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CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!

JULY 2016 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on July 19, 2016.

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Hayes D. Brown   Alabama Forest Owners' Association

Hayes D. Brown

starting time: (00:00)
Comment

Moderator

Hayes D. Brown, attorney and forest owner, will moderate this news conference. Hayes' email address is hbrown@hayesbrown.com.

Click Here to View & Hear Prior News Conferences.

 

Palmer Schoening

(00:20)
Hear Conference

Comment

 

Election Year Strategies to Kill Death Tax

Palmer Schoening is President of Schoening Strategies LLC and Chairman of the Family Business Coalition, based in Washington, DC. In those roles, Palmer advises associations and family businesses on tax policy and attempts to protect them from laws such as the Death Tax. Palmer was referred to AFOA by the Forest Landowners Tax Council who suggested we ask him the following questions related to the elimination of the Death Tax:

  1. How have Clinton and Trump positioned themselves relative to the elimination of the Death Tax?
     
  2. What realistic possibility does such an endeavor have as congressional candidates may fear offending one side or the other, as election day grows nearer?
     
  3. Considering the implications of these questions, might there be a chance for success in the lame-duck session, after the election?

Family Business Report, Summer 2016. Scroll down to "Progress made on death tax repeal" and to "Presidential tax plans" for a comparison of Donald Trump's Tax Plan vs. Hillary Clinton's tax plan.

Phone: (202) 393-8959
Email: palmer@schoeningstrategies.com

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Neil A. Ward

(04:10)
Hear Conference

Comment

 

EPA Forest Roads Decision Important to Landowners

Neil Ward    Vice President, Public Affairs, Forest Resources Association, Inc. (FRA), based in Washington, DC. In the July 7, 2016 FRA Bulletin, Ward wrote:

"EPA Finds Existing Programs Adequate to Regulate Forest Road Stormwater. In response to a third-party civil suit, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has, for the second time, decided not to designate stormwater discharges from forest roads for regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA). ... EPA determined that ... state-level Logger Training and Education programs ... are adequate to address stormwater quality discharges from forest roads."

Avoiding the cost and red tape burden of applying for a stormwater permit each time a tract is harvested is important to landowners and timber harvesters alike.

Additional Information:

Phone: (202) 296-3937
Email: nward@forestresources.org

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Douglas R. Kruse

(08:28)
Hear Conference

Comment

Fighting for Property Rights from Coast to Coast

Doug Kruse is the Atlantic Regional Director for the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a national nonprofit organization that litigates on behalf of property rights, free enterprise, and limited government. The Foundation was founded in 1973 by several senior staff members of then-Governor Ronald Reagan, to represent the interests of taxpayers and other Americans in efficient, limited constitutional government. "They have brought scores of precedent-setting cases to court, including nine consecutive victories in the U.S. Supreme Court." We asked Doug to reintroduce* us to the PLF and its work. He asked us to pass along the following Press Releases and Blogs to give you background information about cases that might be of interest to forest landowners.

* PLF attorneys, James Burling, 10/03, and Reed Hopper, 6/08, were guests on Capital Ideas - Live! in the past.

Phone: (591) 691-5000
Email: dkruse@pacificlegal.org

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William M Harris, Jr.

(12:05)
Hear Conference

Comment

Is $200 Million Fuel Tax Needed?

Bill Harris is a State House Lobbyist and the Director of Political Affairs for the Alabama Forestry Association (AFA). We asked him about rural roads and bridges, current fuel tax distribution, and a proposed fuel tax increase.

In the spring session of the state legislature a bill was introduced "that would have increased gasoline and diesel taxes to the average of the bordering states. This would have increased the tax by six cents/gallon (a $200 million annual increase) immediately and the legislation also included language that the tax would automatically adjust once every four years for the next 12 year period. ... Expectations are that the fuel tax will continue to be brought up whenever the legislature meets, including the potential special session later this year."

"AFA supports sufficient funding for rural infrastructure, specifically, the repair/replacement of the approximate 1,000 bridges that are posted. However, AFA further believes that adequate funding would exist for this purpose if existing fuel tax revenues [were] allocated fairly between ALDOT and the counties. Currently, 99% of the tax on diesel fuel is directed to ALDOT, while the current tax on gasoline is distributed 55% to ALDOT and 45% to the counties. AFA supports allocating the existing diesel tax in a similar fashion to that of the gasoline tax." Source: From the Weeds, 5/10/16

Phone: (334) 481-2130
Email: bharris@alaforestry.org

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Lt. Carter Hendrix

(15:54)
Hear Conference

Comment

Alabama Bans Import of Deer Parts to Prevent Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Lt. Hendrix is the Captive Animal Coordinator and a Law Enforcement Officer with the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. When we read the Conservation Department July 6 Press Release, Alabama Bans Deer Parts From CWD-Affected Areas, we asked Lt. Hendrix to describe the disease and tell us why preventing it's entry into Alabama is important to both hunters and landowners. In Great Days Outdoors, July 2016, Hendrix and co-worker Chris Cook wrote:

"Chronic wasting disease is a disease that affects members of the deer family much in the same way mad cow disease affects cattle. There is no cure. Once it is detected, there is no getting rid of the disease. ... In 1973, Alabama placed a ban on the importation of live deer. ... Testing for hunter-harvested animals in Alabama began in 2001... All animals have tested negative thus far. ... In 2012, it became illegal to release captive-raised deer into the wild in Alabama."

While the July 6 press release stated that the disease "...is not known to be transmissible to humans or domestic livestock," the fear that it might be transmissible would put a huge chill on deer hunting and related hunting land leasing if CWD were detected in Alabama.

Further reading: Chronic Wasting Disease - What You Should Know

Phone: (334) 242-2467
Email: carter.hendrix@dcnr.alabama.gov

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Hannah M. Jefferies

(19:07)
Hear Conference

Comment

Economic Impact of Private Forests

Hannah Jefferies is a Timber and Fiber Market Analyst with Forest2Market, Inc. She recently completed a report commissioned by the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) that "provides national, regional and state-specific data on jobs, payroll, sales, acreage ownership and contribution to gross domestic product. Data is based on 2013, the most recent and complete year for which data is available. The Economic Impact of Privately-Owned Forests in the United States is an update to NAFO's inaugural report published in 2009 and updated in 2013. A second report commissioned by NAFO and authored by Jefferies is United States Forest Inventory and Harvest Trends on Privately-Owned Timberlands.

The reports make "clear that forest owners are harvesting only a small portion of the trees they grow to maintain an abundance of trees. Strong markets for wood products—including energy here and abroad—help keep these forests healthy, productive and able to provide numerous environmental benefits such as clean air and water, and habitat for wildlife. Public policy has long recognized this positive relationship. As a result, forest owners are growing 40 percent more wood than they are harvesting.” And, "on a national level ... private working forests support: 2.4 million jobs, $99 billion in payroll, and $281 billion in sales." Source: NAFO Press Release, 6/29/16

Select a state to see its economic impact.

Forest2Market blog links:

NAFO's Dave Tenny spoke to us about previous Economic Impact reports back in 2013 and 2010.

Phone: (980) 233-4036
Email: hannah.jefferies@forest2market.com

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Zoltan van Heyningen

(23:17)
Hear Conference

Comment

Softwood Lumber Imports Up 40 Percent Since Last Year. Why?

Zoltan van Heyningen is the Executive Director of the U.S. Lumber Coalition, based in Washington, DC. We immediately thought of the Coalition when we read in F&W Forestry Notes, Summer 2016 (page 1):

"And now take a look at this worrisome statistic—lumber imports, primarily from Canada, were up 30 percent this May over last May, to 1.4 billion board feet (increasing from about 28 percent to 40 percent of last year’s U.S. consumption). No wonder our prices are flat for sawtimber."

And in Southern Forest Products Association Newsletter, 7/13/16:

"Softwood lumber imports to the U.S. remained high in May, reaching 1.4 billion board feet, up a hefty 39% from the volume imported during May of 2015. Through the first five months of this year, softwood imports remain up 40% when compared with the same period a year ago."

And, finally, again from F&W Forestry Notes (page 2):

"This next bit of information may be the only one that isn’t confusing—the negotiations between the U.S. and Canadian governments over fair softwood lumber trade have stalled (page 3). The old agreement, which limited exports to the U.S. depending on volume and lumber prices, expired last year. And right now, given that the Canadians are also losing out in China, it probably isn’t a good idea for them to enter into a new agreement. And that isn’t good news for us in the U.S.

The U.S. Lumber Coalition has been leading the fight against Canada's "unfair softwood lumber trade practices, including its gross under-pricing of timber" since 1985. "The Coalition asks Canadian provinces to allow fully open market competition to determine the price of timber. In the absence of such reforms, the U.S. lumber industry will continue to assert its rights under the U.S. trade laws to offset the unfair advantages provided to its Canadian counterparts by government subsidies and log export restrictions." Source: Coalition Membership and Purpose

Phone: (703) 597-8651
Email: zoltan@uslumbercoalition.org

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