AFA Newsroom V8 No. 24, December 15, 2013
Merry Christmas to You and Your Family from the AFA Staff!
It seems like 2013 breezed by like a runaway train! Christmas is one of the few times when that train slows a little as we engage in our traditional overeating, visiting with family and friends, exchanging gifts and doing the things we love like watching football or hunting. The economy of 2013 has been better, but just barely, with a bright spot being a pick up in housing over the past few months. The prognosis for 2014, businesswise, is for a continued slow climb out of the economic hole our industry and others slid into with the "Great Recession" of 2009.
But with a New Year coming, there are new hopes that economic activity will kick into a higher gear and move faster than some prognosticators have predicted. A New Year always brings new beginnings inclduing an election in 2014. All of our state elected officials will stand for re-election next year, as well as our U.S. Congressional representatives. So politics will start early and build to a crescendo by the time the General Election rolls around in Nov. 2014.
An election year also means that the Legislature will kick off early; January 14, 2014. So next year will be fastpaced and busy. But for now, let's enjoy the Christmas holiday and remember what Christmas is really all about. There will be plenty of time afterwards to gird up for the battles we will face once the odometer rolls over to 2014.
PHOTO: Above Chris Brown, Communications Director of the North Carolina Forestry Association stands in front of the AFA Christmas tree, which happened to come to us from North Carolina. Chris was here for the annual meeting of Southeastern Forestry Association Executives, which includes the Executive Vice Presidents and Communications Directors of the Forestry Associations of the Southeastern states. Photo by Liz Chambers
U.S. lumber output up 6.5% through September
U.S. lumber production totaled 22.6 billion board feet through September, up 6.5% from the January-September 2012 total, according to the Western Wood Products Association's Lumber Track publication. Production in the West was up 8.4% through September this year compared to a year ago. Production in the South was up 4.7%. September lumber production nationwide totaled 2.471 billion feet, down 4.8% from August but 12.9% higher than the September 2012 total.
Source: Random Lengths.
AFA Endorsed Candidate Mike Holmes Leads House District 31 Primary - Runoff is January 28
AFA member and timberland owner Mike Holmes came out on top Dec. 10 in the Republican Primary for the House District 31 (Coosa and Elmore Counties) special election to fill the unexpired term of Barry Mask. Mike garnered 41% of the vote and will face Jimmy Collier (29%) in a runoff set for January 28th.
Turnout for the primary election was very low, approximately 11%, with only 3,336 voters showing up to the polls. Mike got 1,370 votes and came up 299 votes short of winning without a runoff. Coosa County turned out heavily for Mike as he took 69% of the vote there, but unfortunately that only translated into 174 votes.
Based on the expected low turnout in the runoff, every vote is critical! Please think about the importance this race is to the timber industry and contact any friends, family or business associates that are residents of this district and encourage them to learn more about Mike.
Mike is a very qualified candidate and has distinguished himself from his competitors. All you have to do is watch this video of a recent forum to make that determination. After watching this, remember that elections have consequences!
If you have an interest in supporting Mike, we encourage both financial and volunteer assistance. Please contact Tom Saunders (334-481-2126 or email@example.com) to get involved. This is a great opportunity to elect an AFA member to the Alabama Legislature.
Logger Notes for December 15: Let's "Weight and See"
By ALC Director Ray Clifton
One of the issues that I deal with on a weekly basis is the continued presence of the Alabama Department of Public Safety (ALDPS) portable scales at or near wood
-using facilities across the state.
While we have made some progress in our attempts to cooperate and explain our position, the frequency of visits by weight crews continues to be a significant source of delay and added costs in the supply chain.
AFA Leader Danny White Appointed by U.S. Ag Secretary to Softwood Lumber Board
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed six members to serve on the Softwood Lumber Board. Members will serve a three-year term of office beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
New appointments include manufacturers Charles W. Roady, Columbia Falls, Mont., and Danny White, Brewton, Ala., representing the U.S. West and South regions, respectively; and importer Don Kayne, BC, Canada, who will represent the Canada West region.
Danny is a past President and Board Chairman of the Alabama Forestry Association and is President and CEO of T.R. Miller Mill Company, Brewton, Ala. Our congratulations to Danny and his family on this important appointment.
SFI & AFF Announce Innovative Project to Promote Longleaf Pine Conservation
WASHINGTON, DC and OTTAWA, ON – The future of Southern U.S. forests depends in large part on decisions made today by family forest owners, who account for 62 percent of privately owned forestland in the region. To help promote responsible forestry among this crucial group, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) has awarded a grant to the American Forest Foundation (AFF) to conduct highly targeted outreach to promote sustainable forestry among family forestland owners in North Carolina.
Secretary Vilsack Announces Partnership to Advance Commercial Potential of Cellulosic Nanomaterial from Wood
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2013 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a public-private partnership to rapidly advance the development of the first U.S. commercial facility producing cellulosic nanomaterial, a wood fiber broken down to the nanoscale. The partnership is between the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) and the U.S. Forest Service.
What? Environmentalists Want to Cut Down Trees to Mitigate Global Warming!
It may sound antithetical to what we usually hear about climate change, but cutting down some trees could actually be a good thing for our environment, according to new research.
Could EPA Regulations Bring the Feds into Your Backyard?
A river runs through it -- and Uncle Sam isn't far behind.
That's what several Republican lawmakers and even state farming groups and local governments are warning, after a draft rule from the Environmental Protection Agency proposed expanding which waterways are federally protected under the Clean Water Act.
AFF Video Shows Why "Wood is Good" for America
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) has produced a great video that outlines the many reasons why wood is the greenest and most sustainable building material in use today and why the family forestland owner is so important to that sustainability.
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.
Log a Load for Kids Closes out 2013 Fundraising with a Bang!
The obvious cliche aside, the 2013 Log a Load for Kids fundraising program closed out the year with a big bang at the Wiregrass District Dove Hunt held in December this year.
According to Children's Hospital worker bee Angie Sherrill, the event was well attended and attendees, "had a great time and raised $5,070 at Saturday's (Dec. 7) Wiregrass District 2nd Annual Dove Hunt."
Our congratulations to the Wiregrass crew for another great event, and congratulations to the district coordinators and event chairmen and participants for making 2013 another great year for the kids!
We will have a full accounting of the Log a Load program for 2013 in the next edition of Newsroom and in the Winter Issue of Alabama Forests, which will be mailed to members early next year.
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 NOW!