AFA Newsroom V9 No. 5, March 1, 2014
AFA's 2014 Mid-winter Meeting Starts Friday!
Hey guys. It's time to fish or cut bait! No seriously, you can literally do either one if you join your forestry brethren at the beautiful Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa for the AFA Mid-Winter Meeting, Feb. 28-Mar. 2, 2014. The meeting starts two days from today (Friday) and runs through about mid-day on Sunday. Why not disconnect from this very un-Al Gorish winter we're having and pop on down to the coast.
Sen. Jeff Sessions will be our keynote speaker to open the Saturday program. We all need to hear what the good senator has to say about the goings-on in Washington, D.C.! So, as the talk show host likes to say: COME ON DOWN!
Click here to download our brochure so you can see what you will be missing if you stay home.
AFA Announces ForestPAC Endorsement for Upcoming Primaries
The Board of Directors of ForestPAC, the political action committee of the Alabama Forestry Association, has made its endorsements for the 2014 Elections for the Primaries to be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.
Please review the endorsements and support the candidates who have supported us and understand the needs of our industry.
Greg Pate Sworn in as New Alabama State Forester
Alabama native Greg Pate was sworn in by Governor Robert Bentley as Alabama’s new State Forester on February 18, 2014. He brings with him over 30 years of professional forestry experience to the Alabama Forestry Commission, including 25 years in state government and the remainder in the private sector.
Originally from Anniston and a graduate of Walter Wellborn High School, Pate received his Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management in 1981 from Auburn University. He began his career as a contractor with forestry consultants.
Then in 1988, he joined the North Carolina Forest Service spending the next 25 years in various capacities including forest management, fire suppression, as well as nursery and genetics.
Read full release
Water Wars Heating up Again Between Alabama, Florida and Georgia
The drought-parched states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida are back at it -- fighting for a slice of water rights in a decades-long water war that’s left all three thirsty for more.
The 24-year dispute is emblematic of an increasingly common economic problem facing cities and states across the country – the demand for water quickly outpacing the supply as spikes in population soak up resources.
During the dispute, Alabama and Florida have argued metro Atlanta consumes more water than it should, leaving too little downstream for municipalities, farmers, business interests and endangered shellfish. They believe the amount of water legally available to the metro Atlanta area should be scaled back significantly.
John Christy and Richard McNider Take Issue With John Kerry Global Warming Claims
By Richard McNider And John Christy (Pictured left)
In a Feb. 16 speech in Indonesia, Secretary of State John Kerry assailed climate-change skeptics as members of the "Flat Earth Society" for doubting the reality of catastrophic climate change. He said, "We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists" and "extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts."
But who are the Flat Earthers, and who is ignoring the scientific facts? In ancient times, the notion of a flat Earth was the scientific consensus, and it was only a minority who dared question this belief. We are among today's scientists who are skeptical about the so-called consensus on climate change. Does that make us modern-day Flat Earthers, as Mr. Kerry suggests, or are we among those who defy the prevailing wisdom to declare that the world is round?
Read full story...
Tami Kessler Named Southern Forest Products Association Executive Director
The Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) Board of Directors has appointed Tami Kessler to serve as Executive Director. Tami has most recently served the association as Corporate Secretary and Director of Administration. Since she joined the staff in 1976, Tami has served in multiple capacities including accounting, 28 years as Director of Administration, plus two terms as director of SFPA’s Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition.
“Tami brings a comprehensive set of skills set to the management of SFPA operations at our headquarters,and the Board congratulates her on this well-deserved promotion,” stated SFPA Chairman Joe Kusar.
POINT: EPA Now Threatening Woodfired Furnaces, Stoves and Fireplaces
A federal proposal to clean up the smoke wafting from wood-burning stoves has sparked a backlash from some rural residents, lawmakers and manufacturers who fear it could close the damper on one of the oldest ways of warming homes on cold winter days.
Proposed regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would significantly reduce the amount of particle pollution allowed from the smokestacks of new residential wood-powered heaters.
COUNTERPOINT: Wood is Most Cost Effective Alternative for Winter Heating
The wallets of many U.S. homeowners using propane or heating oil as a fuel source have likely taken a big hit this winter, due to unusually cold temperatures, compliments of the polar vortex, and frequent storms.
Those enjoying cord wood or pellet heat, however, have a leg up on the frigid season. Data from the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning indicates that wood pellets are running $25.50 cheaper per MMBtu than propane and $13.71 cheaper per MMBtu than heating oil, and in some parts of the country such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, propane prices have doubled in the last several months, reaching close to $5 per gallon in some areas.
Talladega Joins 15 Other Counties With a County Road Ordinance
By ALC Director Ray Clifton
Talladega County passed a “Logging Notice Ordinance” in the February meeting of the Talladega County Commission. The new rule will become effective on March 10, 2014. The county now joins 15 others scattered across the state in requiring notification before logging on farm-to-market roads. Talladega’s version is basically a copy of that being used in the other counties.
Read Logger Notes...
Gun Manufacturers Moving South as Northern States Step Up Gun Control
In the wake of new regulations in their northern home states, gun makers are going to the Carolinas, Alabama and other areas in the South for a place to open up shop.
Legislators in some states pushed for bans on the type of rifle used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in December 2012.* New York and Maryland each passed laws that prohibit certain types of semi-automatic rifles and capped the size of magazines, while Connecticut also restricted the number of rounds for a single magazine.
*Editors note. As it turned out there four handguns used in the Newton shooting, no long guns. NBC first reported that an AR-15 style rifle was used at Newton. The murderer had a Bushmaster Rifle, but it was left it the trunk of his mother's car and not used in the murders. Pete Williams at NBC admitted this in a later story that was not widely reported.
Register for FRA's Annual Meeting
Join the annual mass gathering of FRA members--loggers, foresters, and other wood supply chain professionals--for educational sessions, committee work, and networking, at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hilton, May 7-9, 2014 in Virginia Beach, Virginia!
To register for the meeting, click here. Those who register by APRIL 22 qualify for special "Early" registration fees, at a substantial discount off Regular Registration. After APRIL 22, "Regular" registration fees apply.
Longleaf Pine Restoration Cost Share Applications Available to Landowners
The Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) is currently accepting applications through its Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) to continue longleaf pine restoration efforts in Alabama. The grant was awarded through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and will be made available to qualifying landowners for longleaf pine restoration on private lands.