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MAY 2016 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on May 18, 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.


Dick Patten

Hear Conference


Eliminating the Death Tax

Dick Patten is President of the American Business Defense Council, based in Washington, DC. The Forest Landowners Tax Council suggested we talk to Dick about his work to eliminate the death tax: "Dick co-authored the death tax elimination bill last year with Rep. Kevin Brady (now, Chairman of Ways & Means) that passed that chamber. He is now working with Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to pass it in the Senate." Dick's response to our search for background information on the Death Tax and efforts to repeal it was quite remarkable. He introduced us to the Death Tax Studies page on the Council's website, pointing out that it is "the largest collection of academic and economic studies related to the Death Tax known to exist. It is used by many within the House and Senate as the go-to source." About 2 dozen studies are available under the following headings:

  • Effect of Death Tax on Jobs and the Economy
  • Joint Economic Studies on the Impact of the Death Tax
  • The Effects of the Death Tax on the Federal Budget
  • State by State Studies on the Economic Effects of the Death Tax
  • Life Insurance Lobbying

Phone: (202) 621-7339


L. Reed Watson, Jr.

Hear Conference


Reducing the Federal Estate

Reed Watson is Executive Director of the Property & Environment Research Center (PERC), an organization "dedicated to improving environmental quality through property rights and markets." Several months ago in his PERC Reports - From the Director: Why Private Land? he wrote "...the federal government should not acquire more lands - it should not take private lands and make them public - when it cannot manage the lands it already owns. ...conservation, at its core, means first taking care of what you already have."
     Then, in an April 28 article, 5 Myths about the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), Reed and co-authors Robert Nelson and Shawn Regan summarized their report with, "Without reform, the LWCF should be terminated." The Land & Water Conservation Fund is a federal program that acquires private land and has been under debate lately in the Congress.
     On nearly the same day that we read PERC's 5 Myths, we received a newsletter from the American Land Rights Association (ALRA), a group long dedicated to stopping the permanent funding of the LWCF. The newsletter urged members to contact their Congressmen to prevent the permanent funding of the Fund (at almost a billion dollars per year). When we realized that both groups, economists and lobbyists, were focused on the same goal, we called Reed to talk to us about the Land & Water Conservation Fund.

Further Reading:

Phone: (406) 587-9591


Douglas W. MacCleery

Hear Conference


Private or Public? - A Forest Policy Discussion

Doug MacCleery is a Forest Policy Consultant and has worked in that capacity in both the public and private sectors nearly all his life. We invited Doug to talk to us today because of a Commentary he wrote in The Forestry Source, 4/16, about the forest policy differences of early forestry leaders in the U.S., Gifford Pinchot and Carl Schenck. Pinchot "advocated direct federal regulation of private forests," while "Schenck's approach was to develop the scientific basis for forest management and work with forest landowners, farmers, and users to encourage its effective implementation." Although both men contributed heavily to U.S. forest management policy, Pinchot is more widely recognized in forestry professional circles. Doug ends his Commentary with, "It would be nice to see more discussion and recognition of Carl Schenck's contribution to this legacy."

The Forest History Society (FHS) recently produced a documentary film, America's First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Ashville Experiment, which is being shown on Public Television stations all across the U.S. Unfortunately, the film has already been aired in Alabama. Please contact Jamie Lewis, FHS Historian (, if you are interested in arranging for a public screening of the film in your area.

Phone: (703) 360-6528


Dave Milton

Hear Conference


The Land Show

Dave Milton is the Broker/Accredited Land Consultant/President of Southeastern Land Group. We learned about Dave's Saturday morning radio show, The Land Show, while chatting with one of his sales associates at AFOA's 35th Annual Meeting. The Land Show is on 7 radio stations scattered all over Alabama: Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville/Decatur, Auburn/Opelika/Valley, York-Livingston/Meridian, Ashland, and Selma. And if it's more convenient for you, the program is podcast with archives to all past programs available online. On Episode 4, Dave talks to Mike Ventry about self-directed IRA's and buying land with your retirement account, and with Kyle Ingalls about a new European lumber mill opening in Live Oak, Florida. The Land Show invites you to listen to the program and even send questions or comments by email to

Phone: (256) 496-3500


John R. Stivers

Hear Conference


As a Burner, Are You a Good Neighbor?

John Stivers is a consulting forester who specializes in prescribed burning. He  is President of the Alabama Prescribed Fire Council and active in many other prescribed fire related organizations. With that in mind, we called John when an AFOA member called the office, lamenting a problem he was worried about. His neighbor was planning to burn some newly cleared land right next to his freshly planted trees, about $10,000 worth. He was concerned that the neighbor didn't have any training in making his burn, fire breaks were not constructed, and the neighbor seemed unconcerned when confronted with his lapses in preparation. We called John to see what he might recommend to our worried friend and to other landowners who might face similar situations.

As a burner, are you being a good neighbor? is the theme of the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Alabama Prescribed Fire Council. The meeting will feature 10 presentations and will take place at Auburn University from 9 AM to 4 PM on September 1st. The $45 registration fee includes a catered lunch and a 1 year membership in the Council.

At the Alabama Forestry Commission website:

Phone: (334) 253-2139


Bob Williams

Hear Conference


A Sign of Good Forestry

Bob Williams is President of Pine Creek Forestry LLC, a consulting forestry firm based in Laurel Springs, New Jersey. An article in The Forestry Source, 4/16, described Bob's efforts to ease the concerns of forestland neighbors when his clients harvest timber - he places large signs on his client's land with the words: "Growing Forests for the Future." In A Sign of Good Forestry, Bob was quoted as follows: 

     “We must try these kinds of things. Forestry is quite rare here, so when tree removal starts, people jump to the conclusion that houses or a new Walmart is coming. The signs help ease those concerns. Many folks who stop by typically don’t understand why trees have been cut, but when we speak with them, they get it—and most are OK with this kind of forestry. And the landowners are always proud of their land and happy to let people know they are and what they are trying to do.”
     Williams designs the signs and has a professional sign-maker build them.
     “I plan to place more of these signs where thousands of people will see them,” he said. “I want to try and counter the hundreds of signs advocating preservation—we need to broaden the perspective of what true conservation and stewardship really is.”

Phone: (856) 352-2090


John E. Phillips

Hear Conference


Stopping Insect Problems

John Phillips is the author of more than 100 books and is a founding member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association. John even has his own page on! Last fall we read an article by John in Great Days Outdoors, 10/15, entitled Survive Early Season Bowhunting’s Hot Weather, Human Odor Problems, and Mosquitoes & Other Bugs. We focused on the "Mosquitoes & Other Bugs." In the Bug Elimination section of the article, he wrote:

Lyme disease is a terrible ailment to have to deal with, and ticks carry Lyme disease. So, my first layer of bug protection is Repel Permanone spray and Repel Permethrin clothing and gear spray ( Most sporting goods stores sell these products. You spray it onto your hunting clothes and boots and let it dry. ... You should be able to wash your clothes several times without having to retreat them with this product.
     Lethal's scent-free Bug Spray ( ... According to the site, this bug spray is more effective than DEET, repels bugs and ticks for up to 12 hours and has no scent.
     My third line of defense is a ThermaCell ( I've worn and carried the product since it was first introduced and found it to be extremely effective in keeping mosquitoes away, whether I'm gardening, hunting, canoeing or fishing.

We especially like John's wrap-up to the Bug Elimination section: “I’m not really sure which one of these products is the most effective at keeping biting, stinging and aggravating critters away from me, but I do know that by using all three, I don’t get bitten, and I don’t have flying critters around my head.”

For Further Reading:

Phone: (205) 968-3830


T. R. Clark

Hear Conference


"...too little demand and too much supply..."

T. R. Clark is a Regional Manager for F & W Forestry Services, Inc. based in LaFayette, Alabama. In F & W Forestry Services' Spring 2016 Forestry Report, company president Marshall Thomas wrote:

     In the winter newsletter, I expressed hope that the continuing increase in housing starts and wet weather might cause a much needed increase in stumpage prices, especially for sawtimber trees.
     Unfortunately, while we had plenty of wet weather, prices didn't go up much or stay at increased levels long. Just another illustration that we still have a supply/demand problem for sawtimber in the U.S. Worse yet, housing starts stayed flat during the first quarter, once again moving upward more slowly than most forecasts.
     Fortunately, most "experts" are saying that the housing start slowdown is probably temporary, but we have been hearing that for years. The economy just sent us another signal: there is too little demand and too much supply, which will probably be here for a while. We are certainly in a recovery but it is slow and dull.

One of the questions we ask T.R. today is, If we have timber ready to sell, should we sell it?

Phone: (334) 864-9542



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