Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.                 Advocate for the Forest Owner




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Archived 2006 News, Issues & Information


(12/06/06) Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2006 Tax Year by Linda Wang, Forest Taxation Specialist and John L. Greene, Research Forester, Southern Research Station, is available on the Southern Regional Extension Forestry website.

(12/05/06) Does Decline in National Park Visits Hint at Future Viability of Private Land Recreation-Use Businesses? Be sure to read the comments following the linked article in New West Travel & Outdoors, 11/30/06. The decline in sales of hunting licenses has long been a worry of state conservation departments, including Alabama's.

(12/04/06) Governor Riley Receives "F" on Cato Institute's "Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2006."

(12/01/06) Canadian Company Buys 13 Lumber Mills from International Paper Company for $325 million. The 13 mills produce about 1.8 billion board feet of lumber annually. Three are located in Alabama: Citronelle, Maplesville and Opelika. Source: TheStreet.com, 11/30/06

(11/28/06) Plant Longleaf Pine Seedlings. Berry College Professor Martin Cipollini is looking for volunteers to plant seedlings most afternoons from December 4 - December 11. Contact him for details at (706) 346-7956 or mcipollini@berry.edu. For more information about the longleaf restoration project, see http://resource.berry.edu/longleaf.

(10/19/06) A Free-Market Comment on Federal Ownership and Management of Forestland:

       The taxpayers fire-fighting bill for fiscal year 06 was $1.5 billion. For 05 it was $690MM
and for 04 - $726MM.
       If the western public forests were owned by private sector businesses, would they continue to tolerate such costs? Could they continue to tolerate such costs, or would they manage the forests to lessen the cost?
       As a general rule, privately owned forests are managed for monetary profit. The costs of management (subsidies notwithstanding) come out of the owner's pockets. If they cannot manage the resource profitably, it is turned over to someone who may be able to do better.
       Public forests are managed for power profit. Government, with its monopoly of legalized coercion, forces individuals who do not own or use the public forests to pay the costs of management. The political managers who mismanage seem to pay little or no cost.
       Is this sustainable? How? Source: Consulting Forester Travis Cork in 10/15/06 comment on a Society of American Foresters listserv.

(10/11/06) Geneva County Alert! RARE Ivory Billed Woodpeckers have been found in the Choctawhatchee River bottom in Florida.

(10/09/06) The Centennial History of Forestry in Georgia: A Pictorial Journey is a new coffee table book published by the Georgia Forestry Association and UGA's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. 160 pages. $49.95 + tax and shipping. Download an order form or call GFA at (478) 992-8110 to order.

(09/25/06) Recreational Trail Design and Construction by Mel Baughman and David Rathke may be helpful to you if you are planning to build a trail network on your land.

(09/24/06) $1.2 million property tax was defeated by Escambia County voters on September 12. The taxes don't actually expire until the end of next year, so we suspect Escambia County voters will see this issue come up again -- soon. Source: The Brewton Standard 9/18/06.

(09/16/06) Faced with strong criticism by environmentalists, Bowater sells land to developers, family forest owners, and others. Bowater, which owns a newsprint paper mill in Childersburg, Alabama, plans to sell 250,000 acres of its property on the Cumberland Plateau and 100,000 acres in the Tennessee Valley. "Bowater operates six recycling plants and is one of the world's largest consumers of recycled newspapers and magazines."
l http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/state/article/0,1406,KNS_348_4981045,00.html
l http://www.forestrycenter.org/headlines.cfm?refid=88993

(09/15/06) A 15-mil property tax increase for Sumter County will be on the November 7 ballot - for local voters only. Check out all proposed amendments and scroll towards the bottom of the list for the Sumter County amendment. If the previous link doesn't work, try http://www.sos.state.al.us/election/2006/, the Secretary of State's website.

(09/08/06) Property Tax Vote to Take Place Tuesday, September 12 in Escambia County. A 3-mil county-wide property tax and a 1-mil "district" property tax will be on the Tuesday ballot. School officials have sent notices to parents, "reminding them of the vote." A 10-mil tax was approved by voters in 2003. "We don't expect too much of a turnout," said Brewton City Schools Superintendent Lynn Smith. Source: The Atmore Advance, 9/6/06.

(09/06/06) "The Senate could consider estate tax reform legislation (HR 5970) again this week. The bill was brought to the Senate floor prior to the August recess but a cloture vote to end debate on the bill failed by four votes. The bill includes phased in reductions to the estate tax as well as a phased in increase in the minimum wage. While not eliminating the estate tax, the bill would permanently reduce the tax by increasing the exemption amount to $5 million per person and reducing the tax on amounts up to $25 million to the capital gains rate and reduces the tax on amounts over $25 million to 30 percent. The bill also includes a 60 percent reduction for qualified timber capital gains." Source: Society of American Foresters FOREST POLICY UPDATE© for the Week of September 4, 2006. For additional information visit http://waysandmeans.house.gov/ResourceKits.asp?section=2472. For SAF’s support of reduction in estate tax and timber capital gains visit http://www.safnet.org/policyandpress/positionstatements.cfm#PFM

(08/17/06) A complete list of Alabama statewide candidates for the November general election is online.  You will need Microsoft Excel to view the file. If you do not have Excel you can download a free viewer from Microsoft.

(08/04/06) Daily Streamflow Conditions -- U.S. Geological Survey Real-Time Data/Map -- for Alabama. This web page and others provided by USGS may be of value to you when planning activities on your land -- tree planting, prescribed burning, etc.

(07/14/06) Forest Incentive Programs Available in Alabama.

(07/08/06) We are glad to see that the Alabama Forestry Commissioners are working to stop the uncontrolled funding of the Alabama Treasure Forest Association. Read ATFA's tax returns for the past several years and pay close attention to the amount of money received from the federal government and the amount ATFA has been able to stash away ($517,280) for who-knows-what once their government funding is squelched. 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, and  1998. Perhaps the commissioners should ask for a return of all funds not expended during the past 10 years.

(06/24/06) President Bush Signs Executive Order to Protect Private Property Rights. While the order is commendable and will certainly be helpful to owners of urban private property, Section 3 (a) allows the government to take our private forestland for the purpose of providing public forest.

(06/14/06) Quail Nest Predation Video Clips from Tall Timbers.

(06/12/06) $360,000 Prescribed Burning Cost-Share Money Available. Sign-up June 14 to July 14. $3,000 maximum per landowner & 25 acre minimum. Similar information on Alabama Forestry Commission website.

(06/08/06) Pictometry.com offers a variety of aerial imagery but primarily in the big cities. Wouldn't it be great if someone could show them the value of flying over hurricane ravaged forestland? Wouldn't it be great if, after a storm, forest owners could make an initial check of their timberland BEFORE calling a forester to go have a look? It would save a lot of money and time. Pictometry.com would sell a lot of pictures...

(06/01/06) Alabama Farmers Federation and Alabama Forestry Association Political Endorsements included on list of candidates and incumbents. Be sure to vote on Tuesday, June 6.

(05/19/06) The U.S. House Resource Committee has an interesting website devoted to Earth Day. Check out the Big Business link and the Myth-Info link.

(05/09/06) Forest Resources Association Offers Timber Harvesting Safety Manual Online.

(04/17/06) "National forests should pay straight (and adequate) payments in lieu of taxes." Currently the Federal Government is not required to pay property taxes on land it owns in Alabama and other states. However, National Forest land (and other Federal land) require at least as much service from State & Local Governments as private land. Source: www.Missoulian.com

(03/30/06) The Internal Revenue Service is looking for Alabamians to help improve the nation's tax agency by applying for membership on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel.  Who better to represent the state of Alabama than forest landowners?

(03/20/06) AFOA has compiled a spreadsheet of candidates and incumbents for the upcoming elections.  You will need Microsoft Excel to view the file.  If you do not have Excel you can download a free viewer from Microsoft.

(02/24/06) 3,000 + Acres in Alabama To Be Sold by the U. S. Forest Service. Evidently, the Bush administration plans to sell about 200,000 acres across the U.S. to get rid of scattered, isolated forestland. Now, just 190,000,000 acres to go. Interesting perspective from the CATO Institute 2/27/06.

(02/23/06) Water agency losing Hoover. We suspect owners of forestland in Jefferson County, who have involuntarily supported the "agency," would like to see the "agency" lose a lot more governments, including the county. Source: The Birmingham News at AL.com, 2/22/06

(01/26/06) Mobile Register report on continuing controversy at 1/19/06 Alabama Forestry Commissioners' meeting.

(01/23/06) They Don't Want You to Know About Property Tax Votes.  Jefferson County school district announces plans for property tax vote on Tuesday, January 24, 2006.

(01/16/06) Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century, a speech by Michael Crichton at the Washington Center for Complexity and Public Policy in Washington, DC on November 6, 2005.

(01/13/06)Eminent Domain Bill (SB-202) Available for Your Review. This bill, if passed, would become an amendment to the Alabama Constitution. Alliance for Citizen's Rights asks that you urge passage of this bill by your legislators. Their comments on why this bill is better than any others will be posted here next week.

(01/04/06) Final results of AFOA's 2004-2005 hunting lease price survey are available online.  For county-by-county results please click here.  AFOA staff forester Jason Martin spoke on the October edition of Capital Ideas -- Live! about the survey procedures and results.