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AUGUST 2010 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on August 18, 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.


Myron Ebell

Hear Conference


Federal Land Acquisition. Good or Bad?

Myron Ebell is Director, Energy and Global Warming Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an organization "dedicated to advancing limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty." When AFOA learned that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service had proposed a nearly 280,000 acre land acquisition and control project in central Alabama, we immediately thought of Myron Ebell as someone who might help us stop this enormous intrusion of the federal government into our state. Myron had once been a leader of the National Inholders Association, a group and an idea we thought we'd never need in Alabama. Today we ask him about the management of federal lands and how it compares to private land management; Is the F&WS a good neighbor; Does it keep its promises; And will a 280,000 acre federal entity help or hurt the local economy?

Be sure to send your comments to the FWS by September 7 and, if possible, attend a public meeting (not a hearing) in Brent on September 2. For details on the proposal, the public meeting and the full 70 page proposal, click here.

Based on tables in The Economic Impact of Privately-Owned Forests, AFOA calculates the impact of the 106,415 acre land acquisition will cost Alabama
     702 jobs,
     $22.8 million in annual payroll contributions,
     $778,958 yearly in state tax contributions,
     $67 million in annual sales, and
     $26 million in annual Gross Domestic Product.

The cost in reduced productivity caused by the conservation easement lockup of an additional 173,380 acres is not known.

Finally, AFOA wonders who is to blame for bringing this federal intrusion to Alabama. First, we blame ourselves for not trying to stop the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge when it was only an idea 10 years ago. And then we must look to see which lawmakers created and supported the necessary legislation to make it happen. We think that answer is on page 19 of Refuge Update dated July/August 2004. The names Bachus, Riley, Sessions, and Shelby are all there -- all conservatives who have talked about the benefits of limited government and the need to reduce tax burdens.

Phone: (202) 331-2256


David W. Baker

Hear Conference


Closing the Generation Gap

Dave Baker heads up the Beginning Farmer Center, a project of Iowa State University Extension. The Beginning Farmer Center is affiliated with the International Farm Transition Network whose motto is "Fostering the next generation of farmers." A few weeks ago we read Mentoring Farmers Without Heirs in the The Progressive Farmer, 8/10, and learned that Dave keeps lists; one of farmers who are planning for retirement but have no heir interested in farming, and a second list of young farmers seeking opportunities to acquire a farm of their own. In short, Dave is a matchmaker and he has a pretty good track record: 45 matches so far. We asked him to tell us about the Iowa project, knowing that there are many differences between farmers and forest owners. However, we thought you might benefit from hearing how Iowa landowners are facing problems that concern many Alabama landowners and potential landowners.

Phone: 1-877-232-1999


Dr. Thomas J. Straka

Hear Conference


Caveat Emptor

Tom Straka is a forestry professor at Clemson University. His articles on forestry investment analysis have appeared in numerous forestry magazines and he has been a guest on Capital Ideas - Live! three times in the past. During an AFOA "skull" session earlier this year, Tom voiced concerns that "infomercial" type articles have begun cropping up in popular magazines and they may not have provided advice that was financially sound. The articles might be describing the results of using certain herbicides, fertilizer, or improved seedlings. He warns that financial analyses can be skewed to show favorable results and suggests we read forestry publications with a skeptical eye. Good advice.

Suggested reading:

Phone: (864) 656-4827


Dr. Eric D. Vance

Hear Conference


Research Focused on Forest Productivity

Eric Vance wrote a thought provoking Commentary in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Forestry that we thought you might like to read. He warns that the U.S. forest industry can only compete if we develop improved forest technologies and management schemes "firmly grounded in research," and then goes on to point out that funding for forestry research has weakened, and thus needs to be carefully focused on productivity. As an example of the value of research, he notes that, "Intensive practices have increased forest productivity by up to sixfold over the past 40 years relative to unmanaged, naturally regenerated stands. Nutrition management, competing vegetation control, and site preparation practices that facilitate stand establishment account for much of this increase, with improved genetic stock developed from tree breeding programs contributing an increasing share in recent years."  And he is aware that it is important to "expand technology a larger segment of landowners." Vance's remarks, in his Journal Commentary and other articles,* provide a bit of relief to those of us who have been worried that, for the past several years, forestry research has not been focused on productivity. We sense that cooler (and more focused) heads may prevail in research circles at some point in the future. At least we can hope.

*  Vance, E. D., D.A. Maguire, and R. S. Zalesny Jr. 2010. Research strategies for increasing productivity of intensively managed forest plantations. Journal of Forestry 108:183-192.

*  Vance, E., B. Cazell, H. N. Chapel, H. Duzan, M. Jacobson, J. Johnson, and J. Rakestraw. 2010. Enhancing forest technology: Research priorities of the southern forest sector. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 34:38-45.

Phone: (919) 941-6415


Adam Downing

Hear Conference


The Woods in Your Backyard

Adam Downing is a Virginia Tech Extension Agent who has co-authored a manual and workbook that we thought you might make use of in your own yard and in discussions with people who aren't forest owners. The Woods in Your Backyard is a manual and workbook, but it is also a collection of presentations (video, slides) that will help you understand forest succession, identify tree species, develop objectives for your land, and concentrate efforts on crop trees. Though written for owners of small woodlots, your larger rural forestland will probably benefit from watching the slide shows and working on some of the described projects.

The full-color, 139-page manual guides land owners to:

  • Learn why you should manage your land.
  • Map your land, assess why you bought it, and decide what you hope to get out of it.
  • Understand how your land relates to the land around you.
  • Identify land management units on your property.
  • Learn basics of tree identification, forestry, and wildlife habitat management.
  • Assess your property’s water resources, recreational possibilities, and aesthetic appeal, and ways to improve each.
  • Choose a few land management projects to help meet your goals.
  • Set a timetable and mark progress.

Buy The Woods in Your Backyard
Publication Number: NRAES-184
Cost: $18.00 + $4.25 s&h / Published: 2006

Phone: (540) 948-6881


Clayton T. Sweeney

Hear Conference


Precautions to take when buying foreclosed property

Clay Sweeney is a sole practitioner attorney who has focused on Real Estate Law with an emphasis on the closings of foreclosure property. We asked for his advice when we began hearing rumors that forestland mortgages were beginning to go into foreclosure -- mind you, we were unable to pin down any of the rumors. We ask Clay about some of the pitfalls you might face in buying foreclosed property and we want to learn as much as possible about the statutory right of redemption and how one might get an indemnity agreement over the right of redemption from the foreclosing lender or bank.

Attorney Sweeney Recommends Studying the Following:  

Phone: (205) 871-8855


Dennis Riecke

Hear Conference


Pond Management -- Timely Tips

Dennis Riecke is Fisheries Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Because Dennis is also one of the fisheries experts who recently revised Managing Mississippi Ponds and Lakes: A Landowners Guide, we asked him to give us a few timely tips on pond management.

  • What should pond owners be doing at this time of year?
  • When should pond owners stop fertilizing their ponds?
  • What causes fall fish kills in some ponds?

Phone: (601) 432-2207


Sara S. Baldwin

Hear Conference


Timber Mart-South ~ Quarterly News

Sara Baldwin is senior editor and assistant manager of Timber Mart-South, a timber price reporting service housed at the Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources, The University of Georgia. We usually ask Sara and the folks at Timber Mart-South to tell us about stumpage prices and trends, but today we have asked her to tell us about TMS's Quarterly News. The Quarterly News is a comprehensive source of solid information about the forest products industry with a focus on the Southern States and it seems to get better every time we read it. AFOA's copy of the most recent issue contained about 40 pages with nearly everyone of them dog-eared and covered with notes the editor of Capital Ideas thought would be of interest to AFOA members.

Timber Mart-South Links:

Phone: (706) 542 4760





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