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Latest from the Forest Landowners Association!

Robert Crosby, Chairman of the Forest Landowners Association Political Action Committee (FLA-PAC), interviewed by the Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.

Educating Lawmakers About Forest Business
Listen to the interview on the Alabama Forest Owners' Association website.

Final Rule on Northern Long Eared Bat Released

 In January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the final rule regarding protective measures for the Northern Long Eared Bat. According to the press release by the USFWS, “The rule is designed to protect the bat while minimizing regulatory requirements for landowners, land managers, government agencies and others within the species’ range.”
Upon initial review of the rule, it appears that it maintained many of the concessions the forestry community was seeking.

The Final 4(d) Rule defines a White Nose Syndrome Zone (“WNS Zone”),as  an area that will be updated on the first of each month on the USFWS website – it will be a wide area currently covering much of the east coast and midwest, including Ohio.  Within this WNS Zone, incidental take is prohibited only if:
  1. actions result in the incidental take of northern long-eared bats in hibernacula;
  2. actions result in the incidental take of northern long-eared bats by altering a known hibernaculum’s entrance or interior environment if the alteration impairs an essential behavioral pattern, including sheltering northern long-eared bats; or
  3. tree removal activities result in the incidental take of northern long-eared bats when the activity either occurs within 0.25 mile (0.4 kilometer) of a known hibernaculum, or cuts or destroys known, occupied maternity roost trees or any other trees within a 150-foot (45-meter) radius from the maternity roost tree during the pup season (June 1 through July 31).

Thus, incidental take attributable to maintenance, development, and rights-of-way (including new and expanded right-of-ways) is not prohibited by this Final 4(d) Rule, provided the conservation measures contained in the Rule are followed.

Run some numbers and check out your tax write-off for 2015.

Made permanent by Congress, the Section 179 Tax Deduction means it's advantageous to purchase new or used equipment, vehicles, and/or software for your business.  
Last December Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), which was signed into law by President Obama - along with a comprehensive Omnibus spending measure.  With the passage of PATH. Section 179 was made retroactive for 2015 with the $500,000 deduction limit (without the measure the limit was $25,000).
The Forest Landowners Association praised the tax extender move noting that this is significant for family forestry operations.  Forestry operations require significant investments in machinery, equipment and other depreciable capital; forest landowners depend on tax provisions that allow them to write off these business expenses in the year purchases are made. This kind of flexibility in the tax code boosts family forests businesses, helping to increase cash flow and reduce borrowing.

 "Section 179 and bonus depreciation lend stability and help minimize risk in an unpredictable business, forest landowners rely on tax provisions that allow them to manage their cash flow and put their money back to work for their businesses and local economies,” commented Bill Siegel, FLA Regional Vice President and timber tax attorney.  “These tax provisions are absolutely beneficial to private forest landowners of all sizes.  Making Section 179 permanent, provides assurances that will greatly help solidify financial planning for the future for private landowners.”  
The key is getting some certainty back into the tax code, which is important if you’re running a business for the long haul and what forestry operation isn’t doing that.
C-Corporation Timber Companies also benefit from PATH
A provision to reduce the top tax rate paid by certain corporations on profits from the sale of timber that has been held for more than 15 years was also included. The rate for 2016 would be 23.8 percent, down from 35 percent. This provision has been sought in the past and is commonly referred to as the “Tree Act” and would make C Corporation timber companies more competitive with REIT’s.

EPA’s Overreaching Water Rule

EPA’s Waters of the United States rule officially went into effect on August 28th, in all but 13 states, drastically expanding the reach of the federal government. Because of this regulatory overreach, forest landowners as well as other businesses and local governments will be forced to get costly federal land use permits.The new rule released by the EPA places excessive burdens for forest landowners of all sizes and geographical locations. As such, the new rule has created considerable and potentially costly confusion for landowners, businesses and communities who are just trying to be good stewards of the resource.
Read More –

Will Congress Do The Right Thing on Tax Extenders?

It’s become almost an annual ritual around the winter holidays: Congress extends dozens of expired or soon-to-expire tax provisions on a temporary basis at the last minute, leaving forest landowners and related business scrambling with only a few days to take action to claim the deductions.  But could this year be different and could Congress actually do the right thing instead of waiting until the last minute?

Read More –

Forest Landowners Association Launches Timber Talks and Forest Forum Campaigns

Georgia forest landowners host Cong. Hice for first event

On Timber Talks sets the stage for forestry stakeholders to meet face-to-face with elected officials and advocate on behalf of forestry stakeholders to give policy makers a first-hand look at how private landowners manage their forests and how policy considered in Washington has an impact.

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Georgia Forest Landowners Host Cong. Hice for First Timber Talks Event

On The FLA Timber Talks campaign got off to a great start on April 2, with more than 50 representatives from the forestry community attending an event to engage in dialogue with freshman Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA10). Serving his first term in Congress and the only Member of Congress in the Georgia delegation appointed to the House Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Hice was proactive in contacting FLA to organize a Timber Talks event.

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