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Meeting to address timber issues

Hurricane Ivan left many questions for the forestry industry in its path of destruction.

A public meeting will be held on Wednesday Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Greenville YMCA's Beeland Park facility to address timber issues. The meeting will address timber salvage; reforestation, wildfire and tax considerations for hurricane damaged forest areas.

In only a few hours, Hurricane Ivan transformed acres of healthy growing timber into acres of broken, splintered and uprooted trees.

Forest landowners, who have been looking for answers to questions of salvaging their timber, replanting lost trees and protecting the forestland from more damage, are invited to attend the informational meeting sponsored by Gov. Bob Riley's Alabama Forest Recovery Task Force, the Alabama Forestry Association, the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Alabama TREASURE Forest Association.

Butler County Forestry Manager Paul E. Hudgins said these meetings are being held for the hardest hit areas of Alabama timberland.

"They are holding meeting for the 12 hardest hit count's in the state," Hudgins said.

"We will have the opportunity to have our meeting on Wednesday."

Hudgins said the representatives from all the different organizations should be able to answer a lot of questions.

"There will be representatives from the Forestry Commission and the Alabama Forestry Association," Hudgins said. "There will be representatives from all agencies to discuss the status of things such as taxes and the salvage efforts. They will also discuss the status and their long term plans."

Hudgins said this is an excellent opportunity for citizens to get out and get answers to the questions they have had since Hurricane Ivan. He said the meeting should provide plenty of time for just that purpose.

"This is an opportunity for local people to meet with these officials and get a better idea of where we stand," Hudgins said. "The meeting should last about an hour or an hour and a half."

Meetings are scheduled to be held in Baldwin, Butler, Clarke, Conecuh, Covington, Escambia, Monroe and Wilcox counties in October.

Landowners will hear up to date information on evaluating and managing storm damaged forest areas, timber salvage options, reforestation, and wildlife risks from the storm and casualty loss deductions on federal income taxes.

Information on the meeting is available from the office of the Alabama Forestry Commission hosting the meetings, online at www.forestry.state.al.us and from the toll free Hurricane Ivan Help Desk at 1-888-645-7237.

The meeting is free and open to the public.