CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
MARCH 2013 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on March 27,
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. Gary D. Lemme
Economic Impacts of Ag & Forestry
Gary Lemme is
Director of the Alabama
Cooperative Extension System with offices in every county of the
state. Perhaps to counter statements of ag and forestry critics who believe
farmland and forestland are undeveloped wastelands just waiting to be
developed, the Extension System along with numerous other partners and
supporters recently published
Economic Impacts of Alabama's Agricultural, Forestry, and Related Industries.
The Report is full of interesting statistics on jobs and economic impact.
You will be pleased to know that forestry and forest products rank very high
in both areas. For example, Agriculture and Forestry had a $70.4 billion
economic impact on Alabama's economy in 2010. Timber production and
processing was the leading sector at $21.4 billion, followed by poultry and
eggs at $15.1 billion. Jobs created by timber production and processing
totaled 122,020, followed by poultry and eggs at 86,237. Of some
significance, Dr. James Shepard, Dean of Auburn's School of Forestry and
Wildlife Sciences, noted that the IMPLAN model used to create the report
"dramatically under-represented the economic impacts of nature-based tourism
like hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing." To account for the impacts of
nature-based tourism, "economic data from a 2006 U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service report was included on page 31 in an appendix. Those data show that
total 'sales' of nature-based tourism was $2.1 billion, had $3.6 billion in
economic impact, and employed 42,319. Had these data been included," timber
production and processing would have been number 1 and nature based tourism
would have been number 3, for both economic impacts and jobs.
Phone: (334) 844-5546
Fed Program Excludes U.S. Forest Products
Melissa Moeller is Manager
of Public Affairs for the
Tree Farm System and
Project Learning Tree are programs of the Foundation). In a recent
letter, Melissa wrote:
Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Representatives Glenn
Thompson (R-Pa.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), introduced the Forest Products
Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 979/S. 463) so that American-made, home-grown
forest products can qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA)
The BioPreferred® program is designed to encourage the use of biobased
products, but most forest products, including products grown by America's
more than 10 million family forest owners, have been excluded from the
Please take action today! Write to your members of Congress, encouraging
them to cosponsor the Forest Products Fairness Act and support family-grown
Here are direct links to write to your U.S. Representative and to write to
your U.S. Senators.
"As a family forest owner, I have seen the price of my sustainably grown
product fall by half over the past few years. While times are tough, I now
find products made from my sustainably produced wood cannot achieve USDA
Certified Biobased Product label. However, a company importing materials
from overseas would be recognized. Now is not the time to put Americans at a
market disadvantage," said Colton Churchill, a certified Tree Farmer from
"Last week NASF joined other forestry organizations in
a letter to Forest
Service Chief Tom Tidwell to emphasize the importance of wood being
classified as green product. The current LEED standards discourages the use
of wood relative to other building materials and discriminates against two
widely used forest certification standards." Source: National Association of
State Foresters (NASF)
SB326 was introduced [March 12, 2013] in the Alabama Senate on behalf of the Alabama
Forestry Association. The bill, co-sponsored by Senators Tom Whatley
(R-Auburn) and Marc Keahey (D-Grove Hill) will be in the Senate Ag &
Forestry Committee [on March 13, 2013]. The purpose of the bill is to specify
that any green building standard used for construction or major renovation
of public buildings by state and local governments would be required to
treat all forest certification standards equally.
See attached Bill.
Source: Tom Saunders, Alabama Forestry Association, 3/13/13. The companion
bill in the House is HB457.
Phone: (202) 463-2456
Dr. Timothy A. Martin
Loblolly Pine & Climate Change
Tim Martin is
Tree Physiology at the
University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation.
Tom was referred to AFOA when we asked the following questions about a $20
million research project, called
concentrates on planted pine forests (primarily loblolly pine) and climate
- What is the size of PINEMAP in dollars, years, researcher time, etc.?
- Given our current fiscal realities (40%
of federal expenditures are paid for with borrowed money), it is important to scrutinize large
federal expenditures. Will this project produce any benefits for forest
landowners or other taxpayers?
- Are the climate change threats to
growing loblolly significant enough to
warrant the research dollars?
The size of the project caught our attention
- $20 million - but after reflecting on some of the unfocused, short-term
graduate student research projects we've seen over the years, this project,
PINEMAP, sounds like it may be worth watching. The project focuses the
resources of more than 50 researchers at 11 land grant universities across a
20 million acre resource. AFOA will pass along progress reports as the
project moves forward.
Phone: (352) 846-0866
Dr. John L. Greene
Forest Landowners Tax Guide
John Greene, U.S. Forest Service
Emeritus Research Forester - and now private consulting forester/tax advisor,
wrote to AFOA a few weeks ago: "This is to let you know that the PDF version
of Agriculture Handbook 731, the updated
Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax,
was released [about March 1, 2013]." The 164 page book is
available online at
and will soon be available on the
National Timber Tax Website.
Hard copies of the guide should become available for purchase from the
U. S. Government
Bookstore in about a month.
Written by U.S. Forest Service emeritus research forester John Greene with
co-authors William Siegel, William Hoover and Mark Koontz, the guide updates
and takes the place of a previous publication of the same name,
incorporating new tax laws and changes through September 30, 2012.
From an Alabama Forestry Commission Press
“The main purpose of this guide is to
foster good management of family-owned forest land by providing an
explanation of provisions and incentives related to forest ownership and
management under Federal income tax law,” says Greene, who since retiring
works as a volunteer for the Forest Service Southern Research Station Forest
Economics and Policy unit.
The guide introduces tax planning and basic tax considerations and explains
the Federal income tax as it pertains to timber and forest land, including:
- Basis and capital accounts
- Reforestation tax incentives
- Depreciation and the Internal Revenue
Code section 179 deduction
- Operating expenses and carrying charges
- The passive loss rules
- Sale or disposal of timber
- Government cost-sharing programs
- Other timber-related receipts.
It also covers the tax implications of other forest-related topics,
- Donation or sale of a conservation
- Installment sales
- The alternative minimum tax
- Self-employment taxes
- Christmas tree production
- Nontimber products.
Phone: (919) 549-4093
Dr. T. Bently Wigley
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Survey
Ben Wigley is Manager of
the Sustainable Forestry Research Program for the
National Council for Air and
Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI), a non-profit research organization
that addresses environmental issues of importance to the forest products
industry. NCASI has developed a survey to gather data about the eastern
diamondback to "better inform the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about the
range of habitat conditions in which the eastern diamondback rattlesnake is
the Service has been petitioned to list the species as threatened or
endangered." "Federally listing a species as threatened or endangered
can have large economic consequences. Thus, it is particularly important
that listing decisions be based on the best available scientific evidence.
In the case of the eastern diamondback, there is a lack of data about their
abundance, population trends, or their habitat use in managed forests. We
have heard many anecdotal accounts of encounters with eastern diamondbacks
in managed pine forests. We think that documentation of such encounters
would be helpful to the Service as they make their decision about whether
this species should be listed."
"If you encounter an eastern diamondback
rattlesnake, NCASI would greatly appreciate your participation in the
survey." For background information about the survey, photos of the snake,
and 3 different ways to fill out the survey,
Phone: (864) 656-0840
Dr. P. David Jones
What Kind of Wood is That?
Dave Jones is Assistant Extension
Professor in the
Forest Products, Mississippi State University. We read his article,
Basic Guide to Identification of Hardwoods and
Softwoods Using Anatomical Characteristics, in the Mississippi
Forestry Association magazine, Tree Talk, Winter 2013, and
thought that many forest landowners would enjoy reading it, too. The photos
in the Guide are great, but we thought hearing some of the tips and tricks
of wood identification from an expert like Dave would spark your interest.
For links to several more publications on wood identification, Dave suggests
a visit to the
MSUcares Wood Identification webpage.
Phone: (662) 325-8454
Keeping Woodlands Intact and in the Family
University of Vermont Forestry Extension,
has authored another book that we think you will find very interesting and
useful: Planning Family Forests -- How to Keep Woodlands Intact and in
"The purpose of this book is to document some of the many success stories
where forests have had a unifying effect on families, while also keeping
woodlands productive and protected from development. Professor McEvoy takes
a unique approach to sharing these stories with readers, through the use of
case studies from around the country. These narratives will help
forest-owning families explore a variety of strategies on which to model
"The underlying message, though, is that when forestlands are left to
children intact, with clear directions as to how lands are to be managed and
used, and how benefits are to be shared, generations that follow are much
more likely to come together as family for the purposes of managing forests.
This is usually undertaken as a legacy to their parents and grandparents,
establishing strong traditions for future generations to keep forests
intact and in the family." From a Note from the Publisher.
Phone: (802) 434-3839
Maximizing Economic Returns
James Jeuck is an Extension
State University Extension Forestry. James co-authored an article in
National Woodlands, Spring 2012, entitled,
When to Cut Your Woodlot:
Maximizing the Economic Returns. James discusses wood volume growth
rates and percentage growth rates, and helps us understand what we already
know about bank savings accounts and certificates of deposits. "Money is
more limited than land in most investment situations. Managers therefore try
to maximize return per dollar. To do this, value growth of trees (or stands)
is more usefully expressed as percent, to compare with rates of return
possible through alternative investments. When a stand’s stumpage value (the
capital tied up in a stand) could earn more in alternative investments (a
higher percentage), then the stand is financially mature." Investing in
forestland and forest management activities that improve growth and/or wood
quality is a good investment today, don't you think. Hint: Would you
rather have your savings in a bank on the Island of
• NCSU Extension Forestry Website
• Woodland Owners Update, newsblog
NC Timber Price Reports
NCSU Extension Documents:
Timber sales: A planning guide for landowners – R. Bardon
Spring 2012 Articles:
• Forest Market Trends: Current and Future Outlook, D. Hazel; J. Jeuck, page
• When to Cut Your Woodland: Maximizing the Economic Returns, J. Jeuck; R.
Bardon, page 49.
Phone: (919) 515-5574
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