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Over 200 attend County meeting

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After taking state honors for Most Outstanding Forestry Planning Committee, Chambers County kept the buzz going at its annual meeting Thursday, Oct. 8.
The majority of the counties in Alabama have a Forestry Planning Committee (FPC), a group committed to promoting stewardship in our forests through community and outreach.
In total, over 200 people from Chambers County and beyond were present, including more than 20 loggers and foresters. William Harry, a member of the Reunion Gospel Quartet, eased everyone into the meeting with his vocal and piano skills.
The first speaker of the night was Carl “Brandt” McDonald. After graduating from Auburn University in 1998, Brandt developed McDonald Financial Services, LLC, which now boasts over 600 clients and $550 million in assets.
“You have to be proactive,” McDonald said. “With the majority of the world’s currency being diluted and digitized, the winning trade is going to be hard assets.”
He elaborated by saying “land is going to continue to be valuable because it has utilitarian value.” Brandt wrapped up by stating that even though markets seem bleak right now, greater things are still to come and “America still has a great story to tell.”
As attendees snacked on tenderloin, beans, casseroles, rolls and banana pudding, catered by Crème Fraiche Catering, John Stivers, certified woodland burning instructor, encouraged farmers to become vocal and engaged.
“Let your voice be heard by becoming a member at groups and organizations with political clout and access to elected officials,” said Stivers, who is a 1982 University of Arkansas graduate. “Groups like the Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Forestry Association, Alabama TREASURE Forest Association and similar groups are strong, valuable organizations for forestry and farming.”
Stivers, who has participated in over 3,500 prescribed burns on more than 750 million acres, continued by giving an overview of the complications that can arise from building a stream, pond or other body of water on farms. He explained that the current regulations of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule are extremely complicated and confusing. Stivers encouraged attendees to take full advantage of best management practices.
Stivers encouraged landowners to consult agencies and other professionals before making any moves involving water on personal property.
The night concluded with a raffle of door prizes, including a commercial chain saw donated by Jeff Dodgen Logging, Inc. and Mark Mitcham of Mitcham Auto Parts, Inc.

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