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Archived 2020 News, Issues & Information

(12/30/20) How about some good news? "Jasper Lumber announces $45 million expansion, to create 60 jobs."'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!

(12/29/20) 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 the Department, click here.

(12/28/20) "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.

(12/23/20) "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 newsletter. Read Bob's letter here.

(12/22/20) 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.

(12/21/20) 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 nice people. Invitation and details...

(12/18/20) 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. ($120)

(12/17/20) Raymond James downgraded their rating of Rayonier Inc. (RYN-NYSE) ($30.48) Tuesday to Market Perform (from Outperform). RJ's headline included: "Covid Surge Limiting Mill Capacity."

(12/16/20) 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, 2020.

(12/15/20) How Would a Biden Administration Increase Income Tax?, a slide presentation by Robert Tufts, Visiting Professor, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University. About 15 minutes.

(12/14/20) 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.

(12/11/20) Can I use my IRA to buy land? Carla McEwen of IRA Innovations discusses the possibility in Great Days Outdoors podcast. Starts at 12:53.

(12/10/20/) Learn more about growing Christmas trees on an excellent virtual farm tour with an Extension Agent in North Carolina.

(12/09/20) 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' Association.

(12/08/20) 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 tall.

(12/07/20) Some truth about hurricanes from a real estate investor. From Ross Rant, 12/5/20:

The press has been playing up the line that climate change has spawned 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 consistent recording of storms over the past 140 years, and no consistent terminology to 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 national news. 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 not.

(12/04/20) 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.

(12/03/20) 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 past years.

(12/02/20) Motley Fool discusses: Why Timberland REITS Are Riskier Than They Appear. See middle column at top of page 2 of each issue of Capital Ideas for quotes and links for several timberland REITS. 

(12/01/20) Alabama Mushroom Society Newsletter, November 2020. Enjoy.

(11/30/20) Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers recently completed a video project with marketing students from High Point University (North Carolina). The project is titled Appalachian Hardwood Forest to Finished Products and shows a student learning the process it takes to make beautiful hardwood products. About 5 minutes.

(11/25/20) 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, and When a Tornado Strikes.

(11/24/20) 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 17.

(11/23/20) 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.

(11/20/20) Chestnut Chats: The American Chestnut Foundation has been conducting Chestnut Chats on Fridays since April 17. Topics have included The Art of Grafting, Finding and Conserving Chestnuts in the Wild, Using Drones to Locate and Pollinate Chestnut Trees, Research on Large Scale Reintroduction of American Chestnut, and Cooking With Chestnuts.

(11/19/20) "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 aside.

(11/18/20) 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.

(11/17/20) 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, provides 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° Video)

(11/16/20) "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 20%)." Read more -- click, then scroll down to Investment Gains and Losses. Source: DeLoach, Barber & Caspers, P.C. Newsletter, 11/16/20.

(11/13/20) "Explosion of interest." "People tell us they want a place to get away." Read more: Seller's Market by Victoria G. Myers, The Progressive Farmer, November 2020.

(11/12/20) Should game wardens or others be free to trespass on your forestland? 1) Read this story from Tennessee, 2) listen to our interview with Institute for Justice attorney Josh Windham, and 3) read Windham's request for help from Alabama forest owners.

(11/11/20) Mill construction and expansion make a difference. Read F&W Market Update, 11/6/20, and listen to Markets Expert Amanda Lang, Capital Ideas - Live!, 11/11/20.

(11/10/20) The 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 know -- Thanks.

(11/09/20) 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.

(11/06/20) Reports from Secretary of State on Local Amendments Related to Property Taxes (counties which voted against property tax amendments highlighted in red):
o    Crenshaw County:    Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Elmore County:      Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Fayette County:     Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Geneva County:      Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Greene County:      Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Macon County:       Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Marshall County:    Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Mobile County:      Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Montgomery County:  Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    St. Clair County:   Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Sumter County:      Voting Results    Sample Ballot
o    Washington County:  Voting Results    Sample Ballot

(11/05/20) "Exposure 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 immune system."

(11/04/20) Remember economist Milton Friedman? We think you will enjoy his brief comments on free markets and manufacturing a simple wooden pencil (about 3 minutes).

(11/03/20) 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 Carbon, AFF's Family Forest Carbon, and Natural Capital Exchange). Hint: 24.2 tons in aboveground trees...

(11/02/20) Kith Kitchens opening cabinet factory in Florence, creating 131 jobs. Who is Kith Kitchens?

(10/30/20) 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 Campbell, The Choctaw Sun-Advocate, 10/21/20.

(10/29/20) Stephen Pyne discusses "The Pyrocene: How Humanity Created a Fire Age." The occasion is the Lynn W. Day Distinguished Lectureship in Forest and Conservation History presented by the Forest History Society.

(10/28/20) 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] pole with 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.

(10/27/20) 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 craftsmen. The Wood Yard has a newsletter that you might find interesting.

(10/26/20) "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.

(10/23/20) "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 productive forests." Read the President's Proclamation on National Forest Products Week, 2020.

(10/22/20) "Plant 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 dormant."

(10/21/20) Questions: Should we hold cash? buy land? buy gold? buy bitcoin? buy stocks? buy bonds?
o     How Long Can the Fed Keep This Time Bomb from Exploding?, Mises Institute, 10/21/20
o     Global Impact of a "Blue Wave" Election Outcome, Charles Schwab, 10/12/20

(10/20/20) "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."

(10/19/20) Wood Duck Mates Determine Migration Routes, or in terms most of us would understand, "Boy meets girl; girl flies home; boy follows."

(10/16/20) "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, PetaPixel, 10/13/20.

(10/15/20) 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 down, etc. Here is a perspective on the amendments from and another from Alabama Farmers Federation. Here is an anonymous perspective on the first four amendments (posted November 2).

(10/14/20) 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 management.

(10/13/20) 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.

(10/12/20) "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?

(10/09/20) 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.

(10/08/20) "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.

(10/07/20) "Many ecologists believe dead wood is one of the greatest resources for animal species in the forest." Read more from Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association's When Dead Wood is Good Wood.

(10/06/20) "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 Education's response.

(10/05/20) "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 Journal-Constitution, 9/29/20.

(10/02/20) "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.

(10/01/20) Raymond James upgraded their rating of 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 Record High."

(09/30/20) Georgia Public Broadcasting Education and the Georgia Forestry Foundation (GFF) have joined forces to launch 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.

(09/29/20) Property tax votes or other fees will be on the ballots for the following Alabama counties: Crenshaw, Elmore, Fayette, Geneva, Greene, Macon, Mobile, Montgomery, St. Clair, Sumter, Washington, and Marshall (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 amendments. Click here to find your county's sample ballot on the Secretary of State's website.

(09/28/20) You've heard of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the 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.

(09/25/20) "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.

(09/24/20) Improving stumpage prices ahead? Read F&W Market Update, 9/22/20.

(09/23/20) "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 AgCenter."

(09/22/20) 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 & Sandra Mannhard."

(09/21/20) "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." Learn more.

(09/18/20) "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.

(09/17/20) "The '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 Newsroom, 9/16/20.

(09/16/20) 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 14, 2020.

(09/15/20) 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.

(09/14/20) "$5 million power pole factory coming to Tallapoosa County." Source:, 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 2020.

(09/11/20) Whether hurricane frequency has increased on not, favoring windfirm tree species should be of interest to forest owners, especially in south Alabama.
     Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer: Even with Laura, Louisiana Hurricanes Have Not Increased Since 1851
o     Hurricane Laura Causes Extensive Damage to Timber Industry
o     Hurricane Katrina Winds Damaged Longleaf Pine Less than Loblolly Pine
o     Longleaf pine stood firm to Hurricane Katrina’s winds

(09/10/20) 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 Osterweil, 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 book.

(09/09/20) It's bird migration time again. Check out 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 area tonight.

(09/08/20) Which beetle is killing my trees? Learn more from a video put together by the South Carolina Forestry Commission: Southern Beetles: Identification, Management and Risk Assessment. About 9 minutes.

(09/04/20) 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, 8/24/20. UV flashlight, $12.99

(09/03/20) Remember back 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 Forecasting.

(09/02/20) 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.

(09/01/20) "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 Education, 9/1/20.

(08/31/20) $10 million made available today by Governor Ivey for forest landowners who sold timber during the months of March through July. According to an article in, 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 Association, 9/2/20.

(08/28/20) "Zippered wood (check out the photos in Architect magazine, 7/12/20) twists standard 2x4 to craft new forms."

(08/27/20) Electric Trail Boarding -- Maybe you've heard of Electric Mountain Boards, but we hadn't - until today. They are being featured at 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 to 38:08).

(08/26/20) Alabama forest owners who have a good understanding of the need for fire in the forest will appreciate this article on, 8/24/20: Stop Blaming Climate Change For California’s Fires. Many Forests, Including The Redwoods, Need Them.

(08/25/20) 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. Source, What is the Real Value of $100 in Metropolitan Areas?, 8/12/20.

(08/24/20) 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, 8/17/20.

(08/21/20) 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.

(08/20/20) 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 punishments.

(08/19/20) 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.

Next day 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.

(08/18/20) "...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 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. 

(08/17/20) "Move Over Gold. Wood is the Shelter of Choice in the Pandemic." Source: Bloomberg, July 24, 2020.

(08/14/20) 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.

(08/13/20) 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 oversupply.

(08/12/20) "Today the Department of State issued a 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.

(08/11/20) "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 community."

(08/10/20) The "paper market, like everything else, has been rocked by the coronavirus." Verso 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 papermill and 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."

(08/07/20) "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 Region.

(08/06/20) 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 entries here (11/29/18), here (01/24/18), here (08/25/16), and here (07/20/16).

(08/05/20) 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 -- Details Here.

(08/04/20) 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.

(08/03/20) 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).

(07/31/20) 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 property? Scroll down in The Future of Everything to the last bulleted item in Future Feedback.

(07/30/20) $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 big machines.

(07/29/20) 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."

(07/28/20) 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 spraying machines. Rantizo "became the first company [in the US] to begin commercial drone spraying," and was licensed in 10 states last fall, including Georgia. Common herbicides used to prepare planting sites for hardwoods and pines.

(07/27/20) 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 Organization. Read the full report, Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020, here.

(07/24/20) Consulting foresters 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 "increment cores." 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 remove.

(07/23/20) 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 hour.

(07/22/20) 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. Source: Poaching ginseng is not a victimless crime, The Montgomery Herald, 6/26/20.

(07/21/20) "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 County, Minnesota.

(07/20/20) 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 cogongrass.  Plan now to not miss Consulting Forester Jack Fillingham's Forestry Field Day, this Wednesday, July 22 in Tallapoosa County.

(07/17/20) Pond Management Basics is a one hour and twelve minute class taught by Extension Agent Bence Carter and recorded on July 9, 2020.

(07/16/20) 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 West from 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 discussion. 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.

(07/15/20) Forest2Market CEO Pete Stewart Talks Lumber, Forest Health on NPR’s Marketplace, reports headline on F2M July 14 blog. NPR conducted "fair and fact-based discussion about lumber industry," says F2M. Listen to 2 minute interview here.

(07/14/20) 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 July 27. Read the Newsweek article here (7/3/20) and tell us why we shouldn't be worried (cached copy). See Consulting Forester Marshall Thomas's comments about the Trillion Trees Act, below.

(07/13/20) 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 decides?

(07/10/20) Sequestering greenhouse gas our only hope? Read the discouraging latest issue of F&W Forestry Report, Summer 2020.

(07/09/20) "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 reading Upland Hardwoods: Natural Regeneration, a Mississippi State University publication.

(07/08/20) Market Headlines:
o     Japanese wood chip, wood pellet demand expected to grow, June 10, 2020
o     Netherlands to double wood pellet imports in 2020, June 29, 2020

(07/07/20) A video discussion of tree planting tools produced by and starring 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

(07/06/20) Maintaining good water quality following a timber sale requires a coordinated effort between the landowner, the logger, and the landowner's consulting forester. Dr. 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.

(07/02/20) Have fun celebrating the Fourth, but if you're planning on working with your tractor this weekend, read Phil Bancroft's 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 insurance." AFOA's Hunting Lease Liability Insurance is similar to QDMA's and is purchased from the same insurance agency, Outdoor Underwriters, Inc.

(07/01/20) 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 State Park. Read their latest newsletter here.

(06/30/20) "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 mice now."

(06/29/20) "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 more information:

(06/26/20) Carbon Credit Market Bill in Congress: A needed government assist for forest landowners, or a vote buying scheme?

(06/25/20) 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.

(06/23/20) 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 Cooperative Extension. Read the course description with registration information here (updated 7/17/20).

(06/22/20) 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.

(06/19/20) 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 owned by 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.  

(06/18/20) 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 Conservation Fund. Please read The "Great American Outdoors Act" is a federal land grab slush fund.

(06/17/20) "Markets are hard to put a finger on at the moment," reports the F & W Market Update of 6/16/20.

(06/16/20) Back Porch Forestry creator Dr. David Mercker has produced a fifth program, this one titled, "Tax 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 again. Click here for earlier Back Porch Forestry programs.

(06/15/20) "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." Source: 2020 Southern Pine Beetle Spring Pheromone Survey Results and Southern Pine Beetle Outbreak Prediction Maps: Alabama 2020, Alabama Forestry Commission, 6/12/20.

(06/12/20) "Produced mostly in the U.S.," supplies of lumber for Japanese furniture makers and whiskey distillers are tight, reports the Nikkei Asian Review, 6/6/20.

(06/11/20) Forty-two percent of respondents to a LandThink Pulse question "believe that demand for land will DECREASE for the remainder of 2020."

(06/10/20) 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 with Angela.

(06/09/20) 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.

(06/08/20) 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.

(06/05/20) "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 vine."

(06/04/20) 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 here.

(06/03/20) 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.

(06/02/20) 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.

(06/01/20) 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 timber.

(05/29/20) 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 interesting read.

(05/28/20) The film that shined too bright a light on green energy schemes, Planet of the Humans, has been removed from the web by YouTube. Source: The Guardian, 5/25/20. See 5/1/20, below. Watch on Vimeo, 6/4/20.

(05/27/20) 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 are excessive.

(05/26/20) "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.

(05/22/20) 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 presented Managing for Quality White Oaks at AFOA's 2018 Annual Meeting at Joe Wheeler State Park.

(05/21/20) 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 discount. The discount code is AFOA20. It is case sensitive.

(05/20/20) 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. Enjoy.

(05/19/20) 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 this fall.

(05/18/20) Markets Work and a host of 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

(05/15/20) 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 forest owners.

(05/14/20) "Poor 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.

(05/13/20) Two bills in Montgomery (HB369 -- you may need to click this link twice -- and 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 think.

(05/12/20) "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 Forest2Market Blog, Structural Changes to Declining Pulp & Paper Segments Will Accelerate Under Pandemic.

(05/11/20) 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 Greene County updated 8/19/20.

(05/08/20) Wildfire Headlines from Florida as reported by Wildfire News of the Day, 5/8/20
o    Santa Rosa County: Florida Forest Service discusses new policies to fight wildfires in time of coronavirus
o    Walton County: 33 homes destroyed as result of South Walton wildfire ignited by illegal burn
o    Walton County: Firefighters battle 85-acre wildfire in Lake Wales near S.R. 60
o    Lake Wales: Firefighters battle 110 acre blaze in Washington County
o    Pace: Florida Forest Service says Pace wildfire is contained after burning 70 acres
o    Woodville: Officials warn of increased risk of fires in coming days

(05/07/20) Coloring Sheets and Virtual Field Trip Videos are available at John Deere for Kids.

(05/06/20) Forestry Newsletters from Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Mississippi State are now available.

(05/05/20) 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 an earlier 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.

(05/04/20) Fire Lines is the newsletter of professional and part-time prescribed burners. The March-April 2020 issue contains sections entitled New Technology and Tools, New Fire Science Publications for the South, and Upcoming Events (included are a half dozen on-line webinars).

(05/01/20) So,... even if you nodded your head in agreement with Elon Musk's "forcible imprisonment" comments during 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 does, available, at least today, on YouTube. 6/4/20: Watch on Vimeo.

(04/30/20) "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 Release, 4/29/20.

(04/29/20) 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."

(04/28/20) 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 zone
The stubborn Ukrainian tradition behind forest fires in Chornobyl
Case Study: Chernobyl wildfire extinguished with help of drones
"Absolute Apocalypse": Ukrainian film director uploads drone footage of Chornobyl wildfire aftermath (Video)
Radioactive Cesium measured up north could origin from Chernobyl forest fires
Wildfires Burning In Ukraine's Western Zhytomyr Region
National Guard conducts anti-sabotage operation due to forest fires
                            Source: Wildfire News of the Day.

(04/27/20) 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

(04/24/20) 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, July 2000.

(04/23/20) "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," commented Samuel J. Radcliffe on Forisk Blog, Timberland in Turbulent Times, 4/13/20.

(04/22/20) 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

(04/21/20) 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 forest landowners. Please read Dean Janaki Alavalapati's letter to AFOA recognizing the association's annual support and introducing the student awardees, Andrew Loflin and Robert Sitze.

(04/20/20) 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 Thanks.

(04/18/20) We think you might enjoy and benefit from listening to Forest2Market's worldwide wood market information exchange. 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.

(04/17/20) For more than you probably want to know about the global production of toilet paper, please read Bruce Janda's Fisher International article, 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 country.

(04/16/20) In case your trees were damaged in the recent spate of storms, two on-line publications from MSU might be helpful. They are: Frequently Asked Questions about Timber Casualty Losses and Income Tax Deduction for Timber Casualty.

(04/15/20) 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.

(04/14/20) "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?

(04/13/20) 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 hyperaccumulator 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 plans to 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.

(04/10/20) 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 2020. Source: Lehmann, Ullman and Barclay, LLP, 4/10/20.

(04/09/20) 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 Peru.

(04/08/20) The Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Homesteader may be just the distraction you need to get you through the coronavirus panic. Good luck!

(04/07/20) Telemedicine, Once a Hard Sell, Can't Keep Up With Demand (pdf version) is 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.

(04/06/20) On Line Learning Opportunities:

(04/02/20) 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 estate business.

(04/01/20) 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.

(03/31/20) "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)

(03/27/20) "See 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.

(03/26/20) 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, 3/26/20

(03/25/20) 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 counties.

(03/24/20) 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.

(03/23/20) 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 prisms; the 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 hardwoods.

(03/20/20) Two perspectives on the paper industry. Take your pick:

(03/19/20) 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.

(03/18/20) "Take your child’s creativity outside! 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 baskets."

(03/17/20) "Spring 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 to find turkey hunters eager to lease their land.

(03/16/20) 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 on April 21-22, 2020 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. The AFOA Annual Business Meeting will be rescheduled to a location in the Pelham area.

(03/13/20)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, 3/5/20.

(03/12/20) 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.

(03/11/20) "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 International.

(03/10/20) 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 line.

(03/09/20) 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!

(03/05/20) 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: 205-624-2225

(03/04/20) 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 County.

(03/03/20) "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 interactive 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.

(03/02/20) "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 value ginseng.

(02/28/20) The Role of Trapping in Wildlife Management will be described as a forest and wildlife management "tool" by Wildlife Biologist Mike Sievering at 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 possums. Register now.

(02/27/20) 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 attend Dr. Uma Karki's presentation at AFOA's 39th Annual Meeting in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday, April 22.

(02/26/20) 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.

(02/25/20) 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 on The Land Show, Episode 227 (download and then scroll to 23:32 minutes).

(02/24/20) "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 effectiveness." Source: The Forestry Source, February 2020, page 2.

(02/21/20) 29 YEAR PROPERTY TAX INCREASE PLANNED FOR BULLOCK COUNTY. See March 3 Sample Ballots: Republican; 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 that out. Click here for sample ballots for all 67 counties, both Democratic and Republican. 

(02/20/20) "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.

(02/19/20)The bottom line for U.S. forest owners: based on our experience with previous government incentive programs, 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.

(02/18/20) "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, 2/14/20. Click here for election information from the Secretary of State's office.

(02/17/20) 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 blog: Winter Precipitation Trends: Will Timber Prices be Impacted?

(02/14/20) 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 --  February 10, Tennessee's Governor Lee Pushes to Clear Out Remnants of Income Taxation.

(02/12/20) If controlling coyotes or beavers is on your to-do list, you will want to listen to Ken Peters, Dominion Trapping, on The Land Show, Epitsode 224 (Ken's interview begins at 22:02 and ends at about 36:51). Dominion Trapping on Facebook

(02/11/20) 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 SAY NO!

(02/10/20) "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, 4Q19.

(02/07/20) "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.

(02/06/20) 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..." Read How Much Venison Are Coyotes Eating? by Dr. Mike Chamberlain and Dr. Joey Hinton published by Quality Deer Management Association, 2/5/20.

(02/05/20) 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 decisions.

(02/04/20) 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 forest floor.
     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.

(01/31/20) 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 Association's international promotions group:

(01/30/20) A bridge that would link Shelby County and south Talladega County east of Columbiana near the 4-H Center 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.

(01/29/20) 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 sales.

(01/28/20) 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 forest management:
•   Ephemeral streams, defined as flowing only in direct response to precipitation,
•   Manmade ditches that do not flow into a regulated water, and
•   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 HERE." Source: National Alliance of Forest Owners, 1/23/20.

(01/27/20) 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.

(01/24/20) 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 webpage.

(01/23/20) PAWPAWS. You may not grow them to sell, but have you ever eaten one? "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

(01/22/20) 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 information in "Tax Considerations Associated with Timber Casualty Losses."

(01/21/20) "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.

(01/20/20) 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.

(01/17/20) Passing on legacies of forestland and forestland management know-how -- Professor Becky Barlow leads the way. Source: Alabama Living.

(01/16/20) 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 the bird. Swarovski Optik and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology think they're almost ready to sell you the camera and the service

(01/15/20) "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.

(01/14/20) Davis Fish Farm in Cherokee County was featured this week on The Land Show. Daniel Davis talks about the pond management services they provide, including stocking trout in cold water areas.

(01/13/20) 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 2020 newsletter.

(01/10/20) 10 Predictions for Global Forest Industries in 2020 by Pete Stewart, CEO,, 1/6/2020.

(01/09/20) In its quest to "inspire the limitless potential in every girl," Mattel is working with forest scientist Nalini Nadkarni to create a forest scientist Barbie.

(01/08/20) "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, open

(01/07/20) 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 newsletter, Capital Ideas, top of middle column on page 2. Source: Howard Sokol, Raymond James Financial Services.

(01/06/20) Lady forest owners - watch this video. Gentlemen forest owners - watch the video with your wife.

(01/03/20) 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, Winter 2020.

(01/02/20) 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