Archived 2008 News, Issues & Information
General Forestry Course offered by the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.
Both online and traditional paper versions are available. Registration opens
January 2 for the spring semester.
Land trusts must pass muster under new easement process. "Nonprofit land
trusts [in Colorado] charged with overseeing thousands of acres of scenic lands
will have to be state certified next year in order to continue accepting lands,
under a new review process."
Before the conservation easement business gets further out of hand, we
suspect Alabama and other states will develop easement oversight commissions as
is being done in Colorado. Source: Rocky
Mountain News 10/28/08.
Where do the presidential candidates stand on issues of interest to small
business. Scroll down to the section on taxes and look at the estate tax
and capital gains tax boxes. There is a difference that affects owners of
forestland. Source: National Federation of
Fire Courses Now Available Online. The S-190 course if frequently a
required prerequisite to certified burn manager courses.
BigDog -- pack mule or ATV of the future?
Wood In Fireplace? Attend "Wood Smoke Awareness Course." Southern
California Air Quality Management Board Rule 445. Wood Burning Devices.
Schools & Roads Subsidy From Federal Forestland Voted Down by U.S. House.
Back when National Forests grew and harvested timber, a portion of the sale
income ("hundreds of millions of dollars") was given to local counties in lieu
of property taxes (which the federal government does not pay). We suspect this
decision by the House will impact counties in Alabama such as Winston, Lawrence,
Talladega, Bibb and others (39 states with 700 counties affected). The federal
government's policy of not selling timber results in pressure on private
landowners to pay higher property taxes. Also, see:
Property Tax Lawsuit Threatens Alabama's Forest Industry.
Forest Finance: Keeping Records of Forest Management Activities. A Penn
State publication that will be useful to many forest owners.
"Pellet Fuel: A Renaissance of Heat and Energy Solutions
"Three new wood pellet plants in the U.S. South will more than double North
American pellet production capacity. Dixie Pellets, L.L.C., and Green Circle Bio
Energy, Inc., are slated to begin production at plants located in Selma, Ala.
and Cottondale, Fla., respectively, during the first half of 2008. At full
capacity, Dixie Pellets will produce 500,000 tons of wood pellets annually, and
Green Circle Bio will produce 550,000 tons. Plans for a third plant, located in
Jackson Alabama and operated by DG Pellets I, LLC, are well under way. Upon
completion, the DG Pellets facility will add another 600,000 tons of capacity to
the North American wood pellet supply.
"According to the Pellet Fuels Institute, approximately
80 pellet plants in North America produce 1.1 million tons per year. Much of the
additional 1.65 million tons of wood pellets from the three new plants will be
shipped to Europe. European demand for wood pellets has soared since the 1997
ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by many nations, including the European Union
as a single body. The United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but, as
political and public demand for green energy solutions amplify, wood pellets for
energy and heat will likely enter a new renaissance."
Source: Forest2Market e-newsletter March 2008
is a new series on the History Channel that will begin Sunday, March 9 at 8 PM.
According to the Southern Forest Products Association Weekly Newsletter, "The
History Channel bills the show as the first-ever non-fiction series about the
treacherous life of timber-cutters in the Pacific Northwest. The series is
expected to educate viewers about the logging profession and does not appear to
bash forestry or logging from an environmental standpoint."
Post Your Photos on Google Earth -- Great Tutorial. You might want to
post photos of each of your property corners (perhaps from several angles or
with you holding a sheet of paper with the corner name or description on it). Or
you might want to post pictures of the arrow heads you've found at the exact spot
on the earth where you found them. The process is called geotagging.
"Era of Mediated Nature" Upon Us? Listen to this NPR interview and ponder
if (a) nature-based recreation may decline; (b) forestland prices driven higher
by hunters and outdoor recreationalists might decline; (c) regulatory climate
surrounding land management activities may cool. Also
Richard Louv, author of
Last Child in the Woods, and consider his concerns about youth and
the outdoor world. The Conservation Departments across the U.S. aren't
sponsoring programs like
Becoming An Outdoors Woman because of their altruistic love of nature. On
the brighter side: Could surveys of public-land based recreation be
inversely proportional to private-land based recreation? Are more people buying
their own land and avoiding public land and all its rules and congestion?
The Significance of Private Forests in the U.S. has been added to the
Forest History Society's Education Curriculum for Middle School Students. On February 22, 2007, Keville
Larson led a landowner discussion on improving the middle school segment on
Private Forests (see: AFOA Calendar of
Events 2007) In a 1/31/08 email message to AFOA, Keville wrote: "The
final version of Module 10 on The significance of Private Forests that
you hosted a teleconference on and for which we provided feedback to the Forest
History Society, is now out. Because of our input this is much more balanced
than the version we critiqued. It may not be as strong as we would have written
it, but much better than it was."
Message on Climatic Change from Newsweek magazine: "The longer the
planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic
change once the results become grim reality." Meteorologists "are almost
unanimous in the view that the [cooling] trend will reduce agricultural
productivity for the rest of the century...the resulting famines could be
Source: The Cooling World, Newsweek, 4/28/1975.
Birmingham City Council voted on Tuesday to terminate its support for the
Jefferson County Storm Water Management Authority. The Authority taxes
rural Jeffco forest owners to pay for clean-up of storm water originating
primarily from urban, developed property. Bessemer, Hoover, Graysville,
Fultondale and Leeds pulled out of the Authority last year.
Source: The Birmingham News, January 9, 2008.
(01/04/08) "The New Year demands an
admission that some good has been achieved, not by the wave of a
politician's magic wand but through many daily hands at work in the nation.
"A reader of this column, Richard A. Fazzone of
Potomac, Md., recently got these matters as well focused as I could, so with the
presidential trenches waiting, he gets the final speech:
" 'There is no Great Depression, no WWII, no Cold War,
no racism as it was in the 20th Century or before -- no really big problem or
solution. Unless something changes, voters want practically nothing from
government, or more precisely, relatively few want the same thing, and without
political consensus, a democracy does little or nothing new. In one respect, Mr.
Henninger is correct to observe that 'in American politics, ambiguity is all you
get,' but that may say enough. As another new year begins, we might consider
ourselves fortunate for ambiguity, rather than the opposite and what would
accompany it.' "
Source: The Pre-Election Paradox by Daniel Henniger in The Wall Street
Journal, 1/3/08. Write to