The Long Road

It has been a long week on the road. I’ve spent my time traveling to areas of Alabama that lay in the path of the tornadoes of April 27th. I’ve been part of a team of foresters who are providing information to forest landowners who were affected by the storms.

I was pleased to see that the top priorities of cleaning up the debris and restoring order in the towns has come a long way since that day. Cullman, for example, appears to be well on her way to getting back to normal.

The people of the countryside are not so fortunate. They come to our meetings hoping for help, looking for answers. Many have acres of trees on the ground, and three months later they still don’t even know where to begin.

Many have hopes that there will be some kind of financial assistance from state or federal government. There will not be any. This is not Katrina. This is not the Gulf Coast, where the threat of oil washing up on the beach behind million dollar resorts sent truck loads of money and workers from D.C. This is not even Haiti or Bagdad.

This is cracker land, hillbilly county, redneck territory–the area people fly over at 30 thousand feet on the way to more exotic destinations.

You may wonder why I’d take part in a meeting in which you tell people that there isn’t much of anything you can do for them.

It’s simple really. We owe them that.

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