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JUNE 2008 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on JUNE 18, 2008.

to Listen to the
The audio portion of this conference is in .mp3 format, which is compatible with Windows Media Player and most other media devices.

Hayes D. Brown   Alabama Forest Owners' Association

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.


M. Reed Hopper

Hear Conference

Prescribed Fire Threatened by Polar Bear ESA Listing?

Reed Hopper is a Principal Attorney in the Environmental Law Practice Group of "the oldest and most successful legal organization that litigates for property rights and a balanced approach to environmental protection," the Pacific Legal Foundation. According to a May 14 PLF news release, "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to list the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act was misguided, and Pacific Legal Foundation is prepared to mount a legal challenge..." Alabama forest owners are already restricted in the use of prescribed fire in some counties during the summer months. Now this new "problem" may restrict controlled burning even more. If Hopper is right, all of us will see rising gasoline prices and electricity rates. We wonder, if the Arctic ever warmed in the past, why the polar bear didn't go extinct long ago?

Phone: (425) 576-0484


Chris Isaacson

Hear Conference

Property Tax Lawsuit

Chris Isaacson is Executive Vice President of the Alabama Forestry Association based in Montgomery, Alabama. He joins us today to bring us up-to-date on a lawsuit filed March 13, that claims our property tax assessment methods are racially discriminatory and shortchange black public school students. According to Isaacson, forestland property taxes in counties such as Shelby, Baldwin, Madison and other rapidly growing metropolitan areas could see increases of 1000% if the plaintiffs win the case. To help you keep up with this case, which Chris says could be worse than Amendment One in 2003, he is posting copies of the legal filings and a brief synopsis of the lawsuit on AFA's website. Go to and click on Property Tax Lawsuit. *

Phone: (334) 265-8733


Marty McElhaney

Hear Conference

Cap & Trade -- What is it?

Marty McElhaney is Corporate Secretary and Newsletter Editor of Liberty Matters and is based in Smiley, Texas. In the June 10 issue of the Liberty Matters email newsletter, McElhaney discusses a bill named America's Climate Security Act (S-3036). Fortunately, the bill did not pass, but, because of the likely makeup of next year's Congress and the fact that Obama and McCain both support the bill's goals, it will be back. CO2 emitters (power companies and other fossil fuel users) will evidently have to buy their right to emit CO2 in a public auction run by the U.S. Government. Newsweek's Robert Samuelson says, "Let's Just Call It 'Cap and Tax.' " The power companies and other emitters will find it easier to capture some of their carbon by buying carbon offsets from owners of forestland (see Tim Albritton, 5/21/08) instead of smoke stack technology. That sounds good for forest owners, but it may be bad for buyers of electricity and other fossil fuel users. Some believe that Congress may even be trying to solve the wrong problem.

Request a free subscription to Liberty Matters email newsletter: 1-800-847-0227

Phone: (830) 236-5901


Thomas Cunilio

Hear Conference

Gainesville to Build Biomass Fired Power Plant

Tom Cunilio is the Founder and Executive Vice President of the Florida Renewable RC&D Council, a non-profit organization covering five counties in North Central Florida. He and the Council are assisting the City of Gainesville, Florida in its goal to build a 100 megawatt power plant that will be fired by bio-mass. Based on studies done by the University of Florida, the plant will be fueled on urban waste, such as tree trimmings, and logging residue from nearby rural forestland with the remainder of the fuel coming from the harvest of heretofore non-commercial small wood (under 4" diameter) and pulpwood size materials. If Cunilio and Gainesville reach their goal, a new market for small, low value wood will help forest owners through-out the region.

Phone: (386) 418-0381


Dr. Jon E. Barry

Hear Conference

Native Food Plots

Jon Barry is a Forestry Specialist at the Southwest Research & Extension Center of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. This is the time of year when hunters are beginning to work on game food plots (or are thinking about working on their plots). Landowners who hunt or who lease land to hunters may want to listen to Jon's comments. He is doing research on using native plants in food plots and will describe some of the benefits of moving to natives.

Phone: (870) 777-9702 x 112


Kris Irwin

Hear Conference

Soils Maps with Assist from Forest*A*Syst

Kris Irwin is a Public Service Associate, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, The University of Georgia – Athens. He is the instructional designer for the Forest*A*Syst website which focuses on giving forest owners a taste of forest management activities and an opportunity for self-assessment. Today Kris is going to point us towards creating a soils map of our property with the help of his website. When you finish creating your soils map, Kris would like you to take the Self-Assessment Questionnaire found below the Get Started! link (see step 12).

  1. Open 
  2. Click on Profile Your Land (left side menu boxes)
  3. Click on the State where your land is located
  4. Click on the County where your land is located
  5. Scroll Down to Find Your Land -- (you may have to zoom in or out or grab the map and move it with the little hand)
  6. Left Click on your land and Placemark will appear (little red balloon) (latitude and longitude will fill-in below the map)
  7. Click on "Submit Property Location"
  8. Click on Print Aerial Photo of Your Property
  9. Center your property and click on print button on your browser
  10. Click on Return Button ( <== ) to leave the map and return to previous webpage
  11. Click on Tutorial to Learn How to Use Web Soil Survey or
  12. Click on Get Started!
  13. In the WebSoilSurvey Webpage, click on Latitude and Longitude (your lat and long will appear)
  14. Click on View (the U.S. Map will fade and an old aerial photo of your land will appear)
  15. Click on the AOI icon (Look in the tool bar below the words "Area of Interest Interactive Map")
  16.  Draw a red line around your Land by click and moving the cross
  17. When blue cross hatching appears on map, Click on Soil Map tab (above left) (Map Unit Legend appears along with a soil map of your land)
  18. Click on "Printable Version and Print your Soils Map.

Considerations for Forest Management on Alabama Soils

Phone: (706) 542-7412


Martin Copping

Hear Conference

High-End GIS "Software As A Service"

Martin Copping is Vice President of Operations at Geo-Visus, Inc., a company that specializes in making high-end GIS (Global Information System) software and data easily available to users. If you have already bought inexpensive software, but couldn't justify the expense of ESRI software (have you seen training sessions in our Calendar of Events for ArcGIS?), you may want to look again at Martin's product. He calls it "software as a service" and it is available along with your data from your Internet browser whenever AND wherever you are connected to the Internet. Martin will host a Webinar on July 23 at 3 PM Central Time (sign up here) to give you an in-depth demonstration of GISLite©™. We recognize that Software as a Service may not be for every member of AFOA, but for that small group among our 7,800 members, this one's for you.

Phone: 1-888-724-4447 x 401