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

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Archived 2022 News, Issues & Information

(12/29/22) Are you thinking about buying a portable sawmill? "Sawmill Exchange is North America's largest source of used portable sawmills and commercial equipment for woodlot owners and sawmill operations."

(12/28/22) Alisha Millican, President of the Alabama Mushroom Society, joined The Land Show, Episode 371, to talk about "the fascinating work of exploring and researching mushrooms and fungi around the state." Audio: from 3:03 to 18.25. Links mentioned during the interview:  and

(12/27/22) County Tax Maps: We published the links to county property tax maps almost 3 years ago and thought it might be a good time to update the links and remind you that the list is still available. You can use the maps to find your property, the names and addresses of your neighbors, and much more.

(12/21/22) "Check Rural Broadband Map," says American Farm Bureau Federation. The Federal Communications Commission's "new map displays specific location-level information regarding broadband services availability." If they think you have adequate access, they may move on to other areas that have requested assistance.

(12/20/22) The 2023 Alabama Phenology Calendar is available from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and will ship in January. "Phenology is the study of the timing of seasonal events in nature, such as the blooming of dogwood trees and the mating of white-tailed deer. Wildlife emerging from hibernation, birds nesting and migrating, and flowers blooming are some of the phenological events happening around us yearly." Keep your own records with the Alabama Phenology Calendar. $20.

(12/19/22) Freeze Warning for Tree Planters: "In the next few days, specifically Friday the 23rd of December 2022 through Tuesday the 27th of December 2022, we will experience an extended freeze event across the eastern US. The extremely cold weather conditions combined with wind over this time period may affect newly planted seedlings. ... These cold temperatures are of concern for landowners who have recently planted or are in the process of planting seedlings for reforestation. Freeze injury or seedling death is a possibility."

(12/15/22) Potential Pests Issues in Alabama Forests with Meredith Shrader is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 52 minutes. Reviewer's comment: "This eclectic tour of pests might be best watched as an entertainment alternative to the evening news. Interesting but not much useful information here."

(12/14/22) Timber University is a new monthly podcast produced by Mississippi State Extension's Brady Self and Shaun Tanger. Click here to access the first three episodes.

(12/13/22) Year End Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals is a brief (15 minutes) discussion that covers a wide variety of topics, most not related to forestland, but hopefully useful to forest owners. The video features CPA Bobby Bragg and Rachel Taylor, both with the firm JamisonMoneyFarmer, PC. Questions? Call 205-345-8440.

(12/12/22) "What kind of binoculars should I buy? It’s hard to give a blanket answer: with hundreds of models at price ranges from under $100 to more than $3,000, the market can be bewildering." The birdwatchers at The Cornell Lab looked at two dozen 8 x 42 binoculars (budget and mid-range) to help you make a decision.

(12/09/22) "The Main Benefit is Peace of Mind," Paul Jeffreys reminds us in his recent TreeLines article, Why You Should Work with a Forestry Consultant. To find a consulting forester in Alabama, go to

(12/08/22) Successful Investment and Management of Pine Plantations, a report by Mossy Oak Properties published at, 10/31/22, provides a brief summary of planting and growing pine trees in the South.

(12/07/22) Do you think Alabama's low property taxes encourage you to own and manage forestland? What about the lower tax rate for capital gains income? Is that an encouragement to you? The Tax Foundation's recent report, The Weird Way Taxes Impact Behavior, describes how taxes influence human behavior and how tax policies can encourage positive economic behaviors. Enjoy.

(12/06/22) Georgia Pacific to invest $160 million in Brewton mill. "It reinforces GP's long-term operations plan and our commitment to the Brewton community and the region." Source: The Brewton Standard, 11/29/22.

(12/05/22) "I burn a lot of it by myself....I'm very comfortable in doing that now," explains Jess Martin, Alabama Tree Farmer of the Year for 2022. Video: about 7 minutes.

(12/02/22) "Stop Federal Funding for Listing the Northern Long-Eared Bat as Endangered," demands Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AR-4), ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee. "Landowners are about to be punished," Westerman points out in a letter to be sent to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. To help you encourage your House member to sign on to the letter, the Forest Resources Association has provided a spreadsheet with the names and contact information for house staff members.

(12/01/22) "Dogs can do amazing things for conservation," says Lindsay Ware, founder of Science Dogs of New England, Scent Detection for Research and Conservation. Read her story, Learning About Conservation Dogs with Lindsay Ware, at Northern Woodlands, 11/30/22.

(11/30/22) Woody Invasive Species Impacting the Southeast features Alabama Extension's Dr. Nancy Loewenstein. Webinar: about 53 minutes.

(11/29/22) Planning, Designing, and Installing Shallow Wells is a webinar featuring Joseph Ayotte, Supervisory Hydrologist, and Manuel Diaz, Agricultural Engineer. The webinar is presented by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service - Science and Technology, National Technology Support Centers. If you have never drilled or dug a well, you will very likely learn something new by watching this webinar. About 1 hour 43 minutes.

(11/28/22) Data Request from Forest Landowners Association: Help Us Keep Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes Off The List. Last month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced their decision not to list the eastern population segment of gopher tortoise under the Endangered Species Act. This success can be credited in large part due to private landowners sharing data about gopher tortoise occurrences on their property. Now the USFWS is seeking data and input on the eastern diamondback rattlesnake to determine whether the species is warranted for listing as threatened or endangered.
     Use this link to learn more about how to submit data on your property. This data will be collected through a trusted third-party source, the National Council of Air and Stream Improvement, and anonymized before sharing with USFWS. Information can be as detailed or as general as you are comfortable with sharing. Please submit data on or before November 30th, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Moss at

(11/25/22) "I've been blessed with a labor of love." Winston Bryant described his lifelong land adventure in a video presented at the Alabama Landowners Conference on October 28. Video: about 3 1/2 minutes.

(11/22/22) 4th Generation Forest Owners, Adair Gilbert and Earl Whatley, describe their Houston County forest and farmland in a video presented at the Alabama Landowners Conference on October 28. Video: about 4 minutes.

(11/21/22) Trey & Pam Montgomery's Leavellwood Lodge and Forestland were recently featured at the Alabama Landowners Conference on October 28. We think you will enjoy their discussion of how they started out and what they've accomplished. Video: about 3 1/2 minutes. After story.

(11/18/22) The Forest Landowners Association has produced 6 webinars which "explore all aspects of voluntary carbon markets."

(11/17/22) The Land Show, Episode 367, had a wide ranging discussion this week which included:

  • Christmas Tree Farm Activities in Mid-November
  • Deer & Duck Hunting Seasons Opening Soon
  • What to Do about Abandoned Tires on Your Property
  • Will Active Hunting Lease Hurt the Sale of Your Property
  • Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes from The Sporting Chef.

(11/16/22) Costs and Trends of Southern Forestry Practices with Adam Maggard is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 52 minutes.

(11/15/22) "Duties of An Executor or Trustee: To avoid frustration and confusion at a trying time, know what to expect and prepare for responsibilities." "One important move that we see missed often is getting an appraisal on inherited real estate. The heirs get a stepped-up basis to the fair value on date of death. To support that date of death value, the IRS will want to see you either sell the property in short order or get an appraisal from a licensed appraiser. We sometimes see the heirs retain the property for several years before liquidating it and then have no support for their stepped-up basis." Source: Successful Farming, 10/3/22.

(11/14/22) The true threat to the survival and recovery of the tricolored bat is white-nose syndrome (WNS). Forest conditions are not limiting for this bat species. The National Alliance of Forest Owners submitted comments to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service yesterday urging the Service "to state in the final rule its willingness to work collaboratively with private forest owners for conserving bat species, including the tricolored bat."

(11/11/22) Tree planting season is here, and with that, it is essential to store seedlings properly for best results. Watch this informative video (about 3 minutes) from Jeff Smith of Scotch Land Management & Plywood and Paul Jeffreys, Ph.D., ArborGen Reforestation Advisor.

(11/10/22) Property Tax Questions were on the ballots in four counties on Tuesday (see below, 10/4/22). The results, as copied from the Secretary of State's website, demonstrate the importance, sometimes, at least, of making your wishes known on election day.

  • Autauga County    15 mills      failed     67 votes

  • Chambers County    4 mills      passed  2,246 votes

  • Choctaw County     1 mill       failed    866 votes
                       3 mills      failed  1,002 votes
                       5 mills      failed  1,008 votes

  • St.Clair County   10 mills      failed    501 votes
                      15 mills      passed     83 votes

(11/08/22) Hiring a Consulting Forester: "A consulting forester (consultant) is a professional forester with a forestry degree from an accredited university program. A consultant’s principal business activity is providing forestry advice to the public on a fee or contractual basis. Consultants do not have financial interests in a timber purchasing or procurement entity. Consultants are usually self-employed or work for another consultancy with a handful of other employees. Their main focus is on the private forest owner who hires them." Source: National Woodlands, Vol. 45, No. 4. To find a consulting forester who seeks work in your Alabama county, go to

(11/07/22) Pine Pulpwood Stumpage in Alabama was selling for an average of $8.39 per ton (much lower in the north than the south) during the third quarter of 2022 (July - September) according to TimberMart-South. But in Europe industrial wood pellets (burned to produce electricity) are trading on the spot market at $453 per metric ton and "the German bulk price surpassed $760 per ton earlier this fall."

(11/04/22) Welcome to Forestry and the Forest Industry: "Juniors and seniors from Falkville High School [in north Alabama's Morgan County] participated in a Forestry Field Day as part of Alabama Woods to Goods Week Oct. 17. The event included visiting Moon Logging’s operation in Hartselle and touring Littrell Lumber Mill in Decatur."

(11/03/22) Land Surveys Do More Than Mark Property Corners. In a short 7-minute video, RecLand Realty Broker Pat Porter discusses several ways to turn survey costs into profitable investments.

(11/02/22) What kind of educational information would you like Auburn University College of Forestry, Wildlife, and Environment and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to provide for forest owners? If you would like to put in your 2 cents worth, you are invited to participate in the Alabama Landowner Study. Click here to open the survey.

(11/01/22) Message to Game Wardens: NO TRESPASSING! "89% of respondents [to a recent LandThink Pulse question] indicated that game wardens SHOULD NOT have the right to come on private property to search and surveil without permission, without probable cause, and without a warrant." See also: "Big Win for Landowners Confronted with Trespassing Game Wardens."

(10/31/22) NO LONGER LOOKING (11/2/22) Looking for landowners with tracts of timber: As part of receiving a degree from Auburn, forestry students are required to complete a class with a management plan on a tract of timber. This class is the culmination of their college education. Each group (about 4 students) needs a tract that is approximately 400 acres of timber. Preferably it is within 40-50 miles of Auburn. The students will meet with the landowner to understand their objectives, inventory the tract, and make forest management recommendations to attain those objectives. The field work is completed during the early part of the Spring semester. The final report is summarized in an oral presentation to the landowner and faculty in late April. We ask that the landowner attend this presentation. A final written copy of the management plan is also supplied to the landowner. If you are interested in being part of this important portion of the student’s degree, please contact Tom Gallagher at 334-844-1095 or send an email to Thank you for your help.

(10/28/22) "Pure Farmland" in northeast Iowa recently sold for $26,250 per acre. Source: The Land Report, 10/12/22. Do you think inflation had anything to do with the sale price? Here's a primer entitled How Does the Federal Reserve Create Money? Source: Foundation for Economic Education Stories, 10/26/22.

(10/26/22) What voters should know about constitutional items on the November ballot, a report from The Alabama Policy Institute (API), 10/21/22. While some of us will be faced with property tax decisions on November 8 (see below, 10/04/22), we'll all probably need to do a little research on the "constitutional items" described by the API. Page 3 of Alfa Voter Guide 2022 describes Constitutional amendments -- for some, neutral on others, but not opposed to any.

(10/25/22) How to Choose a Tax Professional by Dr. Tamara Cushing, includes the important question: "Will you represent me if I am audited?" Source: National Woodlands, Vol. 45, No. 4. Click here for a list of tax experts ready to help Alabama forest owners: 1) Tax Preparers, (Code = t); and 2) Tax Educators (Code = u).

(10/24/22) What would be best, do you think? Would you like it if Alabama's population were growing or falling? If you want to sell your land, you'd probably like it to grow to give you more potential buyers. But some might be quite happy if the population were falling - less demand for houses in the woods, less trespassing ... you get the idea. The Tax Foundation has produced an interesting map of State Population Changes Attributable to Interstate Migration showing Alabama as ranking #16 in the U.S. with a 0.35% net in-migration. Idaho ranks #1 and New York ranks last at #50.

(10/20/22) "Plant Seedlings Early for Best Survival and Maximum First-Year Growth," recommends ArborGen in its October 2022 edition of TreeLines newsletter.

(10/19/22) Estate and Gift Tax Exemption Changes: "The lifetime estate and gift tax exemption (also known as the unified credit), will jump to $12.92 million in 2023, up from $12.06 million in 2022. Since couples share their exemptions, it means a wealthy couple that starts making gifts in 2023 can pass on $25.84 million." Source: Forbes, 10/18/22.

(10/18/22) Rescue of Alabama hunter involved training and new remote sensing equipment. Interesting story.

(10/17/22) Tame the Game: Safe Preservation of Wild Game with Christy Mendoza is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 37 minutes.

(10/14/22) Fish Day: Save on delivery fees when Alabama Fish & Pond holds Pond Stocking Fish Days across Alabama. Fish (catfish, bass, bluegill, grass carp, tilapia, minnows) are delivered to local feed stores and co-ops -- see map for locations and dates.

(10/13/22) "Aerial ATV Aims for 2023 Launch," reports Progressive Farmer, October 2022. "The Recon, aiming for a spring 2023 release at a price of $150,000, has a flight time of 24 minutes, a top speed of 63 mph and a 250-pound advised weight limit." The Recon will be demonstrated at the Sunbelt Ag Expo, 10/18-20/22. Watch videos at

(10/12/22) The Westervelt Company has decided to not allow baiting/supplemental feeding on their deer hunting leases (600,000+ acres in several states) with the hope that the ban will slow the spread of chronic wasting disease. Kevin McKinstry, Westervelt Recreation Director, discussed the history of leasing hunting land in Alabama and optimum hunter numbers in a club, among other things, in an interesting interview on The Land Show, Episode 362, 20:30 to 39:30.

(10/11/22) Listing Gopher Tortoise as threatened or endangered not warranted in the eastern segment of its range (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and most of Alabama), says U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

(10/10/22) Reduction in Hunting Accidents Reaches Milestone reports the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on October 6, 2022. "Last year was a good year," [Hunter Education Coordinator Captain Marisa] Futral said. "There were no fatalities in firearms or treestand accidents. We had fewer treestand accidents than firearms incidents, which is unusual."

(10/07/22) Killing Kudzu with Herbicide Delivered by Drone: Forester T. R. Clark "said he has found the UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle or drone] application costs to be very similar and competitive with backpack or skidder treatment methods, although again on larger tracts, helicopters will still be the most economical option." Read more: F&W Forestry Report, Fall 2022, page 7.

(10/06/22) Land Ownership, Liability and the Law with Robert Andrew Branan, JD is a webinar produced by Southern Regional Extension Forestry. The webinar was presented on 8/31/22 and is about 55 minutes long.

(10/05/22) Ecology and Management of the Firebird with Mark Sasser is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 49 minutes.

(10/04/22) We scanned the 67 sample ballots on the Secretary of State's website today and found several county ballots with local amendments and questions that may be of interest to forest landowners. Also be aware that there are statewide amendments in all 67 counties. We are not "amendment experts," so please send a note if you see an error or omission in the following list.

  • Autauga - Property Tax Increase for portions of the county -- 15 mills - more details posted 11/7/22
  • Baldwin - A Referendum -- we're not sure if this is important to forest owners
  • Butler - New school district prohibition and golf carts on local roads
  • Chambers - 4 mill property tax for hospital
  • Choctaw - 1, 3, & 5 mill property tax votes plus a fee increase for vehicle tags for county rescue squad
  • Cleburne - Question about Limited Self Governance Act
  • Covington - Municipalities to be authorized to allow golf carts on public streets and roads
  • Mobile - $69 million bond issue for roads, bridges and drainage
  • Pickens - Fire protection funds from existing property tax to also be used for emergency medical services
  • St. Clair - Property tax increases for Odenville and Springville school districts; 10 mill and 15 mill, respectively
  • Shelby - Municipalities to be authorized to allow golf carts on public streets and roads

(10/03/22) Selling Timber: Key Considerations for Landowners by Tom Brickman will be a useful read for many forest owners who are thinking about making their first timber sale.

(09/30/22) Dixie paper plates: Georgia-Pacific Manufacturing announced that it will be investing $425 million in our neighboring State of Tennessee to produce Dixie tableware products.

(09/29/22) Selecting the best tractor and implements for your land-use needs. Dale Gamble, with Cahaba Tractor in Pelham, joined The Land Show, Episode 359, to provide equipment tips. Dale's interview begins at about 3:30.

(09/28/22) How to Buy Things That Make You Money, a story from the Foundation for Economic Education, may have a secret buried in the article that you can pass along to children or grandchildren. Good luck!

(09/27/22) Caution Urged On Any Outdoor Burning. Wildfire Advisory for Most of Alabama issued by the Alabama Forestry Commission.

(09/26/22) Forbes asks, "Which Industries Are Impacted The Most By Lumber Prices?" Key takeaways:

  • The price of lumber impacts many industries, from construction to transportation. When the real estate market cools down, fewer people spend money on home improvements and home construction, which means less demand for lumber.

  • Lumber suppliers couldn’t keep up with the unique demand in 2021 due to supply chain issues and labor shortages. This led to the price of lumber skyrocketing.

  • With the Fed raising interest rates, the entire economy is slowing down, influencing everything from real estate to discretionary spending. This means that folks aren’t as keen on spending money on home improvements as they were in 2021.

(09/22/22) “What landowner wants [the Fish & Wildlife Service] to show up at their gate? Really, who in the hell actually trusts [the Fish & Wildlife Service] anymore?” Source: Alabama forest landowner Gray Skipper describing his discontent with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Conservation Nightmare as Landowner Fights Feds Over Property Regulations and Phantom Snake,, 9/21/22.

(09/21/22) Estate Planning with Wills and Trusts is a 12 minute video with slides presented by the Ladd Firm based in Mobile, Alabama. The slide show is an ad for the law firm, but packed with useful information.

(09/20/22) Do you worry about things that probably won't happen? Like a nuclear reactor melt-down similar to the Chernobyl Disaster back in 1986? If you owned forestland downwind from a nuclear power plant, how long would it be before you could enter your land, harvest timber, hunt, or camp after an accident? Is there insurance to pay for third party losses caused by a meltdown? Read more here. There are five nuclear power reactors in Alabama. 3 at Browns Ferry on the Tennessee River and 2 at Joseph M. Farley near Dothan.

(09/19/22) Prescribed Fire: A Promising Tool for Reducing the Risk of Tick-borne Diseases with Elizabeth R. Gleim is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 46 minutes.

(09/16/22) "Forest Stands." Early in the process of forest management, foresters divide the property into unique "stands." In the latest issue of Back Porch Forestry, Dr. David Mercker, Extension Forester at the University of Tennessee, describes Forest Stand Delineation.

(09/15/22) Two Wood Product Expansion Projects Coming to Dothan, Alabama.

  • SmartLam North America, which makes cross laminated timber products at a Dothan factory, has announced it will invest $62 million to build a new manufacturing facility to produce large beams and columns for construction, creating 43 jobs.

  • Peak Renewables also announced it will build a $30 million wood pellet production facility in Dothan, which will use sawmill residuals to make pellets used in renewable power generation. The project will create 26 jobs.

(09/14/22) Copperhead Bites Pell City Woman. Fortunately, their venom "is considered the least toxic venom among venomous snakes found in the United States and is rarely fatal." Baby Copperhead Season Is In Full Swing says Garden & Gun magazine, 9/8/22.

(09/13/22) "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List the Tricolored Bat as Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act. Ongoing spread of white-nose syndrome is primary threat, increasing risk of extinction." For what it's worth, White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) Spread Map shows WNS not occurring in south Alabama.

(09/12/22) "...loggers are pickier and tracts with tough access are much harder sells now." Source: F&W Market Update, 9/7/22.

(09/09/22) Rabies Vaccine to be dropped from the air: "The U.S. Department of Agriculture has begun scattering millions of packets of oral rabies vaccine from helicopters and planes over 13 states from Maine to Alabama. ... The vaccine has been found safe for more than 60 kinds of animals including domestic dogs and cats."

(09/08/22) Timber! How to grow money on trees, an article in the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan, September 2022, by Henry Clay reports: "In times of economic uncertainty, asset diversification within an investment portfolio can provide a hedge against market drops as well as protection against inflation."

(09/07/22) The Surprising Lives of Bark Beetles: Mighty Foresters of the Insect World is a new book by Jiri Hulcr and Marc Abrahams published by the University of Florida press. One reviewer wrote, "unconventional and downright funny to read." Source: SFEF News Digest, 9/5/22.

(09/06/22) Logging Impacts to Soil and Water Quality with Richard Cristan is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 55 minutes.

(09/02/22) "Growing oak trees to maturity begins with two ingredients: viable acorns and competitive seedlings. USDA Forest Service scientist Stacy Clark wrote a cookbook to help managers with the regeneration process in healthy, productive oak forests." You may also want to read: Guidelines for Securing and Planting Upland Oak Seedlings in the Southern Region.

(09/01/22) "Owning Rural Land Offers Returns that Exceed the Financial. Now more than ever, people desire space, freedom and want to feel a connection with the land. Rural land has emerged as an investment that can retain and appreciate its value over time while you have a great time owning it." Source:, 8/31/22.

(08/31/22) Apple, too, may be ready to connect to satellites for cell service in remote areas.

(08/30/22) Wood pellet producers urge consumers to stock up on fuel now, announces a headline in Biomass Magazine, 8/23/22. While not many people use wood pellet heaters in Alabama, many homes and businesses in northern states are heated with wood pellets. Last night, Tucker Carlson reported that in Germany, "They're burning wood again, as they did during the feudal period. In Poland, families are standing in line for days to buy coal..." Read or, preferably, watch the 16 minute segment.

(08/29/22) "'The vine that ate the South': How kudzu infested Alabama one vine at a time," by Zach Hester,, 8/25/22, describes kudzu and how Alabama has grown it so successfully. Auburn's Nancy Loewenstein and Stephen Enloe tell us how to control kudzu in their publication: Kudzu Control in Forests, Rights-of-Way & Natural Areas.

(08/26/22) "T-Mobile and SpaceX Starlink say your 5G phone will connect to satellites next year."

(08/25/22) "There Is No Climate Emergency," claim 1,100 scientists and policy experts who signed a statement put forward by a group called Climate Intelligence (Clintel for short). Clintel was "founded in the Netherlands with the express purpose of combating the extremism of the climate change campaigners."

(08/23/22) AFOA's Lee Laechelt was a guest on The Land Show, Episode 354, last week. Lee and host Jonathan Goode talked about timber markets, leased hunting land markets, and lots more. The 20 minute interview begins at 38:00.

(08/22/22) Inflation and Timberland Returns -- Update by Jack Lutz, Forest Research Notes, 2Q22 reports "timberland returns have always exceeded inflation over any and all 10-year investment periods since 1960." Click here for an archive to all past Forest Research Notes.

(08/19/22) Trophy Pond Management Strategies with Norm Haley is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 52 minutes.

(08/18/22) Forest Industry Analyst Brooks Mendell: "Thinking About Timberland Investment Exposure to Interest Rates and Default Risk." Source: LandThink, 8/9/22.

(08/17/22) Why are Canadian timber processing investments moving south? An August 9 press release from West Fraser (over 60 mills around the globe with 3 in Alabama) politely reports in a press release announcing operations cutbacks in Canada: "Access to available timber is an increasing challenge in British Columbia and ongoing transportation constraints have impaired the Company’s ability to reliably access markets. These capacity reductions are necessary to better align West Fraser’s operating capacity with available timber and transport availability."

(08/16/22) Landlocked Property: "Three things that I tell people who want to sell a tract like this ... ," advises Pat Porter, a real estate broker in Louisiana. Video: about 6 minutes.

(08/15/22) Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) in Alabama: The Alabama Forestry Commission conducts SPB monitoring flights (pilot and one or two rangers in a Cessna) in areas where SPB infestations are suspected. The infestation spots are mapped and published on the Commission's website. "This year is good; we have not had a lot of SPB spots detected." "The southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) is the most destructive forest insect in the South. Weakening of trees by flooding, windstorms, and especially drought commonly precede outbreaks."

(08/12/22) 20 percent off through September 30th. All About Birds: Southeast is published by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology along with 6 other regional field-guides. Enter promo code BIRDS on the Princeton University Press website.

(08/11/22) Wellborn Cabinet plans $17 million investment, 415 jobs in Oxford expansion project. Based in Ashland, Alabama, the cabinet maker, which has its own sawmill and employs 1,336 workers, told AFOA yesterday to let landowners know that they are seeking sweetgum logs.

(08/09/22) Timberland Liability Insurance is what we call it here at the Alabama Forest Owners' Association (AFOA). Vacant Land Insurance is the name featured in Vacant Land Insurance Explained for Landowners written by Josh Honeycutt on Great Days Outdoors a few days ago. AFOA's Timberland Liability Insurance costs only $36.60 plus 38 cents per acre. Click here to fill out an application.

(08/08/22) Do you have a water well at your cabin? If your answer is yes, then you will want to watch Private Well Program with Jessie Curl. It is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 32 minutes. Here is a resource list provided by Regional Extension Agent Bence Carter:

(08/05/22) Tell me a story: Why do you own forestland? Do you plant trees? Do you hire loggers to harvest your trees? What wild animals live on your land? Did you ever get lost in your woods? Do you build campfires? Please read Eric Kingsley's blog, We Need to Tell Our Story -- At Every Opportunity. It will be a good way to close out your busy week.

(08/04/22) Birth Control for Wild Hogs. HogStop "is composed of ingredients, commonly found in some livestock feeds, that inhibit the fertility of the male hogs when eaten." A couple of feeders designed to exclude access by deer and other critters are recommended on HogStop's website. AFOA isn't sure if HogStop works as claimed, but we thought some forest owners would be interested in learning about its existence.

(08/03/22) "Clear-cut land is excellent deer habitat and a valuable wildlife management tool. The reason deer love cutovers is that in the South, within 6 months of being clear-cut, a property will be completely re-stocked with young, vigorous, thick growth. And, you don’t have to lift a finger or spend one dollar!" Source: Clear-Cut Land: Nature’s Food Plot and Good Investment Land by Tom Brickman, LandThink, 7/26/22.

(08/02/22) "Oklahoma Becomes First State in Nation to Make Full Expensing Permanent," exclaimed the Tax Foundation on July 6. Full expensing probably won't matter much to most forest owners, but it might be a lot easier at tax filing time, even for those of us with small investments like a tractor or a pickup truck. Our tax advisor says, "Alabama conforms to federal law. So, if the federal government decides to quit 100% expensing, Alabama will follow suit." Phaseout begins in 2023.

(07/29/22) Geographic Information Systems (GIS): The 13th Southern Forestry and Natural Resource Management GIS Conference was held last year on December 6-7, 2021. Elizabeth Martinez, The Forestland Group presented Navigating the Maze of GIS Tools and Solutions. Several other conference presentations can be found here.

(07/28/22) "How a Georgia Pine Farm Became a Significant Tax Deduction: A minister’s bequest underscores the lucrative market for conservation easements and shows why some deals are scrutinized by the IRS." Source: The Wall Street Journal, 5/2/22 (behind paywall). Pirated copy here on blogger Abhay Rawat's webpage.

(07/27/22) Two publications highlighted in the "Burning Hardwoods" webinar, below, 7/25/22, are:

(07/26/22) Some Canadians don't like it when their forest industry folks invest in sawmills and forestland in the U.S. South. Read: Letter to the Editor: Stop logging money from going to the U.S., Prince George Citizen, 7/11/22.

(07/25/22) Burning Hardwoods: Why Fire is Necessary for Upland Oaks with Heather D. Alexander is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 42 minutes.

(07/22/22) While you're waiting for stumpage prices to improve, "there are a number of creative ways for timberland owners to incrementally increase cash flows during and in-between harvests. A broad overview of some of those options is presented..." by F2M's John Greene in Creative Markets & Opportunities for Southern Timberland Owners.

(07/21/22) "BLM Purchases 35,000 Acres of Land Southwest of Casper" states a headline in Wyoming's Cowboy State Daily, June 3, 2022. The BLM (U.S. Bureau of Land Management), along with other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, own more than 600 million acres in the U.S. A member of a Property Rights Group wrote: "No reporter has asked any questions about how we taxpayers can continue to afford to add acres to our federal estate as we watch our natural resources squandered under federal control. No reporter has asked why we need more acres of federal lands when we obviously have not and cannot manage what we already own."

(07/20/22) In his article, Bird Calls: Birding as a Hobby in Alabama, Alex Horn introduces his readers to Merlin Bird I.D. "This app will use the GPS capability on your phone to determine the species of birds that are most likely to be in your area. It also has recordings of the different calls and sounds you could potentially hear while you are out, which could help you identify the species of bird you are after." Source: Alabama's Treasured Forests, Vol. XLI No. 1 - 2022, page 13.

(07/19/22) "Wood-burning stoves and firewood have become scarce [in Germany] in the wake of the Ukraine war. Furnace builders and installers can hardly save themselves from orders from concerned customers who want to install an additional heating option in their house or apartment." Source: DETV.US, 7/1/22.

(07/18/22) Trust but verify. The family of former Alabama Secretary of State Mabel Amos filed a lawsuit against Regions Financial Corp. claiming that Regions mismanaged a charitable trust. "The lawsuit states that Regions began charging 'outrageous' fees when oil was discovered on Amos’ property. For example, in the suit the plaintiffs claim that Regions was paid about $7,000 for spending five hours a week administering the trust in 2010. Within a year, that same five hours a week cost $92,736." Source:, 7/16/22.

(07/15/22) MORE On Carbon Markets from the Georgia Forestry Association: Carbon sequestration accrediting group, Verra, declined to adopt the tonne-year accounting method which may have an impact on NCX's (spoke to us at AFOA 2022 Annual Meeting) current and future contracts with private forest owners. AFOA is no expert on any of the carbon programs, so we could use some feedback. If you have a contract with NCX, are you confident that you will be paid? Do you think NCX will offer contracts in the future? Send your comments to RLL@AFOA.ORG.

(07/14/22) On Carbon Markets from Marshall Thomas, President, F&W Forestry Service: "Regardless of your position on climate change, it is important for forest landowners to understand what is going on with carbon markets. For example, in New Zealand, which has a robust governmental carbon market that pays landowners for the carbon sequestered in growing trees, carbon has become perhaps just as or more important of a part of the economics of forestry than sales from harvests." Read more in F&W Forestry Report, Summer 2022, page 1.

(07/13/22) Honey Bees In Forestry: Potential for diversifying forest land use with William "Jack" Rowe is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 45 minutes.

(07/12/22) If you want high-speed internet access from your rural home or woodland cabin, we listened to two conversations about Starlink today on The Land Show, Episode 349, that may make you want to rush out and buy the service. The first interview is with Ryan Folk, founder of (see below) (from 17:45 to 26:30) and the second is with Robert King, who uses Starlink to "stream television at their family farm in Clay County." (from 53:10 to 57:20)

(07/11/22) For landowners who plan to regenerate longleaf pine stands from natural seed fall, you should be aware that the U.S. Forest Service 2022 Longleaf Pine Cone Crop Report says this is likely to be only a "fair" year to have the ground ready to catch the seeds. "The 2022 results were highly spatially variable, with some areas reporting a 'bumper' crop and other areas reporting a 'failed' crop in the upcoming fall." "[T]herefore, you are encouraged to go to the woods with your binoculars and conduct your own cone counts on longleaf pine stands in which you have a specific interest."

(07/08/22) The recently published Forest Atlas of the United States contains a wealth of information about the trees and forests of the U.S. Lots of beautiful maps and illustrations. The information is available in a 95 page book (pdf) format that you can print or in an interactive web format.

(07/07/22) A recent LandThink Pulse Survey asked their readers, "Do you think we are in a land real estate bubble?" "74% of respondents believe that the warning signs of a land real estate bubble are flashing." Read more here.

(07/06/22) A revised version of the manual Managing the Family Forest in Mississippi has just been published by Mississippi State University Extension. 100 pages. Comprehensive. Thanks to Brady Self, John Kushla, Marcus Measells, John Auel, Adam "Butch" Bailey, Shaun Tangers, and Adam Rohnke.

(07/05/22) Starlink: Promising Internet Solution for Rural Land Buyers. "For many people in remote rural regions of the U.S., it’s like living in an undeveloped nation when it comes to internet connectivity." Source: LandThink, 6/28/22. How to order Starlink.

(07/01/22) Control erosion with Streambank Soil Bio-engineering -- that's "the use of live and dead plant materials in combination with natural and synthetic support materials for slope stabilization, erosion reduction, and vegetative establishment." It looks good, too. Webinar, presented on June 30, 2022, about 1 hour 25 minutes.

(06/30/22) ForestryWorks has created some short virtual reality videos that you will find fun to use. Open them with your smart phone or tablet or a VR viewer, and then move around a bit. Turn to the left and right, look up. Topics are Tree Farm Tour, Processor, Fellerbuncher, Loader, Sawmill. Enjoy.

(06/29/22) In a case of lots of pots calling the kettle black, Grist, 6/29/22, reports, "More than 150 conservation, environmental, and social justice organizations have accused The Nature Conservancy of 'promoting false climate solutions.'" A cynic might say, "Couldn't happen to a nicer guy."

(06/28/22) Economist Laurence Kotlikoff says Congress should "Fully index the federal income tax to inflation," including taxes on real estate gains. Read What Congress can do to lower the cost of inflation, Goodman Institute, June 21, 2022.

(06/24/22) Global land cover "photos" updated every 2-5 days are available for you to play with. If you learn how to spot tornado tracks or other land disturbances using Dynamic World, please let us know. If it works, it may be a useful tool to quickly map the damage caused by the next tornado spawning storm. Thanks. RLL@AFOA.ORG

(06/23/22) The Returns on Well-Marked Borders: "When you look at the impact that having properly marked boundaries can have on the resale value of your property, it makes the time, money and effort needed to establish them a drop in the bucket. Buyers want secure investments and if the property has quality gates, well-established fences and/or marked lines, they will feel more at ease that problems such as trespassing and poaching will be avoided." Source: Property Lines: Boundaries are an Integral Part of Management, LandThink, 5/3/22.

(06/22/22) "My planted pines died. What do you suppose caused that?" Nursery and Regeneration Consultant Dr. Tom Starkey answered the question in his report in TreeLines, June 2022 - 1st Edition.

(06/21/22) Hunting Lease Contract: "A legally enforceable promise." Rusty Rumley, National Agriculture Law Center, presented Hunting Leases and Liability: What Should the Landowner and Hunter Look for in a Lease? on June 15, 2022. Webinar - about 1 hour.

(06/20/22) "How Lost Hikers Can Send an SOS to Space. The Sarsat satellite system is a kind of celestial lifeguard for explorers, boaters, and aviators who might be in need of search and rescue." Source: Wired, 6/14/22. You may not be an explorer, but if you need help and have no cell phone coverage, this emergency system may be of interest to you or your family.

(06/17/22) F&W Market Update (6/7/22) reports, "it appears that mills aren’t responding to the fuel price increase, putting a significant burden on the backs of loggers." See story about logging business closure below.

(06/16/22) "Family logging business forced to close after nearly 40 years due to inflation, gas prices,", 5/15/22. This story is taking place in North Carolina, but similar stories are unfolding all across the South.

(06/15/22) Sustainable Forestry vs. Diameter Limit Cutting is the latest video in the Back Porch Forestry series featuring the University of Tennessee's Dr. David Mercker. About 25 minutes. See the entire series here.

(06/14/22) Bat Legislation: Keeping in mind that the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) "thrives in managed forests and White-Nose Syndrome is the reason these bats are perishing, not sustainable forestry," "once this bat is bumped up to 'endangered,'" timber harvesting will be subject to strict, federally imposed restrictions from April to October each year. "Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-08) is expected to roll out legislation [click here to read bill and comments about it - 6/24/22] that would allow the existing 4(d) rule that enables forest management in the NLEB’s 38 state range to continue once the bat is listed as 'endangered' as expected." Source: Forest Resource Association, Issue Update, 6/10/22.

(06/13/22) Classifying Your Hardwood Timber for Harvest Purposes is a new publication by David Mercker, Forestry Extension Specialist, University of Tennessee. "For most forest landowners, the opportunity to harvest their hardwood trees doesn’t happen often. Species such as oak, hickory, maple, poplar, cherry and others require decades to reach financial maturity. Waiting for the crop to mature requires patience. When the time arrives, knowing which trees to harvest and which to retain for future revenue can be challenging." Mercker talked to us about Managing for Quality White Oaks at our 2018 Annual Meeting in Rogersville. Worth watching.

(06/10/22) Alabama doctors launch nation's first follow-up clinic for snakebites. "Between 7,000 and 8,000 people are bitten by snakes every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only about five or six die and death is unlikely for those who receive medical treatment. However, between 10 and 44 percent of bite victims sustain lasting injuries that can include losing muscle control or part of a finger, according to the CDC." Source:, 6/10/22.

(06/09/22) Pine Bark Beetles of Alabama: Biology, Control, and Preventive Management Strategies with Drew Metzler is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 40 minutes.

(06/08/22) Notes on Inflation and Forestry Investments from Forest Economist Brooks Mendell on, 5/10/22. "Generally, institutional investors and individuals prefer illiquid assets during inflationary periods. These assets – including well-managed private businesses, infrastructure, manufacturing assets, and timberland – tend to appreciate and increase cash flows when prices rise."

(06/07/22) Gold Standard or Tree Standard? "Opponents of the gold standard want us to believe that gold is old-fashioned, that a more 'enlightened' perspective is that money shouldn’t come from a hole in the ground. Think about that. They are telling us that money should instead come from—drum roll—trees!" Source: When Thoughts Turn to Gold by Lawrence W. Reed, Foundation for Economic Education Stories, 5/29/22.

(06/06/22) "A Spokane, Washington-based real estate investment trust [PotlatchDeltic Corp.] is acquiring an Atlanta-based investment group [CatchMark Timber Trust], and in the process, concentrating almost 154,000 acres of Alabama timberland." "Prior to the deal, PotlatchDeltic owned about 87,000 acres of Alabama timberland, growing southern yellow pine, red oak, sweetgum and other commercial hardwood species. The timber is used for regional wood products and pulp mills, according to the company. Catchmark owns 66,900 acres in Alabama, part of its 365,300 acre portfolio, which includes Georgia and South Carolina." Under the photo in the article, writer probably meant: Alabama timberland is taxed at the same rate as agricultural land and owner-occupied dwellings.

(06/03/22) Summer Camp. "Camp is a magical place where all the social hierarchies break down. Here there’s no baggage. You get to be your own true self." Maybe not true for everyone, but we thought you might enjoy reading Widening the Circle: How Three Summer Camps Are Introducing More Children to the Outdoors by Jack Beaudoin, Northern Woodlands, Spring 2022.

(06/02/22) The Land I Want is Under Contract ... Am I Out of Luck? Forester/Real Estate Agent Tom Brickman advises to do something: "Buy the Contract or Submit a Backup Contract." Source: LandThink, 4/5/22.

(06/01/22) The folks that grow pecans and other nuts on their land have association homes. Here are a few:

(05/31/22) Last week, the Forest Resources Association (FRA) urged the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to "recognize, if the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) is listed as endangered, that forest habitat is not limiting, and that well-managed forests maintain and create environments required for the survival and recovery of the NLEB. The USFWS should allow timber harvest to continue and not impose seasonal harvest restrictions. USFWS guidance should be like the current 4(d) rule being applied under the threatened status of the NLEB." FRA Comments. National Alliance of Forest Owners Comments.

(05/27/22) President Biden wants 30 percent of our land and water "conserved" by 2030. Recently the State of Vermont passed a law to "protect" 50 percent of the land within the state by 2050. Alabama already has forest cover on more than 70 percent of the state, but, unfortunately, our forests are privately owned and probably not considered "protected" by the folks who push this stuff. Be aware.

(05/26/22) A Health Reform Whose Time Has Come. "The basic idea: take all the spending and tax subsidies we now provide to private health insurance and use that money to give every American not on a government health plan a refundable tax credit. This money could be used to purchase health insurance and make deposits to Health Savings Accounts, from which people could purchase health services directly." Source: Goodman Institute, 5/21/22

(05/25/22) Managing Pasture and Hayfields for Wildlife with Joshua Elmore is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 32 minutes.

(05/23/22) "What do you know about the 'Statewide Amendment 1' issuing $85 million in bonds for state parks?" The amendment will be on all ballots tomorrow, May 24.

(05/20/22) Export of logs and other forest products will soon be more cost effective as the Alabama Port Authority completes several important projects, including a $367 million channel project that will allow much larger container ships to enter and leave the Port of Mobile. Source: Alabama, Mississippi seaports beefing up rail, roadway links, American Journal of Transportation, May 18, 2022.

(05/19/22) How can we encourage people to become truck drivers (who haul our logs to the mill and lumber to the builders, and just about everything to everywhere)? The Forest Resources Association reported a few days ago on a bill that has been introduced in Congress that might get passed if lots of people gave it a push. Read details here. Alabama U.S. House of Representatives Members and U.S. Senators.

(05/18/22) A Glimpse and a Hope. The Progressive Farmer's Tax Columnist Rod Mauszycki wrote about Biden Tax Policy in the May issue. He touched on 1) increasing  top tax rate for individuals to 39.6%, 2) increasing capital gains rates for income of more than $1 million to 39.6%, 3) limiting 1031 exchanges to $500,000, 4) partial elimination of stepped-up basis, and more. He concludes: "I will write more if anything gets traction. For now, hope that there is gridlock and nothing passes."

(05/17/22) The U.S. Northwest timber people lament that the Southeast timber people are having all the good luck. In the Southeast, most forestland is privately owned. In the Southeast, the people are still mostly, more or less, economic conservatives. In the Southeast, the trees grow pretty fast. In the Northwest, not so much.

(05/16/22) Coyote Impacts & Management with Dr. Wes Anderson is the latest issue of Alabama Extension's 2022 Natural Resources Webinar Series. About 46 minutes.

(05/13/22) Annual Meeting 2022: Taxes and Carbon Credits. Tamara Cushing's Tax Tips for Forest Owners and Alex Macintosh's NCX Carbon Market are now available to view on AFOA's website.

(05/12/22) Some of our forest owner members who are part of a family business may appreciate the title of this Family Business Consulting Group essay: If You’re Not All In, You’re Not in at All. .Enjoy

(05/11/22) Durhamtown Off Road Park in Georgia hit with $22 million wrongful-death verdict. "The wrongful death suit was heard last week by a jury that awarded damages to Debra Ann White, the wife of Dr. Adam White. Adam White was killed when he was hit by a falling tree while riding his dirt bike." Source: Athens Banner-Herald, 5/3/22. AFOA interviewed Durhamtown's Mike McCommons back in 2004. The topic was "Durhamtown Plantation: Family Entertainment."

(05/10/22) New Red Tape for Rural Landowners: Securities and Exchange Commission's newly proposed climate-related disclosures may create new "burdensome reporting requirements" and "create multiple new sources of substantial costs and liabilities." Alabama Farmers Federation urges landowners to send strong message to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Click here to learn more and compose message to SEC.

(05/09/22) Is there a housing bubble? "The average mortgage payment is now $1,800 a month. That’s 70% higher than the pre-Covid high. The only other time home payments were this high was in 2007 on the eve of the Great Financial Crisis." Source: Committee to Unleash Prosperity Hotline, #527, 5/4/22.

(05/06/22) "Wood Pellet Mill Stopped in Lumberton, North Carolina." There are groups of tree-loving folks who believe that the wood pellet business is destroying all the trees. Forest owners know that only a small percentage of the wood we grow ends up as wood pellets, and most of that comes from sawmill sawdust and other mill by-products, and from low-grade trees that cannot be used to make lumber, ties, veneer, poles, etc.

(05/05/22) Wildfire News Of The Day gathers all the news about forest fires from around the world and sends several dozen news stories daily to subscribers 5 days a week. Anyone who wants to receive the free Wildfire News service, click here. Thank goodness, Alabama doesn't make the news very often.

(05/04/22) Annual Meeting 2022: Landowner Uses for HuntStand Pro App was presented by Brian Murphy during the Saturday morning, April 9 session in Pelham, Alabama. Among the many features Brian described, we think you might be interested in Check in/Check out to help landowners and their hunters keep track of one-another, Friend Finder, and Monthly Satellite View. In the past we've described the ownership maps and markers and traces for sharing locations of property corners, roads, and trails.

(05/03/22) "It's a good time to sell standing timber," reports Consulting Forester Billy Rye in his latest Timber Market Update, 5/2/22.

(05/02/22) Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD): Earlier this year two white-tailed deer in northwest Alabama tested positive for CWD. Feeding and baiting, which may cause the spread of the disease, have been restricted in the local area. Alabama Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Deer Program Coordinator Chris Cook provided an update on CWD on 4/27/22. Webinar - about 35 minutes.

(04/29/22) Big timber investment management organization (TIMO) was scammed, over an eight-year period, of more than $4 million. While something like that is not likely to happen to most of us, certainly not to the tune of $4 million, we suspect that from time-to-time acreages of planted trees or herbicide application estimates may be exaggerated on contractor invoices. It's not a bad thing to check invoices, perhaps take a drone photo of planted areas in order to measure acreage.

(04/28/22) Herbicide and Fertilizer Prices Going Up. National Deer Association's Kip Adams wrote yesterday: "Given the continued impacts of the pandemic, April snowstorms and foreign wars, spring food plot season is a welcomed return to a little normalcy. What's not normal, unfortunately, is the cost of herbicide and fertilizer. If you haven’t priced those items yet, get ready to hold onto your hat."

(04/27/22) Cogongrass made it into the popular "press" earlier this month when Dennis Pillion wrote, Meet cogongrass, the fire-loving, stabby demon plant invading Alabama on on 4/7/22. If you think your land is not threatened by cogongrass, check the map in the article and think again. See also, Cogongrass Fires by Loewenstein and McGuire. Good luck.

(04/26/22) Trail Building and Maintenance with Kids is a report on the Run Wild My Child website by Jared Ryan, an Oklahoma dad of 2 and "trailblazer."

(04/25/22) Alabama Mushroom Society's recent Morel Foray was so popular, they had to turn people away. Read more and view morel photos in their April newsletter.

(04/22/22) The upcoming May 24 Alabama Primary Election includes a statewide amendment that, if approved, will cost $85 million. Voters in two counties will make property tax decisions: Butler (Republican Democratic); and Choctaw (Republican Democratic). School board candidates, judges, and many other choices will be on the ballots. Sample ballots are available here.

(04/21/22) Words Matter: Lance Woodbury, DTN (Progressive Farmer) Farm Business Adviser, highlighted three critically important words for family business participants in his April, The Dispatch.

  • Share
  • Trust
  • Forgive

(04/20/22) Gift Tax: "The interaction of gift tax reporting and estate taxes is widely misunderstood. Most people think that if they give away more than $16,000 (the new 2022 limit), someone will owe some kind of tax on it. Not so, unless you give away over $12 million in your lifetime." Source: Be Aware of Current Laws on Estate Taxes, Successful Farming, April 2022.

(04/19/22) "Redfin Reports the Pandemic-Driven Second-Home Boom Is Coming to an End. After last year’s frenzy for vacation homes, buyers are now backing off amid rising mortgage rates and an increase in loan fees for second homes." So, if you didn't sell that 20-acre isolated tract while the market was hot, you may have missed your chance.

(04/18/22) Trail-Camera Position Statement From National Deer Association: "Given the recent bans on the use of trail-cameras in some western states, the staff and Board of the National Deer Association believed it was time to state an official position on this issue. In brief, NDA supports the use of all trail-cameras as hunting, wildlife observation and deer management tools." See also, Trail cameras have been banned in Arizona, 7/21/21.

(04/15/22) F&W's T. R. Clark, LaFayette, Alabama, "expressed concern about how inflation may impact tree planting" next year. "Chemical for site preparation is already in short supply and is expected to have a significant price increase. Nurseries have already expressed that their prices will rise. If prices rise 'too' much, there will be some landowners who choose to delay a year in hopes that prices settle and some who decide not to replant at all."  Source: F&W Forestry Report, Spring 2022.

(04/14/22) People used to call it camping. Some now call it "Forest Bathing." "From reducing stress to sleeping better at night, there is a wide range of benefits that come with digitally detoxing and reconnecting with nature."

(04/13/22) Wood Pellet Fuel in the News:

(04/12/22) Tick Season is upon us. Follow these guidelines before going outside:

  • Wear light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck the shirt tail into the pants, and tuck the pants legs into socks.
  • Put long hair in a bun or pull it up into a hat.
  • Wear close-toed shoes.
  • Use repellents that contain greater than 20 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing.
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin. This is the most effective preventative measure when used according to the label.
        Source: Ticks and Tick-Borne Illnesses in Alabama by E. Merritt and A. Brodbeck.

(04/11/22) 645,000 Tons of containerboard and fluff pulp capacity in Panama City, Florida to be closed by June 6, 2022. WestRock Company made the announcement last Thursday, 4/7/22.

(04/07/22) Must-Know Tips for First-Time Land Buyers is a short (about 7 minutes) discussion featuring real estate brokers Jonathan Goode and Pat Porter. "Being a first time land buyer is both exciting and overwhelming. While buying land can be a great decision, there are quite a few steps from where you are now to the moment you can relax and enjoy owning it."

(04/06/22) Why a Billionaire’s Tax Could Be Bad for You: "The Biden administration is proposing a new tax on households worth more than $100 million. Tagged as a 'billionaire tax,' the new levy would apply not just to ordinary income, but also to unrealized capital gains. If a wealthy person owns shares of stock and the stock is worth more today than when it was purchased, Biden wants the federal government to take 20 percent of the increase. So, what’s wrong with that?" Source: Goodman Institute.

(04/05/22) Federal Reforestation Deduction and Amortization is a video produced by MSU's Curtis VanderSchaaf. "The use of these incentives can help to recover/offset and therefore reduce landowner reforestation costs. A deduction is a provision that reduces your taxable income, while an 'amortization', or an amortized deduction, is a deduction that is spread out over several tax years. A landowner can deduct up to $10,000 annually of any qualified reforestation costs per Qualified Timber Property (QTP), and can then amortize any amount of qualified reforestation costs per Qualified Timber Property (QTP) incurred within a particular year in excess of $10,000, within an 84-month period over 8 tax years."

(04/04/22) The Alabama Forestry Commission will pay landowners to participate in its Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Prevention Program. The goal of the program is to assist landowners financially with forest management practices (first thinning and tree planting) that would decrease the chances of their pine stands becoming infested with SPB. The program launched on April 1, 2022, and the application portal will remain open for a few months.

(04/01/22) Bear Cubs Collared in Northeast Alabama near Mentone: “It’s not uncommon to encounter three cubs on average in a den,” reported Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries' Traci Wood.

(03/30/22) Pine Straw Management in the Southeastern U.S. is a brand new webinar featuring the University of Georgia's David Clabo. For landowners who have reasonably level land that will support longleaf pines and raking/baling equipment, pine straw may be a very good source of income. Video: about 54 minutes.

(03/29/22) All that glitters is not green. While we don't want to dampen your interest in selling carbon credits (NCX will visit with us at our Annual Meeting on April 9), you should be aware of the strong criticism of some carbon credit schemes as voiced by Lyme Timber CEO Jim Hourdequin in a 3/17/22 Bloomberg news story: This Timber Company Sold Millions of Dollars of Useless Carbon Offsets.

(03/28/22) Three new Back Porch Forestry videos have been published since the last time we checked. They are How do Acorns Develop?, Grazing Livestock in Woodlands, and A Lesson in Forestry Best Management Practices. Click here to review Dr. David Mercker's entire collection of the University of Tennesee's Back Porch Forestry video series.

(03/24/22) Big Win for Landowners Confronted with Trespassing Game Wardens: A Tennessee court decided in favor of landowners who complained about law enforcement officers of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency entering their land to search for wildlife violations without a warrant or consent. AFOA interviewed Institute for Justice attorney Josh Windham about this case back in November 2020. See also: "They even install cameras..."

(03/23/22) The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed that the Northern Long-eared Bat be classified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Forest owners with caves on or near their property and forest owners who have trees with shaggy bark may be impacted. Read past news items on the bat below.

(03/22/22) What's going on in Montgomery? Alabama Farmers Federation produces a weekly  Capitol Connection Newsletter to let you know what they think is the most important Agriculture [and Forestry] Related News from the Alabama Legislature. Read the 3/18/22 issue here.

(03/21/22) Timeline: A History of Creosote Wood Preservation: In 2020 – "Over 20 million railroad crossties produced, 95% of which are creosote-treated. Approximately 95% of all new railroad ties are preserved wood, as opposed to non-wood products of concrete, steel, or plastic. Of the wooden ties purchased, 98% are either creosote or creosote-borate treated."

(03/18/22) Carbon Markets: Mississippi State Forestry Extension Specialist Curtis VanderSchaaf dives deep into an explanation of how carbon markets work and how landowners earn income from sequestering and/or storing carbon on their land. Video: about 51 minutes.

(03/17/22) "Glamping, or glamorous camping, allows you to enjoy all the benefits of being out in mother nature while staying in a tent with five-star amenities. In Alabama, The Destination Resort off Lake Martin is the place to experience this trend." Featured recently on Simply Southern, Rhonda and Skip Courtney have created on their 103 acres on Sandy Creek, "a place where people can escape from their normal routines and get back to nature." Video: about 8 minutes.

(03/16/22) F&W Market Update's (3/7/22) only bright spot for Alabama (and then only close to Alabama) was the following: "The one exception is Southwest Georgia, where the managers report that markets are above normal with increasing prices. They say there continues to be strong demand for stumpage sales, which they expect to last through late spring/early summer."

(03/15/22) Chuck Sykes, Director of the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries reports in Public Support of Hunting, Great Days Outdoors, March 2022, "that approximately 85% of American adults support hunting when it is for the meat. On the opposite end of the scale, less than 30% of these same people support hunting for a trophy." Read his short, but important story here. Turn to pages 68 & 69.

(03/14/22) Fire Lines, Volume 12(1), the bimonthly newsletter of the Southern Fire Exchange, is overflowing with news, information and events focused on interests of the pyromaniacs among us. Enjoy.

(03/11/22) Alabama Farmland Cash Rental Rates by Wendiam Sawadgo and Julia Holley, Alabama Extension System, may help you if you are trying to figure out how much you should charge a farmer who wants to rent your farmland. However, an Auburn economist wrote to AFOA: "This data is from USDA and is based on surveys returned to the National Ag Statistics Service. For now, it is the best data we have although some might argue that the data aren’t terribly reflective of the actual market."

(03/10/22) Tree Planters -- Freeze Alert! "In the next few days, specifically Friday the 11th of March 2022 through Saturday the 12th of March 2022 we will experience an extended freeze event across the Central and Eastern US. The extremely cold weather conditions over the next few days may affect newly planted seedlings especially after the recent warm weather that has occurred over most of the region." Source: Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative, Management Alert 22-03.

(03/09/22) Nontimber Forest Products and Bioeconomy: "In the United States, the deep and long cultural connections to nontimber forest products are embedded in contemporary American society, yet the products often go unnoticed. While revenues generated from the sale of these 'invisible' products support households in rural communities and contribute to local, regional, and the national economy, not much is known or understood about the economic importance of NTFPs in the U.S." Video about 1 hour 12 minutes

(03/08/22) Braggin' or Complainin'? Sometimes it's hard to tell, when we're talking about Alabama's low taxes. However, in the case of The Retirement Systems of Alabama, they're always unhappy when you aren't paying higher taxes. See page 2 of their February newsletter where they report that Alabama had the Second Lowest State and Local Taxes Collected Per Capita in 2019 of Ten Southeastern States.

(03/07/22) Fire related stories in the news recently:

(03/04/22) War disrupts forestry markets and other headlines seen in Forest Markets Newsletter today:

(03/03/22) Russian Pulp & Paper Mill May Shut Down: "Facing inadequate supplies of critical raw materials, Sylvamo (NYSE: SLVM) may curtail or temporarily shut down pulp and paper production at its Svetogorsk, Russia, mill later this week. The mill is currently operating while the company takes steps to mitigate the supply chain issues and continue production." Source: Business Wire, 3/2/22.

(03/02/22) "Are Southern Log Prices Finally Catching up to High Lumber Prices? ... Due to the South’s competitive costs and deeply embedded forest supply chain, we expect it to remain the center of North American forest industry expansion over the next decade. While this new capital might not be enough to drive the kind of price spike many landowners have been hoping for, it will help to reduce the large oversupply of standing timber throughout the South. Based on current data, the rise in log consumption now appears to be affecting prices at the stump." Source: Forest2Market Blog by John Greene, 3/2/22.

(03/01/22) Wood Pellet Fuel Market Threatened by Current Energy Chaos? "Slowly you can hear the gears grinding toward some changes." Will a return to energy realism impact the market for imported wood pellets in Europe? Read more at PowerLine Blog, 2/27/22.

(02/28/22) Dividing Jointly Owned Property: Understanding the Process of Partition by Robert Tufts and Ken Kelley (pages 12-13) AND A Guide to Owning Forestland, Part One by Billy Rye (pages 38-41) are both in the February/March 2022 issue of Cooperative Farming News. Consulting Forester Billy Rye will moderate a forest landowner panel discussion at AFOA's Annual Meeting in Pelham, Alabama on April 9.

(02/25/22) "For British Columbia (B.C.) forest companies and pension plans, the future is in the U.S. Opinion: Agency that invests public-sector pension funds is following B.C. forestry companies to greener pastures of Texas and Louisiana." Read more in the Vancouver Sun, 2/18/22.

(02/24/22) The February 2022 issue of The Overstory, Mississippi State Forestry Extension's newsletter has been published. Topics include upcoming workshops and a Mississippi Timber Price Report, 4Q21.

(02/23/22) "Professional Shortage Looms," says Business Editor, Katie Dehlinger in the February 2022 issue of The Progressive Farmer. Dehlinger quotes Tax Columnist Rod Mauszycki, "'The concerning thing that we're seeing is the number of CPAs [certified public accountants] that are just quitting.' Frequent changes to the tax code and the high penalties for mistakes are fueling a wave of retirements. There just aren't enough young CPAs with agricultural knowledge to take their place." Click here to view AFOA's list of forestry tax experts.

(02/22/22) Forever Wild Carbon Income Would Be Credited to County General Fund: "The Alabama Farmers Federation is closely monitoring HB 65 by Rep. Ben Robbins, R-Sylacauga, which was scheduled for a public hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee this week. The bill would propose an amendment to the Constitution to provide any income from carbon credits generated from the management of Forever Wild forest resources would be credited to the county general fund in which the Forever Wild land is located." Source: Capitol Connection, 2/18/22.

(02/21/22) Rural forest owners with slow internet connections will be interested in these two headlines:

(02/18/22) Family members who don't work directly with the forest property may still have much to contribute. Read more: Developing a Family Enterprise Owner's Mindset from The Family Business Consulting Group, February 15, 2022.

(02/17/22) Coping with Losses from Nature and Chance, with Tamara Cushing, University of Florida and Yanshu Li, University of Georgia, is the fifth of five Woodland Stewards Webinars on Forestry Taxes. About 1 hour.

(02/16/22) "American Farm Bureau Federation Adopts Policy Opposing 30 x 30," reports American Stewards, 2/15/22. And a Roll Call headline on 2/7/22 reads: "Biden's rebranded conservation plan has critics on all sides."

(02/15/22) Newbern, Alabama Farm Offers Bird-Watching Tours on Property. "People will go to different areas of the country at different times of the year looking for certain birds. It’s like treasure hunting with animals," landowner Christopher Joe says. "We’ve had birders come here from New York and California. Once people found out what we were doing here, it just took off." Read more about Birding Festivals and Events.

(02/14/22) Sign-up Today for Alabama's Cogongrass Control Program. Managed by the Alabama Forestry Commission, the Program webpage contains Eligibility Requirements, Rules, Landowner Agreement and a link to an Application Form.

(02/11/22) Alabama is #1 in the Land Category of CATO Institute's Index of Personal and Economic Freedom!

(02/10/22) Keeping More of Your Income Following a Timber Sale, with Andrew Bosserman, CPA, Esq., Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP and Yanshu Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Forest Taxation & Economics, University of Georgia, is the fourth of five Woodland Stewards Webinars on Forestry Taxes. About 1 hour.

(02/09/22) Managing White Oaks: Harvesting & Regeneration Strategies is an informative webinar led by forester and wildlife biologist Drew Metzler. About 43 minutes.

(02/08/22) The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board owns 870,000 acres of "high-quality Loblolly pine" spread throughout the U.S. South. "The timberland portfolio provides significant diversification benefits ..., including diversity of locations, customers and tree age classes." Source: Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Press Release, 1/26/22.

(02/07/22) Elmore County Board of Education to ask for significant property tax increase. Source: The Wetumpka Herald, 2/1/22. We thank and appreciate the Elmore County forest landowner who sent us the news article. If you know about property tax increases in other counties, please let AFOA know. RLL@AFOA.ORG

(02/04/22) Prescribed Burn Contractors: Who You Gonna Call? The Alabama Prescribed Fire Council maintains a webpage (a map of the state with counties outlined) which contains individuals and firms who want to help you burn your land. There's a link on the page, too, for prescribed burners to add themselves to the "Prescribed Burn Vendor" list. Burners aren't available in every county, so if you click on a county and no names pop up, you may need to check nearby counties. LINK NOT WORKING. SORRY. 5/2/22.

(02/03/22) Forest owners probably never know the people who harvest their trees and deliver them to the mill. That's just the way the system works. So, we want to thank the Florida Forestry Association for introducing us to Dunieski Garcia, a logger with Loncala, Inc., High Springs, Florida. Video about 4 minutes.

(02/02/22) Forestry Taxes -- the third of five Woodland Stewards Webinars is available for you to watch: Timber Management Expenses and Deductions. About one hour.

(02/01/22) Three Encouraging Southern Timber Market Headlines:
   o   Southern Timber Prices Continued Upward Trend in 4Q2021
   o   New Year Starts On A Good Note With Upward-Sweeping Timber Price Graphs
   o   South-Wide Average Stumpage Prices Increased (near top of right column, page 2)

(01/31/22) Getting Started with Prescribed Fire on Private Land is an excellent 8-minute video produced by The Longleaf Alliance in Georgia. If you are not now a prescribed burner, you'll want to become one after watching this video. Question: Who, in Alabama, do you go to for prescribed fire information and encouragement? Send your answer to RLL@AFOA.ORG.

(01/28/22) Wood Power Poles Canceled! "San Diego Gas & Electric and the Cleveland National Forest completed a fire hardening and safety project, replacing thousands of wooden poles with steel to better protect the electrical grid from the impact of forest fires." We don't know where the poles came from that were removed and we don't know where the replacement wood poles would have come from in the future, but cancelling the use of wood poles is a serious condemnation of one our most valuable forest products, no matter where it's happening. TimberMart-South reported in the 4th Quarter of 2021 that pine power pole stumpage prices in south Alabama were 91.5 percent higher than pine sawtimber stumpage prices.

(01/27/22) Legislature Set to Pass Federal Relief Spending Bill. "The bills call for spending the majority of the federal relief money on broadband; water and sewer projects; and health care." Watch 11 minute video discussion between Alfa's Preston Roberts and Senator Greg Albritton, R-Atmore. You might also want to hear Alabama Finance Director Bill Poole discuss Gov. Ivey's Philosophy on Relief Money. Click here - about 6 minutes.

(01/26/22) Forestry Taxes -- the first two of five Woodland Stewards Webinars introduced to you on 12/22/21, below, have now been presented, recorded, and published to the web. 1) Seeing the Forest for the Trees: An Overview of Forestry Taxes and 2) Basics of Timber Basis.

(01/25/22) Growth & Yield Part II: If you found VanderSchaaf's discussion on Growth & Yield interesting (see below 1/19/22), we think you will find the Texas Forest Service's Timberland Decision Support System lots of fun and perhaps useful. Forest economist Dr. Weihuan Xu put together the Timberland Investment Calculator for you to play some what-if games with your timberland investment. AFOA interviewed Dr. Xu here. He is no longer with the Texas Forest Service.

(01/21/22) Ten things you can do to improve white oak stocking on your land is a list we saw on the White Oak Initiative's website. It's never too late to take the first step. Good luck.

(01/20/22) "Bill Would Keep Foreign Buyers from Alabama Farm Land, Forests," states the headline in The Montgomery Independent, 1/5/22. Foreign ownership is "a concern to Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, who has pre-filed a bill to restrict purchases of agriculture and forest land in Alabama." Editor's note: While we generally agree with the thrust of Senator  Melson's bill, we suspect the news article exaggerates the size of foreign ownership in Alabama. We learned in the USDA report, Foreign Holdings of U.S. Agricultural Land, that foreign ownership means "a 10-percent or more interest in the entity...," not the same as 100-percent ownership.

(01/19/22) Growth & Yield: How many trees are on my land? How much pulpwood and sawtimber will I be able to harvest in 20 years? Mississippi State Forestry Extension Specialist Curtis VanderSchaaf discusses these and many other questions in a well-done 48 minute video: Utility of Forest Growth and Yield to Landowners.

(01/18/22) Private forest ownership rests on the support of our neighbors and our elected and salaried officials to protect our "right" to own and manage forestland. That right is seriously threatened when property theft becomes an everyday affair as is occurring right now in Los Angeles (Powerline Blog, Midnight Trains and Daylight Crime, 1/17/22). The ransacking of 90 cargo containers a day in LA presents a frightening image for those of us whose timbered property is safe only because of the protection we receive from neighbors and local law enforcement.

(01/17/22) "Seedling to Sawmill" and "Sawmill to Site" are a collection of five short videos that the Westervelt Company has produced in order to make the organization and its employees look good -- and it does and they do. But, just because you may be a small landowner (Westervelt owns over a half million acres - see story below) doesn't mean the values you produce on your land are any less important than theirs. Keep up the good work!

(01/14/22) America's Largest Landowners are profiled in the Winter 2021 issue of The Land Report. Flip the pages to # 114. There are Alabama forest owners on the list. We've probably overlooked several, but check out #97, McDonald Family; #85, Scotch Families; #60, Gene Taylor; #52, T.R. Miller Family; #20, Westervelt Heirs.

(01/13/22) Wilcox County landowners have brief opportunity to halt a proposed property tax increase. Read more here. If you can provide more information about the proposed tax in Wilcox County, or if you know of any property tax increases that have been or will be proposed for other Alabama counties, please send details to RLL@AFOA.ORG. HB-375 posted here 2/23/22.

(01/12/22) The 7 Safest Mushrooms to Forage and Eat by Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, 12/7/21. "Perfect for novice foragers, these mushrooms are delicious, easy to find, and are not easily confused with toxic species."

(01/11/22) "Southern log market will pick up steam," and... "Capital will continue to flow into forest industry manufacturing in the US South," are two of eight Predictions for the Global Forest Industry in 2022 made by Forest2Market CEO Pete Stewart. Cross your fingers.

(01/10/22) Chronic Wasting Disease has been detected in a white-tailed deer in Lauderdale County, Alabama. When we alerted a wildlife biologist friend to the news, his response was, "I wonder what it will do to hunting lease prices?"

(01/07/22) U.S. Forest Service Tax Tips is back! After a 1-year hiatus, Yanshu Li, University of Georgia, Tamara Cushing, University of Florida and Gregory Frey, USDA Forest Service, have authored Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2021 Tax Year. 4 pages.

(01/06/22) Timber Tax, an Alabama Extension webinar presented yesterday by Dr. Robert Tufts is available for you to listen to and read. About 1 hour. Click here for PowerPoint slides. Sound problem at about 5:08 lasts about 10 seconds.

(01/05/22) Pharmaceuticals, Etc. in the 1800s: Dr. Gary Freeze, Historian and Professor of History and American Cultural Studies at Catawba College talked to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences today about Wallace Brothers, wholesale southern herbalists, sellers of "Every Variety of Crude Southern Roots, Herbs, Barks, Flowers, Seeds, Mosses, Gums, and Berries." About 1 hour.

(01/04/22) If you plan on having trees planted this year or "in the future," you will benefit from reading Alabama Extension's Tree Planting Contracts for Landowners: FAQs. If you are looking for a tree planting contractor, call AFOA for a list of planters who seek work in your county - 205-624-2225.

(01/03/22) Wood Ducks in the Woods with Jason Fisher is an interesting episode of Virginia Tech's 15 Minutes in the Forest.