The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is sponsored nationally by the American Forest Foundation and administered in Alabama by the Foundation. Tree Farm seeks to increase public understanding of the value of the nation’s private forest resources and to promote sustainable
management of those forests resources by providing education and assistance to private forest owners. In Alabama, 3.6 million acres (more than 16 % of the state’s forests) comprising 3,758 distinct properties are certified under Tree Farm’s strict environmental standards and guidelines.
Education programs provided for loggers are key to effective stewardship of Alabama’s forests. Far removed from the days of a chainsaw and a pulpwood truck, today’s loggers are businessmen running a complex production process in an often unpredictable environment. Modern loggers
must wear multiple hats, controller, operations planner, and safety manager to name a few. In addition, he must have a thorough understanding of sound forest and environmental management and protection practices. To assist, a 2-day workshop was developed and required for all loggers to achieve Professional Logging Manager (PLM) status (required by most forest products companies in order to deliver wood).
After this initial training, loggers are required to obtain 6 hours of Continuing Logger Education credit each year. The Foundation conducts continuing education workshops around the state as well as offering more than 20 online courses.