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AFA Newsroom Archive [V8N22] [11-15-13]
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AFA Newsroom V8 No. 22, November 15, 2013

Kiplinger Puts Alabama in the Top 10 of "Most Tax-Friendly" States

For those of you who hew to the line that living and working in a "low tax state" like Alabama is a very good thing, the Kiplinger Report recently made note of Alabama's "tax friendliness" in an assessment of state taxes.

Read more... 

The Fate of House District 74 to be Decided Next Tuesday

If you care about where a politician stands on issues like the recent reforms in education funding and such issues as "homerule" you need to pay attention to the runoff between Dimitri Polizos and Charlotte Meadows that will  determine the next occupant of House District 74.

Polizos told the Montgomery Advertiser he has not changed his position on key issues during his run for the Alabama House, but there are several examples that contradict that statement. His opponent, Charlotte Meadows, said Polizos has changed his views, taken different stances in front of different groups and questioned which Polizos constituents would get if they elect him to the House. “He is not the consistent conservative he says he is,” said Meadows, former president of the Montgomery County Board of Education.


Search for a New State Forester Heating Up

In the wake of State Forester Linda Casey's announcement at the last Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) meeting that she was resigning effective January 1, 2014, a search for a new State Forester began. 

The State Forester Search Committee, chaired by Dr. Salem Saloom, has called several meetings one on each day, Nov. 21-27, and on Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving. Meetings are to: "Interviews for position of State Forester," according to the posting on the Secretary of State's website. 

Anyone interested in applying for the job can download the attached document. But hurry, the application period ends Friday, November 15! 

FMCSA UPDATE ALERT: Watch Out for Multiple Citations Within a 90-day Period   

Many of you have no doubt heard of the problems one of our members had in northwest Alabama with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). His company was placed “out-of-service” for 30 days after he failed to respond to a letter that he never received regarding a report they wanted him to file. Despite a number of appeals (including those of Senator Sessions and Congressman Aderholt), the FMCSA has refused to budge on his case. I think this illustrates two very important points that you should be aware of if you own and operate trucks:

Logger Notes

Rayonier Celebrates Completion of $385 Million Jesup Mill  

By Savannah Morning News
JESUP — Gov. Nathan Deal joined Rayonier executives and other dignitaries Wednesday to celebrate the completion of Rayonier’s $385 million cellulose specialties expansion project at its mill in Jesup.

The project added 190,000 metric tons of additional production capacity to the mill. Rayonier’s technically advanced cellulose specialties fibers are used in everyday products such as flat-panel televisions, computer screens, impact-resistant plastics, filters, tires, paint, food and pharmaceuticals. The company produces the only wood-based cellulose specialty fibers pure enough to be used in the highly-demanding manufacture of LCD screens.

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SFI Recognized for Increasing Certified Lands

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Inc. was recognized this week for the greatest increase in forest certification of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) national members at the PEFC General Assembly. SFI is one of 38 PEFC National Governing Bodies representing forest certification standards from around the globe at the PEFC General Assembly this week in Malaysia. SFI-certified area has grown to just over 100 million hectares in North America, representing 25 percent growth since last year.


Mobile Regional Reception set for November 21 in Spanish Fort 

The Alabama Forestry Association will be holding its Mobile Regional Reception Thursday, November 21st from 6-8 pm at 5 Rivers, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard, Spanish Fort, Ala. These receptions are designed to accomplish three primary objectives.  First, we use them to show our appreciation to our existing members for their participation in the association and let them have an opportunity to mix and mingle socially with their peers.  Second, we encourage prospective members to come and see what the Association is about and who our members are from their area.  Hopefully, they will be encouraged to join and become a part of an influential public policy group that addresses issues important to land ownership.  And third, we want our local public officials to come, meet and enjoy getting to know our members in an informal social setting.

We hope that you can attend Thursday's reception. If you plan to come, please RSVP Liz Chambers at or give her a call at (334) 481-2135.

AF&PA Has Updated Their "Grow the Vote" Website

If you want to be able to keep up with the upcoming 2014 elections and some of the issues that will play a roll in those elections, you might want to check out the updated "Grow the Vote" website provided by the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA).  If you go to “ELECTION TOOLS” and select “LEGISLATOR SCORECARDS” you can enter address and it brings up officials.  There is a link at the bottom to get to county officials where there is a link to county websites (if available) and list of Commissioners. Some of the commission links need updating, however. It is fairly quick to access. Also, you can get a list of 1-pagers on federal issues.


Save the Date Early next Year for Outreach Symposium and Awards Banquet

If you want to join in celebrating the achievements of award winning TREASURE forest owners, Tree Farm owners and county natural resource committees, you won't want to miss the Outreach Symposium & Award Banquet set for February 7, 2014 at the Marriott Prattville Hotel & Conference Center, Prattville, Ala.

Read more... 

Charles Krauthammer Notes the Beginning of the "Disaster" Phase of Obamacare

By Charles Krauthammer
Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the Obamacare O-ring froze for all the world to see: Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” The cancellations lay bare three pillars of Obamacare: (a) mendacity, (b) paternalism and (c) subterfuge.


On Deadline: Obama Announces Plan to Allow Americans to Get Back Canceled Policies

WASHINGTON –  President Obama announced Thursday he would offer an administrative “fix” to a provision in the Affordable Care Act -- or ObamaCare -- that forces millions of Americans to lose their existing health coverage by directing insurance companies to allow affected policy holders to renew their old coverage. The president said states and insurers can extend current policies canceled under health law for a year.

Read more... 

Log a Load Update: Westervelt has Great Event at Aliceville Shootout 

Westervelt held its 10th Annual Charlie Hughen Memorial Sporting Clay and Skeet shoot on November 8 at the Westervelt Lodge near Aliceville, Ala. The day was perfect for shooting; cool in the morning and warming up as the day progressed. It was also good to see members of Charlie Hughen's family at the event. His grandson's participated in drawing the winning ticket on the Polaris four-wheeler that was given away at the event.  

The Warrior Tractor crew was also out in full force, cooking one of their great fried catfish dinners with all the fixins' for the attendees.  As they have at most of their events, Westervelt auctioned off a Ford F-150 pickup truck that had been used by their woods crew to add to the shooting event totals for Log a Load for Kids. 
The remaining event for 2013:
> December 7. The Wiregrass District will hold the second annual Wiregrass Dove Hunt. 
(Editor's Note: we will attach a flyer with more details on this event as soon as they are received at our office).

PHOTOS: The winning team above left was, left to right, Dan Garnand, Randy Stone, Bob Carleton and Larry Kirkpatrick. Bob was "top gun" at the event, breaking 47 out of 50 clays. At right are members of the University of Alabama's Skeet Team. They are, from left to right, Reid Duvall, Logan Sparks, Alex Masters, Cole Middleton and Tucker James. Featured below are two of Children's Hospital's best, Deb Schneider (left), who is director of the CHIPS Center, and Alice Blake of Montgomery.

 In Memoriam: Chuck Spurlock and Toby Wright

It is always sad when friends pass away. We want to give you details of the passing of two friends recently, Chuck Spurlock and Toby Wright.

Chuck Spurlock served as Senator Jeff Session's State Director for 17 years. Before that he worked in the Hunt administration along with AFA Communications Director Sam Duvall. Chuck served as Hunt's Appointments Secretary and Duvall as his Legislative Liaison. Chuck also worked in several other campaigns, including Fred Thompson's Senatorial campaign in Tennessee, Chuck's home state. 

In addition to his other duties for Hunt, Chuck coached the Governor's Softball Team which went undefeated the several years Chuck served as coach. Chuck's obit is attached. He will be missed by all who knew him!

Toby Wright  will be remembered by many of you for his work with Larson & McGowin in Mobile. Toby passed away several weeks ago, but a special memorial service will be held for him on Saturday, November 16th at 1:00pm at the pier on the east end of Dauphin Island, Ala. with everyone gathering at a friend’s home afterwards.

Anyone planning to attend should contact Gloria Sirmon at Larson & McGowin at, 251-438-4581. Obviously, with the event so close at hand, you need to contact Gloria now if you plan on attending. You can also shoot her an email at
PHOTOS: Above is Chuck Spurlock making a presentation at the AFA Annual Meeting in 2011. Below is Toby Wright.

Landowner's Prescribed Fire Workshop set for Nov. 22 at Dixon Center 

If you are interested in prescribed burning, you don't want to miss the Landowner's Prescribed Fire Workshop at the Solon Dixon Forestry Center in Covington County on November 22, 2013.

The event is jointly sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, US Forest Service, Alabama Forestry Commission, Florida Forest Service, Longleaf Alliance, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service and the NRCS.


 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! 

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