(a) There is hereby established the Forestry Study Committee. Such committee shall be composed of fifteen members. The Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate each shall appoint three members from the respective houses; the State Forester shall be a member and serve as secretary and the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service extension forester shall be a member; and the Governor shall appoint seven members. The appointees shall represent forest land ownership, forest industries, education, other forest-related interests and other citizens whose knowledge will be valuable to the committee's work.
(b) The committee shall hold an organizational meeting at the State Capitol, within ten days after the appointments are made, and elect a chairman from among its members. Thereafter, the committee shall meet on the call of the chairman or a majority of its members and shall adopt its own rules of procedure for the conduct and transaction of business.
(c) The duty of the committee shall be to make a complete study and needs assessment of all facets of the Alabama forestry program, including but not limited to:
(1) Problems related to forest fires, their occurrences, causes, acreage burned, damages and whether legally or illegally set;
(2) Fire prevention and control in the state forests, the adequacy of prevention, detection, reporting, suppression and law enforcement measures;
(3) Resource management practices and industrial development related to the forestry program; and
(4) The effects and impact of both state and federal environmental legislation and regulations on forestry practices and landowner prerogatives and options.
(d) Nonlegislative members shall be entitled to per diem and travel expenses, now provided by law, for each day of actual attendance at committee meetings, legislative members shall be entitled to their regular legislative compensation, per diem and travel expenses for each day of actual attendance at committee meetings, upon warrants drawn on the state Comptroller upon requisitions signed by the committee's chairman provided, however, that members shall not receive additional legislative compensation or per diem when the Legislature is in session.
(e) The chairman and committee may employ such clerical, legal, technical and expert assistance as the committee may find necessary in performing its duties.
(f) The committee shall publish a report of its findings and recommendations for distribution to the public.
(g) At the conclusion of its annual study and evaluation, the committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House on the fifteenth day of January each year.