Potential New Market for Wood

Architect, Michael Green, discusses a new wood product and the potential for growth in the housing market both nationally and globally.

ATFA’s Forest Stewardship Council Group Certificate Renewed

rainforest alliance

 The Alabama TREASURE Forest recently renewed our group FSC certificate for another five year period.  Currently we have 30 landowners and approximately 72,000 acres in the program.  This is a great time to enroll new landowners.  If you are not enrolled under our certificate, please consider joining the program.  It is just one more way you can benefit from belonging to the ATFA.

Forest certification can be an expensive proposition for an individual landowner, but a group certificate makes the program much more manageable in terms of expenses.  The organization holding the certificate (the ATFA in this case) handles all of the paperwork for the landowner.  Once enrolled in the program, landowners simply have to abide by their management plan to ensure they are meeting the requirements. 

Also with a group certificate, the manager oversees the annual audit.  Outside of a group, every property enrolled in FSC must be audited annually.  When a landowner is under a group certificate they are subject to a random audit.  The auditors will choose a set number of properties to visit, so not everyone has to undergo an audit every year.  The organization also bears the cost of the audit.

The question every landowner must ask is “Why?  What’s in it for me?” The answers vary depending on the landowners and their goals and location.  Those landowners around Jackson, Alabama might be able to directly benefit financially.  Boise will pay landowners enrolled under our certificate a premium for FSC wood they purchase.  We are in the process of developing similar agreements in other areas of the state. 

If you are not in the Boise wood basket, there is still an opportunity to benefit.  Often forest products companies are seeking certified wood so they can document the purchase of this wood to meet their performance objectives.  This means that if your wood is certified (whether it be through Tree Farm, SFI or FSC), it might have a better chance of getting in the gate, especially if the facility is running on a tight quota.  

Finally, there is the satisfaction of saying, “I’ve reached this goal” to show that you are managing your timber in a sustainable way.  This is a tangible way to demonstrate the commitment of multiple use management.  If you want more information about the ATFA’s group certificate, please go to our web site, or call Rick Oates at (334) 613-4305 or Foster Dickard at (601) 832-6700.

Shortleaf Pine Tour a Success

The Shortleaf Pine Tour was held on April 8, 2016 at Alabama’s Desoto State Park near Fort Payne, AL.  The field day was a success as more than 90 attendees enjoyed an informative presentation from Dr. Ed Loewenstein as well as a tour lead by Don Burdette, Forrest Bailey, and Brittany Hughes.  The tour stops included a pitcher plant bog, a poorly managed stand that was used as an example of “how not to manage your property,” and a shortleaf pine stand in the state park.  A special thanks to Josh Hughes and all of the park staff who made this field day such a success.  There will be one more shortleaf pine field day next year to complete the three year series.

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President BJ Johnson Speaks to TACF

There are so many things to treasure here in Alabama, especially its rich resource of timbered forests. So when two vibrant organizations are combined in the one cause of improvement, stand back and begin enjoying all of the benefits of such synergy.

On a recent Saturday in February, AFTA state president Billy Joe Johnson travelled to Florence to assist state leaders from The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) in their mission, as quoted here, “…to return the American treasure to the forests of Alabama.” Their morning task called for removing the least blight resistant trees from the four acre orchard managed by the chestnut organization on the local TVA reservation in Muscle Shoals.  The process known as roguing removes inoculated and proven weak trees from the genetically enhanced stronger surviving trees.

Later in the day at a reception hosted by a vibrant and energetic group of chestnut enthusiasts called The Highland Rim Branch of AL-TACF, Johnson shared with over one hundred in attendance his summary mission for the Alabama Treasure Forest Association (ATFA). So two complementary tales were here linked by a unified desire to improve the forests of Alabama. A treasured goal agreed to by all joined in this celebratory occasion.

Rounding out the event, Tom Saielli, regional science coordinator for the southern chapters of TACF from its headquarters in Asheville, NC, offered inspiring insights into the continuing progress of the thirty-five year backcross breeding program, adding, too, new insights into the cutting-edge science now guiding the return of this important timber tree.

In summary, as he reported in his presentation, the breeding program nearing its sixth generation of hybridization will soon be augmented by a newer genetic technology which promises an accelerated return to Alabama’s forest of “the sequoia of the east”. Stand back and enjoy the dream of the restoration treasure.

In Memoriam:  John Sudduth

We are saddened to announce the death of Mr. John Sudduth, a member of the ATFA’s Board of Directors.  Mr. Sudduth was born on October 30, 1943 and passed away on March 19, 2016 at his home in Winston county surrounded by his loving family.  We are thankful for the time he spent with us and everything he has done for the Alabama TREASURE Forest Association.

Mr. John Sudduth’s Obituary

In Memoriam: Don East

Sadly, Don East, a 20 year member of the ATFA and owner of a TREASURE Forest in Clay County, has recently passed away.  East, a native of Lineville, rose to the ranks of Captain in the United States Navy.  He was active in many forestry related organizations and had written several historical pieces for Alabama Forests magazine.

Capt. Don East’s Obituary

Pike County’s Tree Give Away

Alabama TREASURE Forest Association’s Pike County Chapter members spent the morning handing out thousands of free trees in recognition of National Arbor Day (officially celebrated later in the month) and National Ag Week, which is March 13-19. The volunteers assisted members of the Alabama Forestry Commission by giving out dogwood, river birch, oak, and gum trees, just to name a few.

American Forest Foundation’s Tax Guide

The American Forest Foundation has put together a comprehensive tax guide for woodland landowners.  It can be found by following the link below and entering your email address.

DeSoto Shortleaf Pine Tour

Agenda available now!

DeSoto Tour Agenda

ANCR Awards Banquet

Jimmerson's & Greg Pate

Cleburne County Farmers Federation President and ATFA board member, Jimmy Jimmerson, right, and his wife, Sue, were awarded the North Region’s Helene Mosley Memorial TREASURE Forest Award at the Alabama National Resources Council Awards banquet at the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s headquarters in Millbrook last Friday, February 5th. Standing with them is Alabama Forestry Commission’s State Forester Greg Pate.
SudduthsThe W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Award was presented to ATFA board member John and Marry Sudduth of Winston County. The Sudduth’s daughter, Sonda, and grandson, Will, left, accepted the award on their behalf. Standing next to Sonda and Will, from left, are Mike Henshaw, who nominated the Sudduth’s, and Auburn University School of Forestry professor Ken McNabb, at the Alabama National Resources Council Awards banquet at the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s headquarters in Millbrook.
Board Members present for award ceremony
Some of the ATFA Board Members and their spouses after the ANCR Awards Banquet.


Alabama timber & forestry industry may get big worker boost with new state grant

Read the full article here: 

The December Newsletter is here! Click here to read!


Get Timber Tax Tips from a Specialist!

Dr. Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist, has compiled a list of ways you can prepare yourself for this upcoming tax season.  

“Special favorable tax provisions on timber that are intended to encourage private forest management and stewardship are commonly unknown. ” 

Follow the link below to read the full article!

Get your 2015 Tax Tips from the National Timber Tax Specialist, Dr. Linda Wang


Pike County ATFA Hosts International Students

On Thursday, October 29, a group of international students from Troy had the opportunity to see John and Carol Dorrill’s TREASURE Forest at a special Classroom in the Forest specially tailored for college students. The event was co-sponsored by the Pike County Farm City Committee. See pictures of the event below and read the full story here:

[1] John Dorrill
The weather was nice enough that the students were able to take a tour of the property led by owner John Dorrill.

[2] John & Carol Dorrill
John and Carol Dorrill along with Pike County ATFA President Deborah Huggins-Davis (left) stand with the Troy students.
[3] International Students
Part of the students’ day consisted of a leaf identification course, seen here.


Clay County Classroom in the Forest

On November 3rd and 4th, over 100 students from Ashland Elementary School and Lineville Elementary School visited Lamar and Felicia Dewberry’s TREASURE Forest for a Classroom in the Forest field trip. The field trip was made possible through Clay county volunteers and teachers.

[4] Lamar Dewberry

The day began with a welcome message from Lamar Dewberry who detailed the history of his land.

[5] Lamar Dewberry

Lamar Dewberry took his group of students on a hike and stopped along the way to share with them the importance of tree identification.

Pictures from the 2015 ATFA Annual Meeting are posted on the “Conference” page

This year’s annual meeting was an educational and fun time for all. We would like to extend a special thanks to all of our speakers and sponsors who made the meeting possible. 


Read a brief bio on one of our State Board Members, John Sudduth:

[6] John Sudduth bio

Read more articles like this in the Alabama Farmers Federation Neighbors magazine!


Congratulations to Clay County’s Ron Dewberry on becoming a certified TREASURE Forest Owner!

[7] Ron Dewberry ceritification

Above, Nick Jordan of the Alabama Forestry Commission presents Ron Dewberry with his sign to commemorate his certification. The upcoming ATFA annual meeting will have an educational session on how you too can become certified. Click here to learn more. Congratulations Ron!

Stream Crossing and Forest Road tour at ATFA member’s TREASURE Forest

Last week on September the 15th a forestry tour was held on Dewberry Lands.  The purpose of the tour was to see forest roads that had water diversions added and to see a stream crossing designed by NRCS engineers that had been installed.  On the tour other topics about forest management were incorporated.  People attending ranged from as far north as Cherokee County and as far south as Autauga  County.  There were between 50 and 60 people in attendance.  This was a joint project between several groups: Dewberry Lands (Lamar and Felicia Dewberry), Coosa Valley RC&D, Alabama Tree Farm Committee, Alabama Treasure Forest Association, Alabama NRCS, Alabama Soil And Water Conservation Committee, Clay County Forestry Planning Committee, Alabama Forestry Commission, and the U.S. Forestry Service.     

The Project was a great success!

[8] Water quality

Details were given on how the crossing was constructed and about the requirements for soil and water quality in a construction site.


[9] Dr. William Puckett

Dr. William Puckett, the new Director for Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Service and former State Conservationist, spoke about the importance of landowners and conservation efforts.


Annual Conference Newsletter is here!

Follow this link to download the conference edition of our newsletter. Inside you will find details about our speakers, session topics, schedule, tour, and more. Remember to book your hotel room by September 15th for a discounted rate!


2015 Regional Events and Forestry Field Days

Come tour a TREASURE Forest and learn managing techniques with other land owners! On October 1st, 8th, and 15th the Alabama Natural Resource Council is hosting land management field days across the state. Click here for more information!


Conference registration is here!

The 2015 annual ATFA conference is coming up! In addition to registering with the form in our July newsletter, you can now register online here:

The deadline for registration is September 23rd, but our discounted hotel rental rate ends on September 10th, so act fast! Follow the link above for more information. We hope to see everyone there!


Remember to continue selling our license plate!

We are getting closer to our goal but still have a ways to go. The reimbursement form can be found here. Keep encouraging your friends and family to support our state’s youth!


Bill Moody and Gary Fortenberry Award Nomination Forms Available!

Do you know someone that exemplifies the stewarship the TREASURE Forest program was founded upon? Has your chapter had someone make a great contribution to the ATFA? Follow this link to learn more and download our nomination forms for both of these prestigious awards!


Alabama Forestry Commission’s Forest Certification Workshops

The Alabama Forestry Commission is hosting two, one-day Forest Certifications workshops for industry professionals and interested parties.  The target audience will be industry foresters and representatives, managers of wood-using mills, procurement foresters, wood buyers and dealers, consultant foresters, loggers, and others involved in the management, procurement, and utilization of forest resources in Alabama.  Landowners, forestry consultants, and others with an interest in certification are also welcomed to attend.  The first workshop will be in Brewton on 8/5/15 at Southern Pines Electric Cooperative.  The second will be held in Prattville in the Grand Oak Room of the Marriott Legends Hotel and Conference Center.  These workshops do qualify for CEUs for foresters and loggers.  Pre-event registration is required, and the deadline to register is 7/28/15.  Space is limited, so early registration is recommended.  Cost of attendance is $45, which includes meeting materials and snack breaks.

 To register for the Brewton workshop, follow this link:

To register for the Prattville workshop, follow this link:

 For more information contact Bethany Elliott by email, or by calling 334-240-9334 or 334-300-3052.


Click here to hear the Bill Moody interview previously featured in our newsletter!

The file will download as a Powerpoint presentation that contains the audio from our interview. The former state forester’s recollections of the beginnings of the TREASURE Forest Associaton are truly fascinating.


Pike County ATFA members open up farm to local kids

This past week, Pike County members John and Carol Dorrill hosted their annual kids’ fishing day on their propoety, Clay Hill farms. To read more,  follow this link:

[10] John Dorrill pond

John Dorrill prepares his pond and its’ inhabitants for the day. Photo credit: Troy Messenger


Forestry and Wildlife School for Landowners a success

Private landowners and foresters gathered in Munford to attend the 7th annual Forestry and Wildlife school hosted by the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts Forestry and Wildlife Standing Committee. The program is designed to “provide landowners with a wide array of practical management information to help improve their wildlife habitat and timber production.” Topics on Thursday’s indoor session included an introduction to timber management, creating wildlife openings, marketing timber and wild pig control. Friday consisted of a field tour through the Talladega national forest.

[11] Wildlife School

The forest service employees led the day which highlighted the restoration project of the Red-cockaded woodpecker, existing timber stands, and a brief session on basic timber measurements. The program concluded with a lunch and raffle drawing that was enjoyed by all.




Bankhead National Forest Shortleaf Pine Tour

This week, the Bankhead National Forest staff, Alfa, ATFA, and AFA members worked together to host a tour based on Phil and Djuna Wilson’s farm in Houston, Alabama. The event was a part of the Cumberland Plateau Project and was put on to educate private landowners and foresters about the benefits of Shortleaf Pine trees.

[12] Martin Schubert[13] Phil and Djuna Wilson's farm

An overview of the specimen was given by Martin Schubert from the University of Tennessee followed by four stops that included information on Shortleaf pines’ relationship with prescribed burnings, wildlife, the Bankhead forest, and NRCS programs to encourage growth. In total over 80 people attended and enjoyed themselves. To receive information about upcoming Shortleaf tours like this one, email to be added to our mailing list.


Click here to download our June newsletter!


Cherokee County Classroom in the Forest

Last week, over 130 5th graders from Center Middle School and Spring Garden High School visited Billy Joe and Jan Johnson’s TREASURE Forest. During their time there, they rotated between stations that educated them on wildlife, tree thinning, the importance of clean water, and much more.

[14] Skin and Skull students

A group of students looks at the “Skins and Skulls” station.

This great event could not have happened without the help of all the sponsors and volunteers. Representatives were present and active from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Marine Police, NRCS, Master Gardeners, FFA, Alabama Forestry Commission, and more.

[15] BJ & Jan Johnson's farm

A local forester gives a lesson on the benefits planting Pines.


2015 Beef Tour stop

The 2015 Alabama Farmer’s Federation Beef Tour made a stop this week to visit John Sudduth’s TREASURE Forest and livestock. John’s Silvopastures allow him to grow trees and raise cattle on the same property. 

[16] John Sudduth's Silvopasture

Thinning to about 100 trees per acre allows John to grow plenty of grass for his cows to graze while producing some nice saw timber

[17] Nate Jaeger & John Sudduth

About 40 federation members on the Beef Tour enjoyed the morning with John’s TREASURE Forest.


Conecuh County Classroom in the Forest

Last week, roughly 100 5th graders from Conecuh County were treated to an interactive presentation about the importance of Alabama’s forests and the benefits we derive from them. The next day, the students, accompanied by a host of school employees and volunteers, had the opportunity to visit Saloom Properties, LLC near Evergreen to get a more “hands-on” lesson about our forests. The students rotated between 5 educational stations that included nature crafts, tree and plant identification, control burning, skin and skulls, and soils.



The goal of this program is to increase the participant’s understanding and appreciation of the importance of private land ownership, and the role private landowners play in the economic and environmental future of Alabama forests. This would not be possible without the cooperative partnership of many individuals including the Alabama Forestry Commission, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, US Fish and Wildlife Services, NRSC/USDA, and private landowners. In addition to all these great people, every member of the Conecuh County Forestry Planning Committee participates in the event. More pictures can be found at



Pike County Tree Giveaway

[22] Pike county tree giveaway

Members of the Pike County TREASURE Forest Association joined the Alabama Forestry Commission in Troy to give away nearly 1,000 trees. Oaks, ash, red bud, crape myrtle, slash pine and more will help beautify the landscape, provide wildlife habitat and improve the environment by cleaning the air. This is the 15th year the groups have joined forces in celebration of National Arbor Day, which is April 24.