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Archived 2021 News, Issues & Information


(12/30/21) "Shallow planting is a major cause of [loblolly and slash pine] seedling mortality." That is the message ArborGen's Paul Jeffreys urges us to remember in their December 2021 TreeLines. Oh, and don't cut the roots!

(12/29/21) "With lab help, whiskey distillers skip oak barrel-aging. But how does it taste?" asks Reuters' Nathan Frandino. If whiskey researchers Martin Janousek and Stu Aaron (Bespoken Spirits) are successful, their distilling and flavoring process might dramatically reduce the demand for white oak barrel staves. As taxpayers, we hope the state and federal forestry folks and their enablers in state and federal capitols recognize the futility of predicting drinking fashions 5 or more decades in the future.

(12/28/21) Impacts of the Supply Chain Crisis to the Forest Products Industry: Forest Resources Association's Tim O'Hara describes several supply chain problems being faced by various segments of the forest industry. Not a good story.

(12/22/21) "Forestry Taxes -- Learn Plan & Save Money. Join this webinar series to learn how to save money on your timber taxes." Mark your calendar and then register here. We'll link to recordings when the sessions are published online.

  • Jan 18: Seeing the Forest for the Trees: An Overview of Forestry Taxes
  • Jan 25: Basics of Timber Basis: Re(setting) the Table
  • Feb 1: Keeping More of Your Timber Income Following a Timber Sale
  • Feb 8: Timber Management Expenses and Deductions
  • Feb 15: Coping with the Losses from Nature and Chance

(12/21/21) Which Mapping Software Do You Use? is a useful short report by Jonathan Goode on LandThink.com, 12/7/21. The report is very good and introduces us to software we hadn't heard of before. Editor's note: Readers interested in ownership maps should be aware that HuntStand Pro, like LandGlide mentioned by Jonathan in the report, sells for $29.99 per year, much lower than LandGlide's $10 per month.

(12/20/21) Tissue manufacturing to continue at Calhoun, Tennessee mill, but pulp and paper operations to be idled, Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced on December 16. Resolute's "state-of-the-art facility in Calhoun has a production capacity of 66,000 short tons per year of premium, private-label tissue, including bath and towel, aimed at the growing retail market."

(12/17/21) Do you have young friends or family members who might enjoy working in the forest industry? You might suggest they watch this video produced by the Tennessee Forestry Association: Come be part of something big happening here in your state. More than twenty-five job ideas in the industry are described with videos here.

(12/16/21) 2021 Policy Wrap-Up: Property Rights and Regulations Affecting Private Forest Landowners was produced and recorded by the Forest Landowners Association on December 14 and is now available on line. About 27 minutes.

(12/15/21) Health Insurance: If you are still looking for reasonably priced health insurance that meets your and your family's needs, read John Goodman's How the States Can Reform Health Care. We suspect that for the dedicated insurance hunter, the article will contain information that could help you find what you're looking for.

(12/14/21) Rural Residents, Take Note: "The Alabama Digital Expansion Authority (ADEA) on Thursday held a public meeting during which leaders discussed strategies to bring essential broadband services to all corners of the Yellowhammer State."

(12/13/21) The Third Attempt to Empty Rural Vermont is an interesting essay by John McClaughry about attempts to remove people from rural areas - this time in the name of reducing their carbon footprint.

(12/10/21) Plant Early This Winter: "The southern tier of the United States is expected to be warmer and drier than normal during La Nińa winters. Therefore, if seedlings are planted too late in the season, survival rates may decrease. The Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative is again recommending limited storage time of seedlings and earlier planting dates than those traditionally followed." See similar alert from last year.

(12/09/21) "Be careful who you are supporting with your gifts this time of year," warns Sportsmen's Alliance and National Deer Association spokesmen during an NDA Coffee and Deer podcast entitled Protecting Our Hunting Heritage From Animal Rights Groups. Editor's note: Access to hunting land is a growing portion of land values in the South, so a discussion on the threats to hunters and hunting merits your time and attention.

(12/08/21) A Christmas Story: Since Boise, Idaho has lately been the destination of people fleeing the over-regulated states of California, Illinois, New York and several others, we were surprised to read about a property rights issue and Idaho's State Capitol Christmas tree that recently made the news.

(12/07/21) In Alabama: After stumpage prices peaked in mid-October, "they have settled at a place that is stronger than the last several years." Source: F&W Market Report, 12/3/21.

(12/06/21) How Many Widgets are in that Tree? is the title of a 15 minute video produced by the Virginia Cooperative Extension. It's one of the best sessions we've seen on how to use a Biltmore Stick. For many years, AFOA has featured an outdoor tree measurements session at our annual meetings, and sometimes we've given Tree Scale Sticks as prizes. If you buy one, we suggest you order the Scribner Scale. $23.15 right now at Forestry Suppliers.

(12/03/21) Alabama Timber Market Assessment and Outlook was presented Wednesday to a landowner audience by Auburn University's Adam Maggard. Very good. About 56 minutes.

(12/02/21) Cahaba Pressure Treated Forest Products, Inc., with 2020 sales of $56 million of poles, crossties, and posts, was recently acquired by Canada's Stella-Jones Inc.

(12/01/21) Plan now to improve next year's hunting lease arrangements. Virginia Tech's Jason Fisher discusses Hunting Lease Best Practices in a "15 Minutes in the Forest" video. Find hunters using AFOA's www.HuntingLand.bz webpage and protect yourself from risks by using AFOA's Group Hunting Lease Liability Insurance Policy.

(11/30/21) Tree Planting Drones, Equipment Delivery Drones, and Herbicide Application Drones: They're getting bigger and the services are improving.

(11/29/21) "The coming 'owners' of nature and natural processes will be the only real beneficiaries," says Whitney Webb in her Unlimited Hangout, 10/13/21, article, Wall Street's Takeover of Nature Advances with Launch of New Asset Class. Editor's note: In the future, values now worthless to forest owners, such as clean water, clean air, solitude, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, and others may completely outshine traditional values such as timber and hunting leases. The message: don't sell or give away rights that currently are not valued by society.

(11/24/21) Google Earth and GPS for the Rest of US and From Apps to Maps are two presentations on using GPS (global position systems) and GIS (geographic information systems) produced by Peter Smallidge, New York State Extension Forester, Cornell University.

(11/23/21) Marketing Hardwood Timber, Why Herbicides Sometime Fail, Planning a Tree Planting Project, and Identifying Hickory Trees are the titles of the most recent issues of the University of Tennessee's Back Porch Forestry series. The entire collection of Back Porch Forestry videos

(11/22/21) Special Tool to Sharpen Chain Saws: Mr. Chainsaw, Tim Ard, who teaches chain saw use and safety all across the U.S., reports that the Pferd Chain Saw Sharpening Tools can help you improve the results of your sharpening attempts.

(11/19/21) "Bare root and containerized tree seedlings must be handled carefully from the time they are harvested at the nursery until they are transplanted in the field. Equally important is planting seedlings correctly." ArborGen's Seedling Care & Planting Guidelines will tell you how. 16 pages.

(11/18/21) Selling Carbon Credits in Alabama: Alabama forest owners were the target audience for NCX's November 11 presentation. Alex MacIntosh made a brief presentation and then answered questions from the audience. Check out their website: https://ncx.com/our-story/.

(11/17/21) The Biden administration's U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service last week did a big favor for forest owners in the South when, in the name of protecting the spotted owl, it "struck down a rule that would have opened millions of acres of West Coast forest to potential logging." Would it be wrong for private forest owners in the South to be concerned that, as government agencies acquire and/or control more forestland through programs such as Forever Wild, Forest Legacy, and thousands of conservation easements, timber harvesting lockdowns, such as occurred in the Northwest, might be imposed here?

(11/16/21) The current issue of the Temperate Agroforester contains articles on growing and marketing pawpaw fruit and the eastern US chestnut industry (edible chestnuts). An archive of past issues is here.

(11/15/21) The 2021 National Register of Champion Trees (the most massive specimens of trees of their species) is maintained by American Forests. The 2021 Champion Trees of Alabama is maintained by the Alabama Forestry Commission. Four Alabama trees are national champions: Alabama Black Cherry, Post Oak, Durand White Oak, and Southern Shagbark Hickory.

(11/12/21) The American Chestnut: Donald E. Davis, an independent scholar and the author of The American Chestnut: An Environmental History, published this month by the University of Georgia Press, gave a lecture last week entitled, Giving Character to the Landscape: An Environmental History of the American Chestnut. The video lecture is about 41 minutes plus about 25 minutes of Q & A.

(11/11/21) Listen to interviews with experts in the November issue of Capital Ideas - Live!

(11/09/21) Direct Seeding: Purdue University's Extension Forester Lenny Farlee, in a 3 minute video, discusses and demonstrates sowing seeds of hardwoods such as walnuts and oaks into forested areas lacking in those species. Farlee was a guest on Capital Ideas - Live!, March 2014, when he spoke to AFOA members about Crop Tree Management.

(11/08/21) Timber and Goats: A Perfect Pair. Progressive Farmer writer Dan Crummett described a Georgia forest landowner's work managing his 75 acre tract of timber using goats to reduce brush. Landowner Jerry Bird was quoted in the article: "All that brush I used to burn I'm now selling for about $2 a pound."

(11/05/21) 10.3 percent of Alabama residents bought a hunting license in 2020, according to Stacker. California had the lowest percentage of hunters at 0.7 percent. South Dakota ranked at the top of the list at more than 24 percent. Source: Stacker, 10/11/21. Editor's Note: Some of the hunting license numbers seemed a bit different from numbers we've seen in the past from other sources, so it may be best not to quote Stacker's numbers far and wide.

(11/04/21) Turtles of Alabama was the title of Extension Specialist Wesley Anderson's webinar yesterday. In the recorded presentation, Anderson describes numerous turtle species, the laws regarding turtles and gives us ideas on how to improve habitat for turtles on our land. Video; about 53 minutes.

(11/03/21) "Wood products production and consumption in the US grew from 1961 through 2005, when the housing bubble popped and the Great Recession began. Consumption of logs, lumber and panels has increased since the recession, but not to prerecession levels. Pulp production and consumption has leveled off." Source: Forest Research Notes, Vol. 18, No. 3, Third Quarter 2021. Complete Research Notes archive.

(11/02/21) Legislative Learn and Burn: "Seven members of the Alabama Legislature gained first-hand experience last week in carrying out one of the most important parts of managing the state’s forests: the controlled burn." Source: YellowHammer, 10/27/21.

(11/01/21) Elon Musk suggests writing to your Congressman about proposal to Tax Unrealized Capital Gains: Musk retweeted a message from Rick McCracken, CEO of ADA, who wrote, "The Wyden proposal [to tax unrealized capital gains] takes new tax hikes a step closer to imposing unrealized capital gains tax on the average investor." Read the sample letter proposed by McCracken. Scroll down to 2) Elon Musk Is On To The Liberal Playbook. Or read cached version here.

(10/29/21) The Alabama Butterfly Atlas collects, interprets, and shares information about Alabama's butterfly populations for the purpose of education and conservation. Enjoy.

(10/28/21) "Pregnant Farmers Must Take Extra Precautions: While farm safety is important for every family member and worker, expectant moms have even more hazards to consider." This article from Successful Farming, 9/23/21, may not be of interest to all forest owners, but for those of you who may have livestock on your land, you will want to pay attention to some of the cautions raised.

(10/27/21) What does it cost to practice forestry in the South? Auburn University's Dr. Adam Maggard provides answers to that question in his report, 2020 Costs and Trends for Southern Forestry Practices. Maggard discusses the report in a video, Gain Insights Into Cost Trends and Management Practices of Working Forests, produced by the Forest Landowners Association. The program starts at 1:50. About 1 hour.

(10/26/21) White Oak Acorns Wanted in Tennessee. The Tennessee Forestry Association and the University of Tennessee are asking the public to collect white oak acorns that can be sown at the East Tennessee State Nursery. White oak acorns begin to germinate within a few days of falling to the ground, so special care needs to be taken of the nuts once collected. If you want to learn more about collecting acorns, even if not for the Tennessee nursery, watch their How-To Video. About 9 minutes.

(10/25/21) "Property line maintenance is one of the most important aspects of land ownership." Penn State Extension presents a written discussion and a 4 minute video that includes a great paint (and clothes) saving device.

(10/22/21) Attorney and Visiting Professor with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Robert Tufts discussed Landowner Liability, Timber Trespass (theft) and Adverse Possession on Wednesday of this week. Audio recording with PowerPoint slides -- about 54 minutes.

(10/21/21) Defer Capital Gains Using Like-Kind Exchanges: Did you know that it's possible to push off (defer) payment of capital gains taxes by taking advantage of a Section 1031 exchange that allows you to swap investment property on a tax-deferred basis? Read more in the October 2021 Newsletter of DeLoach, Barber & Caspers, P.C.

(10/20/21) Property taxes became due on October 1 and will be delinquent if not paid by January 1. Dave and Johnny have a brief, but interesting discussion about property taxes on Episode 313 of The Land Show. They mention that some counties are no longer sending out property tax notices -- that it is the landowner's responsibility to pay the taxes before January 1. Slide to 53:20 - about 4 1/2 minutes.

(10/19/21) "At the height of his popularity, Thornton Burgess was widely acknowledged as the voice of American conservation. While there were more talented writers working in the genre, and more knowledgeable scientists in the field, no one understood how to communicate these ideas better than the author of Old Mother West Wind, which has been continuously in print since 1910." Source: Old Mother West Wind, Laughing Brook, and the Stories that Inspired Generations, Northern Woodlands, Autumn 2021. Did someone read to you about Grandfather Frog, Longlegs The Heron, Whitefoot The Wood Mouse and the rest of the gang?

(10/18/21) Growth, Inflation and Time: If you sell $100 worth of healthy trees today, the growth in size and quality (perhaps 6 percent) plus inflation (5.4 percent - see FEA article) will benefit the buyer when the trees are harvested a year from now ($100 + $6 + $5.40 = $111.40). Read: September Consumer Price Index Increases 0.4% Month-Over-Month and 5.4% Year-Over-Year, Forest Economic Advisors, 10/13/21.

(10/15/21) "Alabama Forest Owners' Association warns about illegal fees," reported NBC15 News in Mobile, Alabama on 10/14/21. Jessica Little, who was interviewed by NBC15, also reported today to AFOA that some of the property tax bills of her landowner clients in Montgomery County and Jefferson County contain illegal fire district fees. See an example of a fire fee on a tax notice and, most disturbing of all, a refund letter from the Mobile County Revenue Commissioner at Jessica's segment of the October issue of Capital Ideas - Live!

(10/14/21) How To Build a Fishing Pond. "When it comes to how to build a fishing pond, it is a lot more detailed than just contracting with an excavating company and digging a hole in the ground," says Norman Latona, Southeastern Pond Management. Source: Great Days Outdoors, 9/13/21.

(10/13/21) Check out the headlines for the October issue of Capital Ideas - Live!

(10/12/21) Marginal vs. Effective Tax Rates: The October 2021 Newsletter of DeLoach, Barber & Caspers, P.C. contains an interesting section on that topic. What percentage of your income do you pay in taxes?

(10/11/21) "Pine pulpwood prices skyrocketed by an astounding +78 percent QoQ and YoY," reported Forest2Market Blog, 10/11/21, Southern Timber Prices Hit 14-Year High. The high prices are the result of a very rainy summer -- and the prices aren't being paid to people with good timber in a swamp. To sell at these rain-driven highs, your land has to be high and dry.

(10/08/21) It's important to stay in touch with state lawmakers. Between 1995 and 2014, Wisconsin forest landowners allowed anti-forestry interest groups to raise their property taxes 434%  --  from $7.78 per acre (which is much higher than here in Alabama) to $33.75 per acre. There are special interest groups here in Alabama that would do the same to us. To become politically active, consider becoming involved in Alabama Forestry Association's ForestPAC or Alabama Farmers Federation's FarmPAC.

(10/07/21) "Mississippi Forestry Foundation's new children's book, Family Trees, is now available for $15 per copy plus a flat $5 shipping fee for up to 8 books in one order! Written by MFA staff member Lauren Hawkins, Family Trees is the story of a boy who grows up on a tree farm, eventually takes over the farm, and then teaches his children about sustainable tree farming. In addition to highlighting the benefits of trees, the book also focuses on the jobs created and products made from the family's trees. Order your copy today at Family Trees." Read book report by AFOA staff writer.

(10/06/21) Top Ways to Lose Money Selling Land was the topic of discussion on Episode 91 of Huntin' Land Podcast. Good discussion -- begins at about 5:05.

(10/05/21) Selecting the leader of the Bureau of Land Management is not a big deal in Alabama, but it's a big deal in the U.S (BLM manages 58 million acres of forestland in 12 western states). So we were surprised to learn that Alabama's Senator Tuberville chose to be absent when votes were counted on the appointment of Tracy Stone-Manning, who has been credibly accused of involvement in an Idaho tree spiking incident. Read comments from a New Hampshire Tree Farmer. Cached copy of Tree Farmer comments.

(10/04/21) CM Biomass "plans to locate a wood pellet plant at the port [on the Tombigbee River] that will create 20-25 new jobs. [Jackson] Mayor Paul South said the city and the industrial development board have been working on the $17,000,000 project for eight months." Source: The South Alabamian, 9/29/21. CM Biomass is a Danish company.

(10/01/21) "As Congress considers President Biden’s proposal to tax unrealized capital gains at death, the history of previous efforts suggests it faces a perilous road ahead. Lawmakers must resolve tricky design and implementation details that derailed past attempts to change how capital gains are treated when assets are passed from one generation to the next." Source: Tax Foundation, 9/28/21.

(09/30/21) Survival Playing Cards: Thanksgiving isn't far off, so if you think conversations after dinner might be difficult, why not prepare ahead. Survival Playing Cards are a playable survival guide. This unique deck features 52 survival tips to help you make it through your next great adventure. Cost: About $17.

(09/29/21) Braun & Gresham Attorney Chris Bell discusses Creative Ways to Deal with Neighbor Disputes. Webinar: about 55 minutes.

(09/28/21) "We are currently swimming in wood," wrote forest economist Brooks Mendell in Mississippi Forestry Association's Tree Talk, Summer 2021. "We don't need more tree-planting subsidies," admonished F&W Forestry's Marshall Thomas in F&W Forestry Report, Spring 2020, right column, page 1. So what do you suppose lawmakers in Washington are proposing? You guessed it -- a government tree planting program: America's Revegetation and Carbon Sequestration Act. Bill Summary. Bill Text.

(09/27/21) "Buyer demographics are trending younger," Says Earl Musick of United Country Musick & Sons, a PotlatchDeltic Preferred Broker in Idaho: "We mostly worked with retiree buyers in the past. Now it’s people in their late 30s to about 55." Source: A Peek Into Fall: 6 Standout Trends in Recreational Land, LandThink.com, 9/7/21.

(09/24/21) Do you plan to hunt from a tree stand this fall? Will someone in your family or will some of the hunters who lease your land hunt from a tree stand this fall? If there was a yes in there somewhere, please take a minute and a half to watch the National Deer Association's short video on the A-B-C-Ds of Treestand Safety.

(09/23/21) Tall Timbers Research Station, "home of the study of fire ecology," publishes eNews quarterly (Summer/Fall 2021 and archived collection) and Quail Call: Quail Research Report (20+ years archive). If you want to learn more about prescribed burning and/or quail management, Tall Timbers offers serious expertise.

(09/22/21) "Based on announced sawmill builds and expansions, the U.S. South could add an additional four billion board feet of softwood sawmill capacity by 2022." Source: Forisk Blog by Amanda Lang, 9/15/21.

(09/21/21) Should you sell your land and timber together, or should you harvest the timber before you sell the land? Dave and Johnny discuss that question during the last five minutes of Episode 292 of The Land Show.

(09/20/21) Would you like to know what the folks at Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences have been up to lately? An archive of the School's triannual newsletters is available at https://sfws.auburn.edu/newsletter-archive/.

(09/17/21) "Bird migration forecast maps show predicted nocturnal migration 3 hours after local sunset and are updated every 6 hours. Colorado State University and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology currently produce these forecasts." Editor's note: They're quite small, but we suppose the chimney swifts that grew up in our old chimney in Helena, Alabama will soon be lighting up the map as they head south to Peru, South America.

(09/16/21) Stepped-Up Basis: "Biden’s proposal to end a tax break on inheritances known as 'step-up in basis,' which wipes out the capital gains tax on assets, was not included in the House bill; Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (OR) hopes to include it still, but opposition in the House means he is unlikely to succeed. This is a positive development, especially for family-owned companies and small businesses." 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges: "These were not included in the House bill and are unlikely to be included in the Senate, meaning the existing program would remain as-is." Source: National Alliance of Forest Owners, House Budget Reconciliation Legislation Update, 9/16/21.

(09/15/21) Latest proposed top federal Capital Gains Tax Rate is now 25 percent plus 3 percent surcharge and 3.8 percent net investment income tax. Source: Tax Foundation, 9/14/21.

(09/14/21) Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material is a 500+ page resource published by the Forest Products Lab. It will be useful to anyone who would like to know more about using wood -- furniture makers, builders, architects, etc.

(09/13/21) To prevent timber theft, you should:

  • Visit your property frequently.
  • Have someone you know and trust report any cutting on your land immediately.
  • Never sign a contract without checking several references of the buyer.
  • For the best price, insist on getting bids for your timber.
  • Mark all property lines to assure cutting on adjacent property does not encroach on yours.
  • Utilize trail/deer cameras on your property that can record suspicious activity or individuals.
  • Always hold your timber contractor to the agreed upon terms.
           Source: Pleasanton Express, 9/8/21

(09/10/21) What Should You Ask a Consulting Forester? Joe Baya, Huntin' Land podcast, August 12, 2021, leads Forest Appraiser Denson Helms through a great discussion on how and why a forest landowner should use the expertise of a consulting forester. Audio: about 1 hour or save 8+ minutes by sliding to 8:50. Worth your time if you are thinking of hiring a consulting forester. Find a consulting forester at www.ForesterSearch.com. "Transcript" of the podcast appeared in the November 2021 issue of Great Days Outdoors, pages 58-61.

(09/09/21) Check out a new video on the identification, history and control of kudzu created by Clemson Extension. Kudzu is a prolific invasive species throughout the U.S. Originally introduced in the 1870s as an ornamental plant, people then tried to use it for erosion control. Unfortunately its rapid spread soon earned it the name: “the plant that ate the south."

(09/07/21) "According to the July LandThink Pulse results, 38.1% of respondents indicated that they would prefer to purchase rural land for sale that was located in the Southeast region of the U.S."

(09/03/21) Two stories in the news:

(09/02/21) Storm Damage and Salvage Safety Video from Forest Resources Association was produced to help professional loggers avoid injury while cleaning up after tornadoes and hurricanes. If there is someone in your family who is likely to be doing some clean-up work this weekend, you might want to watch this video together. Good luck.

(09/01/21) Little Timber Damage from Hurricane Ida: The Alabama Forestry Commission reported today that they have not heard any reports of storm damage to any large forested areas. Their Mobile County office said there was "wide-spread damage from tornadoes," but not enough to merit an aerial survey. We'll update this article if future AFC reports indicate significant damage somewhere in the state. If you suspect your timber may have been damaged by the storm, this may be a good time to ask your consulting forester to do a damage assessment. If you don't have a consulting forester, find one at www.ForesterSearch.com. If you need tax advice to help you deduct storm damage losses, a list of forestry tax experts has been posted to the web, here.

(08/31/21) How about some good news on this rainy Tuesday?  Wellborn Cabinet in Clay County [broke ground earlier] this month on a $15 million expansion, projected to add another 200 jobs. The manufacturer of kitchen and bath cabinets [many of them made from Alabama grown hardwoods], a mainstay of the economy in Ashland since 1961, already employs about 1,400 people. Source: AL.com, 8/20/21.

(08/30/21) Aunt Fanny Asks About Forest Carbon is a new episode of Brooks Mendell's Aunt Fanny series.
   o   Aunt Fanny Learns Forestry  The Book, $12
   o   Aunt Fanny Analyzes Her Timber Market
   o   Aunt Fanny Asks About Bare Land Value (BLV)
   o   Aunt Fanny Asks About Timber Taxes
   o   Aunt Fanny Asks About Forest Rotations and Financial Maturity
   o   Aunt Fanny Asks About Forestland Appreciation
   o   Aunt Fanny Asks About Timberland Returns
   o   Aunt Fanny Thins Her Forest
   o   Aunt Fanny Asks About Cash Flow
   o   Aunt Fanny Asks About Timber Prices
   o   Aunt Fanny Tours Her Forest

(08/27/21) Do carbon payments do anything to solve the carbon dioxide problem or are they just a form of greenwashing? Ryan Dezember, the Wall Street Journal writer who has written a number of forestry-related articles in the past year or two discusses the issue on The Journal podcast with host Kate Linebaugh. Audio about 15 minutes - with transcript if you can't listen. Greenwash: disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.

(08/26/21) How to Get Rid of Armadillos is an interesting article in Great Days Outdoors , August 2021, by David Strickland. Turn to page 26.

(08/24/21) "In reality, wildfires in the West aren’t evidence of a lack of funds, forest mismanagement, or climate change. They happen because the West is a fire plain, and, just as a flood plain floods, a fire plain is going to burn. For as long as we’ve kept records, about one-half to one percent of the West burns each year, and nothing we can do is going to stop it." For an interesting discussion on western forest fires, read Randle O'Toole's "The West Is a Fire Plain. Get Over It." Liberty and Ecology Blog, 8/23/21. O'Toole spoke to AFOA in July of 2013.

(08/23/21) It all adds up. If you are looking for something to discuss with your children or grandchildren during your next visit, read The Simple Math of How to Retire with Millions by Kurt Rotthoff, Foundation for Economic Education, 8/21/21.

(08/20/21) The Sandhill Crane hunting season presents an interesting new opportunity for landowners in the Tennessee Valley and the Weiss Reservoir on the Coosa River. Hunters will begin registering to win the 400 hunting permits on September 8. The hunting season is split into two segments: December 3 to January 9 and January 17 - 31. AFOA members can find interested hunters by listing land for lease at www.HuntingLand.bz.

(08/19/21) Home Power magazine provided information on powering up remote, off-grid property. An archive of 31 years of the magazine is available at no cost, but you have to register to access the mags.

(08/18/21) Are No Till Food Plots Worth It? Listen to wildlife biologist Dr. Grant Woods describe the pros and cons of using no-till technology to install and maintain game food plots. Huntin' Land Podcast #87, 7/29/21. Audio about 1 hour.

(08/17/21) Boundary Line Issues: "Where does one property begin and another end? It seems like a simple question, because most landowners have a sense about where their land starts and ends. But over a period of years, neighbors can develop vastly different interpretations as to where the boundary line exists." Listen to Pat Porter, Broker, RecLand Realty, discuss problems and solutions on LandThink.com, 8/10/21. About 4 minutes.

(08/16/21) "With stumpage prices seemingly stuck at historically low levels, many southern timberland owners are asking the obvious question: Why continue growing timber at all?" Joe Clark discusses opportunities in his 7/26/21 blog: Creative Markets & Opportunities for Southern Timberland Owners.

(08/13/21) "The U.S. is the largest lumber market in the world and is very dependent on imported lumber. Imports have consistently accounted for about 30% of consumption over the past 10 years." Source: Global Lumber Supply to Shift, building-products.com, 8/10/21.

(08/11/21) Online Master of Forest Business & Investment Degree is now being offered by Auburn University. Collaboratively taught with Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business and the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, "this non-thesis master’s program enables non-traditional students in Alabama and beyond to conveniently acquire these specialized skills from a top-ranking university with minimal disruption to their home life and current employment."

(08/10/21) The US Sawmill: How Hardwood Lumber is Made is a 9-minute video produced by Banks Hardwoods. Since their mills are located in Michigan and Wisconsin, there will be references to cold weather, otherwise the lumber making technology is similar to that used in Alabama and the South. Hardwood lumber is in demand and hardwood stumpage prices have been very good in Alabama for the past several years. Hardwood pulpwood and oak sawtimber prices reported by TimberMart-South, 2Q21, can be found in the top left corner of page 2 of AFOA's July newsletter, Capital Ideas.

(08/09/21) Preppers - a never-ending variety, from being self-sufficient, 'Preppers' Quietly Stock Up For The 'Perfect Storm', Zero Hedge, 8/6/21, to "looking for a hedge if things get bad," Weathering A Social Storm…In Style, Forbes, 7/30/21.

(08/06/21) Your Final Harvest is Complete: So, What's Next? Tom Brant from Clemson University answers some frequently asked questions. For most forest owners in the South, the automatic answer of the past has been to plant pines, but many of us are thinking twice before giving all our land to Mr. Pine. We may let Mr. Oak climb a little further up the hills than in the past. See: Managing Stands of Mixed Pine & Hardwoods, John Willis. See also: Managing for Quality Hardwoods, Callie Schweitzer.

(08/05/21) "Firefighters in France are using a balloon to spot forest fires as soon as they start," reports Euronews, 8/2/21. A camera mounted on a tethered balloon almost 2,000 feet in the air "that can automatically detect fires within minutes of them starting and alert nearby firefighters"  is being tested in the French city of Marseilles.

(08/04/21) 12 Steps for Building a Bridge: NWOA's Wednesday Woodland Word, 8/4/21, featured a story from MyFarmLife.com on building a simple wood bridge for ATVs, wheel barrows and lawn mowers. Detailed plans are provided.

(08/03/21) Why the Middle Class Should Start Paying Attention to the Death Tax. Currently, estates valued at less than $11.58 million are exempt from the death tax in the US tax code. That may soon change. Source: Foundation for Economic Education, 7/28/21. See also: New CTUP Study: Biden’s Double Death Tax Destroys Up to a Million Jobs, Costs the Economy $10,000 Per Household. Source: Committee to Unleash Prosperity, 7/27/21.

(08/02/21) So,... you don't like the vaccination or mask rules in your part of the world. We wonder what you'd think about the forcible conscription - press-ganging - of civilians to fight forest fires, as was done in British Columbia as recently as the '60s. Read: How the government can still forcibly conscript you to fight forest fires, National Post, 7/22/21.

(07/30/21) Feral Hog Traps: Even if you don't have feral hogs on your property, we think watching these videos will hold your attention. Cell phone triggered trap. Pig Brig trap (net) (read the comments under the video). Also, for information on the Alabama Feral Swine Control Program, click here and here.

(07/29/21) In a recent episode of the National Deer Association's Deer Season 365 podcast, Brian Grossman talked with Mark Olis of Moultrie Mobile about the benefits of cellular trail-cameras, some tips for getting maximum performance from your cellular trail cams, as well as some trail-camera strategy. Mark also discusses some of the very cool new features of the Moultrie Mobile app. Scroll to about the 25 minute mark in the podcast to focus on the cellular connected cameras and the mobile app.

(07/28/21) Timber Market Update: Forest Management Specialists sent us a fairly optimistic timber market update today. If you think it might be time for you to put some of your timber up for sale, find a consulting forester who seeks work in your county at www.ForesterSearch.com. Forest Management Specialists' contact information is included on the search website here.

(07/27/21) The native common elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) is "high in antioxidents, vitamin C, vitamin A, bioflavonoids, beta carotene, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Although long used medicinally and in many other ways by Native Americans and rural dwellers, there is a renewed interest in its use as an antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent." Source: Alabama Gardener by Lois Chaplin, Neighbors, July 2021.

(07/26/21) If you have coal on your land, don't give up hope. “Coal prices have climbed to their highest level in a decade, making the fuel a hot commodity in a year when governments are pledging reductions in carbon emissions…. Prices for thermal coal—which power plants burn to boil water into steam, spin turbines and generate electricity—have more than doubled over the past year as a result." Source: The Wall Street Journal as quoted by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity (CTUP), 7/13/21. Subscribe to free CTUP daily news commentary here.

(07/23/21) "Ozark Forest Mushrooms harvests between 100 and 500 pounds of mushrooms a week year-round, and drives them to St. Louis where they are sold wholesale to restaurants and specialty grocery stores for $10 a pound and for a couple of bucks more at farmers markets." Source: St. Louis Public Radio, 7/19/21.

(07/22/21) Forest and small business owner, Allen McBride, describes business survival skills needed in era of increasing taxes. Source: National Federation of Independent Business, 6/21/21. You may have crossed through McBride's Camp Mac if you've ever driven the windy road from Talladega heading up the mountain to Cheaha State Park.

(07/21/21) Trail cameras have been banned in Arizona. Read an article from an Arkansas perspective, Arizona trail cam ban cautionary tale for Arkansas, and listen to a podcast, The Politics of Trail Cameras, from CFACT with Gabriella Hoffman and Trent Marsh. Slide to minute 22:47 to 31:07. "Besides Arizona, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada restrict the use of trail cameras during hunting season." These stories are hard to believe.

(07/20/21) Do you need help controlling beavers or coyotes or some other animal pest on your land? Read more about Nuisance Animal Control on the Alabama Conservation Department website. Click here for a list of nuisance animal control experts on Alabama Trappers and Predator Control Association website. List on ADCNR website.

(07/19/21) Absentee Landowners: Spot canopy changes on your land when trees have been removed (new roads, timber harvesting - theft? sale?, new greenfields, etc.). HuntStand Pro now provides a monthly satellite imagery update which can alert you to timber theft and other canopy change surprises. Open https://huntstand.com/pro/ and scroll down to "Monthly Satellite Imagery." While we would like the imagery to be sharper, this new service is a huge first step towards obtaining real-time information about your land. AFOA members receive a 20% discount when purchasing from a desktop or a laptop. Discount code: AFOA20.

(07/16/21) The National Rifle Association may have dropped their support for the Biden administration's 30 x 30 program, and, if so, we commend them for it. See 7/8/21, below. Yesterday AFOA received the following message from American Stewards of Liberty.

     We just had a call from one of our readers who had called NRA to cancel her membership because they support 30 x 30. Whomever she talked to said that is not their position.
     We checked the link to their statement, which is now missing. Here is the original link. You now see a "Sorry, the requested page is not available." https://www.nrahlf.org/articles/2021/6/24/nra-joins-hunt-fish-30x30-to-conserve-30-of-lands-and-waters-by-2030/
     However, the "Hunt & Fish 30 x 30" document still lists the NRA Hunters Leadership Forum and NRA Institute for Legislative Action as supporting the effort.
[scroll down for list of supporters; AFOA has a copy of this webpage in case it should be deleted in the future]
     So, it appears they have changed their position, which is a huge win for landowners.
     Thanks for your help on this.

(07/15/21) Morgan Stanley answers questions about the Biden Tax Proposal.

  1. Will my federal income and capital-gains tax rates change?
  2. What is the proposed change to federal capital-gains taxes on inherited assets?
  3. Would the proposed reforms limit how much wealth I can give away free of federal estate and gift taxes?

(07/14/21) Solar Farm in Butler County: For those of you who worry that Alabama might be following Texas into a brown-out phase of power generation, this AL.com article, Alabama Power receives approval for Butler County solar facility, might give pause for thought. At the level of technology we are at today with batteries and solar collectors, we suspect that the land area that will be dedicated to solar power production could produce a lot more usable energy if it were used to grow fuel wood, constantly and forever (even though fuel wood would likely not be the best forest product that could be produced on the land). And … the electricity generated from fuel wood could be produced 24/7/365 with technology that exists today. Just sayin'.

(07/13/21) We were surprised when we added up the number of AFOA members who bought the Huntstand Pro map sharing and property owners app using AFOA's 20 percent discount. Less than 2 dozen of you are on the list. We know people who bought the app using their smartphone or tablet, and suspect they didn't receive the discount because that method of purchase doesn't allow the buyer to give the discount code, AFOA20 (all caps). We suggest you buy it from your desktop or laptop computer, since you will then have the opportunity to input the discount code. Read more about the app.

(07/12/21) Is there a difference? We're not lawyers, so there are probably a million legal reasons why it's OK for a game warden to enter private property without the owner's permission, but now, after a U.S. Supreme Court decision, it's not OK for union organizers to enter a private workplace without the owner's permission. Source: Supreme Court Upholds Landowner's Right to Exclude, Liberty Matters News Service, 7/6/21. Be sure to see Pacific Legal Foundation's report. Also read related story below.

(07/09/21) During a recent Carbon Program for Hardwood Landowners webinar on June 15, 2021, a number of questions were posted for future follow-up. The questions and answers are available here. Source: Wednesday Woodland Word, 7/7/21.

(07/08/21) The National Rifle Association has put itself on record as being in support of the Biden administration's 30 x 30 program, according to Liberty Matters News Service, 7/6/21. About 10 years ago the NRA supported using state funds to purchase hunting land in Alabama. Would it be fair to suspect that the leadership of the NRA, both in Alabama and at the National level, lack faith in the ability of private landowners and the free market system to provide their members with hunting opportunities? See Gov. Ivey's reaction to 30 x 30.

(07/07/21) "Almost nobody wants to raise the estate tax," especially when they take into consideration that an increase might cause job losses. Source: Kudlow, Fox Business News, 7/6/21. See graphs, Capital Gains Tax at 5:34, and Estate Tax at 6:24. Video is 9 minutes long.

(07/06/21) Labor Shortage Impacting Timber Sales and Harvesting: A few quotes from F&W Market Update, 7/1/21:
  o   "...because of the trucking shortage, they’re looking close in harder than ever..."
  o   "...logging shortage, trucking shortage, and related labor shortages are impacting..."
  o   "...reluctant to strongly pursue timber sales in many situations..."
  o   "...not sawing what they could due to a lack of personnel."

(07/02/21) "I have absolutely no idea whether our tax returns and our tax payments are accurate," wrote Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to the IRS on April 15, 2014. Rumsfeld died Wednesday at the age of 83.

(07/01/21) Be careful if you're planning to celebrate the Fourth by shooting tracer ammunition or incendiary rounds. "Those will cause fire almost every time if they land in receptive fuels. And sometimes people use exploding targets. These are made of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder and they blow up when hit by a bullet." We lifted these comments from a dry Utah radio station (KUER 90.1), so you probably won't cause a wildfire in wet Alabama... but it could happen. Be careful.

(06/30/21) Forest Economist Jack Lutz discusses the Southern Timberland Index in this quarter's Forest Research Notes. The Southern Timberland Index "allows timberland owners in the South to estimate how the value of their timberland is performing compared to an average southern timberland property." In the discussion he mentions the NCREIF Timberland Index (NCREIF = National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries), and he refers to an earlier report in 2016 on the Southern Timberland Index.

(06/29/21) Have you taken on debt to invest? We suspect that most forest owners won't find themselves in too much trouble here, but you may have family members who need your advice. View graph here ("Gen Z and Millennials—just one bear market away from bankruptcy") from Powerline Blog, The Geek in Pictures: Summer Solstice Edition, 6/24/21. Scroll down to the 15th graph/chart.

(06/28/21) Southern Pine Beetles -- and other insects and diseases -- are mapped by the Alabama Forestry Commission. Rangers crisscross each county in light aircraft marking beetle infestations on a map. Beetle monitoring flights will begin soon. Infestations will be posted on the AFC website at this link: Insect and Disease Map. Zoom in to see exact locations. Satellite imagery layers are available in the menus. Check back about once a week for updates.

(06/25/21) "...you even want to buy rural land in front of major demographic moves in the US..." Source: Hayman Capital's Kyle Bass on CNBC's Closing Bell, as quoted by Zero Hedge, 6/25/21.

(06/24/21) Is Fed Bringing About Another Housing Bubble? In an online analysis, CNN (6/19, Egan) said that even with home prices that are climbing at the quickest “pace on record, the Federal Reserve continues to prop up the housing market by purchasing $40 billion of mortgage bonds each month.” Though the Fed was at last “‘talking about talking about’ removing some of its support, some fear the US central bank is creating another housing bubble as it deliberates.” CNN added, “That’s because the Fed’s emergency strategy is artificially lowering the cost of mortgages, and further boosting prices that already looked stretched in many markets.” Source: NFIB Small Business Weekly, 6/22/21.

(06/22/21) Wood pellet industry not causing overharvest of our forestland. "The growth of the forest products industry, including the wood pellet sector, continues to create new demand for biomass, which has resulted in an increase, rather than a reduction, in forest inventory. In other words, healthy demand is driving reforestation, not deforestation across the US South." Read more: New Markets for Wood Products Help Preserve Forests for Future Generations by Larry Sullivan, F2M Blog, 6/21/21.

(06/21/21) Common insect pests of trees in Tennessee (and Alabama, too, sometimes) is the topic covered by Dr. David Mercker in this recent episode of Back Porch Forestry. Tree Insects: Something Old Something New.

(06/18/21) The June 2021 issue of Mississippi State's The Overstory newsletter contains a Timber Price Report that may be interesting to AFOA members with land in west Alabama and Mississippi. Oak sawtimber: $39.38 per ton.

(06/17/21) "How to Make Oak Trees Produce More Acorns for Deer. It's Not What You Might Think." Source: National Deer Association Video with Lindsay Thomas, Jr. About 3 minutes.

(06/16/21) A Hunter's Perspective: Forest owners who allow hunters to hunt on their land may find it useful to learn what a hunter thinks is important to discuss with non-hunters. Read What I Learned From Talking to Non-Hunters by Zack Vucurevich, National Deer Association, 6/9/21.

(06/15/21) GIFT TAX: "In 2021, you can give any amount up to $15,000 per person per year with no gift tax liability. However, gifts exceeding that amount are counted against a gift tax exemption of $11,700,000 and are subject to gift tax." Source: DeLoach, Barber & Caspers, P.C. Newsletter, June 2021.

(06/14/21) INFLATION! Focusing on the Consumer Price Index (an indicator of inflation), our sarcastic and cynical friend at PowerLine Blog, Steven Hayward, said this on June 10: "With today’s bad inflation number, here’s what the trend looks like — but not to worry, I’m sure it’s nothing, and I’m sure the Biden Administration and the Fed are on it."

AFOA's question to forest owners: Is this a good time to be invested in productive timberland, gold, Bitcoin, stocks, or cash under the mattress?

(06/11/21) Buy, Borrow, Die: "Using that strategy, wealthy households purchase assets that appreciate (increase in value), and then borrow money against their assets to consume their wealth without paying tax. When the household passes away, the assets with unrealized gains escape taxation due to step-up in basis, which removes the unrealized gain and associated tax liability for the heirs." Source: Taxing Consumption Progressively Is a Better Way to Tax the Wealthy, Tax Foundation, 6/8/21. Editor's request: If you can describe a "Buy, Borrow, Die" scenario that has actually worked for you or a client, please send a note to RLL@AFOA.org. See also: Tax Planning 101: Buy, Borrow, Die.

(06/10/21) Black Walnut management videos (free) and a book ($15) are available from the Walnut Council. The video topics include pruning, thinning, soils & sites, and markets. The book is Black Walnut: The History, Use and Unrealized Potential of a Unique American Renewable Resource by Walnut Council member Bob Chenoweth.

(06/09/21) "The Associated Press (AP) ... recently published [an article] largely critical of the wood pellet industry. Sadly, [The AP did] not provide a full-spectrum view of the forest supply chain or the environmental benefits of sustainably managed forest resources." Read more: Inaccurate Portrayals of Forestry & Wood Biomass Persist by Larry Sullivan, F2M Blog, 6/9/21.

(06/08/21) If Alabama state employee and teacher pensions are underfunded because of lack of legislative support or because of poor investment strategies, where do you think lawmakers will look for funds when the money runs out? The Tax Foundation recently asked the question, "How Well-Funded Are Pension Plans in Your State?" Alabama's state pensions are not in as bad a condition as New Jersey's (only 36% funded) and not as good as South Dakota's (99% funded). Did we hear someone say "Property Taxes"?

(06/07/21) CBS News reported from Vestavia Hills, Alabama on the high lumber prices and their effect on new home costs. The reporter failed to report on low stumpage rates -- the amounts paid to landowners for their trees.

(06/04/21) "Since COVID-19 struck in the early days of March 2020, the number of people swapping city life for country living has risen. According to the April LandThink Pulse results, 77.6% of respondents believe that the migration of people from big cities and metropolitan areas to rural locations will continue post-pandemic." Source: LandThink.com, 5/18/21. Editor's note: I suspect that the majority of respondents to the survey were rural real estate agents. Just a guess. Someone will probably set me straight soon.

(06/03/21) The Hurricane Michael [and Lee County tornadoes] Block Grant will provide $10 million in financial relief to qualifying non-industrial private forest landowners of Alabama with a one-time payment. Eligible citizens must own timber in the following counties: Barbour, Bullock, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lee, Montgomery, Pike, or Russell. Read Alabama Forestry Commission Press Release and Eligibility Requirements and Sign-Up Procedure.

(06/02/21) The Biden administration wants to impose capital gains taxes on the growth in value of estates "when assets transfer ownership at death." They would do this by repealing the step-up in basis that currently applies to estates. For example: Joe bought 400 acres of forestland at $50 per acre back in 1970. Joe dies in 2021 after the capital gains tax rate is raised to 43.4 percent and step-up in basis is repealed.  He leaves the land, now worth $3,000 per acre, to his daughter. He had no other assets. The estate must pay 43.4 percent of the $1,180,000 capital gain ($1,200,000 minus $20,000) resulting in a tax lien on the estate of $512,120. The land, or at least the timber, may have to be sold to pay the tax. Fortunately for forest landowners, we are not facing this dilemma alone. Small business owners face similar and maybe even worse situations. Read: Over 120 Associations Join Coalition to Support Continuation of Stepped-up Basis, NFIB, 5/25/21. Editor's note: We are not tax advisors, just speculators. Read more on Stepped-up Basis and Family Forests by Tom Straka.

(06/01/21) After reading an interesting story about wooden toothpicks, A tiny Maine town was once the 'toothpick capital of the world', Bangor Daily News, 5/24/21, we learned that some toothpicks are still being made in the U.S., Penley, for example. Editor's note: You may see some rather aggressive and deceiving ads from Penley's Chinese competitors when reading these stories. Or have we been deceived?

(05/28/21) Simply Southern TV Episode 708 features the Learn and Burn program. Learn and Burn events are a great way to be introduced to prescribed burning. Attendees are given hands-on opportunities to set back fires and try out some of the tools used by prescribed burners. Lee and Eyvon from AFOA's office participated a couple of years ago and thought it was a great experience.

(05/27/21) Northern Woodlands shared a refreshing forestry family story today. We think you will enjoy meeting Mary Hull: at Home and at Work in the Woods.

(05/26/21) Wild Turkeys: An Alabama Extension System recorded webinar, Wild Turkey Mortality: Populations, Predators, & Disease, and a South Carolina DNR research report, Collaborative Research on the Future of Wild Turkeys, both landed in AFOA's mailbox this week. We hope you find them useful.

(05/25/21) Deducting business-related vehicle expenses is one of the topics covered in DeLoach, Barber & Caspers, PC, Certified Public Accountants, May Newsletter. Depending on how you, as a forest landowner, are viewed by the IRS, you may or may not be allowed to deduct mileage or vehicle expenses. Be sure to clear it with your personal accountant before going to a lot of trouble.

(05/24/21) Forest landowners can now participate in forest carbon markets via short-term timber harvest deferral agreements (watch the May 6 Florida Land Stewardship webinar). SilviaTerra's program asks the landowner to defer harvest for one year on mature timber and pays for the costs of delaying the harvest. See Forisk's analysis, below, to estimate the cost of delaying the harvest and, thus, arriving at an estimate of the amount that should be paid by the carbon renter.

(05/21/21) "Practical, Helpful." Property Lines, Fences, & the Law is a seminar (video) presented by D. Mitchell Henry, J.D. and produced by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

(05/20/21) "'We'll get you again': Victim of timber theft warns thieves across Tennessee," reported WKRN News 2 Plus in Nashville on May 8, 2021. Landowners whose trees have been stolen in Alabama should report thefts to their local sheriff or the Alabama Law Enforcement Rural Crime Unit. Based on reports AFOA has received from landowners during past few years, don't expect much help from either of those sources.

(05/19/21) "Why Invest in Timberland? The fact that makes timberland real estate an attractive option is that trees grow physically. Moreover, past records have proved that timberland returns can be as good as those from equity investments. The added advantage is, it comes with lesser risk." Read more on The Basics of Timberland Real Estate Investing by Christian Saunders, LandThink, 5/11/21.

(05/18/21) Wouldn't it be nice ... if an Alabama law firm were to conduct a training session for landowners entitled, Tips for Navigating Property Tax Protests? It would be especially nice, if an Alabama law firm, or perhaps a loosely knit collection of firms, were to provide a low-cost service which would represent landowners who have valid property tax complaints. Watch Texas law firm Braun & Gresham's recorded Tips and give us suggestions on how we might produce a similar program for Alabama. Please give us the name of someone who could teach such a class. 

(05/17/21) "Because birds use a variety of forest types and conditions, management prescriptions intended to benefit birds can be complicated." Learn more from a new booklet: Bird Friendly Forests: Opportunities for Private Forest Owners in the Southeastern U.S.

(05/14/21) Makers Mark is working with the University of Kentucky to make sure they don't run out of quality white oak trees used to make their bourbon barrels. Source: Lexington Herald Leader, 5/10/21

(05/13/21) Do you jointly own your forestland with siblings or cousins? If yes, you may enjoy listening to From Partners by Chance to Partners by Choice: Building Trust-based Partnerships with Siblings and Cousins, a webinar produced by The Family Business Consulting Group.

(05/12/21) "West Fraser Timber Co., the world’s biggest lumber producer, plans to expand capacity at five of its lumber mills in the U.S. South. Interfor Corp. is rebuilding a sawmill in Georgia that is on track for completion by the end of 2021. Both companies expect home-building and renovation demand to continue supporting strong prices for wood products in the near future." Source: Bloomberg, 5/6/21

(05/11/21) Population Change. You may have invested in your forestland hoping one day to develop it into home sites or business lots. Others may own forestland in undeveloped areas of the state and hope no one will ever move to their neck of the woods. Whichever hat you wear, you will likely find interesting AL.com's May 8, 2021 article, Alabama's fastest growing and fastest shrinking counties from 2019 to 2020

(05/10/21) Brooks Mendell, forest industry analyst, sheds light on "voluntary short-term 'rental' program" in Break-Even Analysis for Forest Carbon Contracts. So, if you delay harvest on one acre for one year in order to rent its carbon, you'll lose about $10 (see graph). Therefore, you should rent the carbon for at least $10. Easy-peasy.

(05/07/21) If you have an interest in gopher tortoises, we think you will find this 4-minute video interesting: How Foresters Protect Gopher Tortoise Burrows. We thought Rayonier's idea of leaving high stumps to mark burrows a useful heads-up tool (scroll to about 2:05 if you're in a hurry).

(05/06/21) "Few Specifics" offered on whose land will be taken when the 30 by 30 plan is activated. Would it be wrong to guess that targeted lands will be near national forests like the Bankhead or Talladega, or near federal wildlife refuges like the Cahaba River or the Eufaula? Read Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful (Cached Copy), commentary in The Washington Post, 5/6/21: A narrow path for Biden's ambitious land conservation plan, and a DOI News Release: Biden-Harris Administration Outlines "America the Beautiful" Initiative.

(05/05/21) Roots and Branches -- Tree growth characteristics are discussed in a new "Back Porch Forestry" by Dr. David Mercker, University of Tennessee. He has also recently published Firewood Harvesting as a Forest Management Tool. Click here for the entire collection of Back Porch Forestry.

(05/04/21) A time lapse of Google Earth aerial images of Alabama "shows something special: forests as a renewable resource. Large tracts of land turn brown immediately after harvest, but just as quickly re-green as the forest grows back. Active forest management helps maintain forests as a sustainable industry. Click here to see 35 years of sustainable forestry in 10 seconds!" Source: National Association of State Foresters Weekly Newsletter, 4/23/21.

(05/03/21) F&W Market Update reported Friday that in Florida many sawmills will no longer take sawlogs larger than 18 inches in diameter at the butt. The Update also reported that fire "devastated the East Alabama Lumber Company sawmill on April 22.

(04/30/21) If you're thinking about harvesting timber on your land, you need to find out what some of the experts are telling the loggers. Timber Harvesting Guidelines for Forestry Best Management Practices by Richard Cristan and Carey Potter is full of information that will help you and your forester spell out your requirements for maintaining clean water on your land. A PDF version is available as well as a link to Alabama's Best Management Practices for Forestry. Assistant Professor Cristan assisted with the demonstration of the portable sawmill at our Annual Meeting at the 4-H Center.

(04/29/21) "Property taxes are generally the most hated of all taxes," wrote Jonathan Williams in The Heartland Property-Tax Rebellion, National Review, 4/26/21. While property taxes have been reasonable in Alabama, appraisals of forestland are frequently inconsistent between counties and even within counties. We think you will find Williams' discussion interesting.

(04/28/21) Fence It Right The First Time: Adverse Possession in Alabama by John Allen Nichols, Neighbors, April 2021.

(04/26/21) "As a forest landowner, one of the most important questions you must answer is when to conduct a harvest. How you make that decision can involve several factors specific to your circumstances and objectives." Read more from Cut or Wait Decision-Making for Landowners by Shaun Tanger, Mississippi State University.

(04/23/21) "Biden Eyeing Tax Rate as High as 43.4% in Next Economic Package." Source: Bloomberg, 4/22/21. Read commentary on the proposed increase from Daniel J. Mitchell, 4/23/21, here. Editor's Note: Of course, most forest owners won't make million dollar timber sales, but we suspect the proposed rate changes will reach down to affect many more than a few at the top.

(04/22/21) Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a letter yesterday with 14 other governors objecting to policies that would increase federal ownership and/or control of land.  "Fifteen Governors signed a joint letter notifying President Biden that section 216 of the Climate Crisis Executive Order (14008), to conserve 30 percent of America’s lands by 2030, 'infringes on the sovereignty of the states and rights of the citizens.'" Source: Liberty Matters News Service, 4/21/21.

(04/21/21) "Tight Supplies and Higher Prices for Softwood Lumber Has China Looking at Alternative Solutions," reports Forest Economic Advisors (FEA), 4/20/21. The last sentence in FEA's brief International Markets article reads: "There are several solutions emerging in China, and one of the most practical options is using imported softwood logs to produce lumber products by Chinese domestic sawmills."

(04/20/21) "A FEW SPOTS AVAILABLE." "Live Fire Event." "Interactive Field Day in Walker County." The Alabama Forestry Foundation and Tree Farm are doing a Learn and Burn Live Fire Event in Walker County one day during the week of April 26-30.

(04/19/21) In a recent study published in the journal Forests, John Willis, US Forest Service Researcher and his colleagues discuss mixed stands as a reasonable alternative to pine plantations or exclusively managing for hardwoods. Source: CompassLive, 3/30/21. Listen to Willis when he spoke to AFOA on Mixed Pine & Hardwood Management on April 27, 2019 in Atmore.

(04/16/21) Awaiting Governor's signature, according to ALFA's Capitol Connection, 4/16/21:

  • Police Jurisdiction Bill Passes House, Goes to Governor

  • Feral Hog, Coyote Night Hunting Bill Awaits Governor Signature

(04/15/21) Attorney Banks Ladd is offering several Estate Planning Workshops next week. He plans to cover the following topics:
  o   How to protect your belongings against your kid’s debts, divorce, or disability.
  o   How to maximize the inheritance you leave to your children.
  o   How to protect your belongings if your spouse remarries.
  o   How to plan with blended families.
  o   How to understand the difference between a will and a trust.
  o   How to avoid the expenses and delays of probate.
​  o   How to keep your affairs private.

(04/14/21) Controlling Feral Pigs is on the top of many landowners' ToDo lists. If you want to see demos of trapping devices (some old-school, some high-tech), plan to visit with Mark Smith, Extension Specialist and Auburn University Professor, between 1:30 and 4:30 on April 17 - this Saturday - at AFOA's Annual Meeting at the Alabama 4-H Center, a few miles east of Columbiana in Shelby County.

(04/13/21) "We're still enjoying a booming morel season and we have plenty of time to keep finding those." If you don't know where to look for morel mushrooms or how to cook them once found, you may want to join the Alabama Mushroom Society - $20 per year. Their address is way down at the bottom of the April newsletter, a little ways below a recipe for Morel Cream Sauce - mmmm.

(04/12/21) Editor's Note: I can't think of many things that are more disturbing of a quiet day in the woods than to have a dog hunting group (hunting for deer) drop off their dogs on a road a mile or two east your property and then block the road along side of your property while they wait to get a shot at a fleeing buck.
That said, an AFOA member wrote today, "The Senate has passed out of committee Senate Bill 381 doing away with bans for dog deer hunting in Alabama. Please make forest owners aware that we may lose our property rights should this bill pass." Read more from Alabama Political Reporter, 4/9/21. Find your Senator.

(04/09/21) Hardwood Silviculturist and American Chestnut Expert Stacy Clark has produced two excellent short videos on work being done to restore the American Chestnut to our forests. Part 1 -  Introduction (9 minutes 44 seconds) and Part 2 - Science in Action (10 minutes 15 seconds).

(04/08/21) Drones with "dragon eggs" are being used to start prescribed burns in Virginia. Make plans now to see how it's done by attending AFOA's Annual Meeting on April 17. The Alabama Forestry Commission's Kelvin Daniels will demonstrate the drone technology similar to that used in Virginia at the 4-H Center in Shelby County. Register online here or by mail and check here.

(04/07/21) CURB APPEAL: "When the time comes to sell your land, you can maximize your return by making a few simple land improvements, as Pat Porter, broker at RecLand Realty explains. Curb appeal is a term that is usually associated with the general attractiveness of a house, but the concept can also be applied to land." Source: LandThink, 3/30/21

(04/06/21) Brown Gold falls from longleaf pine trees, says The Washington Post, 3/31/21, "generating an estimated $200 million in annual sales across the Southeast." Pine straw harvesting will be featured at AFOA's Annual Meeting on April 17. David Sherer, Sherer Straw Supply, and Zachery Hind, MTE Pine Straw will describe Sherer's straw marketing business and MTE's straw harvesting system on Saturday afternoon, April 17 at the 4-H Center in Shelby County. Register online here or by mail and check here.

(04/05/21) National Association of Home Builders wants cheaper lumber, so they are asking federal officials to increase the supply of domestic timber. One wonders how a big organization like NAHB can know so little about their supply chain that they think cheaper stumpage will somehow improve the supply of lumber. Got a problem? Call Uncle Sam to fix it. Sad day. Read more here and here.

(04/02/21) "Just last week I was reading about a western Massachusetts solar project that’s enormous, that’s going to clear forest, and the town can get 450 thousand dollars in tax revenue by allowing it to occur. That’s pretty tempting for some rural towns." Read more from interesting discussion of pros and cons of solar farms, ecoRInews, 3/24/21.

(04/01/21) The Emmett F. Thompson Endowed Deanship was established last week at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Dr. Thompson is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Forest Owners' Association (AFOA) and past Chairman of AFOA's Consulting Forester Scholarship Committee. Read more about the scholarship program below.

(03/30/21) A recent attack by NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education on private investment advisor, Suze Orman, whose message "is basic financial common sense combined with some discipline," should probably worry all investors, including those who own forestland. Read more on PowerLine Blog, Steven Hayward, 3/29/21.

(03/29/21) "Introduction to Handguns" courses scheduled this spring. "As firearms sales continue to set records, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division’s Law Enforcement Section recognized a demand in basic training for handgun safety and use. Eight million new gun owners were created in 2020 alone."

(03/26/21) Forestry Extension Specialist Becky Barlow talks about her work at Auburn's School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences (starts at 2:34), Alabama Farmers Federation's Preston Roberts describes his efforts to rein in regulatory activities of cities outside their city limits (SB107) (starts at 17:27) on The Land Show Episode 280. Becky will speak to forest owners at AFOA's Annual Meeting on April 17.

(03/23/21) "Tax Tips for Timberland Owners: Maximizing Your Deductions" is the headline for today's Forest2Market Blog.

(03/22/21) Should forest owners be allowed to conduct prescribed burns on their land? What about harvesting timber? That discussion is going on right now in Florida as landowners tell why active forest management is good for the state's economy and environment. Lynetta Usher Griner in The Gainesville Sun, 3/17/21. Jim Karels in Florida Politics, 3/17/21. (04/29/21) Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 88 this morning.

(03/19/21) Mass Timber is a semiannual publication of The Architect's Newspaper. We think you will enjoy the photos in the Winter 2021 edition demonstrating the numerous ways architects are putting wood to work. Enjoy.

(03/18/21) The cost of a 3D-printed concrete home reported to be competitive with the cost of a stick-built home in New York. What might happen to our stumpage market if interest in the new technology were to catch on across the country? Might high lumber costs push builders in this direction?

(03/17/21) The completion of Westervelt Lumber’s Thomasville, Alabama, mill was celebrated on Friday, March 5. The first load of lumber left the facility, purchased by Great Southern Wood Preserving. Second shift to start up in second quarter of this year.

(03/16/21) Back Porch Forestry's creator David Mercker, University of Tennessee, has been busy this winter. He has released 5 new training programs for forest landowners. They are Forest Measurement - Part 1, Forest Measurement - Part 2, Forest Measurement - Part 3, Options for Treating Degraded Hardwood Stands, and Hardwood Log Defects. See a menu of all Back Porch Forestry episodes here.

(03/15/21) Workaround to mitigate some of the adverse tax effects on timber investors arising from 2017 tax law changes is described by University of Georgia's Dr. Yanshu Li. If your tax advisor treats your forestland activities as an investment, you may want to forward Dr. Li's short explanation to him.

(03/12/21) Red Bugs! Chiggers! It's about to be that time of the year again. David Strickland wrote about the pests in the March 2021 issue of Great Days Outdoors magazine, Chigger Bites: How to Prevent, Identify, and Treat (turn to page 20). Editor's note: Last spring we learned (in May), to our discomfort, that our permethrin treated clothing did not prevent chigger bites, so we added Deep Woods Off to our armor (in June). End of problem.

(03/11/21) Should a city have the right to condemn your property to create a biking or hiking trail? Senate Bill 105, sponsored by Senator Tom Whatley, would prevent that from happening. Read the Alabama Forestry Association's Legislative Alert.

(03/10/21) "Caution Urged with All Burning," reported the Alabama Forestry Commission on March 8. WSFA12 (Central Alabama) and WKRG5 (South Alabama) reported on numerous wildfires in the the state. If you do plan to burn in or near your forestland, burn permit information from the AFC is available here.

(03/09/21) Easements, Agreements, Contracts and Emails. Braun & Gresham's Landowner Newsletter today contains an interesting discussion on the legality of agreements made only by email. Scroll down to Easement Contract Considerations.

(03/08/21)At 3:30 a.m., with such dignity as I can muster of a July morning, I step from my cabin door, bearing in either hand my emblems of sovereignty, a coffee pot and notebook. I seat myself on a bench, facing the white wake of the morning star. I set the pot beside me. I extract a cup from my shirt front, hoping none will notice its informal mode of transport. I get out my watch, pour coffee, and lay notebook on knee.” - Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac. For bench building plans, click here. Topic idea source: Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, 3/8/21.

(03/05/21) When we purchased this land, never in my wildest dreams did I think we would spend such a high percentage of our income on gravel and (my husband’s) time on road maintenance. We are in fact, the “road crew.” Read more from Virginia Forest Landowner e-Update (March 2021), including five linked publications on road building and maintenance.

(03/04/21) Earlier this week, we've been told, Case Western School of Law hosted a seminar entitled: Wildlife as Property Owners: A New Conception of Animal Rights. The speaker was Karen Bradshaw, an Arizona State University Professor of Law. Reading material here.

(03/03/21) Weyerhaeuser will acquire 69,200 acres of "high-quality" timberlands from Soterra in southwest Alabama for $149 million ($2,153 per acre). Highlights from Weyco's press release included:
o   Fee simple ownership
o   Excellent operability
o   Well-stocked timber inventory (76-percent in plantation average age 14)

(03/02/21) Municipal Planning & Police Jurisdictions which reach outside of city limits (SB107) and a Broadband Authority bill (SB215) were discussed by Preston Roberts, Alabama Farmers Federation, in a brief video. About 4 minutes.

(03/01/21) "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" No, that's not what the south Alabama landowner said when filing a lawsuit last week against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service over their designation of critical habitat for the "endangered" black pinesnake, but the thought may have been hovering in the air nearby. Read the 35 page lawsuit.

(02/26/21) MARKETS: "Lumber Prices Are Soaring. Why Are Tree Growers Miserable? Sawmill operators harvest gains while Southern landowners struggle with tree surplus; 'I'm not making anything.'" Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2021. Cached version if you have trouble opening the WSJ.

(02/25/21) "Abnormally high amounts of rainfall we have seen over the last few months in the South have caused stumpage prices to surge in some pockets and based on the continued wet weather predictions, these prices will not reverse anytime soon." Read more at Forest2Market Blog by Mike Powell, 2/25/21.

(02/24/21) Two new webinars that you might find interesting are Getting Started Managing Your Land and The Digital Toolbox for the Woodland Owner: There's an app for that! We have not watched either of these webinars, so would very much appreciate a note to tell us if they were useful to you, or not. Thanks. RLL@AFOA.org.

(02/23/21) Use extra caution when using an electric chainsaw -- even when wearing safety chaps. Video - about 3 1/2 minutes.

(02/22/21) Advances in herbicide technology for pine management with Pat Minogue, Associate Professor of Silviculture at the University of Florida, is the follow-up workshop that Vegetation Management Primer (see below, 2/16/21) prepped you for last week. Starts at about 2:10; about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

(02/19/21) The new Northern Logger App is free and contains information you might find useful, such as "log volume rules, timber volumes, woody biomass tons per acre, lumber tallies, culvert sizing, gravel requirements and a retirement planning calculator." An introductory webinar is on line, but we had trouble viewing it. Let us know if you find the App useful. Thanks.

(02/18/21) Nature Trail Development on Small Acreages is a 36 page booklet published online by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. This is a good time of the year to plan a trail, since visibility in the woods is better now.

(02/17/21) The Overstory is Mississippi State University Extension's newsletter for forest landowners. Topics from the September 2020 issue included: Mississippi Timber Price Report, Successful Hardwood Plantings, and Can a Change in Pine Planting Strategies Provide for a Better Fit for a Changing Market? Past issues archived here. A new issue will be published in March.

(02/16/21) Controlling competition so your planted trees are free to grow, reducing fire hazards, maintaining roads and trails, reclaiming land taken over by kudzu or cogongrass -- these are few of the reasons we can think of that might encourage you to use herbicides (weed killers) on your property. Florida Extension Agent Chris Demers narrates Vegetation Management Primer: Why Use Herbicides? Starts at about 2:06; about 40+ minutes.

(02/15/21) IRS FORM T: "The purpose of IRS Form T is to provide information on timber accounts for your records and to be filed with your tax return when required. If your timber is held as an investment, not as part of a business, you are not required to file IRS Form T. This will be the case if you only make an occasional sale of timber (one or two sales every 3 or 4 years). You are, however, required to maintain records which, at a minimum, provide the information included on Form T. It is recommended that you complete the applicable Parts of Form T even if you are not required to file it with your return for the current tax year. The completed form should be maintained in your records." Source: Wednesday Woodland Word, 2/10/21.

(02/12/21) Freeze Injury Alert -- If you have seedlings on hand waiting to be planted, this message from the Southern Nursery Management Cooperative is for you.

(02/11/21) In an attempt to undo restrictions on expansive federal land purchases, 90 members of Congress sent a letter yesterday to the U.S. Department of the Interior. One AFOA member wrote: "If your Representative signed, you may consider giving him/her 'therapy,' as the late great Chuck Cushman said." We did not see anyone from Alabama on the list.

(02/10/21) Take a walk across Alabama with the winners of the Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest.

(02/09/21) Chinese Tallow or Popcorn Tree. If that tree has become a pest on your land, you might want to weigh in on the proposed release of two insects (a beetle and a moth) that could be used to control the tree's spread. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would like your comments before February 22.

(02/08/21) Forest products company stocks up. Raymond James today raised the target for PotlatchDeltic Corporation to $61 per share (it was $50.33 at the time of the notice). They did the same on 2/1/21 for Weyerhaeuser: Target to $37 per share (it was $32.04 at the time of the notice). Source: Raymond James Client Reports.

(02/05/21) LandThink: "When searching rural land for sale, which social media platform are you most likely to use?" Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't tell you to check out AFOA's www.ForestLand.bz.

(02/04/21) Legacy Planning: A Guide for Virginia Landowners is a new book published by Virginia Tech Extension Service. The 56-page book is available on line, but hard copies may be available - perhaps for a grandparent who is not comfortable with online publications. Check with Jennifer Gagnon, Coordinator, Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program - jgagnon@vt.edu.

(02/03/21) An Estate Planning Basics webinar for landowners was presented by Texas attorney Margaret Menicucci, Braun & Gresham, on January 26th, 2021. "This webinar highlights the 3 common challenges landowners face: protection against exploitation, leaving a legacy, and keeping up with changes in the law. It also identifies basic estate planning documents you should consider when meeting with an advisor." About 14 minutes.

(02/02/21) How much does it cost to plant an acre of loblolly pines? How much does it cost to prescribe burn 40 acres? How much does it cost to ... ? We've all asked questions like these and you may have recently spent money on forestry practices and know very intimately the costs of getting work accomplished. Auburn University's Professor Adam Maggard would like your help to produce a report: Costs and Trends of Southern Forestry Practices. Please consider sharing information with Dr. Maggard by answering a few survey questions. Click here to see 2018 report.

(02/01/21) Woodcock. Did you know the strange looking little birds live in Alabama and other parts of the South in the winter. According to Seth Maddox, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division’s Migratory Gamebird Coordinator, the ideal habitat for woodcock is forests that have been manipulated. "Logging operations really help,” he said. “Every time you clear-cut a patch of land, when it starts coming back up, that first five or 10 years provides the ideal cover for woodcock. When the trees get tall, the woodcock don’t use it as much because there is less underbrush.”

(01/29/21) We received a rather upbeat timber market report this week from F&W Forestry Services. The F&W Market Update of 1/27/21 contains one sentence that you should pay attention to, if you have marketable timber on land that can be logged in wet weather: "As is common this time of year, timber sales that are wet weather-operable and accessible can bring a significant premium."

(01/28/21) "Missouri Poacher Burns Down Landowner's Cabin in Retaliation," by Patrick Durkin in MeatEater, 1/19/21.

(01/27/21) "NO! We don't want to give anyone an almost unlimited right to raise our taxes!" That's what we think voters in southeast Shelby County said yesterday to proponents of a Southeast Shelby Rescue District when they voted overwhelmingly to prevent the creation of a new taxing authority. Source: Shelby County Reporter, 1/26/21. Alabama legislators must get this destructive method of taxation-without-representation under control. 

(01/25/21) Mark your calendar for 2022. If you are interested and concerned about the health and direction of Alabama state government, you won't want to miss the Alabama Forestry Association’s Governance Policy Seminar next year. Here is the Seminar's 2021 Agenda.

(01/21/21) The Age of Wood by Roland Ennos: "Brilliantly synthesizing recent research with existing knowledge in fields as wide-ranging as primatology, anthropology, archaeology, history, architecture, engineering, and carpentry, Ennos reinterprets human history and shows how our ability to exploit wood’s unique properties has profoundly shaped our bodies and minds, societies, and lives." For Wall Street Journal subscribers: 'The Age of Wood' Review: How to Carve a Civilization.

(01/20/21) Concerns for the comfort of your neighbors was one of the reasons you might want to use a silencer on your high-powered rifle. For an interesting discussion about suppressors or silencers, please listen to a Great Days Outdoors interview with expert Mike Pappas. Starts at 17:16.

(01/18/21) Just gobbledygook to most of us, but to the mushroom people among us, please enjoy the Alabama Mushroom Society's January 2021 Newsletter's Fungi Foragecast:

These colder months bring out familiar friends that may be a bit different depending on where you’re looking in the State of Alabama. Be on the lookout for Pleurotus (the oysters) which are much-less buggy while cold out, Lepista (such as L. nuda, the wood-blewit), many species of Cortinarius (the web-caps), an abundance of wax-caps of the family Hygrophoraceae (including Hygrocybe, Hygrophorus, and Cuphophyllus), Hydnum (hedgehogs), Tolypocladium, Clavaridelphus, Hericium species (including lion’s mane, H. erinaceus), Amanitas, especially in the Lepidella group, a cacophony of Stereum, Trichaptum, and more Trametes than you could count (T.’s versicolor, lactinea, hirsutum, betulina, aesculi, etc.)! Down South you may also find large amounts of Lacarria, Amanitas from the sections Amanita, Lepidella, and Validae, or even some winter Craterellus! Happy Hunting!

(01/15/21) So... What do you think will happen with timber markets this year? Forest2Market experts have made 18 Predictions for the Global Forest, Pulp & Paper, and Chemical Industries in 2021.

(01/14/21) "We've got to have wood and lumber," said Hal.
"Of course we have. But there won't be any unless we go in for forestry. It's been practised in Germany for three hundred years."

Two Pennsylvania boys discuss their future while camping on their parents' land along the Susquehanna River - about 1910. Here's a link to the Zane Grey novel, The Young Forester.

(01/13/21) Control the weeds and brush that slow down the growth of the little pines you plant. Extension's Ryan Mitchell and Richard Cristan have teamed up to help you pick the best herbicides for your special needs in their online publication: Forestry Herbicides for Site Preparation of Pine Plantations. You may find the PDF version handy if you plan to print and carry with you.

(01/12/21) Virtual Upland Hardwood Workshop. "This [16 hour Southern Research Station] workshop was designed to provide foresters and other natural resource practitioners with the most state-of-the-art, science-based information necessary to sustainably manage upland hardwood ecosystems of the Central Hardwoods Region of the US for a wide variety of goods and services. You can view the recorded presentations and course materials from each day!"

(01/11/21) Handbook of Alabama's Prehistoric Indians and Artifacts by David M. Johnson. "Alabama's diverse projectile points and other artifact types get concise and thorough treatment in this paramount book, as each example is eloquently brought to life with full scale photos, geographic distribution charts, and descriptions." $42.95 at Barnes and Noble.

(01/08/21) $50 per first 100 acres property tax proposed for forest landowners in south Shelby County! The not-yet-created Southeast Shelby Emergency Medical Services District proposes to lean heavily on undeveloped forestland for support. A vote open only for residents of the proposed district is to be held on January 26. Town hall meetings are scheduled for Jan. 12 at 6 PM at Risen Life Church and Jan. 14 at 6 PM at Wilsonville Baptist Church. Editor's Note: Alabama legislators must get this destructive method of taxation-without-representation under control.

(01/07/21) Does the South produce a lot of wood pellets? Jay Engle discusses (and shows) how much and where in his blog: How Much Energy is Produced Using Wood? A Forester's Perspective.

(01/06/21) Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in Two Additional Northeast Mississippi Counties. Now within 25 miles of Alabama. See also: CWD Roundup from NDA.

(01/05/21) Clean Water: Good Forestry. If you are planning to work on your woods roads or to make a timber sale, you will benefit from watching Dr. Richard Cristan's webinar, Best Practices for Forest Road and Skid Trail Construction, Maintenance, and Close-out BMPs. About 52 minutes.

(01/04/21) You are invited to join Clemson University forestry students on a Visit to Germany (and Switzerland) in July 2022. "A good way to understand the forest-management activities and limitations from other countries is to actually visit the country as part of a forestry tour or program." Source: Understanding the Other Party!, Journal of Forestry, 11/20. We'll post details and contact information for the visit as soon as they become available.