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April 2002 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
Conference was recorded Wednesday, April 24, 2002.

to Listen to the

This conference and all future conferences will be in the .mp3 format, which is compatible with Windows Media Player and most other media devices.

Scroll Down for Conference Guest Information

cilhayes.jpg (3561 bytes)

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.


Steve Wilent


The World Turned Upside Down

Steve Wilent is a contributing writer to The Forestry Source, the newspaper of the Society of American Foresters. He teaches forestry at Mt. Hood Community College in Grasham, Oregon. We "met" Steve several years ago on an email listserv sponsored by the Society of American Foresters and have found him to be a stimulating discussion leader, constantly probing and questioning our ways of thinking. A few weeks ago he suggested we read an article in the Atlantic Monthly that explores the possibility that the western hemisphere was vastly more exploited and populated by humans at the time Columbus arrived in 1492, than we were ever taught to believe in school.

Steve has isolated a few paragraphs for discussion:

Click here to read the full article: 1491 by Charles Mann, The Atlantic Online, March 2002.

Some related web links for more background information:

  • "The Pristine Myth" (The Atlantic Unbound, March 7, 2002) An interview with Charles C. Mann about the thriving and sophisticated Indian landscape of the pre-Columbus Americas
  • "An Explosion of Green" (The Atlantic Monthly, April 1995) The forest cover of the eastern United States is today as extensive as it was prior to the American Revolution. This renewal of the eastern forest—largely the result of economic accident and largely unremarked—is, the author argues, the most important environmental story in the country. By Bill McKibben
  • Clark Erickson's Homepage Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
    Includes a photo of Prehispanic raised fields in the region of Santa Ana de Yacuma, as well as lots of publications downloadable as PDF files.

Phone: (503) 622-5499


Bob Yates


Deer Hunting With Dogs: A Problem of Trespass.

Bob Yates described the picture he sent to us as "indicative of the life I expected to live when I returned "home" in 1970." His farming interests include timber, cattle and poultry on 2000 acres he owns and leases. Bob is a leader of the Alabama Sportsman's and Landowner's Council and was instrumental in banning dog deer hunting in Randolph County.

Over the years, many forest owners have written to AFOA to describe their displeasure with dog hunters who trespass or allow their dogs to trespass. Most have been hunters themselves. Bob suggests ways for landowners to be effective in struggling with the problem of people who do not respect the rights of property owners. Much of the work of the Council has been to encourage changes in hunting laws set by the Conservation Advisory Board and he advises attendance at their meetings and membership in ASLC to help present a unified voice for landowners.

Conservation Advisory Board Meeting Scheduled for May 18, 2002

A few newspaper headlines and a web link:

For more information about the ASLC write to:

Alabama Sportsman's and Landowner's Council
P. O. Box 8332
Redstone Arsenal, AL 35808

Phone: (256) 449-2912 (Yates)


David A. Frederick


Alabama Prescribed Burning Act Designed to Encourage Use of Fire.

David Frederick is a Division Director of the Alabama Forestry Commission. He is currently responsible for Fire and Emergency Programs, was a leader in getting the Alabama Prescribed Burning Act passed, and has encouraged the education program that certifies Prescribed Burners. Fire has played an important role in the development of Alabama's forest species, including both trees and wildlife, but it has been increasingly difficult to conduct prescribed burns because of liability concerns. To encourage the use of fire as a forest management tool, a section of the Prescribed Burning Act states: "No property owner or his or her agent, conducting a prescribed burn in compliance with this article, shall be liable for damages or injury caused by fire or resulting smoke unless it is shown that the property owner or his or her agent failed to act within that degree of care required of others similarly situated." Click here to read about the law and its implementation (see page 10 for the actual law).

While most of us have appreciated this law from a broader perspective, the recent experience of a south Alabama forest owner compels us to look more closely at it. The landowner in question found he may be unable to recover damages for the loss of a fairly large area of planted pines. The young trees were destroyed when a burn, conducted in compliance with the law, escaped.

For more information on fires in the forest and prescribed burning, click here.

Phone: (334) 240-9335


Dr. Graeme Lockaby


Investment Secrets Revealed in Soil Maps

Graeme Lockaby likes to get his hands dirty. He is a Professor at Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences who specializes in soils and their importance in forest management. In the past few issues of his weekly email newsletter, James M. Vardaman, a consulting forester in Jackson, Mississippi, has urged landowners to pay closer attention to the soil under their trees. He recommends that investors who own land solely for a return on investment and have no plan to use it for other purposes such as hiking, camping, or hunting, should sell off the land with poor soils and reinvest the receipts in better quality soil. "If you discover that you own unproductive land, the sooner you sell it, the richer you’ll be." says Vardaman.

Graeme will walk us through the use of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils maps and other publications that are available at most NRCS county offices.


Phone: (334) 844-1054


April Lupardus


Wild Game Cook-Offs

April Lupardus, Conservation Programs Specialist at the Alabama Wildlife Federation, wants you to join her for dinner in May. She will have the help of numerous wildlife "chefs" and be accompanied by scores of hunters and landowners sampling a wide variety of wildlife dishes. Seven Wild Game Cook-Offs scattered across Alabama are planned for the following locations:

  • May 4 Florence/Town Creek
  • May 9 Baldwin County
  • May 11 Guntersville
  • May 16 Montgomery
  • May 21 Tuscaloosa
  • May 22 Mobile
  • July 27 State Finals in Montgomery

Phone: (205) 836-6123 (Birmingham), (334) 832-9453 (Montgomery)


Dr. Eric T. Jones


Nontimber Forest Products in the United States

Eric Jones, a partner at the Institute for Culture and Ecology, Portland, Oregon, is co-editor of a book being published in May by the University Press of Kansas entitled Nontimber Forest Products in the United States. "This book provides the first comprehensive examination of nontimber forest products (NTFPs) in the United States, illustrating their diverse importance, describing the people who harvest them, and outlining the steps that are being taken to ensure access to them." Click here for book outline. The 424 page book sells for $60 (cloth) or $29.95 (paper) with a $3 shipping and handling fee. To order, call (785) 864-4155.

For further reading and study on the subject of nontimber forest products, Dr. Jones suggests a visit to the Institute's database web page: Click here.

Phone: (503) 331-6681


Dr. Ed Wilson


Vacant Land Liability Insurance

Ed Wilson, agent for Davis-Garvin Agency, Columbia, South Carolina, handles several group liability insurance policies for AFOA including our Timberland Liability Group Policy. There are many reasons why forest owners might want to protect themselves from liability claims made by trespassers or non-commercial guests, and Ed explains why more than 200 members use AFOA's group coverage. He'll also describe coverage that may not be included in other policies not designed for owners of forestland.

Background information on landowner liability:

Click here to view AFOA Timberland Liability Group Policy application. (pdf file)

Phone: 1-800-845-3163


Prof. Thomas G. Harris, Jr.


Current Prices Have Improved Over Past 12 Months...
...except for pine pulpwood

Tom Harris is publisher of Timber Mart-South and has been a guest on Capital Ideas - Live! in July 2001 and September 2000. Timber Mart-South is a forest products price service available to subscribers and is quoted regularly in AFOA's monthly newsletter. A recent TMS press release (1st Quarter 2002) included this comment: "Compared to 1st Quarter 2001, prices for four out of the five major timber products have risen significantly." Click here to read the full press release. (pdf file)

A few headlines:

Phone: (706) 542-2832


Issues and Topics AFOA is following.

To suggest an issue or a topic for a future news conference, please send an email note to AFOA by clicking here.

  • National or Federal Issues
  • CCA Treated Southern Pine Lumber
  • TMDLs
  • EPA Basin Projects
  • CARA
  • Forest Certification
  • 2002 Farm Bill
  • Energy Crisis & Federal Eminent Domain
  • Red Hills Salamander
  • State or Local Issues
  • Constitutional Revision/Tax Reform
  • County Zoning
  • Right to Farm & Practice Forestry
  • Illegal Dumping
  • Delaney Family Current-Use Case
  • JeffCo Storm Water Management Program
  • Current Use Tax Assessment Rates
  • Local Harvesting Restrictions & Road Weight Limits
  • Bridge Repairs & the Alabama Trust Fund
  • Dog Hunting & Hunter Trespass
  • Forest Management Issues
  • Seasonal Forest and Wildlife Management Tips
  • Southern Pine Beetle: Salvage & Prevention
  • Forest Fertilization
  • Intensive Forest Management
  • Long Rotation Management & Natural Regeneration
  • Technology
  • Palm Pilots & Forest Records
  • Useful Computer Software
  • Markets
  • Industry Consolidation & Timber Markets
  • Stumpage & Forest Product Markets
  • Forestland For Sale
  • Wood Buying Policies During SPB Epidemic
  • Alabama's Pine Straw Wholesale Market
  • Minerals, Gas & Oil Activity
  • Recreational Businesses for Forest Owners
  • Forest Taxation