Promoting Ecosystem Services with State Property Tax Programs

Every state in the U.S. offers tax breaks to forest landowners. But the details vary significantly – which makes it hard for policymakers to compare the programs, as a team of researchers from the USDA Forest Service and the University of Minnesota has shown. “State property tax programs incentivize ecosystem services,” says Forest Service scientist…  More 

Southern Timber Hit Hard by Hurricane

Hurricane Michael roared through Florida, Alabama, and Georgia on October 10 and delivered a hard hit to timberland owners and timber markets. John Alter and Elizabeth Alter manage more than 1,000 acres in Malone, Florida, including 18 Tree Farm stands. The Alters were honored as Florida’s Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year in 2015. “This is a true…  More 

Lumber Builds the Future

“Lumber and economic growth are tightly connected,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Jeffrey Prestemon. “At a certain rate of GDP growth, you get a certain path of lumber consumption.” Prestemon recently led a modeling study that projects softwood lumber demand under different economic growth scenarios, represented by real gross domestic product. Real GDP is adjusted…  More 

Forest Landowners’ Guide to the Federal Income Tax

Tax tips for forest landowners for the 2017 tax year are now available online. Linda Wang, the U.S. Forest Service national timber tax specialist, prepares the tips each year. More detailed information is available through a U.S. Department of Agriculture publication, the Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax. Written by Southern Research Station…  More 

The Thorny Economics of Preventing Exotic Species Introductions

What if we lose tree species we know, love, and need? It has happened before. “Look at what happened to the American chestnut,” says U.S. Forest Service research forester Thomas Holmes. “Look at what’s happening right now to hemlock, redbay, and ash trees.” All three species, as well as many more, are threatened by non-native…  More 

Mangroves of Mozambique

Whether small and shrubby or tall and majestic, mangroves have an unusual ability – they are specially adapted to grow in brackish water, and can tolerate ocean waves lapping at their stilt-like roots. As stands mature, soil and decaying plant matter becomes captured in the intricate web of their roots. “The soil in mangrove ecosystems…  More 

Promoting Sustainable Forestry on African American Family Lands

New insight on the challenges and opportunities facing African American family forest owners in the Southeast was just published by U.S. Forest Service scientists in Small Scale Forestry.  SRS research forester John Schelhas, SRS research social scientist Cassandra Johnson Gaither, and University of Georgia assistant research scientist Sarah Hitchner summarized interviews with 60 minority landowners in…  More 

Southern Forest Products: An Economic Engine

A storymap developed by USDA Forest Service researchers allows users to interactively chart the ebb and flow of forest products across the southern states. Using Forest Service Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data loaded onto Esri’s ArcGIS Online (AGOL) platform, Southern Forest Products – An Economic Engine, provides a constantly updated guide to southern timber product outputs…  More 

Estate Planning for Forest Landowners

Family forest owners may use consulting foresters or state extension foresters for advice on the technical details of land management, but many owners shy away from seeking help with how best to pass their forest land on to the next generation. Poor estate planning — or no planning at all — can result in the…  More 

Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax

Tax tips for forest landowners for the 2016 tax year are now available online. Prepared by Linda Wang, U.S. Forest Service national timber tax specialist. More detailed information is available through a U.S. Department of Agriculture publication, the Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax. Written by Forest Service Southern Research Station emeritus research…  More