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MARCH 2012 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on March 28, 2012

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.


Dr. Peter F. Kolb

Hear Conference


Forestry Minutes -- Why Does He Do That?

Peter Kolb, as Associate Professor of Forest Ecology & Management at the University of Montana and Extension Forestry Specialist at Montana State University Extension, does a forestry radio show five days a week called, The Montana Forestry Minute. He broadcasts on KGVO in Missoula and KLYQ in Hamilton. Since beginning the one-minute forestry spots in January 2011, he's done almost 260. He sticks to basic-forestry concepts for his general audience, and covers pertinent seasonal information about what's going on in the woods. So, it would be like, as you drive down the road and you look at the landscape what do you see that's fairly obvious, but that no one has brought to your attention. It could be: Why do you see logging trucks on the roads?; or What trees are turning color?; or What are those red trees along the pasture? Peter also seizes opportunities presented by current events, like beetle outbreaks. He may focus 20 broadcasts on a specific topic, with greater detail each succeeding day. Each installment is three to seven sentences and they are concise stand-alone messages, generally aimed at the more conservative listeners. The air times are usually during morning commute times. The response has been very good and the radio station loves them, so Peter intends to just keep going. Listen to some past minutes.

Suggested Reading:

Phone: (406) 243-4705


Dr. Steven G. Horwitz

Hear Conference


The Economics of The Lorax

Steve Horwitz is is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York, and is Contributing Editor at The Freeman. Shortly after watching the animated 3D movie, The Lorax, I read Dr. Horwitz's critique, entitled, The Economics of The Lorax: Where are the property rights? I chided myself, “Why hadn’t I thought of that?” A few days later, my wife and I took our 7 year-old grandson, Caleb, to see the movie. "Did you think it was odd that the landowner didn't tell the Once-ler [the young man who cut all the trees] that he couldn't cut the trees without permission?" Caleb didn't seem terribly worried about the trees or our question. We suspect most foresters will watch the movie and think the little boy, Ted, was the first forester, and be as unconcerned about the question, Where are the property rights?" as Caleb was. Several years ago the timber industry passed around a book entitled, Truax (Truax Lesson Plan), a response to the book, The Lorax, which emphasized planting trees and long-term forest management for the public good. Truax author Terri Birkett didn't seem to know any more about property rights than Lorax author, Dr. Seuss. And now, the U.S. Forest Service is using The Lorax to promote Discover the Forest, a project designed to get kids outdoors. But only Dr. Horwitz has asked, Where are the property Rights?

Recommended Reading:

Are We Running Out of Resources -- with 5 resources linked below the video.

Phone: (315) 229-5731


Shawn Schafer

Hear Conference


Deer Farming is a Right of Property Owners

Shawn Schafer is Executive Director of the North American Deer Farmers Association based in Canton, Ohio. We were introduced to Shawn by the writer of the following email dated 3/6/12: 

Dear AFOA:
   Are you aware that the QDMA has joined an all out attack of land owners rights by joining the fight to stop high fence preserve and deer farming? As a land owner and past supporter of the QDMA I am at the least shocked. [Two feed companies] have pulled their sponsorship of QMDA. I am asking you to inform all the land owners of Alabama of the stance taken by QDMA. This is as more of a land owner rights issue than a hunting issue. Many of the Alabama Land Owners are QDMA members and should be aware of their protest of the land owners rights.
     South Alabama Landowner

Along with introducing us to Shawn Schafer, the South Alabama Landowner led us to Keith Warren's Outdoor Adventures webpage. There we read, under the heading, ACTION ALERT: DOES THE QDMA AND HSUS HAVE THINGS IN COMMON? (in the motives section):
     "I’m a believer that QDMA had no idea that this announcement would cause the uproar it has, not only with some of their sponsors, but also with some of their members. Many of their members are deer farmers themselves and virtually every deer farmer I know (and I know hundreds of them personally) all hunt deer. They, like me, got into the whitetail business because they too couldn’t get enough of deer by just hunting them.
     "I’m also a believer that there are many members of QDMA that had no idea that they belonged to an organization that they now know is dead set against them, their business of deer farming/ranching and ultimately what many feel is against the future of whitetail deer and deer hunting."

Phone: (330) 454-3944


Brian Murphy

Hear Conference


Deer Farming is a Threat to Hunting Heritage

Brian Murphy is Chief Executive Officer of the Quality Deer Management Association. After AFOA received the March 6, 2012 email from a south Alabama landowner (see email in Shawn Schafer segment, above), we called Brian Murphy to find out what was going on. He sent us a QDMA Press Release and Frequently Asked Questions About QDMA's Stance on Captive Deer Breeding. Brian also wrote an editorial on the topic, Inside QDMA, in the April-May issue of Quality Whitetails.

From Frequently Asked Questions:

"On February 23, 2012 the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) issued a national press release urging its members and other concerned sportsmen in several states to contact their elected officials and urge them to oppose legislation initiated by the deer breeding industry that would enable introduction of captive deer breeding operations or expansion of these practices within those states." [Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia]

"QDMA’s mission is to ensure the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. This mission is specific to wild white-tailed deer, not those genetically altered, artificially created and human-habituated. QDMA believes that growth and expansion of the captive deer breeding industry could threaten North America’s wild white-tailed deer and the deer-hunting heritage. QDMA is responding to aggressive moves to legalize deer breeding in several new states and to loosen regulations in others. Previously, such efforts were limited to just a few states annually (which QDMA also opposed). However, during the 2012 legislative season, this number swelled to nine states. Simply stated, QDMA believes the potential negative implications warrant our actions."

"QDMA has a long history of supporting private property rights, especially those which do not infringe on our members’ rights to hunt healthy, wild, white-tailed deer on the properties they own, manage or hunt. Under the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and the Public Trust Doctrine, wildlife, including white-tailed deer, are collectively owned by all citizens rather than individuals. We contend that captive deer breeding facilities infringe upon the tenets of the North American Model. Thus, we see this as a resource issue (use, access, and allocation) rather than a private property rights issue."

Phone: 1-800-209-3337


Dr. William W. Hargrove

Hear Conference


ForWarn - a satellite-based monitoring and assessment tool

Bill Hargrove is a Research Scientist at the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, based in Asheville, North Carolina. A Press Release from the Southern Research Station popped into our email inbox last week and we knew after a quick glance that SRS researchers were announcing a really big piece of news for forest owners. We opened the Forest Change Assessment Viewer and zoomed in on Tuscaloosa. Then, in the Map Layers menu we selected the Forest Disturbances Detection Maps and in the menu that opened, we selected current_february26_mar20.tif (under Disturbances Since 2010), and there it was. A big red streak from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham - the April 27, 2011 tornado. When we zoomed out, it was easy to see the tornado path all the way back to Mississippi and other tornado paths were visible, too. We contacted Dr. Hargrove and congratulated him for creating this potentially great tool. We asked if ForWarn was equipped with an alert system, whereby after a tornado or hurricane, forest owners might receive email messages that damage had occurred on or near their land. He said, "Not yet," but "what we want is for landowners to watch their own forests via the Assessment Viewer with us. We will also be watching 'over their shoulders' here at the Threat Centers." He went on, "Our next set of research development foci will include an automated highlighting of disturbed areas, calling them to our attention. Also, we hope to establish a variety of alerting systems, including email, RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, and texting. Users would 'subscribe' to one or more of these, whichever represent the best fit with their management styles."

ForWarn: Satellite-Based Change Recognition and Tracking (the ForWarn Homepage)

ForWarn Support & Training (this page contains a demo video and more)

Phone: (828) 257-4846


Brian Stearns

Hear Conference


Safety Connection to Home or Office

Brian Stearns is an Application Engineer at DeLorme (the maps and GPS gadgets company), based in Yarmouth, Maine. We called him after reading an article in the January 2012 issue of The Forestry Source that described DeLorme's inReach (2-way satellite communicator with GPS). He reminded us that the inReach is a satellite communications device -- it gets signals from and sends signals to satellites in space, not local cell towers. It will work any place in the world. The stand-alone gadget costs $249.95 and, with a monthly connection fee of $9.95, will allow you to send up to 10 preprogrammed text and SOS messages per month. The text messages (can be sent to email addresses) are preprogrammed by you and might say, "I'm OK," or, "Need assistance, but not emergency." For larger monthly fees, inReach can send periodic tracking information (it has GPS capabilities) to a website, so your family would know where you are. For example: you leave home and inReach sends a location report every 10 minutes that plots on a map your exact travel path. inReach can be coupled with an Android phone to allow two way messaging (from anywhere). Pretty neat.

Phone: (207) 846-7113


Dr. Rebecca J. Barlow

Hear Conference


Harvesting Pine Straw for Profit

Becky Barlow, Alabama Cooperative Extension System Specialist and Assistant Professor in the School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, has co-authored Harvesting Pine Straw for Profit: Questions Landowners Should Ask Themselves (ANR-1418). When telling us about the new publication, a county Extension Agent asked us, "Did you know that it is possible to make $200 to $300 per acre per year from pine straw?" "Production of nontimber forest products such as pine straw can be a good way for forestland owners to earn an income, especially when traditional timber markets are down. Pine straw consists of the needles that fall from pine trees. Pine straw offers landowners the opportunity to earn short-term income while managing their property for other land uses, but owners must first consider what is best for their land and whether pine straw falls within the bounds of their management plans. There are a number of important factors to consider before investing time and money into pine straw harvesting operations."

Questions Becky suggests you ask yourself:  

  • What species of pines are growing on my land?
  • How much pine straw will the stand produce?
  • Are the stand characteristics favorable for pine straw harvesting?
  • What property characteristics are conducive to pine straw harvesting?
  • How will fertilizer treatments affect pine straw production?
  • How will herbicide treatments affect pine straw production?
  • How will prescribed burning affect pine straw production?
  • How will thinning affect pine straw production?
  • How will pine straw removal affect the site?
  • How will pine straw removal affect water resources?
  • How can negative effects of pine straw harvesting be mitigated?
  • Is there a local demand for pine straw?
  • What type of contract is appropriate?
  • Are there reliable contractors who can do the work?

Phone: (334) 844-1019




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