According to the Tribune, “Sales of fresh
grass-fed beef soared from $17 million in 2012 to $272
million just four years later.” Although grass-fed
operations operate with limitations like higher costs
and slower production, this might be interesting if
you're a forest owner considering cattle, especially
the lower courts’ decisions stands, the [U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service] could pick any plot of private
land anywhere in the United States, designate it a
“critical habitat” regardless of whether an endangered
species actually lives there and then tell the
landowner exactly how the land is to be used.”
In this helpful video, Reforestation Advisor
Geoffrey Lee Hill shares some great tips on how to
maximize survivability of your seedling investment.
Know a dibble bar from an increment borer. This “Glossary
of Common Forestry Terms” by Dr. David Mercker for
the University of Tennessee extension is a “handy
guide to terminology used in reference to growing and
This extension video project wants input on how to
highlight private forest lands around the nation.
This is your chance to tell the public and other
landowners about the value of private forest land and
private forest ownership to our region and the nation.
You might mention how rare the unfettered right to
manage forestland is in the world and even in major
portions of North America.
Aside from the US Senate race, Limestone, Morgan,
Montgomery, and Baldwin Counties have issues on the
ballot December 12. The deadline to apply for an
absentee ballot is Thursday, December 7, and Monday,
December 11, 2017 is the last day to postmark an
Apply for an absentee ballot here.
Find your polling place here.
As part of forest fire prevention,
Israel may "reintroduce the black goat, also known as
the Syrian goat, into the country’s forests, woodlands
and nature reserves as a way to regulate natural
vegetation...after banning them from grazing there
almost 70 years ago."
Appalachian Forest Farming Coalition … has been busy
creating a variety of video presentations and hosting a
number of workshops this year.” You might start with "What
is forest farming," for an overview. Their
9-video playlist also includes information about
specific crops and interviews with practicing forest
farmers for those interested in forest farming as a
potential revenue stream on their land.
"While clients may see timber as an inflation hedge,
it's also a global growth industry."
This article discusses the two timber Exchange
Traded Funds we report on each month in
the AFOA newsletter (top of the middle column, page
Aerial imagery from satellites, planes, and
GPS & GIS smartphone technology
4-wheel drive pickups
Near universal phone service
Genetically improved seedlings - many sources
Stumpage price services
Hunting land lease services
Timber buyer lists
Landowner educational events
Herbicides for many uses
Online tutorials for everything
Insect monitoring flights
"But one of the benefits of private property rights
is it encourages people to become better informed
about the decisions that affect them directly."
This PERC article examines how the exercise of
eminent domain increases conflict between business
interests, property rights, and conservation.
“At the peak of the season this year, toward the end
of September, brokers paid up to $2.50 per pound of
berries.” Resourceful way to
make money on a native plant you might have on your
According to an update from the
American Forest Foundation,
the draft proposal for tax reform legislation
includes these forest-related provisions:
Maintain deductions for regular forest
Maintain deductions for and amortization of
reforestation expenses after harvest.
Maintain the capital gains treatment of
Reduce the estate tax burden; maintain
stepped-up basis, even with estate tax repeal.
Estate tax exemption levels are doubled from $5.5M
per spouse ($11M total) to $11M per spouse ($22M
total). The estate tax will be fully repealed after
six years. After repeal, the stepped-up basis on
inheritances will be preserved.
“Everybody else is using boxes and bags...” Uh-oh,
what is Amazon up to now? “With these … they’re
gonna rule everything from the refrigerator to the
freezer to the cupboard to the closet.”
“We are selling sawtimber trees for roughly the same
price that we did in the 1980s...We are surviving
like computer manufacturers--by reducing the cost of
The F&W Forestry Report includes third quarter
stumpage reports, news on tax reform and Canadian
softwood, and a look at how tree growers are surviving
in today’s market.
These videos show two more forest careers for those
who love the outdoors: "Tonight I could be out
mist-netting, surveying bats, and tomorrow we might be
putting prescribed burn on the ground," says Allison
Wildlife Biologist with the US Forest Service. "A
forest engineer makes sure things get from Point A to
Point B in a working forest," says
Mary Castle, Forest Engineer.
(10/19/17)"It's either we burn it, or it's going burn on its
own.” In Florida, Parks and Natural Resources crews
a prescribed burn at Tippecanoe Environmental Park.
They cited concerns about extra debris from Irma as one
of the reasons for the burn. Here in Alabama, the
casualties of last year’s drought might be cause for
(10/12/17)Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has devastating
economic effects on deer hunting. The deer hunting
industry results in $1.8 billion in annual revenues for
the State of Alabama. States where CWD occurs have
experienced a 10-40 percent decrease in license sales.
Roughly 5,000 of AFOA’s members lease their land for
measures to keep CWD out of Alabama are important to
many who aren’t hunters themselves.
(10/6/17)Two more forest-related career options for young
people interested in natural resources, working
outdoors, and a job doing something different every day.
The two young men in these videos are foresters, one
working for the government and the other on his own
This article looks at the idea that “the [state and
local] tax deduction redistributes income from people in
low-tax states to people in high-tax states.”
The idea is that between two people in different states
with equal income, one in New York will get a larger
deduction than one in Alabama for state and local taxes
paid, and that this amounts to more money paid by
low-tax states to the federal government.
(9/27/17)Forestry Pilot Dale Hill believes that with
dedication and hard work, anyone can have a career as a
forestry pilot. “We strive hard to take care of the
environment and be good stewards of the land,” he says
this video in the Forestry Works series.
(9/26/17)Tyler Slay is twenty-one and owns his own sustainable
forestry business. He got his start by talking to
loggers, who were glad to help him succeed. If you know
a young person who is interested in an outdoor career
and being their own boss,
this video shows how Tyler got started in the business.
“Landowners’ bottom lines are tied to stewardship
practices that balance land sustainability and economic
viability.” To highlight conservation efforts on
privately owned working lands, the
Property and Environment Research Center (PERC)
collected case studies that highlight “examples of
ranchers, farmers, and timber producers managing their
properties with a conviction for conservation.”
On September 25 at 2 pm EST, the American Forest
Foundation (AFF) Farm Bill Report, a conference call
with AFF CEO Tom Martin, will discuss the Farm Bill and
AFF's plan of action for the reauthorization process.
Dial-in number: 1-866-299-7945 and Participant code:
2594# You can count on the AFF to make sure legislators
hear their point of view,so if you have a
different opinion about the government assistance, call
your U.S. House (202-225-3121) and Senate (202-224-3121)
email via this site, to make sure they hear your
Ridge Distiller has announced its plan to open a
$13.6 million [interactive] distillery in Troy, Alabama.”
You can read an
amusing review of the whiskey here, which mentions
that in 2004, "the Alabama legislature…passed a joint
resolution declaring Conecuh Ridge to be 'Alabama’s
Official State Spirit.'" The articles don’t mention the
barrels for the whiskey, but the new demand should
maintain demand (and prices) for quality white oak
stumpage. Read more about white oak barrels and
listen to our interview with Bob Russell, head of
procurement at the Jack Daniel Stave Mill.
The first topic here is especially important to forest
landowners: “Republican lawmakers are pursuing a
revamp of the corporate and individual tax systems. …
The road to a final legislative tax reform will be
bumpy, and we need to remain engaged to ensure that
forest landowners’ unique needs are protected.” AFOA
does not write letters to legislators; it’s important
that you write these letters to your representatives
and senators to ensure that your voice is heard.
For those who hunt on their land or lease land for
hunting, QDMA offers this suggestion for planting or
updating a food plot: "Clover is relatively easy to
establish, readily available, affordable, and there are
a variety of species to handle most any climate or soil
type. To put it simply, clovers are a very versatile
(9/1/17)Richard Louv, who coined the term “nature deficit
disorder,” has a new book about getting back to nature
as a family:
Vitamin N is a “guidebook for the whole family
and the wider community, including tips not only for
parents eager to share nature with their kids but also
for those seeking nature-smart schools, medical
professionals, and even careers.”
“Average annual net growth for softwood species is
48.7 million tons and for hardwood species it is 18.3
The Forest Resource Report, courtesy of Dan
Chappell, shows that Alabama’s forests continue to
thrive alongside a healthy forest industry. Both timber
land owners and industry leaders might find a great deal
of interest here, such as a breakdown by species of
standing timber inventory in each county.
losses may be significant,” said the Alabama
Forestry Commission (AFC) of the current outbreak of
southern pine beetle. “This summer, we have seen a large
number of trees dying across our state’s pine forests,
and the culprit is southern pine beetle. In
Montgomery County, AFC foresters have aerially detected
over 100 beetle spots.” Landowners are encouraged to
monitor their land for damage and seek the advice of a
consulting forester on the management of this pest.
View the current map of known SPB spots here.
giving the 4-H club a $1.5 million grant to help
teach its 6 million members about computer science.”
The initiative includes lessons designed to emphasize
real-world issues and career applications, such as
“weather modeling for agriculture projects or using an
e-textile application in 4-H sewing clubs.”
Canada-based Irving Consumer Products has announced
plans for a $400 million paper plant in Macon, Georgia.
The plant will produce tissue, toilet paper, and other
paper products, and “plans
to hire 200 at the new complex.”
In Mississippi, “242
suspected southern pine beetle spots were identified on
privately owned forestland during [monitoring]
flights. According to the U.S. Forest Service, more
than 3,500 southern pine beetle infestation spots were
found in the Homochitto, Bienville, Tombigbee and Holly
Springs National Forests.” AFOA would ask whether
there’s something different about national forest
management that could explain a difference of this
"Why would Audubon allow drilling on its own sanctuaries
but oppose it elsewhere?
The answer, in short, is property rights.
Private ownership creates incentives that often lead
to more reasonable outcomes than in the political arena."
A message about the Endangered Species Act to the House
Committee on Natural Resources, from selected
members of Congress: We ask that your Committees work
together to address the numerous regulatory
inefficiencies and statutory roadblocks in the
agriculture community by modernizing the Endangered
Species Act (ESA) and similarly outdated laws and
regulations. These much-needed updates would ease the
stranglehold on farmers and ranchers who often face the
brunt of these job-killing mandates.
Dr. John Auel, Professional Logging Manager Program
discusses best management practices with landowners
at a 2016 County Forestry Association Field Day.
Note: After the introduction, the content begins around
the one minute thirteen seconds mark.
(7/19/17)Federal tax dollars go up in smoke when political
leaders force agencies to
spend more on fighting forest fires than is prudent and
necessary. Wouldn't it be nice if a state's
governor were to say, "We are doing what is sensible and
useful in this circumstance and will not indulge in
political theater for its own sake."
We know many landowners try not to keep their investment
eggs in one basket. As some countries move toward
limiting or eliminating cash,
this source of value could become scarce.
“However, cash is one of the best ways to manage your
privacy, economic strategy, and the risks in your
(7/12/17)The Montevallo community is mourning 74-year-old
pharmacy owner Larry Wayne Smitherman, who was killed in
a bush hog accident July 8.
Shelby County Reporter:
Smitherman’s wife found him
under his bush hog, his tractor still running at a low
idle. “It appears,” Assistant Chief Deputy Shane
Mayfield said, “that a section of garden hose wrapped
around the blades of the bush hog, and he had gotten
under it to try to untangle it.” Mayfield suggested
the hydraulic pressure of the tractor was insufficient
for suspending the bush hog for an extended period of
time, issuing a tragic accident and immense loss to the
Montevallo community when it could hold no longer.
Perhaps we've let things get out of hand: “The CWA
[Clean Waters Act]…gave the federal government the
authority to regulate the obstruction and fill of
navigable waters. The operational term was “navigable
waters” and this meant for vessels engaged in commerce.
… Soon, “navigable” waters and rivers became tributary
streams, creeks, and even irrigation runoff ditches.
Regulatory agencies began to control the use of private
lands and waters that were merely adjacent to navigable
waters, and then ever-farther afield until it had placed
a straightjacket of regulatory control over lands that
only became wet during rainy seasons or following
“In recent years, many states have adopted a
'bright-line' or factor presence nexus standard. This
means companies with property, payroll or sales in a
particular state above certain thresholds are
presumed to have nexus in the state and are therefore
required to file income tax returns and pay tax in that
state.” JamisonMoneyFarmer’s Jennifer
Stripling adds that
the bright-line test would apply to forest land that
generates income in another state. She encourages
landowners with forest land in other states to discuss
the issue with their CPA.
Some sources predict an upcoming lumber supply gap for
2018 based on growth trends and a tight US housing
Chile and Brazil could fill some of the projected
Forest 2 Market notes: “Based on southern
yellow pine lumber capacity throughout the region, a
bulk of the supply gap will likely be filled by sawmills
in the US South in the near term.”
"On June 26th, the
Commerce Department announced a preliminary
determination that exporters from Canada have sold
softwood lumber into the United States at a 4.59 – 7.72
percent discount from fair value." The US will impose
additional duties on Canadian softwood lumber.
"Together the new duty rates can range from 17.4 to
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is
offering “technical and financial assistance to
landowners” for longleaf restoration, focusing on
four main conservation actions: managing competing
vegetation; prescribed fire; planting; and easements.
The Forest Resources Association says the American
Chestnut Foundation is asking anyone working in Southern
forests to be on the lookout for flowering American
chestnuts this year. Though the species dies before
reaching maturity, young stump sprouts can still be
found in the wild.
This article includes instructions for sending genetic
samples to aid efforts to restore this “iconic
timber and wildlife tree.”
(6/20/17)Unsurprisingly, researchers found that communities
are “far better at protecting the forest from fires when
they have formal land rights.”
An El Salvador-based think tank produced the study,
which followed a Guatemala community with the right to
“use, manage, and patrol” a 400,000 hectare nature
This article in
The Progressive Farmer
suggests that tax reform, when passed, could eliminate a
tax deduction for a mortgage on a secondary vacation
home—except on existing mortgages. “Taken at its face
value, this suggests acting sooner rather than later if
you are considering the acquisition of a vacation
(6/15/17)Reintroducing American Chestnuts resistant to the
chestnut blight may be more difficult than most of us
thought it would be. A root rot that affects lowland
poses problems for silviculturists.
Combined, forestry activity contributes $23 billion
annually to Alabama’s economy, accounting for 20
percent of total manufacturing jobs (both direct and
indirect) and 7 percent of the Alabama workforce,
according to the AFA.
"...the Atlanta Federal Reserve recently projected that
the US economy is on track to grow at an annual pace of
4.3 percent in 2Q.
Growth at this rate could play into demand for pulp and
sawtimber in the coming months. The
recently-announced US tariffs on lumber imports from
Canada may also spur demand for sawtimber logs in the US
South. However, even if demand for pine sawtimber
increases as 2017 progresses, there is still an
oversupply of large logs available on the market and
stumpage prices could remain muted.
Online registration is open until June 11 for
Alabama’s annual alligator hunt. "The administrative
fee to apply for an Alligator Possession Tag is $22 and
individuals may register one time per zone.” Note: the
site experienced technical issues that have been
this site for registration instructions or to check
whether your registration was received.
In our neighboring state,
a budget shortfall is forcing the Mississippi
Forestry Commission to cut 75 jobs in a statewide
This case in Texas might be
of interest to those concerned with mineral rights
and the rights of landowners over the land underneath
(6/1/17)This fire resistant tarp protects both your campfire
The Campfire Defender is a "portable tool that can
be used over a live fire, giving your coals hours of
(5/31/17)The University of Maryland Extension will offer a
General Forestry Course for Fall 2017; you can take the
paper or online version of the non-credit course.
“You work from the comfort of your home...You will learn
how to protect your trees from insects, diseases and
fire; step-by-step procedures will walk you through a
forest inventory and stand analysis; and the details of
the forestry business are presented, including tax
nuances and the sale and harvest of forest products.
Register or learn more here. Source:
Wednesday Woodland Word, 5/31/17
Budget Includes Forestry Cuts” declares the National
Association of State Foresters in its weekly newsletter.
But while some forest owners receive state and federal
assistance to manage their forestland, does someone with
100 or more acres of forestland (a considerable asset
the median savings for all US families is just $5,000)
need government assistance for forest management
activities such as tree planting and site preparation?
We suspect government agencies and industry lobbyists
are leading the “government assistance is needed”
parade, not private forest owners.
is investing $50 million to upgrade the paperboard
machine at the company’s mill in Escambia County,
following the completion of a $388 million energy
improvement project that involved two years of
(5/23/17)The forestry industry is a great place to go for
. This is because REITs, real
estate investment trusts, are structured in a way that
requires them to “pay out 90% of their income out to
shareholders via dividends. The net result is that
the dividend yield of the top forest owners is often
more than double that of the average stock in the market.”
Read more about the top five dividend payers in the
One less regulation for anyone who owns a drone for
personal use: "A federal appeals court in Washington on
struck down a Federal Aviation Administration rule
requiring recreational drone owners to register their
devices with the government."
Prescribed burns are valuable for a variety of
reasons, both in the West and here in Alabama. We
suspect the high cost
in this article about a prescribed burn in Arizona--$66
per acre--is the result of federal officials lack of
concern for economics, something private landowners have
to consider more carefully.
"Farmers and forest landowners often have a lot of
questions when they consider how to deal with land as
they begin the estate planning process. Who will
manage the land and pay the taxes? Will children get
along after the death of a parent? How can parents
ensure that farming children have use of the land? ...
Alabama Extension is hosting a workshop to assist
farmers and forest landowners make better informed
choices as they make plans to transfer the family farm
to the next generation."
Check the AFOA calendar to find one of these
workshops near you.
A rather interesting idea from Senator Whatley:
SB399 would ”transfer all functions of the
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to the
Department of Agriculture and Industries, effective
October 1, 2018.”
Appalachian regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI)
is looking to enroll northern Alabama landowners with
reclaimed mine sites in their reforestation program.
If you have a site that might qualify, you can find out
more about the program by contacting Cliff Drouet with
the Office of Surface Mining by phone (303-549-7249) or
Forest Research Note reminds us that many
factors affect the price you can get for the timber on
your land: "Timber prices are not stock prices.
Published stock prices are based entirely on
transactions and the published price applies to all
shares of a given stock. Some published timber prices
are based on transactions, but most are based on
surveys. Because timber is not a uniform commodity,
published timber prices cannot be applied directly to a
timber property, but can provide an indication of the
value of the timber on the property.
Stephan Tomlinson of Growing Assets, LLC, wrote in their
newsletter: "Growing Assets, LLC., has been asked to
administer a cost share program designed to encourage
private landowners in the Cumberland Plateau to plant
shortleaf pine after a harvest. Last year our firm
planted over 1,100 acres for this program and we are
signing up potential candidates for this next planting
season (winter 2018). The cost share will pay half of
the planting and site preparation expenses up to a
maximum of $110/acre and is directed at landowners in
northwest Alabama." If you are interested in this
email or call their office at (256) 383-8990 for
A seminar on the behavior of black-legged ticks
(a species that carries Lyme disease) will be hosted at
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Wednesday,
April 19. Read the abstract below, which has some good
news for the US South.
Abstract: In the northeastern U.S., the key
vector of Lyme disease is the nymphal life-stage of
the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). In
northeastern states there is a very strong
association between the early summer peak in nymphal
host-seeking and the timing of human Lyme disease
onset. A very different pattern is evident, however,
in southeastern states. Despite robust populations
of I. scapularis in some habitats there, few ticks
that bite humans in the Southeast are I. scapularis,
and those few are almost entirely the adult
life-stage. Behavioral experiments suggest that a
major change in nymphal I. scapularis questing
behavior helps explain why human Lyme disease
case reports from southeastern states are currently
two orders of magnitude lower than in the Northeast.
The potential future consequences of southwards
expansion of northern I. scapularis populations will
Does the federal government really need
more land? For reference, the federal government
currently owns 640 million acres of land, roughly 28% of
the country's total acreage. UPDATE:
Read a brief statement from PERC on the need to
reform the LWCF before any new lands are added to
About 250 years ago, New Hampshire citizens rose up
against the British colonial government's punishment of
mill owners who sawed white pine marked for the use of
the Royal Navy. “Despite its scarcity among today’s
narrative of the American Revolution, the Pine Tree Riot
was a locally significant colonial uprising to take
place between the Stamp Act riots and the Boston Tea
Read the full story here.
In the latest
F&W Forestry Report, Marshall Thomas says the
number show housing starts may finally be reaching
the threshold for putting demand pressure on prices.
He cautions that some other factors, such as a large
standing inventory of pine sawtimber and differences in
the size and type of houses being built, might slow a
rebound in prices. “So, maybe in the next quarter or
two, we can celebrate reaching the threshold.
Then, hopefully sometime next year, we can celebrate
some higher sawtimber prices.”
“On Monday, April 3, members of the Alabama Forestry
Commission (AFC) selected Rick Oates as the new State
Forester for Alabama. His appointment was later
confirmed by Gov. Robert Bentley.”
Read more at the AFC website.
The Forest Resources Association is asking for support
for the Future Logging Careers Act, which would “allow
for sixteen and seventeen year olds in mechanized
logging operations to work in the business under
Read more and find out how to support this legislation
at the Florida Forestry Association newsletter.
Joe Mallard talks about long and short term financing
for agriculture and forest industries in
this video from the Mississippi Forestry Association.
“We work with landowners to come up with ways to
purchase property and afford rural investment.” For
Alabama contacts, you can find advertisements for
Alabama Farm Credit and Alabama Ag Credit are on page
three and six, respectively, of the
If you love aviation and the outdoors, some careers let
you do both. The Alabama Forestry Commission has an
aviation unit that spots fires as well as insect
infestations and logging violations.
This video shows a firsthand look at pilot Robert
Trimble in Baldwin County. Likewise, the
Georgia Forestry Commission employs “ten full-time
pilots and about twenty-three part-time pilots.”
compass and pacing can be useful in many different
woodlot activities. A compass indicates the direction
you are headed relative to magnetic north, and pacing is
a simple means of measuring linear distance by walking.
Combining the use of a compass with pacing will help you
as you travel across country or traversing property or
stand boundaries.” H/T:
Wednesday Woodland Word.
You can get firsthand
instruction on pacing and other field skills at Dr.
Becky Barlow’s Forest Measurements for Landowners
workshop at the
AFOA 2017 Annual Meeting.
"We can use our trees and enjoy them too."
This video is a good resource if you need to explain
to friends and acquaintances why good forest management
and forest products don't interfere with wildlife and
The Boy Scout
forestry merit badge booklet and free,
downloadable worksheets can be a useful tool for
getting your young one in the forest and learning,
whether you have a scout or not. “…Scouts will explore
the remarkable complexity of a forest and identify many
species of trees and plants and the roles they play in a
forest’s life cycle. They will also discover some of
the resources forests provide to humans and come to
understand that people have a very large part to play in
sustaining the health of forests.”
Bringing back pork projects is no way to keep
government costs under control. If forest owners may
lose capital gains treatment of timber sale income and
the ability to annually deduct tree planting and other
forest management costs, there is no place in the
federal budget for new pork barrel projects. “Remind
your friends that when the government pays for it, it’s
forestry firms racing to replace paper business lost
to the internet are trying to transform their pulp
mill by-products into glue, biofuel and carbon fiber for
aircraft and wind turbines.” Meanwhile, “as
retail sales [of incontinence products] grow so does
the demand of fluff pulp, a moisture-absorbing fiber
made by such paper companies as International Paper Co.
and Domtar Corp.”
Almost 50% of the wood fiber for pellets came from
sawmill waste and forest residue after logging so
far in 2017, which represents a shift in source
material, according to a news release Wood Resources
International, LLC. However, the energy fairness
PACE reports that Europe could be rethinking their green
energy initiatives: “Meanwhile, after spending $750
billion on subsidies and doubling power bills, the
European Union has decided to quietly step back from its
green energy programs."
Auburn University is offering the Forestry Field Camp
again this summer. “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.”
This is a good learning opportunity for students
interested in natural resource professions as well as
the next generation of forest landowners. Listen to
Dr. Becky Barlow describe the program on
Capital Ideas—Live! in 2015, or learn more and
sign up at the Auburn website.
Economist Dr. Terry Anderson of the Property and
Environment Research Center
suggested in a recent article in
The Wall Street Journal that a 10% excise tax
on outdoor gear should be imposed to pay for public land
access and maintenance. The AFOA sent this response
to Dr. Anderson and the Journal:
landowners already subsidize public land recreation
through our property and income taxes, adding an
excise tax on the gear that is used on private land
would just be adding insult to injury. Thousands of
our members provide outdoor recreation access to
tens of thousands of hunters, campers, hikers,
birdwatchers, ATV enthusiasts and others. We suspect
that most of the gear purchased for these outdoor
activities is never used on public land. Please
rethink your idea and re-propose.”
In his newsletter, Georgia-based consulting forester
Mike Matre presented a side-by-side comparison of
tracts planted with different seedlings and preparations.
He outlines the difference in cost per acre and lists
the differences in his site prep and planting practices
for each tract.
Forest owners need loggers, tree planters, road
builders, and many other "doers" to improve our forests
and harvest timber.
Mike Rowe's message on the value of work and pride
of accomplishment may help your child or grandchild find
their own place on your forest management team.
rights are an effective means for conserving and
recovering endangered species. If someone owns these
animals and sees some gain from their flourishing,
recovery is more likely. But if endangered species are
merely a liability and any economic incentive to protect
them is vigorously opposed, we can’t expect much better
results than the Endangered Species Act’s woeful 2%
The composite southern yellow pine lumber price has
surged since week 4 of 2017. Though there has been
no resolution to the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA),
the price increase is reflective of the larger market
optimism and major stock market indices that have also
soared since President Trump’s inauguration on January
20. Mild winter weather and an early arrival of Spring
in many regions has also prompted inventory building
that is a few weeks ahead of schedule.
“Often, it makes sense to give family members
financial gifts or gifts of property while you are still
This blog post from a Texas law firm outlines an
example of how you can strategically make tax-free gifts
that help your loved ones.
If you know any teachers interested in the
environment and conservation, be sure to let them
know about the annual Alabama Teachers Conservation
Workshop by the Alabama Forestry Association. This
four-day program gives educators of all kinds hands-on
learning, valuable classroom resources, and an in-depth
perspective on the role of forests in the environment.
AFOA is a proud sponsor of this event each year,
including a scholarship to fund one educator’s
attendance, so help us spread the word.
Learn more here, or
Do you know how big an acre is? At the
2017 AFOA Annual Meeting, Alabama Cooperative
Extension Specialist and Auburn University Associate
Becky Barlow will teach landowners key field
skills, such as how to estimate acreage or determine
the wood volume (and by extension the value) of a tree.
The Property and Environment Research Center (PERC)
announced a new program for students: "Enhancing
Environmental Quality through Property Rights and
Markets." PERC will provide a full
scholarship to cover tuition, meals, lodging, and a
stipend of $500 for each student's travel expenses.
A great program for students concerned about the
environment and who would like to explore solving
problems without command and control methods.
Q1 Forisk News is available now, with
highlights including the timber price forecast,
trucking capacity and prices, timber market growth
potential, and a year-end analysis of Forisk’s 2016
We’re glad to announce two more speakers for the
AFOA 2017 Annual Meeting:
Joe Stephenson, a professional registered
landman, will describe how his services can help you
keep a handle on your mineral rights. In addition,
Auburn University Research Engineer James Johnson
will speak about the current and potential future
uses of UAVs (drones) by forest landowners.
Alabama Private Forests, a Discovering
Alabama Production sponsored by the Bradley/Murphy
Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Trust, is
scheduled for statewide broadcast on
Alabama Public Television three times in April: 9 PM
Monday, April 17th, 9 PM Friday, April 21st, and 6 PM
Sunday, April 30th. The
Discovering Alabama host, Dr. Doug Phillips,
will be at the
AFOA 2017 Annual Meeting to introduce a special
showing of this segment of his long-running program.
We're pleased to announce two more speakers for
the 2017 AFOA Annual Meeting:
Joe Clark, Stumpage Forester at
Forest2Market, Inc., will talk about
market realities and finding your niche market,
Gary Lemme, Director of the
Alabama Cooperative Extension System, will present
the newest data about the impact of forestry and
agriculture on Alabama's economy.
A little background on Neil Gorsuch, nominee for
Supreme Court: His mother, Ann Gorsuch Burford, was
the first female head of the EPA. "She became known
for her efforts under Reagan for working to lessen the
clout of the federal government in the area of
environmental regulations, trying instead to devolve
authority and give the states more leeway over their own
We are happy to report all seven Alabama
representatives are members of the
Working Forests Caucus. If you live or have land
in another state,
check this list to see if your representatives are
members. Updating the tax code is one of the goals of
"An estimated 1.17 million housing units were started
in 2016—a nearly 5 percent increase over 2015—making it
the strongest year since 2007. However, there was a
continued divergence in the types of residential
buildings under construction; single-family starts were
up 9.3 percent last year, but multifamily units fell 3.1
Forest2Market analysis also predicts what we
can expect from Millennials and housing.
"A story map developed by U.S. Forest Service
researchers allows users to interactively chart the ebb
and flow of forest products across the southern states...
Southern Forest Products – An Economic Engine
provides a constantly updated guide to southern timber
product outputs and the mills that process them."
Mark Thomas, Certified Wildlife Biologist and
Consulting Forester, will bring humor and expertise as
he leads a discussion on common forest and wildlife
management problems and how a variety of herbicides can
be used to solve them at the
AFOA 2017 Annual Meeting.
"The good news is that with thoughtful planning and
orchestration before the meeting, the family can
participate in effective dialogue together and produce
Ways to keep folks engaged in the family business –
including managing family land – and make family
"The optimal planting window for bareroot seedlings is
late November until mid March and containerized
seedlings can be planted from October until May."
This guide gives detailed tips for improving
planting success. Also available in
Spanish if you work with a planting crew that might
benefit from the guide.
"'If you look at the statistics from the U.S. South,
close to two-thirds of the timber harvest is coming from
small landowners,' said Robert G. Flynn, director,
international timber, for RISI, a forest-products
This NY Times article looks at the risks and returns
of three ways to invest in forests.
a fuel tax may be on the 2017 legislative agenda, we
want to be sure lawmakers know that timber and
agriculture crops locked behind low-weight bridges and
roads are worthless. If we maintain and improve our
major highways, but neglect the maintenance of rural
roads and bridges, there will be nothing to ship on the
highways and Alabama will be poorer for the neglect.
A California sheriff is using a high tech chemical for
ag theft prevention. "The product is made up of
water and solvent-based traceable liquids. Each vial has
a unique chemical code that can be traced back to the
farmer or person who registers it through a database...Once
sprayed on ag equipment, the liquid which is invisible,
odorless, stays on a thief for up to five years without
them noticing and is picked up using an ultra-violet
light." Could this also help with logging equipment
The Alabama Forestry Association invites young
professionals to participate in an exclusive
professional development training program. The AFA
hopes to attract participants across the whole spectrum
of the Alabama forestry community to connect with peers
and mentors, and grow professionally. Anyone
interested should apply as soon as possible to secure a
Application and more details here.
"The possibility for permanent, positive change was
there, but appears to have been “trumped” by the
existing power structure. There will be no 'draining
of the swamp' at Interior." - Frank DuBois on the
Secretary of the Interior appointment.
Bareroot, LLC is pleased to announce that it has
reached an agreement with Weyerhaeuser Company to
purchase four forest seedling nurseries as well as
the Flint River Seed Orchard. These nurseries are
located in Jesup, Georgia, Washington,North Carolina,
Pine Hill, Alabama, and Shubuta, Mississippi."
Senticnel is a
tree-mounted sensor system designed to identify the
location of a forest fire, alert responders, and predict
the path of the fire using modeling software. Though
this system might not be practical yet, we think it’s an
interesting technology with promise for forest
trade-offbetween the benefits of sustainable
energy and the negative impacts of razing swaths of
forest has come up multiple times...in several locations
around the United States." Alabama Power issued a
call for proposals on renewable energy last fall.
Edward (Tony) Hubbard has experience negotiating
solar leases, and will be speaking on April 22 at the
AFOA annual meeting.