Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.                 Advocate for the Forest Owner

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October  2003 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
Conference was recorded Wednesday, October 15, 2003.

to Listen to the

This conference and all future conferences will be in the .mp3 format, which is compatible with Windows Media Player and most other media devices.


cilhayes.jpg (3561 bytes)

Hayes D. Brown

starting time: (00:00)


Hayes D. Brown, attorney and forest owner,  will moderate this news conference. Hayes' email address is

Click Here to View & Hear Prior News Conferences.


James S. Burling


Eminent Domain: National Perspective

Jim Burling is an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, a non-profit, tax-exempt public interest legal foundation. From PLF's At Issue June '03 newsletter we read, "Classic public uses justifying the condemnation of private property under eminent domain include public road building, firehouses, school construction, and the like. Today, unfortunately, the public use limitation on the power of government to condemn private property is interpreted so broadly as to be meaningless." Here in Alabama, we've been hearing a lot about the City of Alabaster's taking of private land to give to a shopping center, but abuse of eminent domain has become a national problem. Today Mr. Burling tells us that property owners have won some recent cases, and urges us to fight back.


Struck-down Cases

Ongoing Cases

phone: (916) 362-2833


Ellen B. Steen


"Well, there you go again!"

Ellen Steen is a partner with the law firm Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, D.C. She specializes in environmental law, particularly environmental legal issues affecting forestry and agriculture. Several years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency tried to remove the national silviculture exemption from Clean Water Act rules. Massive public opposition helped EPA to decide that forcing us to apply for permits for every forestry activity on our land, such as tree planting and timber harvests, was not a good thing to do. EPA officials may even have noticed that forestry activities produce only tiny amounts of sediment in our streams as compared to other land uses. Now EPA is defending the exemption in court!

Click here to read "Environmental Groups Push for Federal Permitting for Forestry" by Ellen Steen.  (includes linked court cases & rulings)

Ms. Steen suggests, "Landowners and forestry organizations should let their congressional representatives know that this issue continues to be of great concern and ask them to urge EPA to be vigilant in defending its silviculture regulation in the courts."

Late Breaking News Item -- Judge: Loggers Need Pollution Permit

phone: (202) 236-1300


John F. Tourtellotte, Sr.


SynFuels: Is it Time?

John Tourtellotte is a chemical engineer and president of Tourtellotte and Associates, LLC, based in Birmingham, Alabama. John is working on a method to produce a gas from wood waste and small trees that would reduce the consumption of fossil fuel, increase the use of renewable fuel, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance the value of local forest biomass. For more details on the energy bill and renewable portfolio standards, see Vern Hayes' comments in last month's Capital Ideas -- Live!

phone: (205) 967-8326


Brent Williams


ORV Riders Seek Land

Brent Williams is president and founder of the Central Alabama Offroad Society, a non-profit club of 4x4 enthusiasts that was designed to bring together and promote the interest of family four-wheeling. These 4x4s are big, full-size vehicles, not the little 4-wheelers that we discussed last month with Glenn Myers. C.A.O.S. is looking for land on which they can ride, and they have a few ideas on how they might pay a landowner for the opportunity. Brent will speak to AFOA members on October 23 in Jefferson County and will even give a few observer passes to members who want to watch the activities at Gray Rock ORV Park's Fall for All Ride on October 24 - 26.

Other ORV Groups

phone: (205) 491-5337


Richard H. Chapman


Oil & Gas Lease Self-Help Group

Rick Chapman is the CEO of the National Association of Royalty Owners, based in Norman, Oklahoma. Many of us have heard a knock on the door and met a "land man" who wanted to buy our oil or gas rights. Most of us will only sell those rights one time, and it is comforting to know that there is an organization out there whose business it is to help us swim through those shark infested waters. NARO will hold its National Convention in Austin, Texas, October 23 - 25.

Useful NARO Links

phone: (405) 573-2972


Dr. Claude E. Boyd


Trends and Opportunities for Rural Land Use

Claude Boyd is a professor in the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures at Auburn University. Dr. Boyd is also the current Butler/Cunningham Eminent Scholar in Agriculture and the Environment and, in that position, he comes to us today to describe a conference that he has developed that explores rural land use changes and the pressures behind those changes. Several presentations will relate to the forest industry. Dr. Boyd invites forest landowners to attend the Butler/Cunningham conference on November 3 & 4 and share their ideas during the two day session.

phone: (334) 844-4075


Dr. Ben Jackson


Popular Tax Classes on Horizon

Ben Jackson is the new leader of the Continuing Forest Resource Education Program at the University of Georgia. Many forest owners from Alabama take advantage of the courses offered by the program. Two that are particularly interesting are Timber Income Tax and Estate Planning for Forest Landowners. Both are taught by Dr. Harry Haney, Jr., retired Virginia Tech forestry professor, current president of the Forest Landowners Association, and Alabama forest owner. The Timber Income Tax course will be held in Athens, Georgia on December 2 & 3, and the Estate Planning course will be held in Athens in the Spring. Watch UGA Continuing Education Schedule for details.

phone: (706) 542-2194


J. Craig King


Land Auctions: Make Them Work for You

Craig King is president of J. P. King Auction Co. He has sold literally hundreds of thousands of acres of timber, hunting properties, ranches, and other types of land throughout the nation. AFOA frequently receives J. P. King's colorful brochures and has listed their forestland auctions in our Calendar of Events many times. J. P. King will be auctioning off 1,885 acres of "recreational/timberland" in South Alabama/North Florida on Saturday, November 8. Craig will describe the advance preparations you should make if you plan to attend and think you might bid on one or more tracts. You might want to review the following items before driving off to Florida.

phone: 1-800-662-5464


Issues and Topics AFOA is following.

To suggest an issue or a topic for a future news conference, please send an email note to AFOA by clicking here.

  • National or Federal Issues
  • EPA Proposed Water Quality Trading
  • Energy Bill
  • CCA Treated Southern Pine Lumber
  • TMDLs
  • EPA Basin Projects
  • CARA
  • Forest Certification
  • 2002 Farm Bill
  • Energy Crisis & Federal Eminent Domain
  • Red Hills Salamander
  • State or Local Issues
  • Constitutional Revision/Tax Reform
  • County Zoning
  • Right to Farm & Practice Forestry
  • Illegal Dumping
  • Delaney Family Current-Use Case
  • JeffCo Storm Water Management Program
  • Current Use Tax Assessment Rates
  • Local Harvesting Restrictions & Road Weight Limits
  • Bridge Repairs & the Alabama Trust Fund
  • Dog Hunting & Hunter Trespass
  • Forest Management Issues
  • Seasonal Forest and Wildlife Management Tips
  • Southern Pine Beetle: Salvage & Prevention
  • Forest Fertilization
  • Intensive Forest Management
  • Long Rotation Management & Natural Regeneration
  • Technology
  • Palm Pilots & Forest Records
  • Useful Computer Software
  • Markets
  • Industry Consolidation & Timber Markets
  • Stumpage & Forest Product Markets
  • Forestland For Sale
  • Wood Buying Policies During SPB Epidemic
  • Alabama's Pine Straw Wholesale Market
  • Minerals, Gas & Oil Activity
  • Recreational Businesses for Forest Owners
  • Forest Taxation