AFA Newsroom V9 No. 8, April 15, 2014
Program to Help Landowners Combat Bark Beetle Infestations
For a limited time, financial assistance is being offered to help non-industrial private forest landowners protect pine stands from their number one cause of mortality, bark beetle infestation.
Approximately $160,000 is allocated for this Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Prevention cost-share program, which is administered by the Alabama Forestry Commission in partnership with the USDA Forest Service. The program’s main objective is to prevent SPB outbreaks in Alabama forests by helping landowners reduce the susceptibility of their pines to the deadly pests. Cost-share applications are available at local county offices of the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC). Read full release...
AFA "Block Party" for Ag Commissioner John McMillan a Big Success
Several hundred friends and supporters of Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, John McMillan, showed up at the "Block Party" which AFA set up for McMillan's re-election efforts later this year. Attendees included cabinet officers of the Bentley administration, members of the Alabama Legislature and candidates for other offices.
Those who attended were provided with live entertainment and wonderful seafood prepared by the state Seafood Association, chicken products provided by the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association and beef provided by the Alabama Cattlemen's Association.
The gathering kept the AFA parking lot full and hoppin' well into the evening. Thanks are in order for AFA members and other attendees for showing their appreciation and respect for the great job McMillan has done and will continue doing after his re-election this November.
Photos: Pictured in top left photo are Liane Kelly (Boyd's wife), Anne McMillan (Harry McMillan's wife) and State Senator Scott Beason, R-Gardendale. In top right photo is Ag Commissioner John McMillan and friends Tom Dart and Logan Gray. In bottom photo, Harry McMillan (left), Boyd Kelly (center) and Ben Rooke are talking about politics or turkey hunting, or both!
Warrior and Valley District Meetings and Regional Receptions Set for April 24 and 28
The next round of AFA District meetings and regional receptions will take place on April 24 and 28. On the 24th, the Warrior District meeting will be held from 5-6 p.m. at the University Club in Tuscaloosa, followed from 6-8 p.m. by the AFA Tuscaloosa Area Regional Reception.
On April 28 the Valley District meeting will be held from 5-6 p.m. at the River Bottom Grill in Florence, Ala. Directly after, from 6-8 p.m., the Shoals Area Regional Reception will take place. If you live in or around Tuscaloosa or Florence, you do not want to miss these important gatherings! These meetings will give you the opportunity to talk to colleagues about the important events coming this year. AFA staff will also update you on what's going on in Montgomery as we gird up for elections in June and November. So please, make it a point to attend these meetings if at all possible.
EPA Denies Petition to Strip NPDES Permitting Authority from ADEM
On April 10, 2014, EPA denied the ADEM (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) Reform Coalition 2010 petition requesting that EPA withdraw the Department’s authority to issue and administer NPDES water permits. The ADEM Reform Coalition’s petition cited 26 alleged shortcomings of the program. After costly and extensive investigation by ADEM and EPA, EPA found that not one of the 26 allegations warranted withdrawing Alabama’s authority to issue and administer water permits. (Source: Environmental UPDATE, Balch & Bingham LLP).
Editors Note: Withdrawal of ADEM’s authority to administer the NPDES program would mean Alabama companies would have to apply directly to EPA for permits and EPA would be responsible for monitoring and enforcement activities. AFA strongly supports ADEM retaining authority over the NPDES program. Members of the ADEM Reform Coalition include the Alabama Environmental Council, Alabama Rivers Alliance, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Cahaba River Society, Mobile Baykeeper, and Sierra Club of Alabama. To learn more about the coalition, click here.
Last Call for PLM Initial Training Course Set for April 16 in Birmingham
The 2014 Professional Logging Manager (PLM) Initial Training Course will be held at the Thompson CAT Tractor Company in Birmingham on April 16 and 23. Both sessions are required to earn the PLM designation. Each program will begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m.
To download a flyer for this event, click here.
Family Forest Action Network Wants Feedback on Federal Tax Policy
The American Tree Farm System wants your help in evaluating federal tax policies as they pertain to forested land. There has been a good deal of talk about "comprehensive tax reform" which could impact family forestland owners if implemented. Some of these proposals are seen as good while some might be considered bad.
That's why the ATFS wants you to take the time to fill out a questionnaire on the subject of taxation. Members of the Tree Farm grassroots network are being asked to respond by May 3, but the survey will be kept open until May 31 to allow for more participation.
SAVE TIME – MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH FSA
As we roll out the Farm Bill programs administered by FSA, there will be related sign-ups and in some cases multiple management decisions that need to be made by you, the producer, in consult with FSA staff. To insure maximum use of your time and to insure that you are afforded our full attention to your important business needs, please call our office ahead of your visit to set an appointment and to discuss any records or documentation that you may need to have with you when you arrive for your appointment. For local FSA contact information, please visit: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
Forest2Market Reports on Industry
According to a report by Forest2Market, bucking expectations of a 0.2% increase, industrial production (IP) instead dropped by 0.3% in January; that retreat erased December’s gain.
Five Curious Features of Timberland Ownership USA
Did you know that the United States has over 10 million family forest owners with an average of 26-acres each? This is but one of the five curious features of US Tmberland Onwership, according to FORISK Consulting.
Charles Koch: "I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society"
By Charles G. Koch
I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.
Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation's own government. That's why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.
On May 21, 2014 all Interstate CMV Drivers Must be Examined by Certified Medical Examiner
By Ashley Smith
An important law affecting you goes into effect May 21, 2014. After that date, all interstate CMV drivers will be required to have medical examinations performed by a Certified Medical Examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
Read Logger Notes...
Forestry Field Day Set for Escambia County
A Forestry Field Day will be held on the Escambia Experimental Forest, June 12, 2014. Plan to attend this informative forestry field day at the Escambia Experimental Forest just south of Brewton, Alabama on June 12. Topics include natural and artificial regeneration techniques, forest inventory and mapping for woodland owners, wildlife management opportunities, pine straw production potential, and the use and benefits of prescribed fire. Participants will receive reference materials and lunch on site. Cost $25/person. Fee increases to $30 after June 1, 2014. CFE’s—TBA and TWS Contact Hours—TBA. For more information, contact Becky Barlow at email@example.com or 334-329-0554. See: https://ssl.acesag.auburn.edu/gwcal/day.php?yearID=2014&monthID=6&dayID=12
Log a Load 2014 Program Starts off Fundraising Year with a Big Bang at the Oaks
The 2014 Log a Load for Kids program started off with a great big bang this year, with a sporting clays and turkey shoot combo at the Oaks near LaFayette, Ala. in the Piedmont District. This was a fantastic event, with great attendance at both of the shooting events and the live auction that followed. Our congratulations to Kimberly Fuller and her helpers in putting on a fantastic event and really getting 2014 off to a great start! Other planned events this year include:
• May 2. Skeet Shoot Shannon White, Selwood Farms. For a registration form, click here. To be an event sponsor, click here. Contact: Shannon White, at (256) 207-0166 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• May 3 Trail Ride, Angie Sherrill, near Abbeville, Ala. Contact: Angie Sherrill, Angela.Sherrill@CHSYS.org.
• May 20. Capital District Golf event at Lagoon Park Course, Montgomery, Ala. Contact: Terry Bussey at (334) 855-5981 or, terry.bussey@MWV.com. For Terry's flyer, click here.
• May 22. Golf at Deerfield in Chatom, the Reynolds family. Contact: Karen Sansing, email@example.com.
• June 11. Piedmont Golf Event, Jeff Gossett at Greystone near Birmingham. Contact Jeff Gossett at, (256) 268-2965 or, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Sept.19. Annual Kronospan Event at Silver Lakes, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Contact: Jeremy Oliver at (256) 282-2559.
• Nov. 7. Westervelt Sporting Clays & Skeet Shoot, at Westevelt Lodge near Aliceville. Contact: George Franklin at, (205) 562-5699 or Lydia Fields at (205) 562-5482.
WFF Announces 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan Revision: Public Comment Requested
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) announces the revision process of the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). By Congressional State Wildlife Grant (SWG) requirements, this comprehensive document must be revised every 10 years. The federal SWG program assists state fish and wildlife agencies in the conservation of Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). To remain eligible for SWG funds, each state must revise its SWAP every 10 years. Read more...
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