AFA Newsroom V8 No. 9, May 1, 2013
Legislative Update of House and Senate Action in 2013 Regular Session
By Tom Saunders
Attached are the House and Senate Status Reports reflecting legislative activity for the week concluding Thursday, April 25th, the 25th legislative day. The Legislature met three legislative days last week, which leaves them with 5 days to go. They next meet on Tuesday, April 30th (today).
AFA’s priority legislation, dealing with discrimination within green building standards (SB326/HB457), has yet to be included on a special order calendar in the House for consideration before the full body (already has passed the Senate). Opponents to the bill are working very diligently against our interests! (Concrete, steel, architects, contractors, environmentalists). Although we were told that the bill would be on the House calendar for Thursday, it now appears that it has been pushed into next week. We are currently conducting a vote count of House members and we need for our members to contact their legislators to convey their support of the bill. Please forward any response you get to me. This is going to be a close vote! We have to get at least 62 votes to get the bill brought up for consideration.
For contact information for your House member, click here. For contact information for your state Senator, click here.
Please get involved in this effort. We cannot afford to have the major certification systems in Alabama ignored in government building projects.
STATESMAN'S CORNER: Representative Mike Jones, R-Andalusia
REPRESENTATIVE Mike Jones has been a stalwart supporter of forestry and forestry issues. This year Rep. Jones is the sponsor of a top AFA priority, HB457, which would level the playing field in state construction contracts by recognizing all of the major forest certification programs when providing wood for state construction projects. Please extend your thanks to Mike for his efforts to help end taxpayer-funded discrimination of Alabama wood products.
Rep. Jones was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives on November 2, 2010. Prior to that he served on the Andalusia City Council from 2000 to 2008, and served as mayor pro-tem from 2004 to 2008.
Rep. Jones holds a B.S. Degree with Honors from Birmingham Southern University and a law degree from the University of Alabama. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association and Andalusia Chamber of Commerce.
Representative Jones is married to Kathy Harper Jones and they are the parents of two daughters; Olivia and Sophia.
He is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Andalusia and is a member of a number of community and civic organizations including Andalusia Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Alabama Easter Seals, and the National Rifle Association.
> Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Record-Keeping
By Ray Clifton
In recent issues of Logger Notes I outlined the challenges our industry will face in complying with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA (FMCSA) program.
One of our members was recently audited by FMCSA. They received a letter on April 11 stating that the following documents should be available for inspection on April 16:
Continue reading Logger Notes...
Walk in the Forest 2013: A Good Time on a Great Day!
The Alabama Forestry Association, Montgomery Chapter of the Society of American Foresters and Project Learning Tree celebrated Earth Day by taking 350 first grade students from nearby Wetumpka and Redland Elementary Schools on a Walk in the Forest. The event was held at the Alabama Nature Center at the Alabama Wildlife Federation in Lanark.
Using the Alabama Course of Study as a guide, organizers teach the students about classification. First grade students rotated between nine learning stations covering soils and water, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals and fish. Students were excited to spend a day in the woods and even more so to have hands-on experiences. The students caught fish, touched snakes, measured trees, felt animal skins, and watched a wild turkey strut. These are the types of early experiences that build an appreciation later in life of our natural resources.
The Association is grateful to all of our members for your support of our education programs and especially to our sponsors and partners, International Paper, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama Division of the Society of American Foresters, Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Forestry Commission, Alabama Wildlife Federation, Carignan Forestry Consultants, Industree, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sizemore and Sizemore and Sterling Consulting.
PHOTOS: The little girl shown above just caught her first fish at the fish pond at the Alabama Wildlife Federation's Nature Center. Shown holding a turkey wing and discussing birds with the children is Elizabeth Johnson (center) while Rick Dowling shows the children photos of two snakes similar in color, with one being non-poisonous and the other one a deadly Coral Snake.
Weyerhaeuser Ranked in Top 100 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 2013 List
Weyerhaeuser has been included on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2013 list. This year the company is ranked #23, which represents a significant improvement from 2012 (no. 60). This is the sixth consecutive year that Weyerhaeuser has been included on the magazine's ranking of corporate responsibility performance of major U.S. companies. Weyerhaeuser continues to work hard to be a responsible corporate citizen and sustainable company and this recognition reflects that hard work.
The "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list ranks large-cap Russell 1000 companies based on 360 data points of public information in seven categories: climate change, employee relations, environmental, financial, governance, human rights and philanthropy. The full list of companies and details on scoring is available at CR Magazine.
Among the various categories that were measured, Weyerhaeuser ranked #3 in philanthropy.
A great example of that philanthropic commitment is Weyerhaeuser's recently concluded Diaper Drive. Weyerhaeuser's partnership with World Vision wrapped up with the collection of nearly 750,000 diapers for families in need. These are now being distributed by various nonprofit organizations to under-privileged families throughout the communties in which the company operates.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Audits Reached All-Time Highs Last Year
By Tommy Eden
Last year was the busiest year on record for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits of employers' Form I-9s. Investigations, fines and arrests grew dramatically for I-9 violations, according to Attorney and immigration law expert Tommy Eden. Some of the numbers breakdown as follows:
> 10 Fold Increase in Audits Since 2009: In fiscal year 2007, ICE conducted only 250 audits. In contrast in 2012, ICE I-9 audits rose to more than 3,000.
> 13 Fold Increase in Fines Since 2009: From 2009 until 2012, fines for I-9 violations grew from $1 million to $13 million. Easy fine money for ICE auditors.
> Increased Arrests: The number of company owners, executives and managers arrested during ICE investigations increased to 238.
Greenpeace Overplays its Hand In the Shootout Over Forest Certification
As Jon Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project reports, Greenpeace’s embarrassing public apology last month for its botched attack against Canada’s largest forestry company and the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) it helped birth—we’ll get to the details of that story soon enough— underscores the growing tensions over the forest certification programs designed to protect North America’s woodlands.
Three years ago, executives from a variety of groups that can’t stand being in the room with one another—forest companies, corporations that use forestry products and anti-big business international non-government organizations (NGOs)—forged what was hailed as a breakthrough deal. The 2010 boreal agreement brought together nine environmental groups, many of them openly hostile to loggers, and 21 members of the Forest Products Association of Canada with a goal of increasing protections of 75 million hectares of forest in Canada. Essentially it was a truce between the logging industry and environmental groups, which have been at odds for decades.
Alabama Schools Recognized with Green Ribbon Award by US Department of Education
Four Alabama schools and one Alabama school district were recently recognized for their "green" activities with the Green Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education. According to the USDE's release on the announcements, the schools and/or districts are given the ED-GRS (Education Department's Green Ribbon Schools) award for their work to ensure sustainable, healthy school environments and effective environmental education.
Alabama schools so honored included: Fayetteville High School, Sylacauga, Ala., Munford Middle School and Munford High School, Munford, Ala., Harriette W. Gwin Elementary School, Hoover, Ala., and Talladega County School District.
German Pellets to Build Second North American Pellet Plant
Production of about 1 million tons of wood pellets per year in Louisiana / Construction to begin in April / Commissioning in spring of 2014
Wismar, April 2013: German Pellets is further expanding its production capacities in North America. In Urania, a town in northern Louisiana, German Pellets will soon begin construction work on a new pellet production facility. The output will be about 1 million tons of wood pellets per year. Urania will be the German Pellets Group’s second North American site. In April a plant will open for production in Woodville, Texas.
Conecuh County Forestry Planning Committee Field Day at Saloom Properties a Big Success
The Conecuh County Forestry Planning Committee's landowner field day at Saloom Properties, LLC on April 18 was a great success, with more 200 people attending the event and 28 vendors on hand from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The field day included professional speakers on wildlife, longleaf and forest product markets, a free lunch and the 28 vendors and exhibitors.
Dr. 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. The April 18 event was a great opportunity for landowners and industry professionals to learn new ideas on wildlife and forest management and to network with like-minded landowners and resource professionals.
Dr. Saloom presided as host and gave out of door prizes and thanked all of the attendees for coming to the planning day event on what turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day. Our congratulations to the Salooms, the Conecuh County Forestry Planning Committee and the vendors and exhibitors for making the event a runaway success!
PHOTOS: Above, Dr. Salem Saloom welcomes attendees to Conecuh County Field Day on his property in Conecuh County. At top right, Martha Loyd's display is all about controlling Cogon Grass and Kudzu. In photo below Martha, the state Tree Farm triumvirate of, left to right, Chris Erwin, former state Tree Farm Chairman Doug Link and new state chair Paul Hudgins discuss program matters.
Attention All Foresters: Get Ready for Forestry Field Day in Baldwin County
There will be a forestry field day in Baldwin County at the Baldwin State Forest on May 16. CFEs (Category 2) and PLM points will be available for attendees. If you plan on attending please pre-register so we know how many lunches to order. This event is jointly sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, the Longleaf Alliance and the Alabama Forestry Commission.
For additional information, please contact Beau Brodbeck, Alabama Cooperative Extension System at 251.259.6507 or, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Log a Load Update: May Will be the Busiest Month for Log a Loaders!
Well, the first major Log a Load fund-raiser was held in Janet Ison's stomping grounds, with Janet there, but without her being in charge. And the 1st Annual log Load for Kids Turkey Shoot raised an estimated $28,000! Our congratulations to event Chair and primary event host Kimberly Fuller for going above and beyond the call of duty in her first effort to run a major Log a Load event! It's hard to imagine a better outcome, even if Janet had been running the show herself. So congratulations to Kimberly and her helpers on a job very well done!
The next major LAL event will take place this Friday with Shannon White's 3rd Annual Coosa Valley Sporting Clay Shoot at Selwood Farms. This is another Piedmont District event which has been gaining momentum with each successive event. If you have the opportunity to participate in Shannon's event, you don't want to miss shooting at one of the most beautiful and challenging sporting clay ranges in the country!
Announced Log a Load Events remaining in 2013 include:
> 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.
Alabama Forests Forever Foundation Funds Videos on Building Effective Traps for Wild Hogs
To help with the burgeoning problem of wild hogs, the Alabama Forests Forever Foundation provided funding for a series of "how to" videos to show simple but effective designs for traps for catching and holding wild hogs.
This is the first round of wild pig youtube videos produced with AFF funding.
Terry Nelson's Simple Fix to Prevent Cable Hooks Getting Fouled Wins FRA Award for IP's Prattville, Alabama Mill
Washington, DC – The Forest Resources Association conferred its 2013 Technical Writing Award on Terry Nelson, who works at International Paper’s Prattville, Alabama mill, at FRA’s April 19 Annual Awards Luncheon in Jacksonville, Florida. Nelson authored the finest Technical Release FRA published during the previous year.
Nelson’s winning publication, Special Sleeve Prevents Cable Hook from Snagging, describes a simple, inexpensive innovation devised by International Paper’s Prattville, Alabama woodyard staff to prevent a cable hook from snagging on the top of a load during the log truck unbinding process. The innovation is to fit a six-inch section sliced from the top of a plastic traffic cone as a sleeve covering the cable’s hook and clamp.
PHOTO: Photo at left shows the fix that the IP Prattville Mill came up with for keeping hooks free when securing logs on a log truck. At right is Terry Nelson who received FRA's 2013 National Technical Writing Award for his Technical Release: Special Sleeve Prevents Cable Hook fron Snagging.
FRA Names Outstanding Logger of the Year for 2012
Washington, DC – The Forest Resources Association honored Comstock Woodlands, based in Hampden, Maine, as the 2013 National Outstanding Logger at its April 19 Annual Awards Luncheon in Jacksonville, Florida. FRA Chairman Tom Norris congratulated Comstock President Brian Bouchard and presented him with a special plaque, telling him, “Thank you, and congratulations to all of you again for all the good work you’ve done.”
STIHL Inc. Senior Product Manager Kent Hall also congratulated Bouchard and presented him with a $1,000 check and a STIHL MS461 chain saw.
Photo: FRA Chairman Tom Norris, left, congratulates members of 2013 National Outstanding Logger winners, Comstock Woodlands' management team, (L to R) Brian Bouchard, Ralph Ouellette, Audrey Allen, Colie Spencer and Jeff Bouchard.
Martha Roby Leads the Effort to Pass Bill Allowing Comp Time Pay in Lieu of Overtime pay
WASHINGTON – Hourly employees in the private sector could take paid time off instead of overtime pay under a bill a House committee approved recently.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee approved the bill, a top priority for House Republican leadership, over objections from Democrats who said it would hurt employees who prefer the extra cash.
Twenty-three Republican committee members voted to approve the proposal and 14 Democrats voted to oppose it. The full House likely will approve the bill in coming weeks, but its prospects are dimmer in the Senate, where Democrats are in charge.
Republicans have tried for years to change federal labor law to let private employers pay workers in compensatory time, rather than extra wages, for working more than 40 hours in a week. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., is leading the effort this year.
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.
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 Camp Beckwith Conference Center.
Review 2013 Schedule
We Still 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.”
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...
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