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

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JANUARY 2016 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on January 20, 2016.

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.


Johnny Thompson

Hear Conference



Mapping & Landowner Info for Smart Phones & Tablets

Johnny Thompson is Managing Partner of Landmark Spatial Solutions, LLC, and reports that he "has been using, testing, selling, supporting, and training others in GPS [Global Positioning Systems] and GIS [Geographic Information Systems] applications for the past 22 years." In a recent email, Johnny wrote,

"We have been selling Terrain Navigator Pro (TNP) for a year now and have sold over 100 copies. It is a great alternative to ArcGIS if you are looking for a simpler way to make maps. TNP includes excellent topos, NAIP (National Agriculture Imagery Program) and Google photos, and Parcel Boundaries with Ownership Data!! That's right. If you want to know who owns what and where, you can click on a polygon and have that info. 95% of the counties are covered all across the US. You can also digitize stands, calculate acres, print excellent maps, synchronize projects with your smart device..."

Details at Landmark's Website:

Phone: 1-866-395-5440 ext 1


Henry I. Barclay, III

Hear Conference


Capital Gains and Expensing Still on Chopping Block

Henry Barclay, CPA and Managing Partner of  Lehmann, Ullman and Barclay LLP, is a member of the boards of directors of Forest Landowners Tax Council, the Forest History Society, and the Alabama Forest Owners' Association. At a recent meeting of the AFOA Board of Directors, Henry expressed concern that 3 important forestry tax provisions* that had been targeted by the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means several years ago may still be in jeopardy. His concern lies in the fact that while the leadership of the Committee has changed since then, staff members who developed the reform proposals are still on the job. In a report just posted to his website, Henry writes:

"It is SIGNIFICANT that there is draft legislation simply waiting to be resurrected which does not contain these valuable provisions. If and when the draft legislation is resurrected, it will be an uphill fight to make Congress aware of the important aspects of forest land ownership and beneficial provisions.

Three Important Forestry Tax Provisions:

  • Timber Growing Costs Deduction
  • Tree Planting Deduction/Amortization
  • Timber Revenue Subject to Capital Gains

Phone: (205) 439-6520


Dr. Robert A. Tufts

Hear Conference


Estate Planning Information on Extension Website

Robert Tufts is Professor Emeritus at Auburn University’s School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences where he has specialized in the intersection of law and forestry, especially in estate planning. Dr. Tufts assisted the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) in the development of a webpage with estate planning information to get you started. For those who would like to explore the topic further, ACES will be holding a series of estate planning workshops around the state this year. The first is Monday, February 22, 2016 at the Lauderdale County Extension Office (802 Veterans Drive, Florence, Alabama 35630), from 5:30 - 9 pm. To register, call (256) 766-6223. Keep an eye on the ACES calendar for workshops in your area.

Estate Planning at the Extension website:

Phone: (334) 734-2120


F. Bradford Butler

Hear Conference


Financing Timberland Purchases

Brad Butler is the Owner and a Real Estate Broker at Butler Land and Timber Company, specializing in the sale of timber and recreational tracts 20 acres and larger. Every few days we receive an email from Brad describing a new listing, such as the 140 acre Little Coon Creek Tract in Jackson County or the 359 acre Majors Creek Tract in Baldwin County. Sometimes -- actually most of the time -- the properties we like best are priced above the amount of money we have in the bank, so we called Brad to learn how he helps buyers finance their purchases. He said that financing forestland is not a problem. Several companies actively pursue loans on farms and land (see the list below). He said that today, "with approved credit, you can get a loan for 85% of the value for 25 to 30 years at 4 to 5% interest rates."


Phone: 1-800-704-0645


L. Keville Larson

Hear Conference


Endangered Species Act Threatens Forest Owners

Keville Larson is Chairman of the consulting forestry firm Larson & McGowin, Inc. and Past President of the Forest Landowners Association. Like most of us, Keville had read or heard that "Designating critical habitat should not affect landowners taking action on their land unless the action involves federal funds, permits, or activities." This quotation is taken from a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service slide show posted on the website and dated 3/10/15. (Scroll to slide 16 for the above quote and slide 14 to see maps of Critical Habitat Areas.) So he was quite surprised when he learned from a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Questions and Answers dated 10/5/15, that "Within the range of the species, activities not exempted from take include those that: 1) convert existing longleaf-dominated forests to other land uses, or forest cover types." (Scroll down to the last paragraph of Q5.) Keville wrote to AFOA on 1/6/16: "The recent listing of the black pine snake is the first time I know of where a landowner must get approval from the USFWS to change land use (e.g. longleaf to loblolly or longleaf to ag or pasture)."


  • What is “critical habitat”?
  • Since “critical habitat” is only situations involving a federal agency, does this include cost share programs?
  • What does 51% longleaf mean? Is the percent based on number of trees, merchantable volume, basal area?
  • How much active forest management is necessary?
  • What is necessary to change land use?
  • Is it a taking to stop burning in critical habitat?
  • Is pine straw raking allowed in critical habitat?

Phone: (251) 605-7936


Kim G. Nix

Hear Conference


Outdoor Alabama Online News Service

Kim Nix is the Information and Education Section Chief for the Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources. Many of us have received information about the Department and its many interests through Outdoor Alabama, a magazine that has been edited by Kim for many years. Now, faced with changing demographics and cost concerns, the Department has made the switch to electronic communications, and we think you will like what she has done. For starters, the subscribing process is really easy (click here to begin - no password required!) -- and offers more than 60 choices to allow you to zero in on your personal outdoor interests. You can decide to receive periodic emails on your choices or she will send you a weekly digest. We also liked how easy it is to return to the site to change our selections.

Topic Categories Include:

  • Department News
  • State Parks
  • Freshwater Fishing
  • Wildlife
  • Hunting
  • State Lands
  • Marine Resources

Phone: (334) 242-3157


Joseph E. Rigsby

Hear Conference


Auctioning Hunting Rights

Joe Rigsby is the Owner of Rigsby Investment Company, Inc. based in Georgiana, Alabama. During the past 10 years, Joe has leased many tracts to hunters using AFOA's webpage, We invited Joe to talk to us today, because he reported success in offering several tracts with a price of "best offer by" a fixed time and date. This type of auction process, if handled well, may be useful to landowners who don't know the value of their land for hunting. In a phone conversation, Joe reminded us to tell prospective lessors to have maps and lease agreements ready on the day the land is listed on the web, because calls and emails will follow almost immediately requesting specific information.

Phone: (334) 265-8200


Dr. Yenie Tran Smith

Hear Conference


Stumpage Market Report from Timber Mart-South

Yenie Smith is Marketing Director and Staff Editor at Timber Mart-South, "a timber price reporting service providing U.S. South timber prices and market information since 1976." A graph she provided of Alabama Average Stumpage Prices from 2005 to 2015 shows the complete flip in pine and hardwood sawtimber prices during that 10-year period. Hardwood pulpwood dominates pulpwood prices on the same page. In a specially prepared Timber Mart-South Quarterly Market Report, Alabama 4th Quarter 2015 we read:

State-wide, sawtimber stumpage prices declined in the 4th Quarter of 2015. However, both pine and hardwood pulpwood prices improved. Stumpage prices in Alabama for the major pine products were similar to or below the South-wide average this quarter. However, the two major hardwood products averaged significantly higher than the regional Southern average – more than $4 per ton higher for hardwood sawtimber and $3 per ton higher for hardwood pulpwood.

Phone: (706) 542-4756 office or (202) 299-6060 cell



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