Alabama Forestry Commission

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The Alabama Forestry Commission says it has received numerous reports about pine trees dying in northwest Alabama, and the culprit appears to be the larvae of the loblolly pine sawfly.

The commission says infestations have been reported in Colbert, Marion, Franklin, Lamar and Fayette counties. The commission is conducting aerial surveys and will notify landowners where problems are detected.

Amanda Sowards/Montgomery Advertiser

The Alabama Forestry Commission is adding a new dog to help sniff out possible cases of arson.

   The agency says it recently bought a second bloodhound to help investigate cases of suspected woodlands arson.

   The commission's head law enforcement officer, Craig Hill, says the hound will be based in north Alabama to help track down possible crimes there. Her name is "Ember."

   Hill says the agency's first bloodhound, named "Blaze," is stationed in south Alabama and it's not practical to have one animal for the entire state.

Feds want Alabama to repay $5.1 million

Jul 12, 2012
U.S. Forest Service / Wikipedia Commons

The U.S. Forest Service says it will soon send the Alabama Forestry Commission a bill for $5.1 million due to unsubstantiated spending from a federal grant.

The notice was contained in a letter from the service's chief financial officer, Thelma Strong, to State Forester Linda Casey. Strong said the state has not adequately addressed unsupported costs.

Casey says the federal government is misunderstanding Alabama's accounting procedures for the grant, and her agency doesn't owe anything.