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CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!

May  2003 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
Conference was recorded Wednesday, May 21, 2003.

CLICK HERE
to Listen to the
Conference.

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)

Moderator

Hayes D. Brown, attorney and forest owner,  will moderate this news conference. Hayes' email address is hbrown@hayesbrown.com.

Click Here to View & Hear Prior News Conferences.

.

Dr. Richard L. Stroup

(00:55)

Eco-Nomics: What Everyone Should Know About Economics and the Environment

Richard Stroup is a senior associate at the Political Economy Research Center in Bozeman, Montana and a professor of economics at Montana State University. His work helped to develop the approach to resource problems known as the New Resource Economics or Free Market Environmentalism.

For example, a forest owner may have little personal interest in wildlife, but may improve wildlife habitat on his land because he has the right to control access to it and hunters are willing to pay him for that right. If the landowner were not allowed to prevent hunter trespass, he would probably do very little to improve wildlife habitat on his land. (Currently, over 3,000 members of AFOA provide hunting opportunities for approximately 60,000 hunters on 2.4 million acres of forestland. Many seek to improve their income by improving the hunting experience for their lessees.)

Dr. Stroup's latest book is Eco-Nomics: What Everyone Should Know about Economics and the Environment (published by Cato). For more information about the book, see www.perc.org/publications/books/eco_nomics.html. To buy the book online, contact www.catostore.org. Cost is $9.95.

phone: (406) 587-9591
email: stroup@perc.org

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Dr. Richard L.  Porterfield

(04:17)

Reality Check

Dick Porterfield, provides us with an interesting perspective from his position as a retired Executive Vice President of Champion International Corporation and a former Commissioner of the Alabama Forestry Commission. In a recent speech to the Forest Resources Association (formerly the American Pulpwood Association) in Portsmouth, Virginia, he pointed out how consolidation of ownership in the traditional forest products industry and changing expectations of the voting public are affecting us -- both loggers and landowners. He suggests we (landowners & loggers) learn to work better together and points out several advantages to each group if we do so. The full text of his speech was reprinted in the May issue of Southern Loggin' Times magazine (click here).

phone: (757) 253-9042
email: rlporterfield2@aol.com

.

Richard J. Oates

(08:37)

Property Taxes & the Billion Dollar Riley Plan

Rick Oates has been on the staff of the Alabama Forestry Association since 1993 and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Alabama Pulp and Paper Council. We have put him on the spot today by asking him to tell us all about Governor Riley's proposed $1.2 billion tax increase and, in particular, the proposal's effect on property taxes. While we realize the proposal is likely to change, we know you will want to have the best information possible about how it might affect you and your property.

To help you calculate the proposed increase on your own property, AFA has developed an Excel Spread Sheet that converts your local millage rate into a dollars and cents tax per acre. Before you open the spread sheet, you will need to know your local millage rate. Click here for County Millage Rates. Then return to this web page and *(see yellow highlighted area below) click here to open the Riley Tax Calculator. (you will have to have the Microsoft Excel program in your computer to run the calculator.) Read over the introductory material and then click on the Forestland tab at the bottom. On the Forestland worksheet you will see the words "Total State & Local Millage Rate" followed by a 40. We typed in 23.5 over the 40, hit the "enter" key and watched the calculator figure our taxes in Autauga County -- about double what they are today! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the spread sheet to see the total increase.

* Click here to see a more accurate Riley Tax Calculator that is changed as the tax bills in Montgomery change. This version is on the Alabama Forestry Association website and is being updated by AFA staff. Use it instead of the old version we posted for the May 21 webcast.

phone: (334) 265-8733
email: roates@alaforestry.org

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G. Kenneth Xydias

(11:52)

Precommercial Thinning of Planted Pine -- Is It Worth It?

Ken Xydias is a quantitative silviculturalist at Resource Management Service, Inc., a forestry consulting company based in Birmingham, Alabama. Ken likes to play "what if" games and we asked him to help us make a decision based on the following scenario.

Our consulting forester in north Alabama recently told us that 15 acres of a 50 acre loblolly pine plantation (planted in January 1997) was very crowded due to wildlings that had seeded in among the planted trees. He suggested we do a precommercial thinning and that it would cost about $60 to $75 per acre. The crew would use weed whackers with circular saw blades to cut down the unwanted young trees. Our question for Ken: Is the pre-commercial thinning a sound investment? Will our money invested in the thinning pay off more than it will if we leave it in current investments (which aren't doing very well, as you might guess)? Ken speculates.

A little food for thought:

Regulating Stand Density By Precommercial Thinning In Naturally Regenerated Loblolly Pine Stands: Evaluation of Management and Economic Opportunities
  quick loading version 
  slow loading version (prettier)

“Correct” planting density for loblolly pine...

Texas Forest Service Timberland Management Simulator: Plug in your own numbers and play What If.

phone: 1-800-995-9516
email: kxydias@resourcemgt.com

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Dale Pancake

(16:05)

Increasing Species Diversity with Growing Season Fire

Dale Pancake is Assistant Director of Auburn University's Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center in Andalusia, Alabama. In that role, Dale directs a lot of prescribed burns to carry out the management objectives of the Center. One of those objectives is to convert understory vegetation from brush and shrubs to grasses and forbes (weeds and wildflowers). That conversion increases species diversity and reduces the understory fuel load. Dale describes their success in applying growing season fire (April through July) to achieve that conversion objective, but he also cautions us about burning on especially hot days or in areas where turkeys may be nesting. He suggests we might find more information on Growing Season Fire by looking at the following websites:

phone: (334) 222-7779
email: pancadc@auburn.edu

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Jeffery N. Lucas

(19:47)

Why would a forest owner need a survey?

Jeffery Lucas is a Professional Land Surveyor who "travels throughout the southeast performing surveying services for private and commercial clients." We found his web page interesting (www.jnlucaspls.com) and called him to learn more about how a surveyor could help us with our boundary line problems. He explains what a land surveyor does and what he might be able to do for a forest owner. He describes how adverse possession can affect a property boundary and the survey of that boundary. And finally, Mr. Lucas discusses fees for surveys.

Several web links for your review:

phone: (205) 425-5200
email: info@jnlucaspls.com

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James M. Beers

(23:35)

Federal Invasive Species Program

Jim Beers retired from the US Fish and Wildlife Service after 30 years where he had served as a wildlife biologist, wetlands biologist, special agent, and refuge manager. We learned about Jim when we received reports about his testimony before the House Committee on Resources during an oversight hearing on Invasive Species. He testified as Science Advisor of the American Land Rights Association. Jim believes that the Constitution does not give the federal government authority over invasive species. He compares the invasive species program to the endangered species program and warns us to not give federal agents authority to enter our property to control "invasive" plant and animal populations.

phone: (703) 830-7229
email: jimbeers7@earthlink.net

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Noreen Walsh

(28:14)

Conservation Banks

Noreen Walsh is the Deputy Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services of the Southeast Region of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Service is a Federal agency within the Department of the Interior whose mission is to work with others to conserve fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service has recently released some guidelines on the establishment and use of conservation banks as a tool to mitigate for impacts to endangered and threatened species. Ms. Walsh explains what is meant by the word mitigation, how a conservation bank works and how a private landowner can go about getting a conservation bank approved.

AFOA became interested in the banks when we read in a USF&WS press release the following: Hickory Pass Ranch Conservation Bank, Texas. In exchange for putting a conservation easement on their 3,000-acre ranch in the Texas Hill Country for the perpetual protection of the golden-cheeked warbler, the landowners received conservation credits from the Service that can be sold to businesses and local governments to mitigate impacts to the species.

Noreen suggests we check out the following websites, especially the first one:

phone: (404)679-7085
email: noreen_walsh@fws.gov

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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
  • EPA Proposed Water Quality Trading
  • Energy Bill
  • 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