Title: Florida forest steward
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 Material Information
Title: Florida forest steward
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Winter 2004
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Bibliographic ID: UF00090040
Volume ID: VID00031
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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The Florida Forest Steward

A Quarterly Newsletter for Florida Landowners and Resource Professionals


Winter 2004


Timber Tax Tips for 2003


Happy 2004! Tax time will be upon us
very soon; so, adhering to first-issue-of-
the-year tradition, we are including some
tax tips to help you through the process
of making sense of your tax forms in
March. The following
is a summary of "Tax
Tips for Forest Tiiiibi Ti\ TI
Landowners for the 0 Nc\ Ljiido\ ii
2003 Tax Year" by SK.\iliip of
Larry Bishop, Forest Nc. S.n'Ilci..
FolK-$1 Plodlul'_
Management and Foiict Piio. I'
Taxation Specialist _lUic01nunc Pio.
with the U.S. Forest
Service. This is
intended to inform you of some of the
things to keep in mind when preparing
your Federal income tax return for the
2003 tax year, particularly if you
incurred any costs, revenues or cost-
share payments associated with
timberland management. This is not
exhaustive and we strongly recommend
consulting other sources for a more
comprehensive treatment of this topic.
Some useful on-line resources are
provided at the end.


Your Basis and Tax Records
Part of the price you receive from a
timber sale is taxable income and part is
your investment, or basis, in the timber
sold. The original cost of purchased
timberland, or the value of inherited
land, should be allocated to land, timber,
and other capital accounts. Then, adjust
the basis in each of the accounts up for


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new purchases or
investments and down
for sales or disposals.
Keep good records,
including a written
management plan, map,
and documents
supporting current
deductions six years
beyond the date the


return is due. The basis and timber
depletion should be reported on IRS
Form T (timber), Part II. Note that Form
T was recently revised be sure to use
the new form.

Passive Loss Rules
Under passive loss rules you can be
classified in 1 of 3 categories: (1)
investor, (2) passive participant in a
trade or business, or (3) active
participant (materially participating) in a


UNIVERSITY OF

LFLORIDA


IFAS


Volume 10, No. 4









trade or business. You are materially
participating if your involvement is
regular, continuous, and substantial.
Generally, active participants get the
best tax treatment of deductible
expenses, but you must show this with
thorough records. Keep records of all
business transactions related to
managing your timber stands and other
business activities such as landowner
meetings. Odometer readings to and
from meetings, canceled checks for
registration fees, and copies of meeting
agendas are some examples of
documentation of meeting attendance.

If you are an active participant in a
timber business you must dispose of
your timber under the provisions of
Section 631 to qualify for capital gains.
This means that timber must be sold on a
pay-as-cut or "cut and convert" basis
rather than lump sum.



Reforestation Tax Credit and
Amortization
The reforestation tax credit and 7-year
amortization is among the best tax
advantages for forest landowners. If you
reforested during 2003 you can claim a
10% investment tax credit for the first
$10,000 spent for reforestation. You can
also deduct (amortize) all of your 2003
reforestation costs, up to $10,000.00,
minus half the tax credit taken, over the
next 8 tax years. You can amortize
reforestation expenses on Form 4562,
but the election to amortize must be
made on a timely tax return for the year
in which the reforestation expenses were
incurred. Passive owners may not be
eligible for this credit and amortization.
Reforestation expenses exceeding
$10,000.00 can be capitalized.


Caution: the credit and 7-year
amortization are subject to recapture if
you dispose of your trees within 5 years
of planting for the credit; and within 10
years of planting for the amortization.

Capital gains and Self-employment
Taxes
You could pay significantly more in
taxes if you report timber sale income as
ordinary income rather than as a capital
gain. Also, capital gains are not subject
to the self-employment tax, as is
ordinary income. The net self-
employment tax rate for 2003 is 15.3%
for self-employed income of $400.00 or
more.

Cost-share Payments
All or part of the cost-share payments
received in 2003 under any of the
Federal or State cost-share programs
must be reported. Here are the options:

1 Include the payments as income and
then recover the part that you pay plus
the cost-share payment through the
amortization and reforestation tax credit
described above.

2 Exclude the excludablee portion"
from income if certain conditions are
met:
a the cost-share program has to be
approved for exclusion by the IRS and
b the maximum amount excludable per
acre is the greater of the present value of
$2.50 per acre or the present value of
10% of the average income per acre for
the past 3 tax years.

Cost-share programs approved for
exclusion by the IRS are the Wetlands
Reserve Program, the Environmental
Quality Incentive Program, and the
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. If









you decide to exclude, you must attach a
statement to your return that states
specifically what cost-share payments
you received, that you choose to exclude
some or all of them, and how you
determined the excludable amount.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
If you planted trees during 2003 under
CRP you must report your annual
payment as ordinary income, but cost-
share payments are now excludable.
Follow the procedures above to
determine the excludablee portion" of
your CRP cost-share payment.

Casualty Losses
A casualty loss must result from an
event that is identifiable, damaging to
the property, and sudden or unexpected
or unusual in nature (e.g., wildfires and
storms). Your claim for casualty losses
cannot exceed the adjusted basis minus
any insurance or other compensation.
Note that the IRS has ruled that losses
resulting from drought or beetles
generally do not qualify for a casualty
loss deduction because they are not
sudden, but they may qualify for a
business- or investment-loss deduction.

Management and Maintenance
Expenses
Your annual expenses for the
management of an existing timber stand
can be itemized during the tax year they
are incurred, although the amounts that
can be deducted depend on your tax
category (investor, active, passive). If it
is not to your advantage to itemize
deductions for 2003 you should
capitalize these expenses.

Proper tax planning is a tedious but
important part of timberland
management. We strongly recommend


contacting a professional tax advisor to
help you with this task if you are
uncertain of the procedures.

Timber Tax Resources on the Internet
"The Forest Landowners Guide to the
Federal Income Tax" (Ag. Handbook
No. 718) provides a thorough overview
of timber taxes. You can access this,
"Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the
2003 Year", and other publications on-
line at the bottom of the Southern
Region Forestry Extension page at
sref info/

See the National Timber Tax Web Site
for a comprehensive treatment of timber
taxes at www. timbertax. org

IRS publications and forms are available
at www.irs.gov.

Florida Landowner Incentive
Program
by Chris Wynn, Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission

Florida is widely recognized as one of
North America's most important
reservoirs of biological diversity.
Species at risk in Florida include 110
vertebrates, 8 invertebrates, and 542
plant species. Key to the conservation of
these species is the recognition that their
well being is largely dependant upon
habitats that currently exist and, in many
cases, are being managed on private
lands.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) is
cooperating with the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service to implement a new
private landowner assistance program
called the Landowner Incentives
Program (LIP). Florida's LIP is a









voluntary program designed to provide
technical and financial support to those
private landowners interested in
improving habitat conditions on their
properties for species at risk. There are
no acreage limitations and any private
(non-governmental) landowner is
eligible to receive up to $20,000 in cost-
shares for approved habitat improvement
practices. Cost-shares require a 50%
non-federal match and are reimbursed
based on established flat rates for each
approved practice.
Applications will be accepted on a
continuous basis; however, applications
will be batched at two-month intervals
for the purpose of evaluation and
ranking. Batched applications will be
evaluated for natural resource value
using Geographic Information System
(GIS) databases available to the FWC.
The resulting natural resource value
score will be used to rank applications.
FWC biologists will assess project needs
on the highest ranked, or priority,
properties first, and will recommend
appropriate qualified practices to
landowners based on the GIS analysis
and site visit.

Landowners will have twelve months to
complete approved practices in
accordance with practice standards. Six-
month extensions may be approved on a
case-by-case basis. Landowners will be
reimbursed for approved practices
completed in accordance with practice
standards following performance
evaluations conducted by a FWC
biologist. To receive reimbursement,
landowners must complete the approved
practice as specified in the practice
standards and submit invoices and/or
documentation supporting total
expenditures for each practice.


For more information on the Landowner
Incentive Program, visit the
Commission's LIP website at
www.wildflorida.org/lip/ or contact
Chris Wynn at 850-488-3831.

Stewardship of Florida's
Cultural Resources
by Brenda Swann, Florida Division of
Historical Resources, Bureau of
Archaeological Research

Florida is home to a rich variety of
cultural resources. They include 12,000
year-old Native American sites, the
remains of early European settlements,
and more recently, Mediterranean
Revival homes and Art Deco buildings.
Although many significant cultural
resources are in public ownership,
private landowners own significantly
more, and thus, are able to preserve
these tangible remains of Florida's past
for the future. The tradition of
stewardship for private property is well
developed in our society, especially
among owners of large tracts.
Landowners have little difficulty
extending their customary care of natural
resources to cultural resources once they
understand where the resources are and
how they can be protected.

What are "Cultural Resources"?
"Cultural Resources" are those resources
that represent a culture or society, either
past or present, and may include
landscapes, structures, and/or
archaeological sites. Typically cultural
resources that are protected are those
from past cultures, such as colonial
European and Native American, because
these cultures are irreplaceable.

Why Protect Cultural Resources on
My Property?









Protecting cultural resources has several
advantages. To begin with, tax benefits
are possible through certain methods of
resource protection. Secondly, cultural
resource protection on private lands may
enhance your community's educational
and recreational resources. Finally,
preservation and protection of the past
provides a legacy for future generations.

Best Management Practices
Taking care of archaeological sites on
private lands is much like caring for
other resources. The basic principles and
techniques have been organized into a
series of best management practices. The
Florida Bureau of Archaeological
Research has produced publications on
best management practices for
landowners. You can order printed
copies online at
dhr. dos. state.fl. us/culturalmgmt/orderform. cfm
or contact the Florida Bureau of
Archaeological Research at (850) 245-
6444.

Stewardship Programs for Cultural
Resources
The Florida Bureau of Archaeological
Research has developed three
stewardship programs to protect and
maintain cultural resources: The Site
Stewardship Agreement, The
Stewardship Volunteer Program, and the
Sitewatch Program. Each of these
programs depends upon the voluntary
cooperation of landowners, private
citizens, non-profit organizations and the
State.
By signing the Florida Site Steward
Agreement, a property owner agrees to
notify the State prior to initiating
activities that may have a negative
impact on the site or to report destructive
acts such as dumping, unauthorized
digging, or environmental degradation.
The Site Stewardship Agreement


includes a statement of commitment by
the State to provide guidance and
technical assistance in site preservation.
The agreement may allow regular site
visits by a state archaeologist for the
purposes of evaluating the site and the
success of the agreement, and to offer
assistance in site management.

The Bureau of Archaeological Research
initiated the Stewardship Volunteer and
Sitewatch Programs for the maintenance
and protection of archaeological sites
and historic buildings designed to
complement the Florida Site
Stewardship Agreement. Volunteers can
be used on any site in need of protection
and care. Stewardship Volunteers have
the opportunity to assist professional
archaeologists in various site
maintenance activities.

Often using Site Stewardship
Volunteers, the Sitewatch Program
establishes individuals or groups as site
monitors. Monitors formally agree to
regularly visit and maintain a site.
Monitors routinely fill out a site
monitoring form to alert the site owner
and the Bureau of Archaeological
Research of site management needs. The
monitors indicate on the form what the
management concern is (looting, tree
fall, trash dumping, etc.), and the form is
then sent to the owner. Typically, the
owner and the site monitors will work
together to maintain the site.

The State's role in the volunteer-based
stewardship programs is to assist
property owners and land managers in
coordinating site volunteers. The Florida
Anthropological Society (FAS) is an
organization made up of non-profit
organizations throughout the state that
raise awareness of archaeology and









archaeological site protection, and its
members are often willing to volunteer
on archaeology projects and serve as site
monitors. For more information on FAS,
visit their Web site at
cyber. acomp. usfedu/-fas/.

Additionally, the Bureau of
Archaeological Research has worked
with landowners to develop conservation
easements (less than fee agreements)
that include language to protect cultural
resources. Types of conservation
easements commonly used to protect
cultural resources include historic
preservation easements and open space
or scenic easements. A conservation
easement offers property owners
flexibility in land management while at
the same time protecting some of
Florida's history. It can also afford
property owners tax benefits.

The most protective measure for private
landowners is outlined under the
provisions of Chapter 267.11, Florida
Statutes, which states that Division of
Historical Resources can designate
archaeological resources on private
property as an Archaeological Landmark
or Landmark Zone to recognize the
significance and increase legal
protection of privately owned
archaeological sites under state law.
Often without a State Archaeological
Landmark or Landmark Zone
designation, an owner's only legal
protection against illegal or unwanted
digging is the trespass law. With State
designation, a permit is required from
the Bureau of Archaeological Research
to legally conduct archaeological
investigations, allowing an owner to take
legal action against non-permitted,
illegal digging. An owner must give
written consent to designate his or her


property as a State Archaeological
Landmark or Landmark Zone. A
designation does not convey ownership
interest.

For more information about Stewardship
Programs for Cultural Resources, visit
the Cultural Resource Protection for
Private Landowners site at
www.flheritage.com/culturalmgmt/ or
contact the Bureau of Archaeological
Research at 850-245-6444.

U.S. Forest Service to Develop
New Strategic Plan for
Marketing Southern Timber

Shifts in global wood markets are
impacting the management and
utilization of the South's forest resource,
which in turn impacts the general
economic and environmental well-being
across the Southern Region. The USDA
Forest Service and Southern Group of
State Foresters have begun a project
focused on developing a strategic action
plan to address these changes,
specifically the need for utilizing and
marketing southern timber resources.
Efforts will include: identifying new and
existing uses for low-value, small
diameter, and otherwise underutilized
trees; identifying alternative markets;
and making recommendations for new
research & development opportunities
for value-added wood utilization across
the 13-State Southern Region.

Tommy Loggins, of the U.S. Forest
Service's Cooperative Forestry office in
Atlanta, is coordinating the project. He
can be reached at 404-347-2451 or
t loggins@hotmail.com.

Timber Price Update










This information is useful for observing
trends over time, but does not
necessarily reflect current conditions at a
particular location. Landowners
considering a timber sale would be wise
to let a consulting forester help them
obtain the best current prices. Note that
price per ton for each product is now
included in parentheses after the price
per cord.

Stumpage price ranges reported across
Florida in the 4th quarter 2003 Timber
Mart-South (TMS) report were $17-
$32/cord ($6-$12/ton) for pine
pulpwood, $58-$83/cord ($21-$3 1/ton)
for pine C-N-S, $79-$115/cord ($30-
$43/ton) for pine sawtimber, and $96-
$125/cord ($36-$47/ton) for pine
plylogs. On average, prices were down
slightly, up, up and down slightly for
these four products, respectively, from
3rd quarter 2003 prices. Hardwood
pulpwood prices ranged from $14-
$35/cord ($5-$12/ton), which was up
slightly from those of the previous
quarter. A more complete summary of
4th quarter 2003 stumpage prices is
available at your County Extension
office. See www.forest2market.com for
weekly, South-wide, per-ton price
updates for the major pine and hardwood
timber products.

Trend Report
Florida's three-month stumpage price
trends reflected those for the southern
region overall, but our average pine C-
N-S prices increased by a much higher
margin than those of the region.
Hardwood pulpwood prices remain at
record highs and above pine pulpwood
across the much of the south.

CCA Officially Phased Out


As of December 31st, producers have
phased out most of the Chromated
Copper Arsenate (CCA) treatment for
lumber. All new decking, fencing and
playset construction will not use CCA
pressure treated wood. Stores can sell
remaining stocks and many
manufacturers have switched to
alternative treatments, which are
sometimes more expensive and have
been rated by some to offer protection
inferior to CCA. This shift will likely
provide South American competitors,
who do not have the ban, with a price
advantage over U.S. exports to the
Caribbean. Also, consumers will incur
additional costs to exterior home
improvements.

Addition to Nursery List

I inadvertently omitted one of our local
nurseries in the last issue of the Steward
(vol. 10, no. 3). Blanton's Longleaf
Container Nursery is a reputable supplier
located in Madison, Florida and can be
reached at 850-973-2967. The Blantons
are also working on having a supply of
wiregrass plugs available for restoration
projects in the future. I apologize for that
omission and thank Blanton's for their
support of Florida's Forest Stewardship
Program. Chris

Upcoming Programs

North Florida Prescribed Fire Council
Meeting, April 21, 2004; State Office
of the Florida Division of Forestry at
3125 Conner Boulevard in Tallahassee:
If you are interested in learning more
about prescribed fire or would like to
become a certified burner you may wish
to attend The North Florida Prescribed
Fire Council's biannual meeting. The
meeting is free and includes lunch but









you must prereregister. To register go to
The North Florida Prescribed Fire
Council's web page at:
flame.fl-dof com/Env/RX/councils/north/

Forest Stewardship Workshop:
Natural Stand Management, 3 dates
and locations:

April 23, 2004; Austin Cary Memorial
Forest (ACMF), Alachua County, meet
at ACMF at 8:00 AM ET; call Chris
Demers at 352-846-2375 to register.
There will be afee to cover lunch and
breaks.


May 14, 2004; Archbold Biological


May 21, 2004; Jackson County
Extension Office in Marianna, meet at
8:00 AM CT; call the Jackson County
Extension Office at 850-482-9620 to
register. There will be afee to cover
lunch and breaks.

A schedule of Forest Stewardship
Program activities for 2004 was mailed
in December and is available for printing
on-line at our Florida Forestry
Information Bulletin Board:
www.sfrc.ufl.edu Extension/ jj l\ bu/ lin

Contact Chris Demers at 352-846-2375
if you need a copy mailed.


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8:00 AM ET; call Penny at
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