Upcoming Forest Service events to help landowners recover from drought
The Texas Forest Service is holding two events in February aimed at assisting landowners trying to recover from the ongoing drought and its impact on forestry impact.
East Texas landowners are invited to a Drought Symposium on Feb. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lottie and Arthur Temple Civic Center, 601 Dennis St., Diboll, Texas. The Drought Symposium will focus on general impacts from the 2011 drought, as well as forest health issues, tree mortality assessments, silviculture recommendations, market and climate trends and federal assistance programs, and predictions for the 2012 fire season.
“This is geared toward landowners who are dealing with the issue of tree mortality,” said Shane Harrington, Texas Forest Service forester and Farm Bill coordinator, explaining that the seminar would include sessions on tree salvaging and precautions for landowners interested in replanting. “If you need advice on how to best manage your property throughout the drought, this symposium is for you.”
The Forest Service also is offering a 2012 Timber Income and Property Tax Workshop on Feb. 17 in Diboll. New timber tax laws could allow landowners to recoup some of the losses they sustained from the relentless drought and devastating wildfire season that plagued Texas during the last year.
The federal rules geared toward landowners who experienced a significant timber loss will be explained during the all-day tax workshop, which is designed to give landowners—as well as the professionals who prepare their taxes—a leg up when it comes to forest management planning.
“Tax laws are complicated, especially those specific to forestry,” said Yanshu Li, a forest economist with Texas Forest Service. “Often, tax preparers aren’t even well-versed in the laws. As a result, many landowners continue to pay more than their fair share of taxes on their timber income.”
The workshop is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., also at the Lottie and Arthur Temple Civic Center. Registration is $70 and includes lunch and a workbook. Topics will be focused on changes to state taxes for timber producers and contract lumberjacks.