CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on January 19, 2011.
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.
GP To Refuse Pine Planted Where Natural Hardwoods Grew
Vice President - Sustainable Forestry, Environmental and Community Outreach
at Georgia-Pacific. She has
a degree in forest management and has spent "13 years in Washington, DC, in
the political arena." We contacted Ms. Baker after receiving
a news article that stated, "Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific (GP) has
announced that 'it will no longer purchase trees from endangered forests and
special areas, or from new pine plantations established at the expense of
natural hardwood forests.'" We didn't think we had many "endangered forests
and special areas" in Alabama, but a lot of us have removed and killed
hardwoods and planted pines. What does GP mean by natural hardwoods?
Wouldn't nearly all of Alabama be home to natural hardwood forests if pre-
and post-Columbian settlers hadn't burned the land extensively, thereby
creating the conditions favorable for the growth of pines? This could be
serious. (see GP's clarifying statement, first bullet,
below, in italics)
lot of products familiar to all of us, including Dixie cups, Brawny
paper towels, and Quilted Northern bath tissues, but more important to us,
GP provides a huge market for the timber products of our forestland.
GP employs 2,800 people in Alabama and has manufacturing facilities in 9
locations: Brewton – containerboard mill, Fayette – southern
pine sawmill, Huntsville – packaging, Montgomery – wood treating sales,
Naheola (Pennington) – consumer products and paper board, Peterman –
southern pine plywood, Perdue Hill – pulp/cellulose, Talladega – southern
pine plywood, and Thorsby – engineered wood products.
To help us understand GP's new stumpage purchasing
policy, Deborah provided reading material from GP's website:
Georgia-Pacific Statement on Forest Protection and Sustainable Practices
(Georgia-Pacific’s Statement on Forest Protection
and Sustainable Practices recognizes the successional changes of natural
forests and defines a subset of forests, which Georgia-Pacific
identifies as natural hardwoods, based on site specific characteristics
including soil and topography. Georgia-Pacific believes that conserving
this unique subset of natural hardwoods contributes to the health and
diversity of forests. The company will continue to purchase hardwood
timber from these sites, but will not purchase pine fiber grown on these
tracts. This clarifying statement, in italics, was added at
the request of Ms. Baker, 2/1/11.)
Georgia-Pacific Increases Forest Protection and Expands Sustainable
Forestry Practices November 16, 2010
About Us/Sustainable Forestry (contains 3 videos that may help
you understand the policy and how it will be implemented; there's also a Q & A
on the GP Statement)
Phone: (404) 652-4000
Thomas D. Martin
What is Unique about U. S. Forests?
Tom Martin is President and
CEO of the
American Forest Foundation and works with his sister to manage
200 acres of family woodlands in Wisconsin (We suspect the Martin
woodlands are a Tree Farm, since the
American Tree Farm
System is a program of the Foundation). While talking with a
Foundation staff member last week, we learned that the United Nations
General Assembly has declared 2011 as
International Year of Forests and that the Foundation is assisting with
the planning of the
celebration and the writing of a U.S. resolution on forests. That got us
to thinking: How would we describe U.S. forests to an international
audience? What is unique about the forests of the United States? Would we
point out that most of of our commercial forestland is privately owned by
hundreds of thousands of individuals and families? Would we mention that
there is more forestland today in the U.S. than there was in 1920? What
national and state policies encourage us to grow and nurture forests on our
land? Do we defend and protect and champion private property in the U.S.? Do
Phone: (202) 463-2460
Henry Barclay, III
Changes in Estate & Gift Taxes
Henry Barclay is a CPA and the
Managing Partner of Lehmann,
Ullman and Barclay LLP, which has been involved in timber related
services almost since its inception in 1912. Henry is also a Board Member
and past President of the
Forest Landowners Tax Council and the Alabama Forest Owners'
Association. As soon as President Obama signed the tax changes into law last
month, we called Henry to ask him to tell us what happened. First he sent us
a 4 page
Federal Taxes Weekly Alert, published by Thomson Reuters/RIA, and then
we asked him to translate the piece for us. He said the new law covers
estate and gift tax law for individuals dying after 12/31/09 and for gifts
made after 12/31/10 and the new estate tax has the same "stepped up basis
rules" that were in effect in 2009. If someone in your family died in 2010,
the executor can choose to apply the zero estate tax of 2010 with no
stepped up basis (possible higher capital gains taxes) or he can choose
the new estate tax rules -- 35% estate tax on the amount in the estate above
$5 million. The new rules, if followed correctly, allow a married couple to
leave an estate of up to $10 million with no tax owed. He said that the
lifetime gift exclusion has been changed to mirror the estate tax exclusion,
so an individual can give gifts up to $5 million before being required to
pay a gift tax. Since he could tell I didn't know what he was talking about,
he suggested that timber owners have their estate and gift plans
Phone: (205) 439-6520
How Sellers Can Help Their Real Estate Agents
Robert King is a Land Agent with
in east Alabama. He is a contributor to the LandThink Blog and we really
liked the 10 tips he wrote about in
Agent 911 - How Can a Seller Help Their Agent?
- Clean up clutter such as old ATVs, old
cars, or sheds that won't be sold with the land.
- Make the entryway into the property neat
- Improve some trails so prospective
buyers can see more of the property.
- Get a survey done if it's needed and
provide it to the buyer.
- Let the agent post "for sale" signs on
the property, your neighbor will find out anyway.
- Give your agent photos of the property
in different seasons.
- Have the timber cruised and give the
report to your agent.
- Keep open fields and pastures mowed.
- Open up access to water features such as
a pond or creek.
- Give your agent a written description of
the valuable features of your land.
Robert also suggests sellers get realistic
about property values and set a price that has a chance of selling. He
writes about realistic pricing in
Selling Land or a Farm? Get Serious on Pricing.
Robert asked us to pass along this note to
you: "If you would like to keep up with new listings, market updates, and
information regarding the land market in East Central Alabama you can follow
my blog by subscribing to email updates on the right hand side of this page:
http://alalandman.wordpress.com/ or if you are a Facebook user, you can keep
up with the market by visiting and liking my page:
Phone: (256) 252-9239
David A. Osborn
Tree Orchards for Wildlife (and tight budgets)
David Osborn is the Deer Research Coordinator at the
University of Georgia
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Among many other
things, David works with Georgia landowners to survey their deer herds and
to prescribe habitat and population management strategies. David
co-authored, along with
Dr. Karl Miller,
Reasons to Plant Tree Orchards,
Quality Whitetails, OctNov 2010. The article was brought to AFOA's
attention to provide landowners and hunters less expensive ways to improve
hunting and habitat than game food plots. The fourth great reason reads as
TO MAXIMIZE COST EFFICIENCY OF HABITAT MANAGEMENT. When considering the
rising cost of fuel, seed, lime, and fertilizer, deer food plots can be
very expensive. Even when perennial forage plants like clover and
alfalfa are planted, there is a yearly cost associated with food plot
maintenance, including mowing, spraying, and fertilization. In contrast,
with tree orchards, most of the costs occur at the time of planting
(trees, lime, fertilizer) and for the next couple of years (watering,
weed control, fertilizer). Even then, inputs are directed at a smaller
acreage (just around the tree) when compared to a food plot. After
establishment, occasional weed control around the tree, light
fertilization, and pruning are all that’s required.
Phone: (706) 542-1378
Dr. Jeffrey W. Stringer
High Impact Regeneration Treatments for Hardwoods
Jeff Stringer is Extension Professor at the
Kentucky, specializing in Hardwood Silviculture and Forest Operations.
Dr. Stringer has been a guest before on
Capital Ideas - Live!, when he discussed "Producing Fully Stocked,
High Value Hardwood Stands." Today his topic is similar, but a quote from
High Impact Options for
Hardwoods: Before, During, and After Harvest,
Forest Landowner, NovDec
2010, caught our attention, and we think it will yours.
In an example in High Impact Options
"the site preparation and crop tree release yielded four to five times
the amount of acceptable growing stock and preferred species compared to
conducting a commercial clear cut without silvicultural treatments.
Also, the diameter growth of the trees was improved by the release. Both
of these result in improved value. These practices increased
future sawlog value by four times and reduced the length of the sawlog
rotation by 10 to 30 years, both increasing the value of the stand
Phone: (859) 257-5994
Dr. Charles D. Haynes
Take Advantage of Mining Operations to Make Land Improvements
Charlie Haynes is an
Minerals Consultant who has been referred to AFOA by many happy clients.
He holds degrees in mining and petroleum engineering and is the retired head
of the Department of Mineral Engineering at the University of Alabama. Dr.
Haynes reminded us recently that a landowner can reap many benefits from a
mining operation on his land, not all of which are in the form of cash.
Before a minerals lease is signed, "Everything is negotiable." Topography
can be improved and ponds can be built during the mining reclamation
process, frequently at little cost to the mining operation. Record and
sign-off on agreements (reclamation plan) - include a sketch or plat map in
the agreement. Have a clear idea of what is to be done. Be visible to the
mine operator at all times. And finally, and this seems like a no-brainer,
use a professional to help you sell minerals or oil & gas.
Phone: (256) 582-7711
Mission Possible -- Family Land Plan
Jennifer Gagnon is an Extension
Forester at the
Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.
In a discussion about the new estate tax laws (hear Henry Barclay, above),
Jennifer said that many families have no plan, estate, forest management, or
otherwise. We asked her how an interested family member can get the planning
process started, and, once started, what should be discussed. After a brief
explanation, Jennifer suggested that Alabama forest owners might consider
attending her 12-week 2011
Woodland Management Class that begins on March 1.
Two of the
topics to be covered in the class are "Setting management goals and
objectives" and "Writing a management plan." One of the books provided with
the $45 registration fee is Estate Planning for Forest Landowners.
Other Links Helpful for Estate & Tax
Phone: (540) 231-6391
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