Ivey visits Pickens, Greene counties Tuesday

Ivey

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey visited Pickens and Greene counties Tuesday, highlighting some of Alabama’s best outdoor resources.

Ivey started her day at Cooper Marine and Timberlands in Pickens County.

“Carrollton, Alabama, has got a lot of timber and that’s a good thing,” Ivey said. “W’re here being hosted by Angus Cooper and Cooper Marine and Timberlands. It’s an honor to be here and to celebrate this combination of wood products, waterways, and our port to Mobile.”

CMT provides timber products to numerous wood-consuming industries, marine transportation and stevedoring services.

Cooper President Angus R. Cooper III said the CMT pine sawmill in Carrollton specializes in producing 1-inch rough-cut lumber.

“This product is brought to the port of Mobile, and part of it is loaded in a vessel that goes to the Caribbean,” Cooper said. “The other parts go into containers, so without the container port I wouldn’t have the opportunity to sell this product to Europe and the landowners wouldn’t have the opportunity to sell the big gray logs to somebody like me, so it all fits hand in hand.”

Alabama Forestry Association President and CEO Chris Isaacson said the event was meant to highlight the facility creating jobs in Pickens County as well as highlighting the river system that feeds into Mobile.

“Having (Ivey) here today allows us to showcase one of the premier facilities we have in this part of the world,” Isaacson said. “This was an older facility. Cooper Marine and Timberlands took it, revamped it and has turned it into a showcase for what a small sawmill can be.”

Over in Greene County, Ivey visited the Don Wood Hunting Lodge to discuss the economic impact of hunting and fishing on the state.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship said they talk about the economic impact of the timber industry or agriculture, but hunting and fishing is a $3 billion industry in Alabama.

“It provides 100,000 jobs all over the state, so it’s a huge economic driver, especially for areas like the Black Belt in Greene County,” Blankenship said. “People in some of those big cities don’t have the enjoyment and the quality we have here in Alabama. Hunting and fishing is one of the things that really makes the fabric of Alabama work.”

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