July 9, 2007 Rotogram

MSU’ s national Champs

Mississippi State’s latest national champion, the fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly Challenge-X SUV, will be spotlighted today by Rotarian Marshall Molen and Amanda McAlpin of the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems.

Next week

“Rotary Shares” is the theme as President Ned reports on the Rotary International Convention and the Club’s goals for the new year.


Invocation and Pledge : Jack Harder

Attendance : There were 110 members present (32 exempt), and 88 (22 exempt, 10 honorary) absent.

Makeups : Dave Boles made up an absence in Greenville.

Guests and Visitors : Visiting Rotarians were Carol Jo Barnes of the Shreveport Louisiana Club and a guest of Dinah Jordan, and Karl Eckhardt of the Walla Walla Washington Club and a guest of Linda Karen Smith Guests of members included Arlie Wilson of Joe Thompson, Bill Eckhardt and Eliza beth Eckhardt Geer of Linda Karen Smith, Dustin Williams of Grant Arinder, John Guyton of Mark Guyton, and Wayne Bruchey of Bill Parrish. Skip Descant of the Columbus Commercial Dispatch was a guest of the Club.

Rotary Minute : “What was the first Rotary service project?” asked Dinah Jordan as she focused the Club’s attention on a bit of history. The answer — a mule for a preacher who couldn’t afford to replace his animal that died. With that good deed in 1907, the Rotary Club of Chicago set the standard for the world’s first service club.

Meeting Notes : Kudos were noted for Club members:

  • Four Rotarians are among the 16 graduates of The Oktibbeha County Forum Leadership Program: Briar Jones, Jim Henry, Lee Beck and Matt Cox. Skip Descant who often covers Club activities for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch also was a graduate.
  • Melanie Mitchell has been named a Greater Starkville Development Partnership Ambassador. John Crecink is president of the group.
  • Sandra Harpole has been recognized among Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women of 2007.

Allen Tucker presented the Club with a banner from his visit to the Escondido California Club.

Subbing for Roy Ruby, Jim Ormon got the Club off to a good start with a doggone joke for the ‘Absolutely Nothing to do With Rotary Minute.”


Of the 13 southern states, Mississippi is sixth in land mass and third in forestland acreage.

Wayne Tucker, director of the Mississippi Institute of Forest Inventory, described how the state’s 19.6 million forested acres are being surveyed and inventoried under a 2002 legislative mandate.

The state’s forestlands are nearly double its 10.0 million non-forested acres. Nearly half of the forestland is owned by individuals.

“Forestry and related industries have an annual economic impact $13.38 billion,” said Tucker.

There are 119,575 jobs working with pulp and paper, wood furniture manufacturing, logging and solid wood products.

“Although the pulp, paper and furniture industries have taken some hits in restructuring,” said Tucker, “many new products such as cellulosic ethanol, wood pellets and oriented strand board, are on the horizon.”

Mississippi State University is on the leading edge in developing new uses for wood. Cellulosic ethanol will provide automotive fuel as an alternative to petroleum and corn-based ethanol. Wood pellets provide another means of heating fuel. And, OSB is a developing technology that uses wood strands to make a synthetic board stronger than plywood.

The Task Force for Strategic Initiative for Forest-Based Economic Development recommended and the State Legislature established the MIFI 5 years ago. The inventory was to be completed by the first of 2005; however, funding lagged. Of the five regions in the state, the southwest is complete and the others, with the exception of the northwest, are near completion.

Using the latest satellite and spatial technologies, the inventory is painting a picture of state resources that is being analyzed through very high powered computers. Currently, a one terrabyte machine is in use.

The satellite images are classified by timber types and integrated with geographic information systems data. Followup field observations are conducted on about 150 sample plots per county. The samples are one-fifth acre fixed radius plots.

Data analysis is facilitated by Mississippi State’s Georesources Institute with College of Forest Resources faculty providing technical assistance and support.

The findings will be published and available through the World Wide Web at www.mifi.ms.gov. The goal is to develop a continuous forest inventory.

Turning to the defining event of the decade, Hurricane Katrina, Tucker noted that its path of destruction tracked through 38 counties, three of which had severe damage. Seven more counties saw severe to moderate damage.

The Mississippi Forest Recovery Task Force estimated Katrina’s timber damage to 1.5 percent of the total timber inventory as follows:

  • Pine pulpwood – $204,000,000, 10,164,000 cords
  • Hardwood pulpwood – $92,000,000, 4,425,000 cords
  • Pine sawtimber – $755,000,000, 2,157,000 board feet
  • Hardwood sawtimber – $234,000,000, 1,052,000 board feet

Total timber damage initially was estimated at $1.285 billion. Better than expected salvage operations have resulted in a new estimate of $888 million. The figure was adjusted from field observations in April.

Tucker closed with a quote that challenged his audience and the forest industry, “It is said that old men plant trees that they will never enjoy the shade of; could it be that they have others in mind to enjoy that shade?”

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