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

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JUNE 2010 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on June 16, 2010.

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.


Kerlin Drake

Hear Conference


Wood Good for Commercial Construction

Kerlin Drake is Vice President for Marketing at Anthony Forest Products, El Dorado, Arkansas. Before we can tell you about Kerlin, we have to give you a bit of background information first.

For the past several years we have noticed an increasing amount of publicity being given to the LEED green building certification program, a scheme which gives credit to building designs that use building materials with lower built-in energy costs. Our hotel at Calloway Gardens bragged about being LEED certified and the Alabama 4-H Center has done the same. We were frustrated with the LEED standards, however, when we learned that lumber and wood products could only improve a building's LEED rating if they came from forestland certified sustainably managed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Unfortunately, to the best of our knowledge, there is no forestland in Alabama certified by the FSC.

So we've been asking, how can we stop cities and states from requiring LEED certification for new public buildings. Someone said, "You need to talk to Kerlin Drake." In our first conversation, Kerlin was quick to point out that the use of wood in commercial construction -- schools, for example -- is not only good for local wood processing plants, it's also very good for the construction budgets of local schools. And while he continues to push for equal recognition of green building certification programs that recognize locally grown wood, such as the Green Globes system, his main message is that wood is an excellent building material that can reduce costs of commercial construction and look good, too.

Kerlin's list of suggested reading:

Phone: (870) 864-8704


Don Smith

Hear Conference


High Speed Internet Access for Rural Residents

Don Smith is Chief Strategy Officer for SkyWay USA LLC, a company that provides satellite Internet access to rural Alabama residents. A few months ago in AFOA's monthly newsletter we asked members, "Which service for fast access to the Internet is best in rural areas?" Only two members wrote to us. Neither was happy with the speed of downloads and other connections that require a lot of bandwidth, such as Voice-Over-Internet Protocol (voip) or videos. Then we read an article in The Progressive Farmer entitled Link Up Right, and we learned that satellite service is not as fast as the cable or DSL service available in urban areas. Many people we talked to thought that matching ones expectations to reality might improve satisfaction with the satellite-based products available. It may interest you to know that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (The Stimulus Bill) is involved in improving Internet access in rural areas. Don will tell us about current satellite service and what's ahead for rural areas.

Phone: (502) 736-6609


Tommy H. Patterson

Hear Conference


Imagery -- Memories -- Perspective

Tommy Patterson is the owner-operator of Gulf Coast Aerials. Patterson's is an interesting business that may provide you with aerial "photos" of your pond, cabin, hunting lodge, or favorite "40."  Or, as we suspect, it may provide you with ideas on what you might do to develop your own ways of storing information about your land. Tommy says, "Aerial photos have long been a valuable tool to forest owners and forest managers. Aerial photography also serves as a way to preserve memories of the landscape and to track progressive change." Don't miss looking at some of Tommy's low altitude aerial photography on his webpage and also check out the following links:

Phone: (251) 923-6636


Mike Matre

Hear Conference


Analyzing Value to Make Forestry Decisions

Mike Matre is President and Founder of Matre Forestry Consulting, Inc., based in Albany, Georgia. We read an article Mike wrote entitled Timber Appraisal, Net Present Value vs. Current Marketable Value, Georgia Forestry Today, July/August 2009, and we've been pestering him ever since to be a guest on Capital Ideas - Live! One of the worst problems forest owners have is deciding which forest management practices to apply on our land. Should we plant seedlings or leave regeneration up to Mother Nature? Should we thin our plantation now, at age 15, or should we wait 5 years and clearcut the whole thing and start over? What effect do property taxes and hunting lease income have on our net worth? Mike is going to tell us about the value of a dollar in our hand today and the value, today, of a dollar that we won't receive for several years. He will talk about discounting and setting our personal discount rate. Be sure to read Mike's article on pages 5 - 7 of Matre Forestry's 2nd Quarter 2009 Newsletter entitled Planted Pine Net Present Value versus Current Marketable Value.

Other Links:

Phone: (229) 439-1837


Dr. James D. Haywood

Hear Conference


Pine Straw Income & Fire Prevention, Too

Dave Haywood is a Supervisory Research Forester the USDA Forest Service's Alexandria Forestry Center in Pineville, Louisiana. In 1990 Dave began a study of a 250 acre, 34 year old longleaf pine stand on the Kisatchie National Forest in central Louisiana. The results of 15+ years of study are reported in Influence of Pine Straw Harvesting, Prescribed Fire, and Fertilization on a Louisiana Longleaf Pine Site, Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, 33(3) 2009. On one area of the study, pine straw was harvested 13 times in 15 years and didn't seem to reduce the growth of the trees, although Dave recommends fertilization to replace nutrients removed with the straw (See: Nutrition Management for Longleaf Pinestraw, Woodland Owner Notes #30, by David Blevins et al.) . Besides income from straw harvests, removal of pine straw on a continual basis "was shown to deter fire spread..." and "may be used to create fire breaks across landscapes to disrupt wildfires."

Phone: (318) 473-7226


Curt B. Cope, Jr.

Hear Conference


Daily Rain Reports from Your Land

Curt Cope is Vice President for Sales for The company specializes in the production of accurate, site-specific rain reports. Curt signed us up for a basic report on a 40-acre tract in Chilton County and we've been receiving an email every time it rains down there. Now, we don't know how he figures out how much rain falls on our land, and we're not sure we have a use for the service ourselves, but...

What if:

  • A tree planting contractor wants to document the amount of rain that falls before and after tree planting to understand why plantings succeed or fail.
  • A prescribed burn contractor wants to know if moisture conditions on a tract (50 miles away from the office) are just right for burning (rather than drive to the tract with a crew and find out the fuels are too dry or too wet).
  • A consulting forester wants to restrict logging on a tract following extremely wet weather conditions. He might trigger the cutoff when rainfall amounts exceed a certain level during a certain period of time.

Costs, etc.:

Phone: (334) 559-9233


Bruce E. Springer

Hear Conference


Five Ways to Protect Your Forestland from Wildfire

Bruce Springer is East Central Regional Forester for the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC). He has many years of wildfire experience himself, and supervises the fire control operations in 11 east central Alabama counties. According to a 6/15/10 AFC Press Release, 874 homes were damaged or destroyed as a result of 16,433 Alabama wildfires during the past 5 years. A map of fire risk in Alabama is located at Just as we learned that pine straw harvesting might deter wildfires (see Dr. Haywood's section, above), the AFC has developed a list of things a landowner can do to prevent or minimize exposure to the hazards of wildfire. The 5 Ways to Protect Your Forestland from Wildfires are:

  1. Install Firebreaks
  2. Prescribed Burns
  3. Mitigate Along the Edge
  4. Limit Access
  5. Partner with Others

If you live on your forested property, Bruce suggests a review of 50 Ways to Make your Woodland Home Firewise.

Phone: (334) 242-5585


Dr. Anthony J. Cascio

Hear Conference


Timber Markets & Trends

Tony Cascio is Manager of Investment Research at Resource Management Service, LLC, based in Birmingham, Alabama. RMS is a TIMO (timberland investment management organization) that manages approximately 700,000 acres of forestland in Alabama and more than two-million acres in the U.S. and South America. Tony explains how rainfall, housing starts, and pine beetles all have an effect on stumpage markets.

Phone: (205) 980-7339





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