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The Florida Forest Steward
A Quarterly Newsletter for Florida Landowners and Resource Professionals
Volume 6, No. 4
Forest Stewardship Update
Trends in the Wood Products Industry
New Policies for Listed and Candidate Species
Proposed EPA Rules Bad News-for Forestry
Make Way for Manatees
Next CRP Signup in January
Timber Price Update -
SFRC Continuing Education Schedule (2000)
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 n.\: ifas.ufl.edu
Alan Long (co-editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, (352) 846-0891 or AJL@gnv.ifas.
Todd Groh (co-editor), Florida Division ofForestry, 3125 Conner Blvd, Tallahassee, FL 32699-1650, (850)
414-9907 or email@example.com. us
Chuck McKelvy (co-editor), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 3125 Conner Blvd,
Tallahassee, FL 32699-1650, (850) 414-9911 or firstname.lastname@example.org
.- .. -UNIVERSITY OF
Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Forest Stewardship Update .
As the last winds of the hurricane season blow in the
Caribbean, we are preparing for another busy year of
publications, workshops, field tours, and hopefully, a host of \
new Stewardship landowners. Most of you are aware of the
current status of the Stewardship Incentive Program (SIP).
For those that are not, budget battles in Washington have
rendered it without funds.The only remaining SIP funding in R
Florida is presently obligated to stewardship landowners that
are in some stage of implementation of their approved
management practices. Although the Stewardship Incentives
Program was not funded by Congress, the Forest Stewardship Ar
Program still has funding available for stewardship plan
preparation. Cost-share assistance for forestry practices is now limited to the Forestry Incentives
Program (FIP), which is expected to be funded at $6.3 million. Contact your regional USDA
Natural Resources Conservation Service Center office to apply for FIP cost-shares.
Despite the absence of SIP funds, Florida's Forest Stewardship Program continues to grow and
benefit landowners throughout the state, thanks to the efforts and support of the Florida Division
of Forestry and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. During 1999, Forest
Stewardship Management Plans (FSMPs) were completed for 120 private landowners. As of
November 1999 a total of 1,161 Florida landowners with over 437,500 acres of forestland have
approved FSMPs. Program promotion is one of our major goals for the new millennium, and you
can help in this effort by simply telling your fellow landowners, who are interested in managing
their land for multiple uses, about the Forest Stewardship Program.
Trends in the Wood Products Industry. .
By Alan J. Long
Change is constant; less predictable, however, are the directions those changes will follow. The
forest industry in Florida and the rest of the Southeast has been through some amazing
transformations and gyrations in recent years. This article will attempt to review the changes and
recent trends in prices and markets as they have been described in a variety of newsletters,
meetings, and publications. I will mention some of the factors that are influencing those trends,
and will even summarize a few projections regarding future outlook for the industry and
landowners. However, this is only intended as a general summary of available information, and
not as a definitive or reputable forecast of the future. The reader is cautioned that these
projections may, at best, be only opinions. In other words, don't bet the farm on them yet, unless
you are very comfortable with your own conclusions about the trends and changes (and you don't
want the farm).
Stumpage price trends
Pulpwood prices for pine stumpage have generally decreased since early 1998; hardwood
pulpwood prices during the same period have been much more erratic. Although a number of
outside factors (described below) have probably influenced recent price declines, several local
factors also played a key role. Prolonged rain between the end of 1997 and early 1998 caused
widespread wood shortages at mills and drove timber prices to exceptionally high levels. The
high prices brought a lot of new timber to the market. All those sales, coupled with the surge of
salvage wood after the 1998 fires, pushed timber supply and inventories so high that price
declines were inevitable.
In a longer term, and except for the strong market in early 1998, pulpwood stumpage prices have
been fairly flat for the last five years with several wide fluctuations. However, stretching the
trend curve even further, fourth quarter 1998 prices were more than double 1988 prices (south
wide), and were up about 60% in Florida according to Timber Mart-South summaries. Hardwood
pulpwood has seen the largest price increase in the last 20 years (on a "percentage of initial
Unlike pulpwood prices, sawtimber and chip-n-saw stumpage prices have steadily increased over
the last 10 years. Pine increased about 50% in the last five years and doubled since 1988.
Hardwood sawtimber also doubled in the 10-year period, but has been relatively stable since
1993. Real price increases have generally exceeded the national inflation rate. Despite these
general trends, both pine and hardwood prices also experienced substantial seasonal and market-
Although unanimous agreement is lacking, a reasonable outlook on future trends suggests that
stumpage prices for sawtimber and larger log sizes will continue to increase. Pulpwood price
changes are less certain (at least, in the short term) because of substantial changes in international
supply and demand and the possible entry of large volumes of Conservation Reserve Program
pine plantation thinnings into local markets. Stumpage prices have traditionally followed changes
in housing starts, interest rates, and exchange rates between Canadian and U.S. dollars. Those
key factors will also continue to influence general stumpage markets.
Nonetheless, most long-term forecasts include pulpwood price increases for several other
reasons. Supplies may tighten in many regions as competition for pine logs increases, especially
for small diameter logs that can be used for pulpwood as well as new chip-n-saw technology, or
various engineered (eg., finger-jointed) products. Demand for small hardwood logs will also
likely rise as they are increasingly used for pulping, Oriented Strand Board and various
engineered products for furniture manufacturing. Electronic business and Internet shopping is
expanding rapidly, which should strengthen the demand for corrugated boxes and similar
International markets: changes and impacts
Pulp and paper production in the Southeast has been significantly
impacted in recent years by the development of an oversupply in
international pulp and paper markets. The abundance of fiber is
generally attributed to the Asian financial crisis, maturing plantations in
Central and South America, and new pulping capacity in both temperate
and tropical countries.
With decreases in the purchasing power of Asian currencies in the last two years, the United
States exported less to Asia, and other countries that sold fiber products in the Asian market
looked to the U.S. for new markets for their goods. On the positive side, recent confidence in
Asian financial markets suggests that many products may begin to flow back to Asia, and
increasing Japanese housing starts signal opportunities for more solid wood sales. Several 1999
reports confirm that international forest product commodity prices and inventory conditions are,
in fact, improving. For example, pulp and paper inventories in several regional markets were
actually below normal in November. In the long term, demand in the Asian market will inevitably
rise. Populations in the Pacific Rim countries continue to increase, and the vast Russia/Siberia
forest resource remains, in large part, too expensive to develop. With a decreasing supply of
wood products out of the U.S. Pacific Northwest and southeast Asia, the southern U.S. could
become a major supplier to Asia.
Millions of acres of pine and hardwood plantations were established in Central and South
America in the 1980s and 1990s and many of those plantations are now coming "on-line." They
are supplying both raw material (roundwood) and finished products to world markets, and will
play an important role in meeting the world's increased demand for fiber. However, several
sources point out that although the plantations can cover much of the increased demand, they
cannot compensate for diminishing supplies from traditional sources.
International lumber and plywood markets are expected to remain fairly stable, with some foreign
exports being redirected from Asia to the U.S. and other markets, at least in the short term.
Another factor that is gradually influencing international wood products trade is the increasing
market for wood "certified" to have been harvested under sustainable forest management. This
topic will be addressed in a new forest stewardship publication next year.
The national situation
Substantial repositioning within the forest industry has been highlighted in recent years by
mergers and purchases such as Rayonier-Smurfit-Stone and International Paper-Union Camp,
mill and land sales and purchases, mill closures, and the separation of timberlands from
production facilities within individual companies. These changes accomplish a variety of goals,
depending on your viewpoint. They improve corporate financial efficiencies and planning, they
may help to eliminate or improve outdated and "old-technology" mills and bring new
technologies on-line, and they may increase the amount of land in "conservation" programs.
They also tend to recognize the inherent value of timberlands more than when those lands served
primarily to source one or two mills. Nonindustrial timber owners could benefit in their timber
sales if other timber on the market is priced and sold in the same manner as their timber.
Nonetheless, significant concerns and issues accompany the major shuffling and changes that
have occurred. One landowner concern with mergers of industrial landowners in the same area is
a possible decrease in competitive bidding on timber sales. Few of the mergers have actually
involved landowners in the same timber supply circles. Whatever the changes in mills and their
management, they will continue to depend on sourcing much of their raw material from
nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) lands.
A major concern from the industry standpoint is the substantial lag in the percentage of NIPF
acres that are reforested after harvesting. This regeneration downfall is producing a low growth/
harvest ratio across southern forest lands. One measure of long-term sustainability is a volume
growth rate that exceeds the harvest rate. If the growth/harvest ratio does not improve, both
positive and negative effects can be expected. On the positive side, landowners could receive
higher prices for their timber as supplies decrease. However, this may be balanced by additional
mill closures when local raw material sources diminish to the point that mills cannot stay open.
As mentioned above, another significant component of the national situation is the South's
increasing share of the solid wood market. The Pacific Northwest will not likely change its
contribution to national wood flow in the foreseeable future, although it is interesting to speculate
on national forest timber availability 25 to 50 years in the future when forests regenerated in the
last 50 years on many western public lands reach maturity. In the meantime, Canada will
continue to provide structural lumber into U.S. markets, especially as long as U.S. dollars are
stronger than the Canadian currency.
A third significant aspect of the national situation is the increasing emphasis on sustainable forest
management, ranging from forest industry's Sustainable Forestry Initiative to a variety of other
"certification" programs. All these efforts should strengthen the U.S. share of international wood
product markets. Sustainable forest management recognizes the need to provide more fiber from
the same, or fewer, acres, and it includes intensive silviculture for high growth rates on forest
industry lands. Ideally, NIPFs will follow suit, at least on those lands that they do not manage for
purposes other than timber.
Cyclical prices and risks to crops, whether from hurricanes, fire, flood or beetles, are inevitable.
Compared to other crops, however, trees have some major advantages when projecting
opportunities into the future. They increase in volume and value each year, and they take
advantage of extra growing space when neighbors are harvested or die. You can wait to harvest
until prices go up or new technologies and mills are in place. Despite all the changes of recent
years, large insurance and forest industry companies have invested heavily in major timberland
purchases, seeking to maximize long-term investment value. They obviously recognize the
benefits versus the risks, and perhaps the truth in the forecast that "the economic clout in timber
markets will shift from buyers to sellers" (McClaren, J. 1999. Issues in Global Timber Supplies. p
This article was originally published in Florida Forests in summer, 1999, and is reprinted here in
an updated version through the courtesy of the Florida Forestry Association. Information and
ideas for this article were compiled from Pulpwood Highlights, a newsletter published by the
American Pulpwood Association, Timber Mart-South quarterly Market Condition reports, F & W
Forestry Letters, and Issues in Global Timber Supplies published in 1999 by Miller Freeman
For more information about the LEAFS project, contact John Winn at Rt. 1, Box 479, Waldo, FL
32694, (352) 468-1669.
New Policies for Listed and Candidate Species
Much of Florida's natural heritage remains in the acreage owned by private non-industrial
landowners. Struggling populations of animals that once inhabited unbroken forests and
wetlands may be confined to these remaining forested tracts. If you own one of these
"sanctuaries", you probably agree that government imposed land use restrictions are not the best
means by which to protect vulnerable species. To avoid mandated restrictions, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have announced
joint, non-regulatory policies to manage threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species
on non-Federal lands.
Candidate Conservation Agreements
Under this program, property owners may agree to implement conservation measures for a
proposed or candidate species, or species likely to become a candidate in the near future. In
exchange, landowners would be free of additional land, water, or resource use restrictions should
the species become listed in the future. If necessary, the USFWS and NMFS will provide
technical assistance to landowners entering the Agreement. Also, the Services may provide
regulatory certainty to landowners by issuing an "enhancement of survival permit" (ESP)
authorizing a specified level of incidental take of the species covered by the agreement.
Proposed agreements are subject to a 30-day public review and comment period. If the Services
find that the Agreement and ESP will likely result in significant controversy or environmental
effects, an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement will be required.
Safe Harbor Agreements
This policy is designed for landowners willing to voluntarily provide habitat for listed species,
but are concerned about new restrictions on their property. It provides assurance that additional
land, water, and resource use restrictions will not be imposed as a result of voluntary
conservation actions that benefit the covered species. As with the Candidate Conservation
Agreement, technical assistance is available and, once the landowner meets all terms of the
Agreement, the Services will issue an ESP. The implications of Safe Harbor Agreements on
neighboring landowners will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If a species is believed likely
to move onto a neighboring, non-enrolled property, the Services will make an effort to include
the neighboring landowner as a signatory party to the Agreement. As a result of recent revisions
to the program, landowners may terminate their voluntary agreements before a specified
For more information about these programs, contact Richard Hannan, USFWS at 703-358-2171;
or Margaret Lorenz, Endangered Species Division, NMFS at 301-713-1401..
Proposed EPA Rules Bad News for Forestry
Two proposed rules by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are raising concerns among
foresters and landowners. These rules could eventually require permits for some basic practices
like harvesting and site preparation. Specifically, the proposed rules affect the Total Maximum
Daily Load (TMDL) regulations and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System
(NPDES). Under the proposed rules, forest management activities in an impaired watershed
(already requiring a TMDL) would be defined as "point source" discharges, thereby potentially
requiring federal NPDES permits. Up to now, pollution resulting from forestry activities has
been classified as non point source discharges, which are adequately addressed by state best
management practices (BMPs). In fact, forestry is often a prescribed solution for many water
quality impairments. For instance, the Conservation Reserve Program provides financial
incentives to convert erodible croplands to forests, a sounder conservation use. Many are
concerned that EPA is singling out forestry as an adversary when, in fact, good forestry practices
can prevent pollution.
From F&W Forestry Letter No. 63. For more information, go on-line to http://www.epa.gov/
Make Way for Manatees
With the onset of autumn temperatures, Florida's waters cool down and manatees begin to move
to the warmer water of springs and power plants. Manatees prefer water temperatures above 68
degrees F. They tend to travel to the same areas each winter and know where warm water sites
are located. When exposed to colder temperatures for prolonged periods, they can become sick
or even die. Boaters should be aware that many county waterways have seasonal speed zones
from November 15 through March 31. The speed zones reflect the seasonal migration of
manatees. Here are some manatee awareness guidelines for boaters to follow:
Stay in marked channels.
Wearpolarized sunglasses while boating.
Abide by the posted speed zones.
Pole, paddle or use trolling motors when over shallow seagrass beds.
Manatees are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Marine
Mammal Protection Act of 1972. The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978 designates the
entire state of Florida as a manatee sanctuary.
For a complete copy of individual county waterway speed zones and rules, contact the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission OES Bureau of Protected Species Management,
Rules Section, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600, 850-922-4330.
Next CRP Signup in January
The next signup for the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is set from January 18 to
February 11, 2000. Land can be voluntarily submitted under 10-15-year contracts designed to
protect erodible and environmentally sensitive areas. The Longleaf Pine Initiative (LPI), begun
last year, will be continued and will include 15-year contracts. Contracts awarded under the
upcoming signup will be effective October 1, 2000. Contact your regional USDA Natural
Resources Conservation Service office to sign up.
Timber Price Update.
The 3rd quarter 1999 Timber-Mart
South report for Florida listed average A .
stumpage prices as $32/cord for pine
pulpwood, $86/cord for pine C-N-S,
$110/cord for pine sawtimber, and $120/ [
cord for pine plylogs. Prices were down
slightly, up, up slightly, and up
considerably for the four products,
respectively, compared to 2nd quarter
prices. Hardwood pulpwood averaged
$13/cord, which was down from the
previous quarter. Stumpage prices are '
highly variable and the actual price for a particular timber sale can be affected by characteristics
such as tract size, timber density, access, proximity to operating mills, and weather. A more
complete summary of 3rd quarter stumpage prices is available at your County Extension Office.
To determine current prices in your area, your best source of information will be forestry
consultants and timber companies that conduct timber sales in your area.
SFRC Continuing Education Schedule (2000)
January 24 (Kissimmee), 26 (Green Cove Springs), 28 (Blountstown): Fire in Florida (in-service
training for extension offices).
Contact: Alan Long, 352-846-0891
February 23: Forest Fertilization, Quincy, (in-service training and continuing education).
Contact: Alan Long, 352-846-0891
March 28-29: Regulatory Environment in Florida's Forests, Austin Cary Memorial Forest,
Gainesville.Contact: Alan Long, 352-846-0891
April 11-12: SAF/SFRC Spring Symposium, "Historical Reflections, Future Directions",
April 25, 27: Herbicide Uses in Forestry, Jackson and St Johns Counties
Contact: Chris Demers, 352-846-2375
Summer: Introduction to GIS and GPS Applications, Austin Cary Memorial Forest, Gainesville.
Summer: Forest Pest Management, Austin Cary Memorial Forest, Gainesville.
June 26-30, 2000: The Wildland-Urban Interface (Urban Forestry Institute), Daytona Beach.
Contact: Eliana Kampf Binelli, 352-846-0886
July 11,13: Timber Market/Investment Opportunities, Bay & Lafayette Counties.
Contact: Chris Demers, 352-846-2375
September 28: Forest Tree and Plant Identification, western panhandle
October 17-18: Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering for Foresters, Austin Cary Memorial
November 14-15: Improving Public Relations (Getting the Message to the Public), Austin Cary
Memorial Forest, Gainesville.
January, 2001: Environmental Impacts of Forestry Practices, Austin Cary Memorial Forest,