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CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!

MARCH 2016 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on March 16, 2016.

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Conference.
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Hayes D. Brown   Alabama Forest Owners' Association

Hayes D. Brown

starting time: (00:00)
Comment

Moderator

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

Click Here to View & Hear Prior News Conferences.

 

Dr. Jeffrey P. Prestemon

(00:41)
Hear Conference

Comment

US: Net Exporter of Forest Products

Jeff Prestemon is a Research Forester and Project Leader in the Forest Economics and Policy Unit of the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station. Auburn University's Daowei Zhang reported in Trade Surplus in Forest Products: How Long Will It Last?, The Forestry Source, 2/16, that he and Prestemon had "begun an effort to reveal the determinants of the US trade balance in forest products..." We asked Dr. Prestemon to talk to us about some of the forest products market factors. He replied with this introduction:

The US Forest Sector emerged in 2009 as a net exporter (value of exports minus the value of imports) in the total value of forest products. This was a change from recent decades, when the sector demonstrated a trade deficit in the value of these products, due primarily on our dependence on wood product imports (especially lumber) from Canada. Although the wood products sector in the United States hit a brick wall in the last recession due to the contraction of the housing sector, the U.S. has faced headwinds as well from the decline in the use of paper in packaging and media.

For Further Reading:

Phone: (919) 549-4033
Email: jprestemon@fs.fed.us

.

Robert H. Crosby, III

(05:16)
Hear Conference

Comment

Influencing Lawmakers and Moving Legislation

Robert Crosby, of Crosby Land Services, is the Chairman of the Forest Landowners Association Political Action Committee (FLA-PAC). The Forest Landowners Association is an advocate for private forest landowners in Washington, DC, and cites notable 2015 successes, such as legislation to abolish the Federal Death Tax and repeal EPA’s Waters of the US rulemaking, and attempts to protect our markets by defining wood as a carbon neutral. “In order to continue ensuring we are part of the solution to some of our nation's issues and not the problem, we must have a seat at the table … Increased presence on Capitol Hill, coupled with a Political Action Committee that is well-funded and 'tuned in' to the political process can make a difference.” The FLA-PAC is taking donations online or via a printable form for its work to “keep pro-private forests landowner policy makers in the U.S. Congress.” Crosby will be talking about the work of the FLA-PAC, which candidates it will be supporting, and how small contributions make a difference.

Phone: (504) 274-2380
Email: rcrosby@crosbyresource.com

.

Alyne Fitzgerald

(08:46)
Hear Conference

Comment

Fighting Eminent Domain Abuse on Rural Land

Alyne Fitzgerald lives in a small town a few miles west of San Antonio, Texas. Someone sent us a news clipping about the battle she has been fighting to prevent what she considers a misuse of eminent domain by Alabama-based Vulcan Materials Company. Southwest Gulf Railroad, a subsidiary of Vulcan, claims it is a common carrier with the right to condemn private property to create an access route to haul gravel from its nearby proposed quarry. Alyne and a hundred or so local landowners who have formed the Medina County  Environmental Action Association, say the railroad is not a common carrier since it will only carry products from its own quarry. In a February 9, 2016 Press Release, she writes:

"If Texans allow this outrage of confiscation of private property by a private company for their own use to happen in Medina County Texas, no landowner in the entire state of Texas is safe from seizure of their property...No one’s land is safe from confiscation if Vulcan and its paper railroad prevail."

For Further Reading:

Phone: (830) 741-1295
Email: afitzgerald100@gmail.com

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Mrs. Stephenie Laseter

(13:18)
Hear Conference

Comment

Experimental Forests: Value to Private Forest Owners

Stephenie Laseter is a Biological Scientist and the Experimental Forest Network Lead with the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station. The mission of the Southern Research Station "is to create the science and technology needed to sustain and enhance southern forest ecosystems and the benefits they provide." To support that mission are nineteen Experimental Forests scattered all across the South, including the Escambia Experimental Forest near Brewton, Alabama (there are 80 Experimental Forests in the U.S.). Because she is leading an Experimental Forest Network Re-Design Project and is especially focused on these forests in her daily work, we asked Stephenie to give us a little background information on the creation of the Experimental Forests and describe some of the research projects that might be of interest to private forest landowners.

Phone: (828) 524-6441 ext 430
Email: slaseter@fs.fed.us

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M. Kyle Marable

(17:05)
Hear Conference

Comment

Wildlife Management Opportunities

Kyle Marable is a Resource Stewardship Biologist with the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF). Kyle is one of three wildlife biologists employed by the Federation to provide technical assistance to private landowners. His territory covers 30 counties in north Alabama. In a recent issue of Alabama Wildlife we read:

"Private landowners in Alabama are eligible to receive technical assistance, both AWF members and those yet to join AWF. We do not have an acreage requirement nor charge any fee for our services. You do not even have to be a member of AWF for us to visit your property."

Click here for contact information for wildlife biologists in Central and South Alabama.

Phone: (334) 301-8542
Email: kmarable@alabamawildlife.org

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Eddie Stone

(20:17)
Hear Conference

Comment

Pitfalls of the First Thinning

Eddie Stone is the President of Forever Green, Inc., a forestry consulting company focused on helping private landowners manage their forestland. In a telephone conversation last month with Eddie, we listened as he lamented the bad decisions made by many landowners when they thin their planted pine trees. He described thinning operations that had been conducted by loggers using the "operator select" method. "Most landowners aren't able to supervise such operations," and "not all operator select thinning operations can be trusted to do a good job" (a good job being one that leaves the stand in a condition to grow quality sawtimber in the future). He told of some situations where 35 year old stands of planted trees that had been thinned 15 years earlier were in such bad shape that an improvement thinning could not be carried out. The stands had to be be clearcut because the growing stock was scattered in unmanageable patches. We asked Eddie to talk to us today to tell us how to avoid the pitfalls of the first thinning.

"If you own timberland, the decisions you make today will have an impact for a generation."

For Further Reading:

Phone: (205) 702-4420
Email: edstone@windstream.net

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Dr. Roger A. Sedjo

(25:20)
Hear Conference

Comment

Impact of Federal Tax Reform on Forest Landowners

Roger Sedjo is Senior Fellow and Director, Forest Economics and Policy Program at Resources for the Future, "an independent, nonpartisan organization that conducts rigorous economic research and analysis to help leaders make better decisions and craft smarter policies about natural resources and the environment." The Forest Landowners Tax Council asked AFOA to talk with Dr. Sedjo about tax reform issues that he and Dr. Brent Sohngen wrote about last year in The Effects of a Federal Tax Reform on the US Timber Sector.

Tax change proposals that would most directly affect forest landowners are:

  • ending the capital gains treatment of timber
  • restricting the deductibility of current management costs
  • repealing the deductibility of reforestation costs

Some of the effects of the proposed tax changes are:

  • a reduction in investments in timber production, with both timber regeneration and management levels declining substantially
  • the revaluation of timber assets downward even though the physical forest is initially unchanged
  • a reduction in the physical timber stocks over time, reflecting the decrease in investment compared with what would have occurred if taxes were not changed
  • a decline in US comparative advantage in timber production as foreign production replaces US production causing an increased trade deficit of by up to $3.6 billion per year
  • a reduction in the area of US timberlands, which would be up to 15 million acres less than it would have been in the absence of the tax change

Previous AFOA interviews on Tax Reform:

Phone: (202) 328-5065
Email: sedjo@rff.org

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