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CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!

MARCH 2009 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on MARCH 24, 2009.

CLICK HERE
to Listen to the
Conference.
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)

Moderator

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

Click Here to View & Hear Prior News Conferences.

 

Dr. David F. Slonaker

(00:27)
Hear Conference

Do What You Can When You Can

David Slonaker is a human resource psychologist, a Georgia forest owner, and long-time AFOA member who lives in Midland, Georgia. In a time when many people are considering how to reposition their financial assets, Dr. Slonaker has written a book that is focused on helping us strengthen and reposition our human assets. If the current financial meltdown has left you with less spendable cash, this might be a good time to invest time enjoying friends and improving family ties. In Do What You Can When You Can, the author uses stories based on real life events to help the reader understand the theme of each chapter; many are set on the farm and in the forest. Dr. Slonaker will sign copies of his book at AFOA's Annual Meeting at Cheaha State Park on Thursday, April 23. Cost: $20 at the meeting.

Phone: (706) 569-6105
Email: slonakerfarms@mchsi.com

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Pamela Villarreal

(04:28)
Hear Conference

Estate Tax: What It Might Be

Pam Villarreal  is the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) expert on retirement, Social Security, economic growth and tax issues. In a 2003 paper entitled Taxing Forests to Death, Ms. Villarreal pointed out that the "estate tax forces landowners nationwide to sell 1.4 million acres per year and to harvest more than 2.6 million acres of timber." Since the federal estate tax is scheduled to expire for the full 12 months of 2010, it is expected that the Congress and the Administration will change the tax during 2009. We asked her what changes we might expect this year and what changes NCPA recommends.

NCPA Studies and Publications on the Estate Tax:

NCPA's Taxes & Growth webpage (links to information)

Phone: (972) 308-6482
Email: pam.villarreal@ncpa.org

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Dr. John L. Greene

(08:47)
Hear Conference

Estate Tax: What It Is

John Greene is a Forest Economist attached to the Southern Research Station and based in New Orleans. He is a co-author of the recently published Estate Planning for Forest Landowners: What Will Become of Your Timberland? (January 2009, 200 pages, General Technical Report SRS 112) In the book, the authors discuss the need for estate planning and how to go about it. They cover ways to minimize the federal estate tax burden when your forest property passes to your heirs and they describe general tools provided in the tax code – like the marital deduction and gifting – and forestry-specific tools provided in the tax code – like special use valuation. Finally, they describe other tools and strategies – like trusts, insurance, and different forms of business organization, like Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies.

John and Dr. Linda Wang will lead a full-day Forest Taxation Workshop on April 22 preceding AFOA's Annual Meeting at Cheaha State Park. "We’ll be talking about things like how to establish your timber basis, how to make sure you pay the lowest possible tax on timber income, how to avoid taxes on cost-share program payments, how to recover reforestation expenses as quickly as possible, the tax effects of a casualty loss, and how to deal with the dreaded Form T." The $75 registration fee includes a huge amount of printed material, lunch at the Cheaha State Park Restaurant, and full registration for AFOA's Annual Meeting (4/22-24/09). Click for registration information.

Links for the Estate Tax Guide and other information:

Phone: (919) 549-4093
Email: johnlgreene@fs.fed.us

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Richard T. Straight

(11:23)
Hear Conference

Conservation Buffers -- Design Guidelines

Rich Straight has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Forest Management and for the last 7 years has been the Technology Transfer Lead for the USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC). The NAC recently published Conservation Buffers: Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors, and Greenways. The 136 page online guidelines contain sections on Water Quality, Biodiversity, Soils, Economic Opportunities, Protection & Safety (firewise buffers), Aesthetics and Visual, and Outdoor Recreation. We particularly enjoyed reading the last section on Outdoor Recreation which had lots of good ideas for trail design.

LINKS

  • Buffer Guidelines - New practical field guide for designing buffers - PDF and online versions
  • Buffer$ - This tool can be used to analyze cost benefits of buffers compared to traditional crops. - online and download version
  • Non-Timber Forest Products - Your place to learn more about the use and markets for non-timber forest products

Phone: (402) 437-5178x4024
Email: rstraight@fs.fed.us

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James Arthur Hitt

(15:19)
Hear Conference

Cost-Share Programs Update

Arthur Hitt is the Landowner Assistance Coordinator for the Alabama Forestry Commission. There are numerous cost-share programs (tree planting, firebreak establishment, wildlife habitat, etc.) provided by several agencies and we thought it was time to ask Arthur to give us an update on the programs since his last appearance on Capital Ideas - Live! in May of 2006. In 2006 there were "a dozen federally funded forestry programs to help deal with the aftermath of Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis, and Katrina. The signup periods for those have past, but some of the practices are still being implemented. Currently, the common thread in forestry cost-share programs is funding to help re-establish Threatened and Endangered (T&E) Ecosystems. One of the most widespread and well known of these is the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem." Click here to contact local offices of the AFC. Click here for a brief overview of more than a dozen cost-share programs available in Alabama.

Link added 7/23/11: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/econ/data/forestincentives/federal.htm

Phone: (334) 240-9323
Email: arthur.hitt@forestry.alabama.gov

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Capt. Don C. East

(17:53)
Hear Conference

Local Forest History

Don East has been a Navy Captain, a Tree Farmer, an AFOA member, and is now an author of a book that looks at our forestland from a different perspective. In A Historical Analysis of the Creek Indian Hillabee Towns And Personal Reflections on the Landscape and People of Clay County, Alabama, Don discusses the "vastly differing views of private land ownership" of Indians and whites, the economy of the Creek Federation, the early "peckerwood" sawmill operations, and more. The book can be obtained on the web from: iUniverse, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and Books-A-Million. Or, if an autographed copy is desired, write: Don C. East, 981 County Road 2811, Lineville, Al. 36266. Cost: $27 soft cover and $35 hardcover (prices include packaging and mailing).

Phone: (256) 396-2694
Email: creekstreefarms2@yahoo.com

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Ted DeVos

(22:31)
Hear Conference

Creating Quality Understory Habitat

Ted DeVos is a Forester, Wildlife Biologist, and co-owner of Bach & DeVos Forestry and Wildlife Services based in Montgomery, Alabama. When we were able to talk to Ted during a break from prescribed burning on a client's land, we asked him to tell us what we could be doing on our forestland during the next few months to improve wildlife habitat. His quick answer was "create quality understory habitat." Ted's preferred tools are burning, thinning, and herbicides, but we suspect, based on the links he suggested (below), fire is his most preferred tool.

SUGGESTED LINKS:

Phone: (334) 850-4955
Email: tdevos1@charter.net

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Arthia William Rye

(26:15)
Hear Conference

Timber Market Report

Billy Rye is the owner and manager of Forest Management Specialists, Inc., a forestry consulting firm based in Florence, Alabama, serving forest landowners in the Mid-South region since 1996. When we asked Billy to give this month's Capital Ideas - Live! market report, he asked if he could talk about something else, but we persisted (He will be a speaker on selling carbon offsets at AFOA's Annual Meeting on April 23). With housing starts down from 981,000 in February 2008 to 547,000 in February 2009, sawmills are not buying much timber. Pine and hardwood pulpwood is still sellable, but weakening and the tie log (for railroad crossties) market is strong. Billy suggested that there may be ways to improve chances of selling timber such as lengthening timber sale contract time and he strongly urged timber owners to use the services of consulting foresters when selling timber.

Phone: (256) 765-0397
Email: formgtspec@aol.com

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