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
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090040
Volume ID: VID00034
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


Charlie, Frances, Ivan and
Jeanne Oh My! Timber
Salvage and Tax Tips
Jarek Nowak, Alan Long, Chris Demers,
Rick Williams, Jib Davidson and John
Holzaepfel

Just when we thought we had been
through it all, another hurricane was just
around the bend. We have been getting
a lot of phone calls
and emails from In this issue:
landowners looking
for answers to some Post-Hurrican
important questions Tax Tips
Highlights of
associated with the Mag t
Management
recent hurricane Timber Price
season and timber Upcoming Pr
impacts. While the
damage to Florida's
timberlands is still being assessed, we do
know that many landowners throughout
Florida are faced with difficult decisions
on how to deal with their damaged or
destroyed timber. The following
information is from an extension
publication that the UF-IFAS natural
resource extension team is putting
together to provide guidance to
forestland owners for assessing severe


M'I
DIS^ ION


storm damage, handling salvage
operations and timber sales, minimizing
potential impacts of other disasters after
the storm, dealing with financial issues
such as income tax casualty losses, and
altering management plans.

First Assess Your Damage

The first critical step for planning
salvage harvests or handling tax losses is
to determine the extent
and type of damage
er Salvage and across your property.
Note on your property
Stand aerial photo or map
ops where the major
pockets of damage are.
Take pictures to show
the actual property
damage before any cleanup or salvage
operations begin. The extent of tree
damage and location, and average tree
diameter might influence your salvage
decisions. The major tree damage
categories that should be noted are:

1. Uprooted hardwoods or pines.
2. Broken tops or major stems with less
than four main live limbs left on the
tree.


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3. Four or more main live limbs left on
the tree.
4. Severely bent pines.
5. Major wounds, more than 2 inches
deep and/or over 1 square foot in
size.

For both hardwoods and pines, if trees
are reasonably vertical and have at least
four main live limbs remaining on the
tree (category 3) they will probably
survive, although growth will likely be
reduced until the crown redevelops.
They can be retained for removal in a
future thinning or final harvest. Trees
which are bent, broken (with three or
fewer live limbs), or splintered
(categories 2 and 4) probably have
internal wood damage and may not be
suitable for lumber or plywood but could
be used for pulp or particleboard.
Uprooted (category 1) and leaning trees
are more likely to have undamaged
wood and will be most suitable for
lumber if harvested within 4 to 6 weeks,
before blue stain fungi discolor the wood
or wood borers get into the wood. If
major wounds (category 5) are
extensive, wood borers, bark beetles and
decay may be a problem soon and the
trees should be harvested as soon as
possible. Damaged timber that will be
salvaged for lumber or plywood should
be harvested within 3 months of the
storm.

Roads and Infrastructure

Part of the damage assessment should
focus on roads, fence lines, gates, stream
crossings and any other structures on the
property. If they are damaged you
should note what needs to be done to
maintain or repair them. Timber brokers
and dealers may fix your roads for no
cost or for low cost if there is enough


timber to make it worth their time. You
must have enough access to support
80,000 pound log trucks and the
accompanying logging equipment.
Again, photographs may prove very
helpful for documenting expenditures
and repairs.

Promptly Salvage the Stand

If you determine that a salvage harvest is
necessary, plan that harvest as soon as
possible to best utilize the timber and
redeem its value rather than let it go to
waste and attract insects. The available
salvage period varies according to the
expected product but would not usually
exceed 60-90 days. Salvage for
pulpwood can go up to 6 months
although the wood will be dry and prices
probably very low. Landowners are
advised to call a timber dealer, broker or
consulting forester as soon as possible as
time is of the essence.

Timber salvage operations are more time
consuming than regular harvesting,
therefore the prices paid for the damaged
timber will be lower than standing
stumpage timber prices. From a logging
point of view, it takes two to three times
as long to salvage one load of timber as
it does to harvest a regular load of
timber. As production time increases so
does logging cost.

When you salvage your timber, be sure
to get a written contract to protect the
residual trees and your forest land.
Identify what type of trees are to be
salvaged such as broken, downed or bent
and what trees are to be left on the site.
Also, the contract should identify what
the logger can do should the area
become too wet for logging. You do not
want to create unnecessary ruts on your









land during any harvesting operation.
Finally, determine how you will be paid
for the salvaged timber and include this
information in the contract.

Timber Casualty Loss Deductions

If you have trees that have blown over,
had tops severed, trunks split or other
damage which stopped growth or
resulted in tree death, you may be
eligible to file for casualty loss
deductions for income tax purposes.
Casualty loss is dependant on whether
you experience a taxable loss or gain
when you sell the salvaged timber. To
qualify as a casualty deduction, a timber
loss must be caused by natural or other
external factors acting in a sudden,
unexpected and unusual manner. A
sudden event is one that is swift, not
gradual or progressive. An unexpected
event is one that is ordinarily
unanticipated and one that you do not
intend. Hurricanes should fit most of
those IRS definitions.

If your timber is destroyed, your
deductible loss is the allowable basis in
the timber destroyed less any insurance
or other compensation received. You
must make a bona fide attempt to
salvage the damaged timber and keep
records of your attempt to do so. To
claim a loss deduction, the "single
identifiable object" damaged or
destroyed must be identified. For timber,
this identification is expressed in terms
of the specific units of volume destroyed
such as board feet, cords, cubic feet, etc.

Unfortunately most timber casualty
losses are limited to the adjusted basis
of the timber. The general rule is that
the amount of deductible loss is the
lesser of the decrease in the fair
market value of the timber or the


adjusted basis (minus any income
received from a salvage operation
and/or any insurance proceeds). Part
of the casualty loss deduction
depends on how the timber is held,
the type of property and how it is
used, the timber's age and
merchantability and other nontimber
asset income and expenses that will
influence this deduction. It is
extremely important to work this out
with your tax advisor and/or a
knowledgeable consulting forester.
Be sure to ask your forester if he or
she has the necessary expertise to
advise you in this area.

Casualty losses should be reported to the
IRS with Federal Form 4684. It is also
recommended that you make sure you
get documentation of the date of the
casualty, the location of the damage,
property appraisals, and if possible,
photographs of the property before and
after the disaster occurred.

What about young plantations? If you
have maintained your records of costs
incurred in young damaged plantations,
you may also be able to receive casualty
loss deductions for those stands. The
amount that you may claim is derived by
dividing the costs to date by the total
number of acres in plantation. The value
per acre, multiplied by the number of
acres destroyed, gives you the amount
which may be claimed.

Non-Business Casualty Losses

You may also deduct damage sustained
to personal property, such as downed
trees in your yard. To do so you need all
the documentation required for business
casualty losses. The amount which you
may claim is based on the fair market









value (FMV) of your property. Once you
have calculated the decrease in FMV
caused by the loss, you need to subtract
$100.00 from the total loss for each
event as well as subtract 10% of your
adjusted gross income. Also, if you
receive insurance or other
reimbursements (such as loan
forgiveness), these need to be subtracted
from the amount of loss that you
calculate for deduction.

A certified public accountant, a tax
attorney or a knowledgeable consulting
forester are the best options for high
quality tax information and assistance.

Additional Assistance on the Web

The National Timber Tax Website,
http://ww.timbertax.org has all the
information you will need in order to file
casualty loss deductions.

The IRS Web site,
http://ww. irs.gov/index. html includes
information for filing for tax deduction
as well as the appropriate forms. The
IRS toll-free number for general tax
questions is 1-800-829-1040.

http://disasterhelp.gov includes
information on all federal assistance
programs.

http://www.florida-
agriculture. com/special/federalprogra
ms.htm has a listing of all federal
programs that deal with crop losses.

Florida Division of Forestry,
http://www.fl-dof.com and the North
Carolina State University Forestry
Extension
http://www. ces. ncsu. edu/nreos/forest/di
saster.html web sites have information


on pruning or removing damaged trees,
as well as information for replanting.

Highlights of the Natural Stand
Management Workshops

A special feature of this year's Forest
Stewardship Program was a workshop
series on "Natural Stand Management".
Three workshops were held in spring
2004 across the State to provide
guidelines to landowners and land
managers for managing or restoring
natural forest communities in their region.
Participants learned to assess the history
and current condition of forest stands, set
management objectives in terms of
desired future conditions, and choose
management options to reach those
objectives. Locations included Austin
Cary Memorial Forest in Alachua
County, Archbold Biological Station in
Highlands County, and Jackson County
Extension Office. Each program was
custom-planned for the region and
audience. For example, many landowners
in Highlands County manage large cattle
operations, sod farms and vegetable
crops; and the natural forest communities
around these south central Florida
operations differ substantially from north
Florida. What the owners have in
common is a desire to maintain or restore
some assemblage of plants, animals,
fungi, water, soil and/or fire that are
naturally associated with each other in
their local environment. Following is a
summary of the topics that were covered.

Natural Communities of Florida:
Assessment and Planning for
Management

Each program began with an introduction
to the various natural communities that
exist in Florida and the gradients of fire









frequency and soil moisture along which
they occur. For example, longleaf pine
sandhills occur where the soil is well-
drained and fire frequency is high (every
2-5 years), while a bay swamp is at the
opposite extreme soils are inundated
with water and fire is very infrequent
(every 100+ years or no fire at all).
Natural stand management starts with
assessing your soil conditions and fire
regime to determine which community
might be the best fit. The take-home point
of this part of the program is that plant
communities exist along gradients. The
vegetation that grows on your property
may be characteristic of more than one
community depending on the soil,
moisture and fire frequency.

Fire Ecology and Planning

Florida's pine-dominated forests evolved
and are maintained with frequent low
intensity fire. In the absence of fire, oaks
and other hardwoods will gradually
dominate these sites. Burning in natural
forests is usually widespread but some
patches of vegetation will likely not be
burned. These unbumed patches add to
the species diversity and wildlife food
value of a stand. Other communities
maintained by fire include marshes, wet
prairies, and scrub. These communities
are productive for both game and
nongame animals. Many of Florida's rare
or listed animal species are considered
"fire dependant", depending on fire-
maintained systems including: red-
cockaded woodpecker, indigo snake,
scrub jay, gopher tortoise, bobwhite quail
and Sherman's fox squirrel.

Using prescribed fire in present day
Florida requires planning and permitting.
On the day you bum and BEFORE you
burn, you must call your local Division of


Forestry office and get an authorization.
You will be asked for your Section,
Township and Range so have that
information available when you call. You
should also have a burn prescription
(plan) that specifies the location and
objective of the bum, fire behavior
desired, weather factors, and equipment
and labor needs. This prescription will
help you determine if a given day is right
for your burn and to make sure you have
everything you need. Your county
forester can provide a sample bum
prescription. A must-have resource for
anyone using prescribed fire in the south
is the National Wildfire Coordinating
Group's "A Guide for Prescribed Fire in
Southern Forests". It is available for
viewing on the DOF's Web site at:
http://flame.fl-dof com/Env/RX/guide/.
You can request a copy of the full-color
guide by writing to: Boise Interagency
Fire Center, Attn: Supply, 3905 Vista
Avenue, Boise, Idaho 83705. Order
NFES # 2108.

Invasive Exotic Plants

About one-third of the plant species
growing in Florida are not native to
Florida or the Southeast and some of
these exotic plants are invasive weeds
that form self-sustaining and expanding
populations within plant communities
with which they were not previously
associated. These invasive exotic plants
displace native plants and associated
wildlife, and can alter processes such as
fire and water flow. Invasive exotic plants
have become serious problems for land
managers. Despite the millions of dollars
that have been spent on controlling the
spread of invasive plants, the rapid and
effective dispersal characteristics of these
invaders make them extremely difficult to
eliminate. At each program we briefly









identified the most troublesome invasive
exotic plants in the region and how to
control them. In north Florida the top
invaders include cogongrass, Japanese
climbing fern, tropical soda apple,
Chinese tallowtree, air potato vine, coral
ardisia, and kudzu in the most northern
counties. South Florida has many
challenging invasive plants including
Brazilian pepper, melaleuca, old world
climbing fern, tropical soda apple, and
cogongrass. More attention was given to
this topic at our workshop series on
"Invasive Exotic Plants and Their
Control", to be summarized in the next
issue of the Florida Forest Steward.

Income and Cost-Share Opportunities

Most private landowners require some
income from their property to pay for
taxes, equipment and other needs and
natural stand management can fulfill this
important role. Timber, hunting or
recreation leases, cattle grazing and
government rental, incentive and cost-
share programs are all options that can
contribute toward this end.

Timber
If managed properly, natural stands can
provide income comparable to planted
stands. Especially in today's timber
market, where high value timber products
are a more profitable objective than
pulpwood, natural stands can be
profitable because they are managed on a
longer time frame and produce larger
products like sawtimber, poles and veneer
logs. You can expect higher revenue from
a planted stand due to more control over
stocking, but an economic analysis of
planted vs. natural stand timber revenues
in Alachua County shows that a natural
stand can yield about 80% of the income
generated by a planted stand (analysis


done by Dave Conser, the Alachua
County DOF Forester). The benefits of a
natural stand are further amplified when
you account for the establishment costs of
a plantation and other biological and
aesthetic benefits of natural stands. If you
already have a natural stand, keep it
because you are likely a long way toward
realizing some competitive gains with
proper management.

Wildlife Recreational Opportunities and
other Alternatives
Landowners with natural stands may be
able to take advantage of several
opportunities including: fee hunting,,
bird watching and specialty products like
ferns or moss. For hunting, a clear,
concise contract should be drawn up so
all concerned parties are fully aware of
their rights and responsibilities. Also
identify all known hazards on your
property, develop written rules aimed at
preventing accidents and have visitors
sign a written release prior to entering the
property. These enterprises involve some
careful planning and marketing. See the
article on marketing specialty products in
the summer 2003 (Volume 10, No. 2)
issue of the Florida Forest Steward, on-
line at
http://www. sfc.ufl. edu/Extension/FFSnl/f
fsnll02.htm. Also see the Center for
Natural Resources' "Ecotourism"
publication on-line at:
http://edis.ifas.ufl. edu/CROO7.

Cattle Grazing
Cattle grazing and natural stand
management can go hand in hand.
Several cattle operations in south central
Florida are willing to sacrifice some
potential grazing land to protect the
unique natural features on their lands.
Some, like the Lightsey family of
Highlands County, are also working hard









to restore their land's hydrological
function, which was modified for
agricultural purposes. Grazing cattle in
the savannah-like flatwoods of this region
maintains a low herbaceous forest floor.

Financial Assistance
Several USDA and State cost-share and
incentive programs are available to help
farmers and forestland owners protect or
restore wetlands, manage wildlife habitat,
safeguard environmentally sensitive land,
protect grasslands and biodiversity.
Examples of these include the Wildlife
Habitat Incentives Program, Conservation
Reserve Program, Environmental Quality
Incentives Program, Grassland Reserve
Program, Farm and Ranch Lands
Protection Program, Wetlands Reserve
Program, and the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission's
Landowner Incentive Program (LIP). See
the USDA Farm Bill Web site at
http://www. nrcs. usda.gov/programs/farm
bill/2002/index.html for more information
about USDA programs. For more
information about LIP, see
http: www. wildflorida. org/lip/.




Many thanks to all the cooperators who
made this program possible: Florida
Division of Forestry, Pete Colverson and
all the cooperators from The Nature
Conservancy, University of Florida -
IFAS, Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission, Pandion
Systems, the Lightsey family of
Highlands County, John Winn of the
Longleaf Ecology and Forestry Society,
Bob Simons, Archbold Biological
Station, USDA Natural Resources
Conservation Service, Jones Ecological
Research Center, The Longleaf Alliance,
and Chad Taylor of CCT & Associates.


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 included
in parentheses after the price per cord.

Stumpage price ranges reported across
Florida in the 3rd Quarter 2004 Timber
Mart-South (TMS) report were:

* Pine pulpwood: $14-$27/cord ($5-
$10/ton), [ from 2nd Quarter 2004
* Pine C-N-S: $56-$74/cord ($21 -
$28/ton), T
* Pine sawtimber: $84 $120/cord
($31 $45/ton), T
* Pine plylogs: $101 $127/cord ($37
$48/ton), t
* Hardwood pulpwood: $13 $28/cord
($5 $10/ton), T

A more complete summary of 3rd
Quarter 2004 stumpage prices is
available at your County Extension
office. Seeforest2market.com for
weekly, South-wide, per-ton price
updates for the major pine and hardwood
timber products.

Trend Report

South-wide average stumpage prices for
all major products but pine pulpwood
increased this quarter. A record number
of hurricanes hit Florida and other
southeast states this season. While many
mills curtailed production during the
storms, the effect of these storms on
average stumpage prices is not yet clear.
Perhaps the strong plywood sales before









the storms triggered an increase in
plylog prices and the bulk of pulpwood
coming out of salvage sales is not
helping the situation with that product.

Upcoming Events

Florida Forestry Association Annual
Meeting: Staying in the Game!,
RESCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER
- December 15-16 at The Village of
Baytowne Wharf Sandestin, FL. For
the first time in the history of Florida
Forestry Association, the Annual
Meeting was postponed due to the threat
of a tropical event. But the Hurricane did
not hamper rescheduling efforts, and
only a day after the meeting was
postponed, all of the speakers were
reconfirmed and a contract issued to
hold the 2004 Annual Meeting on the
new dates. The Village of Baytowne
Wharf is offering a discounted room rate
for the December dates as follows:
Village hotel rooms --$95.00; 1-
bedroom -- $105.00; or 2-bedrooms --
$135.00. All annual meeting registration
fees and sponsorship support paid to the
Association will be held and applied to
the expenses of the rescheduled meeting.
If for any reason you cannot attend the
meeting on the rescheduled dates, a full
refund of the registration fee(s) will be


issued. Additional information will be
forthcoming by email and posted to our
website. Please call the Florida
Forestry Association_at 850-222-5646
if you have questions. Learn more about
Sandestin by visiting
www. sandestin. com.

New Updated Master Wildlifer 2005
Program coming in February, at
selected locations, seven 3-hour
evening sessions, Febrary 1 March 15.
This round will build upon the
tremendous success of Master Wildlifer
2003, which was broadcast live to 12
southern states and over 4,800
landowners, natural resource
professionals, and wildlife enthusiasts.
Participating sites will be announced in a
brochure, to be mailed soon. The
tentative site list is on our Florida
Forestry Information Web site, linked
below. Continuing educations will be
offered for foresters and biologists.


For more information about Florida's Forest Stewardship Program and forest management visit the
Florida Forestry Information Web site at www.sfrc.ufledu/Extension/ffws/ffwshome.htm


A University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service and Florida Division of Forestry joint project:

Chris Demers (editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, P.O. Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611-
0410, (352) 846-2375 or cdemers@.ifas.ufl.edu
Alan Long (co-editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, (352) 846-0891 orAJLot-(, t, i t ,.. ,,
Ruthie Cole (co-editor), Florida Division of Forestry, 3125 Conner Blvd, Tallahassee, FL 32699-1650, (850) 414-
9912 or coler@doacs.state.fl.us
ChuckMcKelvy (co-editor), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 3125 Conner Blvd, Tallahassee,
FL 32699-1650, (850) 414-9911or,,. ,. /i. .i i,,, t7i,,




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