CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
March 2004 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc. Conference was recorded
Wednesday, March 17, 2004.
Hayes D. Brown
starting time: (00:00)
Hayes D. Brown, attorney and forest owner, will moderate this
news conference. Hayes' email address is
Click Here to View & Hear Prior News Conferences.
Roads, Schools, Jobs --- and Stability
Roger Hayes is
Chairman of the
Winston County Commission and knows first hand how much most rural
communities in Alabama rely on the property tax to pay the expenses of roads
and schools. However, a significant portion of Winston County (94,000
acres), like a hand-full of other counties in Alabama, is owned by the
federal government as National Forests. The federal government pays no
property tax on that land, but for many years has given local governments a
portion of timber sale receipts in lieu of taxes. In recent years, timber
sale income on National Forests has been markedly reduced and the payments
to local governments have fallen as well. Federal programs to offset this
drop in payments have been developed as stop-gap measures, but they are not
stable income sources based on the sale of locally grown forest products,
and they are subject to the whims of the U.S. Congress. Commissioner Hayes
describes some of the problems of dealing with this frustrating and
Editorial Comment: Private forest
owners should take pride in knowing that they provide a stable
source of revenue for local schools, roads and other important services.
In addition to taxes, we provide resources for 67,000 forest industry
jobs in Alabama and many others associated with hunting and other
outdoor recreation. Private ownership of land is an important asset
to all the citizens of Alabama.
Contrary to most press coverage, it is not all good news when land is
bought by state or federal agencies and removed from tax rolls and
Phone: (205) 489-5026
Dr. H. Glenn Hughes
Survey Reveals Our Interests
Glenn Hughes is with the
Mississippi State University Extension Service and the
Department of Forestry at MSU's College of Forest Resources. He is
an active provider of educational events for forest owners in Mississippi
and many forest owners from Alabama have attended his programs. Glenn
recently participated in a survey of more than 1,800 forest landowners
(Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, & Tennessee) and has been studying their
answers to learn how Extension can provide better information for them.
Forest ownership is passing from the World War II generation to the baby
boomer generation. Goals and aspirations of the new owners are different
and they will require different land management advice.
An interesting contradiction was uncovered when it was learned that more
than half of those surveyed were interested in leaving an estate of value to
pass on to their children and yet more than 40 percent did not have written
wills. Hughes reviews other findings of the survey which is summarized
Excellent Landowner Education Programs Provided by MSU
Most frequently cited reasons for owning forestland were:
asset for children and heirs
part of residence
place to relax
Despite importance of land as an asset for families, more than 40
percent of people did not have a written will.
We are currently undergoing a tremendous generational shift in
land and assets from the WWII generation to the Baby Boomer generation.
77% of landowners were at least 50 years old; 26% were age 70 or older
75% of landowners are unfamiliar with government cost-share
programs, and 83% are unfamiliar with tax incentives for landowners
63% of forest landowners had not used a professional forester in
86% of landowners had not attended a forestry educational program
in the past year. Of those that did, 94% found the program helpful
Phone: (601) 794-0671
Dr. Robert A. Tufts
The Importance of Having a Written Will
Robert A. Tufts
is an Associate Professor at the
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at
Auburn University. Following up on Mississippi State University's
forest landowner survey, we asked Professor Tufts, who has a law degree and
specializes in estate planning, to tell us about some of the pitfalls that
await the heirs of a landowner who dies without a written will.
Estate Planning CD produced by Dr. Tufts:
Problems created when an estate is not probated
Alabama's plan for your estate
Other intestate problems (bond, inventory, court
Basic documents in an estate plan
Comparison of a trust and a will
Partition of jointly owned property
Estate Planning for Landowners Workshop
Other Useful Links:
Phone: (334) 844-1011
David M. Kelley
owns and operates
Kelley Forestry Consulting Services, LLC in Montgomery, Alabama.
Though the groundhog reported more winter, Spring is finally here, and David
offers some management tips that will help make your management work a bit
easier. A few web links that support David's comments:
- Landowners who had their old fields or
pastures planted with pines this past winter should be scheduling an
herbaceous release spray to be done in April or May to control the
grasses, weeds, and other herbaceous growth that will begin coming up at
this time of year.
- Landowners who had tracts clear cut last
year or this past winter should be planning to have their tracts site
prepared this summer. Mechanical site prep, chemical site prep, and/or
burning should be done in summer or fall.
- Landowners should begin checking their
pines stands for pine beetles, which will become more active at this
time of year and into the summer.
Jeffrey Whitt Latham
Improving Duck Hunting in West Alabama
Jeff Latham is a wildlife
biologist and forester with Truett & Latham, Inc., in Choctaw
County, Alabama and spends his workdays actively managing the
forestlands of many landowners in West Alabama. Last fall we had an
interesting chat with Latham about duck habitat improvement. He
excitedly described the use of a levee plow that can be used as a low
cost tool to raise water levels a few inches and thereby create many
acres of feeding ground for migrating ducks. In our conversation, Jeff
described seeing "hundreds of wood ducks" in some flooded areas in West
Alabama and lamented that the bag limit was only 2 per day, making it
hard for a landowner or hunting club to justify the expense of some
habitat improvements that benefit the ducks.
Phone: (205) 652-6967
Durhamtown Plantation: Family Entertainment
is the "fearless leader" of
Durhamtown Plantation in Union Point, Georgia. Over the years we've
watched Mike struggle with the problems of making profitable a large
family-owned holding of timberland about 70 miles east of Atlanta. He has
leased hunting land, provided guided hunts, and now has developed a total
outdoor recreational experience featuring trails, ATVs, camping and cabins.
The topic of ATV trails is not only fun, but one which is getting more and
more exposure. We have covered it twice in the last few months (see
Glenn Myers and
Brent Williams) and continue to get positive feedback from interested
landowners. Everyday we read news stories about the closing of government
lands to ATVs and 4x4s and feel sure that private trails offer an
excellent opportunity for trail riders and landowners.
From the Durhamtown Plantation website:
Editor's Note: A nagging question
from most landowners is "How can I protect myself from liability
problems?" AFOA has no answer at this time. Please contact Lee at AFOA
if you have a solution: Lee@AFOA.org
or (205) 987-8811.
Phone: (706) 486-2588
Dr. Jody W. Lipford
& Florida Water Wars:
Who Owns the Water?
Jody Lipford, associate professor
Economics and Business Administration at
Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, has written an
interesting 28 page essay entitled
Disputes: A Southeastern Case Study. Lipford analyzes problems
in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin, which covers parts of
Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, and which we read about in our newspapers on
a fairly regular basis. He shows how political decisions have created
turmoil and indecision, and argues that markets for water can avert crises
and resolve problems. He emphasizes the need for assigning property
rights to the disputed water: "They must be clearly defined, ...
enforced, ...and transferable..."
Phone: (864) 833-8353
Arthia W. Rye
Alabama Stumpage Market Report
is the owner and manager of Forest Management Specialists, Inc., a
consulting forestry firm based in Florence, Alabama which assists private
landowners with the management and marketing of timber throughout the
mid-south region. He is always an optimistic source of information (see
June 20, 2001 and
February 20, 2002) and we look forward to his upbeat reports. AFOA
quotes prices from Timber Mart-South's quarterly reports in our newsletter,
but monthly updates from consulting foresters in Capital Ideas -- Live!
frequently shed new light on market conditions and opportunities. Today
Billy discusses the roller coaster pulpwood price curve we've been
Unrelated but Interesting
References & Links:
Phone: (256) 765-0397