CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on March 23, 2011.
Hayes D. Brown
starting time: (00:00)
Hayes D. Brown, attorney and forest owner, will moderate this news
conference. Hayes' email address is
Click Here to View & Hear Prior News Conferences.
Misinformation Muddles Policy Decisions
Dan Whiting is Director of Communications for the
National Alliance of
Forest Owners (NAFO), an organization that has been speaking out on
national issues of interest to owners of forestland. In response to
statements such as,
Forests Aren't Fuel. Burning forests for electricity is dirty and
destructive," NAFO recently announced the availability of
a new website
"dedicated to inform the national dialogue on renewable biomass energy from
wood. The site slices through the rhetoric and hyperbole in the discussion
on biomass energy by offering credible information so policy makers can make
an informed decision about our energy future." We suspect that if national
and state policy makers knew the correct answers to the following questions
asked by NAFO, forest owners would be treated more fairly in Washington, DC,
Montgomery, Alabama and Madison, Wisconsin. How would you answer them?
- Why won't forest owners use whole
forests or large, healthy trees for bioenergy?
- Why do we need forest biomass in
addition to other renewable sources, such as wind and solar?
- Why is forest biomass energy
Phone: (202) 747-0746
Patrick A. Glass
Governor's Budget Clobbers Alabama Forestry Commission
Patrick Glass is the Assistant
State Forester for the
Commission (AFC). The AFC is the agency called home by forest
rangers who fight wildfires on our land and law enforcement officers who
investigate and assist in the prosecution of timber thefts and forest arson.
Governor Bentley has proposed a
2012 state budget that, according to the AFC, would cut it's State
General Fund Budget from a net
$11.9 million to $7.7 million (see slide 5). In past issues of
AFOA's monthly newsletter, we have commended State Forester Linda Casey and
her staff for recognizing the seriousness of our State's and Nation's
financial conditions by making big cuts in staff and infrastructure, but the
2012 cuts recommended by the Governor may be so severe that the agency won't
be able to function. We asked Assistant State Forester Glass to tell us about
the role of the Alabama Forestry Commission and what it needs to continue to
be useful to forest owners.
Reading and Homework recommended by
A sampling of recent news stories:
Phone: (334) 240-9367
David W. Bryant, Jr.
Roads & Bridges Key Factors in Timber Value
Winston Bryant is President of
Foothills Timber Company based in Heflin, Alabama. He buys, cuts, and
hauls timber from our land to sawmills, paper mills, and other wood
processors. Along with loggers in more than a dozen Alabama counties, Winston is
facing growing threats of county regulations that restrict access to bridges
and roads. Some counties require a notification of logging permit, and some,
like Cleburne County, a $5,000 bond and travel route restrictions. The
reduction in timber value caught behind a bad bridge or failing road is
enormous, causing the timber value for some properties to be virtually zero.
In fairness to county engineers and county commissions responsible for road
and bridge maintenance, they receive almost none of the fuel tax money paid
by loggers. These problems are "all traceable back to lack of funding at the
county level," stated Alabama Forestry Association Executive Director Chris
Isaacson at a February 25 meeting of the AFA Forest Operations Committee. Of
the $149.3 million diesel tax money collected in Alabama (2007-2008), only $2.2 million
got to the counties.
Excerpts from past issues of Capital
Ideas, AFOA's monthly newsletter:
March 2010: DUE TO HIGH RAINFALL
AND FREEZING TEMPERATURES, Clay County Officials closed many dirt
and gravel roads to all but local traffic for several days earlier this
year. They also have begun enforcing a logging permit system that
requires a one page form and $10 annual fee and may modify the system to
be similar to one on the books in Coosa County that requires a permit
for each tract to be logged, along with notification of the roads that
are to be used to haul out logs.
April 2010: “CLEBURNE COUNTY OFFICIALS are making it difficult to
harvest timber on small tracts by enforcing an expensive bond
requirement,” says a local logger who wishes to remain anonymous. We
suspect that enforcement of the bond will cause timber on small tracts
to lose significant value.
June 2010: “BEGINNING ON MAY 1, 2010, all individuals, companies,
firms, corporations or other entities involved in any aspect of timber
harvesting shall obtain a Timber Harvesting Permit from the Covington
County Engineer’s Office prior to beginning or continuing any timber
harvesting operation in Covington County, Alabama.” There is no charge
for the permit.
July 2010: THE MARSHALL COUNTY COMMISSION has been discussing
permitting and bonding requirements to conduct timber harvesting
operations. Forest owners and loggers were to meet on June 24 with the
Commission to explain how such requirements will have a negative effect
on timber values and property values in the county.
Phone: (256) 463-5600
S. Marvin Rogers
Oil & Gas Activity in Alabama - Stay Informed
Marvin Rogers is an Alabama
Assistant Attorney General assigned to the
Oil and Gas Board. He is also a Choctaw County forest owner and a
member of AFOA's Board of Directors. While we asked Marvin, today, to give
oil & gas activity report and describe the principal issues faced by
landowners who are contemplating leasing oil or gas rights, we wanted you to
know that the Governor's 2012 budget proposes big cuts to his agency, the
Alabama Oil & Gas Board.
Several times each year, AFOA conducts
brainstorming/ideas/skull sessions with a wide variety of experts from all
across the U.S. During a recent session, one of the experts said that
landowners frequently sign oil and gas contracts that they do not understand
and that haven't been negotiated in their favor. He described a booklet
written by Marvin Rogers that he believed was a "must-read" for landowners
contemplating leasing the right to explore or drill for oil or gas on their
land. That booklet is
A landowner’s guide to oil and gas in Alabama (IS 70A, 2006,
$6.50 + postage & handling), revised in 2003 and again in 2006.
Publications office (open mornings): (205) 247-3636.
Phone: (205) 349-2852
Dr. Donald J. Jonovic
Can Their Problem Be Solved?
Don Jonovic is a specialist
in management succession, business transition, and the management of
privately owned businesses and is a principal in the firm,
Management Services. Each month he writes a column in
Successful Farming magazine entitled Can Their Problem Be
Solved? In Jonovic's
February 2011 column, J.P. from Wisconsin writes, "When I walked out of
my family meeting last week, I seriously considered never going back. I've
calmed down since, but I'm still asking myself if it's worth all the pain of
trying." Jonovic's problem: "How can a new idea be presented to partners so
they're more likely to listen than criticize?"
Kevin G. Meyer
An Online "Book" for OHV Trail Management
Kevin Meyer is Regional Trails Specialist for the
National Park Service,
based in Anchorage, Alaska. He's been working on his new book,
A Comprehensive Framework for Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Management
for several years and we are very proud to introduce you to it and the
author. In his comments, Kevin discusses his Trail Management Framework
and the 10 elements of that framework:
Phone: (907) 644-3575
Dr. Tim Sydor
Sawtimber Market to Improve in 2012-2013?
Tim Sydor is Forest Economist at
Forisk Consulting LLC
and is the firm's lead researcher in the area of stumpage forecasting. His
work was touted in a March 9, 2011 Forisk press release with a headline that
should interest all forest owners and sawmill owners in Alabama:
US South Sawtimber Prices Expected to Recover in 2012-2013.
ATHENS, GEORGIA – March 9, 2011 –
Increasing demand for wood raw materials indicates higher pine stumpage
prices for forest owners and investors. Forisk Consulting forecasts
sawtimber prices for the US South strengthening 4.6% into 2012 and 5.5%
into 2013 as lumber production increases with housing starts.
Forisk Classes, Forisk Blog, and an Essay by Robert King:
Phone: (770) 725-8447
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