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January 2004 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
Conference was recorded Wednesday, January 21, 2004.

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.


Mary Anastasia O’Grady


Free Markets, Free People

Mary Anastasia O’Grady is a senior editorial page writer at The Wall Street Journal and editor of "The Americas," a weekly column that appears every Friday and deals with politics, economics and business in Latin America and Canada. 

O'Grady is co-editor of the Index of Economic Freedom (428 pages, $24.95), which "...scores economic freedom in ten categories, ranging from fiscal burdens and government regulation to monetary and trade policy."  This year, the Index noted that "...despite an overall trend toward more economic freedom, a disturbing pattern of declining property-rights protection, detected over the past three years, continues world-wide."

Secure property rights " explain why Hong Kong and Singapore enjoy annual per capita incomes of better than $24,000 while Zimbabwe, where property rights have been trampled, has an annual per capita income of $559.  This correlation is but a subset of the wider conclusions shown in the Index."

Editor's Comment: A strong respect for and defense of property rights in a nation is very important to private forest owners who commit large amounts of capital for long periods of time. Without strong defense of property rights, there is little incentive to nurture forests on private land.

Phone: (212) 416-4904
Email: mary.o'


Dr. Al Schuler


Softwood Competition in the Global Economy

Al Schuler, a Research Economist with the USDA Forest Service, is responsible for assessing the demand/supply situation for solid wood products and estimating the demand for engineered wood products (EWP). He also assesses the links between the softwood and hardwood forest products industry.

The mission of Schuler and his team is to provide economic, market, and wood-use information that will support the health and sustainability of forest-based industries, hardwood forests, and forest communities in the eastern United States.

Phone: (304) 431-2727


Steve Guy


State Belt Tightening May Squeeze Forestry and Wildlife Agencies

Steve Guy is the Director of the Forestry and Wildlife Resources Division of the Alabama Farmers Federation in Montgomery. For the past few months, Steve has attended meetings of the Governor's Commission on Efficiency, Consolidation and Funding. A recent report in the Birmingham News said "Other proposals suggested by the panel included considering: . . . Consolidating the Alabama Forestry Commission and state Conservation Department." We thought that "suggestion" by the commission would be of interest to many forest owners because you probably know people that work for both agencies and you may have an opinion or two on how the agencies could serve you better or cut back on services you do not need. Steve works closely with staff members and leaders of both agencies and he's deeply involved in the activities of several other state agencies, so we look forward to hearing his comments about the suggestions of the Governor's commission.

Phone: 1-800-392-5705 ext. 4305



Dr. Liam E. Leightley


Forest Products and Technological Improvements

Liam Leightley is the head of the Department of Forest Products at Mississippi State's College of Forest Resources and Wildlife Research Center.  Dr. Leightley's research interests include marketing, technology transfer, strategic planning and wood protection.

Through a partnership with TimTek Australia Ltd., Leightley and his team are working with technologies they hope will ultimately produce commercially viable engineered wood products.

"The TimTek process forms high-strength, engineered lumber using small-diameter trees that are crushed into strands. Coated with an exterior-type adhesive and dried, the strands then are formed to desired shapes in a specialized steam-injection hot press."

Phone: (662) 325-4444



Dr. J. Thomas Chesnutt


Agri-Tourism: Alternative Income Source

Tom Chesnutt is the Extension Tourism Specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System based in Auburn, Alabama

For many small Alabama communities, Agri-tourism is their one shot at economic development. The reality is very few communities will ever land a Honda or Mercedes plant, but many abound in farms - small or large - that specialize in crops such as strawberries, pumpkins, cotton or peanuts. And, there is no shortage of folks from all walks of life would like to visit these farms for a sample of rural life.

The concept is very simple and farmers and their communities are already profiting from agri-tourism projects.

Extension is working in a statewide effort to capitalize on this valuable resource. The first goal is to develop a statewide Alabama Agri-Tourism Trail - an exhaustive inventory of agri-tourism sites in Alabama, as well as some national links.

General Information on Agri-Tourism

Phone: (334) 844-3683



William G. Hubbard


Master Tree Farmer is Coming to Town

Bill Hubbard is the Southern Regional Extension Forester and is based at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Bill keeps the Extension Forestry Specialists across the South informed on effective ways to spread their message of good forest and wildlife management and we always look forward to hearing from him. Today he reminds us that the now famous Master Tree Farmer series will begin next month on February 3. The seven-part live satellite-linked series will be delivered to scores of locations, including 16 in Alabama. Thousands of forest owners will attend the programs and AFOA strongly urges you to be one of them.

But if you cannot attend every Tuesday night for 7 weeks, there is a convenient way for you to attend past year's programs without leaving your home or office. Master Tree Farmer I, Master Tree Farmer II and Master Wildlifer are all available on the Internet. The video programs and downloadable handout materials that support the programs are available at the click of a mouse. You may have to download a free copy of RealPlayer software, but it is well worth it.

Phone: (706) 542-7813


Dr. Jeanne C. Jones


Enhancing Non-game Wildlife Habitat on Your Land

Jeanne Jones is Associate Professor with the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries at Mississippi State University. Selling timber and leasing land for hunting are important income sources for many forest owners, but there are potentially many others, such as developing birding trails and motor bike trails and leasing carbon storage rights. When seeking someone to tell us how to make changes to our land that will improve the habitat of non-game species, Dr. Jones came highly recommended. One wildlife biologist stated that within 6 months members of their profession could make changes to forestland now supporting 8 bird species into forestland that would support 40 bird species -- a remarkable achievement if there were people - owners and birders - who appreciated the difference. We are hopeful but remain skeptical.

Habitat improvement is important to attract birds, but we also wonder what changes we must make to the ways we manage our land and market our products such that we attract birders as easily as we attract hunters and loggers.


Recommended Reading:

Phone: (662) 325-2219


Don C. East


Make the Most of Your Timber Sale

Don East won the Alabama Tree Farmer of the Year Award in 2002 and the Helene Mosley Memorial Treasure Forest Award for the northeast region of Alabama in 1999. Don and Lou East live on their Tree Farm in Lineville, Alabama. Don's recent article in Tree Farmer magazine (Nov/Dec, 2003) is an excellent point of beginning for forest owners who are preparing themselves and their land for a timber sale.

"To the average Tree Farmer, making a timber sale should be considered a major step. It should be considered a serious matter that requires careful preparation. In just a few days or weeks a timber sale removes what you and Mother Nature have nourished for at least the past 20 to 30 years. There are no second chances. Think of it as an irreversible medical operation: You want to make the right decisions, and get a second and perhaps third opinion, so you can have it done right the first time."

Don asked AFOA to alert you to this correction in the Tree Farmer article:
On the first page of the article (page 20 in the magazine), in the second column, under item 1 should be corrected as follows: the second sentence should read "If you own more than just a small woodlot, and you don't have a current overall management plan for your property, you would be smart to stop right here and get one."

Phone: (256) 396-2694


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