8 Saint Joseph ST
Second Floor
Mobile, AL 36602-3502
Phone: (251) 433-2372
FAX: (251) 433-2374

About AFRC

Our vision is for Alabama to continue to serve as a working and sustainable rural landscape of national and international importance, in which ecological, economic and recreational values are interrelated. In order to protect this large landbase and its ecological heritage, landowners, local governments and citizens must recognize that their prosperity and individual goals are more likely to be successfully achieved if the traditional land uses of the region are valued as a whole and the land is not fragmented.

Concern over the loss of Alabama’s forest and farmlands and their associated invaluable habitats, prompted the Alabama Forest Resources Center to form a land trust for working forests and farms at its annual meeting on September 12, 1999.

The mission of the Alabama Forest Resources Center is to enhance, promote and preserve the productivity and sustainability of Alabama’s forest resources to ensure their economic and environmental benefits for future generations.

AFRC works to promote constructive dialogue and harmony among Alabama forest stakeholders and to facilitate cooperation and foster an understanding of the benefits of well managed forests. The AFRC seeks to address and resolve issues among conflicting groups directly related to the forest environment, its health, and the sustainability and condition of forests in the next generation and to encourage these groups to work together to achieve goals that will enhance forest resources in Alabama.

Since its inception, the AFRC has sponsored statewide meetings to discuss ways to improve forestry and minimize perceived and actual conflicts and differences; worked with other agencies and organizations to hold export conferences and encourage exportation of logs, lumber, pulp, and paper; and carried out a Roundtable discussion in which more than 100 citizens representing many diverse interests participated. The consensus results of the meeting included a vision for the future of forests in Alabama and the nation and specific action steps for enhancing Alabama's forest resources. The vision and action steps were later presented to the Seventh American Forest Congress in Washington, D.C. by Alabama's delegates.

Prior work of the AFRC has, however, entailed far more than hosting opportunities for dialogue among forestry stakeholders. This organization has initiated a number of other innovative projects designed to educate and inform the public about forest resources. These efforts include:

  • Conversion of Meaher Park in Baldwin County into an educational and recreational facility
  • Establishment of the Harrigan Forest Learning Center on the campus of the University of Mobile for Mobile area children and for use by the forestry community. The Treasure Forest statewide offices are housed at the Center at no charge.
  • Funding for the development of the Bear Creek Educational Center on Bear Creek Lake.
  • Collaboration on the establishment of the Arboretum Environmental Learning Center at Troy State University for the education of school children.
  • Establishment of the Forestry Capital Program which encourages counties to actively promote forestry.
  • Promotion of forestry ideals through a series of public television programs, radio spots, and establishment of a 1 800 number to provide information to the community.
  • Develop the Assessment of Need Document for the Forest Legacy Program
  • Secured the purchase of Live Oak Landing to enhance public access to the Mobile Tensaw Delta.

The Alabama Forest Resources Center is a 501(c) (3) non profit organization which is managed by an Executive Director and governed by a Board of Directors with state-wide representation.

The work of the Alabama Forest Resource Center during its long history, former Senator Ann Bedsole's support of the program since its inception, a strong and influential Board of Directors, and Dan Dumont's history of service all speak to the organization's commitment to inform the community, develop new ideas and initiate new programs to promote a land stewardship ethic, good forest management practices, and initiate communication among forest stakeholders in an effort to encourage them to work cooperatively and in good faith to enhance Alabama's forest resources and quality of life.

Alabama Forest Legacy Program
Executive director Dan Dumont is the Alabama Forest Legacy program coordinator for the state. In 2000 the Governor appointed the Alabama Forestry Commission as the state lead agency to develop and administer a Forest Legacy Program in Alabama. The purpose of the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is to identify and purchase environmentally important forestland through the use of conservation easements and fee purchases. Landowner participation is entirely voluntary. As these resources are managed, many traditional values and uses of the forests will continue to be available.

Guidelines for the Forest Legacy Program required the state lead agency to prepare an Assessment of Need (AON) in consultation with the Alabama Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee. An Assessment of Need Steering Committee was appointed, which worked with the Alabama Forest Resource Center to develop the Assessment of Need document. The AON was completed in September, 2002, and contains valuable resource information and measures to identify environmentally important forestlands that are being converted to developed urban areas.

The Center focuses on providing services via conservation easements, educational outreach, and advocacy and planning. AFRC also administers the Forest Legacy Program under contract with the Alabama Forestry Commission. One of the most important tasks of the AFRC is securing conservation easements. Easements hold great promise as one of the most effective techniques for the preservation of privately owned forestland in Alabama. Each easement is tailored to the particular property and to the interests of the individual owner. Easements keep private lands in private ownership. They allow land use traditions such as hunting, forestry and agriculture to continue. Most importantly, easements are a positive incentive for the landowner to ensure that future use of the property will be consistent with the owners' desires to protect certain characteristics of the land.

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