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Summer 2011

FORESTS In this issue:

100 Years on the Waterfront Starring Cooper/T. Smith Forest Recovery Meetings Report Restoring the American Chestnut

Contents Alabama Forestry Association, Inc. CHRIS ISAACSON, Executive Vice President OFFICERS JAMES KING, JR. , Tuscaloosa, Chairman JOE TWARDY, Pine Hill, President ROBERT P. SHARP, Mobile, Secretary-Treasurer BARRETT B. MCCALL, Mobile, President-elect DISTRICT DIRECTORS Black Belt District BUCKY HENSON, Selma Capital District LEE DAVIS, Wetumpka Delta District BLAKE PRITCHARD, Jackson Longleaf District ALAN JAYE, Perdue Hill Mountain District MARK LOWE, Eastaboga Piedmont District SHANNON J. WHITE, Sylacauga Valley District KAREN BOYD, Russellville Vulcan District TIM THORNHILL, Hanceville Warrior District S. INGE BEEKER, Tuscaloosa Wiregrass District ROBERT E. THOMPSON, Georgetown ALABAMA LOGGERS COUNCIL CHRIS POTTS, LaFayette FORESTFUND STEEN TRAYLOR, Selma AT LARGE DIRECTORS DOUG BOWLING, Millbrook RICHARD W. BRINKER, Auburn TERRY BUSSEY, Seale ERIC COOPER, Mobile KEN DURAND, Columbus, Miss. MIKE DYE, Childersburg CHIP HARRIGAN, Fulton JEFFREY P. LEDBETTER, Andalusia DAVID A. SCHILLE, Pennington FRED T. STIMPSON, Mobile ALABAMA FORESTS EDITOR SAM DUVALL Alabama Forests (USPS #025-358) is an official publication of the Alabama Forestry Association, 555 Alabama Street, Montgomery, AL 361044359 and is published five times a year. The AFA reserves the exclusive right to accept or reject advertising or editorial material submitted for publication. Advertising rates quoted upon request. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Ala. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Alabama Forestry Association, 555 Alabama St. Montgomery, AL 36104-4395.

FORESTS Communicating news and information of, about, and for the Alabama forestry community.

For info on the April storms & recovery effort go to alabamaforestrecovery.com S u m m e r 2 0 1 1 | Vo l u m e 5 5 N u m b e r 4

FEATURES The Cooper/T. Smith Corporation: A Family Legacy


AFRTF Holds Series of Landowner Meetings for April Storm Victims


Restoring North Alabama’s Storm-Battered Urban Forest


The American Chestnut Foundation Works to Increase Wildlife Population


Teachers’ Conservation Workshop


DEPARTMENTS From the Executive Vice President




Dean’s Notebook


Log a Load Update


Forestry News & Views


Wildlife & Outdoors


ADVERTISERS Index to Advertisers



ON THE COVER In these photos, the “old and the new” come together to illustrate the more than 100 years Cooper/T. Smith has operated at the Port of Mobile.

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Come explore our web site!

alaforestry.org 1






From Executive Vice President

Faith in the System


I recently read about a Washington Post poll indicating that three-fourths of Americans surveyed have little or no confidence in our elected officials to solve the nation’s economic problems. I agree with that conclusion BUT the question misses the point. For anyone to have confidence in a collection of politicians whose actions and decisions are oftentimes guided by their goal of re-election, is misguided at best. If our national well-being were dependent on the collective wisdom of our elected officials, the United States would never have made it through its first century, much less grown into the “light on the hill” providing a shining example of a nation governed by consent of the people. Instead, my faith is in the system created by our founding fathers, justified in our Declaration of Independence and codified in our Constitution. Ours is a democratic republic founded on the belief that man was created by God and endowed with inalienable (absolute, inherent) rights. This system has withstood the test of time and has been marked by a peaceful transition of power from one party to another for well over two centuries. Ours is a truly exceptional nation, a beacon of hope for people around the world, attracting and assimilating immigrants searching for free-

dom and economic opportunity. With that said, our system is currently under attack. The enemies “outside the gate” are easy to identify. But the more insidious and dangerous attacks come from within, from individuals intentionally bent on eroding the core tenets upon which our system is based. As an example, proponents of the requirement that every American purchase health care insurance (individual mandate) under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPCA) — aka ObamaCare — argue that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives Congress authority to require everyone to purchase health insurance since the health care industry is engaged in “interstate commerce.” Opponents (including me) argue that nothing in the Constitution gives Congress authority to require citizens to spend their money on something they may not want. The 10th Amendment states that any powers not delegated to Congress are “reserved for the states…and the people.” Congress clearly does not have the power to compel citizens to spend their money (other than the power to tax). Thus, the debate about PPCA is not just about policy, but is much more fundamental. It is a debate about whether, in fact, the Constitution limits what Congress can

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do or is, alternatively, a “living” document that can be revised at the whim of the political class. IF it is true, however, that the success and well-being of this nation is based upon the strength of the system, it follows that the system must be protected at all costs from attempts to change it to a more “enlightened” European model or any other model, for that matter. Over the years, the Alabama Forestry Association has consistently adhered to a set of core principles that informs all of our policy. At AFA we

Chris Isaacson

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem.” firmly believe in and are committed to: • Smaller, more efficient, less intrusive government. • Protection of private property rights. • Promotion of free markets and private contracts. • Preservation of the rule of law. Former President Ronald Reagan’s words are truer today than when he uttered them more than 30 years ago: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem.” ▲


Get your license to educate Alabama.

The Alabama Forests Forever license plate offers everyone the opportunity to contribute to forestry education. Your purchase of this tag: • Helps fund educational forestry materials and workshops for teachers, including grants for forestry education. • Promotes the importance of forestry to Alabama and its economy. • Is a tax-deductible, charitable contribution which costs only $50 more than a general tag.

334-844-1004 www.forestry.auburn.edu

334-240-9300 www.forestry.state.al.us

334-265-8733 www.alaforestry.org

Contributors Bryan Burhans

Matt McCollough

Bryan received an associate of science degree in wildlife technology and a BS degree in wildlife science from Pennsylvania State University. He received his MS degree in wildlife and fsheries biology from Frostburg State University, working out of the University of Maryland’s Appalachian Environmental Laboratory in Frostburg, Maryland. Bryan worked as a wildlife biologist for the Virginia Dept.of Game and Inland Fisheries for 2 years and, after receiving his MS degree, served as wildlife biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for two years.In 1997, he went to work for the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield, South Carolina, as director of land management programs throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Bryan is a certified wildlife biologist through the National Wildlife Society.

Chris Erwin Chris is director of education and outreach for the Alabama Forestry Association where he has worked since 2002. Before that he served in the United States Air Force. He has a BS in biology from Troy University, Dothan and a master of forestry from Auburn University.

Matthew McCollough is the state urban forestry coordinator for the Alabama Forestry Commission. He works out of the Montgomery AFC office. Matt is a graduate of Auburn University with a BS degree in forestry.

Mac Phillippi Mac is a native of Brewton, Alabama. In 1976 he graduated from Auburn University with a BA in architecture. In 1983 he started private architectural practice in Birmingham, Alabama. Mac served on the Alabama Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation Board of Directors from 2008 to 2009. He started his 3-year term as president of the Alabama Chapter of TACF in December of 2009.Mac is married to the former Martha Ray of Huntsville, Alabama and resides in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

Bruce Todd Bruce W.Todd received his BS in biology from Lipscomb University in 1984 and a master’s in wildlife management from Tennessee Tech University in 1992. He has been with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries since 1993 and is currently assigned to Scotch Wildlife Management Area in Clarke County.

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Dean’s Notebook

A New Major!


The Alabama Council on Higher Education (ACHE) recently approved the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences to offer a new BS in natural resource management. We designed this degree to complement existing majors in forestry, wildlife ecology & management, wildlife pre-veterinary medicine, and forest engineering. The natural resource management degree is a flexible major that includes the core natural resource management courses and a required minor to concentrate coursework toward one of many diverse careers in the outdoors. While this flexibility is a boon to the students, the major is still founded on bedrock of required science, math, and management courses. A full year of biology and chemistry are required, as are courses in GIS and statistics. The restricted electives are designed to make sure that every student has sufficient statistical knowledge, management skills, and basic natural resource courses to be successful. The new curriculum will begin this fall semester.

Summer Practica I was pleased to give a lecture and help with a forest soils field exercise during the annual Forestry Summer Practicum at the Solon Dixon

Forestry Education Center. We had the students digging soil pits on a June day that saw the mercury hit 100. They learned that clay sub soils are tough to dig when dry. This summer we had 32 forestry students for the 10-week program. It was the 32nd practicum at the Dixon Center. We also had a two-week wildlife practicum for 7 students. I spent some time in the field with these students and observed them setting traps, catching squirrels and installing radio collars, and conducting a gopher tortoise burrow survey. Next year, summer practicum will be required for both forestry and wildlife students. Forestry will continue its 10-week tradition and the wildlife students will benefit from a 6-week practicum. Having both students present will create some facilities challenges, especially since we have only one classroom. We have begun a process to build a new classroom facility at the center. It will have a 100-seat auditorium like the Dwight Harrigan Classroom in the Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building on the Auburn campus, and there will also be a 40-seat classroom. The Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation graciously pledged to provide $912,000 toward the classroom, estimated to cost about $1.5 million. So we will be

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seeking support from other sources. In addition to helping the undergraduate curriculum, the new facilities will also enhance our outreach and extension programs.

Toomer’s Oaks The live oaks at Toomer’s Corner are struggling to overcome their poisoning. The trees show signs of tebuthiuron poisoning (the active ingredient in the suspected herbicide), with significant yellowing and browning of foliage and heavy leaf drop. These adverse signs are not present throughout the entire canopy; instead, parts of the canopy appear healthy, and in many locations where browning and defoliation are occurring, new leaves without symptoms are forming. These cycles reflect the trees’ response to the herbicide, while new foliage indicates the trees still have stored reserves. These cycles could continue into next spring before we know whether the trees will survive. You can monitor the status of the trees at http://ocm.auburn.edu /news/oaks_updates.html.

Talented Tigers Auburn University has an annual recognition of the best doctoral dissertations written each year. Two of the three winners this year for biology

By Dean Jim Shepard

and life sciences were George Matusick and Wei Ren, Ph.D. students in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Nick Martin, one of our master’s students, was identified as one of the Top 10 Masters Students at Auburn this year. In addition, Matthew Mayerpeter was awarded a $5000 York International Scholarship, which he used to travel to Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua to collect samples for his research. Lastly, I have bittersweet news that our development officer Angie Stephens has been promoted to Interim Associate Vice President for Development Constituencies. We thank Angie for having done so much to help support the school by facilitating private giving during her 17 years. She will now use her exceptional skills to help Auburn University achieve its development goals. ▲ 7

Henry Harrison Cooper, Cooper family patriarch. He and his brothers followed the rosin trade to Baldwin County Alabama in the late 1860s.

The 1869 home of Henry Harrison Cooper, built on his 160-acre homestead. The Coopers still use the house and adjacent buildings for family gatherings.

The Cooper/T. Smith Corporation:

A Family Legacy By Sam Duvall


Right after the U.S. Civil War three young Scotsmen who had settled in South Carolina

migrated to Baldwin County, Alabama. Being “rosin farmers” for the then-vibrant naval stores

industry, Henry Harrison Cooper and two broth-

ers settled in a little community called — appropriately enough — Rosinton, Alabama. Each brother acquired a 160-acre homestead and married sisters of the local McKenzie clan.


“Each of the three brothers’ families had 12-14 children, so they expanded pretty quickly. That’s the reason there are a lot of Coopers in Baldwin County,” said Angus R. Cooper III, Cooper/T. Smith Group President of Operations, Office of the President, and a 5th generation Cooper doing business in Alabama. From these beginnings emerge the story of Cooper/T. Smith, one of the largest stevedoring companies in America with operations on all three U.S. coasts and foreign operations in Central and South America. The company owns tugboats and barges, a forestry company that includes four chip mills and specializes in harvesting and shipping woodchips and biomass, and a food service component with several restaurants. But stevedoring is the company’s core business and something Cooper/T. Smith does very well. Angus III serves the company along with his brother Scott, Executive VP of Strategic Development and his cousin David, Jr., who is Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations. Angus III and Scott are the sons of Angus R. Cooper II, Chairman and Chief Executive

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Ship ready for loading around 1900.

Officer of Cooper/T. Smith. David is the son of David J. Cooper, Sr., Vice Chairman of the Cooper/T. Smith Board of Directors. Through good times and bad, Cooper/ T. Smith has grown into one of the largest family-owned companies in Alabama. Best known as a maritime company, Cooper/T. Smith acquired Kimberly Clark’s Marine & Timberlands Division in 1999 — now Cooper Marine & Timberlands. Throughout its history, the Cooper family has been involved in forestry, first through rosin production, then loading and unloading of forest products from the Port of Mobile and New Orleans, up to the modern era when Cooper/T. Smith became a major producer and exporter of wood chips and biomass. “Stevedoring-wise, we have always handled forest products,” Angus III noted.

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“Between us and our joint ventures, we handle a major portion of the wood products that are exported out of the South. That’s because we’ve developed a handling technique that is quite successful.” The company also owns four chip mills and three portable chippers to feed the woodchip and biomass markets.

Cooper/T. Smith has several large cranes on barges which they use to load cargo, in this case wood chips, onto ocean-going ships.These cranes can be moved anywhere in the world a Cooper customer might need them.


C o o p e r / T. S m i t h C o r p o r a t i o n

Stevedoring the old-fashioned way, with pry bars and block and tackle.

Angus Royal Cooper Starts Things Off at the Docks

tion. In 1925, after working to build the company in Mobile, Angus moved his family to New Orleans where he expanded his stevedoring business and managed the Munson (steamship) Line’s gulf-wide stevedoring operations. With the Stock Market Crash of 1929 ushering in the Great Depression, Munson fell on difficult times. But Angus Cooper continued handling stevedoring chores for one of Munson’s allies, Alcoa Steamship Company. As a result, the Munson Line surrendered all of its equipment in lieu of pay, which added much-needed equipment in building the fledgling stevedoring company.

Angus Royal Cooper, next to the youngest of Henry Harrison and Matilda Cooper’s 14 children, started working at the Mobile docks in the late 1800s, beginning the maritime tradition of Cooper/ T. Smith. But not before trying another trade in another state. Angus left the family business and Mobile around the turn of the 20th century and moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi where he married into the Hall family. Young Angus agreed to his father-in-law’s entreaty to stay in Mississippi so his new wife could remain close to her family. To make ends meet, Angus started a textile store and stayed at it about two years. “My great-grandfather realized that this was not what he really enjoyed doing so he came back to Mobile and again started working at the docks.” Angus Royal Cooper started the said Angus III, who maintains maritime tradition and company much of the family history. that grew to become Cooper/T. On February 5, 1905, Angus Smith, an international company established Terminals, Inc. that with thousands of employees would, eventually, grow into worldwide. the Cooper/T. Smith Corpora10

Wooden drums such as those pictured here were used to transport a variety of products to and from the Port of Mobile.

Ervin Cooper, along with his sons Angus II and David, brought Cooper/ T. Smith into the modern era.

First and Foremost, Cooper/ T. Smith Is About Family From first to last, Cooper/T. Smith is a family business that treasures its generational values. At each change of leadership, fathers have handed the reins of what has become a huge international company with thousands of employees to their sons in an unbroken chain dating back over 100 years. Following his father Angus, Ervin Cooper, along with his sons Angus II and David, Sr., went on to personally direct the firm’s expansion to ports throughout the U.S. Although he passed away in 1982, Ervin still has a seat of honor in Mobile, with his likeness immortalized in bronze seated on a Waterman Steamship Company bench watching over the Mobile waterfront at Cooper Riverside Park. As their fathers and grandfathers did before them, Angus Cooper II brought sons Angus III and Scott, and David Cooper, Sr. brought his son David, Jr. into leadership of the company. Angus III said the transfer of control to the new generation has been gradual and well supervised. “We all kind of start at the bottom and work our way up to a leadership position,” A L A B A M A F O R E S TS | S u m m e r 2 0 1 1

Unloading sugar at the Mobile Docks.

Angus III said of the new generation. “Often family businesses decline when the older generation won’t give the younger generation actual responsibility and authority in time to learn from their mistakes. "So, we're fortunate that my father and uncle (Angus II and David, Sr.) handed real responsibility and authority to us, officially, two years ago. They also allowed us to run divisions to get the much needed experience. That way, as we’re going through the process they are here for us to ask questions. If we have a problem they will tell us how to handle it or whom to see about it,” Angus III said. “My great grandfather did this with my grandfather; my grandfather did it with my father and my uncle. And now my father and uncle are doing it with us. My father always says, ‘If you can’t run this thing, then I’m not going to let you ruin everything we worked so hard for.’ So, a transition like this allows them to evaluate us and make sure we can continue to succeed,” Angus III added. Despite its family-oriented pedigree, Cooper/T. Smith is a complex organization. “There are 13 companies under Cooper/T. Smith, structured under eight major divisions, with a head for each of A L A B A M A F O R E S TS | S u m m e r 2 0 1 1

Pushing a load of cotton to the docks in the good old days.

One of the many tug boats owned by Cooper/T.Smith.

those divisions,” Angus III said. In addition to daily communications within the company, quarterly structured meetings are held for everyone working in a leadership role.

How to Have Your Steak and Eat It Too! In addition to forest products, another recent addition to Cooper/T. Smith is Cooper Restaurants. When the Ruth’s Chris Steak House started to close its

Mobile franchise, Ruth ran up against Angus II and David, Sr., both of whom love to eat at Ruth’s Chris. “David, Sr. went over to New Orleans to talk to Ruth (Ruth Fertel) herself to try and talk her out of closing the restaurant. Our company ended up buying the franchise and has successfully operated it since 1997,” said Angus III. In addition to the Mobile steakhouse, the Coopers opened a Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Jackson/Ridgeland, Mississippi, 11

Aerial photo of the Bay Spring, Mississippi chip mill, one of four owned by CTS.

Felix’s Fish Camp Restaurant and the Bluegill Restaurant on the Mobile Bay Causeway. What the Cooper restaurants have in common is that they were created with the same core values that built and sustained Cooper/T. Smith. Employee attitude, respect for one another, valuing their customers, and ultimate attention to detail has resulted in their overwhelming success. Despite the complexity of Cooper/T. Smith, when it’s time to make a decision the company can turn on a dime!

Making Decisions, a Cooper/ T. Smith Strength “We can make a decision in 10-minutes if we need to. That’s always been our strength. We all trust each other to make decisions. We’ve made some good ones and we’ve made some bad ones. But that [making timely decisions] is the key to making any business work,” Angus III said. Asked where he thinks Cooper/T. Smith will be in 10 years, Angus III said: “That’s a tough question. We’ve always grown through difficult economic times. So, if something fits our model to acquire we look at it closely. In the beginning the 12

stevedoring business afforded us a platform to expand into other related businesses. We will continue to look for appropriate opportunities Cooper/T. Smith Board of Directors that fit well with Seated: Angus R. Cooper II, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; David J. Cooper, Sr.,Vice Chairman. Standing: Michael G. Johnson, Chief Operations Officer/Office of the President; our strategic plan. T.K. Jackson III, Director; Fournier J.“Boots” Gale III, Director; John James McMahon, Jr., “So in 10 years, Director; Angus R. Cooper III, Group President of Operations/Office of the President; Scott H. with the economy Cooper, Executive Vice President of Strategic Development; David J. Cooper, Jr., Executive Vice the way it is, we President of Corporate Relations. could either be very similar to the way we are today, maritime industry and its other segments, or we could have evolved into something the Cooper family forged a company temelse. We’ll either grow internally or exterpered by the Great Depression, two world nally. My grandfather, Ervin, always liked wars — and numerous smaller ones — to say ‘You either expand or expire’,” recessions, hurricanes and vast changes in Angus III said. business around the world. Through it all, In a magazine interview several years ago about the company that he and Angus Cooper/T. Smith has survived, expanded II oversee, David, Sr., said: “The one thing and thrived. With that kind of resilience it will be that’s constant is change. Either change interesting to see what Cooper/T. Smith with the times, change with the industry looks like at the end of the next 100 or you’re quietly excused from that years! ▲ industry.” For more than 100 years, starting with rosin and naval stores, graduating into the A L A B A M A F O R E S TS | S u m m e r 2 0 1 1

AFRTF Holds Series of Landowner Meetings for April Storm Victims By Sam Duvall, Chairman, AFRTF Communications Committee

Brad Lang, who works for the Alabama Forestry Commission in Tuscaloosa, told the 85 attendees in Tuscaloosa of the importance of working to reduce the risk of wildfires.

T AFRTF Chairman Tommy Thompson served as the primary coordinator of the landowner meetings held for victims of April’s horrific storms.

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They came from all across the Tuscaloosa area; little old ladies and men, young couples, individual forest landowners; approximately 85 of them showed up for the first forest landowner meeting in July sponsored by the Alabama Forest Recovery Task Force (AFRTF). Attendees got to hear from experts about the terrible tornadoes of April 15 and 27, and the best way to recovery from those devastating storms. Starting in mid-July and ending in the second week of August, eight meetings were held in the storm-damage area. According to AFRTF Chairman Tommy Thompson, “The meetings were attended by a mix of landowners and resource professionals from Federal and State agencies including the Alabama Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Forestry Association, members of the forest Industry and university professors. We averaged about 30 at most of the meetings. “One of the objectives of the Alabama Forest Recovery Task Force is to provide information to the impacted Forest Landowners. By holding the public meetings we put faces to the programs. Additionally, this gave landowners the opportunity to have a personal discussion with resource professionals who are experts in the field. We had a good interchange of questions and answers,” Thompson added. 13

AFRTF Landowner Meetings for April Storm Victims

Ken McNabb of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service talked about reforestation considerations.

In addition to the public meetings, presentations were recorded and are available for those who did not attend the meetings to view online. You can log on to www.alabamaforestrecovery.com, and under the “media” tab click on “public meetings now on the web.” The direct hookup is via the Alabama Cooperative Extension System website at www.aces. edu/forestry/tornadodamage/webinar.php. The webinar was created by the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service and the Alabama Forestry Commission. Getting information to landowners is critical because of the fire hazard and the danger from insect infestations caused by having 200,000-acres of blown-down wood on the ground. Chairman Thompson set the tone for the meetings, telling attendees, “We are holding these meetings to provide you with what we hope will be valuable information to help you get your forestland back into a healthy state.”

ACES, filled in for him at three of the meetings. Professor Robert Tufts of Auburn University walked attendees through the somewhat complicated process of dealing with the tax consequences of storm damaged wood, choosing either to file for casualty loss deductions, or simply as a basic business loss from the tornadoes. Roger Page, Extension Economist at the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, filled in for Dr. Tufts at two of the meetings. Brad Lang, Alabama Forestry Commission employee from Tuscaloosa, noted the horror of the storms as early responders had to deal with victims who were killed

The Presentations

AU Professor Robert Tufts talked to landowners about dealing with the tax implications of their downed timber.

One of the early presenters was Rick Johnson, a forester who works for the Westervelt Company, who emphasized the importance of landowners getting an assessment of the extent of the damage to their lands and getting the wood up and dealt with as soon as possible. Rick noted the importance of working with PLM Loggers and Foresters who know the wood business. Ken McNabb, of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Auburn University’s School of Forestry & Wildlife Services, noted that the wood in some areas was almost completely destroyed by the powerful storms. “I don’t know how you salvage something like this,” he said, showing a slide of a particularly awful looking tangle of splintered and torn debris that used to be standing timber. John Ollison, a colleague of McNabb’s at

Tim Albritton of the Natural Resources Conservation Service addressed the cost share programs that landowners could sign up for.

or injured by the devastating effects of the tornadoes. On top of the loss of life, was the awful damage that was done to the homes, buildings and forests both in the cities and towns and in open country. Charles Thomas, who represented the Farm Service Agency, told attendees at

The AFC’s Neil Letson talked about the destruction of the urban forest in Tuscaloosa and other storm-damaged areas. 14

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Tuscaloosa that because of the poor economy, there would be very little cost share money to help out with the April disasters. FSA representatives who attended the other meetings included: Kevin Veal, Roger Wilson, Greg Key, Jeff Smith, Mary McInnis, Dole Dutton and Jamey Yeager. Ray Clifton, executive director of both the Alabama Loggers Council and the AFRTF, emphasized the need for landowners to take care to ensure that they picked a professional logging contractor to help them salvage as much storm-damaged wood as possible. And Clifton emphasized that above everything else, safety must be a forest landowners’ paramount concern. “Because of the way they are blown down, a lot of these trees are still very dangerous. They are under tension and when they are cut that tension has to go somewhere! So you’ve got to be very careful dealing with this downed wood,” Clifton said. Other program presenters at the AFRTF meetings included: Tim Thornhill, (L-P) who talked about “who can help me with this mess?” Bruce Springer (AFC) who spoke of the “consequences of the timber damage.” Neil Letson (AFC) who addressed “tornado-damaged urban forests.” Tim Albritton, NRCS-USDA, who talked about “cost share programs.” “I want to thank each of the program presenters who participated and also the landowners who took the time out of their busy lives to attend these meetings,” Thompson said. “A recovery effort like this takes a lot of time and good folks working together to achieve a positive outcome. We hope to get most of this wood dealt with and the woods replanted as soon as possible in order to mitigate the ill effects of these awful storms.” ▲

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Photo courtesy the Alabama Forestry Commission

Restoring North Alabama’s Storm-Battered Urban Forest

by Matthew McCollough, Urban Forestry Coordinator n the wake of devastating tornadoes that battered North Alabama communities, the Alabama Forestry Commission, in collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation, recently unveiled a new campaign to restore the region’s urban forest.The“Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign” was launched in response to proactive efforts of the Alabama Forestry Commission to spearhead a reforestation initiative.This campaign allows anyone to make an online donation at www.arborday.org/alabama. For every dollar donated, the Arbor Day Foundation will deliver a tree seedling for distribution to Alabama citizens affected by the April tornadoes. The planting of new trees brings beauty, healing, and hope.While the cleanup and rebuilding will continue for years to come, people can help the healing process now.With the support of citizens, the Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign makes possible the restoration of tree-lined streets, shaded parks, and beautiful neighborhoods that have always been part of Alabama. “The Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign is an important effort to distribute trees to Alabamians who had homes destroyed in the April tornado outbreak,” said Governor Robert Bentley.“This campaign will help restore our communities and I am appreciative to the Alabama Forestry Commission and Arbor Day Foundation for coming together on this project.” The Arbor Day Foundation will deliver an assortment of five native trees to each community. Species include willow oak, Shumard oak, northern red oak, black gum, and flowering dogwood. Each tree species was selected because of its suitability to the region.


Communities that were directly impacted by a tornado will be given priority to participate in the program.The community must also agree to organize the local distribution of their tree seedlings.The Alabama Forestry Commission will arrange the delivery of the tree seedlings to each community for planting during February 2012. “The trees lost in the recent tornado outbreak provided millions of dollars in environmental, economic, and social benefits,” said Linda Casey, the Alabama State Forester.“This campaign can go a long way toward putting our communities and surrounding areas on the path to recovery.” The Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign is the newest joint initiative in the Arbor Day Foundation’s Trees for America program. Other initiatives include delivering more than 120,000 trees to Gulf Coast families who were victims of Hurricane Katrina, and replanting more than 20 million trees in national forests devastated by disease and fire. The Alabama Forestry Commission is a state agency committed to protecting, conserving, and increasing Alabama’s forest resource. In addition to the Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign, the Alabama Forestry Commission is working with other organizations to donate trees to restore North Alabama’s urban forest. For more information, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov. The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization with more than one million members nationwide. More information about the Foundation and its conservation programs can be found at www.arborday.org. 15

This photo shows what was once the majesty of the American chestnut trees that covered much of the United States.

The American Chestnut Foundation Works to Increase Wildlife Population By: Mac Phillippi, President, Alabama Chapter of TACF and Bryan Burhans, National TACF President

The American chestnut was once the “King of the Forest” and it dominated the hardwood tree population in the eastern half of the United States. It was a forest canopy tree, and nearly one out of every four hardwoods was American chestnut. These trees were giants, reaching heights of 80 to 100 feet and diameters of 6 to 8 feet. The natural range of the American chestnut extended from Maine down to the Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and west to the Ohio River Valley. Families depended on the nut as a major food source as well as a cash crop. Millions of bushels of the sweet-tasting nuts were

hauled to cities like New York and Philadelphia and sold during the Christmas holidays. Entire railroad cars were filled to the brim each year and shipped to major cities. Farm families in the Appalachian Mountains fattened their hogs and other livestock on the nut, and children would fill their pockets with chestnuts to snack on at school. But this was before a devastating fungal blight struck in the first half of the 20th century. The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) has been working for more than 28 years to solve the “chestnut problem” as it was once called. TACF’s mission is to breed a blight-resistant

American chestnut tree that will eventually repopulate eastern forests in the United States. Chestnut blight was first observed on American chestnut trees in New York City’s Bronx Zoo in 1904. The blight, an accidentally imported fungus from Asia, spread quickly and before the first half of the 20th century was over, more than four billion trees were destroyed over nearly 150 million acres of forestland in what is recognized as one of the worst ecological disasters of the 20th century. Today, the chestnut lives only as a few isolated remnants of mature trees and much more commonly as living roots that

The prickly bur of the American chestnut is hard on the hands. Here, several burs balance precariously!

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American Chestnut Foundation

American chestnuts are housed in the velvety lining of a prickly bur, generally three nuts to each bur. continue to produce sprouts for a while until inevitably destroyed by the blight. This ability to sprout has retained the chestnut’s presence in the eastern forest but what was once a dominant overstory tree has been reduced to an occasional understory shrub. Not only were families affected by the loss of the American chestnut, so too were the many species of wildlife that depended on the nut as a major food source. A single mature American chestnut tree produced more than 6,000 nuts in a season and the nutritional value of the nut itself was unmatched: 11% protein (acorns only have 6%), 16% fat and 40% carbohydrates. Chestnuts provided a critical resource for wildlife in several important ways. First, and most importantly, chestnuts added considerably to the overall food supply for mast-consuming species. “In comparison to other nut-producing trees, chestnuts represented a complementary food resource since they were sweeter and more palatable than acorns. In addition, the soft shell encasing the nut also allowed animals to open them more easily than other nut species,” says Dr. Brian McCarthy, a wildlife biologist at Miami University of Ohio and TACF science cabinet member. According to McCarthy, the American 18

A healthy American chestnut today. Most healthy American chestnuts are found on the edge or outside of the American chestnut’s original range, where blight is not prevalent.Tall straight trees like this one can still be found at the West Salem stand in Wisconsin. However, the stand recently became infected with blight and these majestic trees will soon also succumb to the deadly pathogen.

chestnut crop provided an important alternative food source when mast failure occurred in other nut-producing species. Because chestnuts rely on pollination by both wind and insects and flower later in the season, they are far less likely to experience flower (and mast) failures due to late spring frosts as compared with hickories and oaks. As any deer hunter knows, oaks go through cycles of acorn abundance and absence. The American chestnut produces an amazing abundance of nuts. In comparison to oak species, the American chestnut produced six times the number of nuts, and for a good reason. A critical process in the regeneration of the chestnut forest involves the dispersal of seeds by wildlife to locations some distance away from the parent trees where the probability of germination, establishment and survival are higher. Since chestnut seed was so desired by wildlife, the chestnut had to produce an incredible abundance of mast so some were left over to germinate and start a new forest. “As we learn more about today’s forests, it is becoming clear that the chestnut blight meant far more than just the loss of an important resource for wildlife,” says McCarthy. “The disappearance of this species (the American chestnut) changed numerous other species’ interactions, as well as the dynamics of forest regeneration in ways we may never fully appreciate. Hopefully by restoring this tree, we’ll be able to increase the numbers of different species that dwindled during the height of the blight.” Numerous historical accounts of the abundance of wildlife during the era when chestnut trees dominated our forests suggest that many popular game species were very abundant during this time, especially turkey, bear, and squirrel. Could the return of the American chestnut provide a boost to many of our most cherished game species? The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF), based in Asheville, NC, has taken on restoration of the American chestnut

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as its sole mission. Since 1983, TACF has been working to restore the American chestnut tree by breeding blight-resistant trees that will eventually repopulate the landscape of the eastern United States. The blight-resistant tree will retain all of the physical characteristics of the pure American as well as the genes for blight resistance from the Chinese tree. TACF currently has more than 250 breeding orchards within its chapter states and has over 160,000 American and Chinese trees in the ground at its research farms in Meadowview, Virginia. During spring 2009, TACF entered the testing phase of its program and planted more than 500 blight-resistant American chestnut seedlings in the wild. Under an existing agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, TACF anticipates that this planting will prove to be the beginning of the restoration of the species. What does all of this mean for

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landowners, especially landowners who are interested in growing the blight-resistant trees on their property? TACF’s national breeding program depends heavily on volunteer support to help with pollinating, harvesting establishing local breeding orchards. In addition, chapter members are encouraged to plant pure American chestnuts even though they will eventually succumb to the blight. By planting pure Americans, landowners will gain experience in growing the tree and learn what it takes to keep it healthy. Soon, TACF and our partners will begin large scale restoration using a blight-resistant American chestnut. TACF will continue to improve the resistance of the trees over the next century, but within our lifetime we hope to make a dramatic return of this keystone species. Landowners who would like to become part of the effort to restore this “Mighty

Giant” to the forest can learn more about TACF on its website at www.acf.org or by calling its headquarters at (828) 281-0047. TACF is a 501 (c) 3 conservation organization that is mainly funded through private donors. By becoming a member of TACF, you can help lead the way to restoring a species once thought lost. You can purchase pure American chestnut seeds and seedlings to plant for wildlife on your property. Also of vital importance is that we locate local, wild American chestnut trees to bring into the breeding program here in Alabama. If you believe you have found an American chestnut that is mature enough to produce flowers and/or nuts, we need to hear from you. Distinguishing between the American tree and its cousin, the Chinese chestnut, can be tricky but, you can learn to identify a true American chestnut by visiting the above TACF website. If convinced, please contact our national office. ▲


Connecting Kids to Nature Try this activity in a forest—a natural place to learn!

For over 30 years, Project Learning Tree® has used the forest as a “window” to help young people gain an awareness of the world around them and their place within it. Blending a walk in the forest with a fun and engaging PLT activity creates a powerful learning experience for children of all ages. Here’s one idea from PLT that introduces the concept of forest cycles.

Activity 78: Signs of Fall

In this activity, children look for signs of autumn. They observe the annual change of seasons, and investigate why leaves of deciduous trees change color in the fall.

Doing the Activity

As autumn approaches, take children on a walk through a wooded area, schoolyard, local park, or neighborhood sidewalk to look for signs of fall. Point out the differences between deciduous and evergreen trees. Have children find at least five of each and collect sample leaves. Create leaf rubbings by covering a leaf with a piece of paper and rubbing a crayon over it. The leaf’s margin and veins will appear. Use crayons to match the fall colors found in the leaves. Encourage critical thinking by asking: • What signs of fall can you see in the trees and on the ground? • How many different leaf colors can you find? • What will happen to the leaves? Deciduous


Have children use the colorful fall leaves to create a picture. For ideas, see Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, published by Harcourt Children's Books, 2005, ISBN: 0152053042.

Adapted from Activity 78: Signs of Fall from Project Learning Tree’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide.


With fall’s colder temperatures and shorter days, the cells of deciduous tree leaves begin to die. The dead cells block water and nutrients from the leaf. Chlorophyll, the green pigment in the leaves, breaks down and the yellow and red pigments begin to show through.


Evergreen trees keep Do this (needles) word search their leaves puzzle to discover some important components in this year-round. Example: Pine Deciduous trees lose their leaves annually. Example: Oak

Native Americans had legends to explain the fall colors. Invite children to create their own imaginative stories.

Discover how PLT can help you teach… from nature! • Attend, host, or sponsor a local PLT workshop where participants receive PLT activity guides, ideas, and materials. • Contact your PLT State Coordinator. Visit www.plt.org or call 202-463-2475 for their contact information.

Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is a program of the American Forest Foundation.

2011 Teachers’ Conservation Workshop Report Thank You Sponsors The Alabama Forestry Association gratefully acknowledges the contributions and commitment made by the following individuals and organizations for promoting environmental education in Alabama at the 2011 Teachers’ Conservation Workshops.


CW was implemented in Alabama in 1970 by the Alabama Forest Products

Association, with R.S. Andrews as president and Larkin Wade of Auburn

University as the chair of the education committee. They believed that a continuous effort should be made to present to teachers and ultimately their students the benefits of forest conservation and use. Forty-two years later the workshop goals are the same and the commitment to them from the Alabama Forestry Association and forestry community is just as strong.

Summary of 2011 – Sixty-three teachers participated in this years Teachers Alabama Forests Forever Foundation Alabama Forest Owners Association Conservation Workshops. Thirty five attended the Tuscaloosa workshop designed Mr. Alan Anthony for grades K-6 and twenty eight participated in the Association of Consulting Foresters Bell Yarbro Investments Auburn University workshop intended for grades 7-12. Boise Segregating by grade level allowed for more appropriate Mr. Jesse Boyles Bradley Murphy Trust presentations, activities and allowed the School of Buchanan Timber & Forestry Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University to Cedar Creek Land & Timber Clarke County Farmers Federation show off the facilities and degrees to high school teachMr. William Crosby ers particularly interested in careers for their students. Domtar Paper Company Mrs. Dianne Elliott Both workshops were designed to cover forest ecology, Elmore County Farmers Federation forest management and the forest products industry Escambia County Farmers Federation Fincher Timber Company through three methods of instruction, lecture, field trip Fulton Logging Company and hands-on activities. Georgia Pacific Volunteers – These workshops require a big commitment from a number of volHancock Forest Management Harper Lumber, LLC unteers and include planning, gathering materials, handling registration, transportaInternational Paper Company tion, presenting, and leading activities. The Alabama Forestry Association is grateful International Paper Foundation J. T. Forestry to the following individuals and their companies for their time and ensuring a sucJefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District cessful workshop. Apologies to anyone overlooked. Kennedy Land & Timber Mr. Bob Lee Ed Loewenstein, Auburn University Gee Allgood, McShan Lumber Littrell Lumber Company Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University Grover Allgood, McShan Lumber T.C. Mace Logging Manufacture Alabama Al Lyons, Hancock Forest Management Bill Baker, Westervelt Mr. Mark McElreath Dick Martin, Auburn University Eve Brantley, Auburn University D.W. McMillan Trust Lane Messer, Auburn University Richard Brinker, Auburn University Mr. and Mrs. John McMillan MeadWestvaco Kim Murray, Munford Schools Roger Brothers, Bibb Co. Career Tech F. Ogden MMC Properties Gloria Neilson, US Forest Service Roy Crowe, Auburn University Packaging Corporation of America Robin Nelson, Ala. Dept. of Education Dale Dickens, Auburn University Plum Creek Rayonier Rick Oates, Ala. Dept. of Ag and Industries Steve Duke, Auburn University Regions Johnny Ponder, Georgia Pacific retired Scott Enebak, Auburn University Resource Management Service Carey Potter, Rock Tenn Tom Gallagher, Auburn University Scotch and Gulf Lumber Anne Rilling, Longleaf Alliance Patrick Jernigan, Auburn University Scotch Plywood Company Scott Davis Chip Company Joe Roberson, MeadWestvaco Jim Jeter, Ala. Forestry Commission Society of American Foresters, Mountain Lakes Chapter Mark Smith, Auburn University Rhett Johnson, Longleaf Alliance Society of American Foresters, War Eagle Chapter Dewayne Tew, KyKenKee Lumber Bill Josephson, Auburn University Sustainable Forestry Initiative Alabama Implementation Committee Brenda Wood, Auburn University Ed Lewis, RockTenn Mrs. Paul Tindal West Coosa Timber The greatest value of the workshop was: “Getting information about forestry that I can take Westervelt

back to my classroom about careers in industry.” WILLIAM LOVRICH, REHOBETH MIDDLE SCHOOL

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Evaluations – The volunteers feel strongly about providing

2012 Plans – Plans are underway to host another two

the teachers with an opportunity for feedback which enables

workshops next year with the same format of K-6 attending

continual improvement of the workshop. Teachers are given

Tuscaloosa and 7-12 attending Auburn. Dates will be set soon

an evaluation at the end of the workshop and the data is

and brochures will be sent to schools recruiting next year’s

compiled and written comments reviewed and used for

participants. You can help in two ways: commit to sponsor a

improving next year’s agenda.

teacher’s attendance at $500 and/or help us recruit teachers.

This year’s participants have taught for an average of 15

We are looking for motivated teachers that don’t mind going

years and reach a total of 5,516 students per year. Sixty-two

outside and getting hot and dirty while learning. To partici-

percent of the teachers indicated that they teach in a rural

pate, complete the form below and send back to AFA.

community while thirty-eight percent teach in an urban community. 39% claim they will use the Project Learning Tree materials they received weekly, 35% indicated monthly and 26% said the materials would be used yearly.



RATING SCALE: 1 DISAGREE TO 5 AGREE Information, Strategies, and Instructional Methods Were Helpful Workshop Prepared Teacher to Use PLT Materials in the Classroom The PLT Materials will Help Meet State Academic Standards







The greatest value of the workshop was: “The hands on component as well as the materials have given me the experience and resources to go back to my classroom and teach my content more effectively.” BETH BASS, DEAN ROAD ELEMENTARY, AUBURN

RATING SCALE: 1 NEEDS IMPROVEMENT TO 5 EXCELLENT Rate the Facilitators Overall Rating of the Workshop

5.00 5.00

4.89 4.78

“So nice being treated like a professional, good food, good resources, good facilities.” ROBIN DAVIS, CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, WILSONVILLE

For more information about the Teachers Conservation Workshop, please go to: www.alaforestry.org/tcw.

YES, count me in. I would like to help a teacher attend! Enclosed is my contribution for:  $1000




 Other Amount $ ____________________

Name: ________________________________________Email: ________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________ Company: ______________________________________Phone: _______________________________ Please return this to: Chris Erwin Alabama Forestry Foundation 555 Alabama Street Montgomery, AL 36104

Checks should be payable to AFF-TCW Donations to the Teachers Conservation Workshop are charitable contributions and tax deductable.

Piedmont Event

A Big Hit at LaFayette The Piedmont District crew held their Annual Steak Supper & Auction at the Oaks near LaFayette, Alabama on Saturday, August 27. As usual, the Piedmont event was a big hit and well-attended, not surprising since LaFayette is the home stomping grounds of Janet Ison who is the state chair for the Log a Load for Kids program. Asked about turnout, Janet estimated that “between 200 and 300 people showed up” for the Piedmont event. As usual, the steak supper with all the fixings was excellent. Hot dogs were also available for folks who don’t eat steak. The great meal was followed by homemade banana pudding for desert and all the sweet or unsweet tea one could drink. As usual, Janet had a lot of items donated to the cause which she sold at the auction right after the great meal. Last year, a thunderstorm knocked out the power, and an armadillo that ran through and terrorized the crowd. All in all, the event this year came off without a hitch and Janet was very pleased with the way it unfolded. “I thought it was very successful. We did very well this year,” Janet said. She added that, although she has not done a final accounting, “I believe that we raised $26,000+. There are still some checks out, but that’s a good ballpark figure.” Of that amount, Janet believes $10,000-$12,000 was raised at the live auction following the dinner. Through all of this Janet and her son

Janet Ison (left) is joined by Children's Hospital Representatives Emily Hornak (center) and Kerrie Benson on the serving line at the Piedmont Steak Supper & Auction near LaFayette, Alabama. Brandon and daughter Tanya were thinking about husband and father Anthony who was suffering with a bout with kidney stones. We wish Anthony a speedy recovery from a painful and unpleasant experience. As she always does, Janet credited her Piedmont worker bees with the success of the annual event. “I have really good people who help me do this each year. I can’t say enough about them. They work real hard and never complain about anything. They are the ones who make our event a success each year,” Janet said.

Deb Schneider, director of the CHIP’s Clinic at Children’s Hospital, stands guard beside the big trophy won by the Piedmont District last year.

EDITOR’S NOTE:Watch our newsletter, AFA Newsroom, for updates and flyers/registration forms for the remaining events of 2011. A L A B A M A F O R E S TS | S u m m e r 2 0 1 1


Log a Load for Kids Some of the 200-300 people who attended the Piedmont event wait outside The Oaks for the auction to start.

Details on events for the rest of 2011 include: Capital District: A skeet shoot event is planned at the Lower Wetumpka Shotgun Sports Club in Montgomery on Friday, Sept. 16. Contact Lee Davis, 334-567-5436 or at ldavis@industreetimber.com. Piedmont District: District Director Shannon White has set a LAL skeet shoot Sept.23, at Selwood Farms near Alpine, Ala. Contact Shannon: (256) 207-0166, or at swhite@sizemore1949.com. Contact Selwood at selwoodfarm@aol.com. Capital District II: Capital District plans a trail ride event for October 1. Contact Heather Wierzbicki: (334) 855-5394. Wiregrass District: Golf Tournament on October 5, 2011 at Tartan Pines in Enterprise, Ala. Contact: Mark Byal, 334-897-5686. Linc, 1*29*2082. Alabama Loggers Council Chairman Chris Potts (left) holds granddaughter Ginger while wife Sheila holds grandson Jep next to their son, and a proud daddy, Greg Potts.


Valley District: A Motorcycle ride event developed by Stephan Tomlinson is set for October 8. Contact Stephan: (256) 383-8990. Warrior District: Westervelt will hold its annual Charlie Hughen Memorial Skeet Shoot on Friday, November 11. Contact: George Franklin, 205-562-5699, Linc, 1*119*2552.

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Forestry News & Views

Group from North Africa Visits Alabama


group of North African businessmen who work in the wood business in Tunisia and Morocco visited the Alabama Forestry Association office on August 8. The visitors were accompanied by Ken McNabb (second from right in photo) and Ken Muehlenfeld (right), of Auburn University. The Alabama tour by the North Africans was funded by a grant from the Cochran Fellowship Program for Wood Technology. Pictured above from left to right are AFA EVP Chris Isaacson; Bilel Ellouze, a Tunisian wood dealer; Slim Mehiri, owner/

manager of a Tunisian timber trading company; Sofieen Skhiri, director of a Tunisian family softwood trading company; and Sadki Mahdi, manager of a family-owned wood company in Casablanca, Morocco. Isaacson gave a brief overview of the operation of the Association and he and Tom Saunders, Director of Governmental and Legal Affairs for AFA, answered questions the North Africans had about the Association, the wood business in Alabama and the state governmental structure in Alabama. ▲

House Speaker Mike Hubbard Visits AFA Board


ouse Speaker Mike Hubbard, RAuburn, dropped by the meeting of the Alabama Forestry Association Board of Directors in July and thanked the Board and AFA members for their support of the effort in 2010 to elect conservatives to the Alabama House and Senate. For the first time in 136 years, Republican lawmakers hold substantial majorities in both the Alabama House and the Alabama Senate. Hubbard thanked the AFA for being one of the few associations in Alabama to be “all in” in supporting the effort Hubbard and Senate President

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Pro Tempore Del Marsh, RAnniston, put together to help secure the Republican victory. He also noted that, with Legislative leadership now firmly in Republican hands, “the Democrats will try to find candidates that lean their way to run as Republicans in our primary. We have to stop them from being successful at doing that.” Hubbard noted the many reform measures that had been adopted under the new GOP leadership, some of which had been

at the top of the political wish list for many years. Some of those included strengthening the state Ethics Law, eliminating Pac-to-Pac transfers, stopping the practice of “double-dipping” (receiving two or more government paychecks) and strengthening the election laws in Alabama in an effort to reduce or eliminate political corruption through the electoral process. ▲


News & Views

Auburn Researcher Using Dogs in Battle Against Pine Tree Disease AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The mystery surrounding a disease that is killing Southern pine trees could possibly be solved by Auburn University detector dogs. Lori Eckhardt, associate research professor in Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, is using dogs from the school’s EcoDogs program to detect deadly fungus in pine tree roots. The pathogenic fungus involved in “Southern pine decline” disease is introduced by fungus-carrying beetles that burrow below ground and attack the roots. Especially susceptible are stressed trees during times of drought, when the trees produce a chemical that attracts beetles. Southern pine decline is spreading and now affects more than a million acres in more than 80 counties across the southeastern United States, Eckhardt said. The disease hurts industry financially and it reduces endangered species habitat. “The current way to detect the fungus is to dig up the roots, but this method is time consuming and does not cover much area,” Eckhardt said. “Airplanes are useful in helping us spot dying trees, but this just looks above ground. We have to look

below ground for these beetles.” The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is working with the Forest Health Cooperative to develop methods for managing infected pine plantations and to research ways to combat the beetles and the disease. The Forest Health Cooperative is an association supported by the university, Lucas Epperson of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s industry and governmental agenAnimal Health and Performance Program works with Charm, a 3-year-old cies to fight pine decline and dog trained to detect fungus in pine tree roots. other insects and diseases affecting pine forests. Root-feeding, pine decline beetles are Health and Performance Program, are different from Southern pine bark beetles, being trained to sniff out the scent of two which attack trees above ground. fungi, Leptographium and Heterobasidion, “For the Southern pine beetle, there that are attacking tree roots. has been 30 years of research and we “In our tests the dogs detect the presknow how to manage it, but research on ence of fungus-infected roots,” she said. the pine decline beetle has been underway “We are working on small test plots and for only 10 years,” said Eckhardt, who are researching the possibility of using began studying pine decline as a doctoral them on pine plantations.” student in 1999 and is considered one of “This could be a very positive step,” the nation’s foremost authorities on the Eckhardt said. “It’s not a cure, but we disease. hope the dogs will help advance our manAuburn’s detector dogs, from the Colagement of the pine plantations and help lege of Veterinary Medicine’s Animal in our research to stop the disease.” ▲

> M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N Forest Health Cooperative: https://fp.auburn.edu/ForestHealthCooperative EcoDogs program: http://ecodogs.auburn.edu. The Animal Health and Performance Program: http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/ahapp

J.L. Meaher & Associates, Inc.

A video segment and photographs are available on the Auburn University Office of Communications and Marketing website, http://ocm.auburn.edu/ featured_story/pine_dogs.html. Contact: Lori Eckhardt, (334) 844-2720 (eckhalg@auburn.edu), or Charles Martin, (334) 844-9999 (marticd@auburn.edu).

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MeadWestvaco Contributes to Governor’s Storm Fund n behalf of Kathy Strawn,VP MeadWestvaco Foundation, and the MeadWestvaco Foundation Board, employees from the Mahrt Operations and the Lanett Plant of MeadWestvaco recently presented Governor Robert Bentley with a $50,000 gift for the Governor’s Emergency Response Fund.The Governor established the fund to help meet the needs of Alabamians who were victims of the rash of tornadoes that struck the state on April 15 and 27 but are not covered by other forms of financial assistance. Making the check presentation to the Governor was (l-r) Allan Owen, Government Affairs-Cottonton, Ala.; Denise Pokorny, Quality-Lanett, Ala.; Gary Furby, MaintenanceCottonton; Governor Bentley, Roz Durden, Communications-Cottonton; and Tommy Dawson, Maintenance-Cottonton.


School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Adds New Degree in Natural Resource Management


uburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences has added a new degree to its current program. The Natural Resource Management Bachelor of Science Degree joins the School’s existing degree programs in forestry, wildlife ecology and management, wildlife pre-veterinary medicine and forest engineering. The new degree was recently approved by Auburn’s Board of Trustees. The Natural Resource Management Degree (NRM) is designed as a flexible major that includes core natural resource management courses plus a required minor, concentrating coursework on one of many diverse outdoor careers. Examples of a minor that can be embedded in the degree include political science, fisheries, business, recreation and hydrology. “The addition of this degree fills the

needs of students who wish to pursue an outdoor career outside of our current cornerstone majors in wildlife sciences and forestry,” said Greg Somers, Associate Dean of Education in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. “We are very happy to add this choice to our other majors and thank the faculty, employers, staff and students who worked to make this degree a reality.” Students and employers who are interested in the major should contact Dale Dickens, the School’s Director of Student Services, at (334) 844-1050 or or dfd0003@auburn.edu. See the curriculum model at https://sites.auburn.edu/ academic/sfws/newstudents/Pages/Under graduateMajors.aspx. Also, for more on this program, see Dean’s Notebook on page 7. ▲

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News & Views

Burns Timber Company Named 2011 Outstanding Logger of the Year


athan Burns, Burns Timber Company, Inc. has been selected as the 2011 Alabama Outstanding Logger of the Year by the Alabama Forestry Association and the Alabama Loggers Council. Gathan is a third-generation logger who has built a small logging crew into a multifaceted operation that includes two logging crews, a trucking company, a timber dealership, a shavings plant, and a wood yard. Gathanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success is proof that hard work, business acumen, and dogged determination are important in order to thrive in difficult economic times. Gathanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife, Lavonda Burns, is the office manager and bookkeeper for Burns Timber. Congratulations to Gathan, his family, and his company for this outstanding recognition. â&#x2013;˛


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Wildlife & Outdoors

Doves of Alabama By Bruce W.Todd, Certified Wildlife Biologist, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries


Ground dove

Five species of dove may be encountered in Alabama. The rock dove, commonly known as a pigeon, will not be discussed in this article. The physical characteristics and distribution patterns of the other four doves â&#x20AC;&#x201D; common ground, whitewinged, Eurasian collared, and mourning â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are covered here. The mourning dove, the most common and best known of our doves will be used for comparison purposes. Mourning doves are slender bodied birds with a slender neck. The body length of adult birds is 10-12 inches. Coloration is grayish-brown above, with scattered black spots. These doves have long, pointed tails edged in white. Adult male and female birds are similar in appearance, but may be distinguished by head Mourning Dove

Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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and breast color. The common ground dove is chunkier in appearance and is smaller than the mourning dove. The ground dove has a short, round tail and a scaly looking head and breast. These birds also have reddishorange bills with a black tip. One stark contrast between the ground and mourning dove, other than size, is the cinnamon coloration on the center portion of a ground doveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wings. White-winged doves are somewhat larger than mourning doves. They have red eyes, blue featherless skin around each eye, and have no black spots. Most notably they have a white patch of feathers in the central and trailing portion of the inner wing. This white coloration is

Photo by James W. Hybart III

not only visible in flight but is also seen on the fringe of the wing while birds are at rest. Eurasian collared doves are also larger than mourning doves. They are grayer in appearance than mourning doves and also lack the distinctive black spots. Collared doves, as their name implies, have a black collar, edged in white, which circles the back of the neck but does not reach to the throat. Mourning doves are found nationwide, and Alabama has a surge in numbers of birds beginning in the fall months due to the annual migration. The abundance of this dove allows it to be classified as a game species and provides hunters with opportunities for regulated harvest. Many

White-winged dove Photo by Jeff Schultes


Wildlife & Outdoors

Eurasian collared dove photo by Dan Talson hunters enjoy harvesting and eating these birds through the fall and winter months. Alabama’s mourning dove hunting season is set within the framework specified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is one of our earliest seasons to open in the fall. Eurasian collared doves are more frequently being harvested during Alabama’s regular dove season, but they are not currently counted in the daily bag limit. Collared doves are non-native birds that arrived in the United States in the 1970s. These large doves have spread rapidly from Florida and currently may be found throughout much of the country. White-winged doves are traditionally birds of the Southwestern states, but some were released in Florida in 1959. They have since taken up residence in the southeastern third of Florida. A few

white-winged doves possibly nest in Alabama. They are listed as occurring occasionally during summer, fall and winter months in all but the Gulf Coast region of Alabama. In the Gulf Coast region they are listed as uncommon in spring and fall, rare in winter, and occasional in summer. They occasionally show up on a dove field and must be counted as part of the daily bag limit if harvested. Common ground doves are really not all that common in Alabama. This is a bird of the southern states, and it may be found from Southern California to South Carolina. In the Gulf Coast and Inland Coastal Plain regions of Alabama ground doves are considered to be uncommon during all seasons. Many resources are available that describe and detail the life history and biological facts about Alabama’s doves. The Alabama Department of Conservation’s website, outdooralabama.com, is one resource that you can use. It includes season and bag limit information and a webcast called “Feathers and Filters” that contains information about Alabama’s dove population. There are also good field guides for birds and Internet sites that provide audio files for identifying dove vocalizations. ▲

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2011-12 DOVE SEASON (Mourning and White-Winged) In all counties in Alabama—except the South Zone of Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Mobile—dove season for mourning and white-winged doves opens Saturday, September 3 and runs to October 2.The split season then reopens October 22-November 5; and opens again for the last time from December 10-January 3. Shooting hours: from 12 noon until sunset on opening day, and from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset (all day) for the rest of the season.The excepted counties have a split season, starting on October 1-October 30; November 24-November 27; December 3-January 7. Shooting hours for the South Zone are 12 noon to sunset on October 1, and all day thereafter. Bag limit: 15 a day – 15 in possession. > The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com. 30

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Underwriting U Loss Control U Claims Administration U Investigation U Legal Defense ForestFundâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SURIHVVLRQDO VWDII SURYLGHV XQSDUDOOHOHG VHUYLFH EHJLQQLQJ ZLWK \RXU ¿UVW FDOO WR WKH XQGHUZULWLQJ GHSDUWPHQW 4XDOL¿HG DSSOLFDQWV ZLOO UHFHLYH D SURPSW TXRWH /RVV FRQWURO H[SHUWV ZLOO DGYLVH \RX DQG \RXU HPSOR\HHV on all aspects of a safety program. Any claims may be reported with a toll-free number 24 hours a day. Once the claim is UHSRUWHG DQ LQYHVWLJDWLRQ LV FRQGXFWHG ,I DFFHSWHG WKH FODLP LV HI¿FLHQWO\ DGMXVWHG 7KH LQMXUHG HPSOR\HH LV WUHDWHG E\ KHDOWK FDUH SURYLGHUV VSHFLDOL]LQJ LQ ZRUNSODFH LQMXULHV (PSOR\HUV DUH JLYHQ WLPHO\ UHSRUWV RQ WKH SURJUHVV of each claim. When claims are disputed, ForestFund members are represented by the best workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; compensation defense lawyers in the state. ForestFund LV LQ LWV IRXUWK GHFDGH RI SURYLGLQJ H[FHSWLRQDO VHUYLFH IRU HPSOR\HUV DQG HPSOR\HHV who harvest, transport, manufacture, buy or sell forest products. Sure there are other programs that provide workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; compensation coverage, but do they measure up to ForestFund when it FRPHV WR 6WDELOLW\ 6DYLQJV 6HUYLFH DQG 6DIHW\" 0DNH WKH FDOO WR ¿QG RXW *HQHUDO /LDELOLW\ TXRWHV DUH DOVR DYDLODEOH For a quote, call Kelly Daniel at ForestFund: (334) 495-0024


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Industrial Timber Co.



F&W Forestry Services ▲ fwforestry.com ...............................................................27 J. L. Meaher & Associates (Mobile County) ................................................................26 Larson & McGowin ▲ larsonmcgowin.com............................................................30 Sizemore & Sizemore ▲ sizemore1949.com ..........................................................32 Walter Dennis & Associates, Inc. ...............................................................................30

Land Managers


Cooper/T.Smith ▲ coopertsmith.com .......................................................Back Cover Thompson Tractor ▲ thompsontractor.com .............................................................2 FORESTRY EDUCATION

Alabama Forests Forever Foundation ▲ alaforestry.org ...........................................4 FORESTRY EQUIPMENT

LandMark Spatial Solutions, LLC ▲ landmarkspatialsolutions.com.........................32 INSURANCE

Forest Fund ▲ alaforestry.org ...............................................................................31 LAND,TIMBER, & MINERAL MANAGEMENT

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J.L. Meaher & Associates...........................................................................................26 LANDOWNERS (COMPANIES, INDIVIDUALS & TRUSTS)

The Westervelt Company ▲ westervelt.com ..........................................................32 LOGGING CONTRACTORS

Mid-Star Timber Harvesting, Inc. ▲ midstartimber.com.........................................26 SAWMILLS

The Westervelt Company ▲ westervelt.com ..........................................................32 SEEDLINGS

CellFor Corporation ▲ cellfor.com.............................................................................5 International Forest Company ▲ interforestry.com................................................27 SuperTree Seedlings ▲ supertreeseedlings.com ....................................................28 Weyerhaeuser Company ▲ weyerhaeuser .com.....................................................19 TIRES

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Profile for Alabama Forestry Association

Summer 2011  

2011 Summer Forestry Magazine

Summer 2011  

2011 Summer Forestry Magazine