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AFA Newsroom Archive [V8N12] [6-15-13]
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AFA Newsroom V8 No. 12, June 15, 2013

Obamacare Contains a Number of "Tax Surprises"

By Andy Biebl DTN Tax Columnist

One of the recent challenges we have faced as tax advisers is to find all the tax increases buried in the Affordable Care Act (ACT) -- aka, Obamacare -- and help our clients deal with them. This year it has been the 3.8% investment income tax and the extra Medicare tax. In 2014, the big ones are the individual mandate and the employer penalty. This last one, affecting those with over 50 employees, is a real nightmare, but most farmers will slide beneath that threshold.
Read full column  

AFA Annual Meeting Update: Governor Robert Bentley  to Keynote 2013 Annual Meeting

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley will headline the AFA 2013 Annual Meeting at Perdido Beach Resort at Orange Beach, Alabama on September 8-10, 2013. Also attending will be the Governor's lovely wife and Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley. Click here for details

Corrugated Recovery Hits 91 Percent as the World's Most-recycled Packaging Material 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 6, 2013)  In 2012, 91 percent (29 million tons) of the corrugated packaging used in the U.S. was successfully recovered for recycling, maintaining its top position as the most-recycled packaging material.

Recovery for recycling has increased steadily since 1993, when 54.5 percent of old corrugated containers (OCC) was recycled. Recovery is also helped by the widespread access to community paper and paper-based packaging recycling programs.
Read more...

FMCSA: “Vehicle Maintenance” Overview for Transporting Forest Products 

By Ray Clifton

In this issue I will continue to provide information about compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA (FMCSA) program. The measurement data a trucking company is evaluated by is called BASIC and is scored and weighted based on seven factors: Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving, Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances, Vehicle Maintenance, Cargo, and Crash Indicators. Read Logger Notes... 

Just in Time for the Heat of Summer, Obama to Unveil his 2nd Term 'Climate Change' Strategy

President Barack Obama may be just a month away from releasing the second-term climate change strategy that activists and donors are waiting impatiently for, although the details and timing appear to still be in flux. Read more...

Good Turnout for Auburn & Montgomery Regional Receptions

The Alabama Forestry Association held its first Regional Reception of 2013 in the Auburn area June 6th, at Coach Pat Dye's Crooked Oaks Lodge. Over 70 local AFA members and interested non-members attended the reception sponsored by Alabama Ag Credit and Farmers & Merchants Bank (LaFayette).

Local officials like County Commissioner Robert Ham, Representative Mark Tuggle, County Engineer Larry Kite, County Engineer Justin Hardee, and others  made it a priority to meet with our members and staff. Also in attendance was special guest Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange who spoke about the financial impact the forest industry has on our state's GDP and the importance of keeping Alabama business friendly and less restrictive.

Click here to see if you made our photo album, and we look forward to seeing you at our next Auburn event on October 3rd!

Companies in attendance: MWV, Chris Langley Timber, Charles Dixon & Co, Raymond James, Canal Wood, First South Farm Credit, Potts Brothers Logging, Complete Forestry Service, Sizemore & Sizemore, Ketchum Land and Timber, Russell Precision Mapping, etc.

More than 45 AFA members, non-members and public officials also attended AFA's second Regional Reception of 2013 in Montgomery last Thursday, June 13th. The reception was sponsored by Alabama Ag Credit, Balch & Bingham LLC, and Raymond James. Local officials who attended included County Commissioner Stephanie Smoke, Representative Jay Love, and county engineers Richie Beyer and David Bufkin. Also attending were Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker and Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey who has always been one of our most supportive members. 
 
Our thanks to all who came out! We look forward to seeing you at our next Montgomery event on September 19th!

PHOTOS: Featured top left at the Auburn reception are (left to right) Alabama Loggers Council Executive Director Ray Clifton, State Representative Mark Tuggle and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. Auburn attendees at top right are,  Taylor Hart with Larry and Catherine Kite. At middle left are AFA EVP Chris Isaacson and his lovely wife Kathy while at mid-right are new AFA employee Danielle Ray (left) and Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey. At lower left are, L to R, Kevin Haynes, David Kahn and Steve Oswalt.  

Pre-order the New Forest History Book at a 30% Discount Over Retail!

If you would like to be one of the first to own Green Gold, the new forest history book written by Dr. Jim Fickle, and enjoy a 30% discount. Download the attached flyer/pre-order form and you can receive your copy hot off the press!
 
The book's publisher, the University of Alabama Press, says the book will be printed and ready for distribution early next year under the title: 
Green Gold: Alabama's Forests and Forest Industries. This book project has been in the works since the 1990s when a committee was first formed under the umbrella of the Alabama Forestry Foundation to advance the project. Since that time, there was a fairly long period during which oral histories were taken and various diaries and histories and other documents collected.   

If you are interested in buying advance copies of the book the publisher is offering a 30% discount for buying the book while it is still going through the process of being refined and printed. If you are interested in the comprehensive history of forestry in Alabama, go ahead and use the attached fillable PDF to place your order. These books would make excellent birthday or Christmas gifts to friends and family! 

New Jersey is Highest, Alabama Lowest in Per Capita Property Taxes 

This week's map takes a look at the total property tax collections per capita at the state and local levels. Coming in with the highest per capita collection rate is New Jersey at $2,819, and Alabama comes in at the other end of the spectrum with a per capita collection rate of $539. Click here to review US Property Taxes.

U.S. lumber output up 7.2% through Q1

U.S. lumber production totaled 7.530 billion board feet through March, up 7.2% compared to the first three months of 2012, according to the Western Wood Products Association's Lumber Track publication. Through the first quarter, output in the West was up 10.4% compared to a year ago; production in the South was up 4.4%. Nationwide, production in the month of March totaled 2.476 billion feet, up 1.8% from February and 2.0% higher than the March 2012 total. Source: Random Lengths

PLT Early Childhood Program Recognized as One of the 100 Leading 'Sustainable Solutions' 

PLT’s Early Childhood program has been selected as one of the world's 100 leading sustainable solutions by Sustainia, an international institute that identifies innovative and impactful projects from around the world that are leading the way for a sustainable future.
 
PLT was recognized at the SUSTAINIA100 launch event in London yesterday. On November 7 at a ceremony in Copenhagen, one solution from the list of 100 will be selected to receive the prestigious SUSTAINIA Award. Former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger heads the selection committee that also includes former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, EU Commissioner of Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, and Chair of the UN climate panel, IPCC, Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri. Ten finalists for the SUSTAINIA Award will also be presented to world business leaders and politicians during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. Find more information here

Forest Management Planning Workshop Scheduled

The Alabama Tree Farm Committee, in cooperation with the Alabama Forestry Commission, will be hosting a Management Planning Workshop in Andalusia at the Extension Complex on June 19 from 8:30 until 1:30 for Certified Tree Farmers, landowners interested in forest certification, and Tree Farm inspectors.
 
These workshops are focused on assisting landowners and foresters develop and update forest management plans to meet Tree Farm certification and the National Stewardship program requirements. All participants will receive a free copy of the Managing Forests book and lunch will be provided compliments of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Alabama Implementation Committee. Pre-registration is required and available online at
www.alaforestry.org. Contact Chris Erwin at cerwin@alaforestry.org or call 334-481-2133 for more information.

SFI® Round Up
SFI Teams Up with McGraw Hill to Educate LEED-Savvy Architects and Builders 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The June issue of Architectural Record includes a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for architects and builders describing the benefits of using responsibly managed forest products certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Standard. Read more...

>> SFI Reaches Out to 10,000 Stakeholders to Revise its Forestry Standard. Read more…

>> SFI Annual Conference Set for September 17-19, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. Read more...

Wood Wars: The Battle Over the LEED Standard  

By RUSS BYNUM
Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- A building supplier phoned Pollard Lumber Co. about providing wood for a large government construction project in Georgia, but the deal broke down over a single question about how the family-owned sawmill has committed itself to environmentally friendly practices.

The mill in rural Appling holds certification by a national forestry group to verify it uses timber harvested in a sustainable manner. That wasn't good enough to get the government job two years ago. 
Read more...   

Government Impeding Growth of US Economy Spurred by Vast Expansion of Domestic Energy

What if the United States could quickly take steps that would eliminate the entire trade deficit, boost the economy, and create millions of jobs?
It can, according to a leading energy expert — but not if it retains some current government policies.

American exports now total $1.6 trillion a year, second only to China's $2.1 trillion, but the United States imports more than it exports and runs the world's largest annual trade deficit, about $750 billion.
Read more...

Alabama Cooperative Extension Service Provides Guidance on New Gun Law 

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is offering training to help employers and employees prepare for a new state law that will allow people to keep guns in their vehicles while they are at work.

Alabama Act 2013-283, commonly known as the "Guns in the Parking Lot Act," becomes effective Aug. 1. It restricts an employer's right to prohibit the storing and transporting of weapons in locked personal vehicles — and out of plain view — in an employer's parking lot.
Read more...

Log a Load for Kids has Great Event for Piedmont District at Greystone's Legacy Course 

Jeff Gossett and his helpers put on a great golf outing on Wednesday at the Legacy at Greystone Golf Course near Birmingham. Jeff said he believes this year's event will perhaps double the amount raised last year. There were a total of 80 golfers who signed up to play Wednesday and there were only two no-shows!

Other events include: 
      

> August 10. Black Belt District.
A golf event is now in the works for BB that will probably take place in Bibb County. Once more details and a flyer are available, we will share those with you.
> September 20. Mountain District golf tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Silver Lakes. This will be a 4-person scramble. Click here for an event flyer. To register, click here for registration form.

If you need additional information, or have information about future events, contact State Log a Load Chair Janet Ison at (334) 757-8282 or at tbison61@yahoo.com or Sam Duvall at sduvall@alaforestry.org.

Photos: Top photo, Deb Schneider, left, is Director of the CHIPS Center at Children's Hospital. Deb is standing beside Jeff Gossett, who is the primary organizer of the Piedmont District golf event each year at Greystone's Legacy course near Birmingham. Helping Jeff keep everythin straight, is Kim Warren, right. In the photo at lower left, State Log a Load Chair Janet Ison, accepts a donation from Deborah White for the John Deere Gator which Log a Load is raffling this year. Playing the round with Deborah is Rhonda Hogg. Our congraulations to the organizers and participants for putting on a great event for an equally great cause! 

Alabama Bridges Need a Lot of Help

They cross creeks, rivers, streets and railroads along some of Alabama's busiest highways as well as its less-traveled backroads. Records show 127 state-maintained bridges are listed as "structurally deficient," or in need of significant maintenance and repairs to remain in service. Read more... 

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. Read more... 

LandMark Spatial Solutions to Hold Forestry Training Classes in Mississippi Starting in July

Johnny Thompson and the good folks at LandMark Spatial Solutions will be holding a series of forestry training classes at East Mississippi Community College in Mayhew, near  Starkville, Mississippi, starting in July and ending in October. Read more...  

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