CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
MAY 2014 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on May 21,
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.
Rep. H. Morgan Griffith
Acre In, Acre Out
Morgan Griffith represents the
Congressional District in Virginia, but he has introduced a bill
into Congress that should please many private forest landowners in Alabama.
Do you remember when the
Fish & Wildlife Service wanted to expand a tiny wildlife refuge in central
Alabama by acquiring 100,000+ acres of private land? Or maybe you
remember David Peterson who, earlier this year,
helped halt an attempt to create a huge National Park in the Mobile/Tensaw
Delta? Neither of those pushes to increase federal control of Alabama
land would have been feasible if Rep. Griffith's
Acre In, Acre Out legislation had been in effect when they were in
the news. Acre In, Acre Out (HR
4423) "would require the Federal Government to sell an acre of land
it already owns for every new acre of land that it acquires." And best of
all, "Proceeds from the land sales would go towards paying down our national
debt," not set aside to buy more land. Rep. Griffith would like other
members of the House to co-sponsor Acre In, Acre Out. Find contact
information for your U.S. House member
Phone: (202) 225-3861
Every Drop of Water to be Regulated?
Don Parrish is the Senior
Director of Regulatory Relations for the
American Farm Bureau
Federation, a well respected rural issues oriented organization with
6,061,469 member families. We
called Don after we read a Farm Bureau May 12 press release which stated,
voices join call for EPA to ditch proposed Clean Water Act rule."
"Hundreds of Republican and Democratic lawmakers are joining farmers,
ranchers and other landowners in challenging EPA's recently proposed 'Waters
of the U.S.' rule, which could ultimately lead to the unlawful expansion of
federal regulation to cover routine farming and ranching practices as well
as other common private land uses, such as building homes.
Published on April 21 in the Federal Register, the
more-than-111,000-word 'Waters of the U.S.' proposed rule reflects EPA's
latest interpretation of the 1972 Clean Water Act." "The threat of
ruinous penalties for alleged noncompliance with the Clean Water Act is also
likely to become more common given the proposed rule's expansive approach.
For example, the EPA's disputed classification of a small, local creek as a
'water of the United States' could cost as much as $187,500 per day in
civil penalties for Wyoming resident Andrew Johnson."
"Where the Clean Water Act has
previously defined [waters of the U.S.] as those that are navigable or are
significantly connected to navigable waters, the proposed rule would include
smaller waters and even some dry land in the definition of 'waters of the
U.S.' " Source:
What will actually be different under the proposed rule?
on how you might be affected by the proposed changes to the definition of
"waters of the U.S." to
email@example.com on or before July 21, 2014. Include EPA–HQ–OW–2011–0880
in the subject line of the message.
88 page April 21 Federal Register - Proposed Rule
Dr. Yanli Zhang
Acreage Measurements with Google Earth (free version)
Yanli Zhang is
Assistant Professor at the
Arthur Temple College
of Forestry and Agriculture of Stephen F. Austin State University
in Nacogdoches, Texas. Yanli teaches six GIS related courses and has
been a regular contributor to The Forestry Source, a tabloid read by
many professional foresters.
Dr. Zhang's article in the April 2014 issue of The
Using Google Earth for Forest Management, caught our eye. First, we
liked the authors' understanding that some of us might not be interested or
able to afford expensive software to create maps of our land. They used the
free version of Google Earth in all the procedures described in
the article. Step by step, they walked us through the procedure of drawing a
line around a pond on the Stephen F. Austin campus, taking the drawing (a
KML file) to another
called KML Tools (published by the University of New Hampshire),
and there, calculating the size of the pond. They checked the accuracy of
the area calculation by comparing the Google Earth/KML Tools measurement to
the area of the pond calculated by walking along the edge of the pond with a
high-end GPS unit. The results were within a few percentage points. The
authors also suggested using the
Historical Imagery Tool in Google Earth to learn when plantations
were established or blow-downs may have occurred. Forest owners interested
in the history of their land may find old homeplaces or other long-gone
structures on old imagery.
More possibilities from accessing old imagery:
Phone: (936) 468-2157
Woodland Cooperative Focuses on Products, Sales, and Imagination
Neil Schroeder is
President of the
Woodland Cooperative. "The Oregon Woodland Cooperative is a group of
over 70 private, family forestland owners in Oregon. Since 1980, OWC members
have helped other members to improve their ability to sustainably manage
their woodland and to market their woodland products over the long term. We
grow a variety of wood and non-wood products in our own forests, and we use
them to create many different products to heat your home (firewood), to
decorate your surroundings (boughs, rustic furniture), and improve personal
health and well-being (essential oils, bath products and aromatherapy). We
bring you 'Natural Goods from the Oregon Woods.' " Among other things, the
co-op sells firewood through local grocery stores, including Whole Foods.
Visit their shop. And be sure to take the time to watch the videos
on the Co-op's
"Our Story" webpage. The
on the left will give you all sorts of ideas.
Small Business Administration on Cooperatives.
Phone: (503) 628-2344
All Terrain Bridges
Russell Holmes is the
All Terrain Bridge,
a subsidiary of
New South Access and Environmental Solutions, based in Madison,
Mississippi. We saw a photo of one of
Terrain Bridge's Light Duty bridges in an outdoor magazine and thought,
"That bridge would solve our access problem in Talladega County."
Dr. W. Patrick Cumbie
Greater Revenue Potential from Improved Pine Genetics
Patrick Cumbie is
Manager of Pine Development at
ArborGen, Inc., a "leading developer of biotechnology tree seedling
products and one of the largest providers of conventional and technology
enhanced seedlings to the forestry industry." ArborGen operates
seven SuperTree Nurseries in the U.S., including one in Selma, Alabama.
Patrick co-authored an article that appeared
in Forest Landowner in September/October 2013 entitled,
Genetics Case Study -
Value Validated for Landowners. Here are a few excerpts from the
Seedlings from different genetic
families appear to be the same when in the nursery, however, the stands
they grow into are anything but identical. Today, landowners can choose
among numerous levels of genetic categories. These “genotypes” and their
associated productivity and financial gains differ widely and represent
an important opportunity for landowners. Unfortunately, the choice of
the type of seedling genetics is not a priority for many landowners due
to a lack of education on the topic or a lack of confidence in how the
trees will perform.
Family CP-1 [control-pollinated] was
exhibiting a growth rate of 9.5 green tons/acre/year compared to the OP
[open pollinated] families that ranged from 7.57 to 8.22. The
combination of superior growth rate and high quality stems is the basis
of the financial returns that are possible with control-pollinated
trees. ... the CP-1 stands had higher volume per acre, have higher
sawtimber potential and will generate much greater revenue at final
Control-pollinated seedlings clearly
have the potential to create enormous value for forest landowners
willing to aggressively practice progressive forest management. With
this analysis of realistic estimates of the validation of
control-pollinated seedlings’ delivered value, and the continuous
improvement in forest genetics, new control-pollinated plantations will
likely exceed the estimates we have presented in this article.
Phone: (843) 851-5085 (or cell?
Edward G. McDermott, CPA
Record Keeping for Small Woodland Owners
Gray McDermott is a
Certified Public Accountant with the firm Crow, Shields,
Bailey, PC. With April 15 now in the rear-view mirror (for most of
us), we thought it would be a good time to discuss the records forest
landowners should keep related to their forest investments.
Gray suggests we keep records related to
the acquisition of our timberland and records related to our
Establishing a basis in land and timber at the time of
acquisition might reduce your income tax bill when you sell timber. "For
example, if timberland is purchased, then closing statements and other
records associated with the purchase like survey costs should be maintained.
If timberland is acquired as a result of gift or inheritance, then the type
of records needed to determine basis would be an appraisal of the property
in the case of inheritance or donor basis records in the case of a gift."
Records of day to day operations are important, too.
"For current operations, owners should capture those records such as timber
cruise data, revenue documents in the form receipts for sale of timber and
associated logger or mill tickets identifying species and volume of timber
harvested, hunting lease and other miscellaneous revenue. Additionally,
disbursements should be recorded to allow for categorization as either
expenses or capital improvement. At a minimum, a check register with support
documents such as vendor invoices should be maintained.
These records will allow your tax preparer to identify the depletion
deduction available, expenses incurred and elections to make in order to
minimize your tax bill."
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Phone: (251) 343-1012
Prof. Thomas G. Harris, Jr.
Timber Mart-South Stumpage Report
Tom Harris is the
Mart-South and a
Professor at the
University of Georgia. "Timber Mart-South publishes quarterly and annual
reports used by private companies, consultants, landowners, and others to
assess market prices in the U.S. South," and has been surveying and
reporting timber prices since 1976. Today we'll ask Tom about the impact of
the wood pellet export market on Alabama timber markets as well as the effect
closing of International Paper's Courtland (north Alabama) paper mill is
having on landowners in its former wood purchasing area. We'll also ask him about the future of softwood sawtimber
markets in Alabama.
FOR FURTHER REVIEW:
Phone: (706) 542-4756
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