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

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Archived 1997 News, Issues & Information

(12/17/97)FORESTWORLD is a new internet directory that contains information on over 3,600 forest-related organizations. Check it out.

(11/24/97)ADVERTISE AVAILABLE HUNTING LAND FOR FREE! Georgia Outdoor News, published in Atlanta, wants to list your "hunting land for lease" in its Hunting Land Special to be published next summer. Call Daryl Kirby at 1-800-438-4663.

(11/24/97)ACTIVE OIL/GAS LEASING? A Marion County AFOA member has been approached recently by a landman interested in leasing oil/gas (we aren't sure which) rights. Have you been approached by a landman recently? Which county? What company is leasing? Share the details with AFOA so we might pass them on to other members. Thanks.

(11/18/97)UNITS OF STUMPAGE GROWER BEGAN SELLING ON NASDAQ STOCK EXCHANGE. U. S. Timberlands Company, L.P., listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the "U" column, and with ticker tape symbol TIMBZ, began selling units of the limited partnership on November 14, 1997. The company's business consists of the growing of trees and the sale of logs and standing timber from its approximately 630,000 acres of timberland located east of the Cascade Range in Oregon. Units are selling for about $22. If you want a prospectus (about 200+ pages), call Judy S. Jolly, Investment Executive with PaineWebber, Birmingham, at (205)868-9517 or 1-800-292-6246. Georgia Pacific has plans to spin off its timberlands into a separate company soon. Watch AFOA's stock quotes on page two in Capital Ideas.

(11/11/97)MISSISSIPPI'S PRESCRIBED BURN CERTIFICATION SHORTCOURSE "EXCELLENT". An AFOA member who recently "graduated" from Mississippi's Prescribed Burn Certification Shortcourse said the $219 course included pre-course study (S-390) on fire suppression. He said the facilities and classes were great and many meals and breaks were included in the cost. Alabama's comparable course for inexperienced burners was priced at $415 but has never been conducted. AFOA noted that a similar course offered each Spring in Florida costs about $280 and includes tuition, meals and lodging. Lodging has not been included in either Alabama's or Mississippi's course. Contacts for the shortcourses are: Mississippi -- Alan Brown, (601)325-8300; Florida -- Vickie, (904)222-5646 or Jim Brenner, (850)488-6480; Alabama -- David Frederick, (334)240-9335.

(10/20/97)ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT REAUTHORIZATION NO IMPROVEMENT. The property rights fax report, Liberty Matters, written by Dan Byfield (a speaker at AFOA's April, 1997, Annual Meeting) urges landowners to oppose Senate Bill-1180 sponsored by Senator Kempthorne. The reasons are as follows: No Compensation for Taking Property -- There should be no reauthorization without compensation. If the government takes even one percent of what belongs to you, they should have to pay. The Fifth Amendment demands nothing less. Creates False Incentives -- Incentives are nothing more than enticements to coerce landowners into setting aside their land. Your choice is to either pay the taxes or not use your land... either way the landowner loses. Exempts Information Gathered on Private and Federal Land -- S-1180 exempts biological information from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). As a result, landowners will be denied access to information gathered on their own land. Codifies Habitat Conservation Plans -- HCPs require landowners to pay the government to use their land rather than be compensated for the loss of their property. It's called mitigation, but really is extortion by the government. "Harm" Definition Not Changed -- "Harm" is broadly interpreted, does not require proof of death of injury and is used to criminalize innocent Americans.

Let Alabama's Senators know what you want them to do.
Call (202)224-5744, fax (202)224-3416, or e-mail to Senator Richard Shelby.
Call (202)224-4124, fax (202)224-3149, or e-mail to Senator Jeff Sessions.

(10/17/97)MAPS, PHOTOS & SATELLITE IMAGES. In a workshop at a recent landowner conference in Huntsville, Dr. Jeffrey C. Luvall listed the following web pages as useful sources of information. Some are easy to use, some are expensive to use, some take a lot of software and skill to use. We've looked at the fourth one and it shows a very recent picture of the world with clouds and political borders. The rest of the web sites are there for you to experiment with. Happy Hunting.
Images Available from French SPOT Satellites
EROS (Earth Resources Observation Systems) Data Center
EROS Data Center data search
Real Time Geostationary Satellite Data
The TVA Map Store
Georgia GIS Data Clearinghouse

(8/20/97)THE ALABAMA 4-H NATURAL RESOURCE JUDGING TEAM PROGRAMS continue to dominate in representing our state in national contests. Recently the Talladega 4-H Forestry Team, coached by Ronnie Williams, won the National 4-H Forestry Invitational in Weston, West Virginia. The Tuscaloosa County 4-H Wildlife Judging Team, coached by Wayne Ford, won second place at the National 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Invitational in Sun Valley, Idaho - less than two points from winning first place. The AFOA is proud to be sponsors of these two outstanding 4-H youth events. Reported by S. Wayne Ford (, County Extension Coordinator, 205-349-3870 X 299 or Fax 205-752-2349.

(8/19/97)USE YOUR COMPUTER to become creative with your forest and other investment and personal finance records. AFOA has scheduled a full-day workshop on Quicken, one of the most popular personal finance computer programs. Registration will be limited to 12. The class members will all be forest owners or professionals with forestry expertise. Register now to reserve your place. Members (and family): $95 per person. Non-members: $110 each. Consulting Foresters and CPAs with Forestry experience and expertise may apply for $40 discount -- one slot each is available. This class at CompUSA regularly costs $175 if paid for individually. Workshop is subject to cancellation on October 9 if insufficient numbers apply. Deadline to register is October 9. Deadline to cancel with full refund is October 2. Mail registration fee to: AFOA Quicken, Box 361434, Birmingham, AL 35236.

(8/15/97)HARDWOOD LUMBER GRADING VIDEOS are available from Timber Harvester Company. They are $39 plus $5.95 S&H per tape for the 4 tape set. Titles include Introduction to Hardwood Lumber Grading, Describing Basic Hardwood Grade Rules, Applying Grade Rules to Sawing, and Putting Grade Sawing Into Practice. You may purchase the tapes from Timber Harvester, 1310 Waterloo-Geneva Road, Waterloo, NY 13165. Telephone: 1-800-343-2969. If enough AFOA members are interested, AFOA will buy a set and schedule meetings in various parts of Alabama for your convenience. Send us a note if you are interested.

(8/11/97)AUTAUGA COUNTY Road-Weight Restrictions may be reducing property values in adjacent counties. We understand that the Autauga County Commission has set 70,000 pound weight restrictions on log trucks whose loads originate outside the county. This may have an affect on stumpage prices for landowners in portions of some of Autauga's neighboring counties. If you know anything about this or similar restrictions or believe you may be affected by the restrictions, please contact AFOA at (205)987-8811 or Send Email.

(7/11/97)A WHITE PAPER ON GREEN CERTIFICATION entitled Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification and Product Labeling in the U. S. Forestry Context has been written by Scott Berg, Director, Forest Policy Research, American Forest & Paper Association. The paper is an excellent overview for someone unfamiliar with Green Certification and points out some serious flaws in the FSC scheme. Section titles include: The FSC Principles and Criteria Are Not Scientifically Based; Chain-of-Custody is a Flawed Approach in the U. S. Forestry Sector; and, The FSC Labeling Scheme Lacks Consumer Support and Discriminates Against Renewable Wood and Paper Products. AFOA will try to get the paper up on a web site, but in the meantime please contact us (Send Email) if you are interested.

(6/27/97)INTERNATIONAL FOREST COMPANY has established a new, 35-million capacity, state-of-the-art tree nursery near Ashburn in South Georgia. With the new nursery, the Odenville, Alabama-based company becomes the largest producer of tree seedlings in Georgia, with an annual capacity of 105 million seedlings. For seed and seedling price lists and ordering information,

(6/27/97)TO PROVE OWNERSHIP OF MINERAL RIGHTS keep a copy of the deed you or a previous owner wrote that reserved your mineral rights. For example, your great grandfather sold the farm in Fayette County back in 1934, but reserved the mineral rights by writing that fact in the deed he gave the buyer of the farm. The new owner didn't record his deed. There is nothing, therefore, in the public record that indicates your great grandfather, and now you, own the mineral rights. Recommendation: Great Grandfather should have made a Xerox copy of the deed after he signed it and before he gave it to the new owner. The copy could then have been kept with important family papers in the family safe deposit box to be passed along to his heirs. If, someday, you reserve the minerals on a property you sell, be sure to keep a copy of the deed. Source: AFOA's notes of a speech made by Marvin Rogers, Counsel for the Alabama Oil & Gas Board, to AFOA members, 6/26/97. A visit to State Oil & Gas Board web page is worth taking; Click Here. Also, mark your calendar for a real visit to the State Oil and Gas Board and Geological Survey offices in Tuscaloosa by AFOA members and friends. November 20, 10 AM.

(6/25/97)FIRE IN AMERICA: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire by Stephen J. Pyne was recently chosen by members of the Society of American Foresters as their first choice for summer reading. The "paperback reprint of a classic originally published in 1982 by Princeton University Press... explores the efforts of communities from prehistory to the present day to master wildfire and use it to shape the landscape." The 626 page, 1997 reprint, costs $24.95 and is available from University of Washington Press, P. O. Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145-5096.

Longleaf List Server

(6/9/97)A list server has been set up by The School of Forestry at Auburn University to "promote communications among individuals interested in preserving, restoring, and managing the longleaf pine ecosystem." To subscribe, send a message to "". Leave the subject line blank. In the body of the message include the following line:
subscribe longleaf Your Name
You may also be interested in visiting the web page of the Longleaf Alliance. Click here to visit the Longleaf Alliance.

Landowners Longleaf Guide

(6/9/97)Stewardship of longleaf pine forests: A guide for landowners (1997 LA Report #2, 44 pages) by Robert M. Franklin, "provides practical instruction in all phases of managing longleaf pine and associated fauna and flora." For a copy, write to: The Longleaf Alliance, Route 7, Box 131, Andalusia, AL 36420. Cost $8.

Proceedings of the First Longleaf Alliance Conference

(6/9/97)Proceedings of the First Longleaf Alliance Conference -- Longleaf Pine: A regional perspective of challenges and opportunities (1996 LA Report #1, 178 pages), compiled by John S. Kush, is available by writing to The Longleaf Alliance, Route 7, Box 131, Andalusia, AL 36420. Cost $6.

Horse & Mule Logging in Alabama

(6/4/97)You may order a videotape of the satellite video conference Horse & Mule Logging in Alabama that was broadcast on April 19. The cost is $15. Contact Mr. W. L. Strain, Extension Assistant Director, Communications, 104 Duncan Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849.

Hunter Hunting Land

(6/3/97)Ken Deaver is looking for 800 to 1500 acres which he can lease for hunting. While he is interested in land anywhere in Alabama, he is more interested in land within 100 miles of Birmingham. Call Ken at (205)426-4309.

Prices Cut on AFOA's Group Hunting Lease Liability Insurance Policy

(5/29/97)The Davis-Garvin Agency, Inc., has announced a big price reduction for AFOA members who use AFOA's Hunting Lease Liability Insurance Policy. For the policy that begins August 1, 1997, the costs are as follows:

  • PART 2: Landowner Processing Fee REDUCED from $40 to $15
  • PART 3: Acreage Fee REDUCED from 22 cents to 19 cents per acre

The hunting club processing fee of $15 in Part 3 remains the same.
Overpayments already received by AFOA will be refunded.


(5/29/97)Will you learn to grow them together if you join the Association for Temperate Agroforestry? Probably not, but you may want to look into joining the Association that "promotes the development of agroforestry as an integrated land use practice, both to increase the productivity, and to help conserve the natural resource base, of America's farm and rangeland." For more information, write Dr. Deborah Hill, AFTA Treasurer, Forestry Dept., University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0073. Visit AFTA's home page.

12 % Return on Investment

(5/29/97)"Assuming a cost of $150/acre for site preparation and planting and a yield of 30 cords per acre at age 20, the return anticipated by a tree farmer in 1990 using a pulpwood price of $25/cord was eight percent. For the same operation in 1997, adjusting to a current pulpwood price of $45/cord, a tree farmer planting today can anticipate a return of 12 percent, or a 50 percent increase in anticipated returns." From Unique Opportunities for Increased Forest Returns by Marshall Thomas in F & W Forestry Letter, Spring 1997. Mr. Thomas's phone number is (912)883-0505.

New Florida Law Restricts Kudzu Growth

(5/29/97)SANTA ROSA COUNTY, FLORIDA, is home to a new law that is designed to stop the spread of kudzu. "Under the new county ordinance, property owners cannot allow kudzu to spread to adjoining properties without the consent of the owners. Violators will have 30 days to eradicate the offending kudzu or face possible fines up to $400." Source: F & W Forestry Letter, Spring 1997.

Is Tax Tail Wagging The Dog?

(5/21/97)A phone call this morning from a financial planner that talks to many forest owners across the state raised an interesting question. He said that many people are postponing timber sales and land sales because they believe the Congress will soon pass a capital gains tax reduction. His prediction was that once a tax reduction has been passed into law, many people will put timber and land up for sale, causing prices to fall more then the tax savings would justify. His comment was that people should sell timber when it needs to be sold rather than let the "tax tail wag the dog." Your comments, please.

Pine Straw Is Incentive To Encourage Longleaf Pine

(5/13/97)North Carolina Extension Service Forestry Specialists recognize that landowners must have an incentive to replant or restore forestland. "With longleaf the incentive is pine straw, which, if properly harvested, can bring in an annual income of $50 to $100 an acre for much of a well-managed tree's life, with little harm to the environment." Source: Longleaf Pine Making Comeback in North Carolina, Tree Lines, March-April, 1997. We haven't heard of sustained annual incomes like that from pine straw in Alabama, but we'd like to hear about it if you have information on the topic. Send us an e-mail note.

Looking For Summer Work #2

(5/13/97)Hunter P. Hudson is a junior at Auburn University's School of Forestry. He has finished the summer field practicum at the Solon Dixon Forestry Center and is looking for summer work that might use some of his new skills and knowledge. Hunter's home town is Elba. His phone numbers are (334)826-2469(Auburn) and (334)897-2698(Elba). E-mail to Hunter.

Repeal the Endangered Species Act

(5/9/97)"Don't reform the Endangered Species Act. Repeal it!" was the strong message American Land Foundation's Dan Byfield brought to AFOA members at AFOA's recent 16th Annual Meeting. Check out the Foundation's web page.

State Wilderness Areas Bill in Montgomery

(4/30/97)State Senator Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, has sponsored a bill that would set aside thousands of acres of state-owned public land in "wilderness" areas. Ray Vaughan and Lamar Marshal were listed as supporters in a Birmingham News article dated 4/29/97. Forest owners with land nearby state-owned lands may want to check with "inholders" groups about the dangers of owning property surrounded or adjacent to "wilderness" areas. Hint: Lions & Bears will not be your problem. Contact Joanna Waugh, Stop Taking Our Property, 500 Potowatomi Trail, Chesterton, Indiana 46304.

Timber Harvest Restricted in Hoover

(4/30/97)Consulting Forester Joe Eiland reported that a new tree protection ordinance in Hoover (Jefferson/Shelby Counties) has placed certain restrictions on timber harvests. For further details contact Joe at (205)833-5290.

The Mission of Project Learning Tree (PLT)

(4/29/97)"PLT uses the forest as a 'window on the world' to increase students' understanding of our complex environment, stimulate critical and creative thinking, develop the ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues, and to instill the confidence and commitment to take responsible action on behalf of the environment." For adults who want to help with PLT projects, see Calendar, June 17, Cullman County, and June 24, Butler County.

Comments Please

(4/29/97)The Piedmont Environmental Council urges us to back The American Farm and Ranch Protection Act in the U. S. Congress (H.R. 195 & S. 499). The law would allow farm or forest land to be excluded from estate taxes on land subject to a conservation easement with several restrictions. Generally this looks good to us, but we would like to hear your comments. For more details from the Piedmont Environmental Council, please call (540)347-2334. If you have comments for AFOA, send us an e-mail note.

Know The Future By Observing The Present

(4/28/97)Watch current lumber, plywood, and oriented strand board (OSB) prices to get a handle on future stumpage prices. Random Lengths MidWeek Market Report

Looking For Summer Work #1

(4/28/97)Jason Otis Gardner, a second year graduate student in forestry at Auburn, is looking for summer employment. Jason's home, when he's not at Auburn, is near Piedmont. Please call him at (334)826-2440 or (205)447-8089.

We're Hunting For Tax Experts

(4/28/97)AFOA is hunting for tax experts and needs your help. If you have found a tax advisor - CPA or public accountant - that has the knowledge and experience necessary to provide income and estate tax advice to other forest owners, please share his name with AFOA. We will develop a list and make it available to other members. Thanks.

Tennessee River Called Endangered In Alabama

(4/28/97)"Tennessee River Called Endangered in Alabama" says a headline in The Birmingham News 4/16/97. More than likely some pet environmental projects are at risk with the possible reduction in size of TVA's non-electric power budget....or maybe a pet environmentalist in the valley is going to have to seek a real job.


(4/28/97)Managing Forest Ecosystems to Conserve Fungus Diversity and Sustain Wild Mushroom Harvests (General Technical Report PNW-GTR-371) is a 106 page, 1996 report edited by Pilz and Molina. For a copy, write: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, P. O. Box 3890, Portland, OR 97208.

List of Mule & Horse Loggers

(4/28/97)A list of animal loggers in Alabama will be available later this year from Auburn Forestry Professor Mark Dubois. Dubois recently broadcast a satellite program on animal loggers which was featured at AFOA's annual meeting. If you missed it, Extension System offices may have tapes available (see Calendar, May 7, Blount County).

Timber Sales and Timing

(4/28/97)"...seasonal timing of the sale is important, especially for poorly-drained soils. Don't try to sell a wet-ground tract during normally-wet periods. If a buyer drives up and sees standing water, my experience is that the offer will drop by about 25 percent." "Conversely, tracts with well-drained soil and road frontage will bring a substantial premium during mud season or extended wet periods." Source: Getting Top Dollar for Your Timber by Frank O. Brooks, Jr., ACF, The Forestry Advantage, 4/97.

Oil & Gas Exploration Information

(4/28/97)"Where does industry go to find information and expertise on new investment opportunities for oil and gas exploration in this state? Where are the facilities (publications, library, geophysical logs, core and sample records?" from an address by Donald Oltz, new State Geologist, Geological Survey/State Oil & Gas Board. Find out how you can get help when you are facing decisions about the non-timber values on your property. See Calendar, June 26, Jefferson County. Or visit the Oil & Gas Board's home page.

Price Reduced on AFOA's Timberland Liability Insurance Policy.

(4/28/97)Davis-Garvin Agency, Inc., has recently reduced the cost of AFOA's vacant land policy by five cents per acre. The annual cost to members, including processing fees, is $30 plus 30 cents per acre. If you have ever requested information about the coverage, an application will be enclosed with the May 1997 issue of Capital Ideas. The group policy runs from May 1, 1997 to May 1, 1998, and is primarily for liability created by trespassers and non-commercial guests. If you have not requested information about the policy in the past, please send us an e-mail note. Be sure to include your full mailing address and phone number.

Insects & Diseases of Hardwoods on CD-ROM

(4/28/97)The Ash Pests Image Library, available free from the USDA Forest Service, is a CD-ROM that contains 90 images to provide you with diagnostic tools for the rapid identification of insect and disease pests of southern hardwood trees. Call Carol Ferguson at (704)257-4390 x 389.

Agroforestry Proceedings

(4/26/97)Agroforestry Proceedings from the 4th North American Agroforestry Conference will load you up with 200 pages of reading on growing agricultural crops with forest trees. To order, send $40 to: John H. Ehrenreich, Editor, College of Forestry, Wildlife, Range Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-1135 or phone (208)885-7600 or e-mail to the editor.

Uneven-Aged Silviculture

(4/25/97)Uneven-Aged Silviculture for the Loblolly and Shortleaf Pine Forest Cover Types (Southern Research Station General Technical Report SO-118) by James Baker et al. should be of interest to you if you want to grow pine trees, but do not want to start over with a clearcut harvest. The results of a half-century of experience and research with uneven-aged silviculture within the loblolly-shortleaf pine type of the Southern United States are summarized, and silvicultural guidelines for developing and managing uneven-aged stands are provided in this publication. For a copy write: Southern Research Station, P. O. Box 2680, Asheville, NC 28802.

Takings Bill Needs Help

(4/25/97)State Representative Richard Lindsey, D-Centre, asked AFOA members to call their state representatives to pass the "Takings" Bill (HB 485). No companion bill exists in the senate as yet. The legislation requires state or local government to compensate forest owners or farm owners when the owner is barred from using his land because government has decided to protect an endangered species, a wetland, or something else deemed environmentally important. Compensation is limited to farm and timberland areas outside incorporated city limits.