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AFA Newsroom Archive [V8N11] [6-1-13]
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AFA Newsroom V8 No. 11, June 1, 2013

BREAKING NEWS! Canfor to Buy Scotch - Gulf Lumber Company

Canfor Corporation (TSX: CFP) announced today that it has entered into a phased purchase agreement with Scotch & Gulf Lumber, LLC. Headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, Scotch Gulf’s primary operations consist of three sawmills in Mobile, Fulton and Jackson, Alabama, producing Southern Pine dimension lumber products. With origins dating back 125 years, Scotch Gulf is one of the premier Southern Yellow Pine producers in the southern U.S. Reflecting planned near-term capital investments, the operation has a combined production capacity of 440 million board feet.

The transaction involves the phased purchase by Canfor of Scotch Gulf over a three-year period, at an aggregate purchase price, excluding working capital, of $80 million. Canfor’s initial 25% interest will increase over the three year period to 50% after 18 months and 100% at the end of the term.

“This agreement provides access to an exceptional fibre base, increases our Southern Pine production capacity to more than a billion board feet and will improve our ability to serve our valued US customers,” said Canfor President and CEO Don Kayne. “Scotch Gulf’s values and approach to the market are closely aligned with those of Canfor, and we are extremely pleased to have been given this opportunity to work with the Scotch Gulf management team to integrate that company’s operating assets and extensive history with our broader North American operations.” 
The transaction is subject to standard closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013. 

US Congressman Jo Bonner Resigning Seat for Job at University of Alabama

Jo Bonner, U.S. Congressman for the 1st District of Alabama, has announced that he will resign his position in the Congress effective in August of this year to take a position as Vice Chancellor of Government Relations and Economic Development at the University of Alabama System.

Congressman Bonner, a Republican, has served District 1 since 2003. He was recently re-elected without opposition from a Democrat.

"Congressman Bonner was a strong voice of conservatism in the U.S. House of Representatives and we will miss his leadership on conservative issues," said Chris Isaacson, Executive Vice President of the Alabama Forestry Association. "Of course, it goes without saying that we wish Jo all the best in his new position at Alabama," Isaacson added.  

Bonner's sister, Judy Boner, is the president of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, one of the system's three campuses.

Rep. Martha Roby, R-District 2, had this to say about Congressman Bonner: "Jo Bonner has been a dear friend and mentor to me since I first came to Congress. He has served with wisdom, courage and dedication, consistently supporting the highest Alabama values."

Legislative Bill Status Wrap Up for 2013 Regular Session

Here are the final status reports for the bills that we were following in the 2013 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature. For House bills click here and for Senate bills click here

FMCSA: "Controlled Substances/Alcohol" Overview

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.

Continue reading Logger Notes... 

EPA Sets New Limits for Formaldehyde in Wood

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule Wednesday that established new emission limits for the chemical formaldehyde, a possible carcinogen, in domestic and imported composite wood products, standards that lawmakers have called the toughest in the world.

The Agency also proposed a rule that creates a framework for accredited third parties to certify that a manufacturer's composite wood products adhere to the emission standards. The composite wood products that fall under the rules include hardwood plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard. 

New Forest History Book Should be Ready by Early 2014; Pre-orders Available Soon 

Many of you have heard about the Alabama forest history book that Dr. Jim Fickle has been writing over the past several years. Well, we can finally say that we see the light at the end of the tunnel and it's not a train!
According to the University of Alabama Press, the book will be printed and ready for distribution and sales early next year. The book is titled: 
Green Gold: Alabama's Forests and Forest Industries.  

An Advance Purchase Flyer is being prepared by the UA Press that will offer our members a 30% discount for buying the book while it is still going through the process of being refined and printed. Once we get those flyers, we attach them to our newsletter twice a month and also put them up on our website to make it easy to order the new book.

PHOTO: Pictured here is the cover of the new book Green Gold: Alabama's Forests and Forest Industries which UA Press already has listed for advance sales on the UA Press website and on

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 Contact Chris Erwin at or call 334-481-2133 for more information.

Gwin Elementary School named the first Project Learning Tree Green School

Long time Project Learning Tree Facilitator, Traci Ingleright, has is preparing her students at Gwin Elementary School in Hoover to think critically and address environmental issues of the 21st century by participating in the Project Learning Tree Green Schools and the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools program.
The school was recently recognized as an Alabama Department of Education Green Ribbon School as well.

2013 Project Learning Tree International Coordinators Conference Held in Alabama

On April 29–May 2, approximately 150 environmental educators from across the U.S., Japan, and Mexico, participated in Project Learning Tree’s 27th International Coordinators’ Conference in Point Clear, Alabama.
Read more…

Reports Say AEA to Hire Obama Political Organization to Help with 2014 Elections

The Board of Directors for the Alabama Education Association has purportedly approved $4 million to be taken from their reserve account to be dedicated to what they are calling “The Grand Plan for 2014.”

According to sources familiar with the AEA’s political operation, the $4 million is over and above what will be spent out of their A-VOTE PAC, the primary vehicle they use for political expenditures. The money will be used to fund a voter turnout program that will include voter identification and other grassroots efforts on behalf of AEA-backed candidates.

Sources say that the AEA will also be hiring Barack Obama’s political operation, Organizing for Action (formerly known as Organizing for America), so AEA can utilize their field staff. OFA is a non-profit entity that was formed by Obama’s political advisors for the purpose of continuing to tap into the grassroots infrastructure built during his Presidential campaigns.

Read full news article 

Rural Criminals Beware, There's a New Cop on the Beat!  

As part of the new law to consolidate the myriad law enforcement agencies across the state, a new crime-fighting unit has been formed to deal specifically with rural crimes. The Agruculture Rural Crimes Unit (ARCU) will be led by Lt. Gene Wiggins, a veteran Alabama State Trooper who was chosen because of his exensive law enforcement training and expertese and a passion for rural Alabama.

Wiggins said that Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Spencer Collier, secretary of the newly consolidated Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency, will announce creation of the ARCU in Mid-June.

Wiggins and Collier both insist that the new unit will not supplant the sheriff's departments and local police in rural areas, but will work to enhance and reinforce their efforts to stop rural crime.

Wiggins also noted that the new unit will not interfere with the work of the law enforcement arm of the Alabama Forestry Commission, although the police officers there working under Chief Craig Hill will be brought under a soon to be formed State Bureau of Investigation once the new bureau is set up in 2015. Until then, Wiggins said he expects the forestry law enforcement officers will continue their jobs working arson, timber and forestry equipment theft and other such cases in the rural areas of the state.

Wiggins noted that he has seven people in his unit to help support and enhance already existing local law enforcement efforts. The difference will be that, as local enforcement agencies investigate all manner of crimes within their communities, Wiggins unit will zero in specifically on rural crimes. In the particular case of forestry-related crimes, Wiggins said he would expect the AFC's law enforcement officers to continue to take the lead because "they have the expertise to deal with timber and forestry equipment theft and things like that.

"Until 2015, they will stay where they are now," Wiggins said. "But in the interim, if Craig Hill calls and needs help, we're going to help them."

PHOTO:  Gene Wiggins, center, talks with Alabama Loggers Council Executive Director Ray Clifton (left) and AFA Communication's Director Sam Duvall at a recent meeting at the Alabama Farmers Federation office located at Alfa Insurance in Montgomery. Alfa hosted the meeting so that associations with rural constituencies could meet Wiggins and learn more about his plans for the new rural crime unit he will be leading.   

Lawrence County Man Arrested for Starting Wildfires 

Investigators with the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) arrested 21-year-old James Luke Ellis of Moulton, Alabama, on May 23, 2013, charging him with Wildland Arson and placing him in the Lawrence County jail. AFC Chief Craig Hill stated that Ellis was arrested for allegedly starting eight wildfires on March 16 in the Mt. Hope area of Lawrence County.

“One fire was set near a house on private property and the seven other fires were started on US Forest Service (USFS) lands,” said Hill. “Thanks to witnesses in the area and USFS agents, we were able to identify suspects.”

The investigation continues and other arrests may be forthcoming. According to Chief Hill, wildland arson is a problem in this state with approximately 31 percent of all wildfires being intentionally set. It is a Class C Felony which, upon conviction, carries a penalty of one to ten years imprisonment and/or up to a $15,000 fine.


Agribusiness Leaders Elected to Alabama Ag Credit Board of Directors

MONTGOMERY- Two members of Alabama Ag Credit’s Board of Directors were re-elected during the Stockholder’s Annual Meeting. Larry H. Gibson, Jr. of Aliceville, Alabama along with Lyman Ramsay, Jr. of Grand Bay, Alabama were both re-elected after the expiration of their three year terms on the board.
Gibson, President of Gibson Forest Management, is a former member of the Alabama Forestry Association Board of Directors.

The Alabama Ag Credit Board of Directors is responsible for establishing policies, providing strategic direction, and overseeing all major institution functions.

Following the Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors then elected agribusiness owner James L. “Jimmy” Bassett as chairman of the board.

PHOTOS: Pictured above left is James L. "Jimmy" Bassett of Downs, Ala., newly elected chairman of the Alabama Ag Credit's Board of Directors. Also pictured are recently re-elected Board members, Larry H. Gibson (center) of Aliceville and Lyman Ramsay, Jr. of Grand Bay.  

Read Press Release

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman Will Not Run for Office Next Year  

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman, a popular conservative Republican officeholder, says she won't seek any position in next year's election and will take a sabbatical from elected office.

Chapman has served two consecutive terms in her current office and is thus "term limited" and could not seek a third term. She had been mentioned as a contender for higher office, possibly including governor, but she said recently she wants to take a break to pursue entrepreneurial ideas and business opportunities.

Beth also said she will support Republican Gov. Robert Bentley for re-election.

Obamacare "Navigators" Will Help Direct People Through Obamacare Maze

By Michelle Malkin
On Capitol Hill recently, a top Obamacare official told GOP lawmakers that "navigators" will not be required to undergo background checks. Criminal records are not automatically disqualifying -- and that includes identity theft. The federal rule-makers will require online training of a measly 20 hours. Health care regulations watchdog Betsy McCaughey adds that navigators "don't have to know math or insurance, but rules announced April 5 specify you have to match the race, ethnicity and language preferences of the neighborhood that will be targeted."

The Obamacare navigator corps smacks of ACORN redux, stocked with demographically tailored Democratic Party recruitment operatives, not objective, informed insurance experts.

Click here to read the rest of Michelle's Article

Log a Load Kicks into High Gear With Several Big Events in May  

May has been a busy month for the Log a Load for Kids program, with three events in one week. On May 18th, Angie Sherrill held her Annual Wiregrass Trail Ride near Abbeville on the beautiful property of Henry County Sheriff William Maddox. The event was very well attended and all of the riders seemed to have a blast. next came the Capital District Golf Tournament hosted by Terry Bussey at Lagoon Park. Terry had very good attendance with more teams this year than last year. Janet Ison brought her grandaughter, Bailea Boone who proceeded to follow in Janet's footsteps, selling tickets for one of the events. In the photo at left, Janet is tickled to death as Bailea, "shows her the money!"  

Following the Capital District event was the annual Delta District Golf tournament at the Deerfield course at Chatom. The family and friends of Chuck Reynolds did a great job this year, as they always do, and put on a great event. So far, most of the events in 2013 have been well attended, fantastic events!

Other events include: 

> June 12. Piedmont District
Golf event will be held at Greystone in Birmingham. We'll send you a flyer once the event chairman sends one to us.

August 16. 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 or Sam Duvall at

Photos: Top left, Janet counts the money that granddaughter Bailea Boone raised at the Capital District Golf Tournament. Next to Janet's picture, Capital participant Donald Clark sends one down range. At top right, participants in Angie Sherrill's trail ride get ready to hit the dusty trail. Below right, Henry County Sheriff William Maddox chats with Childrens Hospital Representative Emily Hornak at Wiregrass Trail Ride. Pictured in the Middle left are Owen Bailey and Delta District Director Gray Skipper at the annual Delta District Golf Tournament. At the lower left is the whole Children's and Women's Hospital crew, from left to right, Cassandra Odom, Nancy Calhoun, Beth Mattei and Owen Bailey.       

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.


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.”

From the Alabama Policy Institute: Following the Money in Four Alabama City Governments

By Dr. John Hill | May 31, 2013
Since the beginning of the Great Recession, cities across the United States have struggled to keep their municipal budgets in the black, balancing rising costs for healthcare, energy and pensions while facing reductions in revenues. Some of Alabama's municipalities are healthy enough to quickly rebound once the need for fiscal belt tightening ends. For others, the economic woes of the past five years are part of a never-ending string of financial crises. It is often hard for the average person to tell whether their hometown is trying to right-size itself in a sluggish economy or if its economic woes are symptomatic of more serious problems.


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