FLORIDAForests - Spring/Summer 2015 - (Page 5)

Go Site-Seeing! www.FloridaForest.org Growth and Change Executive Outlook By Alan Shelby FFA Executive Vice President W ithout a doubt, Florida's forest industry is growing. Recently released figures show that our impact on the state's economy has risen to $16.4 billion and that 84,000 of our friends, neighbors and fellow Floridians are employed by the industry. Amid all the growth, there is change. One change within the Association is the retirement of our Director of Regulatory Affairs, Phil Gornicki. Phil has done a tremendous job for us for the past 24 years and will certainly be missed by his coworkers, colleagues and the many other friends he has made in his time with FFA. His retirement date is April 28, 2015. Phil's departure has triggered another change: the hiring of Mike Branch as our Director of Operations/ Regulatory Affairs. Mike, formerly of RockTenn, Inc., is a past president of the Association and has 38 years of experience within the industry. We are excited about this new addition to our team! Amid the growth, there is also opportunity. After completing a stringent development process, the Florida Forest Service (FFS) has adopted its Forestry Wildlife Best Management Practices for State Imperiled Species. This voluntary program will allow those who choose to enroll to avoid the need to obtain incidental take permits from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. FFA's Government Relations Committee Chair Edward Cole and FFS's Assistant State Forester Jeff Vowell explain the details of the program in their article in this issue. It is a must-read for those considering enrollment. As of this writing, Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation constitutional amendment approved by voters in the 2014 general election, is currently being addressed by the state legislature. Depending on our lawmakers' method of implementation, its budget allocations could increase landowners' abilities to take advantage of another opportunity that has been around for awhile but has lacked sufficient funding: conservation easements for working forests. Dean Saunders, a respected land professional and former legislator, talks about the possibilities they create for landowners in "A Conversation about Conservation Easements." Finally, sometimes opportunity comes in the form of recognition and leadership. Such is the case with State Forester Jim Karels, who was recently tapped to serve as president of the National Association of State Foresters. We offer our enthusiastic congratulations to Jim on the well-deserved appointment! I am honored to serve as FFA's executive vice president during this time of growth and opportunity. It is a privilege to represent an industry that continually strives to create both. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. Amid the growth, there is also opportunity. Florida Forests 5 Spring/Summer 2015 http://www.FloridaForest.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of FLORIDAForests - Spring/Summer 2015

Executive Outlook
Wildlife BMPs
A Conversation about Conservation Easements
Jim Karels Appointed President of NASF
Phil Gornicki Retires
Florida Forestry Association Annual Meeting & Trade Show
Snapshots: Membership Matters
Business Card Exchange
Products & Services Marketplace
Advertisers’ Index/ Advertisers.com

FLORIDAForests - Spring/Summer 2015