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MAY 2009 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on MAY 20, 2009.

to Listen to the
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)


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. Robert A. Tufts

Hear Conference

Estate Planning: 2009

Robert Tufts was the last speaker at AFOA's April 2009 Annual Meeting Educational Conference, but nearly all the chairs were filled in Bald Rock Lodge's main hall as he told us what to fix and what to leave alone in our estate plans. Robert has provided some of the slides he used at Cheaha for you to review; we quote his last "Summary" slide:

  • Congress will probably enact some type of legislation this year and the estate tax will not disappear in 2010
  • If you make a taxable transfer this year you will probably be wasting your money
  • After the legislation passes follow the news to determine whether you need to visit your tax professional

Terms Used in the slides:

  • GST - generation-skipping transfer is generally a transfer to a grandchild while the child's parents are still living and generates an additional gift or estate tax
  • 2032A - provides a reduced value for certain real property similar to current use for property tax
  • AEA - applicable exclusion amount is the new term for unified credit and is the amount that can be passed, free of estate tax, at your death
  • CRAT - charitable remainder annuity trust is a trust where the grantor funds a trust and receives an annual payment for the remainder of his life or the joint lives of the grantor and spouse. A charity receives the remainder after the grantor and spouse die.
  • LLC - limited liability company's are a very good vehicle for estate planning
  • FLP - family limited partnerships were used for estate planning, but generally don't provide as many benefits as an LLC
  • QPRT - qualified personal residence trust allows the grantor to transfer ownership of a home for a fraction of its value
  • GRAT - grantor retained annuity trust is a trust set up for a term of years less than the grantor's life that is an effective estate-freezing technique
  • 7520 - refers to section 7520 of the internal revenue code and is the interest rate used to value QPRTs, CRATs and GRATs which changes monthly with the applicable federal rates

Phone: (334) 844-1011


Ann Dugan

Hear Conference

A Woman's Place...

Ann Dugan is the founder, executive director and assistant dean of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, part of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. Ann is also an associate of the Family Business Consulting Group, an organization that provides leadership in the field of education and consulting to the closely held or family firm. The Family Business Consulting Group sponsors frequent nationwide telephone audio conferences that are listed in AFOA's Calendar of Events. Today we asked Ms. Dugan to tell us about the role of women in the family business and the book she co-authored on that topic.

Buy the Book:

Phone: (412) 648-1544


Craig Blake

Hear Conference

The Trouble with Ethanol

Craig Blake, along with wife Lorraine, operates a sawmill supply and small equipment business in southern Massachusetts. He is also a part-time sawyer, and a nationally recognized authority on swingmills, a type of portable sawmill. On their website it says: "All of the items in our online store are personally tested in OUR sawmill business, and are our favorites." We read an article by Craig in the March 2009 issue of Independent Sawmill & Woodlot Management magazine, and we thought you would find it interesting, too. In the article, The Trouble with Ethanol, Craig describes 3 problems caused by the 10% ethanol now mixed in nearly all gasoline, and he follows up with solutions to each. Those of us who have old chainsaws and brush cutters may have more serious problems, since new equipment is being designed with ethanol in mind. As you probably already know from experience, improper equipment storage is a source of problems, with or without ethanol, so his advice on storage is doubly important.

Phone: (508) 285-5475


Suz-Anne Kinney

Hear Conference

New Bio Energy Newsletter

Suz-Anne Kinney is Communications Manager at Forest2Market, a timber pricing service company, and serves as the Editor of both the companyís newsletters -- Forest2Mill and Forest2Fuel. "She has been researching and writing about the wood bioenergy industry since joining Forest2Market, much of the time focusing on the U.S. South." In preparing for this news conference, we joked with Suz-Anne about much of the "irrational exuberance" displayed in most stories about bio energy, and her rapid retort was that F2M's publications are based on data-based facts, not hype. Her new (and free) publication, Forest2Fuel, with the first issue to be published in June, will cover the following topics:
   o   Economic trends and forecasts
   o   Industry trends
   o   Legislation and government policies that affect the industry
   o   Technological developments
   o   Production and consumption updates
   o   People and companies involved in the industry

Newsletter Registration and Past Articles:

Phone: (704) 357-0110 x 21


James C. Gauntt

Hear Conference

Crossties: a market for Alabama hardwoods

Jim Gauntt knows a lot about crossties. He is the Executive Director of the Railway Tie Association, a 91-year old timber trade association dedicated to improving the life-cycle economic performance of the engineered wood crosstie system. While most of us don't ride on trains, a lot of things we use do - automobiles, lumber, coal, grain to name a few. There are millions of ties in the roadbeds of our railway system and wood crossties are the best product for the job (ties last 30-35 years on average). Jim tells us how many are needed each year and gives us his take on what the railroad industry will need from forest owners in the future.


Phone: (770) 460-5553


Merdith C. Lockwood

Hear Conference

Trail Planning & Construction

Cam Lockwood earned a masters degree in Recreation Planning and Design from California State University Chico and has worked for the past 34 years for several federal agencies including the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. He currently leads a trails training program called Trails Unlimited. "Trails Unlimited has developed a series of Training Modules with detailed manuals, exercises and field applications, and has team members and equipment ready to provide new trail construction, maintenance or reconstruction services." Cam and his team have developed 9 training modules that recreational organizations and agencies can use when training their staff members. We thought a review of some of the modules outlines would be helpful if you are thinking about building or improving trails on your land.

The Module Titles are: (link to module outline)

  • Trail Planning
  • Trail Layout and Design
  • Trail Construction
  • Mechanized Trail Equipment Training & Certification
  • Advanced Mechanized Trail Construction Techniques
  • Monitoring
  • Operation and Maintenance
  • Sound Management and Enforcement
  • Contracting

Phone: (626) 233-4309


Dr. David Mercker

Hear Conference

Conducting a Simple Timber Inventory

David Mercker, Extension Specialist at the University of Tennessee Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, has co-authored a 21 page publication that every landowner who uses the help of a forester will want to have in his library. Conducting a Simple Timber Inventory provides the answers to scores of questions that each one of us has had when hiring a forester or when reading his inventory reports and management plans. We especially liked the inclusion of Volume Tables (pages 13, 14, & 15) that will give you an idea of how many board feet or cords are in a tree of a certain diameter and height.

Phone: (731) 425-4703


Dr. Mark D. Smith

Hear Conference

Food Plot Fallacies

Mark Smith is Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University. AFOA members have seen Mark's name in our Calendar of Events as organizer and contact person for numerous wildlife management workshops, so learning that Mark has published several interesting articles on deer, turkey and quail management will come as no surprise. What may surprise many landowners and hunters is the title of Mark's series of 3 articles in Alabama Wildlife magazine -- Fallacies of Food Plots. Today he discusses the effectiveness of food plots and suggests more "well-rounded" habitat improvement methods.

3 Part Series from Alabama Wildlife:

Phone: (334) 844-8099