CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on May 18, 2011.
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.
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
Phone: (301) 713-1428 ext. 165
$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
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:
- Timber and forest product provision:
Forests provide raw materials for many uses.
Forests provide a potential place for
- Gas and climate regulation:
Forests contribute to the general maintenance of a habitable planet by
regulating carbon, ozone, and other chemicals in the atmosphere.
- Water quantity and quality:
Forests capture, store, and filter water mitigating damage from floods,
droughts, and pollution.
- Soil formation and stability:
Forest vegetation stabilizes soil and prevents erosion.
Forests provide habitat for important pollinator species who naturally
perpetuate plants and crops.
Forests provide living space to wild plants and animals.
- 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)
interview with Dr. Rebecca Moore, lead researcher
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,
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
Phone: (504) 443-4464 ext. 239
Frank M. Stewart, III
Income Averaging -- Tax Fairness
Frank Stewart writes the
Washington Resource Report for AFOA's Capital Ideas monthly
newsletter, directs government affairs efforts for the
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
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
There you will find general information, videos, and publications." Order a
hardcopy of the Guide at
http://wildpiginfo.msstate.edu/orders.asp or call Alabama Cooperative
Extension System at (334) 844-1592. About $3.
Phone: (662) 325-8141
Dr. Allan E. Houston
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
Ames Plantation. A recent conversation with Allan reminded us of an
essay by Aldo Leopold,
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
Phone: (901) 878-1067
Joshua D. Love
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
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
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
is trapped behind unmaintained bridges or closed public roads, the
planting decision may be more difficult.
Phone: (478) 751-3482
Edward F. Travis
Timber Market Dynamics - Who moved my cheese?
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,
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
Comment below on the CI Live! conference
by using your Facebook, AOL, Yahoo!, or Hotmail login. If you do not see
the comment box, refresh your browser.