Local Man Recognized with National Award

The Alabama Forestry Commission's Michael Older, Covington County Manager, has been named this year's recipient of the Outstanding Inspector of the Year award sponsored by the American Tree Farm System.

This national award honors Tree Farm inspectors who give of their time to inspect Tree Farms and work to educate landowners and the public of the benefits of sustainable forestry.

Tree Farm is a land certification program in which forest owners must meet standards and guidelines, develop a written management plan and pass an inspection.

Since his involvement in the Tree Farm program since the early 1990s, Older has certified 101 new Tree Farms and has received the Bronze, Silver and Gold Hardhat awards for his efforts.

He is one of four train-the-trainers in Alabama authorized to train and recertify inspectors.

The Alabama Forestry Association, sponsor of the Tree Farm program in Alabama, will recognize Older at their annual meeting, September 9-11, 2007 in Orange Beach, Alabama.

The actual award will be presented to Older during the 14th Annual National Tree Farmer Convention, October 11-14, 2007 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Older has been employed with the Alabama Forestry Commission since 1990, most recently as Covington County Manager.