiative process, the Secretary of State has announced that proponents of a "tax to fund increased oversight of [the] timber industry" may begin collecting the 504,760 signatures that will be required to get the tax increase initiative on the election ballot.
The proponent of the measure, James D. Smith, has 150 days to circulate petitions for the measure and the signatures must be collected by September 10, 2013. Stay tuned.
Read the Proposal
IP Enters Into Agreement with Dogwood Alliance
According to a press release, International Paper, the world’s largest paper company and Dogwood Alliance, one of the Southern United States forest conservation organizations, announced an agreement recently that the press release says will help advance science-based forestry improvements in the world’s largest paper producing region.
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 29 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 email@example.com to pre-register.
Truck Weights Issue Update
By ADAM SNIDER and BURGESS EVERETT
Some of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington are shifting into high gear for the battle to increase weight limits for trucks, even though many key lawmakers are staying neutral for now.
The issue over whether heavier trucks should be allowed on the nation’s interstate highways is pitting unions, independent truckers and the country’s largest freight railroads against agricultural groups and the muscular American Trucking Associations.
Legacy's 2013 Educator Workshop Series Schedule Announced
Legacy has announced that it will hold eight educator workshops across the state of Alabama starting this month and ending in September. The first workshop will be on the subject Preserving Alabama's Natural Treasures and will be held April 26-27 at the Anniston Museum of Natural History. The second workshop will take place in June at the Beckwith Camp and Conference Center.
Review 2013 Schedule
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