Archived 2009 News, Issues & Information
Is your forestland a neglected aspect of your portfolio? Source:
Death Tax Vote Today! Alert from Forest Landowners' Association:
DEATH TAX UPDATE - There is still
time for your voice to be heard
Press TAKE ACTION NOW!
Please call your member of Congress!
If you did not call your member of
Congress yesterday, there is still time! The Estate Tax vote has
been postponed until today (12/03/09). Please call and make sure
your voice is heard.
Under current law, the Federal Estate Tax is scheduled to reach 0%
in 2010. However, the U.S. House Leadership is in favor of changing
this law and continuing the Estate Tax on a permanent basis at the
current rate of 45% with an exemption of $3.5 million.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 4154,
which would prevent the Estate Tax from reaching 0% next year.
Please call your member of the U.S. House of Representatives TODAY
and ask that they vote NO on H.R. 4154, the so called "Estate Tax
Relief Act." Tell your representative to maintain current Estate Tax
law through 2010!
Forward this message on to all your friends, family and coworkers!
Rule of Thumb for Buying Timberland: "If the amount of merchantable
timber on a property represents at least 50 percent of the purchase price,
you’re likely to make money either short-term or long-term." Source:
Timberland investing: Different ways to make a future buck by Curtis
The Alabama Forestry Commission has proposed several regulations that
will be of interest to forest landowners.
Craig Hill, Chief of the AFC
Law Enforcement Section, discussed the regulations on AFOA's October 22 issue
of Capital Ideas - Live!
For a different perspective, read the
remarks of Alabama Forestry Association Executive Vice President Chris Isaacson
and a review of several of the
proposed regulations by AFA Attorney, James H. McLemore, Capell & Howard, P.C.
Update posted 10/29/09: PUBLIC HEARING TIME EXPANDED -- NOW FROM 10 AM TO
4 PM - with one hour lunch break - ON 11/3/09. See
Calendar of Events.
If there is to be a movement to restore economic values, it will have to
cut across the current taxonomies. Its goal will be to make the U.S. again a
producer economy, not a consumer economy. It will champion a return to
financial self-restraint, large and small. Source:
The Next Culture War by David Brooks, The New York Times,
Dixie Pellets in Selma closes doors. "The company, which manufactures
wood pellets for heating, told about 70 workers Tuesday [September 1] they
should not return to work." Source: Selma Times-Journal, 9/3/09
Graph of Alabama Average Stumpage Prices. Source: Timber Mart-South.
"No power plant would consider using pellets for one
minute if they didn't have to do it." Source: The Wall Street Journal,
"Federal jury rules Baldwin biofuel entrepreneur must pay
$10.4 million." Source: Mobile Press-Register, 6/30/09. Cello Energy
leader Jack Boykin described his method for converting wood chips to biodiesel
at AFOA Annual Meeting, April 23, 2009.
The American Land Rights Association asks owners of forestland to call U.S.
Senators to stop the June 18 mark-up of S 787 ("Clean Water Restoration Act").
Read June 15, 2009 Action Alert from ALRA.
Editor's Note (6/19/09): "Thursday, June 18, 2009 the Senate Environment and
Public Works Committee passed S 787 as the Baucus- Klobuchar Substitute by a
strictly party line vote of 12 Democrats to 7 Republicans." Source: American
Land Rights Association, 6/19/09
A humorous, but helpful primer on "cap and trade."
AFOA 2009 Annual Meeting Forest
Taxation Workshop Slides by Dr. John Greene and Dr. Linda Wang available online.
100 pages, pdf file. Other publications given to participants of the workshop
Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax (Ag Handbook 718)
Estate Planning for Forest Landowners: What Will Become of Your Timberland?
(General Technical Report SRS-112).
The Alabama House of Representatives recently passed a Resolution (HJR471)
"Urging Congress to Correct the Definition of Renewable Biomass and to
Prevent Certain Federal Actions Regarding Practices on Private Forestland."
State Forester Linda Casey explains why the
definition needs to be changed and urges landowners to contact their Alabama
state senators and urge support of the resolution.
Email Response From American Forest Foundation Answers AFOA Question of
4/2/09 on Unions, Tree Farm & PEFC.
Subject: Unionized Loggers
From: Simpson, Bob [email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 5:14 PM
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) supports fair labor practices, but neither
ATFS nor its parent organization American Forest Foundation, does take or has
taken a position on union organizing or state legislation relating to union
organizing. Our mission is to support sustainable forestry by family forest
owners across the U.S. In pursuit of this mission, the American Tree Farm System
(ATFS) has achieved international recognition of and approval of the ATFS as a
credible, sustainable forest certification system. This recognition through the
Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) can bring huge benefits
to family forest owners, through added value for their forest products and
increased access to new markets. As part of the approval process for PEFC
endorsement, the American Forest Foundation (AFF) Board of Directors agreed over
a year ago that the ATFS will work to provide education and information about
fair labor practices to the Tree Farm network.
Senior Vice President, Center for Family Forests
American Forest Foundation
Will American Tree Farm System's PEFC [certified sustainably managed]
endorsement require the adoption of ILO core labor standards and force
unionization of U.S. loggers? Will union loggers improve
forest management? Please read the
Labor Endorsement Letter and
MOU Final on Letterhead and
let us know what you think. Send note to
www.pefc.org (go to bottom & click on
ATFS Scheme documentation)
Power destroys jobs by burning wood chips."
Source: macon.com 3/24/09 Editor's Note:
We suspect the writer at macon.com has it right. Federal and
state subsidies may, in the short run, prop up biomass energy users. Prices for
low quality wood (pulpwood) will be pushed to artificial highs; to compete for
raw materials, paper mills will skimp on mill maintenance and equipment upgrades
and some mills will finally move from the U.S. to friendlier countries. At some
point U.S. politicians will lose interest in subsidizing biomass fuels and the powerplants like Georgia Power Company and other biomass users will stop buying
biomass. The price for low grade wood will fall and there won't be a pulp &
paper industry to pick up the pieces. End result: landowners won't have a market
for low grade wood and will find it difficult to justify the long wait to
produce and harvest quality wood products, such as poles and veneer. Lose. Lose.
Capitol Action Alert Weekly Legislative Wrap Up from the Alabama
Agribusiness Council, Montgomery. Please see HB202 & HB243.
Let's see now... During inflationary times it's good to own physical things
like gold and land and timber.
shows us the amount of cash being pumped into our economic system. If you
don't have time for Beck,
look at this graph.
Etowah County property tax increase to be requested. From The Gadsden
Times, 1/27/09: The Rev. Preston Nix, chairman of the Attalla City Board of
Education, asked about the possibility of ad valorem tax increases by the
Legislature. Nix said an increase in property taxes is needed and that property
taxes are a stable revenue source. He said the gains that have been made in
education will be lost if teachers are laid off. [State Rep. Jack Page,
D-Gadsden] said a property tax increase would require a referendum. He pointed
out it would be a year before a property tax could start being collected. Nix
said after the meeting that he would propose the Attalla board ask the
legislative delegation to pass legislation calling for a referendum on a
countywide ad valorem tax increase. He said he thought the board would support
the request. Nix added that efforts are needed for statewide ad valorem tax
increases. If passed this year, [County Chief Executive Officer Patrick] Simms
said after the meeting, new ad valorem taxes would not start being collected
until October 2010. Etowah County Commissioner Larry Payne said people he talks
to are not in favor of additional taxes. Sen. Larry Means, D-Attalla, said he
would be willing to look at passing legislation allowing a referendum on ad
Australian geologist Ian Plimer argues that environmentalism is a religion.
"Today's post will focus on estimates of timber volumes and values, how
we get them, and how we forecast them for future year's cash flows."
Source: The Timberland Blog, 1/20/09
18 Plants & 99 Animals are officially listed as endangered in Alabama.
US Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program web page:
Asking price: To set or not to set may provide food for thought if
you are considering selling land this year. Other essays on the
LandThink web page may
also be interesting.