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JULY 2013 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on July 17, 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)
Hear Conference


Hayes D. Brown, attorney and forest owner, will moderate this news conference. Hayes' email address is

Click Here to View & Hear Prior News Conferences.


Randal O'Toole

Hear Conference


The Case For Recreation Fees on Federal Land

Randal O'Toole is a Cato Institute Senior Fellow working on urban growth, public land, and transportation issues. In a recent Cato Policy Analysis, Improving Incentives for Federal Land Managers: The Case for Recreation Fees, O'Toole caught our attention when he wrote: “By giving away dispersed recreation [hiking, backpacking, hunting], the federal government reduces to nearly zero the value of such recreation to private landowners.” Now we know that unlike western states, where much of the land is owned by the federal government, only about 5% of Alabama forestland is owned by the state and federal governments. Unfortunately, there is constant pressure for those governments to acquire more land in our state - Forever Wild spends up to $15 million each year acquiring private forest and farm land and about two years ago the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service attempted to add 100,000+ acres to the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge. Perhaps if federal and state agencies who administer public lands were to charge access fees which reflected the true cost of providing the resource to the public, the interest in acquiring more public land would be reduced. You may want to encourage your Congressman to reauthorize the Recreation Enhancement Act that allows fees on federal lands to be collected. It is set to expire in December 2014.

Phone: (541) 595-1460


David P. Tenny

Hear Conference


Private Forest Owners Make Significant Contribution to U.S. Economy

Dave Tenny is the founding President and CEO of the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO), an organization devoted to policy advocacy on behalf of private forest owners. In a press release dated June 27, 2013, Tenny said, “Private forest owners are a driver of the U.S. economy by providing millions of jobs while producing a broad range of goods and services that improve quality of life in every home and community. Private forest owners are able to provide these substantial benefits because they recognize that responsible management today yields sustainable economic and environmental benefits over the long term.” The report, conducted by Forest2Market, is an update to NAFO’s inaugural report in 2009 (see Tenny's January 2010 interview with AFOA). It provides national, regional and state-specific data on jobs, payroll, sales, acreage ownership and contribution to overall manufacturing and gross domestic product.

A few points to take with you to Kiwanis or your garden club:

  • The U.S. grows more trees than it harvests. USDA reports that the standing inventory (volume of growing trees) in U.S. forests has grown by 50% between 1953 and 2011.
  • For the past 100 years, the amount of forestland in the United States has remained relatively stable, at around 755 million acres, thanks to improvements in markets for forest products and reforestation efforts.
  • 89 percent of the freshwater supply in the Eastern U.S. originates on forestlands.

The Report: The Economic Impact of Privately-Owned Forests in the United States, June 27, 2013

Snapshots of state data
(Alabama snapshot)

  • Private Forest Acres: 21,371,666
  • Public Forest Acres: 1,428,718
  • Direct, Indirect and Induced Jobs from Private Forests: 139,825
  • Direct, Indirect and Induced Payroll from Private Forests: $5,040,527,742
  • Annual Sales from Private Forests: $12,165,600,944
  • Percentage of Manufacturing: 17.89%

Phone: (202) 367-1163


Dr. Stephen G. Dicke

Hear Conference


High Value Utility Poles from Pine Plantations: Yes!

Stephen Dicke is Extension Professor in the Department of Forestry of the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University. About a month ago, in the Mississippi Forestry Association's Mid-Month Update, we saw a photo of Stephen standing in a loblolly pine plantation. Some of the trees behind him were marked for cutting and he was quoted saying, "the use of 'super trees,' Generation 1, initially, along with meticulous management has produced the rare but profitable utility pole specimens found in abundance on the farm." In Opportunity to grow and market poles in loblolly pine plantations, Stephen answers the question, "Why should owners of loblolly pine plantations be interested in poles?" A quick glance at the first table in the paper shows pine pulpwood worth $8.95 per ton and pine poles worth $60.34/ton (10-year average, south Mississippi, Forest2Market). He recommends that new plantings should be made with "good genetics" and thinning decisions should be made by a forester to protect potential poles, not by a feller-buncher operator focused on leaving the largest (but not necessarily the straightest) trees.

Suggested further reading: Growing Poles in Southern Pine Stands, Georgia Forestry Productivity Series

Phone: (601) 857-2284


Christopher Johnston

Hear Conference


Pine Tip Moth Control Improves Early Growth

Chris Johnston, International Forest Company, Inc., recently reported that the Moultrie, Georgia-based pine tree grower will soon begin offering an interesting new product that may improve growth of young pines. Chris wrote the following report about PTM Seedling Injections for AFOA:

The pine tip moth is a small insect that can severely damage young pine seedlings. Research shows that loblolly pine trees not protected by PTM were 9 ft. shorter in height, 1 ˝ inches smaller in diameter and had about 25% as much wood as pine that was protected with PTM at 10 years of age. The PTM treatment is systemic, which means it is a pesticide that is absorbed by the roots and is harmless to the plant or animal, but when absorbed into its sap, makes the entire seedling toxic to pests. We now have the ability to treat the root ball of container seedlings before they leave the nursery to be planted. This method of treatment reduces the cost by about half versus the conventional way of applying the PTM after planting has been complete. Depending on the planting spacing of the seedlings, we can add the PTM treatment for about 10 cents per seedling. The active ingredient is FIPRONIL and is the same chemical found in your pet’s flea collars. The PTM treatment will control pine tip moth and pine bark aphids for 2 years. This is very important as the pine tip moth has 2 to 5 generations per year and each generation poses a threat to pines. The pine tip moth first emerge February through March repeating their life cycle on 6 to 8 week intervals throughout the growing season. They feed on the new shoots and buds of the young pine trees, causing loss of the tree's form. Heavy attacks by the pine tip moth can also cause forks, crooks, and multiple trunks. With the demand in the timber market for straight, non-forked sawtimber trees, we are proud to offer PTM treated containerized pine seedlings to all forest landowners.

Phone: 1-800-633-4506


J. Kevin Dodd

Hear Conference


Statewide Planting Dates "Big Deal" for Dove Hunters and Landowners

Kevin Dodd is Chief Enforcement Officer at the Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. In a recent discussion with Chief Dodd, he alerted AFOA to news that will be of interest to landowners who allow dove hunting on their property. As you know, dove hunting is a  Fall tradition of the rural South. Dove hunts are hosted every year as fund raisers for community projects, secondary income for landowners, or purely as social events. Unfortunately, you may also have seen or heard reports of landowners or hunters being charged for hunting doves over illegal baited areas. Some of the reported fines are quite high and landowners have been reluctant to allow such activities. The Mourning Dove is a migratory bird and hunting is regulated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Service allows the birds to be hunted over fields managed under "normal agricultural practices," and it defers to each state's Agricultural Extension System to identify what is "normal" for that state. The agricultural practice that has caused the most conflicts has been fall wheat plantings. In the past the Extension System had established three zones with specific planting dates for each zone. Hunting over fields planted outside those dates was a violation of state and federal standards. The good news is that the Alabama Extension System has recently published new planting guidelines for Alabama. "The new recommendations eliminate the zones and set the acceptable dates for top-sowing wheat as August 1 through November 30."


Phone: (334) 242-3467


Angela M. Thorpe

Hear Conference


Defensible Space Encouraged by Insurance Company

Angela Thorpe is a Media Relations Specialist with State Farm Insurance Company in Colorado. Angela came to our attention when she was recently quoted in The Gazette, a Colorado Springs news paper. " 'We don't want everyone to start mowing down everything within 100 feet of their homes,' she said. 'We really want the areas within 30 to 50 feet of their homes to be really tight. We want to eliminate the fuels closest to the house. It's the first 30 feet surrounding the home that requires the most extensive mitigation. The 100-foot area is more about cutting limbs and thinning trees.' " Many Alabama forest owners live in or near wooded areas, so if that sounds like you, check out the State Farm Wildfire Mitigation webpage. Some simple and some more complicated actions you can take to make your home firesafe are graphically illustrated and make good sense. Another webpage that Angela suggests you consider using is their Creating a Home Inventory webpage. "A home inventory is an excellent way to expedite the insurance claims process after theft, damage, or loss. This record of your insurable assets will not only help you in the settlement of a covered loss or claim, but will also help verify tax-deductible property losses and determine the right amount of insurance coverage you need."

Create A Safety Zone (Source: State Farm)
The best way to protect your home from a wildfire is to remove or reduce the potential fuel within a 30-feet safety zone around your home. (If you live in a high-risk area, increase the safety zone to 100 feet):

  • Remove vines from house walls.
  • Move shrubs and other landscaping away from your house walls.
  • Remove highly flammable and low-branched trees...
  • For remaining trees, remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground.
  • Clear tree debris, such as fallen limbs, leaves, and pine needles and cones.
  • Move stacked wood outside the safety zone.
  • Pay special attention to clearing debris beneath decks and other overhangs.
  • Consider removing wooden exterior structures, such as decks and patios, or replacing them with more fire resistant materials.
  • Install non-combustible roofing and siding materials, such as metal, slate, or concrete.
  • Clear debris from gutters.
  • Install electrical lines underground, if possible.

You may also want to collect some basic firefighting tools, including hoses, buckets, shovels, axes, rakes, and saws. However, do not attempt to fight large, fast-moving wildfires on your own.

Coincidentally, a workshop entitled Wildfire Safe, Sound & Code Smart will be held in Cullman, Alabama on August 22-23.

Phone: (303) 264-1560


Roberta Burzynski

Hear Conference


Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?

Roberta Burzynski is a Writer-Editor-Educator with the Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service. Roberta and illustrator Juliette Watts have provided a wonderful resource for forest owners whose young children or grandchildren ask questions, such as, "Why did you cut those trees, Grandma?" "Some children and adults are unaware that in order to reduce tree hazards, protect other trees, or to get wood, it is necessary to cut trees."  Roberta uses words sparingly but appropriately to help young readers understand her message and enjoy the 28 beautiful full-color, hand-painted illustrations. Included at the end of the book are "A Note to Parents and Educators About Caring for Trees," a one-page lesson on tree planting, and sample memorials for those who want to plant a tree in memory of a friend or loved one.  While the book is available for purchase from the Government Printing Office for $10, we opened and downloaded a copy into our iPad (iBooks) quite easily.

Phone: (610) 557-4187


Arthia W. Rye

Hear Conference


"Highest Hardwood Summertime Prices I've Ever Seen"

Billy Rye is President of Forest Management Specialists, Inc., a consulting forestry firm based in Florence, Alabama. When we called Billy to ask him if he would give today's Timber Market Report, he was very excited about hardwood stumpage prices, and said they were the highest he has seen in the summer since he began his career as a consulting forester in 1996. He said white oak sawlogs are in high demand along with ash, poplar, and "even red oak." "The pine stumpage market is not as good and any price recovery will be gradual."

Phone: (256) 765-0397



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