It is said that timber is a productive business for the state, that it produces jobs and income. All I can see is one man driving a skidder and then operating a loader to load the logs onto a trailer driven by someone else. Then the truck rolls out onto the Choccolocco Road, where it spreads an endless amount of mud onto the new roadway and literally plows up the shoulder that was paid for by taxpayers’ money. This damage will never be repaired or the costs of doing so passed onto the company responsible. Can’t the state and our politicians see there is a forest and not just trees?
Supposedly, one of our most promising developments is tourism. You can’t lure tourists to a devastated forest. Do we see the Smoky Mountains being clear cut? No. A beautiful forest works when it is cared for in such a way as to invite tourism. Until now, the area adjacent to Choccolocco Road and Alabama 9 would have made an attractive, nice and easily accessible campground to the nearby bike and walking trails and the Longleaf Preserve.
I have no problem with private landowners cutting their timber. But the state lands are owned by Alabamians, not the State Forestry Commission and the timber companies. Since it appears to be policy to continue devastating our state forests, Gov. Robert Bentley can save the taxpayers’ money by closing down the Alabama Forestry Commission.
While I am angered by our forestry concept, it appears it is business as usual. I am sincere with the idea of closing the Alabama Forestry Commission and leasing the lands to timber companies. Let them provide wages, health care and retirement for these people, not the taxpayers. This will provide significant savings to the taxpayers and will fall in line with “less government.”