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JANUARY 2013 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on January 16, 2013

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.


John F. Lyle, III

Hear Conference


Fiscal Cliff Aversion Law – What was in it that affects forest owners?

Johnny Lyle is Partner and Tax Team Leader at Adams and Reese LLP, working out of the firm's Mobile and Birmingham offices. He is also a Board Member of the Forest Landowners Tax Council, so he is well situated to give us an update on the "Fiscal Cliff Aversion Bill" of January 1, 2013. From the January 9, 2013 issue of the Forest Landowners e-Newsletter, we read:

     Mostly what Congress did by passing the fiscal cliff was to make permanent the system that has been in effect for the past two years.
     Specifically, this bill locks in place current tax rates for middle class families, provides a permanent patch for the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and holds down the death tax for farmers and ranchers.
     Without any action on their part, the tax-free amount would have automatically reverted to $1 million per person, and the rate for most estates would have gone up to 55%. But at the end of the day the only thing the lawmakers actually changed is the gift and estate-tax rate, which has gone up to a top rate of 40% from a maximum of 35% on individual estates valued over $5.12 million indexed for inflation.
     “While far from perfect, the proposal protects 99% of taxpayers from scheduled rate increases and provides the certainty necessary for families to plan and businesses to grow by making this tax relief permanent,” said Rep. Glenn Thompson House Agriculture Committee Chairman and supporter of private forest landowners.

     Source: Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Bill - How the Fiscal Cliff Impacts Landowners

We will ask Johnny to discuss estate and gift taxes, as well as the capital gains tax.

Phone: (251) 433-3234


Rachna Choudhry

Hear Conference


Focusing Grassroots Interests in DC

Rachna Choudhry is a Co-Founder of POPVOX, a web-based tool designed to help you promote your political interests to your members of Congress. A brief Tutorial Slide Show will help you get started. The tutorial shows you how to find a bill pending before Congress and how to send your message to your Congressman. It leads you to maps which display constituent interest in your bill, and then provides advice on how to bring in more support for your position. If you have ever written to your Representative or Senator, you may want to try POPVOX to see how it works. If you have never written to Congress, it's time.

Rachna says, "A good place to get started using POPVOX is the 'New Bills' page. It gives you a real-time look at the bills Congress is introducing:" She also recommends a visit to POPVOX's Facebook page. AFOA thinks you will find her article in Forest Landowner magazine useful: Harness Your Grassroots Power with



John R. Seiler

Hear Conference


Tree and Shrub Identification: vTree App

John Seiler is Professor of Forestry in The Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and Environment. "Also known as Dr. Dendro, John, along with creative co-workers has developed multimedia tools for tree identification including Woody Plants in North America published by Kendall/Hunt which contains over 23,000 color photographs for 940 trees and shrubs found throughout North America..." John and co-workers have also developed an Android Tree ID App called vTree that has been downloaded more than 10,000 times. In the next week or two, vTree will be available as an iPhone App. Check the iTunes store in about 2 weeks.

Phone: (540) 231-5461


Kip Adams

Hear Conference


An Average Hunter

Kip Adams is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and the Director of Education and Outreach for the Quality Deer Management Association. Kip lives in Knoxville, Pennsylvania. He caught our attention when he translated some of the information from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation into an article in Quality Whitetails, Dec-Jan 2012-2013, entitled, Are You an Average Hunter? Kip points out that in 2011, "the average hunter spent $2,484 on all things hunting related." He reviews the top 10 expenditures made by hunters, number 1 on the list being Land Leasing and Ownership.

"The average hunter spent $540 for a total of nearly $7.4 billion. This was by far the top category as it was 57 percent higher than the second item. The survey did not separate leasing and land purchasing, but another U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey showed just under 7 percent of hunters leased land in the U.S. in 2006. That same survey showed 1.3 million hunters owned over 134 million acres, and over a decade ago (2001) the number of hunters owning land exceeded the number leasing land." 

Phone: (814) 326-4023


Wayne Bassett

Hear Conference


Antique Apples for Wildlife and People

Wayne Bassett is President of The Wildlife Group, a tree and shrub nursery that focuses on the interests of hunters and wildlife habitat enthusiasts. A few weeks ago, Wayne told us about a book he thought forest landowners and hunters would be interested in. His excitement for Creighton Lee Calhoun's Old Southern Apples bubbled over as he described the hundreds of antique or heritage apples Calhoun has documented and collected. He mentioned that these old cultivars tend to be disease resistant and do well in wildlife food plots and near cabins, feeding both wildlife and people. The Wildlife Group has several varieties available now (Yates, Arkansas Black, Deer Gold, Gibson Golden, Gala, Anna, Autumn Rush, Horse Apple, Brogden, Royal Limbertwig). Wayne suggests planting prior to mid-March.

Click here for driving directions to The Wildlife Group or click here for a Google Map.

The Wildlife Group will welcome AFOA members on their way to the 2013 Annual Meeting in Opelika on Friday, April 5. Details will be posted later to

Phone: 1-800-221-9703


John C. Chitwood

Hear Conference


Safe Use of Power Line Rights of Way

John Chitwood is Encroachments Supervisor for Alabama Power Company's Transmission Right of Way Services. The company owns and maintains approximately 10,000 miles of electric transmission lines and it is John's responsibility to ensure that the rights of way are clear of encroachments and obstructions that could interfere with the company's ability to provide safe and reliable energy. That being said, John is with us today to tell us how to safely use the land under the transmission lines. AFOA has noticed that many landowners, when advertising hunting land for lease, will highlight that a power line crosses the property and is available for planting game food plots. Hunters like to place shooting houses as close to the power lines as John will allow, because of the excellent view up and down the line.

Suggested Reading:

Phone: (205) 257-3667


Beth W. Richardson

Hear Conference


Improving Return on Your Forestry Investments

Beth Richardson is an Area Forester for the Clemson University Extension Service. We were impressed with the advice she passed along in an article in the Association of Consulting Foresters Newsletter, and thought you would enjoy hearing her ideas on managing pines you or your family members have planted. In a sidebar following the article, Beth reported that the Internal Rate of Return for a 26 year rotation demonstration forest was 22.09%, including costs of taxes, mid-rotation herbicide release, and planting costs. She used FORVAL to help her analyze the investment.

Most landowners don’t consider their timber an economic investment. They have other ownership priorities such as aesthetics, wildlife, recreation, or just the peace of mind that comes with open space. Thus, people’s healthy emotional attachment to their woodlands should never be discounted by foresters. There are millions of acres that are owned by just such individuals and, by and large, are left to let Nature take her course. The good news about forestry is, in many ways, you can have it all. A scientifically valid, well-conceived forest management plan can help achieve a variety of non-timber objectives, while simultaneously profiting from timber harvests. To optimize your investment:

  • Don't Wait to Thin
  • Consider Site Quality
  • Maintain Adequate Live Crown
  • Thin Often
  • Watch the Canopy
  • Leave the Best
  • Get a Good Thinning Crew
  • Clearcut When the Time is Right

Phone: (803) 664-0860


Peter J. Stewart

Hear Conference


Timber Market Report & Daily News Indicators

Pete Stewart is the Founder, President, and CEO of Forest2Market, an organization that "provides market price data, supply chain expertise and other decision support services to participants in the forest, wood and paper products, recovered fiber and bioenergy industries." Today we asked Pete to give us an idea of what lies ahead for us in the sawtimber and fiber markets. We also asked him to discuss market indicators such as new home building, paper demand, wood fuel regulations in Europe, and other headlines in the news that might help us make better forest management decisions.

Suggested Reading:

Phone: (704) 540-1440 ext 11




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