CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on May 20, 2015.
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. Tom Reed
Private Property Rights Caucus Formed in U.S. House
Member of the
House of Representatives, representing the 23rd District of New York,
and he is the
the Congressional Private Property Rights Caucus. It has become an
almost everyday occurrence for us to read about an infringement of property
rights by government in the name of protecting a snake or a bat or a puddle.
"Imagine if this country tackled the problem of homelessness by passing a law
that allowed the federal government to force homeowners to house homeless
people and shoulder all of the costs."
Reed, along with thirteen other Members of
Congress, including Mo Brooks of Alabama, established the Caucus on May 4,
2015. "The inaugural event for the Caucus focused on how government actions
are affecting Americans across the country and began to identify solutions
to protect private property rights."
“The purpose of the Private Property Rights
Caucus is to educate Members of Congress and their staff on the importance
of property rights to a free society, how landowners across the country are
being impacted by government action and to raise awareness of the issues
Congress must address to protect Americans’ rights to their property.”
If you have a story about infringement of private property rights,
send it to Mr. Reed. You may also want to
thank Rep. Mo Brooks for his participation in the Caucus or
your House Member to join the Caucus.
Phone: (202) 225-3161
Caucus Staff Leader
State Auditor Jim Zeigler
Stop Taxpayer Funded Campaigns to Increase Property Taxes
Jim Zeigler is
Alabama State Auditor. He has been in the news a lot lately because
he thinks it is wrong for public agencies, like the Baldwin County School
Board, to use tax dollars to campaign for higher property taxes. In a hotly
contested Baldwin County property tax referendum, it was variously reported
that the school board spent as much as a million dollars to urge residents
to raise property taxes in the county. The increase was soundly defeated.
Please read the following press
Phone: (334) 242-7010
Thomas C. Donald
Fixing an Adverse Possession Problem
Tom Donald owns timberland in DeKalb County east of Mentone. His family
also owns timberland in St. Clair County on Big Canoe Creek.
A landlocked landowner had an
easement by necessity to enter his land through Tom's property.
According to Tom, "The user of the roadway on the easement by necessity, however, wanted to
continue to use the roadway forever, even though he now had another, easier
way to reach his land. So he sued the owner of the land over which the
roadway ran, claiming an
easement by prescription.
He argued that he had graded the roadway and had cleared drainage ditches
along the sides of the roadway. He argued that he had used the easement
adversely because he had not obtained permission to do these things from the
owner of the land over which the easement ran.
"Even though there was no evidence that the owner of
the land objected to the maintenance of his roadway, or was otherwise not
pleased with the way his roadway had been used, the trial court ruled
that the user of the roadway had 'earned an easement by prescription' to use
the roadway forever because of his 'adverse' activities."
The Supreme Court of Alabama, in case #1130875,
recently affirmed the decision of the trial court.
Tom contends that the decision by the
Supreme Court illuminates a serious inadequacy in Alabama law. For that
reason he has enlisted the help of
Rep. Jim Carns (Dist. 48). On May 7, 2015, Carns introduced
House Bill 626. Note
the highlighted text on page
4 of the bill. This bill adds the following paragraph (d) to Alabama Code
"(d) Use of real property made pursuant to licenses, servitudes,
implication, or created expressly by implication, or by necessity may not be
construed as adverse to the interest of the owner of the real property."
If you agree with Tom, he would
appreciate it if you would contact your
representative and ask them to support the legislation, House Bill 626.
For Further Study or Review:
Phone: (205) 720-0263
Plat Books in the Digital Age
Brock Alekna is
Marketing Manager at
Rockford Map Publishers,
publishers of county plat books in Alabama and 19 other states. Plat books
contain property maps and ownership information that is useful to a variety
of users - timber buyers, real estate agents, beekeepers, prospective land
buyers and many others. Now the old paper plat books are being replaced by
electronic versions that can be accessed on tablets or smartphones. Rockford
Map Publishers produces two products that may be of interest to you.
a digital county plat book (.pdf) that is identical to the printed
plat book. Features include facing page aerial images, linked index map,
searches by owner name, magnification, highlighting, measurements of
distances, property perimeters, and areas, adding comments, map area
selection for cutting and pasting into emails, and printing map pages or the
entire book. The
eBook User Guide includes Tutorial Videos and a short
overview of eBook.
MobilePlat is a seamless, geo-referenced plat map (.pdf) that is
designed for use on smartphones and tablets with Avenza’s free PDF Maps app (iOS
and Android). Features include: Import Maps to Your Device, Access Maps
Offline, Add and Customize Placemarks, View Your Location, Record your Route
Using GPS, Find Coordinates, Measure Distance and Area, Highlight Parcels,
Open in Maps app, Find Places, and Export Placemarks and Lines. The
MobilePlat User Guide includes Tutorial Videos and a short
overview of MobilePlat.
Progressive Agriculture Safety Day
Bernard Geschke is the
Program Specialist for the
Agriculture Foundation with the majority of his time spent training
and assisting more than 500 volunteer coordinators as they conduct Safety
Days each year. With his help, the program reaches more than 100,000 kids
and volunteers each year in the United States, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands,
and American Samoa. AFOA has known about the
Progressive Agriculture Safety Day Program for many years and we
frequently list Safety Day programs in various Alabama counties. If you have
small children or grandchildren, we suspect you worry every time you take
them for a ride in your UTV, walk past a big dead snag, or see a cottonmouth
slide into a creek.
events teach children lessons that help keep them and those around them
safe and healthy. While the basic program is designed for 8- to 13-year-old
children, Safety Days may adjusted to accommodate younger children or entire
"Safety Days can be open to the entire community or
they may be customized for specific schools, or classes. Currently the
majority of our Safety Days operate as part of a school day, with support
from the teachers, principals and school superintendents. Many school
systems request that the Safety Day be held annually.
"Most Progressive Agriculture Safety Days are planned
for 100 to 200 participants. However, some experienced coordinators have
held well-planned and well-staffed Safety Days that have reached as many as
1,300 participants effectively.
"At a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, participants
are divided into small groups of 10 to 15 that rotate between stations where
lessons outlined in the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day Topics and
Activities Manual are taught. To facilitate learning, educational,
age-appropriate and fun hands-on activities and demonstrations are part of
Information Available on the Safety Day Website:
Phone: (402) 331-3868
Tick-borne Diseases and Prevention
Graduate Research Assistant at Auburn University's School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences
and will soon begin working on ticks and tick-borne illnesses in Alabama.
Some of the tick-borne diseases, like
lyme disease, are quite serious, so it's worth a few minutes of your
time to learn how to prevent tick bites and what to do if you are bitten.
Emily sent lots of links to interesting websites with tick identification,
disease descriptions, tick removal, tick bite prevention, and more. Taping
pant legs shut, wearing long-sleeved shirts, and applying repellent that
contains 20% or more of DEET are all good things to do.
Showing this little comic strip to kids might help them be more careful when
out in the woods.
We looked through all of Emily's website
suggestions and made a few comments below. Check them out. You'll
probably find lots of information we missed in our hurried first review.
Emily and her research team need your
help. To carry out three years of research on ticks and tick-borne
diseases in Alabama she would love to receive donations for the following:
- Pathogen analysis: $24,000
More funding = more
- Travel costs: $15,000
Car, food, lodging
- Materials and supplies: $5,000
Safety #1 concern
- Foliar Analysis: $2,000+
More funding = more samples
Phone: (631) 294-7953
Interactive Forest Management Plan
Eric Johnson is the
& Timber Processor, a monthly trade publication, plus he edits
two quarterly magazines,
Wisconsin Woodlands and
Woodlands. But today we asked him to wear his woodland owner cap
(his mother owns 280 acres in Wisconsin) to tell us why and how he created a
Digital, Interactive Forest Management Plan.
Eric wrote to us in an email:
Years ago, when the Internet was just getting
started, I read somewhere that "hyperlinks" were the key to making it all
work so well. True enough. This is just a way of hyperlinking pages within a
document. Once that's laid down, it's all about the quality of the
content--photos, graphics and text. I think the format allows for much more
creativity and utility in drawing up and maintaining a forest management
plan, and as I said at the conclusion of the article (see link below), the technical
"challenge" is a good way to get younger family members involved, and
hopefully that involvement will stimulate further interest in the idea of
If you have a forest management plan or if you are thinking of writing a
forest management plan, Eric's article is a must read:
Phone: (315) 369-3078
Sara S. Baldwin
Stumpage Market Report
Sara Baldwin is a
Senior Editor and Assistant Manager of
a timber price reporting system with price reports dating back to 1976. Sara
lives in a world of market indicators and market reports. In the Timber
Mart-South ~ Market News Quarterly, 1st Quarter 2015, she wrote:
US manufacturing and employment grew in
the 1st Quarter of 2015, supporting continued economic recovery. Wood
products manufacturers reported business expansion in two of the three
months this quarter while pulp and paper producers reported expansion in all
three months. However, some market conditions have moderated expectations.
- Southern pine lumber prices eased
downward this quarter but remained at a relatively high level.
- Hardwood lumber prices decreased
further this quarter, down from last year’s record levels.
- Pulp prices moved slightly lower this
quarter while paper and paperboard production was stable.
- Residential building construction
continued to grow, supported by the increasing strength in the economy
and low mortgage rates.
- Fuel prices and other producer costs
- Volatile stock markets repeated last
quarter’s pattern, reaching new highs only to drop back again.
- Labor relations broke down at ports
in the US West in February, as well as at a few oil refineries, but
agreements had been reached by the end of the quarter.
- Uncertainty remains over the long
term effects of low oil prices as well as slower international
economies, including China.
Sara has packed a wealth of information
into the following reports:
Phone: (706) 542-4760
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