March 21, 2014

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Russell and Dwyer Newest Appointees to Alabama Forestry Commission

The two newest appointments by Governor Robert Bentley to the Alabama Forestry Commission recently began their five-year terms. Jane T. Russell of Lapine and Jerry M. Dwyer of Auburn attended their first Commission meeting on Tuesday, March 18.

“We are pleased to welcome these two new individuals with the professional and personal forestry experience that Mrs. Russell and Mr. Dwyer bring to our agency as commissioners,” said State Forester Greg Pate. “Their combined knowledge and leadership abilities will be an asset in continuing the AFC mission.”

Originally from Troy, Mrs. Russell graduated from high school in Luverne and earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Troy University. In addition to teaching at Highland Home Elementary School, she has also been a small business owner. She and her husband are landowners and operate a cattle farm. They have three children and six grandchildren. Actively involved in the community, Russell is Past President of the Montgomery County Farmers Federation and Past Chair of the Forestry Committee for that organization. She is currently the Scholarship Chair for the Montgomery County Farmers Federation, a capacity in which she has served for the past eight years.

Mr. Dwyer is a licensed Registered Forester in Alabama. A native of Kansas, he was raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. Following high school, he was stationed in Germany for three years while serving in the U.S. Army. He has lived and worked in Alabama since 1980, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from Auburn University in 1991. A former employee of the Alabama Forestry Commission, Dwyer retired from the agency in June 2011 with more than 29 years of service. He began his career as a Forest Ranger, working his way up the ranks to Forester/County Supervisor. In 2002 he was promoted to the position of Administrative Division Director at the State Office in Montgomery, where he spent the final ten years of his career with the agency. He is married with two children.

Russell and Dwyer replace Commissioners Don Heath of Hoover and Johnny McReynolds of Russellville. Other members of the Alabama Forestry Commission include Chairman, Dr. Salem Saloom of Brewton; Vice-Chairman, Tommy Thompson of Thomasville; C. Irvin Eatman, Jr. of Eutaw; Kenneth Real of Detroit; and Jerry M. Smith of Vernon. This seven-member board, appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate, is responsible for setting policy for the Forestry Commission, the state agency charged with protecting and sustaining Alabama’s forest resources, which contribute not only to abundant timber and wildlife, but also clean air and water, as well as a healthy economy. To learn more about the AFC, visit 


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