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

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SEPTEMBER 2011 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on September 21, 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.


Thomas R. Brickman

Hear Conference


Plain Talk about Forestland Investments

Tom Brickman helps people buy, sell and care for rural land through the companies of Land Smart Resources. Tom is a member of the Association of Consulting Foresters, a Certified General Appraiser, a Registered Forester, and a Real Estate Broker in the State of Alabama. But the important reason we invited Tom to talk to us today is his ability to think clearly. Tom is a no nonsense kind of guy and it shows in a paper he wrote, entitled Growing Trees For Money. If you are going to buy forestland to grow timber, print out Tom's paper or link to it from your iPhone so you will have it handy when looking at potential purchases.


1. Start with land that has productive soils
2. Avoid steep land
3. Loblolly pine is king
4. Planting trees is better than letting nature do it
5. Timely thinning of trees in a planted forest is critical
6. Before you sell timber . . .
7. Real estate is a big part of your timber investment

Phone: (205) 936-2160


Dale Rouark

Hear Conference


Mere Shelter It Is Not

Dale Rouark is Regional Sales Manager for Legacy Quest Outdoors, LLC, a company founded with "the simple quest to fuel the passion of every outdoor enthusiast, to involve their families in the outdoors and support their desire to live a rustic lifestyle." When we saw an ad for Legacy Quest Outdoors' Rut Hut in a deer hunter magazine, we immediately thought of the discussion on shelters we had at our 2011 Annual Meeting at Lakepoint Resort. We remember one young lady describing the horrible "12' x 12' windowless box" built by her dad to shelter his family on overnight stays at their southwest Alabama woodland. He later laughingly told us the "box" cost $6,000 and the windows required by daughter and wife added another $20,000 to the cost of the project. Legacy Quest Outdoors does not build windowless boxes.

The Rut Hut "was designed and developed by Zac Guy, the president and founder of Legacy Quest Outdoors, LLC. It is a turn-key camp that is designed and built for those who enjoy and spend time in the great outdoors with family, friends, and business associates. You can fully utilize it on the 2nd night after delivery and set-up. Whether you are entertaining clients, showing property, hunting/fishing, or spending weekends with your family, you’ll be proud to be the owner of the Rut Hut/complete retreat. The Rut Hut provides a place to meet, eat, and sleep. The well-appointed interior includes an equipped kitchen, living area, bedroom, bath, and sleeping loft. There are 2 porches, one of which has a field-stone fireplace w/stainless steel insert."

Phone: (828) 627-0830


Dr. Jack Lutz

Hear Conference


How Trees Grow

Jack Lutz is Principal and Forest Economist of the Forest Research Group. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the forestry schools at the University of Georgia and the University of Maine. Now we all know that trees grow each year by adding a cylinder of wood all the way around last year's wood (growth rings) and they also grow in height. Tree seedlings and saplings don't add much wood volume each year and the growth of wood volume in older, mature trees slows until the tree dies. If you try to reconcile each tree growing in diameter and height with your forester's report that your 40 acres of trees are growing at a rate of 5 tons per acre per year, you might become confused. Jack thought that might happen, so he has written How Trees Grow, Forest Research Notes, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2Q11, to help us understand tree growth a little better. He explains how a loblolly pine adds growth in increments, very small at first with a great spurt of growth from years 6 to 12, and then declining for many years (see Figure 3). Read How Trees Grow and become familiar with Mean Annual Increment (MAI), Annual Increment (AI), and Periodic Annual Increment (PAI). You will dazzle your forest owner friends with your new knowledge and vocabulary.

Phone: (978) 432-1794


Dr. J. Thomas Chesnutt

Hear Conference


Highway Signs Promote Agri-Tourism

Tom Chesnutt is a Tourism Specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. His responsibilities include providing technical assistance to community leaders, tourism associations, chambers of commerce, convention and visitor bureaus, and related groups concerning tourism as a method of economic development. A few weeks ago, Tom alerted AFOA to the passage of the Agritourism Signage Bill (HB 188) which will be administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and the Alabama Department of Transportation. The law will allow the placement of highway signs to alert travelers of nearby businesses such as pumpkin patches, u-pick fruit orchards, hunting lodges, mountain bike flow trails, etc. To learn more about agri-tourism, check out the Alabama Agritourism Trail Website. If you own a hunting lodge, OHV trail park, or other ag or forestland tourism related business, we suggest you become familiar with the process to apply for and post signs for your business on state or federal highways.

Phone: (334) 844-3517


Tom Sauret

Hear Conference


Guidance for Mountain Bike Trail Builders

Tom Sauret became the first Executive Director of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) in 2000, an organization with more than 4,000 members. Since then SORBA has merged with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), based in Boulder, Colorado. AFOA learned about IMBA when we read an article in The Wall Street Journal, 7/27/11 (Watch the video and read, down about 7 paragraphs from the end, "At Oregon's Sandy Ridge, 25,000 visitors a year use a 6.5-mile network of flow trails constructed since 2009, Bureau of Land Management officials say. Previously, the undeveloped trail area hosted as few as 500 visitors a year."). "Trail Solutions is IMBA's professional fee-based trail consulting program. We offer trail services that range from trail planning, design, and construction to trail management, education and volunteer teamwork. ... Our organization excels at careful and diligent planning and collaboration to create trail systems that provide high-quality experiences for diverse visitors, minimize environmental impact and user conflict and require less maintenance over time. We are experienced with trail master planning, risk management planning, community collaboration, GPS/GIS mapping and more." Trail Solutions and Managing Mountain Biking are two IMBA publications that you will find useful.

Phone: (770)654-3291


Dr. John L. Greene

Hear Conference


Benefits of Qualifying Forest Management as Business

John Greene is a  Forest Economist with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station. Each year about this time, John and Dr. Linda Wang publish Tax Tips for Forest Landowners, so when we received our copy last week, we asked John if he would highlight something in the Tax Tips that he thought might be especially useful to forest owners. He suggested we discuss the benefits for forest owners to qualify as a "material participant" in their forest management activities. He said that "a material participant can fully deduct forest management expenses and depreciation year-by-year as they occur, but an 'investor' can only deduct them on Schedule A, as 'miscellaneous itemized deductions' that you only can take if they are over 2% of your adjusted gross income. Material participants also can take deductions that investors aren’t even eligible for, like the section 179 deduction for the cost of equipment and machinery, and for non-casualty losses." John sent us a 1 page paper entitled The Passive Loss Rules which lists 6 IRS "tests," one of which must be met by a landowner to qualify as a material participant. John said, "Forest owners who do most of their own work can qualify pretty much every year by using tests 2 and 5. In years that not much work is required, you use test 2, that you and your spouse do substantially all of the work. In other years you use test 5, that you qualified under test 2 in at least 5 of the last 10 years."

Phone: (919) 549-4093


Dr. Scott Enebak

Hear Conference


Soil Fumigant Changes May Affect Bareroot Seedling Costs

Scott Enebak is the Director of the Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative, so when we heard that the long expected phase-out of tree nursery soil fumigant methyl bromide was almost upon us, we went to Scott for the facts. Methyl bromide is a soil fumigant that nursery managers use to kill weeds and other pests in nursery beds. Without a good soil fumigant, the cost of growing bareroot seedlings could increase. We asked Scott about the current status of methyl bromide and its use in tree nurseries and we asked what Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is doing to find a replacement for methyl bromide. Will the loss of methyl bromide raise the cost of bareroot seedlings and push forest owners into planting more expensive containerized seedlings, or will a replacement product be found?

"Methyl bromide (MeBr) is an odorless, colorless gas that has been used as a soil fumigant and structural fumigant to control pests across a wide range of agricultural sectors [including tree nurseries which produce bareroot seedlings]. Because MeBr depletes the stratospheric ozone layer, the amount of MeBr produced and imported in the U.S. was reduced incrementally until it was phased out in January 1, 2005...Allowable exemptions to the phaseout include 1) the Quarantine and Preshipment (QPS) exemption, to eliminate quarantine pests, and 2) the Critical Use Exemption (CUE), designed for agricultural users with no technically or economically feasible alternatives." Source: EPA's The Phaseout of Methyl Bromide

"EPA is requiring important new safety measures for soil fumigant pesticides to increase protections for agricultural workers and bystanders."
Source: Soil Fumigant Mitigation Factsheet: Implementation Schedule

Phone: (334) 844-1028


Tim Capps

Hear Conference


Timber Connections - New Photo-Based Marketing Service

Tim Capps is the founder and developer of Timber Connections, a web-based marketing service for forest landowners, consulting foresters and loggers and timber buyers. Tim says, "We are not consultants, timber buyers or loggers and we do not represent them. Our main goal is simple: to give landowners the ability to easily discuss any specific tract of timber with any one in the industry – before any decisions are made."

From the mission statement of Timber Connection: There are many variables that affect the price of timber on any given day. Many of these variables are mostly unknown because there is no efficient link between buyers and sellers. It is our mission to provide that link! Real time information is the key. Who needs what - when, where and how. From the landowner with only a few acres, to the investment company that controls thousands, there is someone out there that can satisfy your needs. Join us and get in touch.

" gives landowners the ability to give all in the industry, that first look at a stand of timber without ever leaving their office, and the easy ability to discuss it with as many as they choose."

"Many of you reading this and having a look around our website, may think, 'I sort of like this concept, but …..' I would respectfully ask that you please give us the opportunity to respond to the 'buts,' whatever they may be. I can almost assure you that we have put much thought into your concerns and I believe that we can answer those concerns to your satisfaction if given that opportunity."

"If is to succeed in its efforts to have a very positive and broad affect on the way that landowners communicate with the timber industry, it will be because the landowners stood up and supported those efforts. We need your comments, thoughts, feedback and especially your time to really understand what we are all about. Please contact me through email, the contact button on the website, or simply give me a call. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated and your help could prove to be a catalyst that changes the way we do business in this industry – for the better!"

"Not only that, but maybe you have a tract that you are considering doing something with in the next few years. Let us help you to be in touch with all in the industry about that specific tract."

Tim says: "Check out these web tools"

  • Example Tract - "Click here to see our main service and how we show your tract to all in the industry."
  • Timber Value Estimate Tool - "Landowners, please, this is only a tool to give you an IDEA of the value of your timber. There are many variables that can not possibly be considered here. Please do not use this tool to try to have confidence in your timber's value."

Phone: (252) 586-0840




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