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AFA Newsroom Archive [V8N13] [7-1-13]
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AFA Newsroom V8 No. 13, July 1, 2013

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey Announces Bid for Re-election; AFA Issues Immediate Endorsement 

Republican Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey kicked off her campaign for a second term last Thursday on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol. Kay has been a longtime member and supporter of the Alabama Forestry Association and Alabama landowners. So it should come as no surprise that the AFA endorsed Kay right after she made her announcement.

Lt. Gov. Ivey said that since she became presiding officer of the state Senate the Legislature has downsized government, passed balanced budgets, and sustained essential state services.

The Lieutenant Governor made the announcement Thursday in Montgomery, surrounded by Republican members of the Senate and other GOP officeholders. So far, Kay has no announced opposition. She served as state treasurer prior to defeating Democratic incumbent Jim Folsom Jr. to win the lieutenant governor's office in 2010. Read AFA Endorsement

Former AFA-EVP John McMillan Announces Re-election Bid for Alabama Ag Commissioner 

John McMillan, Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, returned to his home stomping grounds at the AFA Office Building last Tuesday, announcing he would seek re-election as Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture.

Earlier that day John told the Alabama Agribusiness Council at an Orange Beach, Alabama, meeting that he would seek a second term.

“When I was elected in 2010 to be your Agriculture Commissioner, I knew we faced a difficult financial situation,” McMillan said. “However, I had no idea we were in such a perilous condition that it threatened our department’s ability to provide basic services. Today, we have stabilized our finances and made progress in improving department operations.”

John brought his campaign to the AFA office building Tuesday evening for his first reception/fundraiser as an "official" candidate for re-election. Read John's Press Release

Mobile Regional Reception a Great Event Headlined by Attorney General Luther Strange

The Alabama Forestry Association held its first Mobile Area Regional Reception of 2013 on Thursday, June 27. It was our third time being at the beautiful Five Rivers Delta Resource Center.

The turnout was outstanding  with Attorney General Luther Strange highlighting the evening. Also attending were members of the Alabama Legislature, including Representatives Alan Baker, James Buskey, Chad Fincher, Jamie Ison, David Sessions, Harry Shiver, Randy Davis, Victor Gaston and Senators Rusty Glover and Trip Pittman. The AFA is grateful for all that the lawmakers do for Alabama and for their attendance at the AFA Regional Reception.

Sponsors for the evening were Adams & Reese, Allen Southern Electric Motor Service, Beard Equipment, Hancock Bank, Motion Industries, and Wesco Gas & Welding Supply. Without their support, our first Mobile Reception would not have been such a smashing success!

Photos: Attorney General Luther Strange (above right) shows why he is called "Big Luther" or "too tall" as he towers above IP's Joe Twardy (center) and David Liebold. At right are the Turnipseeds, Mike (left) Linda and Michael. Our thanks to all who attended the Mobile event!   

FMCSA: “Cargo” 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.

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. Poor performance by a company or driver in any of these categories will lead to warnings, audits, and potentially being placed “out-of-service” permanently. 
Read Logger Notes... 

ALC Needs Your Help in Finding 2013 Logger of the Year

From ALC Director Ray Clifton: 
This is the last call for nominations for the 2013 Alabama Logger of the Year.  To date, we have received no nominations of Alabama Loggers Council members for this prestigious award.  There are many good loggers in Alabama who deserve consideration for a job well-done.

Please take a moment to consider nominating a logger you know who is worthy of consideration by completing the attached “Nomination Form.”

Don't Forget, You Can 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. 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 for friends and family! 

The Costs of Over-regulating Forest Management

Government agencies regularly interfere with markets in numerous industries, such as finance, housing, health care, and automobiles. Sometimes, however, the negative effects of such interference are not recognized or easily understood by consumers and the general public.

Forest certification, for example, seems at first glance to be an obscure issue with little relevance to the economy. However, misguided policies for certifying timberland management as environmentally friendly threaten a major driver of economic growth in rural communities across the United States.


Arsonists Beware, There's a New Dog  on the Trail!

The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) is doggedly determined to stop arsonists in their tracks. To assist in finding wildland arson suspects in North Alabama, a second bloodhound has recently been purchased by the Alabama Forestry Commission. This action will give the agency more complete coverage across the entire state, according to AFC Law Enforcement Chief Craig Hill.
"The decision to add another bloodhound was based on the successes of ‘Blaze,’ our first arson dog,” said Hill. “Stationed in South Alabama, it is not practical – neither logistically nor economically – to use Blaze in North Alabama . . . it’s just too far to mobilize him to a woods arson crime scene in a timely manner.”

PHOTO: Meet Ember, so named by the AFC employees who will see that the female pup is properly cared for and trained up to take on the task of following in Blaze's footsteps in the vital work of sniffing out would-be arsonists. Read more...

Forestry Rules in West Alabama; Provides $70.4 Billion Statewide Annual Impact

When it comes to making a living off the land, forestry rules in West Alabama. But when it comes to agriculture, the menu includes chicken, beef or catfish.

That's what a study by Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System found in looking at the economic impact of the state's agriculture, forestry and related industries. The study, which looked at 2010 data, said ag, forestry and related industries pumped $70.4 billion into the state's economy.

CEI: Obama "Climate Change" Initiative Does Not Have Congressional or Voter Support   

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2013 – President Obama’s recently-released climate agenda is being done without public or congressional support and is being pursued in this way because he knows the peoples’ elected representatives would never approve these plans, say experts at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“Obama’s all-pain, no-gain agenda will cost jobs, drive up prices and have little effect on global emissions,” said Myron Ebell, director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment. “It is undemocratic, bordering on authoritarian.

“It confirms the Obama administration’s all-out war on coal, calls for more negotiations on a treaty the Senate will never ratify and displays an alarming lack of knowledge about the state of climate science. Congress should move immediately to defund as much of this as possible.”

New Report Reveals Significant Increase in EPA Actions Under the Obama Administration

A new report released recently by the American Legislative Exchange Council shows a substantial increase in the power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama Administration, which has cost states billions of dollars in compliance fees and millions of jobs lost. The report, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on State Sovereignty, is authored by William Yeatman, Assistant Director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Yeatman focuses on the three methods used by the EPA to implement environmental standards—sue and settle, regulatory disapprovals, and takeover of state plans known as “Federal Implementation Plans” (FIPs)—and explains how the EPA’s actions affect state budgets and job growth.
Read more... 

Log a Load for Kids Black Belt Event Set for August 10

For the first time in several years, a major Log a Load event is set for this year in the Black Belt District. The good folks at Cahaba Timber are taking the lead on a golf tournament to be held on August 10, 2013 at Lakeview Retreat in Brierfield, Ala. It wll be a 4-person scramble with shotgun starts at 8 am and 4 pm.

The tournament sponsor for the event is Cahaba Timber, the lunch sponsor is Boatright Railroad Products and Stephens Oil Company is the hole-in-one sponsor.

We need everybody in the Black Belt and adjacent districts who can come to please attend this event. 
Click here to download event flyer/registration document

Tax Foundation Shows How Much Money the States Are Getting From the Feds 

By Richard Borean

This week, our Monday Map illustrates what percentage of a state's general revenue is made up of federal aid. Mississippi relies more heavily on federal assistance than other states, with 49% of its total general revenue coming from federal aid. Close behind are Louisiana at 46.5% and Arizona at 45.7%. On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska relies on federal aid for only 24% of its general revenue, followed closely by Delaware at 25.9% and North Dakota at 26%.  

IRS refunds $46,378,040 to 23,994 illegals at 1 address

Agency also assigned 15,796 taxpayer IDS to ‘unauthorized aliens’ at single residence
(CNS News) – The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
Read more...    

Tax Court Strikes Blow to Those with CRP Contracts

HADDONFIELD, N. J. (DTN) -- In a surprise reversal of tax policy, the U.S. Tax Court has ruled that Conservation Reserve Program payments don't equate to cash rent, so even nonfarm landowners who live out of state owe self-employment taxes on such income.
More than 27 million acres of farmland are under Conservation Reserve Program contracts now. Unlike cash rent, CRP rents constitute an "environmentally-friendly business" so are subject to self-employment taxes, the Tax Court ruled this week. The decision shocked legal scholars and agricultural accountants who for most of the past 30 years have advised farm investors they were exempt from the 15.3% tax if they were not otherwise actively engaged in an agricultural business. 

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 Miss. Starting This Month

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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