Vincent Corrao, Northwest Management, Inc.
The areas of interest for most forest landowners falls within four major categories. These categories include tax information, political issues, biological concerns, and financial alternatives.
When considering tax information, there are several areas to research. Income, estate, property, and/or excise taxes are all affected by owning timber land. There are many different ways that timber income is taxe, and your own tax consequences will depend on many variables. The taxation method will depend on how you classify your timberland ownership. There are also tax credits for such items as reforestation available at the Federal level and with some states. Many states levy property and/or excise taxes on timber at the time of cutting. For reliable information, contact your Certified Public Accountant. To educate yourself, some very good information is now available via the internet. (see back page for listings)
On the political front for Idaho forest owners, the Idaho Forest Owners Association (IFOA) is the organization to be involved with to keep abreast of the Idaho legislative issues and many of the federal changes effecting forest owners. The IFOA office is in Coeur d’Alene (208) 762-9059. Call to join and keep informed. Another excellent source of information on forests and forestland is the Idaho Forest Products Commission. The Commission has a large selection of information and data including the project learning tree program and many other educational posters and papers dealing with Idaho Forests. To contact the Idaho Forest Products Commission call 1-800-439-6637.
When looking at forest health issues and the biological concerns of maintaining a healthy forest, contact the University of Idaho Forestry Extension. Ron Mahoney specializes in forestry, natural resource education and commu nication for forest owners. Ron can be reached at (208) 885-6356 or view the web site http://www.unidaho.edu/cfwr. Another great source of forest health, insect and disease information is the State Forester Forum provided by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL). These forester forums address concerns such as insect and disease issues, wind and storm damaged timber and many other questions that arise when owning forestland. For this information contact your nearest Idaho Department of Lands office or call (208) 769-1525. The IDL also provides an excellent booklet on the Idaho Forest Practices Act outlining Best Management Practices and Forest Stewardship Guidelines for Water Quality. The booklet has great pictures on roads, streamside management, timber harvesting, hazardous substances and stream crossings. If you plan to harvest in the future, contact the IDL and have a copy available for aiding in implementing the best management practices on your property.
On the financial side of what and when to harvest, there are three indicators that can be used to determine what species to sell and if it is a good time to sell. On the lumber side, Random Lengths, a weekly report on North American Forest Products Markets keeps tabs on what lumber is selling for in each region. The Lumber Futures-Chicago Mercantile Exchange also gives an idea of what buyers and sellers think about the future of lumber sales. Northwest Management, Inc. provides a quarterly Log Market Report (contained on page 3 of this publication) provides a quarterly Log Market Report for North Idaho/Eastern Washington and has 15 years of log market information useful for price comparisons. Over the past 15 years, these sources of information have provided the most useful information for private landowners to stay informed and effective when caring for their woodlands.