CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
This Conference was recorded on March 18, 2015.
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.
Dr. Salem G. Saloom
Proposed Merger of Alabama Forestry Commission and Alabama Dept. of
Agriculture and Industries
Salem Saloom is an
Award Winning Tree Farmer in Conecuh County, a
Commissioner of the Alabama Forestry Commission, and a retired
First, some background. About a year
Senator Arthur Orr sponsored a bill in the Alabama Senate that would
have merged the Alabama Forestry Commission into the Alabama Department of
Agriculture and Industries (See
AFOA News Page, 3/11/14). The bill, SB411 failed in 2014. At the time we
couldn't see any particular efficiencies that the bill would bring about,
and, like many others, questioned the rationale behind the merger. In early
January 2015 we heard rumors that Senator Orr would again sponsor a merger
bill, but repeated emails and phone calls to the senator went unanswered.
Then on March 10, 2015, the Senator introduced
Senate Bill 203, a bill
that would eliminate the Alabama Forestry Commission and move all of its
personnel and assets into the Alabama Department of Agriculture and
Industries (to be renamed the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and
Consumer Services). Earlier this year we wrote to an AFOA member: We
"...can't see how the merger will save any money, since all parts of the
Commission will be retained. Like the law enforcement merger, it seems that
forestry interests will be shortchanged with an AFC/Ag & Industries merger."
asked Salem to help us understand the potential effects of the proposed
merger. His response included questions as well as answers:
- What are the benefits to forestry by
placing the state forestry agency under the Department of Agriculture?
- What are the benefits to forest
landowners of placing the state forestry agency under the Department of
- Will the passage of this bill make it
easier or more difficult for the state forestry agency and their
volunteer fire department partners to protect my forestland from
- What efficiencies will passage of this
- What money savings will there be with
passage of this bill?
Click here for Alabama Senate and House contact Information
Phone: (251) 867-6464
High Demand for White Oak Staves
Bob Russell is
Head of Wood Procurement for
Jack Daniel Stave
Mill, Brown-Forman Cooperage. Today we asked Bob to describe the
cooperage business, its staying power as a user of white oak logs, and
Stave Wood in the News: At
Frank Miller, Quartersawn Hardwood, we read: "The cost of the quartersawn White Oak barrel as a factor in the selling price of a bottle of
Bourbon is insignificant. This allows the stave producers to consistently
outbid Quartersawn mills for logs. No one is predicting how high log costs
will go in the coming weeks, months and years, but expect to see price
increases for lumber and flooring on a regular basis. Maintaining timber
sustainability remains a primary goal for the hardwood industry. This
foretells of a continuing battle for a resource whose volume is constrained."
FarmWorldOnLine, we read: "According to the Kentucky Distillers Assoc.,
1.2 million barrels of bourbon were produced in the state in 2013." In
January 2015, AFOA talked to sawmill wood buyer in Knoxville, Tennessee, who
said that stave logs had recently sold for as much as $3,000 per thousand board
feet (mbf) - a very high price, indeed. To put $3,000/mbf in perspective,
Timber Mart-South reported that pine sawtimber stumpage in Alabama sold
for about $188/mbf during the 4th quarter of 2014. The wood buyer may have
been exaggerating, but everyone agrees that stave logs are selling at a very
From Paul C. Varga, Chairman & CEO of
Brown-Forman, 2014 Annual Report:
"In fiscal 2014, the company’s
underlying net sales grew over 6% (4% as reported), five percentage
points ahead of the 1% growth rate we estimate for our global
competitive set on the same measure. Similarly, Brown-Forman’s
underlying operating income growth of 11% (8% as reported) significantly
exceeded our estimate of our competitive set’s growth of 2%. While we
have a solid track record of producing results that have generally
exceeded our well-performing industry, the degree of outperformance in
fiscal 2014 is the most dramatic I’ve observed in many years. Let me
share some thoughts on what I believe underpinned Brown-Forman’s
performance edge in fiscal 2014."
More background information:
Phone: (931) 980-4313
Dr. Daniel C. Dey
Regenerating & Growing White Oak
Dan Dey is Project Leader and Research Forester
for the USDA Forest
Service, Northern Research Station His research lab is located at the
University of Missouri - Columbia. Since the whiskey barrel business may be
around for a while, we thought it might be useful to ask an expert how to
regenerate and grow white oak trees. Dan Dey came to us highly recommended
as an expert in the ecology and silviculture of
white oak. Dan is concerned that many forest landowners harvest their oak
timber without preparing for the next generation - oak re-generation,
that is. "The key to sustaining white oak at current levels of stocking is
to have large white oak advance reproduction in place when you harvest to
release it so it can grow into the overstory." After the timber harvest,
the advance reproduction needs a little help. Competing vegetation may
need to be controlled with herbicides or mechanical means or burning. Oaks
need to dominate the other vegetation if they are to survive and thrive,
which could mean repeated efforts to control the competition.
We also asked Dan about the
Fire in Eastern
Oak Forests Conference that will take place in Tuscaloosa on May 27-29.
He said, "Oaks historically have a long relationship with fire, for
thousands of years, and recently we have been learning about how to use fire
to favor oak species in managing forest, woodland and savanna communities.
The conference has two days of talks where noted authorities will present
the latest know-how on using fire in oak management. Speakers include
scientists and managers. There is also a field trip day where you can either
learn about longleaf pine or upland hardwood management."
Phone: (573) 875-5341 ext. 225
Dr. Rebecca J. Barlow
High School Forestry Field Camp at Auburn
Becky Barlow is an
Cooperative Extension System Specialist and
Associate Professor at the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife
Sciences. Becky is also Lead Faculty Advisor for the second
annual High School Forestry Field Camp at Auburn University.
Forestry Field Camp: July 5-10, 2015
Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) and
Auburn School of Forestry
and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) are offering Forestry Field Camp in 2015!
Alabama has a wealth of forest related natural resources. It is the third
most forested US state – two out of every three acres in Alabama is
forested! This hands-on camp will give students an opportunity to get
outdoors and learn about forestry in Alabama and the importance of forestry
field measurements in making forest management decisions.
Taught by ACES and SFWS forestry professionals, Forestry Camp is open to
high school students ages 15-18. Students will learn how to take forest tree
measurements, sample forests for inventory information and use a
professional grade GPS for a geocaching adventure around Auburn's campus.
Camp will conclude with a fun forestry conclave activity where students have
the opportunity to compete in technical events such as compass and pacing,
and tree diameter and height estimation to showcase their newly acquired
Students will experience campus-life while residing in Auburn's resident
dormitories, eating at campus dining facilities, and enjoying evening social
and recreational activities. Camp participants will have 24/7 counselor
Tuition is $635 per person and covers all instruction, housing, meals,
transportation fees, and recreational activities. Enrollment will be limited
to 25 students so register early.
Letters to AFOA from satisfied parents:
"My 16 yr old son attended the Forestry
Camp at Auburn University this past week and very much enjoyed it. He
said that he learned a great deal and is excited about using his
knowledge. We highly recommend this camp. I learned about the camp in
the [AFOA] monthly newsletter and wanted to let you know that it was
well conducted and highly informative."
"My 15 year old son attended the forestry camp and he strongly endorsed
it. He said the instructors were "quality" as were the facilities. He
learned a lot and had a great time. He enjoyed the small class size and
they learned a lot of practical information. Becky Barlow and John Kush
are to be commended for making this 'long talked about' idea a reality."
COMPLETE CAMP INFORMATION:
Phone: (334) 844-1019
LandGlide App - Names of Property Owners Across USA
Joe Harwood is
Principal and Partner at
Real Estate Portal USA,
LLC, based in Cleveland, Ohio. While attending the Alabama
Agribusiness Legislative Reception last week, an AFOA member reported that
he had found a great iPhone App that gives him the names of landowners as he
drives through the countryside. "LandGlide
is better than that App you wrote about in Capital Ideas newsletter."
A quick visit to the App Store and LandGlide was up and running. Within
two or three minutes we had located several tracts of timberland (including
property lines) and found the names of all the neighbors. We called Real
Estate Portal USA and talked to Joe Harwood about LandGlide and he said they
are improving the data access everyday. Joe also told us about
a desktop version of LandGlide that overlays property maps and owner
names on Google Earth. LandGlide is a bit pricey at $9.99 per month, but for
some users it will be well worth it. The good news is LandGlide is available
for a 30-day free trial, so everyone can take it for a test ride, with no
Phone: (216) 712-7779
Dr. Brooks Mendell
Most Commonly Used Forest Management Practices
Brooks Mendell leads
Forisk Consulting LLC's
research and forecasting program. During a recent email exchange with
Brooks, we learned that Forisk has been conducting biannual surveys
(2012 and 2014) of forest management practices across the South. The results
have been published as Forest Resource Association (FRA) Technical Releases
(see links to 2012 & 2014 reports below). Before you read those technical
reports, however, we recommend you meet Aunt Fanny.
“You’ve got yourself an overstocked
stand of loblolly pine trees,” I said.
“What does that mean?” she asked.
“You have too many trees,” I said. “Your forest needs a thinning.”
Forest Finance: Aunt Fanny Thins Her Forest
FRA Technical Reports:
Upcoming Forisk Class:
Market Analysis in Atlanta, Georgia, August 4, 2015
Phone: (770) 725-8447
Joseph W. Eiland
Direct Seeding Loblolly Pine
Joe Eiland owns and manages
Eiland Forestry & Real Estate,
a forest management and real estate sales firm located just outside
Birmingham, Alabama. A few weeks ago, Joe called the Alabama Forest Owners'
Association office to offer 4 pounds of treated, stratified loblolly pine
seed to anyone who would use the seeds. If the seed is spread on recently
logged (scarified) or burned areas, 4 pounds would be enough to regenerate
about 10 acres. While direct seeding isn't commonly used, it offers an
inexpensive method of regenerating a clearcut or burned area if the seedbed
is properly prepared such that the seeds will fall on bare mineral soil.
Treated, stratified loblolly seed can be purchased from
Louisiana Forest Seed
Company, Inc. or Southern Seed Company (firstname.lastname@example.org)
for $50 to $55 per pound, 1 pound minimum order. Orders should be placed at
least 30 days ahead of sowing to allow time for stratification. The best
time to sow loblolly is about the end of February through March -- "once the
threat of frost has passed."
For Further Study:
Phone: (205) 655-0191
Dr. Cathryn H. Greenberg
The Many Benefits of Young Forests
Katie Greenberg is a
Research Ecologist with the
Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management Research Work Unit, a part of the
Southern Research Station, within the
USDA Forest Service. Forest owners who want to encourage a wide
variety of wildlife on their land should pay close attention to Dr.
Greenberg's work. In
Young Forests Can Benefit Wildlife by Caroline Ketcham, we read:
“Diverse habitat structures lead to a diversity of wildlife,” said
Greenberg. “If your forest consists of only mature habitat, then you won’t
get species that require early successional habitats. If it’s only early
successional habitats, then species that favor mature forest won’t thrive
If the goal is to create biodiversity, then having a wide variety of
habitats for species to live in is key. The best strategy for biodiversity
may be “if you build it, they will come.” Instead of targeting each
individual species for protection, create a diverse landscapes with
different habitats for a diversity of species, and the rest will follow.
In many forests, including some national forests, the amount of young forest
habitat has declined over the past several decades. Several factors,
including fire suppression, reduced timber harvesting and agriculture have
reduced the availability of early successional habitats.
The good news is that, with help from scientists like Katie Greenberg, we
are learning more and more about the benefits of young forest habitat and
how we can create more of it.
For Further Reading:
Sustaining Young Forest Communities: Ecology and Management of Early
Successional Habitats in the Central Hardwood Region, USA by
Greenberg, Collins, Thompson, and McNab.
Phone: (828) 667-5261 ext. 118
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