CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on October 22, 2009.
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.
Definition of Woody Biomass: IMPORTANT
Erica Rhoad is the Director of
Forest Policy for the
American Foresters (SAF), the national scientific and educational
organization representing the forestry profession in the United States.
Erica is based in Washington, DC. You have probably read articles in the
news that question whether food crops like
corn ought to be used to produce energy products such as ethanol.
Another controversy involves the cutting of tropical forests to grow
oil palms. When our lawmakers make laws that "force" us to use more
ethanol in our gasoline, or force power companies to use more renewable
resources (wind, solar, biomass), it becomes very important that
biomass from forests not be
excluded by definition. "Congress could miss an enormous
opportunity to advance American energy independence through healthy forest
management," wrote Michael Goergen, SAF CEO, in the
September 2009 issue of the
Journal of Forestry. And forest owners might miss an enormous
opportunity to have woody biomass included in the definition of renewable
resources if we don't let lawmakers know that the definition is important
Click here for issues and legislation.
Phone: (301) 897-8720
Joseph A. McGlincy
Gopher Tortoise "Threatened" Range May Grow
McGlincy is a Partner in Southern Forestry Consultants and heads up
Company, a division of SFC. Joe is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and
earned a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management from Auburn University. He
brought to our attention that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is seeking
information on whether to expand the "Threatened" range of the
Gopher Tortoise eastward from the Mobile and Tombigbee rivers
across Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Joe
will help us understand the implications of the following statement on South
Alabama forest management practices:
"We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the eastern
population of the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) as threatened
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) and designate
critical habitat. Herein, the Service refers to the eastern population
of the gopher tortoise as the gopher tortoise in the eastern portion of
its range. Following a review of the petition, we find that the petition
presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating
that listing the gopher tortoise in the eastern portion of its range may
be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are
initiating a status review to determine if listing the gopher tortoise
in the eastern portion of the range is warranted. To ensure that the
status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and
commercial data and other information regarding the status of and
threats facing the gopher tortoise throughout all of its range."
Click here for important dates and lots of details.
Pine Ecosystem Conservation Handbook for the Gopher Tortoise
(link added 11/10/09)
Phone: (229) 246-5785
Building Access for Forestry Success
Jon Lindsay is a staff
forester for Forest Management, Inc. in Savannah, Tennessee. He was recently
featured in an article on the BASF website:
Consultant's Corner: Building Roads. "Forest access roads
represent one of a private landowner’s largest investments, but their
benefits far outweigh initial costs. Well-planned and maintained access
roads can mean significant additional income from timber sales. They can
also allow you to get more from your land in terms of hunting, fishing and
other recreation, as well as protect your land’s resources by providing
Phone: (731) 925-8228
GPS & GIS Update
Chris Dillard is the
Extension Specialist for the
Alabama Cooperative Extension
System. We met Chris right after a flyer for
GPS 101: Technology for Better
Land Management landed in the AFOA office. GPS, as you probably
know, stands for Global Positioning System and GIS stands for Geographic
Information Systems. GPS locates points on the earth and GIS helps connect
or visualize those points through a map or other data, like timber
inventories. The November 19 one-day workshop in Fairhope, Alabama will
cover an Overview of Basic GIS, a Review of GPS systems, an Overview of
free or inexpensive software to develop maps, Hands-on Training with GPS
units and low-cost software. After a quick look at the flyer, we invited
Chris and co-instructor Beau Brodbeck to bring their workshop to AFOA's
April 17, 2010 Annual Meeting in Atmore and they have graciously
accepted our invitation. Today we have asked Chris to give us a GPS and
GIS update -- low-cost mode.
Phone: (334) 844-3921
BCAP, Black Liquor, & Stumpage Prices
Suzanne Hearn manages several
Forest2Market, Inc., a timber pricing firm based in Charlotte, North
Carolina. One of her activities has been to track federal legislation and
regulations that affect the forestry industries. We asked Suzanne to tell us
BCAP Program (Biomass Crop Assistance Program) and how you (and your
consulting forester) might be able to
improve your biomass sale income when selling to qualified bioenergy
companies. We also asked her to tell us how the
Alternative Fuel Tax Credit and the
Liquor that fuels pulp and paper mills has affected pulpwood prices.
“The more landowners know about the factors affecting the markets they
operate in, the better off they will be when selling timber,” says Hearn.
“On one level, it may not seem like these regulations matter to landowners.
When you know as much about the incentives that are out there as your buyer,
though, you’re negotiating from a better vantage point.”
Phone: (704) 357-0110
Dr. John L. Greene
Tax Tips for 2009
John Greene is a Research
Forester with the USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Economics
and Policy Research Unit, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He has
authored and co-authored many publications, but the one most forest owners
are familiar with is the annual publication, this year entitled,
Tax Tips for Forest Landowners
for the 2009 Tax Year. "The bulletin summarizes federal income
tax information useful to forest owners in preparing their 2009 tax
returns." Topics include: Selling Timber, Installment Sales, Timber Basis,
Timber Management Expenses, Reforestation Tax Provisions, Depreciation and
the Section 179 Deduction, Cost-share Payments, Timber Casualty Losses, and
Timber Depletion. John has also provided us with power point slides (Forest
Taxation Update) that will shed more light on some of the topics covered
only briefly in Tax Tips. John has also agreed, along with Linda
Wang, to teach a tax workshop at AFOA's Annual Meeting in Atmore on April
16. He asked us whether you would like a Forest Taxation Workshop
similar to the one taught at Cheaha earlier this year, or would you prefer
an Estate Planning for Forest Owners Workshop? Send your pick to
firstname.lastname@example.org. John & Linda
will be teaching Estate Planning workshops on November 4 & 5 in Crossville
and Jackson, Tennessee, resp.
Calendar of Events for details.
Phone: (919) 549-4093
M. Craig Hill
Advice Sought on Proposed Forestry Regulations
Craig Hill is Chief of the Law
Enforcement Section of the
Commission. He comes to us today to ask for your advice. "The
Alabama Forestry Commission has authority, pursuant to Section 9-3-9, Code
of Alabama to make rules/regulations pertaining to all phases of forestry.
This authority is not unique to the AFC with many state agencies having such
authority." The Forestry Commission has proposed several regulations
designed "to help forest owners by making many acts which are now civil –
criminal. If these regulations are adopted the AFC would have some tools
(laws) with which to help persons selling their timber. Currently, we have
to refer the landowner to civil court because no criminal act has been
committed. I believe that the proposed regulations are just common sense:"
"These regulations are proposed to help those that we currently cannot help
and require a minimum level of accountability on persons that harvest
"I hope you think these regulations are common sense and should be required.
The AFC needs and wants your input on these proposed regulations. If you
think they are good or bad please email or write us."
Send Comments or Attend Public Hearing: AFC Attorney
Tom Conway will receive comments from the public through November 3, 2009.
On November 3 Tom Conway and Craig Hill will be in the Alabama Forestry Commission Auditorium,
513 Madison Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama,
from 10:00 AM until 12:00 Noon should the public want to come and ask
questions or voice concerns. PUBLIC HEARING TIME EXPANDED TO 4 PM.
Email addresses where comments may be sent:
Or mailing address is:
Alabama Forestry Commission
c/o Tom Conway
P. O. Box 302550
Montgomery, AL 36130
Phone: (334) 240-9366
Dr. Matthew H. Pelkki
Keep Your Eye on the Money
Matt Pelkki is a Professor and
holds the George H. Clippert Endowed Chair of Forest Resource Economics,
Management, and Policy at the
School of Forest
Resources at the
Arkansas-Monticello. At a recent meeting of the
Alabama Forestry Legislative Study Committee, Pelkki's work on relative
values of forest products was quoted in an attempt to prevent the Committee
from developing legislation that might create counter-productive laws
favoring such trendy products as biofuels or carbon offsets. Many southern
landowners and most members of the public, including lawmakers, do not
realize how vastly more important landowner income is from sawtimber than
pulpwood: $3,395 million for sawtimber vs. $1,046 million for pulpwood.
Sawtimber prices may be down right now and may stay that way for several
years until the housing market recovers, but Professor Pelkki's admonition
in an article in the May-June 2009 Forest Landowner magazine of "STAY
THE COURSE" is good advice. He wrote, "...prices in 2008 are 345 percent
higher than in 1973, or an average annual price growth of 3.6 percent. If
you add the biological growth of your trees, your investments are still
likely to earn very respectable rates of return between 8 and 9 percent."
Phone: (870) 460-1949
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