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




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Archived 2013 News, Issues & Information


(12/31/13) Can Sandalwood be planted in Alabama? "Prices for top-quality Indian 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 TFS Corp." Source, The Wall Street Journal, 12/27/13

(12/30/13) 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 Kinney, Forest2Market.

(12/28/13) "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...

(12/26/13) Forest Land Incentives in the Internal Revenue Code is a new educational video featuring Clemson 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.

(12/23/13) 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.

(12/20/13) 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 Foresters Association.

(12/19/13) 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 construction.

(12/18/13) 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 settles.

(12/17/13) Wood: A Better Way to Build – a video produced by the American Forest Foundation.

(12/16/13) Volunteer fire departments, which are relied on by the Alabama Forestry Commission to suppress many wildfires in pastures and woodlands, 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.

(12/13/13) 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 wood pellet stoves, because they are clean, convenient and provide a comfortable source of heat.
 

(12/12/13) 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.

(12/11/13) "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.

(12/10/13)In 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 Business, 11/25/13.

(12/09/13) Off-grid Dream House or Ugly Duckling Shipping Container Home The Off Grid World website will give you lots of ideas.

(12/06/13) State Forester 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, Lynell.Mosley@forestry.alabama.gov.

(12/05/13) 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.

(12/04/13) Forest owner "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.

(12/03/13) 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.

(12/02/13) Alabama 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.

(11/25/13) Managing the Family Forest in Mississippi is a 13-part video series and supporting 100 page manual produced by Mississippi State University Extension. If you take the time to view the videos or read the manual, please send AFOA a note on which video speakers you found to be most helpful in your search for forest management advice.

(11/18/13) 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.

(11/15/13) Worldwide demand for North American hardwoods climbed faster than supply in October. Source: Woodworking Network, 11/7/13

(11/14/13) 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.

(11/08/13) 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 (UAVs). 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.

(11/07/13) Use Safety Belts or Safety Harnesses in Tree Stands! Tell your hunters to use safety belts or safety harnesses in tree stands. Source: CNN, 11/7/13

(11/06/13) 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.

(11/05/13) 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 U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

(11/04/13) Although somewhat limited, September data indicates the housing market recovery held steady. Source: Forest2Market Blog, 10/31/13

(11/01/13) 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 Issue Update.

(10/31/13) 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.

 (10/25/13) "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 more information."

(10/24/13) 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.

(10/23/13) "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 Ozark Forest Mushrooms, a family forest business run by Nicola Macpherson, a retired science teacher.

(10/21/13) Alabama Forestry Commission's Chief Law Enforcement Officer, 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.

(10/17/13) 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 committee.

(10/16/13)  Watch 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.

10/09/13) The Alabama Treasure Forest Association joins the Alabama Farmers Federation.

(10/02/13) 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 Alabama Forestry 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.”

(09/30/13) 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.

(09/27/13) New Private Land Ownership Maps are available for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Have you ever wondered who owns a particular tract of land?

(09/25/13) Watch short videos on the benefits of a forest and why forest management is important. Source: forestinfo.org.

(09/19/13) 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.

(09/11/13) Wood Box Factory video. We thought you might enjoy this.

(09/04/13) 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.

(08/29/13) You are invited to participate in a brief landowner survey. Click here for instructions.

(08/19/13) You may be interested in watching a video about the benefits of Georgia forests: The Sustainable Forest - A Georgia Success Story. 

(08/04/13) You may find interesting (and perhaps useful) a Connecticut training video entitled, Handline Construction for Forest Fire Control. Source: wildfiretoday.com

(07/24/13) 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.

(07/09/13) Understanding Basis for Timber and Forestland: A YouTube presentation by Dr. Tamara Cushing, Clemson University Extension

(07/02/13) County 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 click here.

(06/18/13) 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.

(05/28/13) Information on Feral Hogs. "On private land, hunters can legally hunt hogs every day of the year with no harvest restrictions."

(05/13/13) "Alabama refusing to repay U.S. Forest Service $94K" Source: Montgomery Advertiser, May 11, 2013.

(05/10/13) "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 matthew_hinderliter@fws.gov."

(05/02/13) 'The World's Most Outdated Law': Why the Next Farm Bill Should Be the Last. Source: The Atlantic, 4/25/13

(04/22/13) New Tennessee Extension Service publication may help you identify Hickory and Walnut trees.

(02/05/13) Weyerhaeuser posts best sales in 4 years on housing recovery. Source: CNBC, 1/25/13

(02/01/13) 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, 1/31/13.

(02/01/13) "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?

(01/18/13) Rural roads and bridges are in serious need of repairs all across Alabama, and the reason is probably made clear in this Tax Foundation article by Joseph Henchman: Gasoline Taxes and Tolls Pay for Only a Third of State & Local Road Spending.