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NOVEMBER 2011 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on November 16, 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.


Charles C. Mann

Hear Conference


1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

Charles Mann is a writer. We first heard of him when he wrote the best seller 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. 1491 caught fire with people who were fascinated with native American cultures and the impact they had on the land. We learned that America had not been a vast wilderness before 1492; much of the forest had been cleared for agriculture and much of the pristine forests explored by English, French, and Spanish explorers were the result of huge population collapses. Now Mann has published 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created to help us understand the huge impact on our world brought about by the discovery and exploitation of the New World. "It is true that our times are different from the past. Our ancestors did not have the Internet, air travel, genetically modified crops, or computerized international stock exchanges. Still, reading the accounts of the creation of the world market one cannot help hearing echoes-some muted, some thunderously loud-of the disputes now on the television news. Events four centuries ago set a template for events we are living through today," from the Prologue of 1493. Today we ask Mann, How might forest owners benefit from reading 1493?

Buy the book at Hardcover $19.13, Kindle version $14.99

Charles Mann's website



Prof. Susan Pace Hamill

Hear Conference


Property Tax Reform

Susan Hamill is Professor of Law at The University of Alabama School of Law. She has been an outspoken critic of Alabama's current property tax structure. When we read an editorial in the October 30, 2011 issue of The Birmingham News headlined, An unhappy outcome, we thought, "Not unhappy for me." The goal of the Lynch Lawsuit discussed in the editorial, was to force the state legislature to rewrite our property tax laws - create a new structure. We suspect that proponents of Constitutional Reform seek the same end. Our fear may not be a new structure, but it certainly is a fear of higher, possibly much higher, property taxes. So today we have asked Professor Hamill to help us understand the goals and rationale of those who would raise property taxes on forest and farm land. What does she mean when she says we need a tax structure that is more fair? Several of her research papers and editorials are included in the links below.

For Further Study:

Phone: (205) 348-5931


Eric D. Gee

Hear Conference


Southern Pine Lumber Design Values Under Review

Eric Gee is Director, Expo & Forest Resources for the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA). But before we start, we need to make it clear: "The SFPA does not test lumber or establish design values. SFPAs primary function is to market lumber products and to help users understand Southern Pine grading rules and design values developed by the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) and approved by the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) Board of Review." Recent testing by SPIB suggests that the design values established by tests done 20 years ago no longer hold true. Visually graded southern pine lumber may be from 20 to 35 percent weaker than decades old tests indicated. As the new values are applied, building designers may require 2x6s where 2x4s had once been thought sufficient. Building code requirements for rafters, joists, and trusses could cause builders to use more or thicker lumber or higher grades. The ALSC is soliciting comments on the proposed design values, to be received by about December 27. More testing is planned for next Spring. AFOA will bring an expert guest to our January issue of Capital Ideas - Live! to discuss changes, if any, that landowners might make in planting density of new pine plantations, species choices, thinning specs, etc.

Suggested Reading:

Phone: (504) 443-4464 ext. 214


Dr. Stephanie Brun de Pontet

Hear Conference


Benefits of Learning Together

Stephanie Brun de Pontet is a Senior Consultant of the Family Business Consulting Group, Inc. who "specializes in advising family enterprises facing important transitions." She and Amy Schuman recently wrote a paper entitled, The Family That Learns Together Stays Together, and we thought most AFOA members will need to read it sooner or later. "While most people agree investing in education is a good idea, converting those intentions into something relevant, engaging and practical in a family business can come with some daunting challenges." Have you ever thought: "How do you reach out to a diverse and dispersed group of owners, all with busy lives? And: "How do you make a dent in all the areas of education needed by the next generation?"  

Suggested Reading:

Phone: (678) 773-1675


John C. Gilbert

Hear Conference


Mapping Your Land

John Gilbert is a Research Associate at the Auburn University's Longleaf Pine Stand Dynamics Lab. His work with the lab includes developing a Geographic Information System database (GIS is a system of hardware and software used for storage, retrieval, mapping, and analysis of geographic data) of existing longleaf pine stands. "Through working with the database, John became interested in creating a timely, readily available, source of information and examples of online spatial resources to help landowners and conservation professionals make maps and utilize aerial photography, topographic layers, soils information, data collected with GPS units, and even visual simulations as they make decisions regarding the management of their property. He recently completed a book for the Alabama Forests Forever Education Grant titled Mapping Your Land: An Overview for Landowners -- Online Mapping and Spatial Resources for the Private Forest Landowner. This book focuses on utilizing online mapping and spatial resources to promote appropriate multiple use management for the small scale private forest landowner in Alabama by highlighting these resources and tools with examples that can be utilized to create effective maps and spatial resources. The book provides keywords, homepage links, tutorial information, examples, and screenshots for online programs like the USDA/NRCS Web Soil Survey, Google Earth, Alabama Historic Aerial Photo Archive, USDA/NRCS Geospatial Data Gateway, and USDA National Agroforestry Center CanVIS." We can't wait to spend time in the Aerial Photo Archives. Just glancing at the webpage indicated there are aerial photo collections going back into the 1940s.

Related Links:

Phone: (334) 329-0236


Anthony J. Edwards

Hear Conference


Navigating and Mapping with Your iPhone

Tony Edwards is Vice President, Geologist and Property Manager, Regions Trust, Natural Resource Department. Did you know that your iPhone comes with a map App?  Did you know you can add different map Apps to your iPhone? Did you know that your iPhone can serve quite nicely as a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit that can place a dot on the map App to tell you where you are in your woods? While Tony uses professional GIS and GPS equipment at work, he also uses many iPhone Apps to help collect and add GIS and GPS information when work equipment might not be available. He will share some of his favorite apps with us today. We have posted Tony's program notes to help you follow his comments.

Links to Tony's Favorite Apps for iPhone and iPad:

Phone: (205) 326-5741


Dr. Eric J. Jokela

Hear Conference


Confidence Builds with Long-Term Research

Eric Jokela is a Professor of Silviculture and Forest Nutrition at the University of Florida School of Forest Resources & Conservation. In Twenty-five Years of Intensive Forest Management with Southern Pines: Important Lessons Learned, Journal of Forestry, Oct/Nov 2010, he and co-authors T. A. Martin and J. G. Vogel noted that after 25 years, fertilizer and weed control treatments increased the site's growth potential from 64' tall loblolly pines in 25 years to 87' and from 75' tall slash pines in 25 years to 88'. Stem volume accumulation was doubled, and high value products such as loblolly pine chip-n-saw and sawtimber were almost doubled. The authors point out, "A commitment to long-term forest research provides the basis and opportunity to understand developmental processes and stand dynamics over an entire rotation." In this age of 30 second sound bites, a 25-year research project is unimaginable to most Americans.

Related articles:

  • Jokela, E.J. 2004. Nutrient management of southern pines. pp. 27-35. In: Dickens, E.D., J. P. Barnett, W.G. Hubbard, and E.J. Jokela (eds.). Slash Pine: still growing and growing! Proceedings of the slash pine symposium. USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Report SRS-76.
  • Fox, T.R., E.J. Jokela, and H.L. Allen. 2007. The development of pine plantation silviculture in the southern United States. Journal of Forestry 105:337-347.
  • Fox, T.R., H.L. Allen, T.J. Albaugh, R. Rubilar, and C.A. Carlson. 2007. Tree nutrition and forest fertilization of pine plantations in the southern United States. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 31:5-11.

Phone: (352) 846-0890


James K. Lyons

Hear Conference


Export Capability Expands Markets

James Lyons is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Alabama State Port Authority in Mobile. We heard Mr. Lyons describe the importance of exports to our state's economy earlier this year, and were quite impressed with his knowledge and appreciation of our forest products industry. "Forest products exports were valued at $1.16 billion in 2010, ranking the industry as the fourth largest exporter in the state," according to the Alabama Development Office. Pulp, paper, lumber, wood chips, wood fuel pellets...

Suggested Reading:

Phone: (251) 441-7200




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