Determine Your Basis and Keep More Timber Income

Wow! It finally happened! You are now the proud owner of some woodland acres. Like most new owners, you cannot wait to enjoy the property. Therefore, you pull on your boots, file the sale papers and head for the woods. This is what all too often happens when a new owner takes title to forestland. However, you should place the joys of ownership on hold for one very important determination. A new owner should first determine the original basis, or value, of all merchantable timber at the time of acquisition.

Estate Planning for Forest Landowners: What Will Become of Your Timberland?

The purpose of this book is to provide guidelines and assistance to nonindustrial private forest owners and the legal, tax, financial, insurance, and forestry professionals who serve them on the application of estate planning techniques to forest properties. The book presents a working knowledge of the Federal estate and gift tax law as of September 30, 2008, with particular focus on the unique characteristics of owning timber and forest land. It consists of four major parts, plus appendices. Part I develops the practical and legal foundation for estate planning. Part II explains and illustrates the use of general estate planning tools. Part III explains and illustrates the use of additional tools that are specific to forest ownership. Part IV describes the forms of forest land ownership, as well as the basic features of State transfer taxes and the benefits of forest estate planning. The appendices include a glossary and the Federal forms for filing estate and gift taxes.

Estimating Land Value for Growing Timber on Agricultural Land

Due to the lack of rain during the growing seasons and a reduction in both price and number of pounds of quota in recent years, many peanut and cotton farmers across the state (especially in southeast Alabama) have been forced to look for areas in which to cut costs and ways to diversify their operations. Some landowners are considering growing timber on some of their lands.

Financial Incentives for Forest Management

Managing your forestland can be an excellent long-term investment. Over the years, income from managed timber stands has exceeded that from most other crops in terms of value added per acre per year. Even managed pre-salable timber stands have increased the property value of forestland substantially over bare or unmanaged, cutover woodland. Annual returns from 0 to 40 percent are possible from forest management. The range of returns is wide because of variations in soil productivity, stand condition, tree species, markets (both availability and price fluctuations), intensity of management, and availability of financial incentives.

Forest Recovery Program

The Forest Recovery Program (FRP) is a cost-sharing program, similar to the on-going Forest Development Program (FDP), which provides financial assistance to North Carolina forest landowners to implement forestry practices.

Forestry as an Investment

Is forestry a good investment? Most foresters like to think the answer is "yes"! The answer, however, depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. As competition for money and other resources increase, decisions of foresters and investors need to be based upon all available information. Investors have disposable income for use in forestry enterprises, but there are many alternatives available to them. The objective of this paper is to describe how evaluations are made and illustrate these points with an example.

Forests and the North Carolina Economy

North Carolina’s pine and hardwood forests support one of the state’s largest manufacturing industries—the $19 billion wood products industry. This economic sector provides thousands of jobs in the production of goods like lumber, furniture, and newsprint. This publication highlights the importance of North Carolina’s forest economy as we enter the 21st century.

Hardwood Plantations as an Investment

Deciding what to do with a piece of land is not always easy. One choice that should be considered is the planting of tree crops intended for the timber market.

How do You Own Your Property?

Knowing how you own your property is one of the first steps in estate planning. Forms of property ownership can affect how and when property passes to your spouse, your children, and others with an interest in your estate.

In Alabama, Money Does Grow on Trees: Forestry and Its Economic Importance to Alabama

The largest wood-supplying region in the United States is the South, and Alabama figures prominently among southern states in timber production. based on 2002 estimates, almost 56 percent of the total timber harvest in the United States was from southern states, and that trend is predicted to continue through the next 50 years. It was also estimated that between the years 2002 and 2050 the majority of the timber produced will be harvested from forested acres owned by private landowners.

Landowner Alternatives & Considerations for Developing Fee-Access Recreation

A variety of traditional and non-traditional income opportunities exist for rural landowners, many of which directly or indirectly involve wildlife. These include charging for access, developing unique services or products, altering marketing strategies for existing products or services, and harvesting and marketing natural landscape materials. Most of these income alternatives can be integrated into current farm, forest, or other existing land management operations. Alternative sources of income seem to be limited only by an individual’s imagination and creativity. However, the market potential and resource requirements vary considerably among enterprises, so having a “good idea” is no assurance of being able to develop it into a successful enterprise. This is why each available income option must be carefully evaluated prior to making a decision on their implementation.

Marketing Southern Pines

The economic future for timber products is sound. Projections indicate that the timber supply will fall short of demand, increasing timber stumpage prices and returns to the timberland owner. Timber historically has increased in value 2 percent a more above the annual inflation rate. This has been achieved during times of good timber supply. But, with the timber supply decreasing rapidly, returns on investment could show annual rates of 10 percent and more over the next timber growth cycle in the South.

Plant Trees and Wildlife Cover Under the Conservation Reserve Program!

The 1985 Farm Bill includes a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) expected to retire up to 45 million acres nationwide of highly erodible, marginal cropland over the next 5 years. Landowners may retire cropland to trees, permanent wildlife habitat, permanent introduced grasses and legumes, permanent native grasses and legumes or combinations of permanent covers. Consolidated Farm Service Agency (CFSA) will reimburse up to 50% of the cost of establishing permanent covers and will pay an annual rental fee over a ten year period to participating landowners.

Restoration of Wetlands Under the Wetlands Reserve Program

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a national program authorized by the 1990 Farm Bill. WRP is a voluntary opportunity offering landowners a chance to receive payments for restoring and protecting wetlands on their property through the establishment of permanent, or (possibly) thirty-year, conservation easements. This Woodland Owner Note has been revised to help North Carolina landowners understand the provisions of the 1995 Wetlands Reserve Program.

Voluntary Conservation Options for Land Protection in North Carolina

Landowners share a deep connection to their land and the legacy they’ll leave behind. With so many conservation options to consider, landowners need to have a working knowledge of the choices to protect their land in the near and long term. Landowners should identify their goals before embarking upon a conservation strategy. Once a conservation strategy is selected, then the implications of state and federal taxes can be explored. This publication reviews the most common land conservation and protection options.

When to Harvest Timber? Now…, or Later?

Some forestland owners decide to harvest timber at a particular time because they are approached by a timber buyer with an offer that looks too good to pass up. Others simply might need money to tide them over a difficult time or to finance an emergency need. Decisions taken under these circumstances are not always optimal, but they do reinforce the point that the decision about "when to harvest" is controlled more by economics than by almost any other factor.

Where there is a Will, there is a Way

Learn about the different types of wills, their purpose and preparation, when professional assistance is advised, and the pitfalls of self-prepared wills.

Wildlife Economics

Referring to wild animals as economic commodities has created controversy among some individuals in the wildlife profession, as well as among various groups of wildlife users.

Your Estate Plan—Where to Begin?

Identify your goals and gather needed information before you seek professional advice. Schedule a family meeting to begin shaping your objectives.

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