AFA Newsroom V8 No. 16, August 15, 2013
"County Information” Pages Provide Important Data for AFA Members to Use at Local Level
While much has been written about the economic contribution of forestry to Alabama’s economy, we have increasingly found the need to be able to discuss our importance at the local (county) level. As a result, we have developed informational guides for all 67 counties so that our members can have relevant information at their fingertips for discussion with politicians, the media, and the general public.
The guides include information on the condition of the forest, economic impacts from forestry, the condition of roads and bridges, and a listing of county commissioners and other officials and their contact information.
The pages are available at www.alaforestry.org. Simply click on “NEW COUNTY INFORMATION” on the right side of the home page. This link leads to a map of Alabama. Click on the county of interest on the map to go to the county of interest. Note that a pdf copy may be printed by clicking on the button at the bottom of each county page.
AFA Joins Other Stakeholders to Appeal Decision on Latest LEED Revision
On August 1, AFA joined with other organizations to appeal the USGBC adopted LEED v4 protocol which did nothing to resolve what USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi described as “the single most contentious issue in USGBC’s history.” Despite letters of opposition from 89 Members of Congress, 14 Governors, and thousands of other affected stakeholders, LEED v4 continues to award credit to one brand of certified forest products (FSC) to the exclusion of competing products from the certification systems most widely used in the U.S. (SFI and ATFS).
The USGBC’s records contain ample evidence that the preference for FSC certified products is not technically sound. FSC standards vary widely and the labels do not tell consumers which FSC standard a product comes from. A large percentage of FSC labeled products come from places with no endorsed standard at all: the prime example is Brazil, the globally dominant source of pulp in FSC labeled products positioned to earn credits under LEED v4.
Read full LEED appeal Letter...
Zilkha Biomass to Spend $18 million to Open Shuttered Dixie Pellets Plant in Selma
World’s first full-scale Zilkha proprietary “black” pellet plant to create more than 55 jobs in rural community
On August 5, 2013, AMCREF Community Capital announced the closing of $18.8 million of combined federal and Alabama state New Markets Tax Credit financing for Zilkha Biomass Energy. Zilkha will use the financing to transform an existing facility in Selma into the world’s first full-scale Zilkha Black Pellet plant. Zilkha’s hydrophobic Black Pellet is an important advancement in compressed wood pellet fuel, providing an environmentally sustainable and low carbon fuel, which can be transported and burned by coal plants using their existing equipment.
Forest Landowners’ Guide to the Federal Income Tax Has Latest info on Forestland Taxes
This USDA publication is the latest in a series of income tax handbooks for family forest owners that began with the 1953 publication of Agricultural Handbook No. 52, The Small Timber Owner and His Income Tax. It represents a major revision of Agriculture Handbook No. 718, Forest Landowners’ Guide to the Federal Income Tax. It updates that publication to include tax legislation that was passed and administrative changes that were promulgated through late 2012.
The primary purpose of this guide is to foster good management of family-owned forest land by providing an explanation of the provisions and incentives related to forest ownership and management under Federal income tax law. It does not provide guidance on managing timber or other forest products. That type of information is available from State agency foresters, Cooperative Extension foresters, forestry consultants, and industry foresters.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Proposes Endangered Species Act Protection and Critical Habitat Designation for Three Plants in the Southeast
As it is attempting to do with the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list three southeastern plants as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and is seeking all available information to inform the agency’s decision on the proposed listing.
At the same time, the Service also proposes to designate critical habitat for these species. The plants are Short’s bladderpod, whorled sunflower, and fleshy-fruit gladecress.
The counties in Alabama which could be affected by this proposed listing include Cherokee, Lawrence and Morgan counties.
AFA Architect's Tour Featured as Technical Release in FRA's Forest Operations Review
The Annual Architect's Tour which the Alabama Forestry Association has been providing through the Alabama Forestry Foundation for 48 eight years has been selected and presented as a Technical Release by the Forest Resources Association in its magazine, Forest Operations Review. Our congratulations to Chris Erwin, Director of Forestry Programs, for running a great program for our industry that encourages budding architects to include wood in their designs.
Read the Technical Release
SFI Hits ForestEthics for its Lack of Ethics in the Debate Over Green Building Process
ForestEthics has accused the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® of “greenwashing” in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Green Guides in a recent news release. ForestEthics made this same accusation in a formal complaint to the FTC dated September 9, 2009, and the FTC took no enforcement action.
ForestEthics never mentions in its campaigns that it receives money to promote FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and receives money to undermine SFI. A brochure has been prepared that we believe helps set the record straight.
State Tree Farm Committee to Host Management Plan Workshop in Wetumpka on August 21
The Alabama Tree Farm Committee will be hosting a Management Plan workshop in Wetumpka on August 21 at the Elmore County Office of the Alabama Forestry Commission at 191 Red Eagle Drive, Wetumpka. The program lasts from 9 am -1:30 pm and focuses on assisting landowners and foresters in preparing a forest management plan that meets the Tree Farm and Forest Stewardship standards.
Lunch will be provided and all participants will receive a copy of the Managing Forests book. Four hours of CFE and PLM credit are available for foresters. Registration is free and available online at www.alaforestry.org or by contacting Chris Erwin at 334-481-2133 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Any registered forester interested in becoming a Tree Farm inspector by participating in this program can do so by staying an extra hour to review additional Tree Farm standards.
B.A.S.I.C. Trucking: A Final Word
By Ray Clifton
The Alabama Loggers Council has spent a lot of time and effort in the last three years attempting to help our members prepare themselves for the regulatory monster that the Federal government has unleashed on the trucking industry in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “safety” program (FMCSA).
There is a reason for this effort on our part. We believe that these rules will be the biggest regulatory challenge we face as an industry. It is a targeted effort by the Federal government to identify (and eventually shut down) commercial motor carriers who they determine to be “unfit” to operate.
Read more Logger Notes...
Mississippi Also Having Problems with Road Ordinances/Bonds
While we take no confort from this fact, our forestry brothers in Mississippi are also have some problems with county road ordinances and bonds being placed on loggers before they can harvest timber.
If You Have an Idea for a PLT Workshop Apply for this Grant to See Your Idea Through
Do you have an idea for a school/community native plant garden, a forest improvement project, a streamside restoration plan, a recycling program, or energy conservation project for your students? Need funds to implement it? Apply for a Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! Grant up to $3,000 at www.plt.org.
The deadline is September 30, 2013.
Dates Set for 2013 Regional Events & Forestry Field Days Sponsored by ANRC and Tree Farm
Everyone is invited to the 2013 Regional Events and Forestry Field Days sponsored by the Alabama Natural Resources Council and the Alabama State Tree Farm Committee and scheduled on three separate days in October.
These events will show attendees how to manage their forests for multiple use, introduce them to leaders of Alabama's natural resources agencies, provide experts who will speak on forest resource management and allow them to take a tour on a Helene Mosley Memorial TREASURE Forest!
Read event flyer....
Is Obama Administration Using HUD as "Diversity Police" in American Neighborhoods?
Just when you thought you'd seen about all of the social engineering the current administration in Washington could muster, here comes a report that the Obama Administration will use its every-expanding reach to ensure "diversity" in neighborhoods! The policy is called, "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing." It will require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP convention in July. "Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard a child or her parents work, the life chances of that child, even her lifespan, is determined by the zip code she grows up in. This is simply wrong,” he said.
Financing of Agricultural and Forestland and the Products they Produce is Widely Available
Lending institutions that service the agricultural and forestry communities say that both agriculture and forestry are doing well as the economy slowly claws its way back from the Great Recession.
Don't forget to sign up for 2013 AFA Annual Meeting
To find out who all is coming to see you, review the AFA Annual Meeting brochure. Our special guest, of course, will be Gov. Robert Bentley. Also attending will be Attorney General Luther Strange who will discuss the BP litigation from the massive oil spill in 2010.
In addition, the CEOs of some of our largest forestry companies will be in attendance and ready to share their thoughts and insights on what we might expect for the future of forestry in America and Alabama. So please, take advantage of these great programs and the continuing education opportunities and sign up for the 2013 AFA Annual Meeting. Most of your friends will be there. You should too!
If you're a golfer, you also don't want to miss the opportunity to play on the beautiful Craft Farms course for the Sunburn Classic. This year's event will feature TWO shots at winning, as hole-in-one prizes, either a brand new Mack Truck or a brand new Nisson Titan pickup.
Registration for the Classic, which is all you have to do to compete for the above prizes, is available through AFA's website: www.alaforestry.org, or just contact Liz at 334-481-2135. The registration fee for a team is $800 and includes four golfers, lunch, refreshments and great prizes!
Read full Sunburn Classic details
Tree Farm Committee is STILLLLLL Looking for 2013 Annual Meeting Silent Auction Items
The Alabama Tree Farm Committee is looking for donations for its annual silent auction taking place at the AFA Annual Meeting September 8-10. The donation is considered a charitable contribution and is tax deductible. This event raises money for the Tree Farm Committee and allows them to support forest certification, communications, awards and landowner field days.
Items should be sent to Heather Wierzbicki at MeadWestvaco using this donation form.
Tree Farm Program for 2013 Annual Meeting To Feature Iconic Henry Rifles
Each year the Tree Farm Committee picks raffle items to raise money for the TF program. This year Chris Erwin, who oversees Tree Farm for AFA, has outdone himself. Chris has acquired two beautiful Henry Rifles from a company with the motto: "Made in America or Not Made at All!"
These guns are a perfect "father-son" or "grandfather-grandson" combo for a lucky winner who will get both the Henry Golden Boy 22 LR and the beefier Henry Big Boy .44 Mag. The former is a great starter gun for a youngster and the latter is a great brush gun for hunting deer. Both guns are collector's items, featuring the attention to detail that has kept the Henry name in the public domain since the 1860s when their .44-caliber rimfire rifle was fielded by Union Cavalry in the U.S. Civil War. Confederates who had to face this deadly "sixteen shooter" with their one-shot muzzleloaders called it, "that damned Yankee rifle that they load on Sunday and shoot all week!" Click here for more details on how to win these wonderful firearms.
Wildfire Seminar Set for August 22-23 in Cullman
Despite the fast-growing number of Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) areas throughout the US, studies show that rural areas lack proper building, fire and WUI codes. Only about 7,000 communities have adopted a WUI code or prepared a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP); less than 2% of WUI communities currently implement wildfire prevention programs. Most communities are taking steps only after a fire incident occurs, instead of proactively working to protect life and property before disaster strikes.
What is Wildfire Safe, Sound and Code Smart® (WSS&CS)? WSS&CS is a multifaceted approach to Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fire mitigation. The national program guides and supports community leaders as they develop and adopt WUI codes, while actively encouraging implementation of existing WUI educational programs in communities with high-risk of wildfire.
Watch Out for the Log a Load Event in Your Neck of the Woods
We're over halfway home in working to meet our 2013 fundraising of $200,000 for Log a load for Kids. Please participate in these last events if you can. The money raised will do a lot of good for the sick and injured children of our state!
Remaining events include:
>> September 19: The Capital District will hold its annual sporting clays event at the Lower Wetumpka Shotgun Sports Club in Montgomery. Click here for event flyer.
>> September 20: The Mountain District will hold a golf tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Silver Lakes. The event will be 4-person scramble. Click here for flyer/registraton form.
>> September 28: The Forestry Club at Auburn University will hold its annual Archery Shoot in Waverly Alabama. Click here for flyer.
>> October 23: The Longleaf District will hold its annual golf tournament at the Brewton Country Club. Click here for Richard's letter to potential supporters, and click here for event registration form.
>> November 8: The Warrior District will hold its 10th Annual Charlie Hughen Memorial Sporting Clay and Skeet Shoot at the Westervelt Lodge in Aliceville. Click here for flyer.
>> Wiregrass District: The second annual Wiregrass Dove Hunt will be held in Henry County at Shorterville in early to mid-November, depending on the harvest schedule at the site of that event. We will let you know as soon as we find out the date of the event and will attach a flyer once one is produced for the hunt.
NOTE: By the time you read this the August 10 Black Belt golf tournament will have been held at Lakeview Retreat in Brierfield. Newsroom Editor Sam Duvall is on vacation this week. A report on the Blacke Belt event will be presented in the next issue of AFA Newsroom.
Pre-order the New Forest History Book at a 30% Discount Over Retail!
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.
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 for friends and family! So go ahead and sign up for an early copy NOW!