Montgomery County landowner Jane Russell was elected chair of the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) during a Jan. 11 board meeting. Katrenia Kier of Madison County was elected vice chair.
A past chair of the Alabama Farmers Federation State Forestry Committee, Russell was appointed to the seven-member commission in 2014. She is also former president of the Montgomery County Farmers Federation.
“Serving as chair is a privilege, and I take it seriously,” said Russell, a retired teacher who raises timber and cattle in Lapine with husband Tom. “I am so excited about the future of the forestry commission and am going to work hard to serve our foresters, rangers and the state of Alabama.”
Russell said redistricting the commission to more efficiently use manpower is a priority, along with educating the public about timberland and the AFC’s mission.
Alabama State Forester Rick Oates said his agency will benefit from the skills and experiences Russell and Kier bring to the table.
“We look forward to working with these two leaders as our agency faces the challenges of the coming year,” Oates said. “Mrs. Russell’s experience as an Alabama forest landowner combined with Ms. Kier’s corporate knowledge make them great assets to the AFC.”
Kier was appointed to the commission in 2016. She owns Kier Real Estate LLC, a real estate brokerage firm in Huntsville established by her late husband, Richard Kier.
Other members of AFC’s board of commissioners include Jerry M. Dwyer of Auburn, immediate past chair; Stephen W. May III of Sawyerville; Dr. Bill Sudduth of Tuscaloosa; Robert N. Turner of Sulligent; and Joseph H. Twardy of Auburn. The board, appointed by the governor and approved by the Alabama Senate, sets policy for the AFC, the state agency charged with protecting and sustaining Alabama’s forest resources.
Learn more at forestry.alabama.gov.