Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Bill in Congress to Reduce the Estate Tax for Forest Owners

Received this today from our friends at the American Forest Foundation/American Tree Farm System.  This is good news!  I urge you to get involved and urge your House member to support this bill.  Reducing the estate tax burden on family forests and farms is so important.  It will help to keep them working and providing the services we all benefit from.

Melissa Moeller
Manager, Public Affairs
American Forest Foundation
September 20, 2012

Do you know if your kids and grandkids may face an estate tax bill when your woodlands are passed down? Many family forest owners may be surprised to learn that they are at risk of facing an estate tax bill. Often, families are forced to sell their woodlands or harvest timber prematurely just to pay the tax.

Today, several members of Congress led by Representatives Diane Black (R-TN-06) and Mike Michaud (D-ME-02) introduced the "Keep the Forest and the Farm in the Family Act, H.R. 6439" to help reduce the estate tax burden on family forest owners, farmers and ranchers.

Urge your Representative to cosponsor "Keep the Forest and the Farm in the Family Act" and to maintain the current estate tax levels set to expire in December. Please act today and urge him or her to sign on to H.R. 6439 before Congress leaves town at the end of this week. (If your member has already agreed to cosponsor, you'll have the opportunity to thank them.)
  If passed, H.R. 6439 would allow forest owners --and farmers and ranchers---to pay a significantly lower estate tax (or no estate tax at all!). The legislation also removes penalties for timber harvesting in current law, allowing landowners who use this estate tax reduction to harvest timber sustainably. Timber harvesting can provide a landowner with income, and it is one of the tools that helps prevent damage from wildfires, pests, and diseases.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Invasive Plant Management Workshop

There is still time to register for the Invasive Plant Management Program sponsored by the Pinchot Chapter of the Society of American Foresters.  The workshop will be held at Nescopeck State Park in Drums, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, September 26th from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM.  Pesticide and Society of American Foresters credits have been approved for the program.  Pesticide credits will be available in categories 5, 10, 18, 23 and core.  The cost of the program is $18.00 per person and includes lunch.  To register send a check made out to "Allegheny Society of American Foresters" and send to Robert Remillard (treasurer), 103 Maple Court, Milford, PA 18337.  If you have questions about the meeting contact Todd Hagenbuch at 570-401-7098.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Urge Congress to Pass the Farm Bill

Join the American Forest Foundation's - American Tree Farm System (ATFS) in urging Congress to pass the Farm Bill.  The 2008 Farm Bill is set to expire at the end of the month.  In addition, Congress goes on recess in just 6 days!  The Bill has yet to receive a vote with the full House.  Time is of the essesnce if this Bill is going to receive a vote.  You may want to urge your US Representative to move forward with this legislation as it provides important benefits for forest owners.

I copied below a message from the American Tree Farm System's public affairs manager, Christine Cadigan.  In it you will find a link you can click to bring you to the ATFS site for Policy and Advocacy.  You can write your Representative directly from that page.

"We know how important Farm Bill conservation tools and resources are for forest owners. These programs leverage forest owner time, energy, and investment to implement forest conservation practices for the betterment of our families, our rural communities and our country--all who depend on healthy forests and wood products.

The House Agriculture Committee's bipartisan Farm Bill streamlines conservation programs, improves forest owner access to conservation tools, opens forest product markets, and strengthens programs to combat invasive species. Additionally, both the House and Senate Bills provide America with billions of dollars in savings--meaning passing a Farm Bill now is fiscally responsible and good governance.

Click here to write your members of Congress today and help us spread the word so we can reach our goal of 100 messages for every day Congress is in session. We need them to understand that passing a Farm Bill now is the right thing to do."

Christine Cadigan
Manager, Public Affairs
American Forest Foundation

Project Learning Tree® and the American Tree Farm System® are programs of the American Forest Foundation.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2013 Forest Landowner Conference - Hold the date!!

May 10 & 11, 2013
Blair County Convention Center
Altoona, PA

Pennsylvania’s private woodlands make this state green. As a woodland owner, you are the future of Penn’s Woods. Your decisions are important for sustaining our trees and forests.  
Penn State’s Center for Private Forests and partners are hosting the first-ever comprehensive conference for private landowners in Pennsylvania. Whether you own 5 or 500 acres, you are one of nearly 740,000 Pennsylvania woodland owners who together make decisions about the health and care of nearly 12 million acres of private forests.

This conference is about learning and coming together as a community. We will cover virtually every topic affecting your property with dozens of presentations on woods, wildlife, water, conservation, taxes, timber sales, invasive species, and much more. Exhibitors with informational and resource displays and demonstrations will be present to showcase tools and services available to help you tackle your forest projects.

To learn more about THE FUTURE OF PENNS WOODS conference visit: If you would like to receive notices about the conference as details develop, send an email to