Updated on 9/21/2020
The opening date for the application portal for the CARES Forestry Financial Assistance Program has been delayed until late September due to Hurricane Sally.
Please check back as this page will be periodically updated.
The Alabama Forestry Commission is administering a forestry financial assistance program to help timber owners adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is made possible by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act for short. The CARES Act established the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which provided the State of Alabama with money to assist citizens of Alabama who have been negatively affected by the pandemic. Governor Ivey has appropriated $10 million of Alabama’s Coronavirus Relief Fund money to this program. The purpose of this program is to provide qualifying landowners and/or timber owners a one-time financial assistance payment. The qualification timeframe is March 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.
The financial assistance payment will be based upon the timber volume harvested or if the timber was sold lump-sum the financial assistance payment will be based as a flat percent of the lump-sum sale amount. There are specific criteria that must be met for either payment. Please read the following paragraph carefully.
Financial assistance payments based upon timber volume harvested will go to the timber owner; the timber must have been harvested between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. Financial assistance payments for lump-sum sales will go to the landowner, if the lump-sum sale was made between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. There is no harvest requirement for lump-sum sales made between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. If the lump-sum sale was made before March 1, 2020 the timber buyer is eligible for the financial assistance payment if the timber was harvested between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. See the flow chart below for a visual reference.
Timber owners who meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive $1.00 per ton for timber harvested between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. Landowners who sold timber lump-sum between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020 and who meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive a 6-percent financial assistance payment based on the lump-sum sale amount. All financial assistance payments are capped at a maximum of $10,0000.00 per eligible applicant.
Timber owner eligibility requirements are listed below. All requirements must be met in order to qualify.
Applicants will be able to apply online for the program on the CARES Forestry Financial Assistance Program page when the application portal opens in late September. Only electronic applications will be accepted. The application deadline will be in late October 2020. Correct and complete applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Incomplete and/or incorrect applications will not be accepted and will be sent back to the applicant with an explanation of what is missing or incorrect. Once those issues are addressed the application may be resubmitted. It is imperative to fill the application out completely and correctly. The Alabama Forestry Commission reserves the discretion to reject applications which do not sufficiently satisfy all program requirements. Application approval does not guarantee a financial assistance payment. No financial assistance payments will be made until the end of October 2020. Applicants who receive payment are capped at a maximum payment of $10,000.00. The Alabama Department of Finance will render financial assistance payments to approved applicants until the appropriated money has been exhausted. All applications are subject to audit by federal and state entities. Applicants who receive a financial assistance payment through this program will receive an IRS Form 1099 or similar document for tax purposes.
If an applicant has questions about the program, please email CARES@forestry.alabama.gov or call and leave a message at 334-240-9334, and a program manager will respond to questions in a timely manner. Please check back as this page will be periodically updated.
Landowner / Timber Owner Eligibility Requirements:
- Applicant, if an individual, must be domiciled in the State of Alabama.
- Applicant, if a business entity, must be formed under the laws of the State of Alabama and must also be a small business as defined by the Small Business Administration: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf (See page 3 Subsector 113 – Forestry and Logging, NAICS Code 113110).
- Applicant, if a landowner, must be able to demonstrate ownership of real property from which timber was sold or harvested during the program period. The following are accepted forms of documentation:
For all of the above, these documents must contain a sufficient legal description of the real property. Such documents must also identify the applicant as owner of the real property and must clearly define the nature and degree of the applicant’s ownership of the property. If the applicant’s legal name differs from the name contained in any of the above documents, the applicant must also submit a copy of official documents (such as a record reflecting a corporate or individual name change, a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, or other judicial order) accounting for the name change.
- a copy of a recorded deed or land patent
- a devise in a will that has been admitted to probate, including copies of all judicial orders admitting the will to probate and granting letters testamentary to the executor of the estate
- a judicial order or decree which vests ownership of the property with the applicant
- Applicant, if a timber owner, must provide a timber deed or timber sale contract which clearly demonstrates Applicant’s ownership of the timber at the time it was harvested.
- Applicants must certify that they have not received other federal or state funding for timber or timber-related business losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic — this includes Paycheck Protection Program benefits.
- Applicant may be an individual or business entity that owned timber at the time of harvest and harvested the timber between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.
- Alternatively, Applicant may be an individual or entity that sold timber lump-sum between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.
- If a landowner sold timber lump-sum between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020, then the landowner will be eligible for the financial assistance payment. In this instance, the timber owner will not be eligible under this program.
- However, if a landowner sold timber lump-sum prior to March 1, 2020, then the timber owner will be eligible for the financial assistance payment, but only if the timber was harvested between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.
- If Applicant owned timber at the time of harvest (either by purchasing the timber lump-sum or by virtue of owning the real property from which the timber was harvested), Applicant must demonstrate that the timber was harvested between the March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020, with documentation that can verify timber-harvest volume.
- Example documentation: scale tickets, week ending settlement statements
- If Applicant sold timber lump-sum between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020, Applicant must demonstrate that the timber was sold and that payment for said timber was deposited.
- Example documentation: timber sale agreement indicating amount of lump-sum payment, copy of deposited check for the lump-sum sale amount
- Applicants must sign an affidavit confirming they meet all of the eligibility criteria.
- If the property on which the timber was harvested is jointly owned, each individual owner will be required to complete and submit an application with all supporting documentation. These individual owners will need to indicate on their applications that they are joint owners, provide the names of all other joint owners, and indicate their ownership percentage.
Required Information and Documents for Application:
- Tax Identification Number (SSN for landowner, EIN for businesses)
- Applicant’s W-9 – required to be uploaded
- Applicant name as listed on applicant’s W-9
- Applicant address as it appears on applicant’s W-9
- Applicant phone number with area code
- Applicant email address
- A voided check or bank memo with applicant’s routing and account number for direct deposit of financial assistance payment – required to be uploaded
- Bank account type (checking or savings)
- Applicant’s account number
- Applicant’s routing number
- Timber harvest property/location information (if harvest occurred on multiple tracts, then timber harvest property/location information for each tract will need to be entered)
- Latitude and Longitude
- Copy of documentation proving ownership of real property from which the timber was sold or harvested during the program period – required to be uploaded (for landowners)
- Copy of timber deed – required to be uploaded (for businesses or those that purchased timber)
- Timber harvest volume documentation – required for Applicants who harvested timber between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.
- Timber sale contract indicating lump-sum amount – required for Applicants who sold timber lump-sum between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.
- Documentation verifying lump-sum payment has been deposited – required for Applicants who sold timber lump-sum between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.