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Meet a tree named Michael
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FORGOTTEN STORM

Meet a tree named Michael

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The latest short film from state foresters is a documentary that takes place in Calhoun County and profiles the devastation of Hurricane Michael there as well as the hope that rose from the wreckage.

A little tree named Michael is the star, along with a couple that lost almost every tree they’d invested in.

“Forgotten Storm” includes first-hand accounts of Hurricane Michael and details the community’s long road to recovery.

The National Association of State Foresters is responsible for “Tree Stories,” a series of short films depicting the crucial connections between forests and people across the United States. The first installment, “Forgotten Storm,” profiles Calhoun County timber farmers and their courage in the process of recovery after catastrophe.

Every year, private forests in the U.S. produce more than 90 percent of the nation’s wood and paper products. They support 2.4 million jobs (and $98.7 billion in payroll), contribute to $281 billion in timber sales, manufacturing, and shipping, and constitute 4.6 percent of the nation’s total manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP). In Florida’s Panhandle, where lumber reigns, this economic engine was all but swept away by Hurricane Michael.

Three years ago this Sunday, Oct. 10, Hurricane Michael destroyed 72 million tons of timber — that’s 2.5 million log trucks worth of wood — across 11 Florida Panhandle counties. In Calhoun County, timber farmers were left to clean up, grade, and replant thousands of acres.

Watch the first of NASF’s “Tree Stories” series and learn how this tree-based community managed to weather the storm.

“Forgotten Storm” and forthcoming videos in the “Tree Stories” series will be available on NASF’s YouTube channel. To learn more about the economic impact of timber farming and the forest products industry in the U.S., including how Congress can support forestland owners affected by natural disaster, visit www.stateforesters.org.

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