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MARCH 2011 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on March 23, 2011.

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.


Dan Whiting

Hear Conference


Misinformation Muddles Policy Decisions

Dan Whiting is Director of Communications for the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO), an organization that has been speaking out on national issues of interest to owners of forestland. In response to statements such as, "Our Forests Aren't Fuel. Burning forests for electricity is dirty and destructive," NAFO recently announced the availability of a new website "dedicated to inform the national dialogue on renewable biomass energy from wood. The site slices through the rhetoric and hyperbole in the discussion on biomass energy by offering credible information so policy makers can make an informed decision about our energy future." We suspect that if national and state policy makers knew the correct answers to the following questions asked by NAFO, forest owners would be treated more fairly in Washington, DC, Montgomery, Alabama and Madison, Wisconsin. How would you answer them?

  • Why won't forest owners use whole forests or large, healthy trees for bioenergy?
  • Why do we need forest biomass in addition to other renewable sources, such as wind and solar?
  • Why is forest biomass energy sustainable? 

Phone: (202) 747-0746


Patrick A. Glass

Hear Conference


Governor's Budget Clobbers Alabama Forestry Commission

Patrick Glass is the Assistant State Forester for the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC). The AFC is the agency called home by forest rangers who fight wildfires on our land and law enforcement officers who investigate and assist in the prosecution of timber thefts and forest arson. Governor Bentley has proposed a 2012 state budget that, according to the AFC, would cut it's State General Fund Budget from a net $11.9 million to $7.7 million (see slide 5). In past issues of AFOA's monthly newsletter, we have commended State Forester Linda Casey and her staff for recognizing the seriousness of our State's and Nation's financial conditions by making big cuts in staff and infrastructure, but the 2012 cuts recommended by the Governor may be so severe that the agency won't be able to function. We asked Assistant State Forester Glass to tell us about the role of the Alabama Forestry Commission and what it needs to continue to be useful to forest owners.

Reading and Homework recommended by Patrick:

A sampling of recent news stories:

Phone: (334)  240-9367


David W. Bryant, Jr.

Hear Conference


Roads & Bridges Key Factors in Timber Value

Winston Bryant is President of Foothills Timber Company based in Heflin, Alabama. He buys, cuts, and hauls timber from our land to sawmills, paper mills, and other wood processors. Along with loggers in more than a dozen Alabama counties, Winston is facing growing threats of county regulations that restrict access to bridges and roads. Some counties require a notification of logging permit, and some, like Cleburne County, a $5,000 bond and travel route restrictions. The reduction in timber value caught behind a bad bridge or failing road is enormous, causing the timber value for some properties to be virtually zero. In fairness to county engineers and county commissions responsible for road and bridge maintenance, they receive almost none of the fuel tax money paid by loggers. These problems are "all traceable back to lack of funding at the county level," stated Alabama Forestry Association Executive Director Chris Isaacson at a February 25 meeting of the AFA Forest Operations Committee. Of the $149.3 million diesel tax money collected in Alabama (2007-2008), only $2.2 million got to the counties.

Excerpts from past issues of Capital Ideas, AFOA's monthly newsletter:

March 2010: DUE TO HIGH RAINFALL AND FREEZING TEMPERATURES, Clay County Officials closed many dirt and gravel roads to all but local traffic for several days earlier this year. They also have begun enforcing a logging permit system that requires a one page form and $10 annual fee and may modify the system to be similar to one on the books in Coosa County that requires a permit for each tract to be logged, along with notification of the roads that are to be used to haul out logs.

April 2010: “CLEBURNE COUNTY OFFICIALS are making it difficult to harvest timber on small tracts by enforcing an expensive bond requirement,” says a local logger who wishes to remain anonymous. We suspect that enforcement of the bond will cause timber on small tracts to lose significant value.

June 2010: “BEGINNING ON MAY 1, 2010, all individuals, companies, firms, corporations or other entities involved in any aspect of timber harvesting shall obtain a Timber Harvesting Permit from the Covington County Engineer’s Office prior to beginning or continuing any timber harvesting operation in Covington County, Alabama.” There is no charge for the permit.

July 2010: THE MARSHALL COUNTY COMMISSION has been discussing permitting and bonding requirements to conduct timber harvesting operations. Forest owners and loggers were to meet on June 24 with the Commission to explain how such requirements will have a negative effect on timber values and property values in the county.

Phone: (256) 463-5600


S. Marvin Rogers

Hear Conference


Oil & Gas Activity in Alabama - Stay Informed

Marvin Rogers is an Alabama Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Alabama Oil and Gas Board. He is also a Choctaw County forest owner and a member of AFOA's Board of Directors. While we asked Marvin, today, to give us an oil & gas activity report and describe the principal issues faced by landowners who are contemplating leasing oil or gas rights, we wanted you to know that the Governor's 2012 budget proposes big cuts to his agency, the Alabama Oil & Gas Board.
     Several times each year, AFOA conducts brainstorming/ideas/skull sessions with a wide variety of experts from all across the U.S. During a recent session, one of the experts said that landowners frequently sign oil and gas contracts that they do not understand and that haven't been negotiated in their favor. He described a booklet written by Marvin Rogers that he believed was a "must-read" for landowners contemplating leasing the right to explore or drill for oil or gas on their land. That booklet is A landowner’s guide to oil and gas in Alabama (IS 70A, 2006, $6.50 + postage & handling), revised in 2003 and again in 2006. Publications office (open mornings): (205) 247-3636.

Phone: (205) 349-2852


Dr. Donald J. Jonovic

Hear Conference


Can Their Problem Be Solved?

Don Jonovic is a specialist in management succession, business transition, and the management of privately owned businesses and is a principal in the firm, Family Business Management Services.  Each month he writes a column in Successful Farming magazine entitled Can Their Problem Be Solved? In Jonovic's February 2011 column, J.P. from Wisconsin writes, "When I walked out of my family meeting last week, I seriously considered never going back. I've calmed down since, but I'm still asking myself if it's worth all the pain of trying." Jonovic's problem: "How can a new idea be presented to partners so they're more likely to listen than criticize?"

Phone: 800-566-6842


Kevin G. Meyer

Hear Conference


An Online "Book" for OHV Trail Management

Kevin Meyer is Regional Trails Specialist for the National Park Service, based in Anchorage, Alaska. He's been working on his new book, A Comprehensive Framework for Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Management for several years and we are very proud to introduce you to it and the author. In his comments, Kevin discusses his Trail Management Framework and the 10 elements of that framework:

Phone: (907) 644-3575


Dr. Tim Sydor

Hear Conference


Sawtimber Market to Improve in 2012-2013?

Tim Sydor is Forest Economist at Forisk Consulting LLC and is the firm's lead researcher in the area of stumpage forecasting. His work was touted in a March 9, 2011 Forisk press release with a headline that should interest all forest owners and sawmill owners in Alabama: US South Sawtimber Prices Expected to Recover in 2012-2013.

ATHENS, GEORGIA – March 9, 2011 – Increasing demand for wood raw materials indicates higher pine stumpage prices for forest owners and investors. Forisk Consulting forecasts sawtimber prices for the US South strengthening 4.6% into 2012 and 5.5% into 2013 as lumber production increases with housing starts.

Forisk Classes, Forisk Blog, and an Essay by Robert King:

Phone: (770) 725-8447




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