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

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MAY 2011 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on May 18, 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.


Jon Sellars

Hear Conference


Aerial "Pictures" of April Tornados

Jon Sellars is a Cartographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). After the 300+ tornados blew through Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia in April, a number of agencies went to work to gather aerial pictures to help with the recovery and salvage work taking place on the ground. Most of us will look at the pictures with a simple click of the mouse and some will view the data with GIS software (the "pictures" are digital composites and contain much more information if viewed with the right GIS software -- think of the difference between Google Maps and Google Earth). We asked Jon to tell us about NOAA's aerial imagery of the tornado damage (click here), give us a few hints on how to use the pictures (click here), discuss NOAA's archiving policy (you may need the pictures to document a casualty loss with IRS and don't want to learn that the pictures will be discarded by the time you need them - next year), and, finally, tell us about aerial imagery from other agencies, such as the U.S. Geological Survey (click here for "how to use") and click here to view USGS imagery). See AFOA's Newspage for other tornado related information, such as how to claim a timber casualty loss.

Phone: (301) 713-1428 ext. 165


Steve McWilliams

Hear Conference


$37 Billion in Services Provided to Society by Georgia's Private Forests

Steve McWilliams is President of the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA). Three years ago when announcing that the GFA would fund research to study the value of ecosystem services provided by Georgia's 22-million acres of private forestland, Steve said, "Forest landowners do not get near the credit they deserve for the contributions of their timberlands to the environment, a fact which this research will clearly demonstrate." McWilliams continued, "Georgia's elected officials and other policy makers are operating in a vacuum without this information when they make decisions ... about land use, taxes, and other forest-related issues." The research report, entitled Quantifying the value of non-timber ecosystem services from Georgia's private forests considered eight types of ecosystem services provided by forests and developed values for the latter six of the following list of eight services:

  1. Timber and forest product provision: Forests provide raw materials for many uses.
  2. Recreation: Forests provide a potential place for recreation.
  3. Gas and climate regulation: Forests contribute to the general maintenance of a habitable planet by regulating carbon, ozone, and other chemicals in the atmosphere.
  4. Water quantity and quality: Forests capture, store, and filter water mitigating damage from floods, droughts, and pollution.
  5. Soil formation and stability: Forest vegetation stabilizes soil and prevents erosion.
  6. Pollination: Forests provide habitat for important pollinator species who naturally perpetuate plants and crops.
  7. Habitat/refugia: Forests provide living space to wild plants and animals.
  8. Aesthetic, cultural and passive use: Forests provide scenic value and many people have a positive existence value for forestland.

Summary of Research Findings (GFA webpage)
News Video Reporting on Study Findings (NAFO webpage)
2008 interview with Dr. Rebecca Moore, lead researcher

Phone: 1-800-947-6942x202


Russell Richardson

Hear Conference


Southern Pine Flooring

Russell Richardson is the Director of Treated and Industrial Markets for Southern Forest Products Association, based in Kenner, Louisiana. We read a glowing report on Russell's recent work at the National Wood Flooring Association's Wood Flooring Expo in San Diego and thought owners of Alabama forestland should know more about Southern Pine Flooring. To learn all about Southern Pine Lumber, visit the Southern Pine webpage, find the Special Products heading and click on Southern Pine Flooring Guide -- it's a beautiful publication and you will be amazed at what you will learn about flooring -- and Southern Pine Flooring in particular.

Russell tells us that useful information can be found at the following websites:

Phone: (504) 443-4464 ext. 239


Frank M. Stewart, III

Hear Conference


Income Averaging -- Tax Fairness

Frank Stewart writes the Washington Resource Report for AFOA's Capital Ideas monthly newsletter, directs government affairs efforts for the Forest Landowners Association and is Executive Director of the Forest Landowners Tax Council (FLTC). Since Capital Ideas - Live! hasn't talked to anyone about income averaging since Henry Barclay reported on it in 2006, we thought it was time for an update. Henry reported that "you and your spouse" earn about $30,000 per year and then made a once in twenty year timber sale of $120,000. The added income added about $21,600 to your Alabama and Federal income tax bill. Income averaging, reported Henry, would have saved you $10,000 in taxes. So we asked Frank to bring us up to speed on income averaging. How does it work? Is there any chance we (forest owners) might be allowed to use it in the future (fishermen and farmers have the option, but forest owners are not considered farmers)? Who might help us change the law?

Suggested reading (very brief):

Phone: (703) 549-0347


Dr. Bronson Strickland

Hear Conference


Feral Hogs -- Damage & Control

Bronson Strickland is the Extension Wildlife Specialist at Mississippi State University where he works with landowners and natural resource professionals to solve wildlife management problems. Feral hogs -- wild pigs -- are becoming a problem for many landowners in Alabama and many other states. When numbers become large enough, they make if difficult to impossible to successfully plant longleaf seedlings or regenerate hardwoods from seed. To help landowners control wild pigs on their land, Bronson, Bill Hamrick, Mark Smith and Chris Jaworowski have written a 48 page Landowner's Guide for Wild Pig Management -- Practical Methods for Wild Pig Control. For those of you who will spend time building traps, you will appreciate their thorough coverage of traps, trap door designs, and trigger mechanisms. Bronson tells us that "all the pig management material we have can be found on our wildpiginfo website ( There you will find general information, videos, and publications." Order a hardcopy of the Guide at or call Alabama Cooperative Extension System at (334) 844-1592. About $3.

Phone: (662) 325-8141


Dr. Allan E. Houston

Hear Conference


How Far Can We Go?

Allan Houston is a Research Professor in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries at The University of Tennessee and he is Director, Forestry and Wildlife Research and Management at Ames Plantation. A recent conversation with Allan reminded us of an essay by Aldo Leopold, Wildlife in American Culture. Leopold wrote, back in 1943, "I have the impression that the American Sportsman is puzzled; he doesn't understand what is happening to him. Bigger and better gadgets are good for industry, so why not for outdoor recreation? It has not dawned on him that outdoor recreations are essentially primitive, atavistic; that their value is a contrast-value; that excessive mechanization destroys contrasts by moving the factory to the woods or to the marsh. The sportsman has no leaders to tell him what is wrong. The sporting press no longer represents sport; it has turned billboard for the gadgeteer. Wildlife administrators are too busy producing something to shoot at to worry much about the cultural value of the shooting. Because everybody from Xenophon to Teddy Roosevelt said sport has value, it is assumed that this value must be indestructible." When the Tennessee General Assembly recently debated a bill known as "the deer farming bill," Allan took the time to write down his thoughts and share them with his lawmakers. Since so many of us lease land to hunters and see it as a good source of annual income from our land, we thought you would like to hear Allan discuss his concerns on the creeping commercialization of hunting. We understand the bill never made it to the floor for a vote. But, Allan says, it will be back. (Allan's program notes)

Phone: (901) 878-1067


Joshua D. Love

Hear Conference


Does Reforestation Still Pay?

Josh Love is a Staff Forester in the Forest Utilization Department of the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC). Josh and Nathan McClure recently published an article in Georgia Forestry Today; the title asked the question: Does Reforestation Still Pay? That's an important question; one we should all ask ourselves each time we agree to invest thousands of dollars on tree planting and related expenses. Based on the discussion in two GFC publications, Does Reforestation Pay? Slash Pine for Traditional Products and Does Reforestation Pay? Loblolly Pine for Traditional Products, reforestation appears to be a much better investment than money in the bank. And what if biomass for bioenergy products become a significant source of income? Read: An Analysis of the Feasiblity of Forest Biomass Production from Pine Plantations in Georgia. For you do-it-yourselfers, if you can gather enough information about your land and your management plans, you might like to play with the Texas Forest Service's Timberland Decision Support System. And for some of you, whose land is trapped behind unmaintained bridges or closed public roads, the planting decision may be more difficult.

Phone: (478) 751-3482


Edward F. Travis

Hear Conference


Timber Market Dynamics - Who moved my cheese?

Ed Travis, Edward F. Travis Company, Inc., is a consulting forester, timberland broker, and real estate appraiser based in Mobile, Alabama. During a recent brainstorming session, Ed voiced concerns that with timber prices down for at least another year or two and wood buyers more concentrated because of mill mergers and buyouts, some of the mills may be pushing stumpage buyers so hard they can't make long-term price commitments on pay-as-cut sales and aren't able to buy big lump-sum sales as easily as they had in the past. "Stumpage buyers won't talk about the problem because they are scared that they won't be able to sell wood to the mills," he stated. We noticed in a May 16 Mobile Press-Register article, Tornado cleanup and diesel prices pile additional challenges on loggers, "southwest Alabama loggers have hired a lobbyist, Andre Reed, to try to negotiate higher prices from mills." AFOA has always encouraged forest owners to sell timber by the lump-sum, sealed bid method, so we wonder, too, who moved my cheese?

Phone: (251) 633-8885




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