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Archived 2004 News, Issues & Information

(12/22/04) To ensure adequate seedling supplies for landowners whose forests may have been damaged by Hurricane Ivan, please complete this form if you are planning on replanting those areas.

(12/15/04)  Louisiana-Pacific signs memorandum of understanding to build state-of-the-art oriented strand board (OSB) mill in Clarke County, Alabama.  County agrees to provide benefits worth $16.85 million in public funding.

(12/10/04)  Forests become industry friend in California.  Carbon dioxide credit trading gains a foothold, which could provide economic incentive for longer rotations.  Under the state program, polluting industries can purchase carbon dioxide credits from forest landowners.

(12/03/04)  January 24, 2005 - Deadline for Comments Regarding ADEM and EPA proposed Nutrient TMDL for a portion of the Cahaba River that extends from Alabama Hwy 82 at Centerville to US I-59 in Birmingham. The proposed TMDL, including supporting documents, technical information, and data, are available for review during normal business hours of 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, at the Main Office located at 1400 Coliseum Boulevard, Montgomery, Alabama. Hard copies or electronic copies of the subject documents can be obtained by contacting Mr. Chris Johnson at (334) 271-7827 or clj@adem.state.al.us. Electronic copies of the document are available here. Send comments to Chris Johnson, Water Division, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, P.O. Box 301463, Montgomery, Alabama 36130-1463. Note: comments must be received by the Department prior to 5 PM.

(11/24/04)  Jury awards Toney residents $30,000 for flood damage due to beaver dam construction.

(11/10/04)  In surveying Alabama counties for timberland appraisal values, AFOA has found that Lauderdale County’s timberland appraisal values (sometimes known as fair market values) are somewhat lower than the current use values. So far this is the only county in the state that this unexpected difference has been noticed, however, AFOA’s survey is ongoing. Note: Alabama law dictates that property tax appraisal values include only the land itself, not standing timber. Current use is the value of the property based on the use being made of that property on October 1 of any taxable year. For more information on property taxes in the state of Alabama, visit the Department of Revenue’s property tax website. If you find this difference in any other county, please contact Jason at AFOA.

Lauderdale County

  Bare Land Value Current Use Value
c1:  550 610
c2:  450 467
c3:  300 336
***Per Acre Values

(10/27/04) Interesting Commentary on Each of 8 Statewide Amendments from Alliance for Citizen Rights (see below for links to amendments (referendums).

(10/22/04) November 2 Local Amendments including one in Hale County that appears to be a property tax increase. Some other counties will vote on tax related issues.

(10/22/04) November 2 Statewide referendums:

(10/20/04) Click here for a list of candidates running for national, statewide and U.S. congressional district offices.

(10/14/04) IRC Sec. 631(b) - Reform & Reforestation Expensing - was passed by the Senate. The reform of Section 631(b) will allow private forest landowners capital gains treatment on income from lump-sum stumpage sales. A second change that will benefit forest owners allows expensing of up to $10,000 of reforestation costs in the year of occurrence with an accelerated amortization rate of 84 months for the remaining costs (a change from the current 10% tax credit on first $10,000 of planting expenses and 84 month amortization of 95% of first $10,000 of planting expenses). Source: Forest Landowners Tax Council.

 (10/11/04) The Forest Landowners Tax Council Offers Information on natural disaster tax relief, such as IRS issued documents on hurricane relief, casualty losses, and a list of provisions suggested to Members of Congress which would give some measure of relief from the ravages of the 2004 wave of hurricanes and the resulting environmental and economic disaster.

(10/08/04) Hurricane Ivan Forestry Damage Assessment Map. This is a preliminary assessment. A more detailed map will be posted when available.

(10/04/04) Hurricane Ivan Salvage Webpage contains information that may prove useful to forest owners.

(09/30/04) DOT Maps for Log Trucks show routes authorized for log truck use with up to 95,000 lbs. Visit http://www.dot.state.al.us/docs/Bureaus/Maintenance/Hurricane+Ivan+Information to view maps, governor's proclamation, and ALDOT letter of waiver. Source: Alabama Forestry Association Memo 9/30/04.

(09/29/04) AFC's Hurricane Ivan webpage provides numerous helpful links and useful information.

(09/29/04)  Supreme Court takes eminent domain case and 'Eminent domain' becoming eminently despotic.

(09/23/04) "Today, the IRS issued IR 2004-118 Granting tax relief for Hurricane Ivan Victims in areas of AL, FL, MS and LA. The following is a list of documents and Web references which taxpayers can access for further detailed information. Other initiatives are being undertaken ... particularly as it relates to our forests." Source: Henry I. Barclay, III, CPA, Lehmann, Ullman and Barclay LLP, 2908 Clairmont Avenue S., Birmingham, AL 35205, henryb@lub.com, Phone: 205-439-6520, Fax: 866-824-8621

(09/22/04) Why would Limestone property tax vote be moved from November 2 to February?  "Voters won't see a property tax renewal for schools on the November ballot. On Monday, the Limestone County Board of Education discussed asking the Limestone County Commission to hold a special election in February. ...A special election will cost about $30,000. ... Limestone Superintendent Barry Carroll said the tax renewal is too important to get 'lost in the shuffle' of the presidential election and other referendums on the November ballot." Source: The Decatur Daily News, 9/22/04

(09/21/04) Helena to allow pines to be cut: The Helena City Council [Shelby County] voted Monday to allow a select harvesting of pine trees on 80 acres owned by Don and Dawn Cole. According to Helena building official George Pickle, the owners have agreed to leave 25 to 50 trees on each acre of the property off Ruffin Road and along the Cahaba River. A natural buffer will remain along the river to prevent erosion, Pickle said. The Helena tree ordinance requires residents to receive city permission before cutting any trees. Source: The Birmingham News 9/21/04

(09/21/04) Forest Landowners Association says the time is right to revise IRS section 631(b). The revision will allow landowners who sell timber in lump-sum sales to treat the income as long-term capital gains. The bills have been passed and Congress needs your urging to bring this much needed revision out of the conference committee intact. For more details and a sample letter to your Congressmen, read FLA Fast Facts, Vol. 1, No. 7Bad timing for Alabama, but important long term issue.

(09/19/04) Hurricane Damage Survey. The Alabama Forestry Commission will conduct an airplane-based hurricane damage survey on Monday, September 20. Forest industry leaders will meet later in the week to develop a salvage plan based on the results of the survey. In the meantime, landowners should survey their lands for damage. Contact your consulting forester to help you with the survey. If you do not have a working relationship with a consultant, call AFOA for a referral. (205) 987-8811.

(09/17/04) Lumber Prices Soar even before Ivan's influence.

(09/15/04) The draft Tallapoosa River Basin Management Plan is now available to download from the Alabama Clean Water Partnership website (http://www.cleanwaterpartnership.org/index_learn.cfm). Please take the next 30 days to review the plan and provide comments to Malene McElroy (256) 327-3358 or mwatson2@ch2m.com Send copies of your comments to AFOA. Thanks.

(09/02/04) U.S. loses round in lumber fight. About 35% of lumber used in the U.S. is imported from Canada. If the U.S. loses the squabble with Canada over their heavily subsidized exports, Alabama forest owners can expect a serious dip in pine sawtimber stumpage prices.

(09/01/04) Three Alabama Counties in Various Stages of Developing Anti-Timber Harvesting Regulations:

  • Jefferson County     "A JEFFERSON COUNTY PLANNER is developing a proposal to permit timber harvesting. Dan Voketz, a county planner, is concerned that property developers may disguise their development preparations as normal timber harvesting operations. Once timber has been cleared, the developer may be able to convince the zoning commission to allow rezoning for development because the “damage has already been done.” Voketz would like all timber harvesting to be permitted by the county so that development projects can be spotted early. Forest owners who would like to prevent a new layer of regulations, and probably associated fees, would do well to talk with Mr. Voketz. Phone: (205) 325-5640."  Source: Capital Ideas, 9/04.
  • Coosa County     Landowner & Consulting Forester Sara Baldwin wrote to AFOA to describe the current efforts in Coosa County. "The Commission has discussed the idea of requiring harvesting operations to register and/or post performance bonds. Last I heard, the proposal was turned over to the Commission's lawyer ... for further study. Things have been quiet about this lately, but I will keep you posted."
  • Shelby County     "According to Shelby County Planning Commission Chairman Ralph Thomas, some changes in laws and ordinances are necessary to make the [County Comprehensive] plan work, including completely rewriting of the subdivision regulations and the zoning ordinance, as well as adopting a land disturbance law to outlaw clearcutting as a pre-development measure."  Source: The Birmingham News, 8/31/04

(08/31/04) Forestry Vendors List. While searching the web for an aerial herbicide applicator, we ran across the Alabama Forestry Commission's forestry vendors list. It might be useful to you if you want to hire someone to plant trees, do site preparation, etc.

(08/25/04) Carbon dioxide improves growth of trees in Wisconsin experiment. You have to register with the Washington Post to read the article, but it's free and if you leave a faulty email address it may be harmless, too.

(08/24/04) Expert on Alabama & Southern Outdoor Recreation Wanted to Write Comprehensive Report -- to be read by landowners and others. Emphasis on private land-based activities. Send note or recommendations to AFOA.

(08/23/04) "Environmentalists, tree farmers unite" NOT! An Associated Press opinion piece masquerading as news was printed in The Birmingham News and numerous other papers across the U.S. last week. The article stated that tree farmers and environmentalists had joined together to prevent the multiple-use management of about 1/3 of federally owned national forest lands. An AFOA member called AFOA to tell us that the tree farmer quoted in the article was an active lobbyist for the Sierra Club in Georgia. Forest owners should be aware that the Sierra Club has a national policy of opposing logging on federal forests and would probably like to impose the same policy on you and your land if they could figure out how to do it. Private forest owners in western states are having serious problems marketing their timber because many mills dependent on timber from national forests have closed.

(08/20/04) AFOA heard rumors last evening that logging permit fees are being "discussed" or "promoted" in Jefferson and Coosa Counties. If you have any solid information about these rumors, please send details to AFOA.

(08/03/04) Temperate Agroforestry Forum, a new online bulletin board sponsored by the Association for Temperate Agroforestry, encourages interaction and discussion among people interested in temperate agroforestry.

(02/12/04) 2000 Loblolly Seedlings for Sale (coastal plain seed source). $50 per thousand or best offer. Contact Tom Carignan at (334) 322-7887 or tom@carignan.net.

Archived News, Issues & Information from 2003