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

Services & Supplies Categories

Aerial Photographs, GIS, & Maps

Certified Public Accountants

Chemical Vegetation Management

Consulting Forester
Member ACF

Consulting Forester

Family Wealth Management

Forestry Equipment, Portable Sawmills, & Tools

Hunting Gear, Guns, etc.


Land For Sale

Nuisance Wildlife Control

Pond Management

Posted Signs

Real Estate Appraisals

Real Estate Loans

Timber Buyer

Timber Market Pricing Service

Timber Sale Assistance

Tree Planting Equipment & Services

Tree Seed For Sale

Tree Seedlings For Sale

Woodland Mulching



JULY 2008 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on JULY 16, 2008.

to Listen to the
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.


Dr. John R. Christy

Hear Conference

Climate & The Prudent Forestland Investor

John Christy is Professor and Director, Earth System Science Center, National Space Science and Technology Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville. "...Christy is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) established by the United Nations 12 years ago. As such, he is one of the world's preeminent experts on atmospheric conditions, one whose research informs our basic understanding of climate change. Yet Christy is also something of a maverick. Years ago he cast doubt on the idea that global warming is caused by humans— or that the phenomenon exists at all— and he has only grown more skeptical..."

Today we have asked Dr. Christy to advise owners of forestland on management & ownership decisions. If human-caused global warm is happening, how will it affect forests? If human-caused global warming is not happening, how will regulations and "solutions" designed to slow global warming affect us?

Phone: (256) 961-7763


Donald W. Heath

Hear Conference

Your IRA & Forestland Investment

Don Heath is Manager, Natural Resources & Real Estate, Regions Bank. Don's personal IRA (individual retirement account) owns forestland in Alabama. Don cautiously stated that in special situations, owning timberland in one's IRA may be the right thing to do. For example, if someone is about to roll-over a 401(k) account into an IRA and he thinks he can do as well with a timberland investment as one in stocks or bonds, timberland may be the right way to go. Remember that the IRA owns the land and the owner of the IRA may not use the land as personal property. However, land can be leased for hunting, timber can be sold, and trees planted.

Information at Pensco Trust Company Website:

  • Overview -- Real Estate Investments -- Self-Directed IRA
  • Procedures -- Real Estate Investments -- Self-Directed IRA

Phone: (205) 320-7212


Thomas J. Ebner

Hear Conference

Marked Thinning Best

Tom Ebner received BS in Forest Engineering from Oregon State and an MBA from the University of Oregon and then backed up his education by working at a lumber company, a federal land agency, a forest products company, and finally, as a consultant. Tom co-authored the book Timberland Investments in 1992. In 2006, he wrote a research paper with Dr. Bob Daniels entitled The Benefits of Marking the First Pine Thinning. From AFOA's January 2007 issue of Capital Ideas: Daniels & Ebner's paper "makes a pretty strong case for improving the size and quality of 'leave' trees. The authors studied 70 unfertilized stands, comparing the results of 'operator select' versus 'marked thinning.'  From the paper: “If the marking cost was $50/acre, the return on investment for the additional cost of marking is 28% for an average quality marking.”  “Marked thinning results in higher quality residual stands, increased diameter growth and higher stand present value prior to the second thinning than in operator select thinning. Costs for marking are easily justified by increased stand value.”

Phone: (662) 328-5304


Shelley Tschida

Hear Conference

Recreation Access Fees and Quality Service

Shelley Tschida is the CEO of Quality Services, Inc. based in Spirit Lake, Idaho. QSI has been providing access and recreation management services to private industrial forestland owners for the past eight years. Currently, QSI has over 1 million acres of forest land involved in custom designed active access management programs. Many AFOA members lease land for hunting and a few sell access rights for other forms of recreation, such as 4-wheeler trail-riding, camping and fishing. But most of us are rather passive in our provision of recreation amenities. Tschida takes pride in her ability to improve the quality of experience that the customers of her clients receive. In a global climate of change, improving the quality of the recreational experience on our land may be a key to our future income - and personal happiness.

Phone: (208) 623-2539


Dr. Harry L Haney, Jr.

Hear Conference

Estate Planning -- It's not too late.

Harry Haney is an emeritus professor, an Alabama forest owner, and the author or co-author of several publications, not least of which is Estate Planning for Forest Landowners: What Will Become of Your Timberland? When talking to him last week, he reminded us that as property values increase, many landowners remain unaware of the increase in the value (and tax exposure) of their estates. He suggested there is no better time than now to bring your will up-to-date, to shelter your land and timber from estate taxes, and to make sure your land is transferred to your heirs in a way that would please you. Dr. Haney will teach a 2-day course at the University of Georgia's Continuing Education Center September 29-30: Estate Planning for Forest Landowners in Uncertain Economic and Legal Environments.

Phrases or Jargon to watch for in the interview:
Unexpected Heirs
   o   Unexpected Consequences
Exemption Equivalent
Marital Deduction
Credit By-pass Trust
Special Use Valuation
Deferral & Extension

Phone: (512) 965-6786


Michelle Isenberg

Hear Conference

Preparation is 90% of the Work

Michelle Isenberg is a Partner in the firm Custom Air. She has been a frequent speaker or tour leader at forestry meetings across Alabama. When you plant trees or prepare seed beds for natural seed-fall, Custom Air has developed services to help you get the work done, economically and effectively.

A few of the services offered:
   o     Herbicide Application - Aerial & Ground
   o     Prescribed Burning
   o     Aerial Photography
   o     Customized Prescriptions for site prep., weed control and release
   o     Fertilization
   o     Accurate acre determination & spray maps

Phone: (256) 825-0512


Ralph G. Hellmich

Hear Conference

Oil & Gas Exploration Update

Ralph Hellmich is Operations Supervisor South Alabama Area for the Alabama Oil & Gas Board. Everyday we read about rising oil prices and pay higher and higher prices at the pump for gasoline and diesel, so we asked Dr. Hellmich to give us a brief update on oil & gas exploration activities in the state. Before the program he told us that Alabama's largest oil field, Little Cedar Creek Field, is producing 6,000 barrels per day and continues to grow. The Oil & Gas Board's website contains information on all statewide oil & gas production and his Mobile office has up-to-date activity for all of south Alabama. He reminded us, too, that leases are negotiable, and urged us to obtain a copy of A Landowners Guide to Oil and Gas in Alabama at the Board's publications webpage (about $7) (Telephone orders: 205-247-3636).

A few recent headlines:
   o   Oil Prices Plunge More Than $10 A Barrel
   o   Beyond Drilling: Tax Credits to Lower Energy Costs
   o   President speaks of drilling, conserving
   o   Sessions remarks on offshore drilling

Phone: (251) 438-4848


Mike Ward

Hear Conference

Recreation Premium

Mike Ward specializes in rural real estate at Southern Timberlands and co-hosts a weekly sports radio show on WNSP in Mobile. AFOA was referred to Mike as someone who understands the Recreation Premium of rural land. Understanding that current rural real estate prices no longer are simply based on the productivity of the soil is important when buying or selling. We asked Mike to tell us what people look for when they are shopping for rural land and what a current landowner can do to enhance his land's value for future sale. AFOA maintains a "land for sale" web page at Also, several companies who specialize in rural real estate are listed on our website.

Phone: (251) 341-1110