The Forest Action 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 2020, follows in the footsteps of the original 2010 plan, which originated from the 2008 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill encouraged State Foresters to complete statewide assessments of their state’s forest resource at 10-year intervals. 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 a period of many months, the Alabama Forestry Commission collaborated with individual and organizational stakeholders to produce Alabama’s Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy, titled “Alabama’s Forest Road Map 2020.” The document was approved by the Forest Service in December of 2020.
Information related to the current Plan is described below.
Seven Threats to Alabama's Forest Resource
- Forest Fragmentation
- Invasive Species
- Changing Markets / Rural Development Issues
- Adverse Weather Events
- Forest Health
- Loss of Ecosystem Services
- Capacity to Fulfil Education Directive
Strategies to Sustain Alabama’s Forest Resource
“Alabama’s Forest Road Map 2020” gives detailed information concerning the above-listed threats, along with giving long-term strategies to address those threats. In addition, five multi-state regional priorities affecting Alabama’s forests were recognized as opportunities to collaborate with surrounding states. These multi-state regional priorities include battling the problem of cogongrass, working to restore longleaf pine, improving water quality, managing the impact of expanding urban mega-regions, and the White Oak Initiative. These five are all covered as areas where Alabama can partner with neighbor states to address issues that are regional in scope.