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

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October 20, 2004 News Conference for Forest Owners Sponsored by Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc. Conference was recorded October 20, 2004.

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.

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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.


Dr. William C. Siegel


Improvements in Capital Gains & Expensing to Become Law

Bill Siegel, nationally famous tax expert in forestry circles, and Frank Stewart, Executive Director of the Forest Landowners Tax Council, played lead roles in the reform of the pay-as-cut rule known as IRS Section 631(b). The lead Congressional proponent for Section 631(b) reform was Alabama's Senator Sessions to whom a great deal of thanks is due for his efforts. The reform of Sec. 631(b), still to be signed into law by the President, will allow capital gains treatment for all lump-sum timber sales by nonindustrial owners -- as opposed to only some lump-sum sales under the old law. Pay-as-cut sales will still be optional but will not be required for capital gain eligibility regardless of the status of the timber owner. The effective date of this change is January 1, 2005. A second tax-law change that will benefit forest owners allows expensing of up to $10,000 of reforestation costs in the year of occurrence with all remaining costs, regardless of amount, able to be amortized over 84 months. This is a change from the old 10 percent tax credit on the first $10,000 of planting expenses each year and 84 month amortization of the first $9,500 of such expenses each year, with the remaining costs being capitalized and recovered only when the timber was sold. The effective date of this change will be the date that the President signs the bill -- probably some time in 2004.

Phone: (504) 914-1868 (phone number updated 02/28/13)


Steve McKinney


Jeffco Trees & Forests Worth $248 Million Per Year

Steve McKinney is the assistant director of the Jefferson County Storm Water Management Authority, Inc., based in Homewood, Alabama. The Authority recently released a 2003 State of the Forest study which showed that the rural & urban forests in Jefferson County provide air and water pollution abatement services to public and private entities worth $248 million per year (Of roughly 750,000 acres of total land in the county about 400,000 are forested). The study also reported that, "...while forested land can lose about [156 pounds of soil per acre per year], developing areas can lose 25,000 to 50,000 tons per acre per year." Currently owners of forestland in Jefferson County pay an annual storm water fee of $5 per tax parcel to the Authority. See: Cleaning Urban Runoff: A Forest Product Worthy of Payment

Phone: (205) 943-7037x229


Dr. John L. Greene


Tax Deduction Available for Casualty Losses

John Greene is a research forester in the Evaluation of Legal, Tax, and Economic Influences on Forest Resource Management unit of the USDA-Forest Service's Southern Research Station in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mac Lupold, a Camden, South Carolina Consulting Forester with Hurricane Hugo salvage experience, reported to Governor Riley's Alabama Forest Recovery Task Force that 75 percent of the  unrecoverable losses due to Hurricane Hugo were borne by forest landowners. In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan, the only good news may be that there's a tax deduction available for casualty losses. If your trees were destroyed or damaged so badly you have to remove them and start over, Greene says that you qualify for this deduction. John also highlights a 1999 IRS Revenue Ruling that changed the way one can calculate a casualty loss, how the Ruling works now, and how a Presidentially declared disaster can change filing dates to your benefit.

Additional Resources

Phone: (919) 549-4093


Dr. Ed Wilson


Timber Casualty Loss Insurance is (and has been) Available

Ed Wilson is an agent with the Davis-Garvin Agency, Inc. based in Columbia, South Carolina. You may think of your woodlands as a long term investment, but what assurance is there that your investment will be safe as your trees face fire, lightning, flood, ice, theft and wind (think Ivan)? Many people believe that standing timber insurance is prohibitively expensive, to the point of inapproachability, thus calling for the need for various government programs and bureaucracies. Wilson states that affordable and tax deductible protection is currently available in the private sector and describes his company's Standing Timber Insurance Program.

Phone: 1-800-845-3163x151


Dr. Catherine M. Mater


Survey: Lack of Offspring Interest Drives Disposal of Family Lands

Catherine Mater is president of Mater Engineering in Corvallis, Oregon. She heads a benchmark research project focused on understanding what drives decisions by non-industrial private forestland (NIPF) owners in regards to passing on family lands to the next generation. Her startling results show that lack of interest among their offspring is a primary reason NIPFs sell their lands despite what forestry-related educators and information providers believe is the reason NIPFs sell their land, such as taxes or real estate price pressures. Mater discusses her surprising results and explains this incredible disconnect between forest owners and forestry information providers. The next step: how do you get kids interested in the family lands and willing to take on the responsibility?

Who are the NIPFs?

  • They do not belong to forest industry or woodlot owner associations
  • They only periodically rely on technical assistance advisory services
  • They manage their own forestlands

Some Highlights of the Survey Results

  • 79% of non-joiner NIPFs surveyed wish to keep their forestlands in family hands, but only 34% of those landowners with children have involved their offspring in the management process
  • Overall, non-joiner NIPFs in northern states appear significantly more concerned about taxes than their southern counterparts. Editor's note: Could that be due to our lower property taxes?

Phone: (541) 753-7335


DeWitt Braud


How to Get Aerial Photos of Your Property

DeWitt Braud is an instructor and the director of Louisiana State University's Remote Sensing Laboratory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Are you interested in aerial photos of your property but unsure of costs and availability? Braud offers information on how you can acquire low cost, basic, low-tech aerial imagery of your property without the use of technologically intimidating jargon.

Order Aerial Photographs, Maps, Elevation Data, Land Cover

  • U.S. Geological Survey
    EROS Data Center
    47914 252nd Street
    Sioux Falls, SD 57198-0001
    Tel: 1-800-252-4547
    Tel: (605) 594-6151
    TDD: (605) 594-6933
    Fax: (605) 594-6589

Web Resources:

Phone: (225) 578-6177


Chris Erwin


Invitation to Join Leadership Development Program

Chris Erwin is Education Coordinator for the Alabama Forestry Association. The Association has developed a Forestry Leadership Program for individuals 22 to 35 years of age and Chris joins us today to invite you or a young friend or relative to participate. There are 20 spots available, and the program will consist of 6 sessions per year. Chris explains what he's looking for in an applicant, how to apply, and what all an individual could get out of the program if accepted.

Application for Leadership Development Program

Phone: (334) 265-8733


Bryan Burhans


Prescribed Burning Improves Turkey Habitat

Bryan Burhans is the director of Land Management Programs with the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield, South Carolina. Landowners interested in improving their land for wildlife, including turkeys, will find creating openings or planting food plots will successfully attract that wildlife. If you have property you utilize for hunting, it might well be worth your time and investment to consider a prescribed burning program. Burhans explains how prescribed burning can be a cost-effective way of controlling brush and attracting more turkeys to your property.

Phone: 1-800-843-6983x3810