By Brandon Moseley

The Alabama Forestry Association (AFA) announced Friday its endorsement of State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), who is running for reelection in State Senate District 21.

Chris Isaacson is the President and CEO of the Alabama Forestry Association.

“Gerald grew up working in the pulpwood industry around Tuscaloosa and as a landowner himself sees firsthand the importance of our industry to the state of Alabama,” Isaacson said. “Alabama landowners and forest business owners are the backbone of our state, sustaining local communities, growing the economy and preserving our natural resources for generations to come. Gerald has consistently supported legislation which protects those efforts and we are happy to give him our continued support.”

Allen said that “the state of Alabama has the third-highest timber acreage in the country. Landowners across Alabama understand the impact that forestry has on the economic development in our state. It is vital that we continue to protect the forestry industry. I am committed to supporting this industry and understand the role that Alabama forestry plays.”

Allen is a lifelong resident of Tuscaloosa. He has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Alabama.

Allen was first elected to represent District 62 in the House of Representatives in 1994.

The Alabama Forestry Association said that during Allen’s tenure, he has protected the interests of his alma mater, the University of Alabama, and served as the primary elected official to champion the construction of the Mercedes Benz plant in the area.

After serving four terms in the House of Representatives, Allen was elected to the Senate representing SD 21 in 2010. He was re-elected in 2014 and 2018.

Allen is the Chairman of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee and is Vice-Chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee.

SD  21, like all the other legislative districts, will be redistricted prior to the 2022 election. On Thursday, Oct. 14, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced that she will call a special session of the Alabama legislature for Oct. 28 to address redistricting.

SD 21, as it is currently comprised, represents parts of Tuscaloosa, Lamar, and Pickens Counties.

The Republican primary will be on May 24, 2022.

The Alabama Forestry Association is one of the largest state forestry associations in the country with membership that includes forest products manufacturers, landowners, loggers, wood dealers, foresters, consultants, and others involved in forestry. AFA is dedicated to protecting and improving the business, regulatory and legal environment for landowners and forest business owners, to ensure the sustainable growth of Alabama’s forests and forest industry.

More than two-thirds of the state of Alabama is covered by forests providing the raw material for Alabama’s second-largest manufacturing industry. Forestry has a $27.7 billion total economic output to the state’s economy.