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

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May 2004 News Conference for Forest Owners Sponsored by Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc. Conference was recorded Wednesday, May 19, 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.

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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.


Ian Vásquez


Property Rights Most Important Ingredient in Private Forestland Recipe

Ian Vásquez is the director of the Cato Institute's Project on Global Economic Liberty in Washington, D.C. Recently, Cato honored Hernando de Soto with the 2004 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. As de Soto states:

 ...the property system is much more than ownership: it is in fact the hidden architecture that organizes the market economy in every Western nation. What the property system accomplishes is so central to capitalism that developed nations have come to take its success for granted.

Ian discusses the Prize and explains why property rights should not be taken for granted not only in third-world countries, but also in Alabama.

About the prize and the prize winner:

Some published works by Ian Vásquez:

Phone: (202) 789-5200


Bill Dart


ATVs Fly Out the Door with No Place to Land

Bill Dart is executive director of the Blueribbon Coalition in Pocatello, Idaho. Like Brent Williams and Glenn Myers, he is working to find "common ground" between ATV (all terrain vehicle) riders and landowners for the benefit of both. Today Bill shares with us some enlightening ATV statistics and demographics. In a recent email note he wrote,  "OHV [off highway vehicle] recreation can be a very lucrative business. Sales of ATV's and dirt bikes is through the ceiling, while opportunities to ride them is declining." Unfortunately for us, Bill is still searching for good liability insurance protection for landowners who lease their land to riding clubs or charge fees for day-riding. Currently the only coverage available is for races and special events.

Some Successful ATV Trail Systems:

Information on Risks and Insurance:

Phone: 1-800-258-3742


Sheriff Jay M. Jones


Posting Land Critical Tool to Prevent and Prosecute Trespass

Jay Jones is  currently serving his second term as Sheriff of Lee County, Alabama. He recently spoke at a landowners' meeting where he discussed landowners' legal options when dealing with trespassers, such as trespass prevention and the process of pressing charges if prevention methods fail. He explains the language of Alabama State Law and how it relates to trespassers' common claim that they were not knowingly* trespassing. Unfortunately, law officers are generally prohibited by law from arresting anyone for the commission of a misdemeanor unless it is committed in their presence. Most of us are familiar with the fish & game law which requires hunters to have written permission to enter another's land, but trespass unrelated to hunting is considered relatively unimportant under current law. See 3rd Degree Criminal Trespass in table below.

Understanding the Language of the Law:

Violation Interpretation Punishment
Criminal Trespass in the 1st Degree Knowingly entering/ remaining unlawfully in dwelling/residence Maximum 1 year jail and $2,000 fine
Criminal Trespass in the 2nd Degree Knowingly entering/ remaining unlawfully in building or on real property which is fenced or enclosed to exclude intruders Maximum 90 days jail and $500 fine
Criminal Trespass in the 3rd degree: Knowingly entering/remaining on unlawfully in or on premises Maximum 30 days jail and $200 fine

* The element of "knowingly" relates to whether the property is "apparently unused or unimproved." If the owner has personally communicated that the premises are private or if the land is conspicuously posted, the intruders claim of "not knowing" would be negated.

To secure a warrant, a complainant must:

  • Be the injured party (owner)
  • Personally observe violation of law or have a witness who made the observation
  • Be able to specifically identify the violator (owner or witness or photo from which violator can be identified)
  • Be willing to be present in court and testify

Editor's comment: If you aren't on your own property, you are most definitely on someone else's. It boggles my mind that the law allows people to claim they don't know they are trespassing.

Phone: (334) 749-5651


Rick Bruin


Fire, Chemicals, Heavy Equipment --- Baaaaa

Rick Bruin runs Walking Stick Acres in Berry, Kentucky. Rick tells us that the right kind of goats on the right kind of property can be a great combination for preparing land for planting or maintaining land in a condition that is relatively brush-free and fire-resistant. With no gas or chemicals and a minimum of labor and equipment, Bruin's goats can maintain property value, enhance the appearance and thus increase the value of commercial property, and even clear brush around timber for the purpose of effortless navigation for foresters and landowners. Walking Stick Acres will be relocated to Coosa County, Alabama by the end of 2004.

Phone: (859) 824-3422


Bryan Kinkel


Deer Management 101: The Book

Bryan Kinkel is a deer biologist with Woods and Associates, Inc., a private consulting firm that provides site-specific forestry and wildlife habitat management services and educational opportunities (August 5-8, Callaway Gardens, Georgia). Kinkel is co-author of Deer Management 101 - Manage Your Way To Better Hunting, which uses a mixture of research and practice to reveal habitat insights in a no-nonsense, hunter-friendly format.

Click here to order Deer Management 101

Deer management links and resources:

Phone: (417) 334-3441


Alexander Clark, III


Grow the Trees Timber Purchasers Want

Alexander Clark  is a Forest Products Technologist with the USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station in Athens, Georgia, and works specifically with the Disturbance and the Management of Southern Pine Ecosystems Unit. Clark explains why it is important for landowners to be concerned with their trees' wood quality and he gives us a few pointers on how to grow trees that will have the wood properties stumpage buyers look for. His recommendations are geared to help us improve yields of "mature wood" (not soft "juvenile wood") on straight trees. Pine trees may all look the same to us on the outside, but the conditions under which they were grown makes for big differences on the quality of the lumber and other products that can be made from them after harvest.

On Improving Lumber Quality and Yield from Planted Loblolly Pines:

  • To reduce knot size and diameter of juvenile wood core plant more than 600 loblolly pines per acre
  • Competition control plus fertilizer at planting increases growth significantly, but also increases diameter of juvenile wood core (24%) and lowers Specific Gravity slightly (3-4%).
  • Mid-rotation fertilizer can increase growth with no long-term reduction in wood Specific Gravity
  • Fertilize with Nitrogen after thinning to enhance mature wood growth
  • Lumber strength, stiffness, and grade increase with increasing rotation length (suggest rotation of 25 to 30 years)
  • Prune loblolly pine aggressively as early as possible in the rotation to reduce the diameter of the knotty core

From Planting to Harvest -- a schedule*:

  • Control woody competition before planting with herbicides
  • Apply Phosphorus if needed
  • Plant 600-800 Trees Per Acre  to keep branches small and accelerate time to crown closure
  • Apply Herbicide Weed Control where cost-effective to decrease time to crown closure to decrease time to thinning size and to increase chances for good survival.
  • Thin for pulpwood at age 12-14, or 2 years after crown closure, when trees are producing mature wood (market permitting). Use first thinning to eliminate cankers and defects.
  • Fertilize with Nitrogen (and a dash of Phosphorus) at/after thinning to enhance growth rates of mature wood.
  • Second thinning for pulpwood/chip-n-saw to achieve quality and even spacing in the residual stand to 200-300 at age ~20.
  • Control woody competition at time of 2nd thinning as needed
  • Fertilize with Nitrogen (and a dash of Phosphorus) at/after 2nd thinning.
  • Harvest quality saw timber at age 25-30.

* Time to achieve certain milestones or apply treatments will depend on site quality, competition, and survival. Less intensive options applying just one thinning and/or fertilization may be prudent for some sites/objectives. Markets will dictate timing and commercial viability of thinnings.

Phone: (706) 559-4323


Powell G. Ogletree, Jr.


Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Gee Ogletree is a real estate, forestry, natural resources, business and trial attorney with Adams and Reese LLP in Jackson, Mississippi. During the Mississippi Forestry Association's 2003 Annual Meeting, Gee presented a speech entitled, Forestry Law from a Landowner's Perspective: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Compared to seventy years ago, most landowners would only work with a lawyer on rare occasions such as "...buying or selling a home, writing a will, or, probating an estate." For most other transactions, such as buying equipment for one's property, Gee comments, "You just shook hands and made a deal." However,  today, "Our society has changed to the point that operating a forestry business requires the owner to have a working knowledge in property, labor, employment, tax, environmental and other laws."  We hope you will read his thought provoking comments: Forestry Law from a Landowner's Perspective: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,  Tree Talk, Winter 2004.

Phone: (601) 292-0740


Eddie Stone


Alabama Stumpage Market Report

Eddie Stone is a consulting forester and owner of Forever Green, Inc. His goal is to help us get the most from our timberland investment in a variety of ways. But while Eddie might help us lease our land for hunting or other recreational activities, he doesn't let us forget that stumpage income still pays the bills. He reminds us, too, that we should be aware that published timber price reports may lag behind the actual market conditions. Sometimes 30 to 60 day periods of wet or dry weather can have a strong effect on local stumpage markets. Eddie suggests we develop a relationship with people who can help us stay alert to rapid market changes.

Phone: (205) 702-4420