February 2011
New Members

Please join me in welcoming our newest WoodNet members!  Check them out at www.catskillwoodnet.org and their company websites:

Greene Lumber Company, LP
Davenport, NY  

Nick Brown Woodworking

Stone Ridge, NY   

Materia Designs

New Paltz, NY   

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It's Tax Season !!


It's everyone's favorite time of year! For forest landowners (especially if you've had a timber harvest), this can be a scary time trying to figure out how that latest cut will change your income tax. While I definitely recommend working with a professional forester and/or accountant, a good first stop is the U.S. Forest Service's Updated Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2010 Tax Year. This just-released publication includes updated information from the tax bill passed in December. The good news? If you can demonstrate that your woodlot is an investment property, you can probably lower your timber sale tax burden (because the income is treated as capital gains, which is taxed at a lower percentage).

Letter from the Editor

Happy New Year !


Reading the papers, 2011 seems to be shaping up to be a better year for the economy. Employment is expected to rise, sales are starting to move upward, and the stock market has been posting gains. Still, it's a tough time to be in wood. Housing starts are low and are expected to stay that way for the foreseeable future. A recent New York Times article discussed a housing "double-dip" as home prices are falling again. What can wood products businesses do to cope? One way is to explore new or niche markets; James Stupack, a Montana logger, survived by turning low-grade logs into "character pieces" for artistic fencing and cabins. Another method is to tap into technology, particularly the Internet. Niagara Lumber, a sawmill southeast of Buffalo, has an online store on its site. Customers can purchase lumber, moulding, and even doors directly online and have their order shipped to them.

WoodNet's strategy is to tap into 21st century marketing. As mentioned in the last issue, we are exploring a WoodNet online store. If you are a wood products company in the Catskills, you have probably already received a survey from us asking about your knowledge and interest in the store and online sales. If you haven't received one, or if you've misplaced yours, please contact me, and I will send one out to you. An online store is a daunting task, and we really need your help!

The challenges for the wood products industry in 2011 are great, but hidden in great challenge is great opportunity.

All the best,  

 Joshua VanBrakle

Wood Products Utilization and Marketing Specialist

Watershed Agricultural Council Forestry Program

(607) 865-7790 ext. 112

[email protected]  
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Catskill WoodNet and the Pure Catskills branding campaign are economic initiatives of the Watershed Agricultural Council. The Watershed Agricultural Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to support the economic viability of agriculture and forestry through the protection of water quality and the promotion of land conservation in the New York City Watershed region. The WAC is supported by the U.S. Forest Service, The New York City Environmental Protection, U.S.D.A and other sources. The Watershed Agricultural Council is an equal opportunity employer and provider.