Archived 2018 News, Issues & Information
confirm 10 deer in Hardeman and Fayette counties in
Tennessee have CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease).
The easternmost cases fall within 50 miles of Lauderdale
County and Colbert County." This makes
Tennessee the 24th state to verify the disease.
"The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural
increasing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) sampling
surveillance efforts in northwest Alabama."
Keep up with worldwide trends that
may affect US prices with these stories on
international wood markets:
"Unlike consumers of most other wood raw
Christmas tree farmers must compete with the popularity
of artificial Christmas trees in the marketplace."
"Over the past 25 years, Hepatica Falls Tree
Farm in Ohio has seen five timber harvests. But thanks
to the wise stewardship of Koral and Randy Clum, the
land today holds larger trees and more volume growing
than when the couple bought it in 1993."
This Ohio couple who won National Outstanding Tree
Farmer of the Year for 2018.
pallets account for nearly 49% of hardwood lumber
applications,” and 849 million wood pallets were
produced in the U.S. in 2016, up 14% from five years
Coosa County sawmill is doubling its production capacity
through an $18 million project.” The project will
upgrade a Central Alabama Wood Products mill in
Nixburg that produces hardwood crossties.
"There are still a few openings for the
youth trapping workshops offered by the Alabama
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The workshops are free, but registration is required."
Landowners with an interest in managing their land
for quail might find this useful:
USDA multimedia presentation on restoring
the Northern Bobwhite Quail. The website includes
quail calls, interactive maps, and an overview of the
species and restoration efforts.
market for selling timber is not encouraging right now,
but patience is a virtue in any investment.”
A new definition of “waters of the United States” is
being proposed: “Our simpler and clearer definition
would help landowners understand
whether a project on their property will require a
federal permit or not, without spending thousands of
dollars on engineering and legal professionals.”
Below is a correction to an article in
the December issue of Capital Ideas (top left column,
page 3 --
www.afoa.org/CI/2018/12.pdf) about Gift Taxes:
“The annual gift tax exclusion is the amount you may
give away per person, per year, in a tax-free manner.
Gifts given as either lump sum amounts, or as a series
of amounts to the same person throughout the course of
one calendar year, are not subject to the gift tax, if
totals do not exceed $15,000. In 2018, the annual gift
tax exclusion grew by $1000--up from $14,000 in 2017.
“The annual gift tax exclusion figures are applied
individually, based on each gift recipient. For example,
let's say that in 2018, you gave $15,000 in cash to your
daughter, a $15,000 car to your son, a $15,000 diamond
ring to your best friend, and $15,000 worth of stock to
each of your grandkids. In this scenario, none of these
offerings would be federally taxable, since no single
individual received more than the $15,000 limit.”
The Balance, 12/10/18.
decision is a victory for fairness and common sense
and a loss for overreaching federal bureaucrats.”
Alabama’s Attorney General applauds Supreme Court
decision in favor of property rights.
hunters harvested 144 alligators during the 2018 season,
with the heaviest weighing in at 700 pounds." Lower
Alabama landowners and next year's alligator hunters,
take note: "We still only had a few alligators
harvested south of I-10. There are a lot of big
alligators down there that are not being hunted.”
Gene Wengert, known as the Wood Doctor, says
Canadian purchases of southern sawmills
“may lead to additional shortages of lumber used in home
construction in the U.S.,” which would then
reduce housing starts and demand for wood products used
in home remodeling. He says, “anything we can do to
encourage housing starts and remodeling will be an
advantage to our industry.”
Jeff Peters gives
a Southern perspective on wood-based building design
trends: “In this region…more designers [are]
leveraging the aesthetic of heavy timber for commercial
buildings and the economy of wood framing
to achieve quality mid-rise projects at less cost.”
"The Westervelt Company is expanding its
wood products manufacturing business through the
a new facility that will produce Southern yellow pine
lumber." The new mill will be built in
Thomasville, Ala., in Clarke County.
If you're you'd like to learn more about
conducting controlled burns,
start with Prescribed Fire 101, a "free one and a
half hour webinar from the Southern Fire Exchange" and
See the full list of free webinars on prescribed fire
from some of the regional – and national – experts.
The Trucks, Construction, Forestry, and Farm auction
at JM Wood Auction is next week, December 5-6, 2018,
Check out some of the offerings online
first if you’re in the market.
The final word on the dusky gopher frog:
"The federal government can’t designate land as a
habitat for an endangered species on the expectation
that the animals might eventually want to move there,
the Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday,
delivering a victory to property owners."
The ABAC Foundation has purchased approximately 1,000
acres to create the ABAC Teaching Forest. This
forest will be used to increase the experiential
learning opportunities of the students in the forestry
and wildlife management programs. Degrees are offered in
3 tracks: Forestry, Wildlife Management, and
Conservation Law Enforcement.
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC), located
in Tifton, Georgia, focuses on “essential skills and
knowledge that prepare them to be productive
employees immediately upon graduation.”
“Interest in selling agricultural land is
picking up among landowners.” Farmland and
forestland sales aren’t always exactly in tandem, but
trends between the two probably have some connection, so
it's good for forest landowners to keep an eye on these
Alabama Agribusiness Council, AgAlert, Nov.
Although this fun video imagines possible
forestry machines of the future,
tree de-limber in this video is already a reality.
This handy machine might not be practical for
stocking your wood pile, but it would be nice to have on
hand this winter. The Forestry Equipment in Action
Facebook page has this and other videos of forest
equipment, including this
low-tech method of loading logs.
A third deer in Mississippi has tested positive for
chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Outdoor Alabama reports that if CWD spreads to Alabama,
the economics of hunting in Alabama are likely to be
permanently altered. The latest infected deer in
Mississippi was found within 50 miles of the Alabama
Georgia-Pacific celebrated the official start of
production at its newest lumber facility in Talladega,
Alabama. The $100-million, 300,000-square-foot,
technologically advanced plant took nine months to
complete." Good news for forest landowners in the region
with timber to sell.
Congratulations to AFOA members Stan and Suzanne Wood
of Cullman County, “named
the Alabama Tree Farmers of the Year during the Alabama
Landowners Conference Awards Program Oct. 15, 2018.”
Deer gun season opens Saturday, November 17. You can
deer season zone map here.
Even if you're not hunting, be sure to wear safety
orange if you're in the woods during hunting season.
"At MSU (Missouri State University), a
research team is … trying to
breed a better walnut tree with a more consistent
yield that is disease-resistant, has a thinner shell and
a large kernel. They're using DNA technology to
identify the varieties of trees that have the best
qualities.” This isn’t a major species in Alabama,
but still might be of interest to hardwood growers
Two different groups posted their housing starts
projects 2018 housing starts of 1.285 million, up
6.8% from 2017 actuals...” “Because of headwinds
facing both demand and supply,
Forest2Market's current 2020 forecast for housing starts
is 1.259 million units, roughly the same as it is for
2018 and 2019.”
This video uses the kids’ movie
Wreck it Ralph to illustrate the misuse of
and how it works in a colorful way. It
doesn’t happen to forestland often, but it has happened.
An information session on hurricane recovery hosted by
the University of Georgia is available online. The
program focuses on “disaster assistance information from
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies including
the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS), Rural Development (RD),
Risk Management Agency (RMA), and National Agricultural
Statistics Service (NASS).” Resources for both
agricultural and forest producers are covered.
See the AFOA calendar for details on a tax workshop on
casualty loss and income tax deductions on December
“If people start getting pessimistic about
housing … pull back and don’t want to buy, then there
will be a drop in construction jobs and that could be a
seed for another recession,” Yale Economics Professor
and Nobel Laureate Robert J. Shiller said. “We
are overdue for another recession. These things come
with regularity.” Source: Yahoo Finance,
courtesy of the NFIB Small Business Weekly, 11/6/18
rural students can earn full scholarships to trade
schools in their area and can graduate debt-free
with a stable, secure, well-paying skilled job with a
little help and support. ... Our Forestry Works
website is a dedicated sight for students to find
information about careers and further training that may
be needed to reach their goals.
Visit this site for more information.
Tolko Industries (U.S.) Ltd. and Southeastern Timber
Products (STP) announced a joint-venture partnership
in a lumber mill in Ackerman, Mississippi, expanding
an existing facility's capacity from 100 million
board feet to 300 million board feet. Even though
this isn’t Alabama, more regional demand for timber
should be a good thing for Alabama timber growers.
When you find yourself in hole and can’t get out, stop
digging...“Historically low prices for pine stumpage
over the past several years are unlikely to encourage
more conversions to planted pine...”
Get ready to burn: "On November 1, 2018,
the summer burn ban associated with vegetative or
land-clearing burning, as imposed for Baldwin, Mobile,
DeKalb, Montgomery, Etowah, Morgan, Jefferson, Shelby,
Lawrence, Russell, Madison and Talladega counties,
expires." This ban is usually renewed in the spring,
and doesn’t affect prescribed burns, which do still need
a permit. Source: In the South Next Month
“How can we best use [drones] and make us
more productive, get more work done, and better quality
work in the same amount of time?”
This forestry program is exploring how to integrate
drones into their forestry curriculum.
The Quality Deer Management Association sent
its members a letter in support of the state’s plan for
reducing the risk of chronic wasting disease (CWD): “While
some actions may be unpopular, it is QDMA’s professional
opinion that the plan is solidly grounded in the best
available science and represents the most viable
approach to reduce the risk of CWD introduction.”
Read the full letter here.
This map shows the location of the second found case
Here are a couple of perspectives on the
landowners need markets, not a layer of extra costs.
Forest management certification...is often championed as
a solution to this false narrative about the
sustainability of our private forests, but
in many cases certification is a solution
looking for a problem."
US government’s Conservation Reserve subsidy program
started with the best of intentions. …
Unfortunately, the program became a boondoggle where
the farmers who went along with it are now facing a
plunge in prices for their timber crop." The Wall
ran an article on this topic by
the man who invented the program, and who now regrets it.
A second deer has been confirmed with Chronic Wasting
disease (CWD) in Mississippi.
This video is a good summary of the disease, and the
official release from the Mississippi Department of
Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is here. AFOA has
detailed the measures Alabama is taking to
keep CWD out as well as some of the
consequences of the disease to the hunting industry.
surveys conducted by the Alabama Forestry Commission
(AFC) last week indicated approximately 42,357
forested acres were damaged by the storm,” mainly in
Houston County, at a value of nearly $20 million
according to Forest Inventory and Analysis data.
For those facing Hurricane Michael timber losses:
"Timber or landscape trees destroyed by the hurricane,
fire, earthquake, ice, hail, tornado, and other storms
are “casualty losses” that may allow the property owners
to take a deduction on their federal income tax returns.
The key for most cases is to figure out the “adjusted
basis” of the timber." Source:
National Woodlands, Fall 2018
The Wall Street Journal on how many Southern landowners
lost their retirement plans: “A crush of maturing
trees arrived just as U.S. housing markets collapsed in
2007 and 2008, creating a supply imbalance that in some
places has never ended.”
Researchers at the University of Dayton
simulated a midair collision of a drone and an airplane
wing at 238 mph --
this is the result.
The SAF College Guide is a downloadable, sharable
resource for students interested in a career in
forestry or natural resources. "The 2018 guide
includes a listing of all SAF-accredited programs, as
well as 19 institutions describing their programs in
their own words."
"If your property is approximately in the
red or yellow shaded area [of
the map found here], expect some degree of timber
damage. For properties further south and/or closer to
the eye path, expect significant timber damage. The
Alabama Forestry Commission is doing a flyover of
affected areas and is expected to have a report
available by the end of the week. You can address
questions to them about Hurricane Michael at the
following email address:
Threatened species could become endangered one day.
Will their protected habitat be imposed on your land?
33 threatened species in Jefferson County; 24 in
Find out how many protected species are in your home
county, or in the county where you own land, with
this map. Click on the county, then click "Show related
The forest products industry accounts for
percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP,
manufactures over $200 billion in products annually and
employs approximately 950,000 men and women. Via the
American Forestry and Paper Association, check out the
economic impact of the forest products industry
nationwide at the previous link, or
go directly to the economic impact in Alabama.
The comment period on critical habitat designation
for the black pinesnake has been reopened. The
revised rule and associated documents, along with
directions on how to submit comments are available at
http://www.regulations.gov using docket No. FWS–
Further instructions are available here at the FAQ.
Comment by Nov. 13 to voice your feelings about
changes made to the rules about critical habitat
designation, including: “fewer proposed acres are now on
private land and more are on state-owned land.”
you wish to improve your land with ponds, barns, cabins,
country homes, or in the case of the Bromleys, a
barndominium, these are all improvements that we can
"Though experts say biomass should continue
to play a key role in the U.S. renewable power portfolio
for its baseload properties, contributions to forest
management, and other reasons,
a swath of uneconomic biomass power plants across the
U.S.—especially in the West—have been recently idled or
"On per-unit sales (sealed bids in
sales that involved consultants exceeded the
non-consultant sale prices by no less than 11%. …
Not only did the trend hold over time, but it also held
over various tract sizes, with consultant sales bringing
higher total bids on all four separate acreage
categories." This data-driven approach shows the
real value of consulting foresters in timber sales.
new state law … allows counties to collect delinquent
taxes through the auction of liens against the
properties—instead of auctioning the properties
themselves.” We advise everyone to pay taxes
promptly, but this law addresses a process that allowed
investors to profit off landowners who got behind on tax
Based on the response AFOA has received from
members who have shown an interest in acquiring lower
cost health insurance, small business owners aren’t the
only people in the U.S. who are
concerned about health care costs. 84 AFOA members
along with 70 family members have asked the association
to help them find lower cost health insurance. If you
are interested in lower cost health insurance, send AFOA
the following for yourself and each family member who
would be included:
• zip code
United States has returned to the list of the top ten
freest economies in the world
after an absence of many years... Five broad
areas of freedom that the report measures—size of
government, legal system and property rights, monetary
policy, trade openness, and regulation...” AFOA
interviewed Vasquez and O’Grady back in 2004.
Listen to Vasquez on Property Rights, and
O’Grady on Free Markets and this index.
"This book, beautifully illustrated with photos and
filled with useful information, tells
the stories of nine unique forest landowners—how
they got started, their goals, stewardship philosophies,
challenges, and the rich natural and human histories of
the land they tend."
Forest2Market blog asks and answers the
question "How much is an acre of timber worth?"
“What ‘everybody knows’ is not quite correct.”
This issue takes a somewhat light-hearted look at the
growth in demand for paper and paperboard packaging.
Forest Research Notes, Vol. 15, No. 3
What can you do with rabbit? Check out the
Wild Game Cook-off in several locations around the
state. Click the county name for details:
KyKenKee Inc. is investing $28.2 million at its plant in
Vance. "KyKenKee manufactures hardwoods and
Southern Yellow Pine, as well as specialty cut items and
Greenscape products such as wood chips and bark."
LOCAL AMENDMENTS NEED YOUR REVIEW BEFORE NOVEMBER 6.
We scanned each sample ballot on
Secretary of State John Merrill’s website
and found several local ballot measures that may be of
interest to some AFOA members. Source:
Capital Ideas, October 2018, middle
column of page 3
BLOUNT COUNTY voters and
voters will decide whether to form or create fire
districts with dues assessments described in each
local amendment. AFOA has been hearing horror
stories about completely out-of-control fire
districts, some with charges as high as $8 per acre
for undeveloped forestland! Until the laws are
passed that rein in fire district taxing authority,
we would advise landowners to use extreme caution
before approving these districts.
MOBILE COUNTY voters will decide whether to pass
a 6 1/2 mill property tax for roads, bridges, and
ELMORE COUNTY voters will be asked to repeal
“Home Rule” and
CLEBURNE COUNTY voters will be asked to approve
MADISON COUNTY voters will decide whether the
county commission can impose ordinances regulating
excessive noise. We don’t know if the regulations
might include discharge of firearms or operation of
logging equipment, but local voters may want to
check on this before voting yes.
CALHOUN COUNTY voters will decide whether police
and planning jurisdictions should extend outside of
some municipalities into unincorporated areas.
Probably not a big deal for most voters, but a plan
for your land that prevents timber harvests could be
a big negative for you.
Logging has extra challenges out west…In a video,
log truck driver has had enough when a couple of
California ecological protesters climb up on his truck.”
Narrative Gone Wrong: 3 Myths that Reveal the Inaccurate
Story About America's Family Forests
is a just-released, hard-hitting critique of the
U.S. Forest Service's misleading use of information
gathered to describe and understand owners of forestland
in the U.S. Source: Forest Landowners Association.
Alabama market news and things to do at this
time of year from Forest Management Specialists
newsletter, volume 5, issue 3.
Tips on Generating Multiple Incomes From Your Property,
This blogger accompanied the 2018 AFOA Annual Meeting
tour of the Jack Daniels cooperage. For more
information about growing hardwoods,
listen to Drs. David Mercker and Callie Schweitzer,
Managing for Quality White Oaks and Managing for Quality
Hardwoods, at the 2018 AFOA Annual Meeting. There
are 9 video presentations from the meeting available,
free and online.
Although sportsmen and women are a significant
economic force, “The
number of people who participate in sportfishing,
hunting and target shooting represents [ONLY]16.5
percent of the total U.S. population.”
"Getting market value for your timber should be
the primary consideration when making a decision to
Forest2Market guide to selling timber.
has a range of more than 50 miles with six gallons of
gas, and can fly for more than 20 hours.” This
type of working drone will soon be playing a part in the
management of forests in Alabama, I am sure — storm
damage recon, herbicide spraying, planting survival
checks, Southern Pine Beetle monitoring, wildfire
detection and surveillance, and much more.
An electric hunting bike might be useful for more
than just hunters. Read this assessment to see
whether you might find use for one of these in getting
around your forest land.
Mass timber “project, intended as a showcase for mass
timber products in Oregon and the U.S. Pacific
turned into a complicated cautionary tale.”
Two layers of a panel came unglued and crashed down
as a result of a process change that affected the
adhesive. We like the idea of CLT (Cross-Laminated
Timber) and hope the experts take their time and make
“Timber is a unique commodity, in that it is only sold
once or twice in a lifetime. …
By following the eight steps outlined [from
Tennessee Ag Extension], you can ensure a successful
and profitable sale.”
This site has charts and clickable maps that let
users compare forest and forest-related economic data
by state. (Note: ESRI’s Story Maps work best when
opened on a desktop (not ipad or tablet), with a high
speed internet connection, and using Microsoft Edge
Let sleeping fawns lie: "If you find a fawn this
time of year it may appear lost or abandoned, but its
mother’s absence is purposeful … to decrease
attracting predators to the fawn. While the mother is
feeding nearby, the fawn avoids detection by hiding
motionless in a grassy area." If a fawn is found with
serious injuries or confirmed to be orphaned,
contact the nearest wildlife rehabilitator (list
www.outdooralabama.com) permitted to handle deer.
Caterpillar, Inc. announced the proposed sale, to Weiler
Inc., of its purpose-built forestry product line
“consisting of wheel skidders, track feller bunchers,
wheel feller bunchers, knuckleboom loaders, and
related operations facilities including … the
demonstration and training center in Auburn, Alabama.”
American Chestnuts were “fast growing trees [that] were
straight-grained and the wood was rot-resistant. …
By the 1950s, virtually all-mature American chestnuts
had succumbed to the disease.” Several groups are
working to produce a blight resistant tree, and you can
learn more about them close to home at
American Chestnut Foundation’s national meeting
in Huntsville this October.
Read this and be glad your forestland is in Alabama:
“...Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing broad new changes
to California’s logging rules that would allow
landowners to cut [some] larger trees and build
temporary roads [up to 600 feet long] without obtaining
a permit as a way to thin more forests across the state.
The proposal ... is being opposed by more than a
dozen environmental groups.”
prescribed fires in Southeastern forests can help
prevent raging wildfires like those that have
engulfed much of Northern California,' a Clemson
University researcher says."
Auburn University’s new degree program in wildlife
enterprise management is designed so graduates
“hit the ground running with lodges, hunting preserves,
fishing resorts, outdoor experience companies and many
other types” of outdoor careers. Students will earn a
minor in business and take courses in three different
units across campus.
To our dismay, “A surge in lumber prices and modest
increases in sawlog costs have resulted in record
profits for many lumber companies in North America and
Europe in 2018,” reports the
Wood Resource Quarterly.
you’re going on a hunt out of state, you’ve got to be
careful about what you’re bringing back.”
Restrictions on bringing cervid (deer, elk, moose, etc.)
carcasses into Alabama have now been extended to
carcasses from all states and Canada, in order to stop
the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
Remember, preventing CWD in Alabama is important for
landowners as well as hunters. Property values will
probably take a hit as CWD affects interest in deer
A helpful chart for our would-be prescribed burners,
long-range target shooters or hunters, drone pilots, or
others who need a
quick and dirty estimate of wind-speed.
“As it turns out, the time of year a property is
listed or closes can have a big impact on its price.”
Things to consider about when to buy or sell property
When making an offer on rural land, “purchasers often
accept unnecessary risk they later regret, or make
excessive demands that spoil a great purchase
LANDTHINK blog offers points to consider before
"We believe the key to restoring prosperity in Rural
America--and specifically our four-county area--is to
remove barriers by bringing fiber to every home and
business.” Part one focuses getting remote
healthcare to rural Americans via broadband internet.
Read the full description and watch the three-part video
discussion on e-connectivity in rural America.
"McDonald's recently opened its redesigned flagship
store in Chicago and it's dominated by wood and
cross-laminated timber (CLT)."
Read the full story for more pictures of the
interior and details on McDonald’s plan to remodel
locations nationwide with a similar look.
Be sure to scroll through all these
maps of land use in America. Each one tells an
interesting story, culminating with a side-by-side
LASER technology being tested in Israel might stop
crown fires (not common in Alabama), provide escape
routes for trapped fire fighters, or help create fire
breaks. However, it’s no replacement for regular
prescribed burning programs and other management actions
that can be employed but are not used much in the West
(and not near enough in Alabama, for that matter).
may actually be adapted for growing-season fire.”
While the idea has potential liabilities and
difficulties, bow-range burning in September has
interesting potential gains in the right circumstances.
If you lease your land for hunting, this might be
something to start thinking about. To start,
learn more about Alabama burn permits here.
Alabama's 4-H Forestry team placed first among the 15
states that competed in the 39th Annual National 4-H
Forestry Invitational July 29 - August 2 in Weston,
Read the press release here.
Alabama Hunting and Fishing Digest is now online.
Click for information about 2018-2019 hunting seasons,
bag limits, regulations and more. Be sure to check out
the major changes and what you need to know to avoid
getting a ticket (page 6).
like Judy Rhodes, Brenda Valentine, and Georgia
Pellegrini...pioneered the way" for women who
want to hunt and learn more about the outdoors
life. Check out these upcoming events for women who
love the outdoors or want to know more:
If you plan to purchase rural land, “here is
a “to-do” list that will help you find your dream
property at a dream price.”
“Over the last 30 years, [Monty Marengo of
Polson, Montana] has built a business that allows him to
make a comfortable living as a part-time cone broker…On
average, cones fetch between four and six cents each, he
said, though certain varieties [such
as Austrica] are more valuable than others.”
This famous Evergreen, Alabama business gathers,
prepares and sells much more than pine cones for the
Diana Olick reports the price of lumber is climbing,
thanks in part to tariffs on Canadian lumber and that is
prompting some U.S. companies to ramp up production."
webinars from Auburn’s Solon Dixon Forestry Education
Center give practical herbicide treatment
information to help you manage your land.
"As firefighters battled the flames and worked to
protect homes, goats were a key tool in saving one man's
El Dorado County property."
Be sure to watch the full story in the video.
“Announced softwood sawmill capacity increases in the
South total 3.2 BBFT. Alabama, Georgia, and Arkansas
have the largest increases in projected lumber
production. In the past five years, four OSB mills
resumed operations in the South and two greenfield mills
were established.” Included in the increased capacity
are new mills in
Talladega, welcome news for Alabama timber growers.
Source: Forisk News, Q3 2018
"See that line of standing timber in the middle of a
cutover? That's a streamside management zone (SMZ),
and it protects long-term water quality on a property
and everything downstream."
Thanks to Timber Marketing & Management of the Carolinas
for this handy guide to SMZs.
a township law that tells a farmer when to harvest his
corn, or what kind of feed to use to fatten up her
hogs.” What would be unthinkable for edible crop farmers
is not uncommon for those who grow trees. This story is
from Pennsylvania, but it has happened in Alabama as
well. Watch out for local ordinances that could
hinder your ability to harvest and sell your timber.
“The urge to keep up appearances is also driving …
Ineffective wildfire fighting methods are only one
example of how public pressure can steer local policies
away from understanding the whole problem in favor of
flashy, expensive measures (like aerial fire retardant
drops) that may not be right for the situation.
The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has begun
posting the results of their periodic Southern Pine
Beetle Detection Flights to the Internet.
Go to the current beetle report and map here. If
you’d like to receive updates from AFOA when AFC does a
flight in the county where your land is located, make
sure we have your email address and the county in which
you own land in your membership records. Email
RLL@afoa.org to update
The National Woodland Owners Association published their
survey of the top issues facing woodland owners
Read their take on these issues here.
government cancels 758 renewable energy contracts,
says it will save millions." If one government can
make rational decisions, others might not be far behind.
Watch out wood pellet export industry.
Sunbelt Forest Ventures announced a
high tech sawmill coming to Dallas County.
"Wow! [Pine Log] Exports to China from Southern ports
almost doubled in 2017 from the previous three years."
Those are the words of Marshall Thomas, President
of F&W Forestry Services in his latest
Forestry Report, Summer 2018. Read
Marshall's short article on page 1 of the report and
don't miss the graph in the second column. The graph
shows that exports from the Port of Mobile, while small
compared to Savannah and Norfolk, saw huge increases in
Mow down thick brush with a
Brush Blazer walk-behind rotary brush cutter.
Click here to watch a demo video.
For those situations where you can't or don't want to
drive a dozer, back hoe, or skid steer,
radio controlled machine might be just what you need.
Longtime AFOA members
Jon & Carol Gould named Southern Regional
Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year!
Primary Runoff Election Tomorrow! Tuesday July 17, 7
AM to 7 PM.
Sample ballots are on the Secretary of State's website.
While the Alabama Forest Owners' Association does not
endorse candidates for political office, we thought you
might want to know who the Alabama Forestry Association
"He's driving around with my money, my timber and
nobody's doing anything about it."
At least two landowners say an Alabama man cut their
timber and failed to pay before declaring
Nancy Fincher left more detail about her experience in
this review at the BBB. The Alabama Forestry
Commission has helpful
advice on selling timber here, beginning with hiring
a consulting forester who is a licensed/registered
forester in Alabama.
Here is a roster of all licensed/registered foresters in
Alabama -- use this primarily to make sure your
consulting forester is licensed in Alabama -- do not use
the roster to find a consulting forester -- you can
contact AFOA to help you with that.
When you need to share photos and maps of your land
with a contractor, forester, or maybe someone interested
in a hunting lease, you can use online storage, or
“cloud” based services, to more easily share those
files. Most services have a free option for smaller
amounts of online storage space.
One hunting lease advertiser uploaded their images here
for others to see. You can see a
list and comparison of top sites here.
Hoover man was killed Monday after he was pinned under
his tractor at his home.” The article notes that
the man was wearing a safety belt, and his tractor was
equipped with a roll bar.
The second half of a collapsed whiskey distillery came
down this week.
Click to see how 9,000 ruined white oak whiskey barrels
look in a big, messy pile.
“Prescribed fire practitioners should consider the
biology of various wildlife species when wildlife is an
North Alabama landowners might benefit most from this
publication, from Craig Harper at the University of
Tennessee, about prescribed fire and wildlife in the
lower Appalachians, but the species-by-species breakdown
could be useful for all landowners who utilize fire.
"Initiated investors who wish to add timberland to
their retirement portfolio and who are willing to do
the necessary homework can do so successfully via a
For timberland owners with an IRA or thinking about an
IRA, this might be a good option.
Southern Christmas Tree Association’s newsletter
has been uploaded to the AFOA website here. Includes
lots of details about their upcoming Annual Meeting,
August 3-5 in Monroe, Louisiana, as well as other
resources related to growing Christmas trees.
downloadable guide covers the management and restoration
of shortleaf pine, one of the native southern pine
species. To learn more about all aspects of
shortleaf pine, explore the
Shortleaf Pine Initiative website.
Trump's reorganization plan would make significant
changes to the education and agriculture departments.
Removing the food stamps program from the Department of
Agriculture would reduce support for non-essential ag
and forestry subsidy programs, don’t you think?
“The increased capacity from existing mill upgrades and
planned greenfield mills will undoubtedly help to close
the gap between log and lumber prices, but it will
take time to work through the enormous amount of
standing timber volume throughout the US South.
When looking at the entire southern region, there is
unlikely to be any significant upward movement in log
prices in the near term.”
Domtar, a Canadian pulp and paper company that has owned
land in Alabama for many years,
produced this video demonstrating the ways they use
drones in forest management “to save time,
improve efficiencies and help keep its foresters safe.”
“...critical habitat of endangered species is
important,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall
we have an interest not only in environmental protection
but to preserve the rights of landowners."
Protecting private property rights is something we wish
we heard state officials talk about more often.
Forisk Consulting tracks
the top ten timberland owners and managers each year.
On the 2018 list, American Forest Management frequently
advertises in the AFOA newsletter, and F&W Forestry is
frequently quoted on our new page and in the newsletter.
Resource Management Services is also close to home,
based in Birmingham.
We found this extensive guide to recreational trail
design via Wednesday Woodland Word. With clear
instructions, photos, and detailed diagrams, this guide
covers both planning and execution of a trail that fits
This set of videos shows an
inside look at different careers in the wood industry.
If a young person you know might be interested in a
forest products career in Alabama, Ashley Watts can
offer information and guidance. Reach her at
Hunter safety courses like the one described here are
vital for younger hunters, but “Even the most
experienced hunters will learn something new, which will
help them become even better hunters or mentors – and
Check here for Hunter Education courses in Alabama.
This site has
a brief history and overview of the oil and gas
resources found in Alabama. Includes a map of
these resources in the state.
Happy Father's Day! We know
this video is an ad, but it's still a nice tribute
from a grandson to a grandpa.
“It's OK to cut some trees.”
This article on the Sierra Club’s website explains
what foresters know: sensible forest management also
[building] fires, exposed mass timber chars on the
outside, which forms an insulating layer
protecting interior wood from damage.”
This guide from University of Tennessee Extension has a
lot of good information about
what hunters and landowners may want to include in a
lease. Especially helpful are the sample leases
included at the end of the document.
“Individual tree herbicide applications offer forest
landowners a "hands-on" option to reach forest
This publication alerts readers to the many herbicides
labeled for this use and discusses application
technology options.” A helpful backpack sprayer
calibration method is described toward the end of the
"A Corpus Christi man is still
recovering after he was bitten by a rattlesnake,
even after the snake had already been beheaded."
Handle all snakes with care--even dead ones.
great points for landowners to consider when drawing up
a lease agreement that works for both landowner and
hunter. Insurance can cover a landowner's liability
for any hunting related activities. An application
for the use of AFOA’s Hunting Lease Liability Insurance
is online at
the past four years, the Forest Service has been
reviving its traditional tools training methods."
Many of these skills would be valuable to anyone who
owns or spends time in the woods. Source:
Wednesday Woodland Word, 6/6/18
Planning to buy land with borrowed money? Keep an
predictions of rising interest rates, as current
rates may be an opportunity that’s fast going away.
signs indicate national forest lands will face a second
consecutive year of a severe southern pine beetle
outbreak…in Mississippi.” A map of
pine beetle infestation last year shows
significantly more outbreaks on federally owned land.
Mississippi is not alone in this problem of poor federal
forest management. A new
U.S. Forest Service (USFS) report says “forest
mortality exceeded net growth on America’s national
forest timberlands in 2016.”
“…the legal fees that Mrs. Allen would have spent to
have an attorney help with her will were likely
minuscule compared to the legal fees spent by her family”
in taking the case to court.
This Texas case is a reminder to consult an attorney
in order to avoid the expense and bad feelings heirs can
incur with a poorly written will.
ALFA Farmers also released their endorsements for the
upcoming primaries, available here.
This research program clones trees that appear to be
naturally resistant to the emerald ash borer, the
invasive beetle that has recently been found in Alabama
of detected EAB activity). “Maybe most importantly,
Koch says the cloned trees appear to be even more
resistant to the ash borer.”
These videos from North Carolina extension are a good
starting point to
learn how to estimate the volume of wood on your land.
These could also be excellent real-life math skills for
the younger generation, too.
“Wood use is not a choice, it is essential to our
survival.” The circumstances in Michigan aren’t
exactly the same as here, but
this article that debunks common misconceptions about
might be useful to Alabama forest owners as well.
Members of the forestry community might be interested in
seeing who the Alabama Forestry Association endorses
for the upcoming primary elections.
See the full list of AFA endorsements here.
The county-specific measures below will be on June 5
ballots, and can be found on both Democrat and
Sample Ballots for the specific counties listed on the
Secretary of State’s website.
County voters will vote on 11.5 mills of property
taxes that will be in effect for 27 years. That’s
equivalent to $31.05 per $100 of assessed value of
the taxable property for the life of these taxes.
Clair County voters will decide whether to establish
a Davis Lake Volunteer Fire Department and levy a
$150 per year tax on each residence or commercial
building in the district. Based on serious
complaints AFOA has received related to huge
out-of-control fire dues collections on undeveloped
forestland from several other fire districts, AFOA
urges voters to be cautious before voting yes on
County voters will decide whether to allow a $60 per
year tax (per parcel, per building, ???) to fund
Fire District 21. We have reservations similar to
those described above for St. Clair County.
County voters will decide whether to repeal “The
Alabama Limited Self-Governance Act.” Since we’ve
heard strong criticisms of the way this law has been
applied in other counties, we urge voters to learn
more about the reasons this measure is on the local
County voters will decide whether to allocate
one-fourth of an existing 1 cent sales tax for
public schools for purposes of providing matching
money for road improvements (ATRIP). We don’t know
which roads or bridges the county plans to repair,
so forest owners may want to check with the county
engineer before voting.
Are you prepared for the primary election on June 5?
Enter your street address (email address not needed) at
the Ballotpedia website to see the candidates on the
ballot in your district for the upcoming primary so you
can be an informed voter.
told investors he was buying rights to cut timber
cheaply and then selling them for higher prices to
sawmills.” Forest landowners weren’t necessarily
involved in this timber fraud scheme, but it’s good
to be aware of things that happen involving the forest
industry—even if it’s imaginary timber.
Canadian companies Conifex and Blue Wolf Capital
plans to acquire two mills in southeastern US.
This map from Forisk Consulting shows a large area
in north Alabama with an oversupply of timber for the
available sawmills, but according to Forisk’s
Timber Price Forecast, the US still needs to import
lumber to keep up with demand.
A proposed farm bill amendment would restrict the
definition of wetlands. “Scalia wrote that the
Clean Water Act should protect only relatively permanent
waters and wetlands with a continuous surface water
connection to them.” We all like having clean water,
but maybe some rules have gotten out of hand.
GOP food stamp changes would shuffle the deck chairs,
but the CBO finds that the reduction in government
dependence would be relatively tiny.” This
free-market group says the proposed bill would expand
the government safety net for wealthy farm households,
too. "Most subsidies go to farm households that have
much greater income and wealth than non-farm
In Rhode Island,
groups are battling over proposed restrictions on
clearcutting forestland to build solar facilities.
As more companies seek to lease private land for
solar farms, it’s worthwhile for Alabama landowners to
follow these disputes and exercise caution.
pipeline companies have long-enjoyed the power of
eminent domain. The Fifth Amendment to the US
Constitution states “nor shall private property be taken
for public use, without just compensation.” Alabama
landowners should be interested in the way Texas
landowners are looking to challenge companies that
invoke eminent domain when it doesn’t serve the public.
simple tick bite, left untreated, can result in full
body paralysis, and even death." And don't
forget Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and
the increasingly common
alpha-gal syndrome, which leaves you with a red meat
allergy. Read more about
tick bite prevention here. Update:
Another case of tick paralysis in June put the
spotlight on this uncommon condition.
first and biggest cross-laminated timber (CLT)
manufacturing plant in the eastern U.S." is nearly
up and running in Dothan, Ala. The plant should be
100 percent operational by September…and will use
southern pine lumber to construct the panels."
Fields-Johnson uses agroforestry on his 300-acre
loblolly pine forest in Scottsville, VA. … To
help keep invasives in check, he employs 30 Katahdin
hair sheep. Each year trees are harvested for
profit, and additional trees are planted. The trees help
keep the sheep out of the summer sun while they munch on
demand from the forest products industry helps protect
forestland from its greatest, irreversible threat:
urbanization. … Planted stands, which are some of the
most productive, have been the least likely to succumb
to the pressures of conversion." Thanks to the
Wednesday Woodland Word for pointing us to this
“On May 1, 2018, summer “burn bans” for the outdoor
burning of land-cleared vegetation commence in the
following Alabama counties: Baldwin, Mobile, DeKalb,
Montgomery, Etowah, Morgan, Jefferson*, Shelby,
Lawrence, Russell, Madison and Talladega. This ban lasts
until October 31, 2018.” (Source: In the South Next
Month, May 2018.) This shouldn’t affect you unless
you’re burning slash piles, but be prepared with
a burn permit from the Forestry Commission in case
local enforcement officials question your right to
conduct a prescribed burn.
This forest service satellite imaging program will
show latitude and longitude of a point on a map with
one click. Google maps also shows coordinates when
you right click. We can think of lots of uses for this
the morel mushroom season in Alabama for 2018, but
if anyone in northern Alabama would be willing to host
and lead a morel hunt next year, please let us know.
“A building material that is sustainable and durable,
quick to erect, quiet to work with, and could, one day,
ensure the future of Ireland’s bioeconomy. Surely
there’s something in this timber revolution that we can
learn from?” This article outlines
why builders in Ireland should consider a return to wood
construction, cross-laminated timber (CLT) in
This map of Chronic Wasting Disease spells trouble
for the future of deer hunting.
Learn more about the CWD threat to Alabama hunters and
landowners at AFOA’s Annual Meeting with a
session led by Keith Gauldin, Chief of Wildlife Section,
Alabama Div. of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries.
"John Frank Deese can’t think of much he loves more than
the smell of fresh-cut lumber and the roar of a sawmill
ripping through trees destined for a second life." This
video from ALFA and the accompanying
article shows working with wood can be more than
just a living.
A new movie,
Little Pink House, details an infamous Supreme
Court case in which “the court ruled, 5-4, that
property owners can be stripped of their land whenever
the government decides that a wealthier owner would put
it to more lucrative use.” It could be a little pink
house or 40 acres of your forestland; this is an issue
important to forest owners.
The Foundation for Economic Education posted its annual
list of “18 examples of the spectacularly wrong
predictions made around 1970,” when Earth Day was
"It is extremely important to hire a professional
forester to conduct a timber inventory if you plan to
sell your timber or timberland, if you need to know the
estimated value for tax or financial planning purposes,
or if you are planning to purchase forestland.” But
if you just want to know your timber's value, you can
learn how to cruise your own timber.
This article explains the process, and for
in-person, hands-on guidance, we’ll have
two presentations on this topic for landowners at the
2018 AFOA Annual Meeting.
Corp. announced today that it has approved a
capacity expansion at its manufacturing facility in
Mobile to support K-C Professional’s continued bath
tissue category growth in North America."
A Vermont bill intended to protect loggers and working
forests “establishes a 'rebuttable presumption'
that logging is not a nuisance, meaning that a
logging or forestry operation can only be found to be a
nuisance if it is negligent or violates state or federal
law.” Alabama foresters and loggers could also benefit
from this kind of common-sense legislation.
Don’t count out paper yet. “Magazine ads that
change color at the push of a button, inserts that
collect solar power to charge a cell phone, a car ad
that actually checks your pulse while making it race ...
It's all possible, in the new world of high-tech,
interactive print marketing.”
Watch this video to see paper marketing materials do
things you’ve never seen before.
Legacy, Your Land" videos from the American Forest
Foundation cover estate planning topics for
landowners, from family meetings to conservation
easements. Note; these were produced before tax law
changes of 2017, so talk over any changes based on this
series with your tax professional.
The next time you’re done washing your hands in a public
maybe make your next stop the paper towel dispenser.
"Over the past several days, at least three Alabama
the Shelby County Reporter] have warned that
President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs could come at
a significant cost to their businesses."
“Tree growers may gain some optimism for the future
based on several recent announcements of plans for
greenfield mills to expand lumber production in the
South.” Good news on the horizon for demand, first
quarter stumpage prices, and a tree planting report in
the latest F&W Forestry Report.
think it also has to do with Millennials being ready to
settle down. Then they take a look at interest rates
going up and see money is not getting cheaper and they
are ready to start looking. ... It’s clear the
foundation of home ownership desire hasn’t changed in
measures are the only way to avoid being bitten by ticks
and acquiring an infection.” Auburn tick
researcher explains why ticks are cause for caution and
how you can be safe.
This report “reinforces the potential of active forest
management to generate more value for landowners,”
with a reminder that “...forest investments can endure
large swings in management costs and volumes or prices
of lower grade products; however, the financial
returns of forest management are highly sensitive to
discount rates, realized sawtimber volumes, and
Westervelt Co. announced plans to build a new mill in
South Alabama, which will complement the
company’s Moundville facility, one of the largest
Southern Yellow Pine facilities in the country.
If you’re looking for an Alabama-based company for a
structure on your property, we read about this
alafarmnews.com in the March 2018 magazine:
Brock’s Log Cabins come in kits that someone handy can
put together, or the company’s crews can handle
person writing a will must take great care to ensure
their wishes are spelled out clearly, completely,
and in accordance with the law of interpretation.”
Vague wording in a will (or no will at all) could divide
your property and your family. Be sure your
intentions for your property are legally protected.
This map of federal land ownership demonstrates
why people in western states view the federal government
so differently from those of us in the east.
“As a small land owner, I have had to deal with free
roamers for years. They damage my property and the
environment.” An AFOA member wrote this in a letter
Men’s Journal to express displeasure with their
feature of a recent book that encourages trespassing.
Thanks to our members for speaking up for property
investment portfolio can also grow under the calming
shade of trees … [A flexible] operating backdrop
makes timber stocks and ETFs sturdy investments even in
a market crash.” Capital Ideas quotes prices for the
timber ETFs CUT & WOOD each month (top,
middle column, page 2).
Just when we thought the kudzu bug had come to rescue
Auburn researchers are now trying to kill the kudzu bug.
"A bill that would erase
Dunwoody and Sandy Springs’ [Georgia] restrictions
on wood-frame apartments awaits Gov. Nathan Deal’s
signature .... Both cities have codes that require
certain large buildings, especially multi-family housing
over three stories tall, to be built of concrete and
steel rather than wood…"
have been anxious to actually receive lumber that was
ordered many weeks ago. For their part, sawmills
have been doing their best to work through the
backorders to get new lumber out the door."
This new fire-proof shed was made with the idea that
having a completely safe place to leave valuable or
cherished items can save time and money for those in the
path of a fire. Forest landowners might find a use
for a structure like this. .
"Trade of softwood lumber reached an all-time-high in
2017 as demand for wood was strong in most key
markets around the world. An estimated 126 million m3 of
softwood lumber was shipped from forest-rich countries
such as Canada, Russia, Sweden and Finland to markets
with high consumption of lumber, including China, the
US, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany. Since the
global recession in 2008, international trade of lumber
has gone up by as much as 50%. With the economy
forecasted to stay healthy in the US and Europe in 2018,
this might be another good year for lumber exporters."
Resource Quarterly, March 2018
growing hardwoods like white oak, don't miss the
first two speakers on the agenda at the 2018 Annual
agenda and register here.
Mexico is a battleground in the fight over once public
waterways…” With as many rivers as there are in
Alabama, our members might be interested in this
question of property rights and waterways.
the clear-cuts green up after controlled burns, they
attract turkeys like a magnet."
Connecticut-based company Mohegan Renewable Energy
reopen the Crossville pellet plant that was formerly
Lee Energy Solutions. AFOA may remember touring this
plant during the 2014 Annual Meeting.
“The current industry retirement wave continues, and
the job market for recent forestry graduates who want to
work with FRA member companies is probably better than
it has been in the last 40 years.”
More reasons why forestry careers are a solid option
for young family members who love the outdoors or might
even be interested in managing the family land some day.
"The Supreme Court announced Monday that it would hear
arguments in [a case that] could potentially overturn
part of a previous ruling that critics have attacked as
making it much harder for property owners to protect
their rights in federal court." This scenario might
seem unlikely for Alabama, but for more reading see
our interview with Dr. Robert Tufts and
Progressive Farmer story about old cemeteries
on private property.
“...fresh clear-cut was a prime nesting spot. ...
The gobblers will always follow the hens to their
nesting grounds.” Landowners don't need to fear
that cutting timber will interfere with hunting.
"When making forestland management decisions,
landowners are often concerned with the cost of forestry
This report summarizes the results of a 2016 survey to
examine the costs of forestry practices across the
southeastern United States."
"Forests in the United States have been growing for
about 50 years. Today, more than 90% of US paper
comes from high-yield forests planted specifically to be
So printing that email won’t hurt our forests. In
fact, many states are eyeing a return to paper for
A survey of millennials found that the majority of
respondents “considered paper as more official, trusted,
and safer and more secure as compared to digital
"CWD is fatal to all deer that contract it,"
although reduced defenses against infections and
predators might kill them before the disease takes its
This article seeks to clear up some common
misconceptions about Chronic Wasting Disease and its
danger to the deer population and hunting industry.
Chuck Sykes, Director of the Alabama Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) Wildlife and
Freshwater Fisheries Division, says: "We have been
testing an average of 400 deer per year since 2002.
There are no known CWD cases in Alabama as of today."
"...after California's worst fire season on record,
policymakers appear set to make the same decisions that
put homeowners at risk in the first place."
Perhaps there are some similarities to the way people
rebuild in hurricane-prone areas.
“I’m always thinking in terms of generations.”
Interesting article about the youngest son of the von
Trapp family from the musical The Sound of Music,
who was a forester before returning to manage the family
property in Vermont.
We’ve seen bamboo promoted in the past, but so far
it hasn’t saved the world. Landowners and county
officials should be very cautious before investing money
or land in bamboo projects.
"Using drones, foresters can now quickly check for
infestations. What used to be a half day’s work is now
accomplished in 20 minutes." This article outlines
various ways one forest products company uses drone
technology for forestry tasks.
Demand for pine sawtimber will increase in Pike
Rex Lumber Co. will break ground on a $110 million
lumber manufacturing facility later this month.
“[Rex Lumber] is among the 10 largest softwood lumber
producers in the United States, according to the state's
Department of Commerce.”
Officials identified the victim of an ATV accident in
Cullman County over the weekend. We are saddened by
the tragedy for this family and reminded that
recreational forest activities can carry risk, so
safety measures are important for all forest landowners
“Six new southern pine
sawmills started up production in the South in 2017 and
early 2018. Along with seven mill expansions and
upgrades planned for 2018 and 2019, there are three
other new sawmills planned … The combined total
investment associated with these projects exceeds $1.3
billion and could create an estimated 1,400 new jobs
across the South."
in the European industrial pellet market is decelerating
as fewer coal units remain to be converted to wood
pellets … Like the European countries that facilitated
the first round of wood pellet development, Japan and
Korea have some key characteristics that make them
attractive markets for wood pellets."
"Alabama is known as a low tax state, but are we the
lowest? Not even close."
See how Alabama stacks up among its neighboring
Succession planning is hard.
Expectations can be a killer.
The “Real” Family Dinner Table.
Values and purpose make a wonderful life.
Click here to see how these video clips relate to
planning for the next generation in the family business.
The Alabama Farmer’s Federation has released a
list of endorsements for the June 5, 2018 primary
election. AFOA does not endorse candidates
itself, but if you know of another organization with
endorsements in the interest of landowners, please let
us know at
A white-tailed deer collected on January 25, 2018, in
Issaquena County [Mississippi] has tested
positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). See our
past news items
last October and in
July of 2016 for more information.
On Feb. 12, the Trump administration released its
2019 budget proposal for changes to make to the federal
Here is a breakdown of his proposed cuts and changes.
Landowners might consider thinning their pine plantation
to “improve the economic rate of return from their
planted pines, to improve wildlife habitat, or to
protect the health of their pines.”
Here are 10 things landowners should know before
undertaking this step.
Policy positions from the
Forest Landowners Association: "A series of
policy priorities to foster a strong business
environment and balanced regulatory climate for the
benefit of the families who own and manage forestland."
"While there has been some increase in the use of fire
in woodlands in the last decade …
there are many more millions of acres that need
burning and are not getting it." Ted DeVos, who
penned this article, has been a
frequent speaker at AFOA events. We don’t want to
see Alabama with
the problems facing California. At the least, be
sure to leave a significant buffer if you build a house
in a forested area.
While the idea of deducting actual casualty losses
following natural disasters (hurricanes, tornados,
fires, etc.) instead of our basis, might make forest
owners happy, would it be inappropriate for a small
special interest group to ask for a special carve-out of
tax law while constantly urging Congress and the
President to keep a tight rein on spending?
Read the full text of
International Paper announced "plans to invest $552.7
million in its Riverdale Mill in Dallas County ...
The additional investment just announced will allow
the mill to convert a line making uncoated freesheet, or
copy paper, to [high grade packaging materials]."
"While this example by no means gives an absolute
valuation to pine plantation management, it does make
the case that
current improvements in pine genetics and operational
techniques have maintained a level of financial
performance despite long-term, downward stumpage
price trends." Note that this example assumes
professional forest management at every stage on a scale
not available to every private forest owner.
buyers are buying more logs directly from log exporters,
bypassing the U.S. sawmills. …The species they want
are red oak, white oak, hickory and cherry."
Come to AFOA Annual Meeting April 27-28 to learn how
to grow hardwoods.
"We’re trying to get it to the next generation, or
the next two generations, intact with the smallest
amount of tax pain that we could possibly have.”
Forest owners, ranchers, and farmers are often in the
same boat when it comes to
passing land down intact to the next generation.
The IKEA Group “has purchased approximately 25,000
acres in Lowndes County, according
to an announcement from the company….The purchase is
part of a "broader strategy to invest in the sustainable
production of resources that IKEA Group consumes
directly," the company said.”
These bills may be of interest to our members,
especially those who live in rural areas of the state.
Look up the complete text of bills here. Reported to
us by Alabama Agribusiness Council:
increases the number of years a state income tax credit
is given for doctors and dentists who reside and
practice in rural areas. Goes to House.
SB61-Dial- allows the taking of whitetail deer
and feral swine by means of bait. In Committee (AC&F)
HB 242- clarifies the existing sales tax
exemption for agricultural products would apply when a
farmer cultivates and harvests an agricultural product
on leased or rented land. The bill would exempt the
gross receipts from the sale of pine straw products and
the produce would be exempt from the state sales tax.
“Young people today are more likely to develop an
interest in [logging] by seeing it. ... Mechanized
logging is an exciting industry.”
This video aimed at high schoolers shows what a logging
career can look like.
In St. Clair County, voters rejected a 5 mil property
tax increase on January 30. Of the four St.
Clair school districts, only Leeds voted to approve a 3
A simple search on this
Webinar Portal for Forestry and Natural Resources
turns up several forest-related programs of interest
This report from Oregon on stream temperatures
suggests that we might need more research on
Streamside Management Zones in Alabama.
Current recommendations for logging around streams
might be more aggressive than are actually needed.
A man in North Carolina captured this image of
an unusual means of death for a deer, a reminder
that life and death struggles happen in our own forests.
This video from ArborGen gives some good
tips for planting loblolly and slash pine seedlings.
The Supreme Court will hear the dusky gopher frog case,
a serious problem with far reaching implications.
"The State of Alabama has abundant natural resources and
forests in addition to a diverse agricultural industry…The
results of this study show that the removal or
diminishment of agriculture production, forestry, and
related industries would have a negative impact on a
wide variety of industries across the State of Alabama.
We knew about the softwood lumber dispute but hadn’t
this trade dispute involving newsprint.
"Global sawlog prices were higher throughout the
world in the 3Q/17 and are likely to continue upward
because of strong demand for lumber in key markets …
With the outlook for continued strong demand for lumber
in key markets and higher consumption of sawlogs, it is
likely that the price index will continue upward in the
coming quarters. For the complete report, visit the
“Too much is at stake for you to sell timber without
an understanding of the markets and of the quality and
quantity of your timber.” Remember this is from
North Carolina, so there may be some differences, but
this timber selling guide is a good start to
understanding the process. - Source:
Wednesday Woodland Word, 1/17/18.
The Alabama Forest Owners’ Association frequently refers
members to consulting foresters. If you would like to
know more about the profession how they can help you,
check out this article.
Two stories in this quarter’s
F&W Forestry Report may be useful/of interest:
Canadian Sawmill Investments Make U.S. South the
Leader in Lumber Production in North America (p. 7),
and Tax Bill Has More Positives than Negatives for
Forest Landowners (p.5)
The Alabama state legislature is back in session. “Of
note to forestry is SB131, sponsored by Senator Trip
Pittman (R-Montrose) which redistributes 20% of the
forest severance tax from the Alabama Forestry
Commission to the State’s General Fund. Pittman’s
bill will be taken up in the Senate’s Finance & Taxation
General Fund Appropriations committee (which Pittman
chairs) on next Wednesday.” The fuel tax will likely be
taken up again after the midterm elections.
See the AFA’s complete brief on the issue of fuel tax
Firehawks “have been seen carrying smouldering or
flaming sticks in their beaks or talons to
spread the fire to where prey may be sheltering.”
Although fire can be an important forest management
tool, we don't want to see these raptors as an invasive
Scientists will be field testing poison baits as
feral hog control in central Alabama beginning in summer
Read more about the program here.
of the state’s largest solar energy facilities,
built in partnership with Alabama Power, is up and
running in Chambers County.” Tony Hubbard’s presentation
Power: Opportunities and Pitfalls,” given at the
AFOA annual meeting, has key information for forest
landowners to consider about potential solar power
If you grow or are interested in growing Christmas
trees, you might be interested to know that you can
insurance designed specifically for Christmas tree
For members interested in forestry and stock
investments—Raymond James offers an industry update
heading into the new year. You can
view the full report here, but some key points from
the summary include:
Upgrading Potlatch to Outperform from Market Perform
our price targets for Rayonier and CatchMark
Introducing initial 2019 estimates
Incorporating the new tax law into our estimates for
Weyerhaeuser and Potlatch
“At a cost of $1.6 to $2.9 billion in 2016 (including
syndicated and non-syndicated deals),
conservation easements rank among the largest federal
environmental and land management programs in the budget.”
For comparison, this program costs nearly as much as
the entire National Park Service, but benefits only a
The Black Warrior waterdog, or “mudpuppy”, is now a
federally protected species. Critical habitat for
the species will include “five tributaries within
the Black Warrior River Basin have been designated
critical habitat: Sipsey Fork (Lawrence and Winston
Counties); Locust Fork (Blount, Etowah, Jefferson, and
Marshall Counties); Blackwater Creek (Walker and Winston
Counties); and Yellow Creek (Tuscaloosa County). …The
designation will also have no impact on private
landowners taking actions on their land that do not
require federal funding or permits.”
"We want people to understand that harvesting trees
is a good thing.”
This great video profiles John and Ann Boutwell,
owners of Cedar Creek tree farm in Butler County.
This explanation of the new tax bill was sent by an
AFOA member who said: "Sen. Susan Collins' awesome
defense of her tax cut vote. She hits this out of
the park..most of the time I am NOT one of her fans."