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Comments Recieved at Athens

image: young beech leaves

The table below captures the comments collected during the breakout session at the Athens public meeting. Comments are grouped by major forces of change. Specific subregions of applicability are listed where provided.

  Consider that there is lots of overlaps with all of these forces, i.e., forest industry land changes are in all categories PI/CP
Ownership and size of ownership is a key issue PI/CP
Landowner objectives are changing rapidly PI/CP
Assess TIMO's vs REIT's PI/CP
Value of dirt/raw value of the land has increased rapidly. Even rural land is increasing in value rapidly. This leads to increased taxes PI/CP
Consider that highest and best use is no longer timber related PI/CP
Assess energy costs? Cost of energy impacts forest industry i.e., logging cost. Cost of energy provides alternatives for forest products (biomass). PI/CP
Logging workforce is in trouble—average age is increasing; the younger generation is not picking it up PI/CP
Consider that loggers have a hard time getting credit PI/CP
There has been an overall economic slowdown that has affected forest industry PI/CP
Evaluate the ability to harvest and manage smaller tracts PI/CP
Assess availability of timber from parcelized forests PI/CP
Exchange rate affects everything we do PI/CP
Tree planting is down. Evaluate natural regeneration? PI/CP
Energy impacts the costs of final products which affect how forests are used PI/CP
Trail riders and other recreationists are feeling squeezed on the use of public lands. They do not feel welcome PI/CP
Due to loss of private land access there is more pressure to use public lands. That affects the forests and the users PI/CP
“County Digest” is a source of information PI/CP
Plants and wildlife are becoming more rare and endangered. Is this really true? PI/CP
Evaluate public perception of what a forest is, what it should be, and what it contributes? This can be multiple use but the uses can conflict. PI/CP
Evaluate policy to denote ag vs forest vs urban PI/CP
Urbanization and land use change is having tremendous impact on soil and water quantity and quality PI/CP
Global factors will affect the types of products that come from our forests. These same factors affect whether our forests will remain forests PI/CP
Lots of money is directed at institutional timber land investment and the amount of available land is decreasing PI/CP
Baby boomers with discretionary income are investing in timberland PI/CP
We need an educational component of the SFFP to affect public perception PI/CP
Conservation easements affect availability of resource more than development rights, consider that there are lots of restrictions PI/CP
As rural lands are urbanized it affects the tax base and costs and demand for services (rights-of-way, reservoirs, etc.) PI/CP
Technology can work with or against us and have a positive effect on values and functions PI/CP
Environmental NGOs have an influence on forestry in the urbanizing parts of the region PI/CP
Research and Development is down PI/CP
Globalization has pluses and minuses PI/CP
The possibility of new markets will be important PI/CP
Forest management has had a positive impact on values and functions (i.e., increased wildlife, air quality, water quality) PI/CP
Urbanization has had a positive impact on subsistence living --eroding farmland PI/CP
Socio-economics and policy will far and away affect our forests more than anything else PI/CP
Consider the impacts of social issues: smoke, noise, etc. PI/CP
  Governor in GA is interested in making GA a center for bioenergy. How much cellulose is required to feed a bioenergy plant? May take more than waste wood; may increase price for pulpwood and put pulp mills out of business (a large employer in SE GA) GA
Tree ordinances in urbanizing counties affects forestry activities (especially in the Piedmont subregion becausethere are more areas of high human population) PI
Consider water issues. High demand in developing counties. Talk about creating new reservoirs—how will this affect forestry (especially in the Piedmont) PI
Evaluate estate taxes and how they affect landowners (their decisions about landownership). Lots of turnover right now due to age of many forest landowners. Generational differences may/will mean different decisions PI/CP
Consider ad valorem taxes—highest and best use vs current use PI/CP
Kyoto protocols in Europe are affecting markets, e.g., substituting wood pellets for coal mean more demand for wood pellet production in the U.S. PI/CP
Subsidies (farm, bioenergy, carbon sequestration) may shift land use in the south--forest to agriculture PI/CP
Assess shifting emphasis of the CRP program—more for wildlife habitat now—this affects forest land productivity PI/CP
NAFTA trade policy can make export of timber products more lucrative than local use. Increase demand for wood will affect forestry PI/CP
Evaluate potential carbon credit markets—how will they affect forests and forest resources in the southeast? PI/CP
Rising corn/soybean costs for energy will drive food prices up. Will this lead to greater demand for wood cellulosic for energy production? PI/CP
Waiting for the Farm Bill: CRP, EQUIP, WEP, etc. How will it affect forestry? PI/CP
FY 09 President's budget calls for large cuts in State and Private Forestry in technical assistance programs. How will this affect forest management? PI/CP
New air quality standards are affecting prescribed fire opportunities and manufacturing and processing of wood PI/CP
EPA's TMDL standards may affect how watersheds are managed PI/CP
Land use planning (e.g., tree ordinances) could have a positive or negative affect on keeping forests in forests PI/CP
Local, state, federal ordinances in general have great opportunity to affect forest use PI/CP
Forest certification programs may add value to landowners willingness to keep forests PI/CP
Assess Healthy Forest Initiative and its effect on national forests PI/CP
Definition of “renewable biomass” for advanced fuel production in the Energy Bill will affect forests and how they are used PI/CP
Regulations that affect wetlands mitigation, stream restoration, “no net loss policy” will affect a wide range of forest resources PI/CP
H2B legislation for migrant and temporary labor will affect the ability to conduct important forest management activities PI/CP
A potential for a national “renewal portfolio standard” for electricity production may affect forestry PI/CP
Decline in funding for southern research cooperatives (e.g., nursery, tree improvement) will affect long term research PI/CP
Atlantic white cedar and longleaf pine restoration-- will there be legislation to increase funding for this? PI/CP
Air quality standards may also affect forest productivity (it may increase productivity) PI/CP
Fragmentation of policies and ordinances among many agencies and institutions make it difficult to develop one strategy or approach to solve problems. Consider the lack of communications between institutions in making unified land use decisions PI/CP
Institutions are affecting recreational use of forests including costs PI/CP
Forest Service policy to address forest health in aftermath of Southern Pine Beetle epidemic limits the ability to address it in a timely manner PI/CP
Consider tax incentives to help landowners gain value for ecosystem services from their forests PI/CP
Land Uses/Forest Management
  Consider changes in basic tree growth or properties that may come through genetics and breeding work, clonal work. PI/CP
Consider that new species may be preferred or planted for new uses such as exotics or more hdwd PI/CP
Consider that increasing recreation use may increase demand for hdwd forest types PI/CP
Leisure time is increasing PI/CP
Evaluate rural vs suburban vs urban populations: goals and values are different PI/CP
Evaluate changing forest landowner values. Evaluate differences among generations as private forests are passed on PI/CP
Consider that certification programs (SFI, FSC, Tree Farm) are becoming more significant and affect the way forests can/will be managed PI/CP
Carbon Credits may offer an incentive to keep forests in forests PI/CP
Will increasing pressure on plantation resources overcut that forest type? PI/CP
Evaluate policy such as tax treatment for TIMO's and REIT's. These have significant effects on mgmt PI/CP
Fragmentation/tract size make mgmt difficult but there is no policy to restrict this PI/CP
Is recreational use increase driven by increasing population income? PI/CP
We need an analysis of the impact of increase in recreational use PI/CP
Consider bioenergy-feedstocks which have an interaction among ag and forestland PI/CP
Evaluate conversion of forest back to ag due to bioenergy pricing PI/CP
Consider that change from intensive management to less intensive management reduces availability of fiber (change in ownership or fragmentation) PI/CP
Evaluate increased cost of getting values from the forest (all costs—mgmt, operational) PI/CP
How will bioenergy markets interact with traditional forest products? PI/CP
Consider water quality, water rights. These will impact options for forest mgmt and use PI/CP
Consider land use conversion from ag to forest or forest to urban PI/CP
LCA of substitute products (concrete, steel) would show value of wood PI/CP
Wood quality is a function of management so changing practices may affect the supply of certain types of wood products PI/CP
Bioenergy use will likely lead to significantly shorter rotations PI/CP
Consider alternative management regimes—agroforestry etc. Offer new options. PI/CP
Restoration of historical species (chestnut, longleaf, AWC) will change forests PI/CP
Consider impact of insect and disease (adelgid, cogon grass) changing forests PI/CP
How is harvesting technology evolving to meet new mgmt needs? PI/CP
Wood products markets drive landowner behavior. Ag products do too PI/CP
Evaluate bioenergy as new/additional product PI/CP
Consider the value of recreation use PI/CP
Consdier the value of fiber supply PI/CP
Consider the value of wildlife habitat including fisheries PI/CP
Consider the value of biodiversity PI/CP
Consider the value of threatened and endangered species PI/CP
Consider the value of forest as forest –emotional, aesthetic, non dollar values PI/CP
Consider the value of a sustainable energy supply PI/CP
Consider the value of oxygen PI/CP
Consider the value of meeting society's needs with renewable resources PI/CP
Consider the value of water quality/quantity PI/CP
Consider the value of a sustainable energy supply PI/CP
Consider the value of a balanced landscape mix of land uses PI/CP
Society is developing a lack of natural value—social value—“fear of nature” PI/CP
Consider economic returns to the landowner PI/CP
Consider the value of ecosystem services—society should share in the cost PI/CP
Consider a lack of value/respect/understanding of nature PI/CP
Consider the importance of plantations to meet future demands PI/CP
Importance in global markets of the southern “woodbasket”, our future affects the world PI/CP
Evaluate the importance in global markets of the southern “woodbasket”, our future affects the world PI/CP
Consider the lack of knowledge of how a forest works and is used. Consider history of forests and forest utilization in the region PI/CP
Consider the value of hunting leases PI/CP
  Assess import/export of freight in Savannah port CP
Redbay wiped out by Laurel Wilt in Coastal Plain CP
Hurricane damage is generally more prevalent on coast than in Piedmont CP
Consider loss of fire as silvicultural tool, especially in coastal plain, but also in piedmont due to urbanization PI/CP
Consider loss of FIA data and planting records that impacts commercial aspects of forests. How much harvest is coming from pine plantations vs natural stands PI/CP
Assess movement of pests and diseases (e.g., Redbay—this may affect sassafras and avocado) PI/CP
Consider monitoring for Gypsy Moth, Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, and Emerald Ash Borer coming into GA PI/CP
Consider advances in tree improvement. This could change forest impact (e.g., disease resistance, planting methods, etc) PI/CP
Consider pollution from roads from FS timber sale could translate to private lands. Streams with TMDL restrictions (Chattanooga River in Rabun County) PI/CP
Consider drought impacts. Climate change may restrict disturbances in watersheds needed for reservoirs—tree seedling issues PI/CP
Hurricanes, increased fire risks, bug damage, interruptions in wood production can affect forests PI/CP
Hurricane Isabel damaged largest reserve of Atlantic White Cedar PI/CP
Researchers suggesting that climate change (warming) could increase ranges for longleaf and loblolly PI/CP
Drought may increase potential for major insect outbreaks PI/CP
Family-owned forests, when planted, may appear and behave more like “natural” forests because they may be less intensively managed than industrial forests PI/CP
Consider the implications of opposition by some interest groups to genetically modified trees PI/CP
Invasive species are coming through gardening centers and nurseries PI/CP
Fires ants causing decline in quail populations PI/CP
Evaluate CRP plantations—annosus root rot problems. Soils in CRP plantation are more susceptible PI/CP
Air quality standards in some areas may curtail burning, which in turn may cause fire-dependent ecosystems to vanish PI/CP
Evaluate altered hydrology due to impervious surfaces created with urbanization PI/CP
Consider renewed interest in North GA for creating reservoirs because of drought. How may this affect forests? PI/CP
Consider physical intimidation by environmental extremist groups PI/CP
Consider southern pine beetle increase in activity due to drought and lack of appropriate management of the forests PI/CP
Consider monitoring and control of cogon grass PI/CP
Consider the increase in really large wildfires PI/CP
Privet can take over bottoms and alter ecosystems PI/CP
Damage from Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and Laurel Wilt can change forest types PI/CP
Consider resource-comprehensive wildlife conservation strategies. SWP (state wildlife action plans) document many of these factors PI/CP
Increased urbanization is a vector for increasing invasive species (e.g. power lines, roads, trails, etc.) PI/CP
Evaluate lack of policy for restricting NNIS through garden centers and nurseries PI/CP
Bio-physical factors affect quality and quantity of recreational opportunities PI/CP
Smoke is an issue when burning, especially with urbanization, WUI PI/CP
Are new landowners aware of bio/physical factors that affect forests—e.g., insects and disease, NNIS? We need to educate States dealing with more landowners but have less funding—these landowners may have an interest in these resources and want to deal with these factors PI/CP