March 13, 2009

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Teaming Up to Provide Coordinated Service for Forest Landowners

On Wednesday, March 11, the Alabama Forestry Commission, the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts, the Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will provide more coordinated services to the state’s forest landowners.


These four agencies deliver technical and financial assistance to private landowners and land managers in Alabama through their various conservation programs and activities. The purpose of this agreement is to coordinate the inter-agency delivery of forestry-related conservation assistance in order to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the state’s private working lands: forestland, cropland, pasture, and rangeland.


According to State Forester Linda Casey with the Alabama Forestry Commission, “These partners have a long-term commitment to the conservation and stewardship of Alabama’s natural resources that will endure beyond the life of this MOU.” Casey noted, “Although our staffs have worked together for many years at the local level, this joint partnership brings the state and federal agencies together in an unprecedented effort to provide all non-industrial private forest landowners with efficient and effective Services. Strengthening the cooperation between them will result in a broader success in achieving conservation goals.”


Steve Cauthen, Director of the Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee, said, “In order to achieve our water quality and resource management goals we must be on the ground . . . on the private working lands of Alabama. Private land conservation yields public benefits for all of our citizens. We are very pleased to join with our sister agencies to work for the betterment of our state. This agreement will improve collaboration and reduce duplication of our services. Landowners and our forestry resources will be the beneficiaries of this partnership.”


State Conservationist Gary Kobylski, with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, stated, "This MOU represents a concerted effort by the partners to deliver our services to the landowners of Alabama more efficiently and in a more timely manner. Landowners need our technical expertise and together we can make this a very positive experience."


Roy Kendrick, President of the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts, remarked, “Many of the state’s privately-owned forests are not managed as well as they could be. Better management would result in more income for these landowners, as well as better wildlife habitat and cleaner water. By signing this agreement, these agencies are pledging to work closer together in reducing duplication, thereby better serving Alabama’s private landowners.” 


There are nearly 23 million acres of forestland in Alabama. Over 440,000 forest landowners control 79 percent of this forestland. These lands not only support the forest industry and contribute to the state’s economy, but also are an integral part of the quality of life for residents of the state. Trees and forests provide clean air, carbon sequestration, flood protection, wildlife habitat, recreation, and aesthetic enjoyment. Healthy forests are also vital to clean and abundant supplies of water. Increasing assistance to protect privately-owned forestlands benefits both the environment and community.


To learn more about the partners of this MOU and the services they offer please visit the following websites: the Alabama Forestry Commission,; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service,; and the Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee,

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