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AFA Newsroom Archive [V7N20] [10-1-12]
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AFA Newsroom V7 No. 20, October 1, 2012 

Mobile Regional Reception a Big Hit at 5 Rivers

The Alabama Forestry Association held its Mobile Area Regional Reception on Tuesday, September 25th at 5 Rivers - Alabama’s Delta Resource Center. Along with the natural beauty of the area and cooler weather coming in, many AFA members, interested non-members, and local legislators made for a great evening.

AFA members from companies like Alabama Ag Credit, Adams and Reese, and Regions Bank provided a strong showing. These members along with landowners, foresters, and other associates displayed the importance of the 10% of Alabama residents employed by the forestry industry. Recognizing this significance, Representatives Alan Baker, Steve McMillan, and Harry Shiver, along with Senators Ben Brooks and Rusty Glover made it a priority to be there.

Thank you to everyone who came out to 5 Rivers. We hope to see you at our next event soon!
Photo: Enjoying themselves at the Mobile Regional Reception pictured above, left to right, are John Lyle, Fred Stimpson, Andy Grant and Andy Freeman.  

Voters Approve Taking Money From Alabama Trust Fund

Alabama voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1, the plan pushed by Gov. Robert Bentley and leaders of the House and Senate to take $145 million a year for three years from the principal of the Alabama Trust Fund to bail out state agencies funded by the General Fund Budget. Both the Governor and members of the legislative leadership have vowed to pay the money back.


Georgia Pacific to Ramp up Production at S.C. OSB Mill

ATLANTA, Sept.18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia-Pacific today announced that it plans to begin a ramp up of production at its oriented strand board (OSB) facility at Clarendon County, S.C., in the first quarter of 2013.  The mill was part of the acquisition in May 2010 from Grant Forest Products that also included an operating plant at Allendale County, S.C., and another operating plant at Englehart, Ontario.  The acquisition totaled approximately $400 million.  Georgia-Pacific spent an additional $30 million to complete construction on the Clarendon facility in 2011.
"Given our customers' increased need for OSB, we believe the time is right to begin the ramp up of production at the Clarendon mill," said Mark Luetters, president – Georgia-Pacific wood products.  "This facility has world-class capabilities and will ensure our ability to grow with Georgia-Pacific's customers as the housing market continues its slow recovery. We're looking forward to getting this plant running and to working with the people in the Clarendon County area."

Once the Clarendon mill is operational, both Clarendon and Allendale (which also employs about 120 people) will supply customers across the eastern United States with the versatile building material used in residential construction. "The Clarendon mill fits strategically with our OSB facilities running at Brookneal, Va., Fordyce, Ark., Hosford, Fla., Allendale, S.C., and Englehart, Ontario," said Clarence Young, vice president – structural panels sales and marketing.  "It will give Georgia-Pacific the ability to provide enhanced service and value to existing and potential customers."
Applications for more than 100 permanent positions, including management, craft and production roles at the facility, will be accepted through the company's Website at  and through One Stop Workforce at beginning this week.

Tree Farm Inspector Training Program Announced

The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) is hosting a Tree Farm inspector training at their headquarters, 513 Madison Avenue, Montgomery on October 17 from 9:00 a.m. through lunch. There are some eligibility requirements to become a Tree Farm inspector. Please review the criteria on the registration form before returning your registration.
Complete the registration form and return to Chris Erwin at or fax to 334-262-1258. Contact Chris Erwin at 334-481-2133 with questions.

Rural Studio Receives Donation from Scotch Plywood

The Rural Studio is a program sponsored by Auburn University that gives students hands-on experience building homes and other structures. In particular, the students use wood products in creative ways to build innovative structures.

The Rural Studio is a design-build architecture studio run by Auburn University which aims to teach students about the social responsibilities of the profession of architecture while also providing safe, well-constructed and inspirational homes and buildings for poor communities in rural west Alabama, part of the so-called "Black Belt".

The studio was founded in 1993 by architects Samuel Mockbee and D. K. Ruth, and is currently lead by UK-born architect Andrew Freear. Each year the program builds five or so projects - a house by the second-year students, three thesis projects by groups of 3-5 fifth year students and one or more outreach studio projects. The Rural Studio has built more than 80 houses and civic projects in Hale, Perry and Marengo counties. The Rural Studio is based in Newbern, a small town in Hale County. Many of its best-known projects are in the tiny community of Mason's Bend, on the banks of the Black Warrior River.

Photos: Shown in the photo at left is Tyler Allgood discussing a scale model of the Lions Park Boy Scout Structure to members of the SFI State Implementation Committee (SIC). In the photo at right, students cheerfully accept a donation of plywood from Gray Skipper with Scotch Plywood. Several of our members have generously supported the Rural Studio over the years and are to be congratulated for supporting such an outstanding program. 

Alabama Officials Oppose Proposed Settlement of the BP Oil Spill Payout

Alabama officials have come out strongly against a proposed settlement of the BP oil spill that they say would penalize Alabama and other Gulf Coast states because of changes in how the funds would be allocated.

Read more...  

New Report Underlines Sustainability Benefits of Using Forest Products

Geneva, September 19 2012 – The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) today released a report highlighting the key role forests and forest products play in furthering sustainable solutions in a resource constrainedworld. Facts and Trends: Forests, forest products, carbon & energyunderlines their necessity for a future low-carbon and bio-based economy, as they can help to reduce society’s greenhouse gas emissions.

To meet growing demand for forest fiber, sustainable forest management is a key strategy and development opportunity, accommodating and leveraging the ample economic, social and ecological benefits of forests and forest products. 

Facts and Trends: Forests, forest products, carbon & energy aligns with the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which noted that over the long term sustainable forest management strategies that maintain or increase forest carbon stocks, while sustaining yield of timber, fiber or energy will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.

This report is a companion document to the November 2011 released
The Sustainable Forest Products Industry, Carbon and Climate Change – Key Messages for Policy-Makers and provides an overview of simple facts and trends about forests, forest products, carbon and energy.

 Logger Notes Talks About "The Road to Logging Safety" This Week

While it will come as no surprise to loggers to hear this, logging is one of the most hazardous occupations in America. ALC Director Ray Clifton explores the issue of the dangers inherent in logging and the need to keep safety as a top priority in the woods!


PLM REMINDER: Initial Training Classes set for Perdue Hill and Crossville in November

The next two initial training classes for the Professional Logging Manager’s designation are set for the GP Training Center in Perdue Hill on November 8th and 15th and again at the Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center in Crossville on November 13th and 20th. Participants can complete the form and fax back to us or go online and register at Contact Chris Erwin at or (334) 481-2133.

Report on BMP Compliance Has Alabama Averaging 96% Across all Categories of Assessment 

According to the Southern Group of State Foresters report, Implementation of Forestry Best Management Practices across the southern region shows great improvement over the past few years. Combining all BMP categories in all states, and using only the most recent survey data, the average overall BMP implementation for the Southern Region was 92%, up from 87% in 2008. The range of overall implementation reported by individual states for surveys included in this report was from 85% to 99%.

Alabama avaraged 96% implementation compliance across all of the categories that are part of the assessment menu. For an AFC press release on the report,
click here.

Read the full Report   (Note. This report is a 3.5 MB file, so it could take a while to download)

Covington County Fall Landowner Tour Set for 5-Points in Northeast Covington County

See attached flyer for the Covington County Fall Landowner Tour for your newsletter. John and Rebecca Langford and the Covington County Forestry Committee will be hosting a landowner field day on October 3 at Five Points in Northeast Covington County. Registration begins at 8:15 and lunch will be provided. See the flyer here.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week Set for Early Next Year

March 3-8, 2013 will be National Invasive Species Awareness Week. Planned events include a Congressional briefing a National Invasive Species Awards Ceremony, and many other activities designed to draw attention to the problem that invasive species pose to Americas great outdoors.


Log a Load Update: Mountain and Capital Districts Hold Outstanding Events

Mountain District Log-A-Load Tourney a Success
The Mountain District Log-A-Load-For-Kids Golf Tournament was held on Friday September 14. In the first year of what will no doubt become an annual tradition, 19 teams competed at the Robert Trent Jones course in Glencoe.

Kronospan’s Jeremy Oliver and Mark Lowe organized the event, which featured 15 sponsors and so much “loot” that every participant left with a door prize. Oliver announced that tournament proceeds to Children’s Hospitals would be in the neighborhood of $12 thousand.

Capital District Sporting Clays Event a Blast in montgomery
AFA Capital District Director Lee Davis and his Capital helpers had a great event on September 27 at the Lower Wetumpka Shotgun Sports Club in Montgomery. Lee had 10 teams show up to blast clay targets on a beautiful sunny day at LWSSC. 

Everyone seemed to have a great day on the shooting course which was followed by a barbecue sandwich lunch and the awarding of numerous door prizes. Lee also recognized the top three teams and the top gun for the event. Although the event was a little lighter on participating shooters this year, Lee actually did a better job of getting sponsors to help defray expenses so more of the event's proceeds can be provided to the Kids! 

Piedmont District Bow Shoot at Waverly, Ala.
The Auburn Forestry Club had another outstanding bow shooting event at the Sportsman's Outpost in Waverly, Alabama, on Saturday. There were about 70 contestants who shot at targets in the form of deer, wild hogs, bears, tigers and turkeys. Everyone seemed to have had a great time and the AU Forestry Club cooked hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch.

Also in attendance was Steve Lucas, Buckmasters Regional Director for Alabama, Florida and Georgia who was on hand to score a buck killed recently by a local hunter.

Events remaining for 2012, include: 

• October 17: Wiregrass District Annual Golf Tournament at the Tartan Pines Golf Course in Enterprise. Contact Mark Byal at
• November 2. Warrior District will host its annual skeet and sporting clays event at Westervelt Lodge in Aliceville, Ala. Contact George Franklin, Linc # 1*119*2552 or,

Photos: In photo at top left, Childrens Hospital Representatives Emily Hornak and Sondra Stephens are all smiles due to the success of the Mountain District Event. At top right, Tournament organizer Jeremy Oliver (right) presents the "longest drive" award to Jeremy McGatha.
In photos above center, left to right are, Lee Davis, chief organizer of Capital Sporting Clays Event, Lee's wife Amelia, Alice Blake of Childrens Hospital, Deb Schneider of the CHIPS Center, Janet Ison State Log a Load Chair and Terry Bussey.  At right, Lee Presents "Top Gun" award to overall best shooter Josh Aldridge who hit 87 out of 100 clays. 

In lower photos, at left, a shooter at Piedmont event draws a bead on a tiger down the trail. In photo at right, Steve Lucas, a Regional Director for Buckmasters, scores a local buck which came in at about 139 points on the Buckmasters scale.     

American Spectator Shows How Media Manipulates Polls to Give You the Wrong Impression

A Story by American Spectator Reporter Jeffrey Lord should help allay your concerns about media reports of recent polling data on the Presidential race showing Obama running away with the race. For sure the race is close and Romney has had a bad couple of weeks. But the Spectator report shows why we should ignore much of the reporting on polls and concentrate instead on turning out to vote! 

Read the report 

Democrat Pollster Pat Caddell Warns that Media Bias Now "Threatens our Country's Future!" 

Democrat Pollster Pat Caddell, who has worked for former President Jimmy Carter and a long list of Democrats, says that the bias of the national news media is now so bad that it threatens the survival of our Nation.

Read more... 

When it comes to What Ails State Government Relief is Spelled:

While I’m disappointed with the results from the September 18th vote, taking money from the Trust Fund was never anything more than a temporary solution. Now it’s time to develop a plan to address the root cause of this dilemma – spending beyond our means. It’s imperative that we begin making the necessary changes to ensure we don’t find ourselves in the same budget bind in the future.

Unfortunately, we have already seen one negative result from the vote. Earlier this week Moody’s Investors Services, a major provider of credit ratings, published an online article which listed the plan to remove money from the Trust Fund as a “credit negative”. Ted Hampton, a senior analyst with Moody’s, said that although his firm did not downgrade Alabama’s rating, using Trust Fund money “shows the state is not in structural balance. Its ongoing revenues are not supporting its normal ongoing expenses.” Hampton went further, “Obviously, if you’re out of balance like that, that’s a sign of budgetary stress and weakness and potentially weak management practices that are allowing that to continue.”

Read more... 

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