January 27, 2009

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Alabama Forestry Commission Elects New Officers

As dictated by state law, new officers were elected at the Alabama Forestry Commission’s Board of Commissioners meeting held on January 23rd at the state forestry headquarters in Montgomery.  The Board elected Melisa Love of Opelika as the new Chair and Donald W. Heath of Hoover as Vice-Chair. Love has served on the Commission since November 2005 and Heath since April 2004.    

Melisa Love, a registered forester in Alabama, is the founder of Forestry Consultants, Inc., in Opelika. Previously, she was employed as Senior Forester at Georgia Kraft Company (now MeadWestvaco) in Waverly. A 1976 graduate of Virginia Tech with a BS degree in Forest Resource Management, she also earned a Masters of Science degree in Forest Economics from Auburn University in 1995. Mrs. Love is active as a member and officer in both the National and Alabama Chapters of the Association of Consulting Foresters. She has also served as a Trustee with the Bradley-Murphy Trust since 1996, where along with fellow Trustees she evaluates and approves funding for grants used in the Natural Resources field. Love’s other professional and leadership activities include the Society of American Foresters; the Alabama Natural Resources Coordinating Council; Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Extension Advisory Council; Longleaf Alliance; and the Alabama Forestry Association where she is not only a member but also a Tree Farm Inspector. She has served as an officer on the Alabama State Board of Registration for Foresters.

Don Heath, also a registered forester in Alabama and graduate of Auburn University, has over 34 years of forestry experience. He is Senior Vice President of Natural Resources and Real Estate with Regions Bank (formerly AmSouth), and currently serves on the boards of directors for White Smith Land Company and Kaul Land Company. Mr. Heath is active with the Cahaba Chapter of the Society of American Foresters and the Alabama Forestry Association, and is a member of the Auburn School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Advisory Council.

Other members of the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) Board of Commissioners are immediate past chairman Jerry Smith of Vernon; Jett Freeman of Spanish Fort; Randy Gilmore of McCalla; Johnny McReynolds of Russellville; and Kenneth Real of Detroit, Alabama. The seven-member board, appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate, is responsible for setting policy for the Commission, the state agency charged with protecting and sustaining Alabama’s forest resources.



  • For more information, visit http://forestry.alabama.gov
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