The Forest Action Plan (plan) for Alabama identifies priority forest areas, forest threats, and strategies to address those threats. The Plan also serves as a tool to acquire federal funding to support AFC program areas. The current plan, published in 2010, originated from the 2008 Farm Bill which encouraged State Foresters to complete statewide assessments of their state’s forest resource. The Alabama Forestry Commission saw this as an opportunity to fulfill its own legislative mandate “to make exploration, surveys, studies and reports concerning the timber and forest resources (of Alabama) and to publish such thereof as will be of general interest.”
Over an 18-month period, the Alabama Forestry Commission collaborated with 33 organizations, 37 subject matter experts, and with public comment from 865 citizens to produce Alabama’s Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy, titled “Forest at the Crossroads.” The document was approved on June 18, 2010 by the US Forest Service on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture.
In conjunction with other state forestry agencies, the AFC has initiated a process to update the state’s Forest Action Plan. Like the existing Plan, the updated version will identify priority areas, threats and strategies to address those threats. The Plan update is due for completion no later than June, 2020. As this process moves forward additional information will be made available.
Information related to the current Plan is described below.
Nine Threats to Alabama's Forest Resource
- Urban Growth and Development
- Fragmentation and Parcelization
- Invasive Species
- Changing Markets
- Insects and Diseases
- Catastrophic Natural Events
- Air Quality
- Climate Change
Strategies to Sustain Alabama’s Forest Resource
The final part of the document provides a strategy to address or minimize the nine threats. A total of 26 goals, 65 objectives, and 216 strategies were identified to address nine threats facing Alabama’s forest resource.
In addition, four (4) multi-state regional priorities affecting Alabama’s forest were recognized as opportunities to collaborate surrounding states. These multi-state regional priorities include battling the problem of cogongrass, working to restore longleaf pine, improving water quality, and managing the impact of urban mega-regions that are spreading across the region.