Archived 2013 News, Issues & Information
Can Sandalwood be planted in Alabama? "Prices for top-quality
sandalwood, which has a high content of fragrant oil, rose to more
than A(Australian)$114,000 a metric ton [a little less than half a cord]
in May from just over A$5,000 a decade earlier, according to the most
recent data from Australian supplier
Source, The Wall Street Journal, 12/27/13
People who grind up $25 per ton wood in a pellet mill when $10 per ton
wood will work just fine will not stay in business very long. Allay the
fears of friends who are afraid forest landowners will clearcut high
quality timber to service the needs of pellet mills. Suggest they read “Dispelling
the Whole Tree Myth: How a Harvested Tree Is Used” by Suz-Anne
"The Endangered Species Act
Turns 40—Hold the Applause." "The chilling effect on property
owners and economic activity has been profound. Discovering a listed
species on your property is no longer cause for pride in the land's
environmental richness and your chance to exercise responsible
stewardship. It's a liability that is to be avoided at all costs."
Source: The Wall Street Journal, 12/27/13. Think gopher
tortoise, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, red hills salamander...
Forest Land Incentives in the Internal Revenue Code is a new
educational video featuring
University Forest Taxation Expert, Dr. Tamara Cushing. The video was
produced by the Forest
Landowners Tax Council through a grant from the
Forest Landowners Foundation.
The National Alliance of Forest Owners reminds us that there is
still work to be done in Congress to ensure that forest roads remain
regulated as non-point sources under the Clean Water Act.
Why Select a Consulting Forester? “The purpose of engaging a
consulting forester is to get competent, professional advice and
assistance in the management and marketing of forest resources. Just as
the use of expert medical, legal, business, financial, or tax advice is
expected to improve one's livelihood, so the employment of a consulting
forester can be expected to generate or improve income and reduce costs
while improving landowner's forest property for future uses and growth.
It is in the forest landowner's best interest to obtain the best
possible advice and assistance since any operation carried out in the
forest has a very long lasting effect.” Source: Missouri Consulting
New home construction strongly influences the market for lumber
and the sawtimber we grow on our land, so
forest owners need to be aware of factors that affect new home
Bradley Byrne wins landslide victory in Alabama Congressional District 1
(Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Monroe, and Washington counties). AFOA
will begin sending Rep. Byrne our newsletter as soon as staff
assignments are known, but it will be important for you to describe the
interests of private forest owners. Write or call him when the dust
Wood: A Better Way to Build – a video produced by the American
Volunteer fire departments, which are relied on by the Alabama
Forestry Commission to suppress many wildfires in pastures and
may need a rescue from some of the fine print in ObamaCare.
Fortunately, most volunteer fire departments have less than 50 members
and will not be affected by the new health insurance rules.
Domestic Pellet Consumption Up. It may surprise you to know that
not all wood pellets are shipped to Europe to satisfy government
mandated green energy requirements. In the northern U.S. and Canada,
lots of people heat their homes and businesses with
pellet stoves, because they are clean, convenient and provide a
comfortable source of heat.
The sale of timber or timberland is likely to result in a capital gain.
DeLoach, Barber & Caspers, P.C., provided us with
10 Things to Know About Capital Gains.
"The near-term outlook on the U.S. housing market remains unchanged
- there are potentially several negative macro-factors at this point in
time for a robust housing recovery (based on historical long-term
averages). Why?" See page 9. Source:
October 2013 Housing Commentary by Urs Buehlmann, Virginia
Tech & Al Schuler, Economist.
Past Virginia Tech Housing Reports.
the South, where we get a fair amount of rain, have good soils
and lots of light, trees grow a lot faster. That is one of the reasons
we like the South. Trees grow really well, markets are good, the
regulatory environment at the state level supports the industry, and
this is where the growth is going to be in the future.” Source:
Timber Magnate Rick Holley Sees Recovery for Lumber, Arkansas
Off-grid Dream House or
Ugly Duckling Shipping Container Home –The Off Grid World
website will give you lots of ideas.
Linda Casey will be leaving the Alabama Forestry Commission in
January. A dessert reception to honor her will be held on Tuesday,
December 17, from 2 to 4 PM. The reception will be held at the
Commission’s Montgomery office auditorium, 513 Madison Avenue, 36106.
If you would like to share a favorite story, photo, card, or
occasion, a memory book will be created as a lasting remembrance for
Linda. Please mail or email your sentiments to Regina Miller by Friday,
December 13, 2013. RSVP: Regina Miller (334) 240-9303,
Regina.Miller@forestry.alabama.gov or Lynell Mosley (334) 240-9347,
Environmental Entrepreneurship, by Laura E. Huggins, “encourages a broad audience to consider secure property rights and free
markets as key ingredients to moving out of poverty and improving
environmental quality at the same time.” We suspect Huggins would
consider forest owners who improve wildlife habitat to increase hunting
lease income to be good examples of environmental entrepreneurs.
$31.20 at Google (e-book), $40 at e-books.com, $99 hardcover at
Edward Elgar, and $104.50 hardcover at amazon.com.
"Mike Holmes came out on top last night in the Republican Primary
for the House District 31 (Coosa and Elmore counties) special
election to fill the unexpired term of Barry Mask. Mike garnered 41% of
the vote and will face Jimmy Collier (29%) in a runoff set for January
28th." Source: Alabama Forestry Association email alert, 12/4/13.
Greg Pate, currently State Forester for North Carolina, has been
nominated by the
Alabama Forestry Commission to become the next
Alabama State Forester, replacing Linda Casey who recently resigned
from the position. The process will become complete when Governor
Bentley officially appoints Pate to the position.
Inventory List: The Rare, Threatened, & Endangered Plants & Animals of
Alabama is a 103 page compilation of many uncommon species found
in our state. Please note that we have had some problems with file
“freezing up” in Internet Explorer (v 11), but a Chrome user said he had
no trouble navigating the pdf.
Managing the Family Forest in Mississippi is a 13-part video
supporting 100 page manual produced by Mississippi State University
you take the time to view the videos or read the manual, please
a note on which video speakers you found to be most helpful in your
search for forest management advice.
Kiplinger rates Alabama the most tax friendly state. At the
September meeting of the Alabama Forestry Association, Rayonier CEO,
Paul Boynton was asked what the state of Alabama can do to recruit and
hold the forest products industry. Boynton said, “Keep taxes low,
keep a business-friendly operating environment, and improve the
infrastructure.” Mike Case, Westervelt CEO, when asked what factors were
significant in the company’s decision to build a wood pellet mill near
Aliceville answered, “Good resources, the freedom to manage land, labor,
fair tax treatment (current-use valuation).” Source, McShan
Plane Dealer, September 2013.
Worldwide demand for North American hardwoods climbed faster than supply
in October. Source: Woodworking Network, 11/7/13
Management of Existing Hardwood Stands, a Mississippi State
University shortcourse, was recently presented to an overflow audience
in the Starkville area. “The shortcourse was very successful and we
regret not being able to accommodate all who wanted to register.” The
course will be offered next year in October and a waiting list has been
created. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please send
a note to
Dr. Andy Ezell and ask to be added to the list. AFOA strongly
recommends this course to active forest managers/landowners who
manage/own bottomland hardwoods.
FAA Releases Road Map for Future Domestic Drone Use. That's good
news for private contractors and others who want to begin supplying
aerial imagery services to forest owners using unmanned aerial vehicles
Listen to Rory Paul, Volt Aerial Robotics, on AFOA's September issue
of Capital Ideas - Live! Paul will be demonstrating UAVs at
AFOA’s Annual Meeting at Lake Guntersville State Park in April, 2014.
Use Safety Belts or Safety Harnesses in Tree Stands! Tell your
hunters to use safety belts or safety harnesses in tree stands. Source:
Forest owners “need predictability in order to invest, provide
jobs for the local community, and benefit from their hard work and good
stewardship.” Let’s not let burdensome regulations, like the Damons
describe, take root in Alabama.
Double Springs Wood Hauling Business Shut Down by Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration. Was agency enforcement reasonable?
Source: YellowHammer, 11/5/13. Contact information for
House of Representatives and
Although somewhat limited,
September data indicates the housing market recovery held steady.
Source: Forest2Market Blog, 10/31/13
The Forest Resources Association and others are still struggling to
use legal immigrant labor to maintain affordable tree planting costs on
our land. Click here for their October 31
Plum Creek “has signed a $1.1 billion purchase and sale
agreement to acquire approximately 501,000 acres of individual
timberlands, associated wind and mineral assets, and an interest in
approximately 109,000 acres of high-value rural and development-quality
lands from MeadWestvaco Corporation.” The 501,000 acres ($869 million)
of industrial timberlands are in Alabama (13,791 acres), Georgia, South
Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
"Florida's Forest Stewardship Program is excited to announce a
new instructional video on YouTube,
Time to Thin. In just a little over two minutes, it explains
why thinning is important and how to get started, with a live link to
Did you know that a bite from the
Lone Star Tick (found in Alabama) “can cause a person to develop
an allergy to non-primate mammalian meat and meat products [hamburgers
and steaks]." Alan Evans, writing in Georgia Forestry Today, suggests using
an insect repellent containing DEET and tucking in shirts and pants
cuffs. Evans also suggests placing clothing in the dryer at high heat
and bathing and checking for ticks after a visit to the woods.
"Fall is the time to think about investing in your forest's future."
Nurseries that advertise with us can be found
online or in our newsletter. Nurseries that advertise in our
newsletter are ArborGen, Blanton's Longleaf Container Nursery,
International Forest Company, Meeks' Farms & Nursery, Pinecrest Forest
Seedling Nursery, Rayonier, Sanctuary Timber & Wildlife, Superior Trees,
Weyerhaeuser Company, White City Nursery, and The Wildlife Group.
(10/22/13) We thought you might enjoy a visit to
Forest Mushrooms, a family forest business run by Nicola
Macpherson, a retired science teacher.
(10/21/13) Alabama Forestry Commission's Chief Law
Craig Hill, retires. A regular at the AFOA Annual Meetings,
Chief Hill presented Annual Law Enforcement Awards to Judges, County
Prosecutors, and AFC Law Enforcement Officers. AFOA members are invited
to honor Chief Hill by attending his retirement party on October 31st
from 11 AM to 1 PM. The retirement party will be held at the Alabama
Forestry Commission headquarters located at 513 Madison Avenue,
Montgomery, AL 36104.
State Forester Linda Casey
submitted her resignation to the
Alabama Forestry Commission on October 15 to become effective on
January 1, 2014. AFC Commissioner
Salem Saloom will lead a search
Dr. Tamara Cushing of Clemson University lecture on
Taxation of Forestry Income and Payments. This video was
created by the Forest
Landowners Tax Council through a grant from the
Forest Landowners Foundation.
The Alabama Treasure Forest Association joins the Alabama Farmers
Governor Bentley announces schedule for House District 31 special
election (Coosa County & Elmore County). At this time, the only
person to announce his candidacy is Mike Holmes, a businessman and
forest landowner. In a press release from the
Association, 10/2/13, Holmes was quoted as follows: “My three main
priorities as a legislator will be to prevent the reckless spending of
our tax dollars, protect private property rights, and shrink the size
and scope of state government.”
Many landowners will be pleased to know that the
"Alabama Game Check System Now Voluntary." For a discussion about
Game Check, listen to Senator
Paul Sanford on Capital Ideas - Live!, September 18, 2013.
New Private Land Ownership Maps are available for iPhone, iPad, and
Android. Have you ever wondered who owns a particular tract of land?
Watch short videos on
the benefits of a forest and why forest management is important.
Learn to identify trees with the help of
Trees of Alabama and the Southeast. This website contains
pictures of leaves, flowers, and bark for most species listed.
Box Factory video. We thought you might enjoy this.
New 24-hour rule cause for concern. State Senator Paul Sanford
from north Alabama says he'll look to reverse legislation requiring
hunters to report their kills to state officials within 24 hours or be
charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a fine up to $500.
Folks may not be aware that the regulation will require people who
previously didn’t need a hunting license to obtain a license number.
This includes: people hunting on their own land, people older than 65,
and those under 16.
You are invited to participate in a brief landowner survey.
Click here for instructions.
You may be interested in watching a video
about the benefits of Georgia forests:
The Sustainable Forest - A Georgia Success Story.
You may find interesting (and perhaps useful) a Connecticut training
Handline Construction for Forest Fire Control. Source:
Tax Reform: How To Retain The Current Timber Tax Provisions. U.S.
Senators Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch have initiated a 'blank slate'
approach to tax reform. Under this scheme, the U.S. Senate Finance
Committee would eliminate all tax
expenditures, including the timber tax provisions currently in law
relating to capital gains treatment of timber revenue and the ability to
deduct growing and reforestation expenses. Baucus and Hatch asked other
Senators to provide input on which provisions should be added back by
Friday, July 26. Baucus and Hatch would look to retain provisions that
grow the economy, make the tax code fairer, and promote other important
policy objectives. Call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202)
224-3121, before July 26,
to contact your Senators. There are three points to mention: 1) to
maintain capital gains tax treatment for the sale of timber, 2) to
maintain my ability to deduct my reforestation expenses, and 3) to
maintain my ability to deduct my operating expenses.
Basis for Timber and Forestland: A YouTube presentation by
Dr. Tamara Cushing, Clemson
breakdown of the Economic Impacts: Alabama's Agricultural, Forestry
and Related Industries has just been released. Take a look
at your county to see where it ranks in Alabama. For comments on the the
full statewide report
Green Gold: Alabama's Forests and Forest Industries by
James E. Fickle "chronicles the history of the industry from unbridled
greed and exploitation through virtual abandonment to revival,
restoration, and enlightened stewardship."
A 30% prepublication discount is now being offered.
Information on Feral Hogs. "On private land, hunters can legally
hunt hogs every day of the year with no harvest restrictions."
"Alabama refusing to repay U.S. Forest Service $94K" Source:
Montgomery Advertiser, May 11, 2013.
"Final" Range-Wide Conservation Strategy for the Gopher Tortoise
is now available on-line. From a USF&WS email (5/8/13): "The strategy
was developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with
and input from the States of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Florida and South Carolina; and the Wildlife Diversity Committee of the
Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The purpose of
the strategy is to serve as a guide for the Service, the six states in
the gopher tortoise range, and many other public and private partners as
we work together to proactively conserve this species. If you have any
questions about the strategy, please contact Matthew Hinderliter, the
Service's lead biologist for the gopher tortoise, at 601-321-1132 or
'The World's Most Outdated Law': Why the Next Farm Bill Should Be the
Last. Source: The Atlantic, 4/25/13
New Tennessee Extension Service publication may help you identify
Hickory and Walnut trees.
Weyerhaeuser posts best sales in 4 years on housing recovery.
Source: CNBC, 1/25/13
Biofuels and Mandates.
"KiOR [Mississippi plant] starts making biofuel, but future still iffy,"
The Christian Science Monitor, 12/21/12.
"Despite court ruling, EPA raises biofuel estimate," Fox News,
"Roads should be managed by independent enterprises, with a clear
mission of providing service to customers." Maybe it won't
work, but it's an idea worth exploring, don't you think?
Rural roads and bridges are in serious need of repairs all across
Alabama, and the reason is probably made clear in this
article by Joseph Henchman:
Gasoline Taxes and Tolls Pay for Only a Third of State & Local Road