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CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!

JANUARY 2009 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on JANUARY 21, 2009.

CLICK HERE
to Listen to the
Conference.
This conference is in .mp3 format, which is compatible with Windows Media Player and most other media devices.

Hayes D. Brown   Alabama Forest Owners' Association

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. Lawrence W. Reed

(00:34)
Hear Conference

Freedom & Private Forests

Lawrence Reed is president of the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEE), "the nation's oldest free enterprise think tank and publisher for half a century of The Freeman magazine." Thoughtful understanding of what it takes to make very long-term investments is badly needed by, not only the general public, but also the people who make the investments. Sometimes even they don't understand the environment in which they live and invest. At AFOA we like to believe that a country and its forests are reflections of its citizens ability to make free choices. We hope you agree.

From The Freeman magazine:

The Pursuit of Happiness: Economics and Property Rights by Walter E. Williams

The Market and Nature by Fred L. Smith

The Great 19th Century Timber Heist Revisited by T. J. Iijima and Jane S. Shaw

Phone: (914) 591-7230
Email: lreed@fee.org

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Ms. Sara S. Baldwin

(03:58)
Hear Conference

Timber Investments vs. the Stock Market

Sara Baldwin is senior editor and assistant manager of Timber Mart-South, a timber pricing service housed at the Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources, The University of Georgia. Sara and co-authors Thomas G. Harris, Jr. and Jacek Siry gathered 10 years of timber price data and stock market data and wrote Timber Investments for Tough Times, Forest Landowner magazine, November/December 2008. Landowners frequently wonder if their timber and management investments (standing trees, tree planting, herbicide treatments, fertilizer applications, and others) are competitive with the stock market. Based on third quarter 2008 prices, "All timber categories fared better than stocks in this exercise when growth and dividends were considered." Sara tells us what has happened to the comparison since September 2008, and she also discusses Alabama timber prices, which display a bit of a premium in the Southeast (see below).

More Price Details from Timber Mart-South:

Phone: (706) 542 4760
Email: sbaldwin@warnell.uga.edu

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Dr. T. Adam Tullos

(08:58)
Hear Conference

Increase Value with Help of Neighbors

Adam Tullos is the North Mississippi Wildlife Associate for Mississippi State University's Natural Resource Enterprises Program. We asked Adam to help us appreciate how landowner neighbors might work together to accomplish goals that could be difficult if handled independently. If you are a fairly small landowner, you may have found some forest or wildlife management activities difficult or nearly impossible to accomplish. For example, doing prescribed burning on small tracts can be expensive and risky. Trying to improve the deer herd on your small tract may pay off for your neighbors instead of you. How would a landowner get started working with neighbors? Would it be necessary to create and sign contracts or joint management plans?

Suggested reading:

Phone: (662) 566-2201
Email: adamt@ext.msstate.edu

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Dr. Al Schuler

(11:32)
Hear Conference

Mortgage Meltdown vs. Housing Demographics

Al Schuler is a Research Economist with the USDA Forest Service at their Princeton, West Virginia Research Laboratory. Al sends AFOA and many others a monthly Housing Market Report. The cover letter with the September 2008 report included the sentence: "I hope all of you are doing well, and somehow managing to deal effectively with the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression." While Al remained (and remains) quite upbeat about the power of housing demographics to improve lumber demand, in December 2008 he reported that more large mortgage foreclosure waves are likely to hit us "over the next 3 - 4 years." (see third slide in the first bullet below) He projects (see slide 10 in the Selected group below) that remodeling will become increasingly important, and also projects new housing construction will begin to increase in 2010. In short, Al says there will be an improved market for your sawtimber in a couple of years. Be patient.

Phone: (304) 431-2727
Email: aschuler@fs.fed.us

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Dr. Cetin Yuceer

(16:29)
Hear Conference

Pine Growers May Benefit from Research Discovery

Cetin Yuceer is an assistant professor in the Department of Forestry at Mississippi State University who is involved in some exciting research that will be of interest to most members of AFOA. The southern pine beetle (SPB) is a huge problem for southern pine timber growers and urban shade tree owners. SPB outbreaks, since 1999, have caused $1.5 billion in standing timber losses on 1 million acres. This is equivalent to the lumber needed to build approximately 187,000 single-family homes. In the forest, no effective and practical pest management tactics have been developed for these beetles other than rapid removal and processing of infested trees to reduce further infestations and losses. Recently Dr. Yuceer and his colleagues at the USDA Forest Service, the University of Wisconsin (Madison), and Harvard have discovered an interesting dependency of SPB to another organism for their survival. From Science magazine, 10/3/08: "In a notably intricate system, southern pine beetles use symbiotic fungi to help overcome host-tree defenses and to provide nutrition for their larvae."  This discovery may ultimately lead to cost-effective control methods of beetles with low environmental impacts.

For in depth information about the research and the beetle:

Phone: (662) 325-2795
Email: mcy1@ra.msstate.edu

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Mr. Frank Green

(19:58)
Hear Conference

Nationwide Silvicultural Exemption Under Pressure

Frank Green is Coordinator of the Georgia Forestry Commission's statewide Forest Management Programs plus the agency's Environmental Affairs program which includes forest water quality and wetlands Best Management Practices (BMP). Ongoing forest management activities such as timber harvesting, site preparation for tree planting, road building and others have long enjoyed an exemption from Clean Water Act permit requirements. If it weren't for this Nationwide Silvicultural Exemption the cost of harvesting and planting trees would be much higher and probably prohibitive on small acreages. So news that a Georgia judge decided that timber harvesting in bottomland cypress-tupelo stands that contain large trees is not necessarily an ongoing silvicultural operation is not good news -- at least for owners of big trees in bottomlands.

2/3/09  From Frank Green: "Here is a link to the EPA language: http://www.epa.gov/owow/NPS/MMGI/Chapter3/ch3-2j.html . This is taken from the National Management Measures for Forestry. This document goes into further recommendations but are just that – recommendations that don’t supersede State BMPs." Alabama's BMPs are described at http://forestry.alabama.gov/BMPs.aspx.

2/3/09  Suggestions from Frank Green for landowners with bottomland hardwood stands in jurisdictional wetlands:
Write and maintain a forest management plan that
1) describes how these stands originated, either naturally following a cut or artificial regeneration,
2) includes management recommendations for these stands' passive management while protecting them from fire, wind, flooding, beavers, etc.,
3) includes a harvesting plan, and finally,
4) describes how these stands will be regenerated and maintained in forest land management use.

From the Plaintiff's and Judge's Perspective:

Phone: (478) 751-3498
Email: fgreen@gfc.state.ga.us

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Mr. Andy Whitaker

(24:15)
Hear Conference

How to Keep Your Head When Everyone Else is Losing Theirs

Andy Whitaker is publisher and editor of Wildlife Trends Journal, a bi-monthly publication offering research based wildlife management information to landowners and land managers throughout the Southeast. At a recent ideas session conducted by AFOA, Andy expressed frustration with the growing movement, seemingly worldwide, to condemn long lists of plants to the Non-Native Invasive Species List. He was concerned because many plant species that find themselves on The List are useful wildlife management tools. He recognizes that some plants like cogongrass, privet, and kudzu should be universally condemned, but wonders if, with proper management, Japanese honeysuckle, autumn olive, and others might be looked at a bit more favorably.

Helpful links:

Phone: 1-800-441-6826
Email: whitaker553@charter.net

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Mr. Clint Bentz

(26:58)
Hear Conference

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Clint Bentz is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant with Boldt, Carlisle & Smith, LLC, in Stayton, Oregon. He has been a leader in the Ties to the Land program and his parents, Ron and Barbara Bentz, were winners of the 2002 Tree Farmer of the Year Award. With a new administration entering the White House, a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party, estate and other tax laws that would have been rewritten this year regardless of the party in power, and timber prices as low as many of us can remember, Clint suggests it may be a time to review our gifting plans. If a family were planning to set up a gifting process anyway ("80% of landowners view succession as a top of mind issue") then the current decline in timber values "provides a wonderful opportunity to move more property to the next generation than would have been possible otherwise." Clint advises that "while none of us really want to be selling anything in this current environment, we have an excellent opportunity right now to transfer these assets and let the coming upswing in values and the future appreciation happen in our children’s estates rather than our own." Because of the complexity of the various estate planning strategies, Clint encourages landowners to talk to competent professionals who specialize in estate planning.

Phone: (503) 769-2186
Email: cbentz@bcsllc.com

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