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AFA Newsroom Archive [V9N1] [1-1-14]
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AFA Newsroom V9 No. 1, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year to One and ALL!

To all of our Members and Associate Members, we want to take this opportunity to wish each and everyone of you a happy, prosperous and safe New Year and to thank you for all you do to support forestry in Alabama! Despite a sluggish economy, we still have a lot to be thankful for as we venture farther into this new century, with all of its promise and challenges.

In the arena of minor comforts, Auburn and Alabama football fans can take pride in the fact that both programs are operating at peak efficiency. Although Alabama lost its opportunity for a "three-peat" by losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, the Crimson Tide will still have the opportunity for a sweet finish to its great 2013 run with a good showing against #10 Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on January 2nd.

And for you War Eagle fans, what about Auburn's fantastic season and the comeback from a heartbreaking loss to LSU to become the #2 team in the nation, facing Florida State on January 6 to determine who will be national champion!

Of course while football is our passion, our bread and butter is the forest economy which we all hope will pick up steam as 2o14 unfolds!  In the meantime, enjoy the games and get ready for what we all hope will be a great New Year in 2014!  

News Flash: Ship that Set Out to Prove "Global Warming" Stuck in Antarctic Ice!

The leader of a scientific expedition whose ship remains stranded in Antarctic ice says the team, which set out to prove climate change, is "stuck in our own experiment."

But Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at Australia’s University of New South Wales, said it was “silly” to suggest he and 73 others aboard the MV Akademic Shokalskiy were trapped in ice they’d sought to prove had melted. He remained adamant that sea ice is melting, even as the boat remained trapped in frozen seas. “We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Turley said.


GOP Lawmakers Accuse EPA of Muzzling Scientists on Climate Regulations 

Republican leaders on the House Science Committee are accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of disregarding science in its push to impose carbon dioxide limits on power plants.

The EPA released a proposal in September that would set emissions caps for new coal-fired power plants and would likely require the industry to use carbon-capture technology, which involves burying the carbon underground.

AFA Wins Second Place Honors from FRA for Technical Writing

AFA’s Technical Release, 13-R-21, Architect Tour Promotes Sustainability of Wood, was voted the 2nd place winner of the 2013-2014 FRA Southcentral Region Technical Writing Award.

A plaque and and Second Place Award check will be presented to AFA at the FRA Southcentral Region Annual Meeting Awards Dinner in Starkville, Mississippi on March 12, 2014.

The Techincal Release was written by former AFA staffer Chris Erwin, with assistance by AFA Communications Director Sam Duvall, who also submitted the Release to FRA for consideration. (Erwin left his job at AFA earlier in 2013 to take a job with the American Forest Foundation).

Click here to review the Winning release   

Time to Take Stock of 2013 and Make Ready for 2014 

By ALC Director Ray Clifton

The end of a calendar year is always a time of reflection — to look back on what we have accomplished (or failed to accomplish) and to set goals for the year to come.

As I look back, I see accomplishment. We educated and informed loggers from around the state on issues that affect the livelihood of their businesses. We made progress with county governments to develop better relationships. We continued to dialogue with ALDPS on log truck weights and portable scale issues. We saw mills crank back up, others announce plans to do so, and an acknowledgment by the industry that more
emphasis needs to be placed on the financial health of the logging and trucking industries.

Of course, we also had setbacks...

Read more... 

PACE Asks: Did Premature Ozone Review Hurt Economy?

Did EPA waste taxpayer money by prematurely revisiting ozone standards in 2010, three years ahead of schedule? That’s what a group of U.S. senators is trying to determine.

On December 17, Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL), joined by seven other senators, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy demanding an accounting of the money spent on EPA’s abandoned attempt to prematurely revisit ozone regulations in 2010.

View the letter and official release here

Read Full Report

CatchMark Lists Class A Common Shares on NYSE, Completes its Underwritten Public Offering

NORCROSS, Ga. -- /PRNewswire/ -- CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. (CatchMark Timber) recently announced the completion of its underwritten public offering of 10,526,316 shares of Class A common stock at $13.50 per share. CatchMark Timber's Class A common stock is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CTT." The Company's shares of Class B-1, B-2 and B-3 common stock will convert to listed shares of Class A common stock in phases.

Raymond James, Baird and Stifel served as joint book-running managers for the offering. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities and Janney Montgomery Scott served as co-managers for the offering.

Read more... 

In Memoriam: Brenda Semmes Wood

We have the sad duty to inform you that Mrs. Brenda Semmes Wood has passed away. Matriarch of the Wood family in Montgomery, Brenda helped turn J.M. Wood Auction Company, which she helped found with her husband Malcolm, into the 4th largest heavy equipment auction company in America.

Brenda took the reins of the company when Malcolm died of cancer in 1989. She was 42 when she became President of the company. Brenda was a longtime member of the Alabama Forestry Association and a supporter of Log a Load for Kids.
Born July 3rd 1948, Brenda is the great-granddaughter of Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes. She died on December 22nd, 2013 and was laid to rest Friday December 27th at Greenwood Cemetery by Leak Memory Funeral Home, 945 Lincoln Rd, Montgomery, AL 36109.

Donations in Brenda’s name can be made to: St. James United Methodist Church, 9045 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery, AL 36117.
Read Obituary

Hardwood Checkoff Open Comment Period Closes January 13

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 the USDA released for comment the proposed Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). To review the Order on the Federal Register website, CLICK HERE.
The USDA Open Comment period for the Order runs through January 13, 2014. So you still have time to review the Order and post your comments to the USDA.

U.S. EIA Says Alabama is Among the Top States in Wood Energy Production

Alabama is doing its part in utilizing renewable energy sources including, of course, biomass. This is largely based on the long practice of paper and wood production companies using woody debris and wood waste to generate electricity for their facilities. Among other interesting facts noted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration recently, is that Alabama ranked fifth in the United States in net electricity generation from wood waste, landfill gas, and other biomass in 2011; virtually all of that electricity was generated by non-utility power producers.

Read more... 

The 2014 Tax Brackets

Every year, the IRS adjusts more than forty tax provisions for inflation. This is done to prevent what is called “bracket creep.” This is the phenomenon by which people are pushed into higher income tax brackets or have reduced value from credits or deductions due to inflation instead of any increase in real income.

The IRS uses the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to calculate the past year’s inflation and adjusts income thresholds, deduction amounts, and credit values accordingly.

Read more... 

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 make excellent gifts for friends and family! So go ahead and sign up for an early copy

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