CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on July 20, 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.
The Nature Principle
Rich Louv takes ideas we've all
had and puts them into words that we can remember. He coined the phrase
nature deficit disorder when he published
Child in the Woods (who hasn't heard an uncle or family friend
say, "That kid needs to get outdoors more."?). AFOA liked the book so much,
we bought and distributed more than 100 copies to public libraries all
across Alabama. Now Louv has written a new book,
Nature Principle: "Supported by groundbreaking research,
anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv identifies seven
basic concepts that can help us reshape our lives. By tapping into the
restorative powers of nature, we can boost mental acuity and creativity;
promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses,
communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds." Richard
Louv's message won't be a surprise to you, but his written ideas may help
you follow-through on actions you've already known you should be taking.
Details here to purchase audio or hardcover. $15.02 hardcover, $25.16
audio at Amazon.com.
Phone: (858) 530-0591
Peter J. Stewart
Property Price Trends: Up? Down?
Pete Stewart wrote an article
on property price trends at his
He asked himself and his readers,
"Are $350 per Acre Timberland Prices around the Corner?", and then
followed up the essay with a reader poll. We are sure you will enjoy reading
More than 500 readers responded to the poll. "Some bristled, thinking
that I was leading the market on a downward spiral by suggesting the market
should be lower than it is. Others were very thoughtful and completed their
own analysis before answering the poll. And still others provided their
local experiences. The poll participants were asked to what level did they
believe timberland prices would return: 1977 prices ($500 per acre); 1990
prices ($350 per acre); 1995 prices ($700 per acre); 1998 prices ($1,000 per
acre); 2006 levels ($1,500 per acre) or current levels ($1,350 per acre)."
Phone: (704) 540-1440
Dr. Anwar Hussain
Hunters' Willingness to Pay
is an Economist and Research Associate at Auburn University's
Forest Policy Center. For the past several years he has studied hunters
and the ways they pick places to hunt. From a Forest Science article
abstract (see link below): "Incremental median willingness-to-pay ranged
from $0.56 to $6.40 per acre, depending on alternative hunting access
options, hunter perception of crowding on public lands, availability of game
species on leased lands, and duration of the lease agreement. This result
suggested that Mississippi landowners who currently allow hunting access may
be able to enhance lease-related total gross annual financial returns...if
they improved management of their lands or modified their lease agreements
consistent with hunters’ genuine concerns."
Anwar tells us there are four major factors that
influence lease prices. They are 1) location relative to hunter's
residence, 2) lease size, 3) lease duration (1 year, 2 years,
etc.), and 4) game diversity. There isn't much a landowner can do
about location and lease size without buying more land, but you can change
the duration or length of your lease, say from "1 year" to "1 year with an
option to renew for an additional year," or some such variation. You can
also make wildlife habitat improvements that will increase game quantity and
diversity. Anwar reminded us studies have shown that improving wildlife
habitat, while improving lease prices, may also have a positive impact on
the future sale price of a property.
Phone: (334) 844-8088
Forest Roads, Water Quality, Regulations
Ray Clifton is the Director of
the Alabama Loggers Council and was referred to AFOA when we were searching
for someone to tell us how a lawsuit in Oregon might cause a huge increase
in red tape and expenses related to harvesting timber on our Alabama land.
To prevent this from happening, legislation [S-1369, HR-2541] has been introduced in
Washington, DC, to "affirm the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA)
regulation of forestry as a nonpoint source under the Clean Water Act
(CWA)." We quote from a National Alliance of Forest Owners' press
release dated July 14, 2011:
"The legislation corrects a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision that
struck down EPA's Clean Water Act regulation for forest roads. The decision
reversed an Oregon court's ruling that stormwater control systems for forest
roads do not need point source permits in addition to meeting existing CWA
requirements. The EPA's regulation defines forestry activities and roads as
nonpoint sources that are regulated by states through Best Management
Practices (BMPs) rather than through permits required for confined
"David P. Tenny, President and CEO of NAFO,
'For 35 years the EPA has
contended that the most effective way to regulate forestry activities under
the Clean Water Act is to treat them as nonpoint sources of water pollution.
We agree –three decades of experience demonstrates that forestry is a minor
contributor to water quality decline and is best covered by state
regulations and guidelines. Today, Congress took the first steps to affirm
EPA's correct interpretation of the Clean Water Act.
"'If the legislation isn't enacted, the Ninth Circuit decision will add
job-killing costs and invite litigation to rural areas hardest hit by the
economic downturn without corresponding environmental benefit. Overlaying a
CWA permit requirement onto forestry activities will push more private
forests into non-forest uses with greater impacts on water quality. The
resulting loss of jobs and forests undermines the goal of preserving working
landscapes that support rural families, wildlife habitat, clean water and
recreation opportunities across the country.
"'We urge Congress and the Administration to work together to enact this
legislation as soon as possible to restore regulatory stability preserve the
jobs that keep private forests working for America.'
"The legislation [S-1368] is being led by Senators Wyden (D-OR), Crapo (R-ID), Risch
(R-ID), and Begich (D-AK) and Reps. Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3), Schrader
(D-OR-5), Walden (R-OR-2), McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5), Pingree (D-ME-1), and
You may want to contact your senators by
calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask whomever answers
to ask your Senators to co-sponsor, support, and vote to pass the
Wyden/Crapo Bill - S 1369 - which codifies the Silvicultural Exemption, in
response to the 9th Circuit decision to make forest roads a point source of
Phone: (334) 265-8733 ext 130
Dr. W. Alfred Dozier, Jr.
Chestnut Varieties for Deer & Turkey
Billy Dozier is a Professor in
the Department of Horticulture
at Auburn University. We recently received an AU press release headlined,
Wildlife-Attracting Chinese Chestnuts Hit Market This Fall. From the
press release: The cultivars "are prolific, highly adaptable,
blight-resistant trees that grow quickly and produce large crops year after
year. Plus, they need little to no maintenance."
"'They’re easy to grow,' Dozier says. 'We don’t use and
never have used fungicides or insecticides on any of our chestnut trees, and
through all these decades, we haven’t found a disease or pest yet that
bothers them.'" After you
read the press release, visit
The Wildlife Group
webpage for purchasing information.
Phone: (334) 844-3027
Dr. Finto Antony
Fertilization's Effects on Growth and Wood Properties
Finto Antony is an Assistant Research Scientist
at the School of Forestry & Natural
Resources, University of Georgia. Dr. Antony is the lead author on a
paper recently published in the Southern Journal of Applied Forestry,
8/11, entitled, Effect of Fertilization on Growth and Wood Properties of
Thinned and Unthinned Midrotation Loblolly Pine Stands. Most of us
probably aren't too interested in forest fertilization, tree planting, or
any other kind of activity that costs money -- not while we are still
wondering if our forest and other investments will be worth anything in a
world teetering on a second-dip recession. BUT just in case you want to add
to your forestry knowledge-base, check out
Fertilizing Pine Plantations: A County Agents' Guide for Making
Fertilization Recommendations. Since fertilizing trees has been
done and will be done, maybe by you, we thought it would be good to hear
from an expert, like Dr. Antony, what effect fertilization has on the tree
growth and wood properties.
Phone: (706) 542-7587
Mark J. Hainds
Year of the Pig
Mark Hainds is Research
Coordinator for the
That's how we have always categorized Mark. We frequently call on him for
advice related to longleaf pines -- when to plant, how deep to plant, where
can I get seedlings, and so forth. But from now on we will see him in
He is now an author and an expert on pigs! From page 6 of
The University of Alabama Press, fall 2011:
the Pig is a personal account of one avid hunter’s pursuit of
wild pigs in eleven American states. Mark Hainds tied his mission to the
Chinese calendar’s Year of the Pig in 2007 and journeyed through
longleaf forests, cypress swamps, and wiliwili forests in search of his
prey. He used a range of weapons—blackpowder rifle, bow and arrow,
knife, and high-powered rifle—and various methods to stalk his quarry
through titi, saw palmetto, privet hedge, and blue palm.
Introduced pig populations have wreaked havoc on
ecosystems the world over. Nonnative to the Western Hemisphere, pigs
originally arrived in the southeast with de Soto’s entrada and in the
Hawaiian Archipelago on the outriggers of South Pacific islanders. In
America feral hogs are considered pests and invaders because of their
omnivorous diet and rooting habits that destroy both fragile native
species and agricultural cropland.
Appealing to hunters and adventure readers for
its sheer entertainment, Year of the Pig will also be valuable to
farmers, land managers, and environmentalists for its broad information
and perspective on the topic.
Buy the book from any of the following book sellers -- selling now at
slightly reduced pre-publication prices:
Mark tells us that the book debut party will be September 1st at the
Solon Dixon Forestry Education
Center. The debut is listed in the University of Alabama Press website
"Author Appearances" section.
Phone: (334) 427-1029
Kenneth A. Kuhn
Forestland Property Taxes Paid versus Value Received
Ken Kuhn attracted our attention
when we read his letter to the editor of
The Birmingham News, 4/27/11:
Taxes are a
very emotional issue, and the concept of fair taxation for most people
is that somebody else pays. Kimble Forrister of Alabama Arise played on
this emotion in his piece "Resetting our outmoded taxes" (Viewpoints,
Sunday), which is another in a long series of the tired, outmoded,
one-sided debate concerning so-called regressive taxes The News
The issue is not whether the middle and lower classes
pay too much tax, but how much should they be subsidized. This truth is
emotionally unacceptable. Presentation as victims is emotionally
Years ago, I was inspired by such claims to examine the
issue, and the result of that study is available at
A complete accounting without emotion or crafty omissions puts the myth
of regressive taxes to rest.
We read Ken's 18 page paper on unfair
taxation and zeroed in on "There has been a big case made for radically
increasing the property tax in Alabama..." (page 12) and "The value/taxes
ratio..." (page 16), but we hope you read the whole paper. He will provide a
different perspective on taxes then you are used to reading in our daily
In mid-June we were surprised to read the following on the website of the
World Resources Institute (5th bullet): With respect to fiscal impacts, research shows that while current use
valuation programs may cause a short-term loss of revenue, preserving these
lands can actually result in positive, long-term fiscal benefits. This is
because the cost of providing community services and public infrastructure
on lands converted to residential use often exceeds the property tax
revenues generated. Making counties more aware of this fact can help
overcome reluctance to offer current use valuation.
When right wing libertarians and left wing environmental groups seem to be
in agreement, it might be worth reading twice. See also
Columnist Bonnie Erbe's comments.
Phone: (205) 733-6900
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