Gov. Ivey awarded forest certification by Alabama TREASURE Forest Association, recognizes importance of forestry

The Alabama TREASURE Forest Association, or ATFA, recently presented Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey with the TREASURE Forest Certification for her property in Monroe County.

The TREASURE Forest Program was established in 1974 and recognizes landowners for following the values outlined in its acronym, “Timber, Recreation, Environment, Aesthetics, Sustainability, Usable, Resources.”

During the joint ATFA and Alabama Natural Resources Council (ANRC) awards banquet held in Florence, Governor Ivey addressed landowners and industry representatives, noting the importance of forestry to Alabama’s economy and commending forest landowners for their stewardship.

“I, too, understand and join with you in caring for what God has entrusted us,” Ivey said. “In fact, from the very, very beginning, God told mankind to care for the earth. With your efforts and your leadership, we’re fulfilling that responsibility.”

Ivey is one of 70 new TREASURE Forest landowners certified this year.

An Alabama native and Auburn University alumna, Ivey’s statements reflect her commitment to Alabama’s natural resources and its forestry industry.

Recently Ivey participated in a press event to announce International Beams, a Florida-based wood products company, investment in a nearly $20 million manufacturing facility located near Dothan which will produce cross-laminated timber panels (CLT) and glue laminated beams (GLU-LAM) using southern pine lumber.

CLT features a unique layered engineering which gives it steel-like strength, and it’s light, easy to assemble, sustainable, fire resistant and cost effective; making it ideal for commercial construction. CLT offers the structural simplicity needed for cost-effective buildings, as well as benefits such as fast installation, reduced waste, improved thermal performance, and design versatility.

Because of its high strength and dimensional stability, it can be used as an alternative to concrete, masonry and steel in many building types. Due to its performance compared to conventional materials, it is also gaining in popularity among residential builders according to International Beams.

Alabama’s forest production and processing industry contributes nearly $15 billion to the state’s economy and positions it to be a leader in the development of a sustainable bio-based economy that includes wood processing, construction, chemicals and energy, bioplastics and packaging. With several other wood-related industries on the horizon, its impact on the state’s economy is expected to be significant.

“IB’s decision to locate this innovative, technologically-advanced manufacturing facility in Dothan sends a clear message to the world that Alabama is an ideal destination for investment and job creation,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. “This project will create good jobs and new opportunities for area residents, and we look forward to helping IB find a sweet home in Alabama.”

To meet this need, the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences in collaboration with the colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, Business and Architecture, Design, and Construction has developed a new undergraduate degree program in Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging.

One of the only programs of its kind in the Southeast, this interdisciplinary program will provide students with knowledge, expertise, and hands-on experience to prepare them for lucrative careers in the emerging bio-based industry that seeks more sustainable and economical alternatives to a petroleum based market.

Current students may apply credit to the new degree which will begin enrollment in the fall 2018.

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