Alabama budget shortfall may threaten wildfire protection and other services

According to a recent press release, the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) is facing a budget shortfall of more than $5 million for fiscal year 2011. In light of this projection, State Forester Linda Casey said the agency is reviewing its entire structure. The AFC will be forced to reduce staffing by nearly one-third, affecting all services provided by the agency, including wildfire protection.

Ag secretary Vilsack op-ed on new vision for America's forests

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack continues to promote his "new vision for America's forests" in an editorial in the Denver Post this week.  "Although the U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land nationwide, the majority of our country's forests are not within the National Forest System. And so, our new vision for forest restoration seeks to take an all-lands approach and increase the cooperation between public and private forest stakeholders."

AFF seeking nominations for 2009 NRCS award for forest stewardship

The American Forest Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2008 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Award for Forest Stewardship. This award recognizes NRCS State Conservationists for outstanding technical and financial assistance to private forestland owners on forest conservation activities. Any individual, organization, agency, and others may nominate an NRCS State Conservationist for this award.

AFF now accepting comments on revised Standards of Sustainability

The American Forest Foundation is accepting comments on its revised Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification on Private Lands (2009-2013), May 1 through June 29. The AFF Standards are the basis for its forest certification program, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). To submit comments on the revised AFF Standards, please visit or email: for more information.

AFF now accepting comments on sustainability standards

The American Forest Foundation is now accepting comments on its 2004-2009 Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification on Private Lands. The AFF Standards are the basis for the American Tree Farm System program and are currently being reviewed by an independent panel. Comments from family forest landowners, tree farmers, volunteer inspectors, natural resource and forestry professionals and Project Learning Tree educators are encouraged. Deadline is December 30 at 5:00 PM EST.

AF&PA sets sustainability goals for forest products industry to meet by 2020

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has announced a set of sustainability goals for the forest products industry, dubbed  "Better Practices, Better Planet 2020." The program lays out a number of goals to reach by 2020, including increasing the paper recovery for recycling rate to exceed 70%, reducing the intensity of the industry's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15%, and increasing the amount of fiber procured from certified forest lands.