Approximately 70 percent of Alabama is covered with forests. In addition to providing clean air, water, and recreational opportunities, Alabama forests provide the raw material for a $20 billion dollar forest products industry. Combined with the $3 billion annual impact of forest-associated outdoor recreation, it’s easy to see why forests and wildlife are considered essential components of Alabama’s economic and social landscape.
Seventy-eight percent of Alabama forests are owned by families holding less than 100 acres. Their careful stewardship has significantly increased Alabama forest acreage and productivity over the past several decades. And, wildlife populations have increased from an estimated 16,500 deer and 11,000 wild turkeys in the 1940s, to about 1.5 million deer and 450,000 turkeys in Alabama today. It is the mission of the Alabama Natural Resources Council (ANRC) to continue this positive trend by promoting sustainable forest management to family forest owners.
Members of the ANRC are state leaders of government agencies and private organizations with an interest in forest resources. The Council collaboratively develops programs and activities that motivate Alabama landowners, leaders, and citizens to be wise stewards of our forests and related sustainable natural resources through the coordinated services and programs available from participating organizations. The Council has successfully served forest landowners throughout the state since 1971 and currently focuses on several key activities.
Natural Resources Outreach Committee
The County Outreach Committee promotes and fosters the development of active Natural Resources Committees at the local level with representation from state and federal agencies, industry, forestry consultants, TREASURE Forest owners and similar organizations such as Tree Farm. The accomplishments of local committees include landowner tours, educational meetings, forest and wildlife management demonstrations, and educational projects for school children among many others.
TREASURE Forest Committee
The TREASURE Forest program has encouraged landowners to manage their forests for the multiple uses of timber, wildlife, outdoor recreation, aesthetics, and environmental enhancement since 1975. The TREASURE Forest Committee promotes and administers this program, including awards for outstanding TREASURE Forests. More than 2,300 landowners have been certified as TREASURE Forest owners.
The Symposium provides landowners and natural resource professionals with an opportunity to receive applied and useful information on forest and wildlife management. Conducted annually in conjunction with the Awards Banquet, the half-day Symposium features qualified speakers on the entire spectrum of natural- resources-related topics from internet-based information to wild hog control.
Annual Awards Banquet
The Council sponsors an annual Awards Banquet to recognize those individuals and organizations that have shown exemplary contribution to the management of Alabama’s natural resources. The Banquet program recognizes the outstanding local natural resources councils in the north, central, and southern regions of the state. In addition, outstanding TREASURE Forests that have provided significant public education services in each region are given the Helene Mosley Memorial TREASURE Forest Award.
Membership in the Alabama Natural Resources Coordinating Council comes from these natural-resources-related organizations:
- Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University
- Alabama Cooperative Extension System
- Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division
- Alabama Department of Education, Agribusiness Education
- Alabama Division Society of American Foresters
- Alabama Farmers Federation
- Alabama Forest Resources Center
- Alabama Forestry Association
- Alabama Forestry Commission
- Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee
- Alabama TREASURE Forest Association
- Alabama Wildlife Federation
- Association of Consulting Foresters, Inc., Alabama Chapter
- College of Agriculture, Auburn University
- School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University
- USDA Farm Service Agency
- USDA Forest Service, National Forests in Alabama
- USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
- USDA Rural Development