Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday awarded $10 million in federal coronavirus aid to help Alabama timber owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The forestry industry has an economic impact of over $23 billion in the state of Alabama and provides over 40,000 jobs in some of the most rural parts of our state,” Ivey said in a statement. “CARES Act funds are intended to stabilize our economic losses and help our state recover from COVID-19. This program is designed to reduce the burden of Alabama’s 23 million acres of timberland and the subsequent jobs that depend on a healthy timber industry.”
These grants of up to $10,000 are to be administered by the Alabama Forestry Commission on a first-come, first-serve basis to qualifying timber owners who harvested timber during the months of March through July, according to a press release from Ivey’s office.
“The Alabama Forestry Commission understands that forest landowners in the state have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus. These assistance payments will not make landowners whole, but they will help,” said State Forester Rick Oates in a statement. “An even more important effect of this program will be that this money will not sit in people’s bank accounts. It will help landowners better care for the forest resources with which they are entrusted, and in doing so, will be reinvested in the economy and be spent several times. We are pleased that Governor Ivey chose to use CARES money to help Alabama forest landowners.”