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JULY 2014 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on July 16, 2014

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.


Gregory Allen Pate

Hear Conference



Alabama Forest Resource Report 2013

Greg Pate is State Forester of the Alabama Forestry Commission. The Alabama Forest Owners' Association welcomes Greg to Alabama and to his new role and responsibilities. Greg recently served as the State Forester in North Carolina and is returning to Alabama - he grew up in Anniston and received his forestry degree from Auburn University. In recent correspondence with Greg, he wrote: “I am excited to have the opportunity to work in a great agency like the Alabama Forestry Commission. I along with our over 250 employees statewide will continue to work with private sector organizations and companies as well as public sector agencies and organizations to strengthen Alabama’s forest resource as a top economic driver in the state.”

Today we asked Greg to give us an update on the forest resources of Alabama, based on a new report: Forest Resource Report 2013. The report is filled with data and graphs, plus lots of facts that may interest someone who is considering investing in Alabama forestland or a forest products manufacturing business. For example:

  • The total estimated stumpage revenue generated from the sale of all forest products in 2013 was approximately $675.1 million, an increase of 13.3% from 2012. The increase can be attributed to substantially higher hardwood stumpage prices for both sawtimber and pulpwood, and an increase in timber harvests in the pine sawtimber and pine pulpwood product categories.
  • The total estimated stumpage revenue generated from the sale of sawtimber increased by 4.6% from 2012. Pine sawtimber revenue increased by 5.4% while hardwood sawtimber revenue decreased by less than 1%.
  • The total estimated stumpage revenue generated from the sale of pulpwood increased by 22.8% from 2012. Pine pulpwood revenue when compared to 2012 increased by 19.4% and hardwood pulpwood revenue increased by 30.7% from 2012.  Source: page 41 of the report.

Phone: (334) 240-9303


Stephen M. Butler

Hear Conference


Tips for Buying Timberland

Steve Butler is  President of TimberCorp, Inc., a consulting forestry and real estate firm in Central Mississippi. He is also a Member Broker with Timberland Sales, LLC. Steve specializes in Forest Management, Property Inspections, Appraisals, and Timber and Land Sales. In the July 2014 issue of Capital Ideas, AFOA's monthly newsletter, we quoted from an article written by Steve that was published in the Mississippi Forestry Association's Tree Talk, Spring 2014:

Returns from timber come from three primary sources: biological growth, product shifts, and timber price appreciation. Biological growth makes up 61 percent of returns. It is independent of all other factors and is highly predictable. A well-managed forest can experience average growth rates of seven percent annually over the life of a rotation. Product shifts also produce significant returns. When a tree shifts product classes from pulpwood to chip-n-saw to sawtimber, the value of a cubic foot of wood often doubles with each product shift.

Today we asked Steve to talk about the importance of road access (weight limited bridges, lack of legal access) and tract size, and how those factors might make a difference in our ability to sell the timber we will grow on the tract. We also asked him how to determine the value of a potential acquisition. The tips Steve shares in his Tree Talk article, Tips for Buying Timber, might help you avoid a bad property purchase, or they might help you understand why the prices you are offered for your timber are never quite as high as those received by your neighbor. 

For Further Research: To find a forestry consultant, Steve recommends using the Association of Consulting Foresters website. He also thought that prospective timberland buyers might benefit from reviewing Timberland Returns on the website of the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries. You might also try a search using the Alabama Consulting Forester Directory at This directory is still undergoing testing, so if you find a glitch or would like to make a suggestion to the site administrator, write to

Phone: (601) 591-4006


Dr. Donald J. Jonovic

Hear Conference


Transparent & Shared Transition Agreements Are Best

Don Jonovic is a Principal in the firm Family Business Management Services and has written a column in Successful Farming magazine, "Can Their Problem Be Solved," for many years. He wrapped up his Mid-March 2013 column with these words: "Transition agreements are better built stone by stone than discovered by avalanche just after death." The column is short but well worth reading if you have children or grandchildren who work with you on your family forestland.

Can Their Problem Be Solved, Successful Farming, Mid-March 2013.

Phone: 800-566-6842


Deborah Hawkinson

Hear Conference


Forest Management Threatened by Fed Rules to Protect Endangered Bat

Deb Hawkinson is President of the Forest Resources Association (FRA). Based in Washington, DC, "the Mission of the Forest Resources Association is to promote the interests of forest products industry members in the economical, efficient, and sustainable use of forest resources to meet the needs of the wood fiber supply chain through private enterprise."

On AFOA's News webpage we wrote on June 13, 2014: "Being pushed to the brink of extinction by a fungal disease (White Nose Syndrome (WNS)), the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB), which lives in Alabama, has been proposed for listing as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service." The June 19, 2014 FRA Bulletin stated:

FRA and Other Resource Users Oppose Northern Long-Eared Bat Proposal

The announcement that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposes to list the Northern Long-Eared Bat as Endangered in 39 states sometime this fall has stirred up opposition throughout that broad region. [This pushback has now delayed any decision to list until April 2015.] The proposed listing is based on the anticipated impact of white nose syndrome, a deadly and swift-spreading disease, on the bat population. Proposed guidelines for protecting the bat could significantly impact logging and other forest management activities between April and October, even though in some areas within that 39-state range, the bat is 15 to 20 times more common than non-listed bats.

Over 40 individuals from Congressional and other government offices attended a June 12 hearing on the potential impacts of a listing. Among witnesses from other resource-based industries, Ray Moistner of the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association spoke on his experiences working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state of Indiana to address similar concerns regarding the Indiana bat.

FRA is supporting efforts to push Interior and USF&W to develop more reasonable and economically responsible guidelines that offer science-based protections to the bat population without creating undue hardships and is educating Congress, seeking Congressional offices’ support to ask Interior for a more pragmatic approach.

Meanwhile, we have received information about a researcher at Georgia State University, Dr. Chris Cornelison, who claims to have come up with a cure for white-nose syndrome: synthesizing an enzyme that inhibits the fungus from thriving and inoculating hibernation caves with it. Bat Conservation International published a summary of his research last year at this link.


Phone: (202) 296-3937


Dr. Lloyd W. Swift, Jr.

Hear Conference


Access Roads in Mountainous Terrain - A Guide

Lloyd Swift is an Emeritus Scientist of the Southern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service. He conducted research for many years at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in North Carolina. Dr. Swift was one of the co-authors of a 1983 publication, The Layman's Guide to Private Access Road Construction in the Southern Appalachian Mountains - Plan Now... Or Pay Later!!! Originally designed to prevent erosion from access roads being built by cabin and home owners on remote mountainous terrain, the 29 page publication should be useful to forest owners who build roads on their forestland, especially in north Alabama. Readers who read both the 1983 publication and the newer 2005 Second Edition, will enjoy and benefit from presentation styles separated by 22 years.


Phone: (828) 524-2128 ext.101


Charles R. Rath

Hear Conference


Trapping in Alabama - An Introduction

Charlie Rath is President of the Alabama Trappers and Predator Control Association and Director-at-Large on the Board of Directors of the National Trappers Association. Several references to trapping have been made over the past few years in Capital Ideas, the monthly newsletter of the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, but trapping has not been mentioned often.

  • May 2014
    ALABAMA’S FUR-TRAPPING SEASON runs from November 10 to February 28, a long season compared to some other states. Source: Great Days Outdoors, 4/14.
  • March 2014
    THE DEMAND FOR FURS is increasing as the “buyers in China, Russia, and Korea watch their incomes grow,” reported The Missoulian on 12/26/13. The Alabama Trappers and Predator Control Association (ATPCA) reported to AFOA that there is a market for Alabama wild fur, the reporter having recently sold otter and beaver pelts. The ATPCA conducted a 3-day Trapper Education Workshop in Greenville, Alabama in February.
  • December 2010
    ALABAMA TRAPPING LICENSE NUMBERS DOWN from 6,000+ 30 years ago to about 450 last year. See Alabama Youth Trapper Education Workshops in Calendar — 1/7-9, 1/21-23, & 2/18-20.
  • January 2008
    TRAPPER’S COLLEGE is a week-long course, sponsored by the Fur Takers of America. Taught twice each year, once in Indiana and once in Louisiana, this course “would be the best money a land manager could spend to get hands-on training.” To learn more, visit Source: Going Pro for Serious Predator Control, Quality Whitetails, 12/07.

You may be interested in learning to trap or you may be interested in finding a trapper to help you reduce beaver or coyotes on your land. If so, knowing more about the activities of the Alabama Trappers and Predator Control Association is a good place to start.

Phone: (205) 678-6146


Dr. Dale G. Brockway

Hear Conference


Bumper Cone Crop for Longleaf this Fall

Dale Brockway is a Research Ecologist at the G. W. Andrews Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service at Auburn, Alabama. Dale "recently published his yearly summary of projected longleaf pine cone production for 2014 and 2015. The report shows that a very good longleaf pine cone crop is expected in October 2014 for the Southeast. 'Our estimates show the 2014 crop averaging 98 cones per tree, which is the second highest level on record and well above the long-term regional average,' said Brockway" You might ask, "Why should I care if the longleaf pine cone crop is good or bad?" Two or three examples come to mind.

  1. If you harvested timber on some of your land and are hoping longleaf seed trees left on the site will provide seed to regenerate a new stand of young trees, this may be the year to prepare the ground in those stands. Longleaf seed germinates best when it lands on bare, mineral soil.
  2. If you plan to convert some of your land to longleaf by planting seedlings, a bumper crop of cones means that longleaf seedlings may be available when you get ready to buy them from your favorite nursery.
  3. And finally, if your mature longleaf stand is accessible to cone shakers, you may be able to earn income from the collection of cones.

Phone: (334) 826-8700 ext 28


Dr. Kenneth L. McNabb

Hear Conference


Forestry Herbicide Update

Ken McNabb is the Mosley Environmental Professor and Extension Specialist at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University. Before patents expired on forestry herbicides like Arsenal, Escort, and several others, training sessions on the effective use of these chemical tools were common across Alabama. Applying properly mixed herbicides in the right place, at the right time, and under the right conditions can still be very beneficial to forest owners, so we asked Ken to help us begin a process to introduce you to some of the most useful forestry herbicides. In Important Considerations for Using Herbicides in Forest Management, Ken is preparing us for a series of presentations he will lead us through, where he will talk and write about specific chemicals for use in specific situations. We look forward to working with Ken on this project.

Situations where herbicides might be useful might include reducing vegetation on roads and trails, preparing a pasture for planting to loblolly or longleaf pines, releasing young planted loblolly pines from hardwood brush, brown-up vegetation to prepare for a fall burn that will expose mineral soil for soon-to-fall longleaf seeds, etc., etc. Please send Ken and AFOA your suggestions on situations you would like advice on controlling unwanted vegetation.

Phone: (334) 844-1044



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