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

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Archived 2012 News, Issues & Information

(11/21/12) Fiscal Cliff Considerations. Source: Lehmann, Ullman and Barclay LLP website. Written by Henry Barclay, III, CPA, the Fiscal Cliff article will be reprinted in AFOA's December 2012 newsletter, Capital Ideas.

(11/12/12) Introduction to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems is available in print or on line. The Guide was featured on page 6 of the November 2012 AFOA newsletter, Capital Ideas, but, unfortunately, we typed the publication request phone number wrong. The correct phone number is (828) 257-4830. You can also request a print copy by email: or download the 88-page publication here.

(11/03/12) Read Before November 6:

(10/24/12) State Senator and state teenager share their ideas on the need for spending $300 million more on public land in Alabama.

(10/08/12) "Poachers of wild ginseng take to woods as prices soar as high as $500 a pound for the plant." Source: The Washington Post, 9/28/12. Video story on YouTube. For more background information on ginseng, watch this West Virginia Public Broadcasting video.

(09/29/12) "New Android App Helps Landowners Identify Trees in the Field. The Dendrology at Virginia Tech website offered by the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation (FREC) is a popular tree identification resource for forest landowners. The website provides information on 969 woody plants, a key for unknowns, and an 'Ask Doctor Dendro' option for questions. Until now, however, this resource was not easily carried to the field." Source: Jennifer Gagnon, Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program Coordinator.

(09/21/12) "Apple Makes Wrong Turn as Users Blast Map Switch." If you use the Maps App that comes with your iPhone or iPad, you may want to hold off on updating to IOS 6 or buying an iPhone 5. Source: The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/12

However, all is not lost! If you've already updated to iOS 6 or purchased an iPhone 5, you still can use Google Maps via Safari, the web browser. Google Maps actually has more functionality when used in the browser. You may want to bookmark the Google Maps page so you can open it faster.

(09/16/12) HOMEWORK to prepare for Tuesday, September 18 Referendum.

(09/01/12) "Don't Eat the Seed Corn." Vote on September 18.

(08/28/12) Range-Wide Conservation Strategy for the Gopher Tortoise. South Alabama forest owners who might have gopher tortoise habitat on their land will want to tune-in to a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service webinar on August 29, September 5, or September 6 (times listed are Eastern Time). Developing a strategy to avoid having the tortoise listed as an endangered or threatened species would be a good one for landowners.

(08/07/12) Drought Assistance Available to Forest Owners. "Examples of practices include re-forestation of longleaf pine stands and prescribed burning for fuel reduction. Several supporting practices are also allowed and include practices such as site preparation, fuel breaks, and fire breaks. The deadline for producers to sign up is August 10, 2012."

(07/27/12) On and after August 1, 2012, you will be required to show proof of purchase price of real property or actual value of real property when recording deeds and other instruments of conveyance. This might impact landowners who record timber deeds and hunting leases. For more information, click here to read a memo from Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis, the new Act 2012-494, and a Real Estate Sales Validation Questionnaire. AFOA thanks the Alabama Forestry Association for the heads-up on this issue.

(07/08/12) Only You Can Exploit Forest Fires. Source: Michelle Malkin, National Review Online, 7/9/12. Taxpayers should ask:  Is global warming the cause of the big Western forest fires or could they be caused by a faulty landownership model? Is government really the best steward of forestland? of any land? of any property?

(07/03/12) "One little word can mean so much. In relation to the Clean Water Act, that word is “navigable,” and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers are trying to get rid of it. ... As part of Farm Bureau’s 'Stop the Flood of Regulation' campaign, farmers and ranchers are urging their senators and representatives to pass the Preserve the Waters of the U.S. Act (S. 2245 and H.R. 4965), which would prevent EPA from using the guidance document." Source: American Farm Bureau Federation as quoted on, 7/3/12

(07/01/12) Amazing photos show destruction of homes by Colorado fire. Source: The Denver Post, 6/29/12.

(06/06/12) "Raising taxes is really not something that I intend to do. If this thing fails, I'm still not going to do it," said Governor Bentley as reported in The Birmingham News and, 6/6/12 and 6/5/12, resp. "This Thing" that the governor is speaking about is a new raid on the Alabama Trust Fund imposed by the state legislature last month. The Republican controlled state legislature could not produce a balanced budget for the fiscal year beginning in October, so they passed legislation requiring voters statewide to vote yea or nea to a September 18, 2012, constitutional amendment that, if passed, will suck a half billion dollars out of the Alabama Trust Fund to pay the state's current operating expenses. Forest owners know that threats of new taxes usually include threats of property tax increases (scroll down to Amendment One). Stay alert. 

(05/30/12) U.S. Government Invites Landowners to Restore & Manage Longleaf Pine in Alabama - $1 million in subsidies available under USDA EQIP.

(05/25/12) Is current level of regulation of Pulp & Paper Industry prejudiced? Are forest owners harmed? Source: National Center for Policy Analysis, 5/25/12

(05/04/12) Based on the theory that any publicity is good publicity, we suppose you will like several articles that hit the news in the past two months. They are, Staving off an Alabama forestland crisis, The Birmingham News, 4/29/12, Alabama timber industry facing tough times, Southeast Farm Press, 3/8/12, and Alabama's timber industry at risk, Birmingham Business Journal, 5/4/12. A common thread in the articles seems to be that forest landowners have gray hair (when was that not true?), and, if timber prices stay low, forest landowners might sell their land to a developer and reap huge profits (the only business worse off than the timber business right now is the housing development business). Give me a break.

(03/08/12) Forest Landowners Association Call to Action: Contact your Representatives in the U.S. Congress and urge their support of H.R. 1259, the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act.

(03/05/12) Fear of global warming/climate change are behind most forest certification schemes, ethanol subsidies, cellulosic ethanol mandates and many other actions that affect national and international forest policy. We thought you might enjoy the conversation in this video.