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OCTOBER 2009 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on October 22, 2009.

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.


Erica Rhoad

Hear Conference


Definition of Woody Biomass: IMPORTANT

Erica Rhoad is the Director of Forest Policy for the Society of American Foresters (SAF), the national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States. Erica is based in Washington, DC. You have probably read articles in the news that question whether food crops like corn ought to be used to produce energy products such as ethanol. Another controversy involves the cutting of tropical forests to grow oil palms. When our lawmakers make laws that "force" us to use more ethanol in our gasoline, or force power companies to use more renewable resources (wind, solar, biomass), it becomes very important that biomass from forests not be excluded by definition. "Congress could miss an enormous opportunity to advance American energy independence through healthy forest management," wrote Michael Goergen, SAF CEO, in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Forestry. And forest owners might miss an enormous opportunity to have woody biomass included in the definition of renewable resources if we don't let lawmakers know that the definition is important to us. Click here for issues and legislation.

Phone: (301) 897-8720


Joseph A. McGlincy

Hear Conference


Gopher Tortoise "Threatened" Range May Grow

Joe McGlincy is a Partner in Southern Forestry Consultants and heads up The Wildlife Company, a division of SFC. Joe is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and earned a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management from Auburn University. He brought to our attention that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is seeking information on whether to expand the "Threatened" range of the Gopher Tortoise eastward from the Mobile and Tombigbee rivers across Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Joe will help us understand the implications of the following statement on South Alabama forest management practices:

"We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the eastern population of the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) and designate critical habitat. Herein, the Service refers to the eastern population of the gopher tortoise as the gopher tortoise in the eastern portion of its range. Following a review of the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the gopher tortoise in the eastern portion of its range may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a status review to determine if listing the gopher tortoise in the eastern portion of the range is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding the status of and threats facing the gopher tortoise throughout all of its range."  Click here for important dates and lots of details.

Pine Ecosystem Conservation Handbook for the Gopher Tortoise (link added 11/10/09)

Phone: (229) 246-5785


Jon Lindsay

Hear Conference


Building Access for Forestry Success

Jon Lindsay is a staff forester for Forest Management, Inc. in Savannah, Tennessee. He was recently featured in an article on the BASF website: Consultant's Corner: Building Roads. "Forest access roads represent one of a private landowner’s largest investments, but their benefits far outweigh initial costs. Well-planned and maintained access roads can mean significant additional income from timber sales. They can also allow you to get more from your land in terms of hunting, fishing and other recreation, as well as protect your land’s resources by providing access."

"Advanced" Studies:

Phone: (731) 925-8228


Chris Dillard

Hear Conference


GPS & GIS Update

Chris Dillard is the Geospatial Extension Specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. We met Chris right after a flyer for GPS 101: Technology for Better Land Management landed in the AFOA office. GPS, as you probably know, stands for Global Positioning System and GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. GPS locates points on the earth and GIS helps connect or visualize those points through a map or other data, like timber inventories. The November 19 one-day workshop in Fairhope, Alabama will cover an Overview of Basic GIS, a Review of GPS systems, an Overview of free or inexpensive software to develop maps, Hands-on Training with GPS units and low-cost software. After a quick look at the flyer, we invited Chris and co-instructor Beau Brodbeck to bring their workshop to AFOA's April 17, 2010 Annual Meeting in Atmore and they have graciously accepted our invitation. Today we have asked Chris to give us a GPS and GIS update -- low-cost mode.

Phone: (334) 844-3921


Suzanne Hearn

Hear Conference


BCAP, Black Liquor, & Stumpage Prices

Suzanne Hearn manages several functions at Forest2Market, Inc., a timber pricing firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. One of her activities has been to track federal legislation and regulations that affect the forestry industries. We asked Suzanne to tell us about the BCAP Program (Biomass Crop Assistance Program) and how you (and your consulting forester) might be able to improve your biomass sale income when selling to qualified bioenergy companies. We also asked her to tell us how the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit and the Black Liquor that fuels pulp and paper mills has affected pulpwood prices. “The more landowners know about the factors affecting the markets they operate in, the better off they will be when selling timber,” says Hearn. “On one level, it may not seem like these regulations matter to landowners. When you know as much about the incentives that are out there as your buyer, though, you’re negotiating from a better vantage point.”

Phone: (704) 357-0110


Dr. John L. Greene

Hear Conference


Tax Tips for 2009

John Greene is a Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Economics and Policy Research Unit, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He has authored and co-authored many publications, but the one most forest owners are familiar with is the annual publication, this year entitled, Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2009 Tax Year. "The bulletin summarizes federal income tax information useful to forest owners in preparing their 2009 tax returns." Topics include: Selling Timber, Installment Sales, Timber Basis, Timber Management Expenses, Reforestation Tax Provisions, Depreciation and the Section 179 Deduction, Cost-share Payments, Timber Casualty Losses, and Timber Depletion. John has also provided us with power point slides (Forest Taxation Update) that will shed more light on some of the topics covered only briefly in Tax Tips. John has also agreed, along with Linda Wang, to teach a tax workshop at AFOA's Annual Meeting in Atmore on April 16. He asked us whether you would like a Forest Taxation Workshop similar to the one taught at Cheaha earlier this year, or would you prefer an Estate Planning for Forest Owners Workshop? Send your pick to John & Linda will be teaching Estate Planning workshops on November 4 & 5 in Crossville and Jackson, Tennessee, resp. See AFOA's Calendar of Events for details.

Phone: (919) 549-4093


M. Craig Hill

Hear Conference


Advice Sought on Proposed Forestry Regulations

Craig Hill is Chief of the Law Enforcement Section of the Alabama Forestry Commission. He comes to us today to ask for your advice. "The Alabama Forestry Commission has authority, pursuant to Section 9-3-9, Code of Alabama to make rules/regulations pertaining to all phases of forestry. This authority is not unique to the AFC with many state agencies having such authority." The Forestry Commission has proposed several regulations designed "to help forest owners by making many acts which are now civil – criminal. If these regulations are adopted the AFC would have some tools (laws) with which to help persons selling their timber. Currently, we have to refer the landowner to civil court because no criminal act has been committed. I believe that the proposed regulations are just common sense:"

"These regulations are proposed to help those that we currently cannot help and require a minimum level of accountability on persons that harvest timber.
     "I hope you think these regulations are common sense and should be required. The AFC needs and wants your input on these proposed regulations. If you think they are good or bad please email or write us."

Send Comments or Attend Public Hearing: AFC Attorney Tom Conway will receive comments from the public through November 3, 2009. On November 3 Tom Conway and Craig Hill will be in the Alabama Forestry Commission Auditorium, 513 Madison Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama, from 10:00 AM until 12:00 Noon should the public want to come and ask questions or voice concerns. PUBLIC HEARING TIME EXPANDED TO 4 PM.

Email addresses where comments may be sent: 

Or mailing address is:

Alabama Forestry Commission
c/o Tom Conway
P. O. Box 302550
Montgomery, AL 36130

Phone: (334) 240-9366


Dr. Matthew H. Pelkki

Hear Conference


Keep Your Eye on the Money

Matt Pelkki is a Professor and holds the George H. Clippert Endowed Chair of Forest Resource Economics, Management, and Policy at the School of Forest Resources at the University of Arkansas-Monticello. At a recent meeting of the Alabama Forestry Legislative Study Committee, Pelkki's work on relative values of forest products was quoted in an attempt to prevent the Committee from developing legislation that might create counter-productive laws favoring such trendy products as biofuels or carbon offsets. Many southern landowners and most members of the public, including lawmakers, do not realize how vastly more important landowner income is from sawtimber than pulpwood: $3,395 million for sawtimber vs. $1,046 million for pulpwood. See Slide. Sawtimber prices may be down right now and may stay that way for several years until the housing market recovers, but Professor Pelkki's admonition in an article in the May-June 2009 Forest Landowner magazine of "STAY THE COURSE" is good advice. He wrote, "...prices in 2008 are 345 percent higher than in 1973, or an average annual price growth of 3.6 percent. If you add the biological growth of your trees, your investments are still likely to earn very respectable rates of return between 8 and 9 percent."

Phone: (870) 460-1949




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