Do property tax benefits for forest landowners work?

Every state in the U.S. has a program that lowers property taxes for people who enroll their private forestlands. But the programs may not work, according to a new review paper by USDA Forest Service research economist Greg Frey. Frey organized the review around two broad goals that the programs might have: keeping forests as…  More 

Understanding your taxes as a forest landowner

Tax implications for forest landowners depend on the activity or activities on your land. Tax Tips for Forest Landowners: 2022 Tax Year (PDF) can help forest owners understand the basics of forest-related federal tax provisions and how that relates to income tax planning. Tax Tips for Forest Landowners is an annual information and educational publication…  More 

Long-term impact of hurricanes on forest markets and carbon storage

Hurricanes have long-term impacts on forest markets and the welfare of landowners in areas hit the hardest. They also disrupt carbon storage processes in forests. USDA Forest Service scientist Jesse Henderson recently published a study in Forest Policy and Economics that showed replanting trees after disasters like Hurricane Michael is the best way to foster…  More 

Payments for ecosystem services

People who own forested land may be able to sell the ecosystem services the land provides. Hunting leases are one example. For the years 2010-2019, payments for hunting leases, wildlife viewing fees, and other such services averaged $1.5 billion a year, as USDA Forest Service research economist Greg Frey and his colleagues estimate. Markets for…  More 

Purified clay needed!

Chase Earles, an award-winning Oklahoma potter, needed clay. The clay could not come from Winterville Mounds but needed to come from somewhere in Washington County, Mississippi. Winterville Mounds is a massive and pivotally important Pre-Columbian Native American site located in Washington County. Clay could not be dug from the mounds, as they are an archaeological…  More 

Timber Tax Tips can help forest owners realize potential tax benefits

Family forests provide many valuable goods and services that extend beyond their boundaries, including clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration. Although owners of forested land usually don’t get paid directly for those benefits, there are tax incentives that can be associated with management activities. Landowners often do not know that reforestation, timber…  More 

Trapping hogs one sounder at a time

Wild pigs are the largest invasive species in the U.S., and cost billions of dollars in damage to ecosystems and farms each year. New insights from the Savannah River Site are leading to better ways of managing them: whole sounder trapping, baiting strategies, and timing trapping efforts so that pigs are absent during critical portions…  More 

Top ten of 2021

We hope you enjoy this collection of the most popular CompassLive stories of 2021. Each article highlights the people, partnerships, and natural wonders of the South. For the past century, USDA Forest Service research has contributed to healthier, more sustainable southern forests.   ______________________ One acorn, two acorns, three acorns, four… How to evaluate acorn crops  Every year, state wildlife…  More 

Handbook for 30-year-old bottomland oak stands

Southern floodplain forest landowners can benefit from a new USDA Forest Service handbook of silvicultural practices for oaks planted on former croplands. The practical volume outlines the methods – and supporting science – for managing stands to produce high-quality oak sawtimber, improve wildlife habitat through acorn production, or an integrated approach for both timber and…  More 

Novel forestry outreach shows success

In 2012, the USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service partnered with a number of nonprofit organizations to create an award-winning program to help landowners address heirs’ property, land retention, and natural resource justice issues. The Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Program (SFLR) has become a model for addressing issues faced by…  More