The two newest appointments by Governor Robert Bentley to the Alabama Forestry Commission recently began their five-year terms. Tommy E. D. Thompson of Grove Hill and Dr. Salem Saloom of Brewton recently attended their second Commission meeting. This seven-member board, appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate, is responsible for setting policy for the Forestry Commission, the state agency charged with protecting and sustaining Alabama’s forest resources.
“We are fortunate to welcome two gentlemen with the professional and personal forestry experience that Tommy Thompson and Salem Saloom bring to our agency as Commissioners,” said State Forester Linda Casey. “Their combined knowledge and leadership abilities will be an asset in continuing the AFC mission.”
Employed with Louisiana-Pacific Corporation for over 38 years, Thompson has worked at the Clarke County mill since 2005. As a senior Resource Manager, he oversees operations in Texas and Maine in addition to Alabama. Prior to locating in Thomasville, he served in various forester and resource management positions within the company at facilities in California and North Carolina. Thompson holds a BS Degree in Forest Management from Humboldt State University. A licensed Registered Forester in Alabama, California, and North Carolina, he is also certified with the national Society of American Foresters (SAF). Other credentials include being a Qualified Tree Farm Inspector and a member of the Alabama Forestry Association where he is active on several committees. Following the devastation of the April tornados in 2011, Thompson served as Chairman of the Alabama Forest Recovery Taskforce. He is married with three grown children.
Originally from Enterprise and a 1966 graduate of Enterprise High School, Dr. Saloom has practiced medicine in Southwest Alabama for 33 years. After completing a BS degree at Birmingham Southern College in 1970, he earned his Medical Degree from the University of Alabama Medical College in Birmingham in 1974.
Although a surgeon by profession, Saloom is also a Master Tree Farmer and certified Prescribed Burn Manager. A forest landowner who is actively involved both on the state and national levels in the advocacy of longleaf restoration, prescribed fire, and Tree Farm. His current memberships include the Conecuh County Forestry Planning Committee, Alabama TREASURE Forest Association, Longleaf Alliance, Alabama Prescribed Fire Council, Alabama Forestry Association, State Tree Farm Committee, American Tree Farm System, American Forest Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Woodlands Owners Association, and the Forest Fire Lookout Association. Saloom is also a member of the committee for Prescribed Burning and Hazardous Fuel Reduction on Alabama’s Rural Lands, the State Forester’s Outreach Advisory Council, and State Representative Martha Roby’s Agricultural Advisory Committee for Congressional District 2.
Saloom and Thompson replace Commissioners Randy Gilmore of McCalla and Melisa Love of Opelika. Other members of the Alabama Forestry Commission include Chairman Johnny McReynolds of Russellville; C. Irvin Eatman, Jr. of Eutaw; Don Heath of Hoover; Kenneth Real of Detroit (Alabama); and Jerry M. Smith of Vernon. To learn more about the AFC, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov.