CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on August 18, 2010.
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.
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
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
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,
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
$22.8 million in annual payroll
$778,958 yearly in state tax
$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
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
Closing the Generation Gap
Dave Baker heads up the
Farmer Center, a project of Iowa State University Extension. The
Beginning Farmer Center is affiliated with the
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.
Dr. Thomas J. Straka
Tom Straka is a forestry
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.
Phone: (864) 656-4827
Dr. Eric D. Vance
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 transfer...to 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
* 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
Phone: (919) 941-6415
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
- 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
- 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
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
Attorney Sweeney Recommends Studying the
Phone: (205) 871-8855
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
Phone: (601) 432-2207
Sara S. Baldwin
Timber Mart-South ~ Quarterly News
Sara Baldwin is senior editor
and assistant manager of
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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