NAHEOLA, Alabama — Georgia-Pacific today announced plans to invest more than $120 million to add a new tissue machine and roll storage building at its mill in Choctaw County, the latest substantial investment in the facility.
The new projects continue Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific’s modernization of the Naheola mill, which includes ongoing construction of a new biomass boiler and woodyard. Georgia-Pacific said the modernization projects position the mill and its overall business to be competitive in the market.
In partnership with the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF), Ben will work with private landowners and hunting clubs to establish and support QDM Cooperatives in Southwest Alabama. He will also work closely with the AWF’s Land Stewardship Assistance biologists to encourage and facilitate management practices that enhance wildlife habitat and meet landowner objectives.
Fire managers across the United States are grappling with more frequent, extreme wildfires caused in part by a changing climate and nearly a century of ardent fire suppression. In the Pacific Northwest, for example, increasing temperatures along with the knee-jerk tendency to extinguish fire has created an environment ripe for higher-intensity, larger flames, according to a study published last month in Ecosphere.
But the Southeast takes a different approach to fire.
In 2018, Georgia, Florida and Alabama prescribed burns to more than 4 million acres of land, while the remaining 47 states and territories burned about 2 million acres combined, according to data collected by the National Interagency Fire Center and analyzed by Climate Central. Experts warn this data may undercount prescribed burning, but a country-wide survey by the National Association of State Foresters and the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils similarly found that, in 2017, the Southeast was responsible for two-thirds of the nation’s prescribed burns.
Although each state requires a different amount of prescribed burning to sustain a healthy ecosystem, many states with sizable amounts of federal and state lands aren’t meeting their goals. Staff at the U.S. Forest Service, which treated only about 1% of the nearly 200 million acres of land it manages with prescribed burns in 2018, are alarmed by their own agency’s lack of burning. For the first time in history, they’re considering restructuring the agency to facilitate more prescribed fires.
Bad weather in key markets has hampered building and renovating new homes and limited orders. Nashville, Tenn.’s hot housing market was doused by more than a foot of rainfall in February. Seattle suffered record snowfall, and it has been extremely soggy in two of the country’s top markets for fix-and-flip jobs, Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn.
Alabama Forestry Commission officials estimate $20 million in timber in Houston County was lost to Hurricane Michael.
Surveys conducted by the AFC last found about 42,357 forested acres were destroyed by the storm. Around 13,396 acres of pine, 2,879 acres of hardwood and 26,082 acres of mixed pine and hardwood was lost.
Too much pine and not enough saw mills spell years of depressed prices for plantations.