News, Issues & Information
20 percent off through September 30th.
All About Birds: Southeast is published by
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology along with 6 other
regional field-guides. Enter promo code BIRDS on the
Princeton University Press website.
Wellborn Cabinet plans $17 million investment, 415 jobs
in Oxford expansion project. Based in
Ashland, Alabama, the cabinet maker, which has its own
sawmill and employs 1,336 workers, told AFOA yesterday
to let landowners know that they are seeking sweetgum
Timberland Liability Insurance is what we call it
here at the Alabama Forest Owners' Association (AFOA).
Vacant Land Insurance is the name featured in
Vacant Land Insurance Explained for Landowners
written by Josh Honeycutt on Great Days Outdoors
a few days ago. AFOA's Timberland Liability Insurance
costs only $36.60 plus 38 cents per acre.
Click here to fill out an application.
Do you have a water well at your cabin? If your
answer is yes, then you will want to watch
Private Well Program with
Jessie Curl. It is the latest issue of Alabama
Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series.
About 32 minutes. Here is a resource list provided
by Regional Extension Agent Bence Carter:
Tell me a story: Why do you own forestland? Do
you plant trees? Do you hire loggers to harvest your
trees? What wild animals live on your land? Did you ever
get lost in your woods? Do you build campfires?
Please read Eric Kingsley's blog,
We Need to Tell Our Story -- At Every Opportunity.
It will be a good way to close out your busy week.
Control for Wild Hogs. HogStop "is composed of
ingredients, commonly found in some livestock feeds,
that inhibit the fertility of the male hogs when eaten."
A couple of
feeders designed to exclude access by deer and other
critters are recommended on HogStop's website.
AFOA isn't sure if HogStop works as claimed, but we
thought some forest owners would be interested in
learning about its existence.
"Clear-cut land is excellent deer habitat and a
valuable wildlife management tool. The reason deer
love cutovers is that in the South, within 6 months of
being clear-cut, a property will be completely
re-stocked with young, vigorous, thick growth. And, you
don’t have to lift a finger or spend one dollar!"
Clear-Cut Land: Nature’s Food Plot and Good Investment
Land by Tom Brickman, LandThink, 7/26/22.
Becomes First State in Nation to Make Full Expensing
Permanent," exclaimed the Tax Foundation on July
6. Full expensing probably won't matter much to most
forest owners, but it might be a lot easier at tax
filing time, even for those of us with small investments
like a tractor or a pickup truck. Our tax advisor says,
"Alabama conforms to federal law. So, if the federal
government decides to quit 100% expensing, Alabama will
follow suit." Phaseout begins in 2023.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS): The
Southern Forestry and Natural Resource Management GIS
Conference was held last year on December 6-7, 2021.
Elizabeth Martinez, The Forestland Group presented
Navigating the Maze of GIS Tools and Solutions.
Several other conference presentations can be found here.
"How a Georgia Pine Farm Became a Significant Tax
Deduction: A minister’s bequest underscores the
lucrative market for conservation easements and shows
why some deals are scrutinized by the IRS." Source:
The Wall Street Journal, 5/2/22 (behind paywall).
Pirated copy here on blogger Abhay Rawat's webpage.
Two publications highlighted in the "Burning
Hardwoods" webinar, below, 7/25/22, are:
Some Canadians don't like it when their forest
industry folks invest in sawmills and forestland in the
U.S. South. Read:
Letter to the Editor: Stop logging money from going to
the U.S., Prince George Citizen, 7/11/22.
Burning Hardwoods: Why Fire is Necessary for Upland Oaks with
Heather D. Alexander is the latest issue of Alabama
Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series.
About 42 minutes.
While you're waiting for stumpage prices to improve,
"there are a number of creative ways for timberland
owners to incrementally increase cash flows during and
in-between harvests. A broad overview of some of those
options is presented..." by F2M's John Greene in
Creative Markets & Opportunities for Southern Timberland
Purchases 35,000 Acres of Land Southwest of Casper"
states a headline in Wyoming's Cowboy State Daily,
June 3, 2022. The BLM (U.S. Bureau of Land Management),
along with other federal agencies, such as the U.S.
own more than 600 million acres in the U.S. A member
of a Property Rights Group wrote: "No reporter has
asked any questions about how we taxpayers can continue
to afford to add acres to our federal estate as we watch
our natural resources squandered under federal control.
No reporter has asked why we need more acres of federal
lands when we obviously have not and cannot manage what
we already own."
his article, Bird Calls: Birding as a Hobby in
Alabama, Alex Horn introduces his readers to
Merlin Bird I.D. "This app will use the GPS
capability on your phone to determine the species of
birds that are most likely to be in your area. It also
has recordings of the different calls and sounds you
could potentially hear while you are out, which could
help you identify the species of bird you are after."
Alabama's Treasured Forests, Vol. XLI No. 1 -
2022, page 13.
stoves and firewood have become scarce [in Germany] in
the wake of the Ukraine war. Furnace builders
and installers can hardly save themselves from orders
from concerned customers who want to install an
additional heating option in their house or apartment."
Source: DETV.US, 7/1/22.
Trust but verify.
The family of former Alabama Secretary of State Mabel
Amos filed a lawsuit against Regions Financial Corp.
claiming that Regions mismanaged a charitable trust.
"The lawsuit states that Regions began charging
'outrageous' fees when oil was discovered on Amos’
property. For example, in the suit the plaintiffs claim
that Regions was paid about $7,000 for spending five
hours a week administering the trust in 2010. Within a
year, that same five hours a week cost $92,736." Source:
MORE On Carbon Markets from the Georgia Forestry
Association: Carbon sequestration accrediting group,
declined to adopt the tonne-year accounting method which
may have an impact on
to us at AFOA 2022 Annual Meeting) current and
future contracts with private forest owners. AFOA is
no expert on any of the carbon programs, so we could use
some feedback. If you have a contract with NCX, are you
confident that you will be paid? Do you think NCX will offer contracts in the
future? Send your comments to
On Carbon Markets from Marshall Thomas,
President, F&W Forestry Service: "Regardless of your
position on climate change, it is important for forest
landowners to understand what is going on with carbon
markets. For example, in New Zealand, which has a robust
governmental carbon market that pays landowners for the
carbon sequestered in growing trees, carbon has become
perhaps just as or more important of a part of the
economics of forestry than sales from harvests."
Read more in F&W Forestry Report, Summer 2022,
Honey Bees In Forestry: Potential for diversifying
forest land use with
William "Jack" Rowe is the latest issue of Alabama
Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series.
About 45 minutes.
If you want high-speed internet access from your
rural home or woodland cabin, we listened to two
conversations about Starlink today on
The Land Show, Episode 349, that may make
you want to rush out and buy the service. The first
interview is with Ryan Folk, founder of LandThink.com (see
below) (from 17:45 to 26:30) and the second
is with Robert King, who uses Starlink to "stream
television at their family farm in Clay County." (from
53:10 to 57:20)
For landowners who plan to regenerate longleaf pine
stands from natural seed fall, you should be aware
U.S. Forest Service 2022 Longleaf Pine Cone Crop Report
says this is likely to be only a "fair" year to have the
ground ready to catch the seeds. "The 2022 results were
highly spatially variable, with some areas reporting a
'bumper' crop and other areas reporting a 'failed' crop
in the upcoming fall." "[T]herefore, you are encouraged
to go to the woods with your binoculars and conduct your
own cone counts on longleaf pine stands in which you
have a specific interest."
The recently published
Forest Atlas of the United States contains a
wealth of information about the trees and forests of the
U.S. Lots of beautiful maps and illustrations. The
information is available in
a 95 page book (pdf) format that you can print or in
an interactive web format.
A recent LandThink Pulse Survey asked their readers,
"Do you think we are in a land real estate bubble?"
"74% of respondents believe that the warning signs of a
land real estate bubble are flashing."
Read more here.
A revised version of the manual
Managing the Family Forest in Mississippi
has just been published by Mississippi State University
Extension. 100 pages. Comprehensive. Thanks to Brady
Self, John Kushla, Marcus Measells, John Auel, Adam
"Butch" Bailey, Shaun Tangers, and Adam Rohnke.
Starlink: Promising Internet Solution for Rural Land
Buyers. "For many people in remote rural regions
of the U.S., it’s like living in an undeveloped nation
when it comes to internet connectivity." Source:
to order Starlink.
Control erosion with Streambank Soil Bio-engineering
-- that's "the use of live and dead plant materials in
combination with natural and synthetic support materials
for slope stabilization, erosion reduction, and
vegetative establishment." It looks good, too.
Webinar, presented on June 30, 2022, about 1 hour 25
ForestryWorks has created some short virtual reality
videos that you will find fun to use. Open them
with your smart phone or tablet or a VR viewer, and then
move around a bit. Turn to the left and right, look up.
Topics are Tree Farm Tour, Processor, Fellerbuncher,
Loader, Sawmill. Enjoy.
In a case of lots of pots calling the kettle black,
Grist, 6/29/22, reports, "More than 150
conservation, environmental, and social justice
organizations have accused The Nature Conservancy of
'promoting false climate solutions.'" A cynic might
say, "Couldn't happen to a nicer guy."
Economist Laurence Kotlikoff says Congress should
"Fully index the federal income tax to inflation,"
including taxes on real estate gains. Read
What Congress can do to lower the cost of inflation,
Goodman Institute, June 21, 2022.
Global land cover "photos" updated every 2-5 days
are available for you to play with. If you learn how to
spot tornado tracks or other land disturbances using
Dynamic World, please let us know. If it works,
it may be a useful tool to quickly map the damage caused
by the next tornado spawning storm. Thanks.
The Returns on Well-Marked Borders: "When you
look at the impact that having properly marked
boundaries can have on the resale value of your
property, it makes the time, money and effort needed to
establish them a drop in the bucket. Buyers want secure
investments and if the property has quality gates,
well-established fences and/or marked lines, they will
feel more at ease that problems such as trespassing and
poaching will be avoided." Source: Property Lines:
Boundaries are an Integral Part of Management,
"My planted pines died. What do you suppose caused
that?" Nursery and Regeneration Consultant Dr.
Tom Starkey answered the question in his report in
TreeLines, June 2022 - 1st Edition.
Hunting Lease Contract: "A legally enforceable
promise." Rusty Rumley,
National Agriculture Law Center, presented
Hunting Leases and Liability: What Should the Landowner
and Hunter Look for in a Lease? on June 15,
2022. Webinar - about 1 hour.
Lost Hikers Can Send an SOS to Space. The Sarsat
satellite system is a kind of celestial lifeguard for
explorers, boaters, and aviators who might be in need of
search and rescue." Source: Wired, 6/14/22.
You may not be an explorer, but if you need help and
have no cell phone coverage, this emergency system may
be of interest to you or your family.
F&W Market Update (6/7/22)
reports, "it appears that mills aren’t responding to the
fuel price increase, putting a significant burden on the
backs of loggers." See story about logging business
logging business forced to close after nearly 40 years
due to inflation, gas prices," WCTI12.com,
5/15/22. This story is taking place in North
Carolina, but similar stories are unfolding all across
Sustainable Forestry vs. Diameter Limit Cutting
is the latest video in the Back Porch Forestry
series featuring the University of Tennessee's Dr.
David Mercker. About 25 minutes.
See the entire series here.
Bat Legislation: Keeping in mind that the
Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) "thrives in managed
forests and White-Nose Syndrome is the reason these bats
are perishing, not sustainable forestry," "once this bat
is bumped up to 'endangered,'" timber harvesting will be
subject to strict, federally imposed restrictions from
April to October each year. "Rep.
Pete Stauber (R-MN-08) is expected to roll out
here to read bill and comments about it - 6/24/22] that would allow the existing 4(d)
rule that enables forest management in the NLEB’s 38
state range to continue once the bat is listed as
'endangered' as expected." Source:
Forest Resource Association, Issue Update,
Classifying Your Hardwood Timber for Harvest Purposes
is a new publication by David Mercker, Forestry
Extension Specialist, University of Tennessee. "For most
forest landowners, the opportunity to harvest their
hardwood trees doesn’t happen often. Species such as
oak, hickory, maple, poplar, cherry and others require
decades to reach financial maturity. Waiting for the
crop to mature requires patience. When the time arrives,
knowing which trees to harvest and which to retain for
future revenue can be challenging." Mercker talked to us
Managing for Quality White Oaks at our 2018
Annual Meeting in Rogersville. Worth watching.
Alabama doctors launch nation's first follow-up clinic
for snakebites. "Between 7,000 and 8,000 people
are bitten by snakes every year, according to the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only about
five or six die and death is unlikely for those who
receive medical treatment. However, between 10 and 44
percent of bite victims sustain lasting injuries that
can include losing muscle control or part of a finger,
according to the CDC." Source: AL.com, 6/10/22.
Pine Bark Beetles of Alabama: Biology, Control, and
Preventive Management Strategies with
Drew Metzler is the latest issue of Alabama
Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series.
About 40 minutes.
Notes on Inflation and Forestry Investments from
Forest Economist Brooks Mendell on LandThink.com,
5/10/22. "Generally, institutional investors and
individuals prefer illiquid assets during inflationary
periods. These assets – including well-managed private
businesses, infrastructure, manufacturing assets, and
timberland – tend to appreciate and increase cash flows
when prices rise."
Gold Standard or Tree Standard? "Opponents of the
gold standard want us to believe that gold is
old-fashioned, that a more 'enlightened' perspective is
that money shouldn’t come from a hole in the ground.
Think about that. They are telling us that money should
instead come from—drum roll—trees!" Source:
When Thoughts Turn to Gold by Lawrence W. Reed,
Foundation for Economic Education Stories,
"A Spokane, Washington-based real estate investment
trust [PotlatchDeltic Corp.] is acquiring an
Atlanta-based investment group [CatchMark Timber Trust],
and in the process, concentrating almost 154,000
acres of Alabama timberland." "Prior to the deal,
PotlatchDeltic owned about 87,000 acres of Alabama
timberland, growing southern yellow pine, red oak,
sweetgum and other commercial hardwood species. The
timber is used for regional wood products and pulp
mills, according to the company. Catchmark owns 66,900
acres in Alabama, part of its 365,300 acre portfolio,
which includes Georgia and South Carolina." Under
the photo in the AL.com article, writer probably meant:
Alabama timberland is taxed at the same rate as
agricultural land and owner-occupied dwellings.
Summer Camp. "Camp is a magical place where all
the social hierarchies break down. Here there’s no
baggage. You get to be your own true self." Maybe not
true for everyone, but we thought you might enjoy
Widening the Circle: How Three Summer Camps Are
Introducing More Children to the Outdoors by
Jack Beaudoin, Northern Woodlands, Spring 2022.
The Land I Want is Under Contract ... Am I Out of Luck?
Forester/Real Estate Agent Tom Brickman advises to do
something: "Buy the Contract or Submit a Backup
Contract." Source: LandThink, 4/5/22.
The folks that grow pecans and other nuts on their land
have association homes. Here are a few:
Last week, the Forest Resources Association (FRA) urged
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to "recognize,
if the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) is listed as
endangered, that forest habitat is not limiting, and
that well-managed forests maintain and create
environments required for the survival and recovery of
the NLEB. The USFWS should allow timber harvest to
continue and not impose seasonal harvest restrictions.
USFWS guidance should be like the current 4(d) rule
being applied under the threatened status of the NLEB."
Alliance of Forest Owners Comments.
President Biden wants 30 percent of our land and water
"conserved" by 2030. Recently the
State of Vermont passed a law to "protect" 50 percent
of the land within the state by 2050. Alabama already
has forest cover on more than 70 percent of the state,
but, unfortunately, our forests are privately owned and
probably not considered "protected" by the folks who
push this stuff. Be aware.
A Health Reform Whose Time Has Come. "The basic
idea: take all the spending and tax subsidies we now
provide to private health insurance and use that money
to give every American not on a government health plan a
refundable tax credit. This money could be used to
purchase health insurance and make deposits to Health
Savings Accounts, from which people could purchase
health services directly." Source: Goodman Institute,
Managing Pasture and Hayfields for Wildlife with
Joshua Elmore is the latest issue of Alabama
Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series.
About 32 minutes.
"What do you know about the 'Statewide Amendment 1'
issuing $85 million in bonds for state parks?"
amendment will be on all ballots tomorrow, May 24.
Export of logs and other forest products will soon be
more cost effective as the Alabama Port Authority
completes several important projects, including a $367
million channel project that will allow much larger
container ships to enter and leave the Port of Mobile.
Alabama, Mississippi seaports beefing up rail, roadway
links, American Journal of Transportation,
May 18, 2022.
How can we encourage people to become truck drivers
(who haul our logs to the mill and lumber to the
builders, and just about everything to everywhere)?
The Forest Resources Association reported a few days ago
on a bill that has been introduced in Congress that
might get passed if lots of people gave it a push.
Read details here. Alabama
U.S. House of Representatives Members and
A Glimpse and a Hope. The Progressive Farmer's
Tax Columnist Rod Mauszycki wrote about Biden Tax
Policy in the May issue. He touched on 1) increasing
top tax rate for individuals to 39.6%, 2) increasing
capital gains rates for income of more than $1 million
to 39.6%, 3) limiting 1031 exchanges to $500,000, 4)
partial elimination of stepped-up basis, and more. He
concludes: "I will write more if anything gets
traction. For now, hope that there is gridlock and
The U.S. Northwest timber people lament that the
Southeast timber people are having all the good luck.
In the Southeast, most forestland is privately owned.
In the Southeast, the people are still mostly, more or
less, economic conservatives. In the Southeast, the
trees grow pretty fast. In the Northwest, not so much.
Coyote Impacts & Management with
Dr. Wes Anderson is the latest issue of Alabama
Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series.
About 46 minutes.
Annual Meeting 2022: Taxes and Carbon Credits.
Tax Tips for Forest Owners and Alex Macintosh's
NCX Carbon Market are now available to view on
Some of our forest owner members who are part of a
family business may appreciate the title of this Family
Business Consulting Group essay:
If You’re Not All In, You’re Not in at All. .Enjoy
Durhamtown Off Road Park in Georgia hit with $22 million
wrongful-death verdict. "The wrongful death suit
was heard last week by a jury that awarded damages to
Debra Ann White, the wife of Dr. Adam White. Adam White
was killed when he was hit by a falling tree while
riding his dirt bike." Source: Athens Banner-Herald,
AFOA interviewed Durhamtown's Mike McCommons back in
2004. The topic was "Durhamtown Plantation: Family
New Red Tape for Rural Landowners: Securities and
Exchange Commission's newly proposed climate-related
disclosures may create new "burdensome reporting
requirements" and "create multiple new sources of
substantial costs and liabilities." Alabama Farmers
Federation urges landowners to send strong message to
the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Click here to learn more and compose message to SEC.
Is there a housing bubble? "The average mortgage
payment is now $1,800 a month. That’s 70% higher than
the pre-Covid high. The only other time home payments
were this high was in 2007 on the eve of the Great
Financial Crisis." Source:
Committee to Unleash Prosperity Hotline, #527,
Pellet Mill Stopped in Lumberton, North Carolina."
There are groups of tree-loving folks who believe that
the wood pellet business is destroying all the trees.
Forest owners know that only a small percentage of the
wood we grow ends up as wood pellets, and most of that
comes from sawmill sawdust and other mill by-products,
and from low-grade trees that cannot be used to make
lumber, ties, veneer, poles, etc.
Wildfire News Of The Day gathers all the
news about forest fires from around the world and sends
several dozen news stories daily to subscribers 5 days a
week. Anyone who wants to receive the free Wildfire News
here. Thank goodness, Alabama doesn't make the
news very often.
Annual Meeting 2022: Landowner Uses for HuntStand Pro
App was presented by Brian Murphy
during the Saturday morning, April 9 session in
Pelham, Alabama. Among the many features Brian
described, we think you might be interested in
Check in/Check out to help landowners and their
hunters keep track of one-another, Friend Finder,
and Monthly Satellite View. In the past
we've described the ownership maps and
markers and traces for sharing locations of
property corners, roads, and trails.
"It's a good time to sell standing timber,"
reports Consulting Forester Billy Rye in his latest
Market Update, 5/2/22.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD): Earlier this year
two white-tailed deer in northwest Alabama tested
positive for CWD. Feeding and baiting, which may cause
the spread of the disease, have been restricted in the
local area. Alabama Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Deer
Program Coordinator Chris Cook provided an update on CWD
on 4/27/22. Webinar - about 35 minutes.
Big timber investment management organization (TIMO) was
scammed, over an eight-year period, of more than $4
million. While something like that is not likely
to happen to most of us, certainly not to the tune of $4
million, we suspect that from time-to-time acreages of
planted trees or herbicide application estimates may be
exaggerated on contractor invoices. It's not a bad thing
to check invoices, perhaps take a drone photo of planted
areas in order to measure acreage.
Herbicide and Fertilizer Prices Going Up.
National Deer Association's Kip Adams wrote yesterday:
"Given the continued impacts of the pandemic, April
snowstorms and foreign wars, spring food plot season is
a welcomed return to a little normalcy. What's not
normal, unfortunately, is the cost of herbicide and
fertilizer. If you haven’t priced those items yet, get
ready to hold onto your hat."
Cogongrass made it into the popular "press" earlier
this month when Dennis Pillion wrote,
Meet cogongrass, the fire-loving, stabby demon plant
invading Alabama on AL.com on 4/7/22. If
you think your land is not threatened by cogongrass,
check the map in the article and think again. See also,
Cogongrass Fires by Loewenstein and McGuire.
Trail Building and Maintenance with Kids is a
report on the Run Wild My Child website by Jared
Ryan, an Oklahoma dad of 2 and "trailblazer."
Alabama Mushroom Society's recent Morel Foray was so
popular, they had to turn people away.
Read more and view morel photos in their April
The upcoming May 24 Alabama Primary Election
includes a statewide amendment that, if approved,
will cost $85 million. Voters in two counties will make
property tax decisions: Butler (Republican
Democratic); and Choctaw (Republican
Democratic). School board candidates, judges,
and many other choices will be on the ballots.
Sample ballots are available here.
Words Matter: Lance Woodbury, DTN (Progressive
Farmer) Farm Business Adviser, highlighted three
critically important words for family business
participants in his
April, The Dispatch.
Gift Tax: "The interaction of gift tax reporting
and estate taxes is widely misunderstood. Most people
think that if they give away more than $16,000 (the new
2022 limit), someone will owe some kind of tax on it.
Not so, unless you give away over $12 million in your
Be Aware of Current Laws on Estate Taxes,
Successful Farming, April 2022.
Reports the Pandemic-Driven Second-Home Boom Is Coming
to an End. After last year’s frenzy for vacation
homes, buyers are now backing off amid rising mortgage
rates and an increase in loan fees for second homes."
So, if you didn't sell that 20-acre isolated tract while
the market was hot, you may have missed your chance.
Trail-Camera Position Statement From National Deer
Association: "Given the recent bans on the use
of trail-cameras in some western states, the staff and
Board of the National Deer Association believed it was
time to state an official position on this issue. In
brief, NDA supports the use of all trail-cameras as
hunting, wildlife observation and deer management
tools." See also, Trail cameras
have been banned in Arizona, 7/21/21.
F&W's T. R. Clark, LaFayette, Alabama, "expressed
concern about how inflation may impact tree planting"
next year. "Chemical for site preparation is
already in short supply and is expected to have a
significant price increase. Nurseries have already
expressed that their prices will rise. If prices rise
'too' much, there will be some landowners who choose to
delay a year in hopes that prices settle and some who
decide not to replant at all." Source: F&W
Forestry Report, Spring 2022.
People used to call it camping. Some now call it "Forest
Bathing." "From reducing stress to sleeping
better at night, there is a wide range of benefits that
come with digitally detoxing and reconnecting with
Wood Pellet Fuel in the News:
Tick Season is upon us. Follow these guidelines
before going outside:
light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
Tuck the shirt tail into the pants, and tuck the
pants legs into socks.
Put long hair in
a bun or pull it up into a hat.
that contain greater than 20 percent DEET on exposed
skin and clothing.
and gear with products containing 0.5 percent
permethrin. This is the most effective preventative
measure when used according to the label.
Source: Ticks and Tick-Borne Illnesses in Alabama by
E. Merritt and A. Brodbeck.
645,000 Tons of containerboard and
fluff pulp capacity in Panama City,
Florida to be closed by June 6, 2022.
WestRock Company made the
announcement last Thursday, 4/7/22.
Must-Know Tips for First-Time Land
Buyers is a short (about
7 minutes) discussion featuring
real estate brokers Jonathan Goode
and Pat Porter. "Being a first time
land buyer is both exciting and
overwhelming. While buying land can
be a great decision, there are quite
a few steps from where you are now
to the moment you can relax and
enjoy owning it."
Why a Billionaire’s Tax Could Be Bad
for You: "The Biden
administration is proposing a new
tax on households worth more than
$100 million. Tagged as a
'billionaire tax,' the new levy
would apply not just to ordinary
income, but also to unrealized
capital gains. If a wealthy person
owns shares of stock and the stock
is worth more today than when it was
purchased, Biden wants the federal
government to take 20 percent of the
increase. So, what’s wrong with
that?" Source: Goodman Institute.
Federal Reforestation Deduction and
Amortization is a video
produced by MSU's
Curtis VanderSchaaf. "The
use of these incentives can help to
recover/offset and therefore reduce
landowner reforestation costs. A
deduction is a provision that
reduces your taxable income, while
an 'amortization', or an amortized
deduction, is a deduction that is
spread out over several tax years. A
landowner can deduct up to $10,000
annually of any qualified
reforestation costs per Qualified
Timber Property (QTP), and can then
amortize any amount of qualified
reforestation costs per Qualified
Timber Property (QTP) incurred
within a particular year in excess
of $10,000, within an 84-month
period over 8 tax years."
The Alabama Forestry Commission will
pay landowners to participate in its
Southern Pine Beetle (SPB)
Prevention Program. The goal
of the program is to assist
landowners financially with forest
management practices (first
thinning and tree planting) that
would decrease the chances of their
pine stands becoming infested with
SPB. The program launched on April
1, 2022, and the application portal
will remain open for a few months.
Bear Cubs Collared in Northeast
Alabama near Mentone: “It’s
not uncommon to encounter three cubs
on average in a den,” reported
Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries'
Pine Straw Management in the
Southeastern U.S. is a brand
new webinar featuring the University
David Clabo. For landowners
who have reasonably level land that
will support longleaf pines and
raking/baling equipment, pine straw
may be a very good source of income.
Video: about 54 minutes.
All that glitters is not green.
While we don't want to dampen your
interest in selling carbon credits (NCX
will visit with us at our Annual
Meeting on April 9), you
should be aware of the strong
criticism of some carbon credit
schemes as voiced by Lyme Timber CEO
Jim Hourdequin in a 3/17/22
Bloomberg news story:
This Timber Company Sold Millions of
Dollars of Useless Carbon Offsets.
Three new Back Porch Forestry
videos have been published since
the last time we checked. They are
How do Acorns Develop?,
Grazing Livestock in Woodlands,
A Lesson in Forestry Best Management
Click here to review Dr. David
Mercker's entire collection of the
University of Tennesee's Back Porch
Forestry video series.
Big Win for Landowners Confronted
with Trespassing Game Wardens:
A Tennessee court decided in favor
of landowners who complained about
law enforcement officers of the
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
entering their land to search for
wildlife violations without a
warrant or consent.
AFOA interviewed Institute for
Justice attorney Josh Windham about
this case back in November 2020.
See also: "They even install
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has
proposed that the Northern
Long-eared Bat be classified as
endangered under the Endangered
Species Act. Forest owners
with caves on or near their property
and forest owners who have trees
with shaggy bark may be impacted.
Read past news
items on the bat below.
What's going on in Montgomery?
Alabama Farmers Federation produces
Capitol Connection Newsletter
to let you know what they think is
the most important Agriculture [and
Forestry] Related News from the
Read the 3/18/22 issue here.
Timeline: A History of Creosote Wood
Preservation: In 2020 –
"Over 20 million railroad crossties
produced, 95% of which are
creosote-treated. Approximately 95%
of all new railroad ties are
preserved wood, as opposed to
non-wood products of concrete,
steel, or plastic. Of the wooden
ties purchased, 98% are either
creosote or creosote-borate
Carbon Markets: Mississippi
State Forestry Extension Specialist
Curtis VanderSchaaf dives
deep into an explanation of how
carbon markets work and how
landowners earn income from
sequestering and/or storing carbon
on their land. Video: about 51
or glamorous camping, allows
you to enjoy all the benefits of
being out in mother nature while
staying in a tent with five-star
amenities. In Alabama, The
Destination Resort off Lake
Martin is the place to experience
this trend." Featured recently on
Simply Southern, Rhonda
and Skip Courtney have created on
their 103 acres on Sandy Creek, "a
place where people can escape from
their normal routines and get back
to nature." Video: about 8
F&W Market Update's (3/7/22)
only bright spot for Alabama (and
then only close to Alabama) was
the following: "The one exception
is Southwest Georgia, where the
managers report that markets are
above normal with increasing prices.
They say there continues to be
strong demand for stumpage sales,
which they expect to last through
late spring/early summer."
Chuck Sykes, Director of the
Alabama Division of Wildlife and
Freshwater Fisheries reports
in Public Support of Hunting,
Great Days Outdoors, March
2022, "that approximately 85% of
American adults support hunting when
it is for the meat. On the
opposite end of the scale, less
than 30% of these same people
support hunting for a trophy."
Read his short, but important
story here. Turn to pages 68
Fire Lines, Volume
12(1), the bimonthly newsletter
of the Southern Fire Exchange,
is overflowing with news,
information and events focused on
interests of the pyromaniacs among
Alabama Farmland Cash Rental Rates
by Wendiam Sawadgo and Julia Holley,
Alabama Extension System, may help
you if you are trying to figure out
how much you should charge a
farmer who wants to rent your farmland. However, an
Auburn economist wrote to AFOA:
"This data is from USDA and is based
on surveys returned to the National
Ag Statistics Service. For now, it
is the best data we have although
some might argue that the data
aren’t terribly reflective of the
Tree Planters -- Freeze Alert!
"In the next few days, specifically
Friday the 11th of March 2022
through Saturday the 12th of March
2022 we will experience an extended
freeze event across the Central and
Eastern US. The extremely cold
weather conditions over the next few
days may affect newly planted
seedlings especially after the
recent warm weather that has
occurred over most of the region."
Source: Southern Forest Nursery
Management Alert 22-03.
Nontimber Forest Products and
Bioeconomy: "In the United
States, the deep and long cultural
connections to nontimber forest
products are embedded in
contemporary American society, yet
the products often go unnoticed.
While revenues generated from the
sale of these 'invisible' products
support households in rural
communities and contribute to local,
regional, and the national economy,
not much is known or understood
about the economic importance of
NTFPs in the U.S." Video about 1
hour 12 minutes
Braggin' or Complainin'?
Sometimes it's hard to tell, when
we're talking about Alabama's low
taxes. However, in the case of
The Retirement Systems of Alabama,
they're always unhappy when you
aren't paying higher taxes. See page
2 of their February newsletter where
they report that
Alabama had the Second Lowest State
and Local Taxes Collected Per Capita
in 2019 of Ten Southeastern States.
Fire related stories in the news
War disrupts forestry markets
and other headlines seen in
Forest Markets Newsletter today:
Russian Pulp & Paper Mill May Shut
Down: "Facing inadequate
supplies of critical raw materials,
Sylvamo (NYSE: SLVM) may curtail or
temporarily shut down pulp and paper
production at its Svetogorsk,
Russia, mill later this week. The
mill is currently operating while
the company takes steps to mitigate
the supply chain issues and continue
production." Source: Business
Southern Log Prices Finally Catching
up to High Lumber Prices?
... Due to the South’s competitive
costs and deeply embedded forest
supply chain, we expect it to remain
the center of North American forest
industry expansion over the next
decade. While this new capital might
not be enough to drive the kind of
price spike many landowners have
been hoping for, it will help to
reduce the large oversupply of
standing timber throughout the
South. Based on current data, the
rise in log consumption now appears
to be affecting prices at the
stump." Source: Forest2Market
Blog by John Greene, 3/2/22.
Wood Pellet Fuel Market
Threatened by Current Energy Chaos?
"Slowly you can hear the gears
grinding toward some changes." Will
a return to energy realism impact
the market for imported wood pellets
Read more at PowerLine Blog,
Dividing Jointly Owned Property:
Understanding the Process of
Partition by Robert Tufts and
Ken Kelley (pages 12-13) AND A
Guide to Owning Forestland, Part One
by Billy Rye (pages 38-41) are both
February/March 2022 issue of
Cooperative Farming News.
Consulting Forester Billy Rye will
moderate a forest landowner panel
AFOA's Annual Meeting in Pelham,
Alabama on April 9.
"For British Columbia (B.C.)
forest companies and pension plans,
the future is in the U.S.
Opinion: Agency that invests
public-sector pension funds is
following B.C. forestry companies to
greener pastures of Texas and
Read more in the Vancouver Sun,
The February 2022 issue of The
Overstory, Mississippi State
Forestry Extension's newsletter has
been published. Topics
include upcoming workshops
and a Mississippi Timber Price
Shortage Looms," says
Business Editor, Katie Dehlinger in
the February 2022 issue of The
Progressive Farmer. Dehlinger
quotes Tax Columnist Rod Mauszycki,
"'The concerning thing that we're
seeing is the number of CPAs
[certified public accountants] that
are just quitting.' Frequent changes
to the tax code and the high
penalties for mistakes are fueling a
wave of retirements. There just
aren't enough young CPAs with
agricultural knowledge to take their
Click here to view AFOA's list of
forestry tax experts.
Forever Wild Carbon Income Would
Be Credited to County General Fund:
"The Alabama Farmers Federation
is closely monitoring
HB 65 by Rep. Ben Robbins,
R-Sylacauga, which was scheduled
for a public hearing in the House
Ways and Means Committee this week.
The bill would propose an amendment
to the Constitution to provide any
income from carbon credits generated
from the management of Forever Wild
forest resources would be credited
to the county general fund in which
the Forever Wild land is located."
Source: Capitol Connection,
Rural forest owners with slow
internet connections will be
interested in these two headlines:
Family members who don't work
directly with the forest property
may still have much to contribute.
Developing a Family Enterprise
Owner's Mindset from The
Family Business Consulting Group,
February 15, 2022.
Coping with Losses from Nature and
Chance, with Tamara Cushing,
University of Florida and Yanshu Li,
University of Georgia, is the fifth
Stewards Webinars on Forestry
Taxes. About 1 hour.
"American Farm Bureau Federation
Adopts Policy Opposing 30 x 30,"
reports American Stewards, 2/15/22.
And a Roll Call headline on
"Biden's rebranded conservation plan
has critics on all sides."
Newbern, Alabama Farm Offers
Bird-Watching Tours on Property.
"People will go to different areas
of the country at different times of
the year looking for certain birds.
It’s like treasure hunting with
animals," landowner Christopher Joe
says. "We’ve had birders come here
from New York and California. Once
people found out what we were doing
here, it just took off."
Read more about Birding Festivals
Sign-up Today for Alabama's
Cogongrass Control Program.
Managed by the Alabama Forestry
Commission, the Program
webpage contains Eligibility
Landowner Agreement and a link
to an Application Form.
Alabama is #1 in the Land
Category of CATO Institute's
Index of Personal and Economic
Keeping More of Your Income
Following a Timber Sale,
with Andrew Bosserman, CPA, Esq.,
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP and
Yanshu Li, Ph.D., Assistant
Professor of Forest Taxation &
Economics, University of Georgia, is
the fourth of five
Stewards Webinars on Forestry
Taxes. About 1 hour.
Managing White Oaks: Harvesting &
Regeneration Strategies is
an informative webinar led by
forester and wildlife biologist Drew
Metzler. About 43 minutes.
The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan
Board owns 870,000 acres of
"high-quality Loblolly pine" spread
throughout the U.S. South.
"The timberland portfolio provides
significant diversification benefits
..., including diversity of
locations, customers and tree age
classes." Source: Ontario Teachers'
Pension Plan Press Release, 1/26/22.
Elmore County Board of Education to
ask for significant property tax
increase. Source: The
Wetumpka Herald, 2/1/22. We
thank and appreciate the Elmore
County forest landowner who sent us
the news article. If you know about
property tax increases in other
counties, please let AFOA know.
Prescribed Burn Contractors: Who
You Gonna Call? The
Alabama Prescribed Fire Council
maintains a webpage (a map of
the state with counties outlined)
which contains individuals and firms
who want to help you burn your land.
There's a link on the page, too, for
prescribed burners to add themselves
to the "Prescribed Burn Vendor"
list. Burners aren't available in
every county, so if you click on a
county and no names pop up, you may
need to check nearby counties.
LINK NOT WORKING. SORRY. 5/2/22.
Forest owners probably never know
the people who harvest their trees
and deliver them to the mill.
That's just the way the system
So, we want to thank the Florida
Forestry Association for introducing
us to Dunieski Garcia,
a logger with Loncala, Inc., High
Springs, Florida. Video about 4
Forestry Taxes -- the third
of five Woodland Stewards
Webinars is available for you to
Timber Management Expenses and
Deductions. About one
Three Encouraging Southern Timber
Southern Timber Prices Continued
Upward Trend in 4Q2021
New Year Starts On A Good Note With
Upward-Sweeping Timber Price Graphs
South-Wide Average Stumpage Prices
Increased (near top of
right column, page 2)
Getting Started with Prescribed Fire
on Private Land is an
excellent 8-minute video produced by
The Longleaf Alliance in Georgia. If
you are not now a prescribed burner,
you'll want to become one after
watching this video. Question:
Who, in Alabama, do you go to for
prescribed fire information and
encouragement? Send your answer to
Wood Power Poles Canceled!
"San Diego Gas & Electric and the
Cleveland National Forest completed
a fire hardening and safety project,
replacing thousands of wooden poles
with steel to better protect the
electrical grid from the impact of
forest fires." We don't know
where the poles came from that were
removed and we don't know where the
replacement wood poles would have
come from in the future, but
cancelling the use of wood poles is
a serious condemnation of one our
most valuable forest products, no
matter where it's happening.
TimberMart-South reported in the 4th
Quarter of 2021 that pine power pole
stumpage prices in south Alabama
were 91.5 percent higher than pine
sawtimber stumpage prices.
Legislature Set to Pass Federal
Relief Spending Bill. "The bills
call for spending the majority of
the federal relief money on
broadband; water and sewer
projects; and health care."
Watch 11 minute video discussion
between Alfa's Preston Roberts and
Senator Greg Albritton, R-Atmore.
You might also want to hear Alabama
Finance Director Bill Poole discuss
Gov. Ivey's Philosophy on Relief
Click here - about 6 minutes.
Forestry Taxes -- the first
two of five Woodland Stewards
introduced to you on 12/22/21, below,
have now been presented, recorded,
and published to the web.
1) Seeing the Forest for the Trees:
An Overview of Forestry Taxes
2) Basics of Timber Basis.
Growth & Yield Part II: If
you found VanderSchaaf's discussion
on Growth & Yield interesting (see
below 1/19/22), we think you will
find the Texas Forest Service's
Timberland Decision Support System
lots of fun and perhaps useful.
Forest economist Dr. Weihuan Xu put
Timberland Investment Calculator
for you to play some what-if games
with your timberland investment.
AFOA interviewed Dr. Xu here. He
is no longer with the Texas Forest
Ten things you can do to improve
white oak stocking on your land
is a list we saw on the
White Oak Initiative's website.
It's never too late to take the
first step. Good luck.
Would Keep Foreign Buyers from
Alabama Farm Land, Forests,"
states the headline in The
Montgomery Independent, 1/5/22.
Foreign ownership is "a concern to
Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, who has
pre-filed a bill to restrict
purchases of agriculture and forest
land in Alabama." Editor's note:
While we generally agree with the
thrust of Senator Melson's
bill, we suspect the news article
exaggerates the size of foreign
ownership in Alabama. We learned in
the USDA report,
Foreign Holdings of U.S.
Agricultural Land, that
foreign ownership means "a
10-percent or more interest in the
entity...," not the same as
Growth & Yield: How many
trees are on my land? How much
pulpwood and sawtimber will I be
able to harvest in 20 years?
Mississippi State Forestry Extension
Specialist Curtis VanderSchaaf
discusses these and many other
questions in a well-done 48 minute
Utility of Forest Growth and Yield
Private forest ownership rests on
the support of our neighbors and our
elected and salaried officials to
protect our "right" to own and
manage forestland. That right is
seriously threatened when property
theft becomes an everyday affair as
is occurring right now in Los
Blog, Midnight Trains and
Daylight Crime, 1/17/22).
The ransacking of 90 cargo
containers a day in LA presents a
frightening image for those of us
whose timbered property is safe only
because of the protection we receive
from neighbors and local law
"Seedling to Sawmill" and "Sawmill
to Site" are a collection of five
short videos that the Westervelt
Company has produced in order to
make the organization and its
employees look good -- and it does
and they do. But, just
because you may be a small landowner
(Westervelt owns over a half
million acres - see story below)
doesn't mean the values you produce
on your land are any less important
than theirs. Keep up the good
America's Largest Landowners are
profiled in the Winter 2021 issue of
The Land Report. Flip
the pages to # 114. There are
Alabama forest owners on the list.
We've probably overlooked several,
but check out #97, McDonald Family;
#85, Scotch Families; #60, Gene
Taylor; #52, T.R. Miller Family;
#20, Westervelt Heirs.
Wilcox County landowners have
brief opportunity to halt a proposed
property tax increase.
Read more here. If you can
provide more information about the
proposed tax in Wilcox County, or if
you know of any property tax
increases that have been or will be
proposed for other Alabama counties,
please send details to
HB-375 posted here 2/23/22.
The 7 Safest Mushrooms to Forage and
Eat by Bill Heavey, Field
& Stream, 12/7/21. "Perfect for
novice foragers, these mushrooms are
delicious, easy to find, and are not
easily confused with toxic species."
"Southern log market will pick up
steam," and... "Capital will
continue to flow into forest
industry manufacturing in the US
South," are two of eight
Predictions for the Global Forest
Industry in 2022 made by
Forest2Market CEO Pete Stewart.
Cross your fingers.
Chronic Wasting Disease has been
detected in a white-tailed deer in
Lauderdale County, Alabama.
When we alerted a wildlife biologist
friend to the news, his response
was, "I wonder what it will do to
hunting lease prices?"
U.S. Forest Service Tax Tips
is back! After a 1-year hiatus,
Yanshu Li, University of Georgia,
Tamara Cushing, University of
Florida and Gregory Frey, USDA
Forest Service, have authored
Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for
the 2021 Tax Year. 4
Timber Tax, an Alabama
Extension webinar presented
yesterday by Dr. Robert Tufts
is available for you to listen to
and read. About 1 hour.
Click here for PowerPoint slides.
Sound problem at about 5:08 lasts
about 10 seconds.
Pharmaceuticals, Etc. in the 1800s:
Dr. Gary Freeze, Historian and
Professor of History and American
Cultural Studies at Catawba College
talked to the North Carolina Museum
of Natural Sciences today about
Wallace Brothers, wholesale southern
herbalists, sellers of "Every
Variety of Crude Southern Roots,
Herbs, Barks, Flowers, Seeds,
Mosses, Gums, and Berries."
About 1 hour.
If you plan on having trees planted
this year or "in the future," you
will benefit from reading Alabama
Tree Planting Contracts for
Landowners: FAQs. If you
are looking for a tree planting
contractor, call AFOA for a list of
planters who seek work in your
county - 205-624-2225.
Wood Ducks in the Woods with
Jason Fisher is an
interesting episode of Virginia
Tech's 15 Minutes in the Forest.
planting is a major cause of
[loblolly and slash pine] seedling
mortality." That is the
message ArborGen's Paul Jeffreys
urges us to remember in their
December 2021 TreeLines.
Oh, and don't cut the roots!
lab help, whiskey distillers skip
oak barrel-aging. But how does it
taste?" asks Reuters' Nathan
Frandino. If whiskey researchers
Martin Janousek and Stu Aaron (Bespoken
Spirits) are successful, their
distilling and flavoring process
might dramatically reduce the demand
for white oak barrel staves. As
taxpayers, we hope the state and
federal forestry folks and their
enablers in state and federal
capitols recognize the futility of
predicting drinking fashions 5 or
more decades in the future.
Impacts of the Supply Chain Crisis
to the Forest Products Industry:
Forest Resources Association's Tim
O'Hara describes several supply
chain problems being faced by
various segments of the forest
industry. Not a good story.
"Forestry Taxes -- Learn Plan &
Save Money. Join this webinar series
to learn how to save money on your
Mark your calendar and then register
here. We'll link to
recordings when the sessions are
Jan 18: Seeing
the Forest for the Trees: An Overview of Forestry
Jan 25: Basics
of Timber Basis: Re(setting) the Table
Feb 1: Keeping
More of Your Timber Income Following a Timber Sale
Feb 8: Timber
Management Expenses and Deductions
Feb 15: Coping
with the Losses from Nature and Chance
Which Mapping Software Do You Use?
is a useful short report by Jonathan
Goode on LandThink.com, 12/7/21. The
report is very good and introduces
us to software we hadn't heard of
before. Editor's note: Readers
interested in ownership maps should be aware that
like LandGlide mentioned by Jonathan
in the report, sells for $29.99 per
year, much lower than LandGlide's
$10 per month.
Tissue manufacturing to continue
at Calhoun, Tennessee mill, but pulp
and paper operations to be idled,
Resolute Forest Products Inc.
announced on December 16. Resolute's
"state-of-the-art facility in
Calhoun has a production capacity of
66,000 short tons per year of
premium, private-label tissue,
including bath and towel, aimed at
the growing retail market."
Do you have young friends or
family members who might enjoy
working in the forest industry?
You might suggest they watch this
video produced by the Tennessee
Come be part of something big
happening here in your state.
More than twenty-five job ideas in
the industry are described with
2021 Policy Wrap-Up: Property Rights
and Regulations Affecting Private
Forest Landowners was
produced and recorded by the Forest
Landowners Association on December
14 and is now available on line.
About 27 minutes.
Health Insurance: If you are
still looking for reasonably priced
health insurance that meets your and
your family's needs, read John
How the States Can Reform Health
Care. We suspect that for
the dedicated insurance hunter, the
article will contain information
that could help you find what you're
Rural Residents, Take Note:
"The Alabama Digital Expansion
Authority (ADEA) on Thursday held a
public meeting during which leaders
discussed strategies to bring
essential broadband services to all
corners of the Yellowhammer State."
The Third Attempt to Empty Rural
Vermont is an interesting
essay by John McClaughry about
attempts to remove people from rural
areas - this time in the name of
reducing their carbon footprint.
Plant Early This Winter:
"The southern tier of the United
States is expected to be warmer and
drier than normal during La Niña
winters. Therefore, if seedlings are
planted too late in the season,
survival rates may decrease. The
Southern Forest Nursery Management
Cooperative is again recommending
limited storage time of seedlings
and earlier planting dates than
those traditionally followed."
See similar alert from last year.
"Be careful who you are
supporting with your gifts this
time of year," warns Sportsmen's
Alliance and National Deer
Association spokesmen during an NDA
Coffee and Deer podcast
Protecting Our Hunting Heritage From
Animal Rights Groups.
Editor's note: Access to hunting
land is a growing portion of land
values in the South, so a discussion
on the threats to hunters and
hunting merits your time and
A Christmas Story: Since
Boise, Idaho has lately been the
destination of people fleeing the
over-regulated states of California,
Illinois, New York and several
others, we were surprised to read
about a property rights issue and
Idaho's State Capitol Christmas tree
that recently made the news.
In Alabama: After stumpage
prices peaked in mid-October, "they
have settled at a place that is
stronger than the last several
F&W Market Report, 12/3/21.
How Many Widgets are in that Tree?
is the title of a 15 minute video
produced by the Virginia Cooperative
Extension. It's one of the best
sessions we've seen on how to use a
Biltmore Stick. For many years, AFOA
has featured an outdoor tree
measurements session at our annual
meetings, and sometimes we've given
Tree Scale Sticks as prizes. If you
buy one, we suggest you order the
$23.15 right now at Forestry
Alabama Timber Market Assessment and
Outlook was presented
Wednesday to a landowner audience by
Auburn University's Adam Maggard.
Very good. About 56 minutes.
Cahaba Pressure Treated Forest
Products, Inc., with 2020 sales of
$56 million of poles, crossties, and
posts, was recently acquired by
Canada's Stella-Jones Inc.
Plan now to improve next year's
hunting lease arrangements.
Virginia Tech's Jason Fisher
Hunting Lease Best Practices
in a "15 Minutes in the Forest"
video. Find hunters using AFOA's
www.HuntingLand.bz webpage and
protect yourself from risks by using
AFOA's Group Hunting Lease Liability
Tree Planting Drones,
Equipment Delivery Drones,
Herbicide Application Drones:
They're getting bigger and the
services are improving.
"The coming 'owners' of nature
and natural processes will be the
only real beneficiaries," says
Whitney Webb in her Unlimited
Hangout, 10/13/21, article,
Wall Street's Takeover of Nature
Advances with Launch of New Asset
Class. Editor's note: In
the future, values now worthless to
forest owners, such as clean water,
clean air, solitude, wildlife
habitat, carbon sequestration, and
others may completely outshine
traditional values such as timber
and hunting leases. The message:
don't sell or give away rights that
currently are not valued by society.
Google Earth and GPS for the Rest of
From Apps to Maps are two
presentations on using GPS (global
position systems) and GIS (geographic
information systems) produced by
Peter Smallidge, New York State
Extension Forester, Cornell
Marketing Hardwood Timber,
Why Herbicides Sometime Fail,
Planning a Tree Planting Project,
Identifying Hickory Trees
are the titles of the most recent
issues of the University of
Tennessee's Back Porch Forestry
The entire collection of Back Porch
Special Tool to Sharpen Chain Saws:
Mr. Chainsaw, Tim Ard, who
teaches chain saw use and safety all
across the U.S., reports that the
Pferd Chain Saw Sharpening Tools
can help you improve the results of
your sharpening attempts.
"Bare root and containerized tree
seedlings must be handled carefully
from the time they are harvested at
the nursery until they are
transplanted in the field. Equally
important is planting seedlings
Seedling Care & Planting Guidelines
will tell you how. 16 pages.
Selling Carbon Credits in Alabama:
Alabama forest owners were the
target audience for NCX's November
11 presentation. Alex MacIntosh made
a brief presentation and then
answered questions from the
audience. Check out their website:
The Biden administration's U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Service last week
did a big favor for forest owners in
the South when, in the name
of protecting the spotted owl, it
"struck down a rule that would have
opened millions of acres of West
Coast forest to potential logging."
Would it be wrong for private
forest owners in the South to be
concerned that, as government
agencies acquire and/or control more
forestland through programs such as
Forever Wild, Forest Legacy, and
thousands of conservation easements,
timber harvesting lockdowns, such as
occurred in the Northwest, might be
The current issue of the
contains articles on growing and
marketing pawpaw fruit and the
eastern US chestnut industry
An archive of past issues is here.
The 2021 National Register of
Champion Trees (the
most massive specimens of trees of
their species) is maintained by
The 2021 Champion Trees of Alabama
is maintained by the Alabama
Forestry Commission. Four Alabama
trees are national champions:
Alabama Black Cherry, Post Oak,
Durand White Oak, and Southern
The American Chestnut: Donald
E. Davis, an independent scholar and
the author of
The American Chestnut: An
published this month by the
University of Georgia Press, gave a
lecture last week entitled,
Giving Character to the Landscape:
An Environmental History of the
American Chestnut. The
video lecture is about 41 minutes
plus about 25 minutes of Q & A.
Listen to interviews with experts
November issue of Capital Ideas -
Direct Seeding: Purdue
University's Extension Forester
Lenny Farlee, in a 3 minute
video, discusses and demonstrates
sowing seeds of hardwoods such as
walnuts and oaks into forested areas
lacking in those species. Farlee was
a guest on
Capital Ideas - Live!, March
2014, when he spoke to AFOA
Crop Tree Management.
Timber and Goats: A Perfect Pair.
Progressive Farmer writer Dan
Crummett described a Georgia forest
landowner's work managing his 75
acre tract of timber using goats to
reduce brush. Landowner Jerry Bird
was quoted in the article: "All
that brush I used to burn I'm now
selling for about $2 a pound."
10.3 percent of Alabama residents
bought a hunting license in 2020,
according to Stacker. California had
the lowest percentage of hunters at
0.7 percent. South Dakota ranked at
the top of the list at more than 24
percent. Source: Stacker,
10/11/21. Editor's Note: Some of
the hunting license numbers seemed a
bit different from numbers we've
seen in the past from other sources,
so it may be best not to quote
Stacker's numbers far and wide.
Turtles of Alabama was the
Extension Specialist Wesley Anderson's
webinar yesterday. In the recorded
presentation, Anderson describes
numerous turtle species, the laws
regarding turtles and gives us ideas
on how to improve habitat for
turtles on our land. Video; about
"Wood products production and
consumption in the US grew from 1961
through 2005, when the housing
bubble popped and the Great
Recession began. Consumption of
logs, lumber and panels has
increased since the recession, but
not to prerecession levels. Pulp
production and consumption has
leveled off." Source:
Forest Research Notes,
Vol. 18, No. 3, Third Quarter 2021.
Complete Research Notes archive.
Legislative Learn and Burn:
"Seven members of the Alabama
Legislature gained first-hand
experience last week in carrying out
one of the most important parts of
managing the state’s forests: the
controlled burn." Source:
Elon Musk suggests writing to
your Congressman about proposal to
Tax Unrealized Capital Gains:
Musk retweeted a message from Rick
McCracken, CEO of ADA, who wrote,
"The Wyden proposal [to tax
unrealized capital gains] takes new
tax hikes a step closer to imposing
unrealized capital gains tax on the
Read the sample letter proposed by
McCracken. Scroll down to
2) Elon Musk Is On To The Liberal
Or read cached version here.
The Alabama Butterfly Atlas
collects, interprets, and shares
information about Alabama's
butterfly populations for
the purpose of education and
Farmers Must Take Extra Precautions:
While farm safety is important for
every family member and worker,
expectant moms have even more
hazards to consider." This article
from Successful Farming,
9/23/21, may not be of interest to
all forest owners, but for those
of you who may have livestock on
your land, you will want to pay
attention to some of the cautions
What does it cost to practice
forestry in the South? Auburn
Dr. Adam Maggard provides
answers to that question in his
report, 2020 Costs and Trends for
Southern Forestry Practices.
Maggard discusses the report in a
Gain Insights Into Cost Trends and
Management Practices of Working
Forests, produced by the
Forest Landowners Association.
The program starts at 1:50. About 1
White Oak Acorns Wanted in
Tennessee. The Tennessee
Forestry Association and the
University of Tennessee are asking
the public to collect white oak
acorns that can be sown at the East
Tennessee State Nursery. White oak
acorns begin to germinate within a
few days of falling to the ground,
so special care needs to be taken of
the nuts once collected. If you want
to learn more about collecting
acorns, even if not for the
watch their How-To Video.
About 9 minutes.
line maintenance is one of the most
important aspects of land ownership."
Penn State Extension presents a
written discussion and a 4 minute
video that includes a great paint
(and clothes) saving device.
Attorney and Visiting Professor with
the Alabama Cooperative Extension
System Robert Tufts discussed
Landowner Liability, Timber Trespass
(theft) and Adverse Possession
on Wednesday of this week. Audio
recording with PowerPoint slides --
about 54 minutes.
Defer Capital Gains Using Like-Kind
Exchanges: Did you know that
it's possible to push off (defer)
payment of capital gains taxes by
taking advantage of a Section 1031
exchange that allows you to swap
investment property on a
tax-deferred basis? Read more in the
October 2021 Newsletter of
DeLoach, Barber & Caspers, P.C.
Property taxes became due on
October 1 and will be delinquent if
not paid by January 1. Dave and
Johnny have a brief, but interesting
discussion about property taxes on
Episode 313 of The Land Show.
They mention that some counties are
no longer sending out property tax
notices -- that it is the
landowner's responsibility to pay
the taxes before January 1. Slide
to 53:20 - about 4 1/2 minutes.
"At the height of his popularity,
Thornton Burgess was widely
acknowledged as the voice of
American conservation. While
there were more talented writers
working in the genre, and more
knowledgeable scientists in the
field, no one understood how to
communicate these ideas better than
the author of Old Mother West
Wind, which has been
continuously in print since 1910."
Old Mother West Wind, Laughing
Brook, and the Stories that Inspired
Woodlands, Autumn 2021. Did
someone read to you about
Grandfather Frog, Longlegs The
Heron, Whitefoot The Wood Mouse and
the rest of the gang?
Growth, Inflation and Time:
If you sell $100 worth of healthy
trees today, the growth in size and
quality (perhaps 6 percent) plus
inflation (5.4 percent - see FEA
article) will benefit the buyer
when the trees are harvested a year
from now ($100 + $6 + $5.40 =
September Consumer Price Index
Increases 0.4% Month-Over-Month and
5.4% Year-Over-Year, Forest
Economic Advisors, 10/13/21.
Forest Owners' Association warns
about illegal fees,"
reported NBC15 News in
Mobile, Alabama on 10/14/21. Jessica
Little, who was interviewed by
NBC15, also reported today to AFOA
that some of the property tax bills
of her landowner clients in
Montgomery County and Jefferson
County contain illegal fire district
fees. See an
example of a fire fee on a tax
notice and, most disturbing of
refund letter from the Mobile County
Revenue Commissioner at
Jessica's segment of the
October issue of Capital Ideas -
How To Build a Fishing Pond.
"When it comes to how to build a
fishing pond, it is a lot more
detailed than just contracting with
an excavating company and digging a
hole in the ground," says Norman
Latona, Southeastern Pond
Management. Source: Great Days
Check out the headlines for the
October issue of Capital Ideas -
Marginal vs. Effective Tax Rates:
The October 2021 Newsletter
of DeLoach, Barber & Caspers, P.C.
contains an interesting section on
that topic. What percentage of
your income do you pay in taxes?
"Pine pulpwood prices skyrocketed
by an astounding +78 percent QoQ and
YoY," reported Forest2Market
Southern Timber Prices Hit 14-Year
High. The high prices are
the result of a very rainy summer --
and the prices aren't being paid to
people with good timber in a swamp.
To sell at these rain-driven highs,
your land has to be high and dry.
It's important to stay in touch
with state lawmakers.
Between 1995 and 2014, Wisconsin
forest landowners allowed
anti-forestry interest groups to
raise their property taxes 434%
-- from $7.78 per acre (which
is much higher than here in Alabama)
to $33.75 per acre. There are
special interest groups here in
Alabama that would do the same to
us. To become politically active,
consider becoming involved in
Alabama Forestry Association's
Alabama Farmers Federation's FarmPAC.
Foundation's new children's book,
Family Trees, is now
available for $15 per copy plus a
flat $5 shipping fee for up to 8
books in one order! Written by MFA
staff member Lauren Hawkins,
Family Trees is the story of a
boy who grows up on a tree farm,
eventually takes over the farm, and
then teaches his children about
sustainable tree farming. In
addition to highlighting the
benefits of trees, the book also
focuses on the jobs created and
products made from the family's
trees. Order your copy today at
Read book report by AFOA staff writer.
Top Ways to Lose Money Selling Land
was the topic of discussion on
Episode 91 of Huntin' Land
Podcast. Good discussion --
begins at about 5:05.
Selecting the leader of the
Bureau of Land Management is not a
big deal in Alabama, but it's a
big deal in the U.S (BLM
manages 58 million acres of
forestland in 12 western states).
So we were surprised to learn that
Alabama's Senator Tuberville chose
to be absent when votes were counted
on the appointment of Tracy
Stone-Manning, who has been
credibly accused of involvement in
an Idaho tree spiking incident.
Read comments from a New Hampshire
Cached copy of Tree Farmer comments.
CM Biomass "plans to locate a wood
pellet plant at the port [on the
Tombigbee River] that will
create 20-25 new jobs. [Jackson]
Mayor Paul South said the city and
the industrial development board
have been working on the $17,000,000
project for eight months." Source:
The South Alabamian, 9/29/21.
CM Biomass is a Danish company.
Congress considers President Biden’s
proposal to tax unrealized capital
gains at death, the history
of previous efforts suggests it
faces a perilous road ahead.
Lawmakers must resolve tricky design
and implementation details that
derailed past attempts to change how
capital gains are treated when
assets are passed from one
generation to the next." Source: Tax
Survival Playing Cards:
Thanksgiving isn't far off, so if
you think conversations after dinner
might be difficult, why not prepare
ahead. Survival Playing Cards are a
playable survival guide. This unique
deck features 52 survival tips to
help you make it through your next
great adventure. Cost: About $17.
Braun & Gresham Attorney Chris
Creative Ways to Deal with Neighbor
Disputes. Webinar: about
"We are currently swimming in
wood," wrote forest economist
Brooks Mendell in Mississippi
Forestry Association's Tree Talk,
Summer 2021. "We don't need more
admonished F&W Forestry's Marshall
F&W Forestry Report, Spring
2020, right column, page 1. So
what do you suppose lawmakers in
Washington are proposing? You
guessed it -- a government tree
planting program: America's
Revegetation and Carbon
"Buyer demographics are trending
younger," Says Earl Musick of
United Country Musick & Sons, a
PotlatchDeltic Preferred Broker in
Idaho: "We mostly worked with
retiree buyers in the past. Now it’s
people in their late 30s to about
A Peek Into Fall: 6 Standout Trends
in Recreational Land,
Do you plan to hunt from a tree
stand this fall? Will someone in
your family or will some of the
hunters who lease your land hunt
from a tree stand this fall? If
there was a yes in there somewhere,
please take a minute and a half to
watch the National Deer
Association's short video on the
A-B-C-Ds of Treestand Safety.
Tall Timbers Research Station,
"home of the study of fire ecology,"
archived collection) and
Quail Call: Quail Research Report
years archive). If you want to
learn more about prescribed burning
and/or quail management, Tall
Timbers offers serious expertise.
"Based on announced sawmill builds
and expansions, the U.S. South could
add an additional four billion board
feet of softwood sawmill capacity by
2022." Source: Forisk
Blog by Amanda Lang, 9/15/21.
Should you sell your land and
timber together, or should you
harvest the timber before you sell
the land? Dave and Johnny
discuss that question during the
last five minutes of
Episode 292 of The Land Show.
Would you like to know what the
folks at Auburn University's School
of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
have been up to lately? An
archive of the School's triannual
newsletters is available at
migration forecast maps show
predicted nocturnal migration
3 hours after local sunset and are
updated every 6 hours. Colorado
State University and the Cornell Lab
of Ornithology currently produce
these forecasts." Editor's note:
They're quite small, but we suppose
the chimney swifts that grew up in
our old chimney in Helena, Alabama
will soon be lighting up the map as
they head south to Peru, South
Stepped-Up Basis: "Biden’s
proposal to end a tax break on
inheritances known as 'step-up in
basis,' which wipes out the capital
gains tax on assets, was not
included in the House bill; Senate
Finance Chair Ron Wyden (OR) hopes
to include it still, but opposition
in the House means he is unlikely to
succeed. This is a positive
development, especially for
family-owned companies and small
businesses." 1031 Like-Kind
Exchanges: "These were not
included in the House bill and are
unlikely to be included in the
Senate, meaning the existing program
would remain as-is." Source:
National Alliance of Forest Owners,
House Budget Reconciliation
Legislation Update, 9/16/21.
Latest proposed top federal Capital
Gains Tax Rate is now 25 percent
plus 3 percent surcharge and
3.8 percent net investment income
tax. Source: Tax Foundation,
Wood Handbook: Wood as an
Engineering Material is
a 500+ page resource published by
the Forest Products Lab. It will be
useful to anyone who would like to
know more about using wood --
furniture makers, builders,
To prevent timber theft, you should:
Have someone you
know and trust report any cutting on your land
Never sign a
contract without checking several references of the
For the best
price, insist on getting bids for your timber.
Mark all property
lines to assure cutting on adjacent property does
not encroach on yours.
trail/deer cameras on your property that can record
suspicious activity or individuals.
Always hold your
timber contractor to the agreed upon terms.
Source: Pleasanton Express, 9/8/21
What Should You Ask a Consulting
Forester? Joe Baya,
Huntin' Land podcast, August 12,
2021, leads Forest Appraiser Denson
Helms through a great discussion on
how and why a forest landowner
should use the expertise of a
consulting forester. Audio: about
1 hour or save 8+ minutes by sliding
to 8:50. Worth your time if you are
thinking of hiring a consulting
forester. Find a consulting forester
"Transcript" of the podcast appeared
November 2021 issue of Great Days
Outdoors, pages 58-61.
Check out a new video on the
identification, history and control
of kudzu created by Clemson
Extension. Kudzu is a prolific
invasive species throughout the U.S.
Originally introduced in the 1870s
as an ornamental plant, people then
tried to use it for erosion control.
Unfortunately its rapid spread soon
earned it the name: “the plant that
ate the south."
"According to the July LandThink
Pulse results, 38.1% of
respondents indicated that they
would prefer to purchase rural land
for sale that was located in the
Southeast region of the U.S."
Two stories in the news:
Storm Damage and Salvage Safety
Forest Resources Association was
produced to help professional
loggers avoid injury while cleaning
up after tornadoes and hurricanes.
If there is someone in your family
who is likely to be doing some
clean-up work this weekend, you
might want to watch this video
together. Good luck.
Little Timber Damage from
Hurricane Ida: The Alabama
Forestry Commission reported today
that they have not heard any reports
of storm damage to any large
forested areas. Their Mobile County
office said there was "wide-spread
damage from tornadoes," but not
enough to merit an aerial survey.
We'll update this article if future
AFC reports indicate significant
damage somewhere in the state. If
you suspect your timber may have
been damaged by the storm, this may
be a good time to ask your
consulting forester to do a damage
assessment. If you don't have a
consulting forester, find one at
www.ForesterSearch.com. If you
need tax advice to help you deduct
storm damage losses, a list of
forestry tax experts has been posted
to the web,
How about some good news on this
Wellborn Cabinet in Clay County
[broke ground earlier] this month on
a $15 million expansion, projected
to add another 200 jobs. The
manufacturer of kitchen and bath
cabinets [many of them made from
Alabama grown hardwoods], a mainstay
of the economy in Ashland since
1961, already employs about 1,400
people. Source: AL.com,
Aunt Fanny Asks About Forest Carbon
is a new episode of Brooks Mendell's
Aunt Fanny series.
Aunt Fanny Learns Forestry
The Book, $12
Aunt Fanny Analyzes Her Timber
Aunt Fanny Asks About Bare Land
Aunt Fanny Asks About Timber Taxes
Aunt Fanny Asks About Forest
Rotations and Financial Maturity
Aunt Fanny Asks About Forestland
Aunt Fanny Asks About Timberland
Aunt Fanny Thins Her Forest
Aunt Fanny Asks About Cash Flow
Aunt Fanny Asks About Timber Prices
Aunt Fanny Tours Her Forest
Do carbon payments do anything to
solve the carbon dioxide problem or
are they just a form of
greenwashing? Ryan Dezember,
the Wall Street Journal
writer who has written a number of
forestry-related articles in the
past year or two discusses the issue
on The Journal podcast with
host Kate Linebaugh. Audio about
15 minutes - with transcript if you
can't listen. Greenwash:
disinformation disseminated by an
organization so as to present an
environmentally responsible public
How to Get Rid of Armadillos
is an interesting article in
Great Days Outdoors , August
2021, by David Strickland. Turn
to page 26.
"In reality, wildfires in the
West aren’t evidence of a lack of
funds, forest mismanagement, or
climate change. They happen
because the West is a fire plain,
and, just as a flood plain floods, a
fire plain is going to burn. For as
long as we’ve kept records, about
one-half to one percent of the West
burns each year, and nothing we can
do is going to stop it." For an
interesting discussion on western
forest fires, read Randle O'Toole's
"The West Is a Fire Plain. Get Over
It." Liberty and Ecology
O'Toole spoke to AFOA in July of
It all adds up. If you are
looking for something to discuss
with your children or grandchildren
during your next visit, read
The Simple Math of How to Retire
with Millions by Kurt
Rotthoff, Foundation for Economic
The Sandhill Crane hunting season
presents an interesting new
opportunity for landowners in the
Tennessee Valley and the Weiss
Reservoir on the Coosa River.
Hunters will begin registering to
win the 400 hunting permits on
September 8. The hunting season is
split into two segments: December 3
to January 9 and January 17 - 31.
AFOA members can find interested
hunters by listing land for lease at
Home Power magazine provided
information on powering up remote,
off-grid property. An
archive of 31 years of the magazine
is available at no cost, but you
have to register to access the mags.
Are No Till Food Plots Worth It?
Listen to wildlife biologist
Dr. Grant Woods describe the
pros and cons of using no-till
technology to install and maintain
game food plots. Huntin' Land
Podcast #87, 7/29/21. Audio
about 1 hour.
Boundary Line Issues: "Where
does one property begin and another
end? It seems like a simple
question, because most landowners
have a sense about where their land
starts and ends. But over a period
of years, neighbors can develop
vastly different interpretations as
to where the boundary line exists."
Listen to Pat Porter, Broker,
RecLand Realty, discuss problems and
solutions on LandThink.com,
8/10/21. About 4 minutes.
"With stumpage prices seemingly
stuck at historically low levels,
many southern timberland owners are
asking the obvious question: Why
continue growing timber at all?"
Joe Clark discusses opportunities in
his 7/26/21 blog:
Creative Markets & Opportunities for
Southern Timberland Owners.
U.S. is the largest lumber market in
the world and is very dependent on
imported lumber. Imports
have consistently accounted for
about 30% of consumption over the
past 10 years." Source: Global
Lumber Supply to Shift,
Online Master of Forest Business &
Investment Degree is now being
offered by Auburn University.
Collaboratively taught with Auburn
University’s Raymond J. Harbert
College of Business and the School
of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences,
"this non-thesis master’s program
enables non-traditional students in
Alabama and beyond to conveniently
acquire these specialized skills
from a top-ranking university with
minimal disruption to their home
life and current employment."
The US Sawmill: How Hardwood Lumber
is Made is a 9-minute video
produced by Banks Hardwoods. Since
their mills are located in Michigan
and Wisconsin, there will be
references to cold weather,
otherwise the lumber making
technology is similar to that used
in Alabama and the South. Hardwood
lumber is in demand and hardwood
stumpage prices have been very good
in Alabama for the past several
Hardwood pulpwood and oak sawtimber
prices reported by TimberMart-South,
2Q21, can be found in the top left
corner of page 2 of AFOA's July
newsletter, Capital Ideas.
Preppers - a never-ending variety,
from being self-sufficient,
'Preppers' Quietly Stock Up For The
'Perfect Storm', Zero
Hedge, 8/6/21, to "looking for a
hedge if things get bad,"
Weathering A Social Storm…In Style,
Your Final Harvest is Complete: So,
What's Next? Tom Brant from
Clemson University answers some
frequently asked questions. For
most forest owners in the South, the
automatic answer of the past has
been to plant pines, but many of us
are thinking twice before giving all
our land to Mr. Pine. We may let Mr.
Oak climb a little further up the
hills than in the past. See:
Managing Stands of Mixed Pine &
Hardwoods, John Willis. See
Managing for Quality Hardwoods,
in France are using a balloon to
spot forest fires as soon as they
start," reports Euronews,
8/2/21. A camera mounted on a
tethered balloon almost 2,000 feet
in the air "that can automatically
detect fires within minutes of them
starting and alert nearby
firefighters" is being tested
in the French city of Marseilles.
12 Steps for Building a Bridge:
NWOA's Wednesday Woodland
Word, 8/4/21, featured a story
from MyFarmLife.com on building a
simple wood bridge for ATVs, wheel
barrows and lawn mowers. Detailed
plans are provided.
Why the Middle Class Should Start
Paying Attention to the Death Tax.
Currently, estates valued at less
than $11.58 million are exempt from
the death tax in the US tax code.
That may soon change. Source:
Foundation for Economic Education,
7/28/21. See also:
New CTUP Study: Biden’s Double Death
Tax Destroys Up to a Million Jobs,
Costs the Economy $10,000 Per
Household. Source: Committee
to Unleash Prosperity, 7/27/21.
So,... you don't like the
vaccination or mask rules in your
part of the world. We wonder
what you'd think about the forcible
conscription - press-ganging - of
civilians to fight forest fires, as
was done in British Columbia as
recently as the '60s. Read:
How the government can still
forcibly conscript you to fight
forest fires, National
Feral Hog Traps: Even if you
don't have feral hogs on your
property, we think watching these
videos will hold your attention.
Cell phone triggered trap.
Pig Brig trap (net) (read the
comments under the video). Also,
for information on the
Alabama Feral Swine Control Program,
click here and
In a recent episode of the
National Deer Association's Deer
Season 365 podcast, Brian
Grossman talked with Mark Olis of
Moultrie Mobile about the benefits
of cellular trail-cameras, some
tips for getting maximum performance
from your cellular trail cams,
as well as some trail-camera
strategy. Mark also discusses some
of the very cool new features of the
Moultrie Mobile app.
Scroll to about the 25 minute mark
in the podcast to focus on the
cellular connected cameras and the
Timber Market Update: Forest
Management Specialists sent us a
fairly optimistic timber market
update today. If you think it might
be time for you to put some of your
timber up for sale, find a
consulting forester who seeks work
in your county at
Management Specialists' contact
information is included on the
The native common elderberry
(Sambucus canadensis) is
"high in antioxidents, vitamin C,
vitamin A, bioflavonoids, beta
carotene, iron, phosphorus and
potassium. Although long used
medicinally and in many other ways
by Native Americans and rural
dwellers, there is a renewed
interest in its use as an antiviral
and anti-inflammatory agent."
Alabama Gardener by Lois
Chaplin, Neighbors, July 2021.
If you have coal on your land, don't
give up hope. “Coal prices
have climbed to their highest level
in a decade, making the fuel a hot
commodity in a year when governments
are pledging reductions in carbon
emissions…. Prices for thermal
coal—which power plants burn to boil
water into steam, spin turbines and
generate electricity—have more than
doubled over the past year as a
result." Source: The Wall Street
Journal as quoted by the
Committee to Unleash Prosperity (CTUP),
Subscribe to free CTUP daily news
"Ozark Forest Mushrooms harvests
between 100 and 500 pounds of
mushrooms a week year-round, and
drives them to St. Louis where they
are sold wholesale to restaurants
and specialty grocery stores for $10
a pound and for a couple of bucks
more at farmers markets." Source:
St. Louis Public Radio,
Forest and small business owner,
Allen McBride, describes business
survival skills needed in
era of increasing taxes. Source:
National Federation of Independent
Business, 6/21/21. You may have
crossed through McBride's Camp Mac
if you've ever driven the windy road
from Talladega heading up the
mountain to Cheaha State Park.
Trail cameras have been banned in
Arizona. Read an article from an
Arizona trail cam ban cautionary
tale for Arkansas, and
listen to a podcast,
The Politics of Trail Cameras,
from CFACT with Gabriella Hoffman
and Trent Marsh. Slide to minute
22:47 to 31:07. "Besides
Arizona, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and
Nevada restrict the use of trail
cameras during hunting season."
These stories are hard to believe.
Do you need help controlling
beavers or coyotes or some other
animal pest on your land? Read
Nuisance Animal Control on the
Alabama Conservation Department
Click here for a list of nuisance
animal control experts on
Alabama Trappers and Predator
Control Association website.
List on ADCNR website.
Absentee Landowners: Spot canopy
changes on your land when trees have
been removed (new roads, timber
harvesting - theft? sale?, new
greenfields, etc.). HuntStand Pro
now provides a monthly satellite
imagery update which can alert
you to timber theft and other canopy
change surprises. Open
scroll down to "Monthly Satellite
Imagery." While we would like the
imagery to be sharper, this new
service is a huge first step towards
obtaining real-time information
about your land. AFOA members
receive a 20% discount when
purchasing from a desktop or a
laptop. Discount code: AFOA20.
The National Rifle Association
may have dropped their support for
the Biden administration's 30 x 30
program, and, if so, we commend them
See 7/8/21, below. Yesterday
AFOA received the following
message from American Stewards of
We just had a call from one of our readers who had
called NRA to cancel her membership because they
support 30 x 30. Whomever she talked to said that is
not their position.
We checked the link to their statement, which is now
missing. Here is the original link. You now see a
"Sorry, the requested page is not available."
"Hunt & Fish 30 x 30" document still lists the NRA
Hunters Leadership Forum and NRA Institute for
Legislative Action as supporting the effort.
for list of supporters; AFOA has a copy of this
webpage in case it should be deleted in the future]
So, it appears they have changed their position, which
is a huge win for landowners.
Thanks for your help on this.
Morgan Stanley answers questions
about the Biden Tax Proposal.
- Will my federal income and capital-gains tax rates change?
- What is the proposed change to federal capital-gains taxes on inherited assets?
- Would the proposed reforms limit how much wealth I can give away free of federal estate and gift taxes?
Solar Farm in Butler County:
For those of you who worry that
Alabama might be following Texas
into a brown-out phase of power
generation, this AL.com
Alabama Power receives approval for
Butler County solar facility,
might give pause for thought. At the
level of technology we are at today
with batteries and solar collectors,
we suspect that the land area that
will be dedicated to solar power
production could produce a lot more
usable energy if it
were used to grow fuel wood,
constantly and forever (even
though fuel wood would likely not be
the best forest product that could
be produced on the land). And …
the electricity generated from fuel
wood could be produced 24/7/365 with
technology that exists today. Just
We were surprised when we
added up the number of AFOA members
who bought the
Huntstand Pro map sharing
and property owners app using
AFOA's 20 percent discount. Less
than 2 dozen of you are on the list.
We know people who bought the app
using their smartphone or tablet,
and suspect they didn't receive the
discount because that method of
purchase doesn't allow the buyer to
give the discount code, AFOA20
(all caps). We suggest you
buy it from your desktop or laptop
computer, since you will then have
the opportunity to input the
Read more about
Is there a difference? We're
not lawyers, so there are probably a
million legal reasons why it's OK
for a game warden to enter private
property without the owner's
permission, but now, after a U.S.
Supreme Court decision, it's not OK
for union organizers to enter a
private workplace without the
owner's permission. Source:
Supreme Court Upholds Landowner's
Right to Exclude, Liberty
Matters News Service, 7/6/21.
Be sure to see Pacific Legal
related story below.
During a recent
Carbon Program for Hardwood
Landowners webinar on June 15, 2021,
a number of questions were posted
for future follow-up.
The questions and answers are
available here. Source:
Wednesday Woodland Word, 7/7/21.
The National Rifle Association has
put itself on record as being in
support of the Biden
administration's 30 x 30 program,
according to Liberty Matters News
Service, 7/6/21. About 10 years ago the
NRA supported using state funds to
purchase hunting land in Alabama.
Would it be fair to suspect that
the leadership of the NRA, both in
Alabama and at the National level,
lack faith in the ability of private
landowners and the free market system
to provide their members with
See Gov. Ivey's
reaction to 30 x 30.
nobody wants to raise the estate tax,"
especially when they take into
consideration that an increase might
cause job losses. Source: Kudlow,
Fox Business News, 7/6/21. See
graphs, Capital Gains Tax at 5:34,
and Estate Tax at 6:24. Video is 9
Labor Shortage Impacting Timber
Sales and Harvesting: A few
quotes from F&W Market Update,
o "...because of the
trucking shortage, they’re looking
close in harder than ever..."
o "...logging shortage,
trucking shortage, and related labor
shortages are impacting..."
o "...reluctant to
strongly pursue timber sales in many
o "...not sawing
what they could due to a lack of
"I have absolutely no idea whether
our tax returns and our tax payments
are accurate," wrote Former
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
to the IRS on April 15, 2014.
Rumsfeld died Wednesday at the age
Be careful if you're planning to
celebrate the Fourth by shooting
tracer ammunition or incendiary
rounds. "Those will cause fire
almost every time if they land in
receptive fuels. And sometimes
exploding targets. These are
made of ammonium nitrate and
aluminum powder and they blow up
when hit by a bullet." We lifted
these comments from a dry Utah radio
90.1), so you probably won't
cause a wildfire in wet Alabama...
but it could happen. Be careful.
Forest Economist Jack Lutz discusses
the Southern Timberland Index
in this quarter's Forest Research
Notes. The Southern Timberland
Index "allows timberland owners in
the South to estimate how the value
of their timberland is performing
compared to an average southern
timberland property." In the
discussion he mentions the
NCREIF Timberland Index (NCREIF
= National Council of Real Estate
Investment Fiduciaries), and he
an earlier report in 2016 on the
Southern Timberland Index.
Have you taken on debt to invest?
We suspect that most forest owners
won't find themselves in too much
trouble here, but you may have
family members who need your advice.
graph here ("Gen Z and Millennials—just
one bear market away from
Powerline Blog, The Geek
in Pictures: Summer Solstice Edition,
6/24/21. Scroll down to the
Southern Pine Beetles -- and
other insects and diseases -- are
mapped by the Alabama Forestry
Commission. Rangers crisscross
each county in light aircraft
marking beetle infestations on a
map. Beetle monitoring flights will
begin soon. Infestations will be
posted on the
AFC website at this link:
Insect and Disease Map.
Zoom in to see exact locations.
Satellite imagery layers are
available in the menus. Check back
about once a week for updates.
even want to buy rural land in front
of major demographic moves in the
Hayman Capital's Kyle Bass on
CNBC's Closing Bell,
as quoted by Zero Hedge,
Is Fed Bringing About Another
In an online analysis, CNN (6/19,
Egan) said that even with home
prices that are climbing at the
quickest “pace on record, the
Federal Reserve continues to prop up
the housing market by purchasing $40
billion of mortgage bonds each
month.” Though the Fed was at last
“‘talking about talking about’
removing some of its support, some
fear the US central bank is creating
another housing bubble as it
deliberates.” CNN added, “That’s
because the Fed’s emergency strategy
is artificially lowering the cost of
mortgages, and further boosting
prices that already looked stretched
in many markets.” Source: NFIB
Small Business Weekly, 6/22/21.
Wood pellet industry not causing
overharvest of our forestland.
"The growth of the forest products
industry, including the wood pellet
sector, continues to create new
demand for biomass, which has
resulted in an increase, rather than
a reduction, in forest inventory. In
other words, healthy demand is
driving reforestation, not
deforestation across the US South."
New Markets for Wood Products Help
Preserve Forests for Future
Generations by Larry
Sullivan, F2M Blog,
Common insect pests of trees in
Tennessee (and Alabama, too,
is the topic covered by Dr. David
Mercker in this recent episode of
Back Porch Forestry.
Tree Insects: Something Old
The June 2021 issue of
The Overstory newsletter
contains a Timber Price Report
that may be interesting to AFOA
members with land in west Alabama
and Mississippi. Oak sawtimber:
$39.38 per ton.
"How to Make Oak Trees Produce More
Acorns for Deer. It's Not What You
Might Think." Source:
National Deer Association Video with
Lindsay Thomas, Jr. About 3
A Hunter's Perspective:
Forest owners who allow hunters to
hunt on their land may find it
useful to learn what a hunter thinks
is important to discuss with
What I Learned From Talking to
Non-Hunters by Zack
Vucurevich, National Deer
GIFT TAX: "In 2021, you can give
any amount up to $15,000 per person
per year with no gift tax liability.
However, gifts exceeding that amount
are counted against a gift tax
exemption of $11,700,000 and are
subject to gift tax." Source:
DeLoach, Barber & Caspers, P.C.
Newsletter, June 2021.
INFLATION! Focusing on the
Consumer Price Index (an indicator
of inflation), our sarcastic and
cynical friend at
PowerLine Blog, Steven
Hayward, said this on June 10:
"With today’s bad inflation number,
here’s what the trend looks like —
but not to worry, I’m sure it’s
nothing, and I’m sure the Biden
Administration and the Fed are on
AFOA's question to forest owners: Is
this a good time to be invested in
productive timberland, gold, Bitcoin,
stocks, or cash under the mattress?
Buy, Borrow, Die: "Using that
strategy, wealthy households
purchase assets that appreciate
(increase in value), and then borrow
money against their assets to
consume their wealth without paying
tax. When the household passes away,
the assets with unrealized gains
escape taxation due to step-up in
basis, which removes the unrealized
gain and associated tax liability
for the heirs." Source:
Consumption Progressively Is a
Better Way to Tax the Wealthy,
Tax Foundation, 6/8/21. Editor's
request: If you can describe a "Buy,
Borrow, Die" scenario that has
actually worked for you or a client,
please send a note to
RLL@AFOA.org. See also:
Tax Planning 101: Buy, Borrow, Die.
Black Walnut management videos
(free) and a book ($15) are
available from the Walnut Council.
The video topics include pruning,
thinning, soils & sites, and markets.
The book is
Black Walnut: The History, Use and
Unrealized Potential of a Unique
American Renewable Resource
by Walnut Council member Bob
"The Associated Press (AP) ...
recently published [an article]
largely critical of the wood pellet
industry. Sadly, [The AP did]
not provide a full-spectrum view of
the forest supply chain or the
environmental benefits of
sustainably managed forest
resources." Read more:
Inaccurate Portrayals of Forestry &
Wood Biomass Persist by
Larry Sullivan, F2M Blog,
If Alabama state employee and
teacher pensions are underfunded
because of lack of legislative
support or because of poor
investment strategies, where do
you think lawmakers will look for
funds when the money runs out?
The Tax Foundation recently asked
the question, "How
Well-Funded Are Pension Plans in
Your State?" Alabama's state
pensions are not in as bad a
condition as New Jersey's (only 36%
funded) and not as good as South
Dakota's (99% funded). Did we
hear someone say "Property Taxes"?
CBS News reported from Vestavia
Hills, Alabama on the high lumber
prices and their effect on
new home costs. The reporter
failed to report on low stumpage
rates -- the amounts paid to
landowners for their trees.
COVID-19 struck in the early days of
March 2020, the number of people
swapping city life for country
living has risen. According
to the April LandThink Pulse
results, 77.6% of respondents
believe that the migration of people
from big cities and metropolitan
areas to rural locations will
continue post-pandemic." Source:
Editor's note: I suspect that the
majority of respondents to the
survey were rural real estate
agents. Just a guess. Someone will
probably set me straight soon.
The Hurricane Michael [and Lee
County tornadoes] Block Grant
will provide $10 million in
financial relief to qualifying
non-industrial private forest
landowners of Alabama with a
one-time payment. Eligible citizens
must own timber in the following
counties: Barbour, Bullock,
Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale,
Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston,
Lee, Montgomery, Pike, or Russell.
Alabama Forestry Commission Press
Eligibility Requirements and Sign-Up
The Biden administration wants to
impose capital gains taxes on the
growth in value of estates "when
assets transfer ownership at death."
They would do this by repealing the
step-up in basis that currently
applies to estates. For example: Joe
bought 400 acres of forestland at
$50 per acre back in 1970. Joe dies
in 2021 after the capital gains tax
rate is raised to 43.4 percent and
step-up in basis is repealed.
He leaves the land, now worth $3,000
per acre, to his daughter. He had no
other assets. The estate must pay
43.4 percent of the $1,180,000
capital gain ($1,200,000 minus
$20,000) resulting in a tax lien on
the estate of $512,120. The land, or
at least the timber, may have to be
sold to pay the tax. Fortunately for
forest landowners, we are not facing
this dilemma alone. Small business
owners face similar and maybe even
worse situations. Read:
Over 120 Associations Join Coalition
to Support Continuation of
Stepped-up Basis, NFIB,
5/25/21. Editor's note: We are
not tax advisors, just speculators.
Read more on Stepped-up Basis and
Family Forests by Tom Straka.
After reading an interesting story
about wooden toothpicks,
A tiny Maine town was once the
'toothpick capital of the world',
Bangor Daily News, 5/24/21,
we learned that some toothpicks are
still being made in the U.S., Penley,
for example. Editor's note:
You may see some rather aggressive
and deceiving ads from Penley's
Chinese competitors when reading
these stories. Or have we been
Simply Southern TV Episode 708
Learn and Burn program.
Learn and Burn events are a great
way to be introduced to prescribed
burning. Attendees are given
hands-on opportunities to set back
fires and try out some of the tools
used by prescribed burners. Lee
and Eyvon from AFOA's office
participated a couple of years ago
and thought it was a great
Northern Woodlands shared
a refreshing forestry family story
today. We think you will enjoy
Mary Hull: at Home and at Work in
Wild Turkeys: An Alabama
Extension System recorded webinar,
Wild Turkey Mortality: Populations,
Predators, & Disease,
and a South Carolina DNR research
Collaborative Research on the Future
of Wild Turkeys, both
landed in AFOA's mailbox this week.
We hope you find them useful.
Deducting business-related vehicle
expenses is one of the
topics covered in DeLoach, Barber &
Caspers, PC, Certified Public
Accountants, May Newsletter.
Depending on how you, as a forest
landowner, are viewed by the IRS,
you may or may not be allowed to
deduct mileage or vehicle expenses.
Be sure to clear it with your
personal accountant before going to
a lot of trouble.
Forest landowners can now
participate in forest carbon markets
via short-term timber harvest
deferral agreements (watch
the May 6 Florida Land Stewardship webinar).
SilviaTerra's program asks the
landowner to defer harvest for one
year on mature timber and pays for
the costs of delaying the harvest.
analysis, below, to estimate the
cost of delaying the harvest and,
thus, arriving at an estimate of the
amount that should be paid by the
Property Lines, Fences, & the Law
is a seminar (video) presented by
D. Mitchell Henry, J.D. and
produced by the Alabama Cooperative
"'We'll get you again': Victim of
timber theft warns thieves across
Tennessee," reported WKRN
News 2 Plus in Nashville on May
8, 2021. Landowners whose trees have
been stolen in Alabama should report
thefts to their local sheriff or the
Alabama Law Enforcement Rural Crime
Unit. Based on reports AFOA
has received from landowners during
past few years, don't expect much
help from either of those sources.
"Why Invest in Timberland?
The fact that makes timberland real
estate an attractive option is that
trees grow physically. Moreover,
past records have proved that
timberland returns can be as good as
those from equity investments. The
added advantage is, it comes with
lesser risk." Read more on
The Basics of Timberland Real
Estate Investing by
Christian Saunders, LandThink,
Wouldn't it be nice ... if an
Alabama law firm were to conduct a
training session for landowners
Tips for Navigating Property Tax
Protests? It would be
especially nice, if an Alabama law
firm, or perhaps a loosely knit
collection of firms, were to provide
a low-cost service which would represent
landowners who have valid property tax
complaints. Watch Texas law firm
Braun & Gresham's recorded
Tips and give us suggestions
on how we might produce a similar
program for Alabama. Please give
us the name of someone who could
teach such a class.
"Because birds use a variety
of forest types and conditions,
management prescriptions intended to
benefit birds can be complicated."
Learn more from a new booklet:
Bird Friendly Forests: Opportunities
for Private Forest Owners in the
Makers Mark is working with the
University of Kentucky to make
sure they don't run out of quality
white oak trees used to make their
bourbon barrels. Source:
Lexington Herald Leader, 5/10/21
Do you jointly own your
forestland with siblings or cousins?
If yes, you may enjoy
From Partners by Chance to Partners
by Choice: Building Trust-based
Partnerships with Siblings and
Cousins, a webinar
The Family Business Consulting Group.
Fraser Timber Co., the world’s
biggest lumber producer, plans to
expand capacity at five of its
lumber mills in the U.S. South.
Interfor Corp. is rebuilding a
sawmill in Georgia that is on track
for completion by the end of 2021.
Both companies expect home-building
and renovation demand to continue
supporting strong prices for wood
products in the near future."
Source: Bloomberg, 5/6/21
Population Change. You may
have invested in your forestland
hoping one day to develop it into
home sites or business lots. Others
may own forestland in undeveloped
areas of the state and hope no one
will ever move to their neck of the
woods. Whichever hat you wear, you
will likely find interesting
AL.com's May 8, 2021 article,
Alabama's fastest growing and
fastest shrinking counties from 2019
Brooks Mendell, forest industry
analyst, sheds light on
"voluntary short-term 'rental'
Break-Even Analysis for Forest
Carbon Contracts. So, if
you delay harvest on one acre for
one year in order to rent its
carbon, you'll lose about $10 (see
graph). Therefore, you should rent
the carbon for at least $10. Easy-peasy.
If you have an interest in gopher
tortoises, we think you will find
this 4-minute video interesting:
How Foresters Protect Gopher
Tortoise Burrows. We thought
Rayonier's idea of leaving high
stumps to mark burrows a useful
heads-up tool (scroll to about
2:05 if you're in a hurry).
"Few Specifics" offered on whose
land will be taken when the 30
by 30 plan is activated. Would it be
wrong to guess that targeted lands
will be near national forests like
the Bankhead or Talladega, or near
federal wildlife refuges like the
Cahaba River or the Eufaula? Read
Conserving and Restoring America the
Copy), commentary in The
Washington Post, 5/6/21:
A narrow path for Biden's
ambitious land conservation plan,
and a DOI News Release:
Biden-Harris Administration Outlines
"America the Beautiful" Initiative.
Roots and Branches -- Tree growth
discussed in a new "Back Porch
Forestry" by Dr. David
Mercker, University of
Tennessee. He has also recently
Firewood Harvesting as a Forest
Click here for the entire collection
of Back Porch Forestry.
A time lapse of Google Earth
aerial images of Alabama "shows
something special: forests as a
renewable resource. Large tracts
of land turn brown immediately after
harvest, but just as quickly
re-green as the forest grows back.
Active forest management helps
maintain forests as a sustainable
Click here to see 35 years of
sustainable forestry in 10 seconds!"
Source: National Association of
State Foresters Weekly Newsletter,
F&W Market Update
reported Friday that in Florida many
sawmills will no longer take sawlogs
larger than 18 inches in diameter at
the butt. The Update also reported
that fire "devastated the East
Alabama Lumber Company sawmill on
If you're thinking about
harvesting timber on your land,
you need to find out what some of
the experts are telling the loggers.
Timber Harvesting Guidelines for
Forestry Best Management Practices
by Richard Cristan and Carey Potter
is full of information that will
help you and your forester spell out
your requirements for maintaining
clean water on your land.
A PDF version is available as
well as a link to
Alabama's Best Management Practices
Assistant Professor Cristan
assisted with the demonstration of
the portable sawmill at our Annual
Meeting at the 4-H Center.
"Property taxes are generally the
most hated of all taxes," wrote
Jonathan Williams in
The Heartland Property-Tax Rebellion,
National Review, 4/26/21.
taxes have been reasonable in
Alabama, appraisals of
forestland are frequently
inconsistent between counties and
even within counties. We think you
will find Williams' discussion
Fence It Right The First Time:
Adverse Possession in Alabama
by John Allen Nichols, Neighbors,
"As a forest landowner, one of
the most important questions you
must answer is when to conduct a
harvest. How you make that
decision can involve several factors
specific to your circumstances and
Read more from Cut or Wait
Decision-Making for Landowners
by Shaun Tanger, Mississippi State
"Biden Eyeing Tax Rate as High as
43.4% in Next Economic Package."
Source: Bloomberg, 4/22/21.
Read commentary on the proposed
increase from Daniel J. Mitchell,
Editor's Note: Of course, most
forest owners won't make million
dollar timber sales, but we suspect
the proposed rate changes will reach
down to affect many more than a few
at the top.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a
letter yesterday with 14 other
governors objecting to policies that
would increase federal ownership
and/or control of land.
"Fifteen Governors signed a joint
letter notifying President Biden
that section 216 of the Climate
Crisis Executive Order (14008), to
conserve 30 percent of America’s
lands by 2030, 'infringes on the
sovereignty of the states and rights
of the citizens.'" Source:
Liberty Matters News Service,
"Tight Supplies and Higher Prices
for Softwood Lumber Has China
Looking at Alternative Solutions,"
reports Forest Economic Advisors (FEA),
4/20/21. The last sentence in FEA's
brief International Markets article
reads: "There are several
solutions emerging in China, and one
of the most practical options is
using imported softwood logs to
produce lumber products by Chinese
"A FEW SPOTS AVAILABLE." "Live Fire
Event." "Interactive Field Day in
Walker County." The Alabama
Forestry Foundation and Tree Farm
are doing a Learn and Burn Live Fire
Event in Walker County one day
during the week of April 26-30.
In a recent study published in the
John Willis, US Forest Service
Researcher and his colleagues
discuss mixed stands as a reasonable
alternative to pine plantations or
exclusively managing for hardwoods.
Source: CompassLive, 3/30/21.
Listen to Willis when he spoke to
AFOA on Mixed Pine & Hardwood
Management on April 27, 2019 in
Awaiting Governor's signature,
ALFA's Capitol Connection,
Jurisdiction Bill Passes House, Goes to Governor
Coyote Night Hunting Bill Awaits Governor Signature
Attorney Banks Ladd is offering
Estate Planning Workshops
next week. He plans to cover the
o How to protect your
belongings against your kid’s debts,
divorce, or disability.
o How to maximize the
inheritance you leave to your
o How to protect your
belongings if your spouse remarries.
o How to plan with
o How to understand the
difference between a will and a
o How to avoid the
expenses and delays of probate.
o How to keep your
Controlling Feral Pigs is on the top
of many landowners' ToDo lists.
If you want to see demos of trapping
devices (some old-school, some
high-tech), plan to visit with
Mark Smith, Extension
Specialist and Auburn University
Professor, between 1:30 and 4:30 on
April 17 - this Saturday - at
AFOA's Annual Meeting at the Alabama
4-H Center, a few miles east of
Columbiana in Shelby County.
"We're still enjoying a booming
morel season and we have plenty
of time to keep finding those." If
you don't know where to look for
morel mushrooms or how to cook them
once found, you may want to join the
Alabama Mushroom Society - $20 per
year. Their address is way down at
the bottom of
the April newsletter, a little
ways below a recipe for Morel Cream
Sauce - mmmm.
Editor's Note: I can't
think of many things that are more
disturbing of a quiet day in the
woods than to have a dog hunting
group (hunting for deer) drop off
their dogs on a road a mile or two
east your property and then block
the road along side of your property
while they wait to get a shot at a
That said, an AFOA member wrote
today, "The Senate has passed out
Senate Bill 381 doing away with
bans for dog deer hunting in
Alabama. Please make forest owners
aware that we may lose our property
rights should this bill pass."
Read more from Alabama Political
Find your Senator.
Hardwood Silviculturist and
American Chestnut Expert Stacy Clark
has produced two excellent short
videos on work being done to restore
the American Chestnut to our
Part 1 - Introduction (9
minutes 44 seconds) and
Part 2 - Science in Action (10
minutes 15 seconds).
Drones with "dragon eggs" are being
used to start prescribed burns in
Virginia. Make plans now to
see how it's done by attending
AFOA's Annual Meeting on April 17.
The Alabama Forestry Commission's
Kelvin Daniels will demonstrate the
drone technology similar to that
used in Virginia at the 4-H Center
in Shelby County.
Register online here or by
mail and check here.
CURB APPEAL: "When the time
comes to sell your land, you can
maximize your return by making a few
simple land improvements, as Pat
Porter, broker at RecLand Realty
explains. Curb appeal is a term that
is usually associated with the
general attractiveness of a house,
but the concept can also be applied
to land." Source: LandThink,
Brown Gold falls from longleaf pine
trees, says The
Washington Post, 3/31/21,
"generating an estimated $200
million in annual sales across the
Southeast." Pine straw harvesting
will be featured at AFOA's Annual
Meeting on April 17.
David Sherer, Sherer Straw Supply,
Zachery Hind, MTE Pine Straw
will describe Sherer's straw
marketing business and MTE's straw
harvesting system on Saturday
afternoon, April 17 at the 4-H
Center in Shelby County.
Register online here or by
mail and check here.
National Association of Home
Builders wants cheaper lumber,
so they are asking federal officials
to increase the supply of domestic
timber. One wonders how a big
organization like NAHB can know so
little about their supply chain that
they think cheaper stumpage will
somehow improve the supply of
lumber. Got a problem? Call Uncle
Sam to fix it. Sad day. Read
"Just last week I was reading
about a western Massachusetts solar
project that’s enormous, that’s
going to clear forest, and the town
can get 450 thousand dollars in
tax revenue by allowing it to
occur. That’s pretty tempting for
some rural towns."
Read more from interesting
discussion of pros and cons of solar
The Emmett F. Thompson Endowed
Deanship was established last week
at the School of Forestry and
Wildlife Sciences. Dr.
Thompson is a former member of the
Board of Directors of the Alabama
Forest Owners' Association (AFOA)
and past Chairman of AFOA's
Consulting Forester Scholarship
more about the scholarship program
A recent attack by NASPA:
Student Affairs Administrators in
Higher Education on private
investment advisor, Suze Orman,
whose message "is basic financial
common sense combined with some
discipline," should probably worry
all investors, including those who
Read more on PowerLine Blog,
Steven Hayward, 3/29/21.
"Introduction to Handguns" courses
scheduled this spring. "As
firearms sales continue to set
records, the Alabama Wildlife and
Division’s Law Enforcement Section
recognized a demand in basic
training for handgun safety and use.
Eight million new gun owners were
created in 2020 alone."
Forestry Extension Specialist
Becky Barlow talks about her
work at Auburn's School of Forestry
& Wildlife Sciences (starts at
2:34), Alabama Farmers
Federation's Preston Roberts
describes his efforts to
regulatory activities of cities
outside their city limits (SB107)
(starts at 17:27) on
The Land Show Episode 280.
Becky will speak to forest owners at
AFOA's Annual Meeting on April 17.
"Tax Tips for Timberland Owners:
Maximizing Your Deductions"
is the headline for today's
Should forest owners be allowed
to conduct prescribed burns on their
land? What about harvesting
timber? That discussion is going on
right now in Florida as landowners
tell why active forest management is
good for the state's economy and
Lynetta Usher Griner in The
Gainesville Sun, 3/17/21.
Jim Karels in Florida Politics,
(04/29/21) Governor Ron DeSantis
signed SB 88 this morning.
Mass Timber is a
semiannual publication of The
Architect's Newspaper. We think
you will enjoy the photos in the
Winter 2021 edition demonstrating the numerous
ways architects are putting wood to
The cost of a 3D-printed concrete
home reported to be competitive with
the cost of a stick-built home in
New York. What might
happen to our stumpage market if
interest in the new technology were
to catch on across the country?
Might high lumber costs push
builders in this direction?
The completion of Westervelt
Lumber’s Thomasville, Alabama, mill
was celebrated on Friday, March 5.
The first load of lumber left the
facility, purchased by Great
Southern Wood Preserving.
Second shift to start up in second
quarter of this year.
Back Porch Forestry's creator David
Mercker, University of
Tennessee, has been busy this
winter. He has released 5 new
training programs for forest
landowners. They are
Forest Measurement - Part 1,
Forest Measurement - Part 2,
Forest Measurement - Part 3,
Options for Treating Degraded
Hardwood Stands, and
Hardwood Log Defects.
See a menu of all Back Porch
Forestry episodes here.
Workaround to mitigate some of the
adverse tax effects on timber
investors arising from 2017 tax law
changes is described by
University of Georgia's Dr. Yanshu
Li. If your tax advisor
treats your forestland activities as
an investment, you may want to
forward Dr. Li's short explanation
Red Bugs! Chiggers! It's
about to be that time of the year
again. David Strickland wrote about
the pests in the March 2021 issue of
Great Days Outdoors magazine,
Chigger Bites: How to Prevent,
Identify, and Treat (turn to
page 20). Editor's note: Last
spring we learned (in May), to our
discomfort, that our permethrin
treated clothing did not prevent
chigger bites, so we added Deep
Woods Off to our armor (in June).
End of problem.
Should a city have the right to
condemn your property to create a
biking or hiking trail? Senate
Bill 105, sponsored by Senator Tom
Whatley, would prevent that from
Read the Alabama Forestry
Association's Legislative Alert.
"Caution Urged with All Burning,"
reported the Alabama Forestry
Commission on March 8.
WSFA12 (Central Alabama) and
WKRG5 (South Alabama) reported
on numerous wildfires in the the
state. If you do plan to burn in
or near your forestland, burn permit
information from the AFC is
Easements, Agreements, Contracts
Braun & Gresham's Landowner
contains an interesting discussion
on the legality of agreements made
only by email. Scroll down to
Easement Contract Considerations.
“At 3:30 a.m., with such
dignity as I can muster of a July
morning, I step from my cabin door,
bearing in either hand my emblems of
sovereignty, a coffee pot and
notebook. I seat myself on a
bench, facing the white wake of
the morning star. I set the pot
beside me. I extract a cup from my
shirt front, hoping none will notice
its informal mode of transport. I
get out my watch, pour coffee, and
lay notebook on knee.” - Aldo
A Sand County Almanac.
For bench building plans,
click here. Topic idea
source: Wisconsin Woodland Owners
When we purchased this land,
never in my wildest dreams did I
think we would spend such a high
percentage of our income on gravel
and (my husband’s) time on road
maintenance. We are in fact, the
Read more from Virginia Forest
Landowner e-Update (March 2021),
including five linked publications
on road building and maintenance.
Earlier this week, we've been told,
Case Western School of Law hosted a
seminar entitled: Wildlife as
Property Owners: A New Conception of
Animal Rights. The speaker was
Karen Bradshaw, an Arizona
State University Professor of Law.
Reading material here.
Weyerhaeuser will acquire 69,200
acres of "high-quality" timberlands
from Soterra in southwest
Alabama for $149 million ($2,153 per
Highlights from Weyco's press
o Fee simple ownership
o Excellent operability
o Well-stocked timber
inventory (76-percent in plantation
average age 14)
Municipal Planning & Police
Jurisdictions which reach
outside of city limits (SB107)
and a Broadband Authority
were discussed by
Preston Roberts, Alabama Farmers
Federation, in a brief video.
About 4 minutes.
"I'm mad as hell, and I'm not
going to take it anymore!" No,
that's not what the south Alabama
landowner said when filing a lawsuit
last week against the U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Service over their
designation of critical habitat for
the "endangered" black pinesnake,
but the thought may have been
hovering in the air nearby.
Read the 35 page lawsuit.
MARKETS: "Lumber Prices Are
Soaring. Why Are Tree Growers
Miserable? Sawmill operators
harvest gains while Southern
landowners struggle with tree
surplus; 'I'm not making anything.'"
The Wall Street Journal,
February 24, 2021.
Cached version if you have trouble
opening the WSJ.
"Abnormally high amounts of
rainfall we have seen over the
last few months in the South have
caused stumpage prices to surge
in some pockets and based on the
continued wet weather predictions,
these prices will not reverse
Read more at Forest2Market Blog
by Mike Powell, 2/25/21.
Two new webinars that you
might find interesting are
Getting Started Managing Your Land
The Digital Toolbox for the
Woodland Owner: There's an app for
We have not watched either of
these webinars, so would very much
appreciate a note to tell us if they
were useful to you, or not. Thanks.
Use extra caution when using an
electric chainsaw -- even when
wearing safety chaps.
Video - about 3 1/2 minutes.
Advances in herbicide technology for
pine management with Pat
Minogue, Associate Professor of
Silviculture at the University of
Florida, is the follow-up workshop
that Vegetation Management Primer
2/16/21) prepped you for last
week. Starts at about 2:10; about
1 hour and 20 minutes.
Northern Logger App is free
and contains information you might
find useful, such as "log volume
rules, timber volumes, woody biomass
tons per acre, lumber tallies,
culvert sizing, gravel requirements
and a retirement planning
An introductory webinar is on line,
but we had trouble viewing it. Let
us know if you find the App useful.
Nature Trail Development on Small
Acreages is a 36 page
booklet published online by the
University of Arkansas Cooperative
Extension Service. This is a good
time of the year to plan a trail,
since visibility in the woods is
The Overstory is
Mississippi State University
Extension's newsletter for forest
landowners. Topics from the
September 2020 issue included:
Mississippi Timber Price Report,
Successful Hardwood Plantings,
and Can a Change in Pine Planting
Strategies Provide for a Better Fit
for a Changing Market?
Past issues archived here. A
new issue will be published in
Controlling competition so your
planted trees are free to grow,
reducing fire hazards, maintaining
roads and trails, reclaiming land
taken over by kudzu or cogongrass --
these are few of the reasons we can
think of that might encourage you to
use herbicides (weed killers) on
your property. Florida Extension
Agent Chris Demers
Vegetation Management Primer: Why
Use Herbicides? Starts at
about 2:06; about 40+ minutes.
IRS FORM T: "The purpose of
IRS Form T is to provide information
on timber accounts for your records
and to be filed with your tax return
when required. If your timber is
held as an investment, not as part
of a business, you are not required
to file IRS Form T. This will be the
case if you only make an occasional
sale of timber (one or two sales
every 3 or 4 years). You are,
however, required to maintain
records which, at a minimum, provide
the information included on Form T.
It is recommended that you complete
the applicable Parts of Form T even
if you are not required to file it
with your return for the current tax
year. The completed form should be
maintained in your records." Source:
Wednesday Woodland Word,
Freeze Injury Alert -- If you
have seedlings on hand waiting to be
this message from the Southern
Nursery Management Cooperative is
In an attempt to undo
restrictions on expansive federal
90 members of Congress sent a letter
yesterday to the U.S. Department of
the Interior. One AFOA member
wrote: "If your Representative
signed, you may consider giving
him/her 'therapy,' as the late great
Chuck Cushman said." We did
not see anyone from Alabama on the
Take a walk across Alabama with the
winners of the Outdoor Alabama Photo
Chinese Tallow or Popcorn Tree.
If that tree has become a pest on
your land, you might want to weigh
in on the proposed release of two
insects (a beetle and a moth) that
could be used to control the tree's
The U.S. Department of Agriculture
would like your comments before
Forest products company stocks
up. Raymond James today raised
the target for
PotlatchDeltic Corporation to
$61 per share (it was $50.33 at
the time of the notice). They did
the same on 2/1/21 for
Weyerhaeuser: Target to $37
per share (it was $32.04 at the time
of the notice). Source: Raymond
James Client Reports.
"When searching rural land for sale,
which social media platform are you
most likely to use?"
Of course, we would be remiss if
we didn't tell you to check out
Legacy Planning: A Guide for
Virginia Landowners is a
new book published by Virginia Tech
Extension Service. The 56-page book
is available on line, but hard
copies may be available - perhaps
for a grandparent who is not
comfortable with online
publications. Check with Jennifer
Gagnon, Coordinator, Virginia
Forest Landowner Education Program -
Estate Planning Basics webinar for
landowners was presented by
Texas attorney Margaret Menicucci,
Braun & Gresham, on January 26th,
2021. "This webinar highlights the 3
common challenges landowners face:
protection against exploitation,
leaving a legacy, and keeping up
with changes in the law. It also
identifies basic estate planning
documents you should consider when
meeting with an advisor." About
How much does it cost to plant an
acre of loblolly pines? How much
does it cost to prescribe burn 40
acres? How much does it cost to ...
? We've all asked questions like
these and you may have recently
spent money on forestry practices
and know very intimately the costs
of getting work accomplished. Auburn
University's Professor Adam Maggard
would like your help to produce a
report: Costs and Trends of
Southern Forestry Practices.
Please consider sharing information
with Dr. Maggard by answering a few
Click here to see 2018 report.
Woodcock. Did you know the
strange looking little birds live in
Alabama and other parts of the South
in the winter. According to Seth
Maddox, the Alabama Wildlife and
Freshwater Fisheries Division’s
Migratory Gamebird Coordinator, the
ideal habitat for woodcock is
forests that have been manipulated.
"Logging operations really help,”
he said. “Every time you
clear-cut a patch of land, when
it starts coming back up, that first
five or 10 years provides the
ideal cover for woodcock. When
the trees get tall, the woodcock
don’t use it as much because there
is less underbrush.”
We received a rather upbeat
timber market report this week from
F&W Forestry Services. The
F&W Market Update of 1/27/21
contains one sentence that you
should pay attention to, if you have
marketable timber on land that can
be logged in wet weather: "As is
common this time of year, timber
sales that are wet weather-operable
and accessible can bring a
"Missouri Poacher Burns Down
Landowner's Cabin in Retaliation,"
by Patrick Durkin in MeatEater,
"NO! We don't want to give anyone an
almost unlimited right to raise our
taxes!" That's what we think
voters in southeast Shelby County
said yesterday to proponents of a
Southeast Shelby Rescue District
when they voted overwhelmingly to
prevent the creation of a new taxing
authority. Source: Shelby
County Reporter, 1/26/21.
Alabama legislators must
get this destructive method of
your calendar for 2022. If you
are interested and concerned about
the health and direction of Alabama
state government, you won't want to
miss the Alabama Forestry
Association’s Governance Policy
Seminar next year.
Here is the Seminar's 2021 Agenda.
The Age of Wood by
Roland Ennos: "Brilliantly
synthesizing recent research with
existing knowledge in fields as
wide-ranging as primatology,
anthropology, archaeology, history,
architecture, engineering, and
carpentry, Ennos reinterprets human
history and shows how our ability to
exploit wood’s unique properties has
profoundly shaped our bodies and
minds, societies, and lives."
For Wall Street Journal
subscribers: 'The Age of Wood'
Review: How to Carve a Civilization.
Concerns for the comfort of your
neighbors was one of the reasons
you might want to use a silencer on
your high-powered rifle. For an
interesting discussion about
suppressors or silencers, please
listen to a Great Days Outdoors
interview with expert Mike Pappas.
Starts at 17:16.
Just gobbledygook to most of us,
but to the mushroom people among us,
please enjoy the
Alabama Mushroom Society's
January 2021 Newsletter's Fungi
months bring out familiar friends that may be a bit
different depending on where you’re looking in the
State of Alabama. Be on the lookout for Pleurotus
(the oysters) which are much-less buggy while cold
out, Lepista (such as L. nuda, the wood-blewit),
many species of Cortinarius (the web-caps), an
abundance of wax-caps of the family Hygrophoraceae
(including Hygrocybe, Hygrophorus, and Cuphophyllus),
Hydnum (hedgehogs), Tolypocladium, Clavaridelphus,
Hericium species (including lion’s mane, H.
erinaceus), Amanitas, especially in the Lepidella
group, a cacophony of Stereum, Trichaptum, and more
Trametes than you could count (T.’s versicolor,
lactinea, hirsutum, betulina, aesculi, etc.)! Down
South you may also find large amounts of Lacarria,
Amanitas from the sections Amanita, Lepidella, and
Validae, or even some winter Craterellus! Happy
So... What do you think will
happen with timber markets this
year? Forest2Market experts have
18 Predictions for the Global
Forest, Pulp & Paper, and Chemical
Industries in 2021.
"We've got to have wood and
lumber," said Hal.
"Of course we have. But there won't
be any unless we go in for forestry.
It's been practised in Germany for
three hundred years."
Two Pennsylvania boys discuss their
future while camping on their
parents' land along the Susquehanna
River - about 1910.
Here's a link to the Zane Grey
novel, The Young Forester.
Control the weeds and brush that
slow down the growth of the little
pines you plant. Extension's
Ryan Mitchell and Richard Cristan
have teamed up to help you pick the
best herbicides for your special
needs in their online publication:
Forestry Herbicides for Site
Preparation of Pine Plantations.
You may find the PDF version handy
if you plan to print and carry with
Virtual Upland Hardwood Workshop.
"This [16 hour Southern Research
Station] workshop was designed to
provide foresters and other natural
resource practitioners with the most
information necessary to sustainably
manage upland hardwood ecosystems of
the Central Hardwoods Region of the
US for a wide variety of goods and
You can view the recorded
presentations and course materials
from each day!"
Handbook of Alabama's Prehistoric
Indians and Artifacts by
David M. Johnson. "Alabama's
diverse projectile points and other
artifact types get concise and
thorough treatment in this paramount
book, as each example is eloquently
brought to life with full scale
photos, geographic distribution
charts, and descriptions."
$42.95 at Barnes and Noble.
$50 per first 100 acres property tax
proposed for forest landowners in
south Shelby County! The
Southeast Shelby Emergency Medical
Services District proposes to
lean heavily on undeveloped
forestland for support. A vote open
only for residents of the proposed
district is to be held on January
26. Town hall meetings are scheduled
for Jan. 12 at 6 PM at Risen Life
Church and Jan. 14 at 6 PM at
Wilsonville Baptist Church.
Editor's Note: Alabama legislators must
get this destructive method of
Does the South produce a lot of
wood pellets? Jay Engle
discusses (and shows) how much
and where in his blog:
How Much Energy is Produced Using
Wood? A Forester's Perspective.
Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in
Two Additional Northeast Mississippi
Counties. Now within 25
miles of Alabama. See also:
CWD Roundup from NDA.
Clean Water: Good Forestry.
If you are planning to work on your
woods roads or to make a timber
sale, you will benefit from watching
Dr. Richard Cristan's webinar,
Best Practices for Forest Road and
Skid Trail Construction,
Maintenance, and Close-out BMPs.
About 52 minutes.
You are invited to join Clemson
University forestry students on a
Visit to Germany (and Switzerland)
in July 2022. "A good way to
understand the forest-management
activities and limitations from
other countries is to actually visit
the country as part of a forestry
tour or program." Source:
Understanding the Other Party!,
Journal of Forestry, 11/20.
We'll post details and contact
information for the visit as soon as
they become available.
How about some good news?
"Jasper Lumber announces $45 million
expansion, to create 60 jobs."
AL.com's headline forgot to mention
that the sawmill expansion will also
create markets for lots of sawtimber
stumpage grown by local forest
owners. But that's OK. We'll take
expansion any way we can get it.
Happy New Year!
Each month we receive, by email,
the Alabama Wildlife and
Conservation News from the
Alabama Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources.
We copied two stories from the
December issue for you to read.
One is on measuring browse pressure
on game food plots, the other is on
the value of snags (standing dead
trees) to wildlife. If you would
like to sign up to receive the
newsletter or other information from
"Some demographers say the baby
who will live to 200 years old is
already born," says economist
Olivia Mitchell, a professor at the
University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton
School of Business. Source:
The Wall Street Journal,
1/10/20. You could grow
some mighty big trees in 200 years.
Cached copy of WSJ article.
"Is there a land bubble out
there?" Georgia Consulting
Forester Bob Hatcher asks
that question in a Letter to the
Editor to AFOA's Capital Ideas
Read Bob's letter here.
How to Keep People Off Your
Property. Huntin' Land
podcast talks to Josh Phifer,
Barn Owl Tech, "about how to keep
people off your property, what you
can do legally to prevent people
from coming on your property,
catching trespassers who already
are, and the steps you need to take
when you do." Interview begins at
6:26. About 26 minutes.
Volunteers Needed! The folks who are trying to bring
back the American chestnut tree are
looking for volunteers to plant
blight resistant trees in a seed
orchard in Moore County, Tennessee,
next week, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Probably a fun day (or two) with
Invitation and details...
Volume 2 of
Freshwater Fishes of North America
is a "monumental, fully illustrated
reference (936 pages, hundreds of
photos and illustrations) that
provides comprehensive details on
the freshwater fishes of the United
States, Canada, and Mexico." ($150)
Volume 1 was published in 2014.
Raymond James downgraded their
Rayonier Inc. (RYN-NYSE)
($30.48) Tuesday to Market
(from Outperform). RJ's headline included:
"Covid Surge Limiting Mill
North American Softwood Lumber
Capacity Continues to Shift South.
"The South surpassed Western Canada
to become the largest region in
North America for softwood lumber
capacity a few years ago, and the
shift continues." Source:
Forisk Blog, December 15,
How Would a Biden Administration
Increase Income Tax?, a slide
Robert Tufts, Visiting
Professor, Alabama Cooperative
Extension System, Auburn University.
About 15 minutes.
Forest Technology Instructor Wanted!
Lurleen B. Wallace Community College
Forest Technology Instructor,
Mark Hainds (you may have met
Mark at past AFOA annual meetings)
is retiring, so the College is
looking for his successor.
Can I use my IRA to buy land?
Carla McEwen of IRA
Innovations discusses the
possibility in Great Days
Outdoors podcast. Starts at
Learn more about growing Christmas
trees on an excellent virtual farm
tour with an Extension Agent in
Becky Barlow, Auburn
professor and Alabama Extension’s
Forestry, Wildlife and Natural
Resources coordinator, has been
appointed the Harry E. Murphy
Professor of Forest Measurements
and Management in Auburn’s School
of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.
Murphy was a consulting forester, a
strong advocate of the free market
system, and an early supporter of
the Alabama Forest Owners'
World's Tallest Timber Tower Rising
in Milwaukee (25 stories
- what? about 300 feet?).
World's tallest tree is a coast
redwood named Hyperion -- 380 feet
Some truth about hurricanes from
a real estate investor.
Ross Rant, 12/5/20:
The press has
been playing up the line that climate change has
a major uptick in hurricanes. Here is reality. Until
the 1970’s there
was no way to know about all of the storms in the
ocean that never hit
land, or just lasted two days, unless a ship spotted
it. Now we have
satellite coverage of the whole ocean. In addition
the former head of
hurricane reporting and tracking, who has retired,
said there are two
day storms that today are labeled as tropical
storms, that in the
eighties, and prior, they were not even reported
because they were
classified as just bad storms, or were not even
noticed due to no
satellite coverage in those days. Since the 1880’s
when records began
to be kept, there has been no increase in frequency
of major storms,
just more naming of them and highlighted news about
them. In 1950
there were 8 storms labeled as major hurricanes, in
1961 it was 7 and
in 2020 it was 6. In summary, there has been no
of storms over the past 140 years, and no consistent
identify severity of storms, so to try to claim now
there are more
major storms due to climate change is nonsense, and
propaganda by the
climate change press and politicians. It is simply
that today every
big storm is suddenly a name storm and makes the
Climate change has spawned a whole industry, and
just look at the
Biden focus on it. Be careful what you read, and are
told about the
effects of climate change. Some is true, but some,
like hurricanes, is
Thinking about building a cabin?
A long list of Log Cabin Kits was
provided along with contact
information in an article by John
Phillips in the
December issue of Great Days
Outdoors. Turn to page 39.
Upcoming webinars, woodland owner
retreats, and "Noon on Fridays"
are topics included in the
December Virginia Tech Forest
Landowner e-Update from Jennifer
Gagnon. Several Alabama Forest
Owners' Association members have
participated in Gagnon's "On-line
Woodland Options for Landowners" in
Motley Fool discusses:
Why Timberland REITS Are Riskier
Than They Appear. See middle
column at top of page 2 of each
Capital Ideas for quotes and
links for several timberland REITS.
Alabama Mushroom Society
Newsletter, November 2020.
Manufacturers recently completed a
video project with marketing
students from High Point University
(North Carolina). The project is
Appalachian Hardwood Forest to
Finished Products and shows
a student learning the process it
takes to make beautiful hardwood
products. About 5 minutes.
If Sally or Zeta visited your
forestland, you may need to salvage
damaged timber and learn more about
claiming a casualty loss on your
2020 tax return. University of
Tennessee Extension Forester David
Mercker wrote a piece for our
December newsletter, entitled
After the Catastrophe: Steps in
Claiming a Timber Casualty Loss
(page 4). On page 5 of
the same newsletter, we printed
Consulting Forester Ed Travis's
Timber Sales and Timber Casualty
Losses program notes from
November 12. See also:
Dr. David Mercker's AFOA interview,
Back Porch Forestry, June 1, 2020,
When a Tornado Strikes.
SmartMap, the mapping and
drone class that Beau and Christian
Brodbeck have led at AFOA's annual
meetings for the past few years, is
now available online. And while
online courses are great, Beau and
Christian have agreed to conduct the
in-person class at
AFOA's 2021 Annual Meeting on April
Your comments wanted: The
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
recently proposed to change the
status of the red-cockaded
woodpecker from “endangered” to
“threatened.” The Service also
proposed a “4(d) rule” – new
regulations that will govern how
landowners can manage their forests
when this species is present. These
proposals are open to public comment
in the Federal Register until
December 7, 2020.
Chestnut Chats: The American
Chestnut Foundation has been
conducting Chestnut Chats on Fridays
since April 17. Topics have
The Art of Grafting,
Finding and Conserving Chestnuts in
Using Drones to Locate and Pollinate
Research on Large Scale
Reintroduction of American Chestnut,
Cooking With Chestnuts.
"This week, the Republican governor
released a budget recommendation
that proposed eliminating
Mississippi’s income tax within the
next decade in a bid to attract more
residents." We wonder how
Mississippi will balance its
budget when the income tax is put
Do you need a water well at your
cabin or do you have one
already? If yes, you may find this
University of Georgia webinar just
what you need.
Well... Let's Talk Water Safety &
Protection. Two video
recordings and speakers' PowerPoint
slides are down near the bottom of
the web page.
A look at the future of forestry
education: Forestry 350 at the
University of British Columbia.
Patrick Culbert, Assistant
Professor in the Department of
Forest and Conservation Sciences,
a taste of the future of forestry
education in dozens of unique 360°
view videos (use your
tablet or smartphone to appreciate
the videography - hint -- look up,
look down, look behind you).
Start with this example:
Plant Identification Walk in Pacific
Spirit Regional Park, Part 1 (360°
"In 2020 tax rates on capital
gains [income for timber held
longer than one year] and
dividends remain the same as 2019
rates (0%, 15%, and a top rate of
Read more -- click, then scroll down
to Investment Gains and Losses.
Source: DeLoach, Barber & Caspers,
P.C. Newsletter, 11/16/20.
"Explosion of interest."
"People tell us they want a place to
Read more: Seller's Market by
Victoria G. Myers, The
Progressive Farmer, November
Should game wardens or others be
free to trespass on your forestland?
1) Read this story from
2) listen to our interview
with Institute for Justice attorney
Josh Windham, and
3) read Windham's request for
help from Alabama forest owners.
Mill construction and expansion
make a difference.
Read F&W Market Update, 11/6/20,
listen to Markets Expert Amanda
Lang, Capital Ideas - Live!,
Natural Inquirer program
provides a variety of science
education materials for PreK through
grade 12. We don't know much about
the site (Developing
a Testable Question looked like
it might be interesting), so if
you have any suggestions for parents
or grandparents, please let AFOA
Critical Habitat for the Canoe
Creek Clubshell, a freshwater
mussel which lives in St. Clair
County and Etowah County (see
map in Frequently Asked Questions),
has been proposed by the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service. The Service seeks
public comments on their proposal
with a deadline of January 4, 2021.
Reports from Secretary of State
on Local Amendments Related to
Property Taxes (counties
which voted against property tax
amendments highlighted in red):
o Macon County:
o St. Clair
to forest floor enhances young
immune systems, study finds,"
reports Siobhán Dunphy in the
European Scientist, 10/27/20.
"Scientists have long suspected that
increased hygiene, urban lifestyles,
and insufficient contact with nature
have played a role in the rise of
chronic disorders such as asthma,
diabetes, and allergies – which are
all related to an overreactive
Milton Friedman? We think
enjoy his brief comments on free
markets and manufacturing a simple
wooden pencil (about 3
How much carbon is stored on an
average acre of Alabama forestland?
Experts will be asking that question
as different groups begin pilot
projects next year testing out their
carbon buying schemes with real
Alabama forest owners (Finite
AFF's Family Forest
Natural Capital Exchange).
Hint: 24.2 tons in aboveground
Kith Kitchens opening cabinet
factory in Florence, creating 131
Who is Kith Kitchens?
Don't wait too long to thin your
planted pines. "The
importance of thinning at the right
time overrides the desire to wait
for higher prices" said
Consulting Forester Stephen Butler
at an Alabama Forest Owners'
Association Forestry Field Day in
Choctaw County on October 8. Source:
Talking Trees by Dee Ann
The Choctaw Sun-Advocate,
Stephen Pyne discusses
Pyrocene: How Humanity Created a
Fire Age." The occasion
is the Lynn W. Day Distinguished
Lectureship in Forest and
Conservation History presented by
Forest History Society.
Wood or Plastic? David Song,
a SoCal Edison spokesman (Southern
California Edison is the primary
electricity supply company for much
of Southern California), "said
that when SoCal Edison has the
opportunity to replace a [wooden]
a plastic one, they’ll do it
every time." Editor's note:
TimberMart-South reports that a ton
of pine sawtimber in Alabama brought
$22.70 on the stump (3Q20); a ton of
power poles brought $47.54.
The Wood Yard "is a friendly
hardwood and specialty lumber store
that caters to the furniture and
cabinet builder, the home hobbyist
and craftsman." Most of us aren't
interested in starting a business
like The Wood Yard, but many
landowners have hard-to-find or even
rare species of trees on their land
that might be in demand by
The Wood Yard has a newsletter that
you might find interesting.
"The rare Chilean soapbark tree
produces compounds that can boost
the body's reaction to vaccines."
Read about the COVID-19 connection
in this fascinating story in The
Atlantic, October 21, 2020.
"National Forest Products Week
reminds Americans that well-managed
forests supply the wood and fiber
essential to the production of
everyday goods," said
Scott Jones, CEO of Forest
Landowners. "Demand for these
products, and the timber that is
used to create them, make it
possible for private forest owners
to be economically viable, which in
turn provides them with the
resources to maintain healthy and
Read the President's Proclamation on
National Forest Products Week, 2020.
Seedlings Early," says
Southern Forest Nursery Management
Cooperative. "Seedlings should be
planted early enough to allow for
root growth to start before bud
break while seedlings are still
Questions: Should we hold
cash? buy land? buy gold? buy
bitcoin? buy stocks? buy bonds?
How Long Can the Fed Keep This Time
Bomb from Exploding?, Mises
Global Impact of a "Blue Wave"
Election Outcome, Charles
"Dutch to phase out subsidies for
wood fired power stations."
"Imports [of wood pellets] are
expected to reach 2.5 million metric
tons this year, with the U.S.
supplying up to 500,000 metric tons
of that volume."
Wood Duck Mates Determine Migration
Routes, or in terms most of
us would understand, "Boy meets
girl; girl flies home; boy follows."
"The prettiest mushrooms are
often the tiniest... so get low."
Read more in 10 Tips for
Photographing Little Mushrooms in
the Forest by Albert Dros,
The Alabama Policy Institute shares
their perspective (in plain
English) on the statewide
amendments to the Alabama
Constitution that will be on
everyone's ballot on November 3rd.
Also, click here
for local sample ballots and a list
of the counties where voters will
make property tax decisions -- up or
Here is a perspective on the
amendments from AL.com
another from Alabama Farmers
Here is an anonymous perspective on
the first four amendments (posted
Mouse Utopia Experiment
might shed some light on how
families can help children develop
an interest in and take on the
responsibilities of family land
Migrant Workers and Tree Planting:
Based on information gathered from
employers of H-2B forestry workers,
a video was created by Forest
Resources Association and Rayonier
"to inform and educate elected
officials and decision-makers about
the critical role of the H-2B visa
program in renewing our nation's
forest lands..." About 6 minutes.
"The US Southeast region is the
largest supplier of wood in the
world," reports the Southeastern
Lumber Manufacturers Association in
a 10/12/20 Forest2Market blog post.
Read more: Is Southern Yellow
Pine Good for the economy?
In deciding to not designate
critical habitat for the
"threatened" eastern black rail,
did the US Fish & Wildlife Service
defer to the concerns of private
landowners? If yes, we
commend them for their decision.
See highlighted words in the
FWS press release, dated 10/7/20.
"An escape from chaos." That
is what a Georgia consulting
forester and real estate agent
attributes the growth in his
forestland sales in 2020 as
compared to 2019.
Read more in the Matre
Forestry Newsletter, 10/8/20.
"Many ecologists believe dead
wood is one of the greatest
resources for animal species in the
forest." Read more from
Wisconsin Woodland Owners
When Dead Wood is Good Wood.
"The right to private property
can only be considered a secondary
natural right," concluded Pope
Francis in his Sunday criticism
of free-market capitalism.
Read the Foundation for Economic
"As of September, U. S. sales of
paper tissue, including paper
towels, were still 10% to 15% higher
than before the pandemic..."
Read more in The Atlanta
"Ironically, having a cemetery on
our property breathes new life into
it." Forester Jennifer Gagnon
opens the latest issue of
Virginia Forest Landowner
e-Update, Fall 2020,
with a story about her personal
forestland and the people with whom
she shares it. Enjoy.
Raymond James upgraded their
PotlatchDeltic Corporation (PCH-NASDAQ)
($42.10) today to Strong Buy
(from Outperform) with a revised $51
target. RJ's headline included:
"Cash Lumber Prices Still Near
Georgia Public Broadcasting
Education and the Georgia Forestry
Foundation (GFF) have joined forces
MAKE THAT PAPER: CAREERS IN FORESTRY,
a scenario-based educational game
that teaches high school students
about working forests and real-world
forestry jobs by simulating
workplace scenarios and testing
forestry industry knowledge.
Property tax votes or other fees
will be on the ballots for the
following Alabama counties:
(Volunteer Fire District 15).
Property tax votes typically
impose a tax for more than 25 years.
All voters will be faced with 6
statewide amendments, and many
county ballots contain local
Click here to find your county's
sample ballot on the Secretary of
You've heard of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average,
S&P 500, and the
Nasdaq Composite, but do you
know anything about the NCREIF
Timberland Index? Learn more
from economist Jack Lutz in
The Tao of Timberland -- another
Update, Forest Research
Notes, Vol. 17, No. 3.
"Radical transformation of American
medicine" discussed by
healthcare policy expert
John Goodman (Goodman
starts discussion with good question
at about 10 minutes into the video).
We think some of the discussion on
telemedicine and new "user friendly"
technology will be of interest to
many forest owners.
Improving stumpage prices ahead?
Read F&W Market Update,
"Hurricane Laura caused
$525.4 million in damage to
Louisiana farmers and
$1.1 billion to the Louisiana timber
industry, according to
preliminary estimates by the LSU
Report from Summerdale, Alabama
Christmas tree growers to Mike
Buchart, Executive Secretary,
Southern Christmas Tree Association
(SCTA): "Hi, Michael. Want a
hurricane from Hell? If you can,
please forward this note to as many
SCTA members as you can. Sandra and
I are fine but exhausted. Still no
power, water, etc., but it is coming
soon, we hope. Our house is fine.
The farm suffered serious damage
with all 20,000 trees blown over or
down. We are gradually rescuing
them and are learning a lot to share
with everyone. Will have plenty of
pictures and stories. This sure is a
challenge, but might make us
tougher. Sure makes us appreciate
the modern comforts. Blessings to
everyone and stay safe. Steve &
"Oregon is the only state to have
a private wildfire insurance policy
and has been with Lloyd's of London
since 1973. The $3.75 million
premium is split between the state
and private timberland owners.
Landowners pay their share through a
property tax formula."
"Since 1978, I have kept
continual 8”x 11”, hardbound,
blank-paged nature journals. Now
numbering 54, when I finish one, I
go buy another one. Why have I kept
these going for so many years?
Since the beginning, they have
become my basic way of learning
about the nature around me,
recording it, making sense of it in
relation to my own life. In
fact, over the many years these
piles of journals at my feet have
become my best friends, as I often
refer back to them, trying to see
how my life and the life of nature
has changed or not." Claire
Walker Leslie, author of
A Year in Nature: A Memoir of Solace.
'Paper Makers' film tells
the story of the modern day paper
industry through the eyes of the
workers who cultivate sustainable
forests, apply technologies that
nurture and protect them for years
to come, and help create
nature-based sustainable products —
all in one of America’s oldest
natural industries." Source: AFA
Alabama forest owner Jeff
Sessions, former U. S. Senator
and former U. S. Attorney General,
is returning home from Washington to
control privet and kudzu and promote
American values. Sessions spoke to a
large audience at the Alabama
Forestry Association's Annual
Meeting in Orange Beach on September
Farming/Agriculture is looked
upon more favorably this year than
last year, according to a Gallup
Poll as reported by
PowerLine Blog on 9/11/20 (scroll
down). We're not sure if
Forests and Forest Landowners fit
into the Farming/Agriculture
category, but it would be nice, in
this case, if we did.
"$5 million power pole factory
coming to Tallapoosa County."
Source: AL.com, 9/14/20.
TimberMart-South reported Alabama
statewide average pine sawtimber
stumpage at $23.28 per ton and pine
power poles at $44.46 per ton in
their second quarter report for
Whether hurricane frequency has
increased on not, favoring windfirm
tree species should be of interest
to forest owners, especially in
Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer: Even
with Laura, Louisiana Hurricanes
Have Not Increased Since 1851
Hurricane Laura Causes Extensive
Damage to Timber Industry
Hurricane Katrina Winds Damaged
Longleaf Pine Less than Loblolly
Longleaf pine stood firm to
Hurricane Katrina’s winds
The defense of property rights by
our friends and neighbors and law
enforcement officials is critical to
those of us who plant little trees.
So it may be unsettling to learn
that National Public Radio (NPR)
discussed looting with author Vicky
In Defense of Looting, and
didn't seem to raise an eyebrow when
she made outlandish statements, such
as: "[Looting is] taking those
things that would otherwise be
commodified and controlled and
sharing them for free," she
continues. "[Looting] demonstrate[s]
that without police and without
state oppression, we can have things
for free." Please read the
Foundation for Economic Education's
Debunking NPR's Bizarre 'In Defense
of Looting' Interview by
Brad Polumbo, 8/31/20.
See Copyright page from Osterweil's
It's bird migration time again.
The Cornell Lab's Bird Migration
Forecast Maps including a local
migration alert tool to find out how
many birds will be passing over your
Which beetle is killing my trees?
Learn more from a video put together
by the South Carolina Forestry
Southern Beetles: Identification,
Management and Risk Assessment.
About 9 minutes.
North American flying squirrels
glow bright pink in response to
ultraviolet light. For an
educated guess as to why, read
Amphibians Aglow by Brett Amy
Thelen at Northern Woodlands,
UV flashlight, $12.99
on May 21 when we told you about the
HuntStand Pro App and it's property
mapping and other features?
Today we learned about
5 new very short tutorials
that you can watch and listen to to
get more out of the App. Topics:
Getting Started, Adding &
Deleting Map Objects (property
lines, etc.), Syncing Hunt Areas,
Offline Mapping, and Weather
Have you considered moving closer
to your children when you retire?
You may want to study the
Tax Foundation's Estate/Inheritance
Tax Map before making the move.
More than a dozen other states
impose taxes on estates or
inheritances of up to 18 percent.
"Accumulation of capital under
strong property rights gave us what
we have today, and without it,
we would still be living in the past
realities of famine, sickness, and
living at all times only a few
degrees from death." Source:
The Forgotten Horrors of Famine Show
Why Americans Should Not Take
Prosperity for Granted by J.
W. Rich, Foundation for Economic
$10 million made available today
by Governor Ivey for forest
landowners who sold timber
during the months of March through
According to an article in AL.com,
the payment rate will be $1 per ton
of timber sold.
Read the Governor's press release
here (the press release
contains contact information to help
you make your application).
More details from Forest Landowners
"Zippered wood (check
out the photos in Architect
twists standard 2x4 to craft new
Electric Trail Boarding --
Maybe you've heard of Electric
Mountain Boards, but we hadn't -
until today. They are being featured
GoFar USA Park, up near
Decatur, Alabama. The park also
features Electric Trail Carts, a
Paintball Shooting Range, Farm
Animals, Pony Rides, Mountain Bike
Trails, and Electric Scooters. Emily
Fagerman, co-owner of GoFar USA
Park, talks about the park on The
Land Show, Episode 253 (23:28
Alabama forest owners who have a
good understanding of the need for
fire in the forest will
appreciate this article on
Stop Blaming Climate Change For
California’s Fires. Many Forests,
Including The Redwoods, Need Them.
Let's say you own forestland here
in Alabama, but for some reason you
live in another state and will
retire soon. If you have given any
thought to coming back home, the Tax
Foundation's purchasing power map
comparing Alabama to other states
might help you make a decision.
What is the Real Value of $100 in
Have you ever been so eager
to achieve something that you bit
off more than you could chew? If
you have, we think you will enjoy
Declan McCabe's story of
The Kingfisher and the Mussel,
from Northern Woodlands,
Researchers reported "the likelihood
of hitting a deer decreased from 35%
(truck with headlights only) to 10%
(truck with headlights and
rear-facing light bar)."
Source: Reverse-facing Lightbar
Helps Reduce Deer Vehicle Accidents,
Kip Adams, QDMA, 8/18/20.
Read this Alabama Conservation
Department 8/14/20 Press Release
and then with a straight face tell
us why a person who was not raised
in a family of hunters would ever
consider becoming a hunter. There
are so many other outdoor activities
that are not wrapped in red tape —
red tape that, if not followed, can
result in fines or more serious
Hindsight is 20/20. Today we
share a few "after the wildfire"
stanzas from Foresters, a
poem by Walter Stephens.
Stephens is a member of the Georgia
Forestry Association. Source:
Georgia Forestry, Summer 2020.
when walking on your land
Which once grew tall and graceful trees
The only things your eyes see now
Are snags which smolder in the breeze.
If only you had burned that ground
When moisture heat and wind were right,
You'd not now see this sterile scene
Of smoking spires against the light.
A burn controlled is man's attempt
To mimic nature's plan,
Except to choose the day that's right
To gently heat the land.
"...we at the [Cullman County]
sheriff's office are proponents of
not only having a weapon for
self-defense but also being
proficient in how to use it,"
said Sheriff Matt Gentry in
an 8/17/20 AL.com article headlined
"1 of 4 burglars shot by Cullman
County homeowner, sheriff says."
Editor's Note: Forest owners are
fortunate that nearly all of us have
a safe place to learn to use a
shotgun, rifle, or handgun. The next
time you head to the woods, plan to
teach someone how to safely load,
fire, and reload. Not a bad thing to
be "proficient" at.
"Move Over Gold. Wood is the Shelter
of Choice in the Pandemic."
Source: Bloomberg, July 24,
CRYSTAL BALL GAZING: "The
average pine growth-to-drain
for the South in 2019 is 1.26,
indicating a general oversupply of
timber. Fast-forward six years to
2025 and the timber supply
profile balances with a
growth-to-drain of 0.95. During
this time, 17 sawmills and pellet
mills expand or come online in the
region." Source: Amanda Lang, Forisk
Consulting, at a meeting of the
Cahaba Chapter of the Society of
American Foresters, 8/11/20.
Lumber "prices have been sent
soaring by saw mills that
failed to anticipate the coronavirus
pandemic setting off a building
boom. ... Restaurants and bars in
cities across the country have
scrambled to build outdoor seating
areas in efforts to stay in
business. And some Americans, stuck
at home for months, have taken on
remodeling projects and have been
building decks." Source: The Wall
Street Journal, 8/6/20. Of
course, as forest owners know, those
high lumber prices have not
translated into high stumpage
prices, because of the huge stumpage
"Today the Department of State
National Interest Exemption for
H-2B applicants to facilitate
the United States' immediate and
continued economic recovery. Those
working in forestry are considered
essential workers and have been
given an exemption from the June
22nd proclamation banning additional
visas to H-2B workers. This
decision means tree planters will
have a path forward to get the labor
needed to plant seedlings this fall
for landowners." Source:
ArborGen, 8/12/20 at 3:43 PM.
"Become a Poll Worker!"
beseeches Alabama Secretary of State
John Merrill. "Serving as a poll
worker is an amazing opportunity to
learn more about the election
process while contributing to your
The "paper market, like everything
else, has been rocked by the
Corporation, when announcing the
closure of its Wisconsin Rapids
coated printing paper mill, said
"demand for printing paper fell 38
percent year-over-year in April."
Closer to home, Domtar
Corporation reported that it
would close its Kingsport,
Tennessee uncoated freesheet
will spend $300 to $350 million to
repurpose the mill to produce
linerboard. "Linerboard is
the facing material used in the
production of corrugated and solid
fiber shipping containers."
"Most grade hardwood is moving
again. ..hardwood sawmills ..."
are "... paying good prices for most
forms of hardwood sawtimber."
Read Forest Management Specialists'
Timber Market Update - Mid-South
If you like puzzles, please consider
letting the US Fish & Wildlife
Service know what you think of their
proposed definition of habitat.
We think they are concerned that it
may not be proper to declare a
location as critical habitat for a
critter when none live there and the
location is inhospitable for the
critter. Although this is an
important issue, AFOA does not have
any answers here. We'd appreciate
receiving your thoughts on the issue
- if you decide to make an official
comment. Comments are due by
September 4. Read previous news
Chestnut Chat: Research
Forester Stacy Clark
will share results of an American
Chestnut Tree re-introduction
project that is taking place in
forests of the southern
Appalachians. The session will be
conducted on ZOOM beginning at 10:30
AM Central Time on Friday, August 7
What part of
"vacant forestland cannot be billed
for fire dues" do these folks
not understand? Today (it's not
too late to vote as we write this)
Theodore/Dawes in Mobile County
is trying to create its own fire
district. One of our members
told us they plan to collect $125
per tax parcel, but
check this article from WKRG5 dated
8/4/20 for details.
Georgia consulting forester Mike
Matre gives a 3-minute
perspective on growing and marketing
pole timber (very
straight pine trees valued per ton
at nearly twice that of pine
sawtimber in the latest
TimberMart-South price report).
Could the "work from home"
phenomenon reduce property
values (and property taxes) of large
commercial buildings? Could the loss
of property tax revenue from those
buildings put pressure on lawmakers
to raise property taxes on other
properties such as homes and rural
Scroll down in The Future of
Everything to the last bulleted
item in Future Feedback.
$65,000 per drop plus $22,000 per
hour! That's what those huge
tanker planes (VLATs) which drop
fire retardant on West Coast forest
fires cost. Just think how many
rangers, who could be working year
round creating fire breaks and doing
prescribed burns to prevent big
wildfires, are displaced by those
F&W Forestry Services' 7/28/20
Market Update includes a
surprising statement from
their southwest Alabama reporter:
"Sawmills have actually been
calling and asking us to put out a
sale or are asking for an
opportunity to negotiate."
Spraying woodland herbicides with a
drone may be just around the corner
if a little company in Iowa
continues to make progress on its ag
Rantizo "became the first
company [in the US] to begin
commercial drone spraying," and was
licensed in 10 states last fall,
Common herbicides used to prepare
planting sites for hardwoods and
The United States of America
ranked among the top ten countries
for average annual net gains in
forest area in a report by the
United Nations Food and Agriculture
Read the full report, Global
Forest Resources Assessment 2020,
Michael Heatherly and
Jack Fillingham led an AFOA
Forestry Field Day on Wednesday
and we thought you would like to see
their handout materials. On the
third page they have pictured some
Click here to learn more about using
an increment borer to determine a
tree's age or rate-of-growth.
Video - about 4 minutes. Hint:
Never leave your increment borer in
a tree longer than needed to extract
a core. They will sometimes get
stuck and can be very difficult to
Lessons from my grandma - or - A
quick-start guide to woodland
management for women landowners (and
smart men, too!) is the
title of an Auburn ForestHer Lunch
and Learn hosted on Zoom and
recorded last Tuesday. About an
Trespass to steal ginseng roots
may not be a big deal for most
forest owners in Alabama, but it
might be for some, and definitely is
for forest owners in West Virginia.
Poaching ginseng is not a victimless
crime, The Montgomery
"The state owned enough land in the
county," (press F9 key to
read) stated a county
commissioner. "No more land
should be taken off the tax rolls,"
said another. AFOA was glad to
read what the commissioners said
about converting more private land
to public ownership, even if the
message had to come from Wadena
You may have missed Consulting
Forester Larry Gibson's
Forestry Field Day last week, but
we wanted you to see the field notes
Larry used with his presentation.
In his Stand A example, ninety-six
tons per acre of wood were harvested in the
first two thinnings by age 22, and
the final harvest is less than 10
years away. See also Larry's
herbicide recommendations for
killing kudzu, wisteria, and
Plan now to not miss Consulting
Forester Jack Fillingham's Forestry
Field Day, this Wednesday, July 22
in Tallapoosa County.
Pond Management Basics is a
one hour and twelve minute class
taught by Extension Agent Bence
Carter and recorded on July 9, 2020.
Our second Dinner & Discussion (via
Zoom) has been posted to the web.
Just like our face-to-face meetings
at local Birmingham area
restaurants, we listened to the
latest issue of
Capital Ideas - Live! (David
Forest Resources Association
answered questions about the ban on
migrant tree planters), we sampled a
few topics from our News webpage, we
shared where our forestland is
located, and then had a brief open
Our next face-to-face Dinner &
Discussion is scheduled for August
13 at 6 PM at The Fish Market
Restaurant on US 280 in Hoover.
Forest2Market CEO Pete
Stewart Talks Lumber, Forest
Health on NPR’s Marketplace,
reports headline on F2M July 14
NPR conducted "fair and fact-based
discussion about lumber industry,"
Listen to 2 minute interview here.
Heaven help us when
"conservatives" begin pandering to
the environmental community.
That was the first thought we had
when we read that Ivanka Trump
would be highlighting administration
environmental policies at the
American Forestry Conference
(Georgia Forestry Association's name
for their virtual annual meeting) on
Read the Newsweek article
here (7/3/20) and tell us why we
shouldn't be worried (cached
Consulting Forester Marshall
Thomas's comments about the
Trillion Trees Act, below.
Eminent Domain. Taking Private
Property for Public Use.
When should the power of eminent
domain be allowed? not allowed?
A Pennsylvania landowner questions
the right to use the power when it's
used only for the benefit of the
pipeline company. Who
Sequestering greenhouse gas our
only hope? Read the discouraging
latest issue of
F&W Forestry Report, Summer
"Obviously." "Naturally." To
regenerate an upland hardwood stand:
"Obviously, enough desirable trees
have to be present in the current
stand [before logging] for the
process to succeed, but when it is
properly conducted, a young stand
dominated by desirable species such
as oaks will naturally regenerate
with good results." If "obviously"
and "naturally" don't immediately
pop into your head when considering
regenerating an upland hardwood
stand, you might benefit from
Upland Hardwoods: Natural
Mississippi State University
Japanese wood chip, wood pellet
demand expected to grow,
June 10, 2020
Netherlands to double wood pellet
imports in 2020, June 29,
A video discussion of tree planting
tools produced by and
Dr. Brady Self, Mississippi
State Extension Service, will be
useful to forest owners who are
planning to plant trees themselves
or hire a tree planting crew next
winter. 17 minutes. Send
questions to Brady at
Maintaining good water quality
following a timber sale requires a
coordinated effort between the
landowner, the logger, and the
landowner's consulting forester.
John Auel, Mississippi State
Extension Service, offers good (and
bad) examples and good advice on how
to implement Forestry Best
Management Practices (BMPs) to
prevent erosion and improve water
quality on your land. 24 minutes.
Have fun celebrating the Fourth,
but if you're planning on working
with your tractor this weekend, read
The Day Food Plots Almost
Killed Me before heading
to the woods! Editor's note: The
following observation was in the
last paragraph of Phil's story:
"Phil’s hunting land is covered by
QDMA’s Hunting Land Liability
Insurance. His medical bills from
his accident totaled over $200,000,
including a $46,800 helicopter ride.
His QDMA insurance policy helped
defray the out-of-pocket medical
costs not covered by his health
AFOA's Hunting Lease Liability
Insurance is similar to QDMA's
and is purchased from the same
insurance agency, Outdoor
CANCELLED The Southern Christmas Tree
Association will hold their 2020
Annual Conference in Alabama on
August 7 - 9. They'll be
headquartered at The Lodge at Gulf
Read their latest newsletter here.
"Add it all up, and as the country
mouse of old learned, the giddiness
and opulence of the city are
increasingly not worth the danger,
noise, and mess of the city, at
least after February 2020," says
Victor Davis Hanson, American
classicist, military historian,
columnist, and farmer. He closes an
interesting essay entitled,
The Triumph of the Country Mouse
with, "Wherever we live, in our
dreams at least, we are all country
"There's always some excitement
in the air going with fire."
The LSU AgCenter posted a video
about the prescribed burn workshop
they held on June 2-4, 2020.
Their next prescribed burn workshop
will be held October 7-9 in Hammond,
Louisiana. Contact Extension
Forester Whitney Wallace, for
Carbon Credit Market Bill in
A needed government assist for
forest landowners, or
a vote buying scheme?
Tree planting crews will be hard
hit by President Trump's ban on H-2B
visa forestry workers.
Read the Forest Resources
Association's statement on the issue.
OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR ONLINE
COURSE: Forest Principles,
Practices, and Stewardship for
Landowners is the title of a
6-week course organized by Dr.
Adam Maggard, Alabama
Read the course description with
registration information here (updated
Maine Project Learning Tree
facilitator, Anita Smith,
shows how to be a Tree Detective
using the rings and markings on
stumps and logs to figure out
what the lives of trees might have
been like. She demonstrates a simple
art project we can do to show the
patterns of growth in our own lives,
and we leave with a challenge to go
outside and explore the stumps and
logs in our own backyard!
YouTube video about 11 minutes.
Some of you may remember when the
Kimberly-Clark paper mill in
Childersburg, Alabama (Talladega
County) produced newsprint for
the Birmingham News and
Post Herald. The mill is now
Canada's Resolute Forest Products
and produces market pulp, not
newsprint. (Resolute recently
shut down 40 percent of its
newsprint capacity (2 mills in
Quebec).) The Childersburg pulp
mill spends $51.2 million acquiring
and hauling wood to the mill and
spends a total of $169.4 million
operating the mill annually.
May we ask how much land
governments in the U.S. need to own?
May we ask if anyone in Congress has
any concept of the huge amount of
land already owned by
federal, state and local
governments? May we ask if anyone in
Congress recognizes that the
productivity of our country is
reduced when government acquires
productive private land? The U.S.
Senate is poised this week to spend,
"forever," nearly one billion
dollars a year on the Land and Water
Please read The "Great American
Outdoors Act" is a federal land grab
"Markets are hard to put a finger
on at the moment," reports the
F & W Market Update of
Back Porch Forestry creator
Dr. David Mercker has
produced a fifth program, this one
Treatment for Timber Casualty Loss."
Bookmark this one, because when your
trees are damaged in the next
tornado, ice storm, hurricane, or
wildfire, you'll want to watch it
here for earlier Back Porch Forestry
"This year, Alabama is predicted
to have a low number of Southern
Pine Beetle (SPB) infestations.
More specifically, high risk
counties are expected to have no
more than 6 to 9 SPB spots. The
overall prediction for the state,
Alabama has a 16% chance of having
any SPB spots this active season."
2020 Southern Pine Beetle Spring
Pheromone Survey Results
Southern Pine Beetle Outbreak
Prediction Maps: Alabama 2020,
Alabama Forestry Commission,
"Produced mostly in the U.S.,"
supplies of lumber for Japanese
furniture makers and whiskey
distillers are tight,
reports the Nikkei Asian Review,
Forty-two percent of respondents to
a LandThink Pulse question
"believe that demand for land will
DECREASE for the remainder of 2020."
We invite you to take a walk with
Tree Farmer Angela Wells on her
Montana land. She shares
several good ideas on keeping track
of things to do on your land. We
hope you will enjoy the short walk
Fascinating! We found the
speaker's notes and map from last
week's Forestry Field Day
(see 06/04/20, below) very
interesting and think you will, too.
The discussion and tour included
viewing various ages of mixed
plantings of oaks and pines.
Is there a light at the end of the
tunnel, and does the forest supply
chain have a reason to be hopeful?
Forest2Market President & CEO
Pete Stewart speculates about
the future in an interview with
The Forestry Source, June 2020.
"Forest School enjoys its moment in
the woods." "Founded in the
tradition of forest schools that
dates to 1950s-era Scandinavia,
the school teaches things such
as the six ways to get a fire
started, the difference between
frogs and toads, and how to weigh
the risks involved in swinging on a
Consulting Forester Bruce Lanier
met about 2 dozen forest landowners
in the Pickens County woods today
to discuss Ways to Weather
Current Pine Pulpwood Market
Conditions, Managing Mixed Pine &
Hardwood Stands, and Rethinking
Planting Density. Bruce covered
the topics well, but questions from
the audience kept him on the job an
hour beyond the planned adjournment
time. His contact information is at
Log Truck Drivers are in demand.
"Log truck drivers operate heavy
trucks to transport logs and other
wood products over the road. They
can work directly for forest
products companies, or they may be
self-employed." Pass this message
along to children or grandchildren
who might be interested.
Alligator hunters began registering
today to win one of 260 tags
available in Alabama this year.
The world record was taken by Mandy
Stokes of Camden in 2014: 15 feet 9
inches and 1,011.5 pounds.
Why do a timber inventory?
... and a brief discussion about the
basics of deciding which trees to
measure. This 11 minute video
discussion from NC State may help
you better understand what your
forester measures when cruising your
Why I Decided to Hunt My Own Food,
by Kim Martin, gives us an
idea about what goes through the
minds of young people today. An
The film that shined too bright a
light on green energy schemes,
Planet of the Humans, has
been removed from the web by
The Guardian, 5/25/20.
Watch on Vimeo, 6/4/20.
Low property taxes are the reason
many of us have invested in and/or
continue to stay invested in
forestland in Alabama.
Alabama's reliance on property taxes
to pay for government services is
the lowest in the country, reports
the Tax Foundation today. Even
then, some studies have shown that
the taxes paid for the services
received on rural undeveloped land
"The Dove Daddy," Rick Bourne, gives
tips on what you can do right now
to produce a quality dove field
for the fall on
Episode 240 of The Land Show.
Bourne's interview begins at 51:09.
Managing for Top Quality White Oak,
Fundamentals of Tree Identification,
Why Do Trees Die?, and
Clues in Determining a Quality
Hardwood Stand are the first
four of the "Back Porch Forestry"
series created by Dr. David
Mercker, University of Tennessee
Extension Forester. Dr. Mercker
Managing for Quality White Oaks
at AFOA's 2018 Annual Meeting at Joe
Wheeler State Park.
HuntStand Pro, an excellent
hunting and land management app
for your iPhone or Android phone, is
available at a 20% discount to
AFOA members and the hunters who
hunt on their land. Use the app to
find out who owns a tract of land,
mark game camera locations, share
with your hunters to keep track of
their locations on your property,
measure distances, map your
property, and more. The property
ownership service is worth the price
of the app: coverage of the whole US
for a year for only $19.99 after the
The discount code is AFOA20.
It is case sensitive.
Black Walnut trees for valuable
lumber and veneer, and for the nuts,
too, is a big deal in the Midwest.
The May bulletin of the Walnut
Council is available on line.
Past issues can be accessed here.
Satellites Show a Decline in
[Prescribed] Fire in the U.S.
Southeast. Spring 2020
(January 1 through May 9) "had the
fewest active fire detections of any
spring in the VIIRS (Visible
Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite)
record (which began in 2012)."
"According to one recent estimate,
about 70 percent of all prescribed
fires in the United States occur in
the Southeast." Editor's note:
Sounds like a lot of fuel left in
the woods to burn by accident later
Markets Work and a host
other forestland oriented white
papers are available from
Forest Resource Consultants. If
you are looking for a consulting
forester in Alabama to help you make
a timber sale, plant trees, paint
boundary lines, kill cogongrass, or
estimate timber volumes, find one at
Alabama Timber Market Outlook
was the featured topic of discussion
last evening when the Alabama Forest
Owners' Association hosted its
Dinner & Discussion online. We
wish to thank
Dr. Adam Maggard,
Extension Specialist and Assistant
Professor, Auburn University for
bringing this interesting and
up-to-date perspective on the
markets that pay the bills for
Savings Habits Have Left Americans
Vulnerable to Economic Crises,"
shouts the title of a recent
Foundation for Economic Education
essay. AFOA suspects and hopes that
most forest owners are savers and
investors, but we also suspect that
many AFOA members worry about the
savings habits of their children
and/or grandchildren. Potential
savers might benefit from reading
The Richest Man in Babylon.
Two bills in Montgomery (HB369
-- you may need to click
this link twice --
SB263) sound like bail
outs for the deer-farm industry
in case a herd becomes infected with
chronic wasting disease. Read the
bills and let AFOA know what you
"With school and university systems
across the country now employing
'distance learning' for the
foreseeable future, tens of
millions of K-12 and college
students are doing their work online.
All of this adds up to a situation
where printing and writing papers
are simply not needed to accomplish
tasks and take tests." Read more
from John Greene's May 11, 2020
Structural Changes to Declining Pulp
& Paper Segments Will Accelerate
County Tax Maps are available for
Alabama counties. AFOA
compiled a list of county tax maps
for you to use. They come in handy
when someone wants to know where
your land is located - like visiting
friends, prospective timber buyers,
or hunters who are interested in
leasing hunting rights on your land.
A few of the links may not be the
best available URL, so please send
additions or corrections to
RLL@AFOA.org. Greene County
Wildfire Headlines from Florida
as reported by
Wildfire News of the Day,
o Santa Rosa
Florida Forest Service discusses new
policies to fight wildfires in time
33 homes destroyed as result of
South Walton wildfire ignited by
Firefighters battle 85-acre wildfire
in Lake Wales near S.R. 60
o Lake Wales:
Firefighters battle 110 acre blaze
in Washington County
Florida Forest Service says Pace
wildfire is contained after burning
Officials warn of increased risk of
fires in coming days
and Virtual Field Trip Videos
are available at
John Deere for Kids.
Forestry Newsletters from
Virginia Tech, and
Mississippi State are now
More details now available for
the Montgomery County Proposed
Property Tax Increase.
WSFA12 reported that
the bill to allow a tax vote,
introduced Monday, 5/4/20, by
Democrat Rep. Kirk Hatcher,
might be blocked by
Republican Rep. Reed Ingram.
The WSFA story says the bill would
raise property taxes for schools
from 10 mills to 18.5 mills, while
report by the Montgomery
Advertiser said the proposed
tax would raise the millage rate
from 10 to 22. Editor's Note: We
wonder if Ingram's threat to block
the bill unless the referendum date
is moved to next February or later
is little more than virtue signaling
to his base, since the referendum
might more easily pass if the
election is held on an obscure date
next winter. Just a thought.
Fire Lines is the
newsletter of professional and
part-time prescribed burners. The
March-April 2020 issue contains
New Technology and Tools,
New Fire Science Publications for
the South, and
Upcoming Events (included
are a half dozen on-line webinars).
So,... even if you nodded your
head in agreement with
Elon Musk's "forcible imprisonment"
a Tesla, Inc. first quarter earnings
call, you may still be
questioning the rationale behind
government subsidies of Musk's
electric cars, wind & solar energy,
and wood-fired power plants.
Questioning that rationale is
exactly what the documentary
Planet of the Humans
available, at least today, on
Watch on Vimeo.
"While there has been a lot of ‘hand
wringing’ about this asset when the
stock market set records last year,
we now see,
from a risk standpoint, timberland
serves well to preserve wealth and
still generate cash, especially
through tough economic environments."
Source: Forisk Consulting LLC Press
Alabama Forestry Association's
Chris Isaacson discusses the virus
panic impact on the forest industry
in Alabama on
Episode 236 of The Land Show
(from 23:14 to 38:06).
"It's the uncertainty."
So, Alabama Forest Owners. You
think you have problems? Be glad you
only have an oversupply of timber
and the virus panic to put up with!
Wildfires being fought in two
spots of Chornobyl NPP exclusion
The stubborn Ukrainian tradition
behind forest fires in Chornobyl
Case Study: Chernobyl
wildfire extinguished with help of
Ukrainian film director uploads
drone footage of Chornobyl wildfire
Radioactive Cesium measured
up north could origin from Chernobyl
Wildfires Burning In
Ukraine's Western Zhytomyr Region
National Guard conducts
anti-sabotage operation due to
Source: Wildfire News of the Day.
The Big Thinning,
number one in The Little
Foresters Adventures with Larry the
Logger, has just been
published, and forester/author
Dana Bloome hopes your children
will enjoy it. AFOA’s children’s
books reviewer, Brinley Laechelt,
reported, “It tells some pretty
interesting facts. I like how people
make stuff out of wood and how they
stay strong. And the safety message,
I like that. They’ve got safety gear
and some of it is funny.”
Illustrations by Vanessa J.
Thompson. $16.99 at
MODELS. Most people now
probably recognize that government
policies based on faulty models got
us into the current economic mess.
We hope the same concern for
policies based on models will cause
us to revisit the costly regulations
we now live under in the name of
preventing global warming. Please
read Jane Shaw Stroup's April
22 Environmental Blog,
Coronavirus Models and Climate
Change Models Have Limits.
Ms. Stroup spoke to us at
our Annual Meeting in 1995 and she
was the first guest on the first
issue of Capital Ideas - Live,
"I am not advising anyone to get
into timberland right now
because I think the last 10 years’
experience is much more relevant
than the last 30 years. Nothing in
the fundamentals looks bright until
timberland prices drop steeply,"
Samuel J. Radcliffe on
Timberland in Turbulent Times,
Timber Market Update from Northwest
Alabama. There is a lot of
valuable information in the 4/22/20
report we received from Forest
Management Specialists. You may want
to share the report with your
consulting forester and recognize
that various product markets will
not be the same everywhere in the
state. If you do not have a
consulting forester, please take the
time to find one at
Two students in the School of
Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at
Auburn University recently received
awards from the Alabama Forest
Owners' Association (AFOA). AFOA
gives the awards ($1,500 and $1,000)
each year to two students who have
shown an interest in the consulting
forestry profession. Our long-term
goal in giving the awards is to
improve the services available to
Please read Dean Janaki
Alavalapati's letter to AFOA
recognizing the association's annual
support and introducing the student
Andrew Loflin and
Property Tax Increase Proposed by
Montgomery County Commissioners.
An article in the
Montgomery Advertiser on
February 25, 2020 reported that
the county commissioners decided to
ask for approval by the state
legislature to conduct a referendum
that could more than double the
county's millage rate from 10 to 22.
We don't know if the legislature
approved their request yet, so, if
you know anything about this
proposed tax increase, please send a
note to AFOA at
We think you might enjoy and benefit
from listening to Forest2Market's
worldwide wood market
Unfortunately, the short take for
forest owners in the South: We
are growing more pine trees than are
needed and the virus panic has made
the supply problem even worse.
For more than you probably want to
know about the global production of
toilet paper, please read Bruce
Janda's Fisher International
Coronavirus to Alter Global Toilet
Paper & Tissue Production.
Two things stood out: 1) The
machines that produce toilet and
other tissue papers are not very
flexible; and 2) China
produces a lot more of these
products than the U.S. or any other
In case your trees were
damaged in the recent spate of
storms, two on-line publications
from MSU might be helpful. They
Frequently Asked Questions about
Timber Casualty Losses
Income Tax Deduction for Timber
First, do no harm. While we
have learned recently that "First,
do no harm,"
is not actually part of
the Hippocratic Oath that many
medical doctors abide by, we think
it would be nice if members of the
U.S. Congress were to make that
pledge -- in particular as it
relates to the Trillion Trees Act.
Marshall Thomas, President of F&W
Forestry Services, stated very
clearly in the
F&W Forestry Report, Spring
2020, "We don't need more
tree-planting subsidies." See
page 1, column 2 of the Report.
"Did you know you can reduce
heating and cooling costs by
strategically planting trees around
your home?" Since everyone is at
home this week, and the weather
forecast calls for two or three
sunny days, why not download the
Project Learning Tree
Family Activity: Reduce Your Utility
Costs with I-Tree and
step outside for a fun and
potentially profitable enterprise?
AGROMINING: We read about a
plant that pulls nickel (the metal)
out of the soil and thought it might
be worth a daydream or two. While
newly discovered nickel
Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi is
found only in
Sabah (Borneo Island), other
hyperaccumulators are evidently
found in many parts of the world.
Now don't rush out to buy yourself a
potted Phyllanthus and make
become a nickel baron, but we
thought that a story about a plant
that can pull valuable nickel
($5.73/pound) from the soil might be
of some abstract interest to you.
The IRS announced on April 9 that
tax payments due June 15 may be put
off until July 15. Also,
Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)
from IRAs and similar accounts
will be "completely exempted" for
Lehmann, Ullman and Barclay, LLP,
Spring bird migration is now in
full effect in Alabama. Open
Cornell Ornithology Lab's
Species on the Move: mid-April
webpage and then scroll down to
Gulf Coast and Southeast. Click
on Beginning Arrivals and
Peaking Arrivals. Newspage
Editor Lee is eagerly awaiting the
chimney swift family which summers
in his old chimneys and winters in
The Beginner's Guide to Becoming a
Homesteader may be just the
distraction you need to get you
through the coronavirus panic. Good
Telemedicine, Once a Hard Sell,
Can't Keep Up With Demand (pdf
an article in the April 1 Wall
Street Journal that may be of
interest to you if you live in a
region of the state where doctors
and medical facilities are in short
supply. Of course,
high speed access to the internet
is a must for telemedicine to work.
On Line Learning Opportunities:
Buying and Selling Land during the
coronavirus panic and its after
effects. This Great Days
Outdoors podcast discussion is
interesting, but keep in mind that
the participants are in the real
Christmas tree farmers may
qualify for coronavirus stimulus
aid. And, unrelated to the
virus, two Mississippi State
University professors offer
their help to Christmas tree
growers. Get details in the
latest issue of
Southern Christmas Trees,
March 31, 2020.
"They cut some trees to pay for
our tuition to college and now
some of our trees have been cut to
help our granddaughter attend
college." Sit back and listen to
Billie Smith Hopson describe her
family's experience with
The Oldest Tree Farm in Arkansas.
(about 29 minutes)
the tree instead of the forest,"
recommends an Ohio Soil & Water
Conservation District in a news
article that urges families and
homeschool science teachers to head
outdoors to look for big trees.
Alabama keeps a list of big trees --
Champion Trees -- and
encourages nominations to the list.
Tax Deadlines Have Changed.
The U. S. Treasury and the State of
Alabama announced that tax returns
due on April 15, 2020, have been
extended until July 15, 2020. Tax
payments for Federal returns that
had been due April 15, 2020, are
extended until July 15, 2020 without
interest or penalty. Alabama has
followed IRS in extending their
filing and payment due dates.
The due date extension extends the filing date for
calendar year C corporations,
individual and other returns as well
as the time for payment of HSA, IRA
and Archer MSA. A great place for
answers is the
Q&A page of the IRS.
IRS has also announced its
People First Initiative
suspending key compliance programs.
Alabama also includes the pass-through composite
payment due date in the delay. Many
states are following the lead of
federal requirements. Source:
Lehmann, Ullman and Barclay, LLP,
The proposed bridge between
Talladega and Shelby counties was
nixed by the Shelby County
Commission on March 23.
Local forestry experts reported to
AFOA that the privately funded
bridge would have improved stumpage
markets in Talladega and Coosa
Which Issues Are Most Important
To You? This is a question posed
by the National Woodland Owners
Association to its members each
year. AFOA would like to know how
you would rank these issues as well.
Click Here To Rank.
If you would rather be in the
woods than sitting at home
checking your Facebook, why not see
if you can follow Mercker and Yang's
ideas on making a "quick" cruise of
your timber (Quick
Cruising to Estimate Board-Foot
Volume of Standing Hardwood Timber).
Forestry Suppliers sells 10 factor
Jim-Gem Rectangular Prism, 10 BAF
($33.10) should get you started. You
may also want to use a
Scale Stick, Doyle Scale
($19.95) to measure diameters and
heights of trees. Heads-up: The
publication focuses only on
Two perspectives on the paper
industry. Take your pick:
When our Alabama weather heats up in
a couple of months, you may wish you
were in cool northern Vermont.
Biodiversity University "offers
in-depth nature study taught
by the region's finest experts and
educators." Their "students are
weekend naturalists, working
ecologists, and anyone with an
insatiable drive to understand the
pieces and patterns of our wild
world." Course titles include:
Glacial Geology of Northern Vermont,
Digital Photography for Naturalists,
Field Herpetology, Forest Mosses,
Mushrooms - Field Identification and
Fungal Ecology, and more.
"Take your child’s creativity
Nature's Art Box by Laura C.
Martin offers 65 art projects
that kids can make with materials
found right in their backyard.
There’s no limit to the imaginative
possibilities as children mix paints
from colorful flower blossoms, dig
clay for molding elf-sized
furniture, and craft functional twig
turkey season will open March 21
and close May 3, 2020, for most
Alabama counties." Source:
Alabama Department of Conservation &
Natural Resources, 10/10/20. AFOA
members may use
www.HuntingLand.bz to find
turkey hunters eager to lease their
The Alabama Forest Owners’
Association (AFOA) wishes to express
our concern for everyone impacted by
coronavirus. Like all of you, we
have carefully monitored the global
health crisis related to COVID-19
coronavirus. Due to the escalation
of COVID-19 in the state, after much
deliberation and in alignment with
the advice from the CDC and public
health authorities regarding mass
gatherings, we have made the
decision to cancel the AFOA Annual
Meeting which was due to take place
April 21-22, 2020 in Tuscaloosa
County, Alabama. The AFOA
Annual Business Meeting will be
rescheduled to a location in the
“It’s an exciting time to be in
the corrugated industry. The
rise of e-commerce, coupled with
concerns about ocean plastics, have
created greater awareness among
consumers about packaging.”
Read more from The Simple Success
of Corrugated Containers,
Greenville Business Magazine,
Why Plant Trees? "One
could never discuss the future of
forest products without mentioning
world population growth and
projected growth. Investors in
wood-using facilities are also
looking at world population growth.
As a forester, it is a huge breath
of fresh air to see so many forest
product mill investors in our state.
In the past couple of years the
Southeastern United States has
become the 'wood basket' for the
entire world. In Alabama alone..."
Read more in the Spring
Newsletter of Ketchum Land & Timber,
Vol. 1, #1.
"Americans, who already
consume (by far) the most towel and
tissue products in the world,
are rushing to purchase toilet paper
in bulk." "...retail giants
Costco, Walmart, and Target are
benefiting during the COVID-19
panic." Source: Fisher
27,000 hunters who hunt on their
own land or were otherwise
exempt from needing an Alabama
hunting license were caught in
the baiting license trap last
year and bought a "bait privilege"
license to avoid fines. Alabama's
Division of Wildlife and Freshwater
Fisheries has added to the
bureaucratic red tape for landowners
hunting on their own land and seems
happy to brag about it in a
March 6, 2020 press release.
Evidently turkey hunters have
rebelled against the unnecessary
regulations of the Division by not
reporting their kills. We suspect
new regulations will be published
soon to whip turkey hunters into
A video by Robert Bush, Sr. showing
the "incredible diversity" of
wildlife which used a log on
a Pennsylvania stream is a
must-watch. Lesson learned: point
game camera at log across stream.
A comment from a parent:
I have to tell you, my 3 year old
adores this video. I think it’s
really neat, but he asks to watch
“the log video again and again and
again” every day. I never knew
nature was so riveting. Thanks for
making and sharing this!
Beavers became big problem after
introduction to Navarino Island near
Chile's southernmost tip. If
you need help removing beavers,
coyotes, raccoons and other animals
from your property, call Brenda at
AFOA for the names of Animal
Nuisance Control Experts:
1,430 Bullock County voters (94%
of precincts reporting) decided
to raise property taxes in the
county yesterday. Source:
WSFA12 News, 4:02 pm, 3/4/20.
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, there
were 10,914 people living in Bullock
"When I sell stumpage (the
standing trees on my land),
where do the logs go?" If you've
ever asked yourself that question,
you might like to test the
Alabama Forest Industry Directory
Map. Select "Primary," the
second "Query criteria" on the left
side of the screen and then click
"Apply" down near the bottom of the
screen. Some of the little green
dots will turn red. Those are the
wood processing plants that begin
work on your logs -- sawmills,
veneer mills, pulpmills. Secondary
wood users begin their work on
already processed materials. Cabinet
makers may use already sawn lumber;
paper mills may use already
processed pulp, etc. Editor's
note: If you need a list of stumpage
buyers, contact Brenda at the AFOA
office - 205-624-2225.
"American ginseng is arguably the
most valuable non-timber forest crop
in Eastern North America." But
can it be grown commercially?
The Future of Wild-Simulated Ginseng,
an article on the website of the
Association for Temperate
Agroforestry, discusses the
difficulty in simulating the wild
conditions necessary to produce high
The Role of Trapping in Wildlife
Management will be described
as a forest and wildlife management
Wildlife Biologist Mike Sievering
AFOA's Annual Meeting Field Day on
April 21 in Tuscaloosa County.
Sievering, who is
Conservation Director of the
National Trappers Association,
will probably set a few traps while
describing methods used to control
coyotes, beavers, raccoons and
Goats can help reduce fire hazards
by cleaning up the underbrush on
your land. If you want to
learn more about goats and their
proper care, make plans now to
Dr. Uma Karki's
AFOA's 39th Annual Meeting in
Tuscaloosa on Wednesday, April 22.
A change in attitude? Please
read the following press release:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Finalizes Critical Habitat for
Threatened Black Pinesnake, 2/25/20:
We may be imagining things, but
we think we see a change in attitude
at the Service. Wouldn't it be
nice if they were able to change
from a command and control
organization into a service
organization, providing guidance on
how to nurture rare species of
plants and animals? We think many
landowners would view the Service a
lot more favorably than they do
today. Rare plants and animals
might benefit from such a change.
If building that dream cabin in
the woods is still on your
bucket list, you'll want to visit
Brock's Huntin Cabins website to
see photos of all the neat little
cabins they have to offer. Owner
Brock Ray was an interesting guest
The Land Show, Episode 227
(download and then scroll to 23:32
"In Australia, we have reduced
our land-management actions and are
now suffering the consequences,"
reported Gary Morgan, a
consultant with Global Wildland Fire
Management Services and chair of the
Institute of Foresters of Australia.
"There is a solution. It is
certainly not more aircraft. ...
Clearly, the current approach is not
working. Politicians want to be seen
to be doing something, regardless of
The Forestry Source, February
2020, page 2.
29 YEAR PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
PLANNED FOR BULLOCK COUNTY. See
March 3 Sample Ballots:
Democratic. We also noticed an
amendment on the Tallapoosa County
ballot that would create a local
"road maintenance district."
Tallapoosa voters may want to check
Click here for sample ballots for
all 67 counties, both Democratic
"A Visual Account of One Year in the
Life of a Longleaf Pine Forest"
is a short, but very nicely done,
slide show. We think you will enjoy
it - and maybe benefit from watching
it. Source: The Longleaf Alliance.
“The bottom line for U.S. forest
owners: based on our experience
with previous government incentive
The Trillion Trees Act would not be
a boon for U.S. forest owners.
In fact, if it massively increased
planting in the South, it would
exacerbate the timber oversupply
issue that plagues many timber
markets in the region.” Source:
Forisk Blog, 2/19/20.
"Alabama registered voters will
go to the polls on March 3, 2020
to vote in the presidential primary,
U.S. Senate, U.S. House of
Representatives, Alabama Public
Service Commission president and
Supreme Court Justices and members
of the Court of Civil Appeals and
Court of Criminal Appeals. Voters
will choose ballots for either the
Democratic or Republican parties. In
addition to candidates, voters will
select presidential delegates to
represent their votes at the
national party conventions." In
addition to candidates on the
ballot, Amendment One will ask
whether you want to allow the
Governor to appoint the State Board
of Education (to be renamed the
Alabama Commission on Elementary and
Secondary Education). Source: NFIB
AL Legislative Links,
Click here for election information
from the Secretary of State's office.
When it rains a lot, some tracts
of timber become too wet to log,
so loggers have to buy timber on
high-dry tracts -- usually in a
hurry in order to keep the mills
running. John Greene tries to shed
some light on the subject in his
Winter Precipitation Trends: Will
Timber Prices be Impacted?
The Tax Foundation is a great
source of information about taxes --
sales, property, income, estate...
Check out their blog -
click here - and, when you get
there, read about our neighbor's
plan to eliminate income taxes --
Tennessee's Governor Lee Pushes to
Clear Out Remnants of Income
If controlling coyotes or beavers
is on your to-do list, you will
listen to Ken Peters, Dominion
Trapping, on The Land Show,
Epitsode 224 (Ken's interview
begins at 22:02 and ends at about
Dominion Trapping on Facebook.
MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S A BAD IDEA FOR
THE GOVERNMENT TO PLANT ONE TRILLION
TREES DURING THE NEXT 30 YEARS!
We are already growing more trees
each year than we harvest. Can
you imagine how bad pulpwood prices
will be in 15 years? How bad
sawtimber prices will be in 25
years? IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA. JUST
"A pulp mill is a timberland
manager’s friend, especially in the
US South... It is very helpful
to have a pulp mill or two within
delivery distance of your
timberland. Pulp mills consume
tremendous volumes of small and
low-quality wood, providing a great
market for those materials for
timberland owners." Read more in
Pulp Mills, Forest
Management...and People, by Jack
Lutz, Forest Research Notes,
"Engaging" with your woods in the
winter: Idea #1. "Walk your
property boundary lines. Deciduous
trees have dropped their leaves,
giving a better line of sight, the
weather is cool, making walking
rugged terrain easier, briars are
less fierce, poison ivy is beaten
back, and ticks and mosquitoes are
hibernating." Idea #1 and other
ideas were found in the
Virginia Forest Landowner
e-Update, February 2020,
published by Jennifer Gagnon,
Virginia Tech Forestry Extension.
Recent research "found deer were
[coyotes'] single most important
prey item..." To minimize coyote
damage, land managers should "ensure
that open areas managed as foraging
sites for deer, such as food plots,
are juxtaposed to dense cover..."
How Much Venison Are Coyotes Eating?
by Dr. Mike Chamberlain and Dr. Joey
Hinton published by Quality Deer
Management Association, 2/5/20.
An environmentalist group convinced
a federal judge to force the
US Fish & Wildlife Service to "look
again" at an Endangered Species Act
ruling on the Northern Long Eared
Bat. The change sought by the court
would affect some forest management
The Forest Floor is on the Move!
Most of us know birds migrate in the
spring and fall, but did you know
that amphibians migrate too? They
might not make the 1000-mile trek
that some birds do, but during the
winter, several salamander and frog
species can be seen in mass
migration crawling on the forest
floor towards temporary pools. This
phenomenon is like salmon traveling
upstream to reach their breeding
grounds, whereas amphibians will
travel toward shallow seasonal pools
to lay eggs and then slither back to
their comfortable homes in the
While we have over 70 species of amphibians in Alabama,
only a few species partake in this
migration, one of which is the
Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma
maculatum). The spotted
salamander is a fairly large
salamander that is typically six to
eight inches long but has been known
to grow as large as 10 inches. As
the name suggests, this species is
identified by a series of irregular
shaped yellow, sometimes orange,
spots running down either side of
the back from the head to its tail.
Spotted salamanders exhibit a strong
homing behavior, meaning they return
to the pools they hatched from.
Source: Alabama Wildlife and
Conservation News, January 2020.
Do you ever worry that enough is
not being done to promote the
use of the wood we grow? Check out
some of the workshops and
demonstrations recently conducted by
Southern Forest Products
A bridge that would link Shelby
County and south Talladega County
east of Columbiana near the 4-H
has been approved by the Talladega
County Commission, but is
meeting opposition from some Shelby
County residents. A consulting
forester told AFOA that the bridge
would improve access to wood markets
in the area, including Coosa County.
We were glad to learn that
the Opp News covered a visit
to Lloyd Culp's forestland in
Covington County a few days
ago. Loflin Forest Management led
the tour which included a drone
demonstration and discussion on how
to have more successful timber
Last Thursday "the Environmental
Protection Agency released its final
rule defining “Waters of the US”
(WOTUS) over which EPA will have
regulatory jurisdiction. The
final regulation excludes from EPA
jurisdiction a number of water
features, including the following of
particular importance to private
• Ephemeral streams,
defined as flowing only in direct
response to precipitation,
• Manmade ditches that
do not flow into a regulated water,
• Wetlands that do not
touch a regulated water of the US.
The effect of these exclusions is
that the listed water features will
NOT, by themselves, subject
timberland to EPA Clean Water Act
permit requirements governing such
things as the aerial application of
pesticides. The wetlands exclusion
will also significantly strengthen
the application of 'normal
silviculture' permit exemption for
forested wetlands. The text of the
final rule can be found
National Alliance of Forest Owners,
Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for
the 2019 Tax Year by
Linda Wang, National Timber Tax
Specialist, USDA Forest Service, is
now available. Thank you, Dr. Wang.
Have you always wanted to know
the names of mushrooms you find on
your land? There are two
branches of the
Alabama Mushroom Society which
hold meetings in Birmingham and
Mobile; first Tuesdays and second
Mondays, resp., according to their
PAWPAWS. You may not grow
them to sell, but have you ever
"Also called the Indiana banana or
the American custard apple, the
pawpaw is the largest native North
American fruit and has a legendary
flavor—many describe it as a cross
between a banana and a mango."
Source: Civil Eats, 1/9/20
Hurricanes, tornados, ice storms,
floods, and wildfire are among
events that can damage standing
timber. To help forest landowners
minimize taxes related to lost
timber value, the Tennessee Forestry
Association gathered some
"Tax Considerations Associated with
Timber Casualty Losses."
"US-China Trade Deal Provides Relief
for Hardwood Sector," states
Travis Durkee in his January 20
Forest2Market Blog. Besides pointing
out the importance of hardwood log
and lumber exports, he also makes it
very clear that we're growing far
more hardwood timber than we're
harvesting -- see "US South
Growth-to-Removal Ratios" list
of hardwood species.
New York elementary school
principal and South Carolina forest
owner, Yvonne Knight-Carter,
tells her story about returning home
to manage her family's land.
Passing on legacies of forestland
and forestland management know-how
-- Professor Becky Barlow leads the
way. Source: Alabama Living.
BIRDERS! Imagine pointing
your telephoto camera at a bird you
don't recognize, snapping a picture,
and within a few seconds receiving a
message on your phone identifying
Swarovski Optik and the Cornell Lab
of Ornithology think they're almost
ready to sell you the camera and the
"A Talladega County firefighter has
temporarily left the Superspeedway
to help Australian firefighters
contain devastating wildfires
ravaging the country."
Source: WVTM 13, 1/13/20. For an
interesting perspective on the
fires, an AFOA member sent us
a YouTube story that disagrees
with many who believe global warming
has been the cause of the fires.
Warning: coarse language from Aussie
farmer at about the 3 minute mark.
Davis Fish Farm in Cherokee County
was featured this week on The
Daniel Davis talks about the pond
management services they provide,
including stocking trout in cold
Driptorch Digest is the
"Newsletter of the Southern
Prescribed Fire Community." If you
are a prescribed burner or a
wannabe, you'll probably find
something useful in their January
10 Predictions for Global Forest
Industries in 2020 by Pete
Stewart, CEO, Forest2Market.com,
In its quest to
"inspire the limitless potential in
every girl," Mattel is
working with forest scientist Nalini
Nadkarni to create a forest
"We stood on a lot of consultants
shoulders. I enjoyed learning from
the consultants," says Mrs. Gail
Burris, Hampton County, South
Carolina, in a
3 minute video. If you need a
consulting forester to help you,
Raymond James Financial Services
published a report today:
Overweight the Timber REITS -
Upgrading PCH to Outperform and
Raising Price Targets. If
your time is limited, read the first
page. Timber REIT prices are
published each month in AFOA's
Capital Ideas, top of middle
column on page 2. Source:
Howard Sokol, Raymond James
Lady forest owners -
watch this video. Gentlemen
forest owners - watch the video with
Tree Farm Certification in Virginia
is not free anymore. Current
Tree Farmers will pay from $50 to
$250 per year and new Tree Farms
will be assessed a one-time
certification fee of $100. Source:
Virginia Forest Landowner Update,
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service would like your help to
decide whether the
Gulf Coast solitary bee
should be listed as a threatened or
endangered species under the
Endangered Species Act. We aren't
experts, but we think you have until
about March 19, 2020 to send them
your comments on scientific and
commercial and other information
about the bee. For more information,
go to the
Federal Register, Vol. 84,
No. 244, page 69713. If you need
help sending your comments, contact
Sean Blomquist at 850–769–0552 or