Volume 7 No. 4 - February 15, 2012
Rural Road/Bridge Bond Issue Top AFA Priority
Senator Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) has agreed to sponsor our proposed bond issue for rural infrastructure. We are still working with our House sponsor and will let you know more on that later. Attached is a Q&A along with AFA’s Principles that we have developed to guide us through the process of this legislative initiative. Here are a few key components of the program:
We hope to have the legislation to a point where it can be introduced next week. Please take a moment to review the attached information. We will need your help to contact your legislators to encourage them to sign on to the bill as cosponsors. Though our proposal is not exactly the same as what the Governor is proposing, our hope is that we can be a positive part of the process that ultimately achieves the goal of getting as many dollars as possible into rural infrastructure in an expeditious and prudent manner. For more information, contact Tom Saunders at (334) 481-2126 or email@example.com.
$650 million bond issue to be used for rural infrastructure
Utilizes 1/3 of the diesel tax revenue currently collected by the State as the funding mechanism (no new taxes)
Projects awarded on merit upon application by the counties.
25% of the funds may be used for road projects, but most of it used for bridges.
Logger Notes Talks About County Roads/Bridges
In the current issue of Logger Notes, ALC Director Ray Clifton notes the proliferation of county road ordinances and the AFA effort to repeal them and establish a statewide system via legislation in the current Regular Session. Ray also talks about importance to loggers of the AFA effort to pass a bond issue for rural roads and bridges (see above).
>> 13 Democrats Voting Yes: Elaine Beech, Daniel Boman, Craig Ford, Juandalynn Givan, Richard Laird, Richard Lindsey, Marcel Black, Barry Forte, Joe Hubbard, Oliver Robinson, John Robinson, Rod Scott, and Patricia Todd. If you have an opportunity, please thank these members for their support and ask them to hang with us.
HBs 159 & 160 Need Our Help to Pass
On Tuesday the Alabama House of Representatives continued debate on HB 159 /HB 160 , bills that set forth capital incentives for new, expanding or retention of industrial development projects. The bills are part of the legislative leadership's job creation package.
AEA opposes these bills because the inventive will reduce the amount of revenue being generated for the Education Trust Fund (where income tax revneue is directed). They, of course, overlook the fact that the capital project will assist in attracting new jobs and retaining existing jobs.
After some discussion on HB159 (the Constitutional Amendment), the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Barry Mask (R-Elmore) decided to “carry over” HB159 and bring up HB160 (the actual details of how the incentive will work). After lengthy debate and adoption of 5 amendments (see amendments one, two, three, four and five), HB160 passed on a vote of 69-19, with 17 representatives either absent or abstaining, as follows:
Yes- 56 Republicans and 13 Democrats
No- 3 Republicans and 16 Democrats
Abstain- 7 Republicans and 10 Democrats
>> 3 Republicans Voting No: Alan Boothe, Steve Hurst and Arthur Payne. No surprises here.
>> 7 Republicans Abstaining: Richard Baughn, Joe Faust, Todd Greeson, Victor Gaston, Elwyn Thomas, Leslie Vance and Mike Millican. If you have an opportunity, please let these members know your opinion on this issue.
As mentioned previously, this vote was the easy one. Passing HB159 will require 63 votes. Please contact your members, thank those that voted with us on HB160 and ask them to vote for HB159.
Also, take time to let Barry Mask know our appreciation. It’s not easy to shepherd contentious bills through floor passage and he did a great job. Of course Speaker Mike Hubbard, as usual, did an excellent job overseeing the process.
If you need to get contact information on your legislative members go to: http://www.legislature.state.al.us/house/representatives/houseroster_alpha.html
Alabama AEA-Member Discusses NEA Abuse
Alabama 8th grade teacher Claire Waites of Daphne, Ala., has gone on YouTube to complain that contributions she made to "NEA Fund for Children" were used to support John Kerry and Barack Obama.
Bill Status Report for 4th Legislative Day
For those of you who like to keep up with legislation as it winds its way through the process, here is the House Status report and the Senate Status report for the 4th Legislative Day of the 2012 Regular Session.
Tree Distribution Started on February 6th
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign announced the distribution of thousands of trees to residents at an event in Tuscaloosa on February 6 as part of an effort to reforest the state's communities damaged in the April 2011 tornadoes.
Initial distribution of 30,000 trees will go to 16 communities across north Alabama this month.
Black Belt Initiative Meetings Well Received
The Black Belt Initiative, a program sponsored by the Alabama Forestry Foundation that is designed to increase the awareness of students attending high school in the Black Belt Region about job opportunities in forestry, has been well received so far in meetings in Aliceville, Eufaula, Camden and Tuskegee.
Kay Ivey, shown at left with Bob Dixon President of M.C. Dixon Lumber Company of Eufaula. Bob introduced Kay at the Eufaula BBI event as a great friend to the forest community who has made it a priority to help get the word out to schools and local officials by keynoting each of the meetings, thus far. Kay grew up in Camden, a small town in the Black Belt Region, and knows the financial impact the forest community has in Alabama. But she also stresses if students work hard and get a quality education, they can come back home to the Black Belt and have a great job waiting for them.
The next meeting BBI meeting will be on Feb 27th in Demopolis at the Demopolis Civic Center at noon. Following Demopolis will be meetings in Grove Hill, Greenville, Troy, Selma and Butler, Ala.
FRA Regional, Annual Meetings Set
The Forest Resources Association will be holding their 2012 southcentral Region Annual Meeting on March 20-22 at Natachitoches, Louisiana. For more information, click here.
The Forest Resources Association will be holding their Annual Meeting this year on April 18-21, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida. For more information, click here.
Regional Reception Update: Opelika Jan. 17th
The AFA kicked off the first quarter of 2012 with its first Regional Reception in Opelika on January 17th.
Past meetings were based around informational topics, but after hearing feedback from AFA members it was decided to focus on the fellowship that comes from being a part of the forestry community.
Rain and mud didn’t deter the 40-plus AFA members that made it out to the Caterpillar training center in Opelika with the promise of a good time. Guests included Auburn U. professors and deans (some retired), ex-legislators, and Lee County’s current state Senator Tom Whatley (Standing in above photo by blackboard).
Tom Saunders, AFA Director of Governmental and Legal Affairs, talked about 2012 legislative issues and Ray Clifton, Director of the Alabama Loggers Council, talked about issues involving Alabama's logging community. Senator Whatley spoke afterwards and reaffirmed his support of the AFA and the people in his district.
Alabama SAF Annual Meeting, March 30-31
The Alabama Division of the Society of American Foresters will have its annual meeting March 30-31, 2012 at the Auburn University School of Forestry And Wildlife Sciences, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn, Ala.
Southern Forest Nursery Management Co-Op Celebrating 40 Years
AUBURN -- The Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative started by the Auburn University Department of Forestry is celebrating 40 years of conducting groundbreaking research and providing information to forest-tree nurseries across the southern United States. CONTACT: Charlie Goodson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ForestPAC ENDORSEMENTS For 2012 JUDICIAL RACES
Judge Charlie Graddick: Chief Justice
Judge Charlie Graddick is leading the charge to ensure we keep a balanced Supreme Court that interprets the law, without trying to rewrite it.
Judge Graddick grew up in Mobile where he was a tough District Attorney who prosecuted violent and dangerous criminals with great enthusiasm. His Mobile record helped Judge Graddick win election to two terms as Alabama Attorney General (1979-1986).
Crowning his success as AG, Charlie ran for Governor in 1986 and won the Democrat runoff by about 9,000 votes. But because of an internal party dispute over crossover voting, a Democrat Party panel hand-picked Charlie's opponent to be their nominee.
The results of this skulduggery resulted in the election of Guy Hunt, the first Republican Governor since Reconstruction. This action, and Charlie's popularity, created the two-party state dominated by Republicans that we have today.
Judge Graddick is married to Corinne Whiting of Mobile. They have three grown children and three grandchildren. Learn more about Judge Graddick at www.judgegraddick.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Proving that those who know him best, like him best, the Mobile County Bar Association recently polled their members and overwhelmingly selected Charlie for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Click here for results. (This same poll also favored our next nominee, Judge Tommy Bryan).
Judge Tommy Bryan: Associate Justice
Judge Bryan is a 1974 graduate of Brantley High School who continued his education at Troy State University where he received undergraduate and MS degrees in education. In 1983, Tommy graduated from the Jones School of Law in Montgomery.
After graduation, Judge Bryan worked as a staff attorney for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. In 1987 he became an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama. He was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in 2004 and was re-elected to a second term in 2010.
Judge Bryan is married to the former Pamela Mizzell of Tuscaloosa. They have a son and a daughter. To learn more about Judge Bryan visit www.judgetommybryan.com.
Judge Lyn Stuart: Associate Justice
Justice Lyn Stuart is a native of Atmore, Alabama, where she attended public schools and graduated from Escambia County High School.
She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Education from Auburn University with high honors in 1977 and her Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1980.
Justice Stuart worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the state under Attorney General Charlie Graddick. In 1988 she was elected District Judge and was re-elected in 1994. Gov. Fob James appointed Justice Stuart to the Circuit Court in 1997. She was elected, without opposition, to a six year term in 1998.
In 2000, Justice Stuart was elected an Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, a position she was re-elected to in 2006.
Justice Stuart and her husband George have two sons and a daughter and are expecting their first grandchild in 2012. For more information about Justice Stuart, click here.
Justice Jim Main: Associate Justice
Justice Jim Main currently serves as an Associate Justice on the Alabama Supreme Court.
He previously served as judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals. During Gov. Bob Riley's administration (2004-2009), he served as Chief of Staff and State Finance Director.
Justice Main was in private law practice in Anniston (beginning in 1972) and Montgomery (beginning in 1989) and has received numerous awards for his legal service
Justice Main has been married to wife Gale for 45 years and is the father of two sons and a daughter and has five grandchildren.
To learn more about Justice Main, click here.
Justice Glenn Murdock: Associate Justice
Justice Glenn Murdock was born in Enterprise, Alabama in 1956. He is the oldest of three children of Billy A. Murdock and the late Marita Huey Murdock.
After graduating from Enterprise High School in 1974, Justice Murdock attended the University of Alabama, where he received his BA Degree in Political Science and Economics in 1978, summa cum laude.
He received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1981 from the University of Virginia Law School. On returning to Alabama Justice Murdock clerked for the late Clarence W. Allgood. In his private practice, Justice Murdock served as an attorney to the Honorable Perry Hooper, Sr., in the successful year-long federal court litigation that established Judge Hooper as the lawful winner of the 1994 Chief Justice election.
In 2000 Justice Murdock was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. He was elected to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2006.
Justice Murdock has been married for 30 years to the former Margaret Gilchrist of Hartselle, Alabama. They have three children. To learn more about Justice Murdock, click here.
Webinar Series on Alternative Enterprises for Rural Landowners
A webinar series will begin later this month on developing alternative enterprises for rural landowners.
The series is titled: Using Alternative Enterprises and Recreational Development to Bolster Farm Incomes. This webinar is funded by a grant from the Southern Risk Management Education Center at the University of Arkansas. Landowners, farmers, ranchers, and those interested in wildlife and fisheries enterprises are encouraged to attend.
It will start on February 16th at 11:30 am CST and will run for 6 weeks, every Thursday at the same time. This series will commence on March 22nd. Each event will last about 1 hour and 15 minutes and will consist of a lecture session (45 min). Attendees will develop a working knowledge of how alternative enterprise's can be administered on their property.
This webinar will be available to landowners in a 5 state region which includes Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina. There is limited space for these events so be sure to log on early. Please feel free to conduct "group airings" of this webinar at county offices or regional center locations.
For questions please contact: T. Adam Tullos, Wildlife Associate, MSU Extension Service, Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture. Office: (662) 566-2201. Email: email@example.com.
Alabama Realtors Land Institute Meeting Set
The Alabama Realtors Land Institute will be holding its spring meeting on March 29, 2012, at the Alabama Power Clanton Conference Center at 2030 7th Street South, Clanton, Ala.
Download Specifics and registration information
Himalayan Glaciers Haven't Lost Ice in 10 years
The U.N. got it wrong on Himalayan glaciers -- and the proof is finally here.
Global Warming Continues Fizzles
A new report from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies titled "Global Temperature in 2011, Trends, and Prospects" notes the following: "Global temperature in 2011 was lower than in 1998."
FROM THE EVP: AFA Architect Tour is One Step in a Continuing Process
Every year for the past 46 years, the Alabama Forestry Association and more recently, the Alabama Forestry Foundation, have hosted the Annual Architect Tour for students and faculty at Auburn University’s College of Architecture.
This program is designed to expose “budding” architects to wood as a building material with both structural and aesthetic qualities that can enhance any building project. It is another example of how we try to bring value to the industry we serve through proactive programs that encourage the use of wood and wood products.
The Tour incorporates a design competition which looks at a facility (an example would be the Natural History Museum on the Alabama River in Montgomery) and encourages participants to demonstrate the use of wood in the design. Auburn faculty judge the competition, with support of Association members and cash prizes of $850 for first place and $300 each for four runners up are awarded.
The tour itself usually starts out with an early (7:30 am is still early for most college students) bus departure from the Auburn University School of Architecture. A Chick-fil-a or other fast food breakfast and refreshments are served to sustain the students through the early phase of the tour.
The first stop is generally at Structural Wood Systems in Greenville, Alabama, where students learn about the manufacturing of glulam or laminated glue beams. After the SWS tour, students are provided lunch at the Greenville facility.
This year Keith Luker and Jerry Brace of Resource Management Services (RMS) explained their company’s commitment to sustainable forestry through their participation in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The students also got to see a harvesting operation, up close, with RMS staff and Chris Reynolds leading the students to the site, which was operated by professional logging managers, David and Shelton Reid, of Reid Logging.
It is always good to get young people, many of whom know little about how our industry really functions, into the field to see what we do and how we do it, giving us the opportunity to set the record straight on some of the misconceptions that youngsters today are exposed to by the media.
On the loop back up the interstate, the students stop by the AFA building, which showcases the utilization of wood in building construction. John Gandy of PH&J Architecture was the lead architect on the building and explained many of the unique and interesting features of the AFA facility. I participated by talking about the competing green building programs, one which does not discriminate against Alabama wood, and one that does.
Sponsoring the tour this year was the AFA, Alabama SFI program and the Alabama Forests Forever Foundation. The funds thus provided help pay for the bus, food, and any other expenses.
Programs like the Architect Tour are vital if we are to survive and grow as an industry. In the coming months we will be building on this effort to help continue to grow markets for wood products.
As Always… Thanks For Your Support!