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JULY 2011 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on July 20, 2011.

to Listen to the
This conference is in .mp3 format, which is compatible with Windows Media Player and most other media devices.

Hayes D. Brown   Alabama Forest Owners' Association

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.


Richard Louv

Hear Conference


The Nature Principle

Rich Louv takes ideas we've all had and puts them into words that we can remember. He coined the phrase nature deficit disorder when he published Last Child in the Woods (who hasn't heard an uncle or family friend say, "That kid needs to get outdoors more."?). AFOA liked the book so much, we bought and distributed more than 100 copies to public libraries all across Alabama. Now Louv has written a new book, The Nature Principle: "Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv identifies seven basic concepts that can help us reshape our lives. By tapping into the restorative powers of nature, we can boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds." Richard Louv's message won't be a surprise to you, but his written ideas may help you follow-through on actions you've already known you should be taking. Details here to purchase audio or hardcover. $15.02 hardcover, $25.16 audio at

Phone: (858) 530-0591


Peter J. Stewart

Hear Conference


Property Price Trends: Up? Down?

Pete Stewart wrote an article on property price trends at his forest2market blog. He asked himself and his readers, "Are $350 per Acre Timberland Prices around the Corner?", and then followed up the essay with a reader poll. We are sure you will enjoy reading the article. More than 500 readers responded to the poll. "Some bristled, thinking that I was leading the market on a downward spiral by suggesting the market should be lower than it is. Others were very thoughtful and completed their own analysis before answering the poll. And still others provided their local experiences. The poll participants were asked to what level did they believe timberland prices would return: 1977 prices ($500 per acre); 1990 prices ($350 per acre); 1995 prices ($700 per acre); 1998 prices ($1,000 per acre); 2006 levels ($1,500 per acre) or current levels ($1,350 per acre)."

Phone: (704) 540-1440


Dr. Anwar Hussain

Hear Conference


Hunters' Willingness to Pay

Anwar Hussain is an Economist and Research Associate at Auburn University's Forest Policy Center. For the past several years he has studied hunters and the ways they pick places to hunt. From a Forest Science article abstract (see link below): "Incremental median willingness-to-pay ranged from $0.56 to $6.40 per acre, depending on alternative hunting access options, hunter perception of crowding on public lands, availability of game species on leased lands, and duration of the lease agreement. This result suggested that Mississippi landowners who currently allow hunting access may be able to enhance lease-related total gross annual financial returns...if they improved management of their lands or modified their lease agreements consistent with hunters’ genuine concerns."
     Anwar tells us there are four major factors that influence lease prices. They are 1) location relative to hunter's residence, 2) lease size, 3) lease duration (1 year, 2 years, etc.), and 4) game diversity. There isn't much a landowner can do about location and lease size without buying more land, but you can change the duration or length of your lease, say from "1 year" to "1 year with an option to renew for an additional year," or some such variation. You can also make wildlife habitat improvements that will increase game quantity and diversity. Anwar reminded us studies have shown that improving wildlife habitat, while improving lease prices, may also have a positive impact on the future sale price of a property.

Suggested Reading:

Phone: (334) 844-8088


Ray Clifton

Hear Conference


Forest Roads, Water Quality, Regulations

Ray Clifton is the Director of the Alabama Loggers Council and was referred to AFOA when we were searching for someone to tell us how a lawsuit in Oregon might cause a huge increase in red tape and expenses related to harvesting timber on our Alabama land. To prevent this from happening, legislation [S-1369, HR-2541] has been introduced in Washington, DC, to "affirm the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulation of forestry as a nonpoint source under the Clean Water Act (CWA)."  We quote from a National Alliance of Forest Owners' press release dated July 14, 2011:

     "The legislation corrects a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision that struck down EPA's Clean Water Act regulation for forest roads. The decision reversed an Oregon court's ruling that stormwater control systems for forest roads do not need point source permits in addition to meeting existing CWA requirements. The EPA's regulation defines forestry activities and roads as nonpoint sources that are regulated by states through Best Management Practices (BMPs) rather than through permits required for confined industrial sites.
     "David P. Tenny, President and CEO of NAFO, 'For 35 years the EPA has contended that the most effective way to regulate forestry activities under the Clean Water Act is to treat them as nonpoint sources of water pollution. We agree –three decades of experience demonstrates that forestry is a minor contributor to water quality decline and is best covered by state regulations and guidelines. Today, Congress took the first steps to affirm EPA's correct interpretation of the Clean Water Act.
     "'If the legislation isn't enacted, the Ninth Circuit decision will add job-killing costs and invite litigation to rural areas hardest hit by the economic downturn without corresponding environmental benefit. Overlaying a CWA permit requirement onto forestry activities will push more private forests into non-forest uses with greater impacts on water quality. The resulting loss of jobs and forests undermines the goal of preserving working landscapes that support rural families, wildlife habitat, clean water and recreation opportunities across the country.
     "'We urge Congress and the Administration to work together to enact this legislation as soon as possible to restore regulatory stability preserve the jobs that keep private forests working for America.'
     "The legislation [S-1368] is being led by Senators Wyden (D-OR), Crapo (R-ID), Risch (R-ID), and Begich (D-AK) and Reps. Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3), Schrader (D-OR-5), Walden (R-OR-2), McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5), Pingree (D-ME-1), and Michaud (D-ME-2)."

You may want to contact your senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask whomever answers to ask your Senators to co-sponsor, support, and vote to pass the Wyden/Crapo Bill - S 1369 - which codifies the Silvicultural Exemption, in response to the 9th Circuit decision to make forest roads a point source of pollution.

Suggested Reading:

Phone: (334) 265-8733 ext 130


Dr. W. Alfred Dozier, Jr.

Hear Conference


Chestnut Varieties for Deer & Turkey

Billy Dozier is a Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Auburn University. We recently received an AU press release headlined, Wildlife-Attracting Chinese Chestnuts Hit Market This Fall. From the press release: The cultivars "are prolific, highly adaptable, blight-resistant trees that grow quickly and produce large crops year after year. Plus, they need little to no maintenance."
     "'They’re easy to grow,' Dozier says. 'We don’t use and never have used fungicides or insecticides on any of our chestnut trees, and through all these decades, we haven’t found a disease or pest yet that bothers them.'" After you read the press release, visit The Wildlife Group webpage for purchasing information.

Phone: (334) 844-3027


Dr. Finto Antony

Hear Conference


Fertilization's Effects on Growth and Wood Properties

Finto Antony is an Assistant Research Scientist at the School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia. Dr. Antony is the lead author on a paper recently published in the Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, 8/11, entitled, Effect of Fertilization on Growth and Wood Properties of Thinned and Unthinned Midrotation Loblolly Pine Stands. Most of us probably aren't too interested in forest fertilization, tree planting, or any other kind of activity that costs money -- not while we are still wondering if our forest and other investments will be worth anything in a world teetering on a second-dip recession. BUT just in case you want to add to your forestry knowledge-base, check out Fertilizing Pine Plantations: A County Agents' Guide for Making Fertilization Recommendations. Since fertilizing trees has been done and will be done, maybe by you, we thought it would be good to hear from an expert, like Dr. Antony, what effect fertilization has on the tree growth and wood properties.

Heavy Lifting:

Phone: (706) 542-7587


Mark J. Hainds

Hear Conference


Year of the Pig

Mark Hainds is Research Coordinator for the Longleaf Alliance. That's how we have always categorized Mark. We frequently call on him for advice related to longleaf pines -- when to plant, how deep to plant, where can I get seedlings, and so forth. But from now on we will see him in another light. He is now an author and an expert on pigs! From page 6 of The University of Alabama Press, fall 2011:

     Year of the Pig is a personal account of one avid hunter’s pursuit of wild pigs in eleven American states. Mark Hainds tied his mission to the Chinese calendar’s Year of the Pig in 2007 and journeyed through longleaf forests, cypress swamps, and wiliwili forests in search of his prey. He used a range of weapons—blackpowder rifle, bow and arrow, knife, and high-powered rifle—and various methods to stalk his quarry through titi, saw palmetto, privet hedge, and blue palm.
     Introduced pig populations have wreaked havoc on ecosystems the world over. Nonnative to the Western Hemisphere, pigs originally arrived in the southeast with de Soto’s entrada and in the Hawaiian Archipelago on the outriggers of South Pacific islanders. In America feral hogs are considered pests and invaders because of their omnivorous diet and rooting habits that destroy both fragile native species and agricultural cropland.
      Appealing to hunters and adventure readers for its sheer entertainment, Year of the Pig will also be valuable to farmers, land managers, and environmentalists for its broad information and perspective on the topic.

Buy the book from any of the following book sellers -- selling now at slightly reduced pre-publication prices:

Mark tells us that the book debut party will be September 1st at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center. The debut is listed in the University of Alabama Press website "Author Appearances" section.

Phone: (334) 427-1029


Kenneth A. Kuhn

Hear Conference


Forestland Property Taxes Paid versus Value Received

Ken Kuhn attracted our attention when we read his letter to the editor of The Birmingham News, 4/27/11:

     Taxes are a very emotional issue, and the concept of fair taxation for most people is that somebody else pays. Kimble Forrister of Alabama Arise played on this emotion in his piece "Resetting our outmoded taxes" (Viewpoints, Sunday), which is another in a long series of the tired, outmoded, one-sided debate concerning so-called regressive taxes The News publishes repeatedly.
     The issue is not whether the middle and lower classes pay too much tax, but how much should they be subsidized. This truth is emotionally unacceptable. Presentation as victims is emotionally appealing.
     Years ago, I was inspired by such claims to examine the issue, and the result of that study is available at A complete accounting without emotion or crafty omissions puts the myth of regressive taxes to rest.

We read Ken's 18 page paper on unfair taxation and zeroed in on "There has been a big case made for radically increasing the property tax in Alabama..." (page 12) and "The value/taxes ratio..." (page 16), but we hope you read the whole paper. He will provide a different perspective on taxes then you are used to reading in our daily newspapers.

In mid-June we were surprised to read the following on the website of the World Resources Institute (5th bullet): With respect to fiscal impacts, research shows that while current use valuation programs may cause a short-term loss of revenue, preserving these lands can actually result in positive, long-term fiscal benefits. This is because the cost of providing community services and public infrastructure on lands converted to residential use often exceeds the property tax revenues generated. Making counties more aware of this fact can help overcome reluctance to offer current use valuation.

When right wing libertarians and left wing environmental groups seem to be in agreement, it might be worth reading twice. See also Columnist Bonnie Erbe's comments.


Phone: (205) 733-6900




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