Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.                 Advocate for the Forest Owner

Services & Supplies Categories

Aerial Photographs, GIS, & Maps

Certified Public Accountants

Chemical Vegetation Management

Consulting Forester
Member ACF

Consulting Forester

Family Wealth Management

Forestry Equipment, Portable Sawmills, & Tools

Hunting Gear, Guns, etc.


Land For Sale

Nuisance Wildlife Control

Pond Management

Posted Signs

Real Estate Appraisals

Real Estate Loans

Timber Buyer

Timber Market Pricing Service

Timber Sale Assistance

Tree Planting Equipment & Services

Tree Seed For Sale

Tree Seedlings For Sale

Woodland Mulching



NOVEMBER 2014 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on November 19, 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.


Eric Rutkow

Hear Conference


Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation

Eric Rutkow, Lawyer and Historian, is the author of American Canopy, Trees Forests, and the Making of a Nation. "This fascinating narrative shows how American attitudes toward trees have transformed over time, as well as just how much trees have shaped what it means to be American. ... Rutkow reveals how American ideas of consumption were formed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as a seemingly limitless supply of trees was used as wood source for shelter, heat, and transportation fuel. As forests were wiped out, later generations became advocates for conservation and proper forest management while also promoting the ecological, scenic, and spiritual importance of forests." Source: Forest History Today, Fall 2012, by Eben Lehman and James Lewis.

If Americans have changed from beneficiaries of "limitless supply of trees" to "advocates for conservation and proper forest management," might we not hope that someday Americans see themselves as "protectors of property rights," a virtue that would encourage the establishment of a unique and diverse privately owned national forest managed by millions of independent decision makers?

"Buy the Book" and Reviews:



Joe Hopkins

Alva J. Hopkins, III

Hear Conference


Did you know, "All U.S. Wood is Good?"
                                                                    Everybody knows that.

Joe Hopkins is a Georgia Forest Landowner and President of the Forest Landowners Association. In a recent "From the President" message in Forest Landowner magazine, Nov/Dec 2014, Joe laments that the world wood market demands certifiable proof that our forests are sustainably managed. He laments that were a U.S. forest landowner to ask a stranger, "Did you know, all U.S. wood is good?," the answer would NOT be, "Everybody knows that."

Since everybody doesn't know that, Joe and others are developing a website called Forest America to correct the problem. From the "About Us" webpage on Forest America:

Forest America is an initiative among private forest landowners and those representing all aspects of forestry to promote the management, stewardship and sustainability of America’s forests. Forest America is committed to continuous improvement and supporting U.S. private forest landowners efforts to increase confidence and trust in today’s management and sustainability of working forests. Forestry is our profession – but for most of us, it is also our life. For us, forests are our livelihood, our heritage and our legacy.

Our Commitment:

  • Effectively communicate the benefits of private working forests for the public good.
  • Provide unbiased information about forestry topics of broad public interest.
  • Strive to facilitate informed decisions regarding forestry-related issues.
  • To be a source for issues, facts and figures related to private working forests, which is understandable, unbiased, and accurate.
  • Create a positive perception of America’s forest landowners as responsible stewards of forest resources and the environment.
  • Change the misconception that America’s private forests are in danger and not sustainable.

Phone: (912) 496-7343


Bill Consoletti

William Consoletti

Hear Conference


How Forestry Came to the Southeast

Bill Consoletti is a Forester, a Historian, and an Author and Editor. As historian of the Southeastern Society of American Foresters (SESAF), Bill received a "legacy of material" passed down to him from previous SESAF historians. "Basically I brought an unpublished history ... written by an Alabama industrial forester named Earl Porter, up to date. Earl worked for IP in Mobile and wanted people to understand the importance of forestry to Alabama and the Southeast and the role the Society of American Foresters played in it."  

The rise of the conservation movement in the late 1800s led to the practice of forestry in America. Gifford Pinchot was a prime mover in the conservation movement his entire life. Under his guidance and perseverance, the Forest Service was established. He founded the Society of American Foresters to provide a vehicle to share information on the science of forestry with Division of Forestry employees.

For forestry to be practiced in the Southeast, landowners had to believe that planting and growing trees would be profitable and that fire would be controlled. Earl Porter, SESAF Historian, had been part of the establishment of forest industry in the Southeast from the 1930s to the 1960s. He wanted to tell the story of how forestry was established in the Southeast Section of SAF. It went unpublished from 1980 until 2008 when Bill Consoletti, the current Historian, enlisted the aid of six SESAF foresters to bring the story up to date.

The first section of the book covers the beginning of forestry in the United States and presents the growth of the forest products industry and the development of plantation silviculture. The last section presents the last forty years of forestry in the Southeast in the era of regulation, mergers, the rise of TIMOs and REITs, the change in forestland ownership and the burgeoning biomass industry.
Source: Southeastern Forester, Spring 2014, page 4. (ignore the $50 price tag listed in this source -- see below)

Buy the Book: Go to after the first of December to purchase the book for $25. Amazon will be the distributor.

Phone: (706) 561-8735


Chris J. Williams, CPA

Hear Conference


Year-End Tax Tips for Forest Landowners

Chris Williams is a CPA with JamsionMoneyFarmer PC where he "specializes in preparing and reviewing tax returns for businesses, individuals, estates, trusts, and non-profit organizations with a special focus on Timber, Oil, and Gas Taxes." For those landowners who have made a large timber sale this year, he advises pulling as many deductions as possible into 2014 and selling off losing investments. Deductible expenses that we sometimes overlook include reforestation and management costs. Reforestation expenses of up to $10,000 per "Qualified Timber Property" per year may be written off; one owner may delineate several to many Qualified Timber Properties. Forest management expenses can include road maintenance and repair, provided the activities are not improvements.

Chris says a good source for year-end tax planning is Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2014 Tax Year by Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist, U.S. Forest Service.

Phone: (205) 366-4007


Mark W. Thomas, RF, ACF

Hear Conference


Economic Impact of Whitetail Deer on Agricultural Crops

Mark Thomas is a Consulting Forester and Certified Wildlife Biologist and Is the CEO of Forestry/Wildlife Integration LLC. Forest owners and hunters who usually like to see vigorous and large deer herds sometimes forget the costs to ourselves and others that large deer herds can impose. A short list might include Deer-Vehicle Collisions, Forest Regeneration Costs, and Crop Losses (corn, cotton, peanuts, pecans, soybeans, fruit orchards).

In Economic Impact of Whitetail Deer Crop Consumption, Wildlife Trends Journal, Sept/Oct 2014, Mark reports the significant losses sustained by a large landowner with a very large deer herd (hunting had never been allowed on this 5,000 acre property). The annual loss on this one farm was estimated to be $244,000 per year, with losses to various crops as follows: corn, 15%, cotton, 20%, peanuts, 20%, pecans, 20%, and soybeans, 25%. It may be a no-brainer to most AFOA members, but one of Mark's recommendations to the property managers was to lease the land to hunters. The lease might bring as much as $125,000 per year and crop losses will likely drop as the herd is reduced. 

Further Reading:

Phone: (205) 733-0477


Michael Wydner

Hear Conference


Tree Stand Safety: Win-Win for Hunters and Landowners

Michael Wydner is National Sales Manager for Hunter Safety System, a manufacturer of tree stand safety harnesses and related accessories. Hunter Safety System was referred to us during a discussion on hunting accidents (see the "further reading" links below). Michael led us to Our Story, which should get your attention, and then we found the following testimonial from a very satisfied customer on their Life Story webpage.

Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for a great product that in all likelihood, saved my bacon this past weekend.

Having hunted out of treestands for over 20 years, I have used probably every strap or harness there is for safety. I settled on the HSS harness because of it's ease of use and solid design. That solid design kept me from landing on my head Saturday morning, and for that, I am grateful to you folks for making a product that works.

In all honesty, I don't really know what happened, but I had just shot a deer during the early bow season here in southwest Virginia, and the next thing I knew, I was falling out of the stand. It's a pretty helpless feeling hanging there without being able to get back into the stand, but it's much better than the alternative. It gave me the opportunity to call my buddy I was hunting with to come help me down. Really nice to know I can fall out of a stand in the morning, and be able to go climb another tree in the evening/ I have always made a point of telling everyone I know to use a safety harness of some kind while hunting from a treestand. Now, I can strongly recommend HSS from personal experience.

Again, Thanks for a great product. I promise to not gripe about the weight of a harness again.

Jerry Widener

Further Reading:

Phone: 1-877-296-3528


Joel W. Marsh

Joel W. Marsh

Hear Conference


A Landowner's Perspective on Producing and Selling Pine Straw

Joel Marsh is a Farm & Forest Owner in Coffee and Geneva counties and leases land for row crops, hunting, and longleaf pine straw. In a wide ranging conversation we had with Joel a few weeks ago, he described his experiences planting & growing longleaf pines and harvesting the pine straw.

Highlights from our conversation in no particular order:

  • market is very good for longleaf straw
  • planting spacing is important – affects harvesting method
  • acreage measurement is not length by width – accumulation of GPS measured harvesting areas
  • harvester required to control cogon grass and is not allowed to rake in infested areas
  • income on one contract: $130 per acre per year for 7 years on 300 acres
  • landowners in his area receive from $110 to $150 per acre
  • a pine straw harvesting contract has been developed (but not available for public use at this time)
  • longleaf is worth planting when straw income is figured in

Previous Capital Ideas - Live! Guests on Pine Straw:

Related Videos:

Phone: (727) 593-2629


Jerry deBin

Hear Conference


Please Don't Throw Me into the Briar Patch -- or -- No better place for rabbits than Jerry deBin's

Jerry deBin is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, a Forestry & Wildlife Consultant, Wildlife Cooperative LLC, CEO of Callaway Farms Manufacturing, and Manager of Petrey Farms, a 4,500 acre hunting club in Crenshaw and Pike counties. We invited Jerry to tell us about managing land for rabbits after reading In It for The Chase by David Rainer, Outdoor Alabama, October 2014.

"If you wanted to put together a rabbit-hunting place, I don't believe you could get any better [than Jerry deBin's lease near Petrey in Crenshaw County]," [hunter, Bill] Nunnery said. "You've got strips of green fields, strips of pines, briar patches, areas that they've let grow up. You've got to have the right habitat. If you haven't got the habitat you'll have a hard time. The coyotes will wear them out if they haven't got a place to hide."

"Small game opportunities are too often overlooked on managed lands."  Jerry deBin in email to AFOA

Reading Resources:

Phone: (706) 765-8435



Comment below on the CI Live! conference by using your Facebook, AOL, Yahoo!, or Hotmail login.
If you do not see the comment box, refresh your browser.