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MARCH 2013 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on March 27, 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.


Dr. Gary D. Lemme

Hear Conference


Economic Impacts of Ag & Forestry

Gary Lemme is Director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System with offices in every county of the state. Perhaps to counter statements of ag and forestry critics who believe farmland and forestland are undeveloped wastelands just waiting to be developed, the Extension System along with numerous other partners and supporters recently published Economic Impacts of Alabama's Agricultural, Forestry, and Related Industries. The Report is full of interesting statistics on jobs and economic impact. You will be pleased to know that forestry and forest products rank very high in both areas. For example, Agriculture and Forestry had a $70.4 billion economic impact on Alabama's economy in 2010. Timber production and processing was the leading sector at $21.4 billion, followed by poultry and eggs at $15.1 billion. Jobs created by timber production and processing totaled 122,020, followed by poultry and eggs at 86,237. Of some significance, Dr. James Shepard, Dean of Auburn's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, noted that the IMPLAN model used to create the report "dramatically under-represented the economic impacts of nature-based tourism like hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing." To account for the impacts of nature-based tourism, "economic data from a 2006 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service report was included on page 31 in an appendix. Those data show that total 'sales' of nature-based tourism was $2.1 billion, had $3.6 billion in economic impact, and employed 42,319. Had these data been included," timber production and processing would have been number 1 and nature based tourism would have been number 3, for both economic impacts and jobs.

Phone: (334) 844-5546


Melissa Moeller

Hear Conference


Fed Program Excludes U.S. Forest Products

Melissa Moeller is Manager of Public Affairs for the American Forest Foundation (American Tree Farm System and Project Learning Tree are programs of the Foundation). In a recent letter, Melissa wrote:

     Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), introduced the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 979/S. 463) so that American-made, home-grown forest products can qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) BioPreferred® program.
     The BioPreferred® program is designed to encourage the use of biobased products, but most forest products, including products grown by America's more than 10 million family forest owners, have been excluded from the program.
     Please take action today! Write to your members of Congress, encouraging them to cosponsor the Forest Products Fairness Act and support family-grown forest products.
     Here are direct links to write to your U.S. Representative and to write to your U.S. Senators.
[Grassroots Action Center Senators  Representatives]
     "As a family forest owner, I have seen the price of my sustainably grown product fall by half over the past few years. While times are tough, I now find products made from my sustainably produced wood cannot achieve USDA Certified Biobased Product label. However, a company importing materials from overseas would be recognized. Now is not the time to put Americans at a market disadvantage," said Colton Churchill, a certified Tree Farmer from Arkansas.


"Last week NASF joined other forestry organizations in a letter to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to emphasize the importance of wood being classified as green product. The current LEED standards discourages the use of wood relative to other building materials and discriminates against two widely used forest certification standards." Source: National Association of State Foresters (NASF) website.


SB326 was introduced [March 12, 2013] in the Alabama Senate on behalf of the Alabama Forestry Association. The bill, co-sponsored by Senators Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) and Marc Keahey (D-Grove Hill) will be in the Senate Ag & Forestry Committee [on March 13, 2013]. The purpose of the bill is to specify that any green building standard used for construction or major renovation of public buildings by state and local governments would be required to treat all forest certification standards equally. See attached Bill. Source: Tom Saunders, Alabama Forestry Association, 3/13/13. The companion bill in the House is HB457.

Phone: (202) 463-2456


Dr. Timothy A. Martin

Hear Conference


Loblolly Pine & Climate Change

Tim Martin is Professor of Tree Physiology at the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation. Tim was referred to AFOA when we asked the following questions about a $20 million research project, called PINEMAP, that concentrates on planted pine forests (primarily loblolly pine) and climate change.

  • What is the size of PINEMAP in dollars, years, researcher time, etc.?
  • Given our current fiscal realities (40% of federal expenditures are paid for with borrowed money), it is important to scrutinize large federal expenditures. Will this project produce any benefits for forest landowners or other taxpayers?
  • Are the climate change threats to growing loblolly significant enough to warrant the research dollars?

The size of the project caught our attention - $20 million - but after reflecting on some of the unfocused, short-term graduate student research projects we've seen over the years, this project, PINEMAP, sounds like it may be worth watching. The project focuses the resources of more than 50 researchers at 11 land grant universities across a 20 million acre resource. AFOA will pass along progress reports as the project moves forward.

Phone: (352) 846-0866


Dr. John L. Greene

Hear Conference


Forest Landowners Tax Guide

John Greene, U.S. Forest Service Emeritus Research Forester - and now private consulting forester/tax advisor, wrote to AFOA a few weeks ago: "This is to let you know that the PDF version of Agriculture Handbook 731, the updated Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax, was released [about March 1, 2013]." The 164 page book is available online at Treesearch and will soon be available on the National Timber Tax Website. Hard copies of the guide should become available for purchase from the U. S. Government Bookstore in about a month.
Written by U.S. Forest Service emeritus research forester John Greene with co-authors William Siegel, William Hoover and Mark Koontz, the guide updates and takes the place of a previous publication of the same name, incorporating new tax laws and changes through September 30, 2012.

From an Alabama Forestry Commission Press Release:

“The main purpose of this guide is to foster good management of family-owned forest land by providing an explanation of provisions and incentives related to forest ownership and management under Federal income tax law,” says Greene, who since retiring works as a volunteer for the Forest Service Southern Research Station Forest Economics and Policy unit.

The guide introduces tax planning and basic tax considerations and explains the Federal income tax as it pertains to timber and forest land, including:

  • Basis and capital accounts
  • Reforestation tax incentives
  • Depreciation and the Internal Revenue Code section 179 deduction
  • Operating expenses and carrying charges
  • The passive loss rules
  • Sale or disposal of timber
  • Government cost-sharing programs
  • Other timber-related receipts.

It also covers the tax implications of other forest-related topics, including:

  • Donation or sale of a conservation easement
  • Installment sales
  • The alternative minimum tax
  • Self-employment taxes
  • Christmas tree production
  • Nontimber products.

Phone: (919) 549-4093


Dr. T. Bently Wigley

Hear Conference


Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Survey

Ben Wigley is Manager of the Sustainable Forestry Research Program for the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI), a non-profit research organization that addresses environmental issues of importance to the forest products industry. NCASI has developed a survey to gather data about the eastern diamondback to "better inform the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about the range of habitat conditions in which the eastern diamondback rattlesnake is found. ... the Service has been petitioned to list the species as threatened or endangered." "Federally listing a species as threatened or endangered can have large economic consequences. Thus, it is particularly important that listing decisions be based on the best available scientific evidence. In the case of the eastern diamondback, there is a lack of data about their abundance, population trends, or their habitat use in managed forests. We have heard many anecdotal accounts of encounters with eastern diamondbacks in managed pine forests. We think that documentation of such encounters would be helpful to the Service as they make their decision about whether this species should be listed."  

"If you encounter an eastern diamondback rattlesnake, NCASI would greatly appreciate your participation in the survey." For background information about the survey, photos of the snake, and 3 different ways to fill out the survey, CLICK HERE.

Phone: (864) 656-0840


Dr. P. David Jones

Hear Conference


What Kind of Wood is That?

Dave Jones is Assistant Extension Professor in the Department of Forest Products, Mississippi State University. We read his article, Basic Guide to Identification of Hardwoods and Softwoods Using Anatomical Characteristics, in the Mississippi Forestry Association magazine, Tree Talk, Winter 2013, and thought that many forest landowners would enjoy reading it, too. The photos in the Guide are great, but we thought hearing some of the tips and tricks of wood identification from an expert like Dave would spark your interest. For links to several more publications on wood identification, Dave suggests a visit to the MSUcares Wood Identification webpage.

Phone: (662) 325-8454


Thom McEvoy

Hear Conference


Keeping Woodlands Intact and in the Family

Thom McEvoy, Professor Emeritus, University of Vermont Forestry Extension, has authored another book that we think you will find very interesting and useful: Planning Family Forests -- How to Keep Woodlands Intact and in the Family.

     "The purpose of this book is to document some of the many success stories where forests have had a unifying effect on families, while also keeping woodlands productive and protected from development. Professor McEvoy takes a unique approach to sharing these stories with readers, through the use of case studies from around the country. These narratives will help forest-owning families explore a variety of strategies on which to model their efforts.
     "The underlying message, though, is that when forestlands are left to children intact, with clear directions as to how lands are to be managed and used, and how benefits are to be shared, generations that follow are much more likely to come together as family for the purposes of managing forests. This is usually undertaken as a legacy to their parents and grandparents, establishing strong traditions for future generations to keep forests intact and in the family." From a Note from the Publisher.


Phone: (802) 434-3839


James Jeuck

Hear Conference


Maximizing Economic Returns

James Jeuck is an Extension Associate with North Carolina State University Extension Forestry. James co-authored an article in National Woodlands, Spring 2012, entitled, When to Cut Your Woodlot: Maximizing the Economic Returns. James discusses wood volume growth rates and percentage growth rates, and helps us understand what we already know about bank savings accounts and certificates of deposits. "Money is more limited than land in most investment situations. Managers therefore try to maximize return per dollar. To do this, value growth of trees (or stands) is more usefully expressed as percent, to compare with rates of return possible through alternative investments. When a stand’s stumpage value (the capital tied up in a stand) could earn more in alternative investments (a higher percentage), then the stand is financially mature." Investing in forestland and forest management activities that improve growth and/or wood quality is a good investment today, don't you think. Hint: Would you rather have your savings in a bank on the Island of Cyprus?

Suggested Reading:
 •  NCSU Extension Forestry Website 
 •  Woodland Owners Update, newsblog 
 •  NC Timber Price Reports 

 NCSU Extension Documents:
 •  Timber sales: A planning guide for landowners – R. Bardon 

 National Woodlands, Spring 2012 Articles:
 •  Forest Market Trends: Current and Future Outlook, D. Hazel; J. Jeuck, page 10.
 •  When to Cut Your Woodland: Maximizing the Economic Returns, J. Jeuck; R. Bardon, page 49. 

Phone: (919) 515-5574




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