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AFA Newsroom Archive [V8N21] [11-1-13]
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AFA Newsroom V8 No. 21, November 1, 2013

Positive Movement Toward Recognition of ALL Forest Certification Programs 

Wood products, including products from American Tree Farm System® (ATFS)-certified lands (a program of AFF), will now be given a fair shot by the General Services Administration (GSA). The GSA is one of the largest builders in the federal government.

After much education and outreach from the AFF network, our industry partners, governors, members of Congress, and others, the GSA has decided to recognize both Green Globes and LEED as viable green building rating systems for federal buildings. GSA has for a number of years only recognized LEED, which discourages the use of wood—especially wood from ATFS-certified forests.

Read more... 

SFI Says GSA Action Will Help Increase Use of SFI-Certified Wood

The General Services Administration (GSA) has issued a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Energy that federal agencies have the option to use either the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating tools or Green Building Initiative's Green Globes when choosing a third-party green building certification system.

The recommendation is a very positive outcome, putting Green Globes on par with LEED in federal use of green building rating systems. GSA policy for many years had been to use only LEED, which awards its certified wood credit only for products certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Green Globes, on the other hand, recognizes Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Canadian Sustainable Forest Management Standard (CSA), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and FSC standards in awarding points for certified wood. This opens the door to greater use of SFI-certified wood in federal building construction and renovation.


Mike Holmes "Meet and Greet" set for Afternoon of November 11 in Wetumpka

As you are probably aware, the AFA's Political Action Committee, ForestPAC has endorsed Mike Holmes in the race to fill the House District 31 seat, which includes Coosa and Elmore Counties. The Governor called the special election for December 3rd to fill the unexpired term of Barry Mask, who resigned to take a job with a Montgomery Association.

We will be holding a "meet and greet" event for Mike on the afternoon of November 11 (Veterans Day). The event will be held at the IndusTREE Timber Company facilities in Wetumpka from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. We will be grilling out, so come on and come hungry. If you live in or near District 31, please show your support for Mike by attending. Of course, campaign donations are always welcome. Contributions should be directed to the Mike Holmes Campaign, Post Office Box 1343, Wetumpka, AL 36092. Or you can contribute on line at

In addition to being a Tree Farmer, Mike is a true fiscal conservative who vows to keep spending and government expansion in check! We need more lawmakers like Mike to help protect our industry from unwanted and unwarranted government intrusion into out lives and businesses.   

Japanese Following Europeans into the Biomass-fueled Electricity Business

Sumitomo Forestry Co. (1911) and Sumitomo Joint Electric Power Co. will build a 50 megawatt biomass power plant on the northern island of Hokkaido.

The companies plan to invest 15 billion yen ($153 million) on the plant and a factory to produce wood chips to be used as fuel, they said in a recent statement.

Construction will start in September and the plant, to be built in Monbetsu city, will start operations in December 2016, according to the statement.

Read more... 

Looking for a New State Forester for Alabama

In the wake of State Forester Linda Casey's announcement at the last Alabama Forestry Comission (AFC) meeting that she was resigning effective January 1, 2014, the search for a new State Forester has begun in earnest. The chairman of the search committee, Dr. Salem Saloom -- who also serves on the Commission -- has been steadily moving the process along.

Attached is the document to be used by prospective candidates who might be interested in applying for the job of State Forester for Alabama. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, the deadline for submitting your application is November 15. 

The Alabama Loggers Council has Fantastic Annual Meeting    

The 2013 ALC Annual Meeting attracted just over 100 attendees October 12 at “The Legends Marriott” in Prattville. The theme of the meeting was “Technology in Logging and Trucking.” The program included the following presentations:

>> “Optimized Hauling with Onboard Scales” — Ray Clifton
>> "Fleetmatics GPS Trucking” — Jim Tovar
>> “Worksite Solutions with JDLINC” — Jake Walker

Logger Notes

Motor Carriers MUST Update Information with FMCSA by November 1 or Face Penalties

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all entities under its jurisdiction to update their information every two years as part of the new Unified Registration System (URS) regulation. Under URS, you are required to provide this update every two years, even if your company has not changed its information, has ceased interstate operations since the last update, or is no longer in business and you did not notify FMCSA.

Failure to complete a Biennial Update may result in deactivation of your USDOT number and civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day, not to exceed $10,000.


Plum Creek Buys Southern Timberlands, Will Take the Company Public

SEATTLE – Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. (NYSE: PCL) recently announced it has signed a $1.1 billion purchase and sale agreement to acquire approximately 501,000 acres of industrial timberlands [including land in Alabama], associated wind and mineral assets, and an interest in approximately 109,000 acres of high-value rural and development-quality lands from MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV). The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of usual and customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the
fourth quarter of 2013.

In other news, Plum Creek has announced it will take its company public with an offering of common stock in the company.

Senator Sessions: '"Extreme Weather' Does Not Justify Extreme Political Agenda"

By Senator Jeff Sessions

It has been eight years since the last major hurricane struck the United States—a lull that experts call an "extended and intense hurricane drought," the longest such drought since reliable records began in the 19th century.

This is welcome news for Alabamians. The nation still remembers Hurricane Camille (a Category 5 storm) that hit our region in 1969. Hurricane Frederic (a Category 3 storm) made landfall at Dauphin Island in September 1979, leaving widespread devastation and a tree on the roof of my home in Mobile. Hurricane Opal (a Category 4 storm) struck Alabama in October 1995. And it doesn't take a major hurricane to cause tremendous damage, as "Superstorm Sandy" demonstrated.

Read more... 

NAFO Thanks Lawmakers for Acting on "Point Source" Issue

WASHINGTON, DC, October 29, 2013 – The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) commends the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for bipartisan support of H.R. 2026, legislation to preserve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 37-year-old policy that successfully regulates forest roads as nonpoint sources under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The legislation was reported unanimously out of Committee today.

Read full Release

Log a Load Update: Longleaf Golf Tourney Featured a Good Turnout on Fine Day! 

As usual, Richard Quina and his helpers down in the Longleaf District had a great event on October 23rd at the Brewton Country Club. Richard said holding his event in the fall was a good decision as the day was warm, but not hot like last year. In other words, it was great weather for golfing! As usual, the Conecuh Sausage was sizzling on the grill as golfers made pit stops to load up on the succulent links on the links. Richard had approximately 15 teams show up for the Brewton event. 
Remaining events for 2013 include:

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.
> November 9. The Wiregrass District will hold the second annual Wiregrass Dove Hunt in Henry County at Shorterville. Click here for flyer. 
(Editor's Note: The date and time for this event is in the process of being changed. We will attach an update in the next Newsroom).    

PHOTO: Pictured at above right are State Log a Load Chair Janet Ison, Longleaf assistant director Anne Rilling, Kelli Castleberry and CHIPS Center Director Deb Schneider.

 PLM Training Session set for Andalusia

Attached is the registration form for the last “Initial PLM” training class of 2013. It will be held in Andalusia and currently, there are only 9 registrants for this class. Please make it a point to download the attachment, fill it out and fax it back to Ray Clifton at AFA. The fax # is 334-262-1258. Go ahead and make your plans to attend. We are fast running out of time for getting caught up on PLM requirements for this year!

Alabama to Benefit From Funding to Clean Up Hazardous Waste Site 

Four federal and state trustee agencies have announced receipt of federal funds following a natural resource damages settlement to restore habitats harmed by hazardous substances released from a manufacturing site in McIntosh, Ala.

The funds are part of a $5 million settlement with BASF Corporation, the company that acquired the Ciba-Geigy Corporation’s McIntosh facility. Beginning in the 1950s, the facility manufactured DDT, a pesticide used to combat disease-carrying insects, as well as other pesticides, herbicides, and various agricultural and industrial chemicals. During those years, hazardous wastes from the facility were released into unlined pits on the property and discharged into the Tombigbee River and its adjacent floodplain. The settlement was negotiated by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division on behalf of the trustees.

The natural resource trustees—NOAA, Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Geological Survey of Alabama—began a cooperative natural resource damage assessment with the responsible party in 2005 to identify resource injuries and the amount of restoration needed. The trustees act on behalf of the public to protect and restore natural resources.

Nearly $3.2 million of the $5 million BASF settlement will be used to plan, implement, and oversee restoration projects and/or acquire lands within the Mobile Bay watershed to compensate for resources injured as a result of exposure to contaminants from the facility. The state of Alabama will receive $500,000 to fund additional ecosystem restoration efforts through support of the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center. The remaining funds will reimburse the Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA for their past assessment costs. The use of DDT was banned in the United States in 1972. In 1984, EPA listed the McIntosh facility as a Superfund site.

Contacts: Keeley Belva, NOAA, 301-713-3066, Tom MacKenzie, USFWS, 404-679-7291, Wyn Hornbuckle, DOJ, 202-514-2007, Will Brantley, Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, 334-242-3484, Berry H (Nick) Tew Jr., Geological Survey of Alabama, 205-247-3679,

Sawmill Days in Stockton Alabama, fun for the Whole Family and a bit of Forest History too

The Stockton Heritage Association invites you to join them on Saturday, November 2, for the first annual “Stockton Sawmill Days” event. Held on the beautiful wooded grounds of Baldwin County’s Bicentennial Park in Stockton, AL, just 1.5 miles off I-65, this event celebrates the Stockton community’s history and heritage as home to the first sawmill in the State of Alabama.

The event will include displays and demonstrations of old logging equipment, portable sawmills and a host of other types of forestry equipment and activities.
For the rest of the story, click here.
To review a flyer of the event and the planned activities, click here.

 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! 

LandMark Spatial Solutions Forestry Training Classes set for Late This Year, Early Next Year

East Mississippi Community College, Mayhew, MS (near Starkville) starting on November 12 and ending on December 17. The instructor will be LandMark's  Johnny Thompson. For more information call Johnny at 662-769-5344 or email him at You can also register online here. Lunch and the training manual are included in the price of each class.  Each student will have their own PC to work on during these classes.

Courses will include:
> Intro to GPS using Solo Forest  - Nov 12, Jan 28
– This course earns 7.5 Hours of Category 1 CFEs.  Cost: $225.  Click
here for a detailed agenda.
> Intro to TCruise –Nov 13, Jan 29 - This course earns 7.5 Hours of Category 1 CFEs.  Cost: $225. Click
here for a detailed agenda.
> Intro to ArcGIS 10 for Foresters class – Dec 10-11, Feb 18-19 – This course lasts 8 hours on the first day and 4 hours on the second day and earns 11.5 Hours of Category 1 CFEs.  Cost: $400.  Click
here for a detailed agenda.
> Advanced GIS/Forest Inventory Class – Dec 17 - As an “Advanced” offering, participants in this course are expected to know how to use ArcGIS, TCruise, and RTI before coming to class.  The exercises will be advanced in nature so that those attending will be pushed to further their knowledge of how to setup and maintain a spatial forestry inventory management solution.  This course earns 7.5 Hours of Category 1 CFEs.  Cost: $300.

 For more information about our industry-leading GPS, GIS, and forest inventory solutions, please visit our website at or download a brochure here

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