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Timberland Investment
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Sponsored by... | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Prentiss & Carlisle  is one of the largest timberland asset managers in North America. P&C provides ongoing management services on approximately 1.75 million acres of timberland located in Maine, Michigan, New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec. Nearly every acre under management is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council through either our clients or through P&C itself, which holds FSC certificates for both Forest Management and Chain-of-Custody.


P&C provides turnkey land management from long-range forest planning through on-ground forestry, marketing of forest products, harvesting, transportation, road construction and maintenance, stump-to-mill accounting and reporting, client cash management, administration of third-party relationships, public advocacy/representation and strategic asset planning. P&C also provides specialized consulting services in related areas of expertise:

  • Timber inventory design, execution and analysis
  • G&Y modeling and timber harvest scheduling
  • GIS mapping and data management services
  • Timberland valuations and appraisals
  • Acquisition and disposition due diligence
  • Market studies
  • Timber supply modeling


About this magazine

Our aim is to provide a gathering place for news and opinion about timberland investing. We cover both publicly traded issues including listed timber companies, real estate investment trusts (REIT's), and exchange traded funds (ETF's), and the more private world of institutional investing in timberland. Our focus is on: the rationale for investing in timberland; performance of publicly traded timber investments; timberland deals and transactions; timber supply, demand and prices, and; public policy issues that impact timberland investing. Not interested in all of these topics? You can easily filter the stories by using the Tags button above.


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Some useful links


Stock quotes, news and financial metrics

These links take you to customized Google Finance pages for timber REITS, indexes and other publicly traded companies of interest:


Prentiss & Carlisle newsletters

Quarterly updates on conditions in our operating regions


Timber Mart North 

Lake States price reporting service published by P&C


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Timberland Investors: Time To Buy Or Sell?

Timberland Investors: Time To Buy Or Sell? | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

US timberland transactions began picking up towards the end of last year and the start of this year with deals from investment managers Hancock Natural Resource Group, Resource Management Service, Timberland Investment Resources, Potlatch Corporation (PCH), Molpus Woodlands Group and Catchmark Timber (CTT). 


While a fourth quarter uptick is fairly typical, timber fund managers say activity has materially increased in recent months due to a number of market dynamics.


“A few things are coming into play at the moment,” said Tony Cascio, a senior vice president of investments at fund manager Resource Management Service (RMS). “Some of the early investment funds that launched 10-15 years ago are starting to expire. This is combined with improved market conditions over the last year or so as the housing production market improves, making it a reasonable time for such investors to sell.”
***
“We bought a property from someone in the autumn who had been thinking about selling for four years, but hadn’t been getting the right value until then,” said Hugh Humphrey, founding partner of Timberland Investment Resources Europe (TIR).


Crescent Communities’ divestment of 14,000 acres of Carolina-based timberland assets this week is a case in point; the real estate investment firm has long been more focused on residential, resort and office real estate than in forestry but waited until now to dispose of the non-core assets. TIR purchased the assets for a UK-based pension fund client.

RMS similarly divested an asset from its 2006 fund in December, keen to capitalize on strong valuations.
***
But increasing activity and more timber properties available for purchase means this divestment opportunity might be limited, argued Sweeten. The rise in prices has also made things more challenging for the buy-side, argued his colleague Cascio. “There are no screaming deals, as we find most assets are fully priced – so we have to keep our pencils sharp,” he said.


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Timbervest LLC Sells 10,400 Acres of Timberland Assets from Investment Fund

Timbervest LLC Sells 10,400 Acres of Timberland Assets from Investment Fund | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Timbervest, LLC, an Atlanta-based company that manages timber-related assets and investments, today announced it sold more than 10,000 acres of timberland assets in Florida, South Carolina and Vermont from its Timbervest Partners I (TVP I) investment fund. The combined value of the three transactions totaled more than $14.2 million. Following the sales, the $230 million, vintage 2005 TVP I fund continues to own and manage high quality timberlands located throughout the country and its investor base consists of both institutional and high-net-worth investors.

“We are excited to complete these transactions,” said Bill Boden, managing partner of Timbervest. “Each property’s unique environmental characteristics and timber attributes made them highly attractive assets. At this stage of the TVP I fund, we are actively evaluating other sales opportunities.”

Florida Property

Timbervest sold approximately 6,710 acres in Lafayette County to an institutional, environmentally-themed investment entity. Since 2006, the fund has owned this environmentally-sensitive asset, which also possesses recreational appeal given its proximity to the Suwannee River Water Conservation District. The buyer purchased the critically located tract because of its attractive characteristics, proximity to nearby public lands and future timber harvesting opportunities.

South Carolina Property

After owning the property for nearly nine years, Timbervest sold 2,416 acres in Kershaw County to a timberland investment group. The tract’s location, wood product mix and recreational appeal made this an attractive property.

Vermont Property

Purchased by the fund in 2006, the 1,243-acre unit in Washington County was sold as a long-term investment to a high-net-worth investor because of its inventory of high value hardwood species and excellent accessibility and location. The property exhibits future high-end recreational appeal based on the area’s demographics and contains a growing inventory of premium hardwood timber.

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SFI updates forestry standards

SFI updates forestry standards | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
An organization that certifies lumber and paper products as environmentally sustainable has upgraded its standards, but critics say the Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards and enforcement remain weak.

SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow says the upgrade released Wednesday came out of a regular five-year reassessment, and tightens standards on clearing large areas of forest, damaging wetlands, and using pesticides.

The revision comes as the environmental group ForestEthics issued a report comparing SFI certification audits in Canadian forests with audits by the Forest Stewardship Council, the other leading forest certification organization. The report found SFI audits were less rigorous than FSC audits and called for fewer corrections to forest practices.
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American Forest Foundation announces improved tree farm certification standards

American Forest Foundation announces improved tree farm certification standards | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The American Forest Foundation (AFF) today announced the release of its updated Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification under the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). The Standards, which are revised every five years, are the result of a rigorous, multi-stakeholder process and based on international guidelines for sustainable forest management and conservation.

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The Independent Standards Review Panel (ISRP) developed the revisions based on an extensive public feedback process. The revised Standards include several core revisions to ensure long-term stewardship of America’s forests, including expanding best management practices to encompass water, air and soil, and clarifying management needed to protect threatened and endangered species and forests of recognized importance.


These Standards help guide the work of a wide diversity of people and organizations that make up the American Tree Farm System including landowners, natural resource professionals, ATFS inspectors, group managers, and third-party assessors who evaluate the sustainability of forests. Additionally, because the rigorous Standards are consistent with the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the world’s largest forest certification system, supply chains and organizations using wood produced from ATFS-certified forests can be internationally recognized for sustainable management.

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The revised Standards will govern ATFS certification for the next five years, beginning on January 1, 2015. The ATFS community and certificate holders will have one year to transition to any revisions to the Standards.


Detailed information on the new Standards, including a timeline of key dates in the transition process, can be found on the ATFS website.

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Crescent sells 14,000 acres of S.C. timber land

Crescent sells 14,000 acres of S.C. timber land | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Charlotte-based Crescent Communities said Wednesday that it has sold almost 14,000 acres of land along Interstate 77 in South Carolina to an affiliate of Atlanta-based Timberland Investment Resources.

The land is spread through Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw and Lancaster counties. Crescent, a major developer and landowner, said the sale is one of the largest single transactions in its history. The sale price was not disclosed.

Timberland buys and manages working forests for large institutional investors, overseeing hundreds of thousands of acres.

Hank Higgins, Crescent’s vice president of land sales, said the company determined it made more sense to sell the acreage to a timber company than try to develop the land. The tracts have been used for timber, and the area has sawmills, paper mills and plywood-producing factories that make such operations efficient, he said.
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Distressed timber fund makes £5m tender offer

Distressed timber fund makes £5m tender offer | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Cambium Global Timberland has launched a tender offer to buy around a fifth of its shares in the first return of capital since investors voted to wind up the AIM-listed company nearly two years ago.

The £23 million timber fund has been a major disappointment for shareholders, losing 71% since floating on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2007.

Last October it sacked its investment manager CP Cogent and made Robert Rickman, a non-executive director and qualified forester, operations manager. The following month it slashed its net asset value (NAV) from 40p to 33p per share as it began to value its assets on a ‘held for sale’ basis and was hit by poor market conditions in Brazil and the strength of the dollar.

Cambium is looking to return around £5 million to its long-suffering investors by purchasing 20 million shares at 25p per share. The purchase price is 16.3% higher than the closing level of the shares at 31 December, although it is a big discount to the NAV.

When Cambian got shareholder approval in February 2013 to wind up operations it warned disposing of all its assets could last up to four years.

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CatchMark expands credit facilities to $410 million

CatchMark expands credit facilities to $410 million | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

CatchMark Timber Trust Inc. refinanced its existing credit facilities through a syndicate led by CoBank ACB, increasing its total credit availability from $240 million to $410 million.


The Atlanta-based REIT (NYSE: CTT) reported the new debt facilities include a $35 million, five-year revolving line of credit, a $275 million seven-year multi-draw term loan, and a $100 million 10-year term loan.
The refinancing provides additional capital for future acquisitions and other general corporate purposes, including share repurchases.


The refinancing also provides CatchMark with increased liquidity and a reduction in its effective interest cost, the company said.

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MeadWestvaco sells nearly 5,400 acres of East Edisto tract

MeadWestvaco sells nearly 5,400 acres of East Edisto tract | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A large chunk of MeadWestvaco's massive 72,000-acre East Edisto tract will go to conservation.

The paper giant recently sold 5,359 acres, or about 7 percent, of the sprawling property, near County Line Road in southwestern Charleston County to Cantusee Timberlands LLC for $14.25 million.

The buyer of the property near the Edisto River is affiliated with Conservation Forestry, a New Hampshire-based timberland investment firm.

Conservation Forestry is headed by John Tomlin, whose company harvests trees for profit while permanently protecting surrounding forests from development.

It works by pooling money with a nonprofit such as the Nature Conservancy to buy large wooded tracts. Conservation Forestry may put up 75 percent of the purchase price for the right to harvest timber and the Nature Conservancy puts up the rest and receives a conservation easement that ensures the forest will forever remain a forest.

The arrangement ensures a steady return for investors, the state retains its property tax base and the public gets wildlife and open space.
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MeadWestvaco placed a restriction on the property before it was sold that limits any development to low density, according to Ken Seeger, the company's president of community development and land management.

Sam Radcliffe's insight:

At $2,659 per acre this property must be exceedingly well stocked...

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Pope sells conservation easement on 3,000 acres of forest near Mount St. Helens

Pope sells conservation easement on 3,000 acres of forest near Mount St. Helens | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Columbia Land Trust on Monday announced the conservation of more than 3,000 acres of forestland near Mount St. Helens, the latest phase in an ongoing effort by the organization to prevent development in the area.

The Vancouver-based nonprofit purchased development rights on the land, which will remain under the ownership of timber company Pope Resources. It will also remain in active forestry and produce tax-generating timber harvests, according to the land trust.

"This landmark project shows what can be achieved when a timber company, a conservation group and public leaders put their heads together to find lasting conservation solutions that benefit both people and nature," Columbia Land Trust Executive Director Glenn Lamb said in a released statement.

The $1.1 million deal is part of the Mount St. Helens Forest Conservation project, which aims to protect more than 20,000 acres of land near Swift Reservoir in Skamania County from development. The land trust secured nearly 6,900 acres south of the reservoir through a conservation easement in 2010. The organization acquired another 2,300 acres in the outright purchase of a second parcel along the east side of Pine Creek in 2013. This agreement added 3,087 acres mostly through an easement, though the land trust also purchased 210 acres along the west bank of Pine Creek, protecting critical habitat for endangered bull trout and other wildlife, according to the organization. The deal was funded by a grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
Sam Radcliffe's insight:

Roughly $400 per acre 

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Bond yield rise will be ‘acid test’ for real assets

Bond yield rise will be ‘acid test’ for real assets | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Two thirds of investors will rethink their allocations to real assets in the event of a significant rise in interest rates, according to research. The BlackRock and Economist Intelligence Unit survey of global institutional investors found almost half (47%) said low interest rates influence their investments in real estate, infrastructure and commodities.
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This was in spite of 60% saying they planned to increase allocations to real assets in at least one category over the next 18 months. Almost half of infrastructure investors, 48% of real estate investors and 46% of commodities investors expected to increase their allocations in that time frame. One of the main attractions of real assets is that they provide a stable income in an extremely low-yield environment. Bond yields are expected to rise when the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England increase interest rates next year.


Future Fund of Australia chief investment officer Raphael Arndt said: "The acid test will be when bond yields rise in a few years. We are seeing the start of that cycle now and how real assets perform for us in the coming years, and through the rest of the cycle, will prove to be the most important thing for us." He added that low-risk infrastructure assets are very expensive right now and are also very susceptible to rising rate cycles.


London Pensions Fund Authority chief executive Susan Martin said real assets were attractive because of the potential illiquidity premium in a low-rate environment.She added: "There are still plenty of opportunities in the UK, Europe and Southeast Asian countries [in real estate]. The risk is the same as in most real assets-too much money chasing opportunities, which may lead to bubbles and drive down return to an uneconomic level."

Sam Radcliffe's insight:

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in timber. My gut feeling is that a number of institutions would show timber the door if they could get decent fixed income in a more liquid and understandable investment.

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CEO gives back bonus, says he doesn't deserve it

CEO gives back bonus, says he doesn't deserve it | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Rick Holley is CEO of Plum Creek Timber Co. PCL 0.67% , a Seattle-based real estate investment trust that owns and manages around 6.8 million acres of timberland in 19 states. Today Holley disclosed, via a regulatory filing, that he has returned 44,445 restricted stock units back to the company because “he does not believe that he should receive such an award unless Plum Creek’s stockholders see an increase in their investment return.”

At today’s opening price of $41.80 per share, Holley’s giveback would work out to more than $1.85 million.

To be sure, it’s been a rough 18 months for Plum Creek shareholders, in part due to low levels of new home construction. The stock hit an all-time high of $54.04 per share on May 12,2013, before falling as low as $39 per share on October 1, 2014. Revenue has also been nearly flat over the past two years, while net income is expected to fall in fiscal 2014. That said, it’s hard to remember the last time a CEO voluntarily gave up stock as a sort of apologia to disappointed investors.
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Close of successful final fund raising for FIM Sustainable Timber & Energy LP

Close of successful final fund raising for FIM Sustainable Timber & Energy LP | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
FIM Services, the specialist forestry and renewable energy investment manager, today announces the close of the successful final fund raising for FIM Sustainable Timber & Energy LP (STELP), securing new subscriptions of £33million.

The LP was significantly oversubscribed, closing 32% over the £25 million target, having received overwhelming support from existing Limited Partners and attracted new high net worth investors. FIM believe this is an endorsement of both the LP’s performance to date (annualised return of 15% since inception) and its business plan – a combination of long term capital growth from timberland and a 3% post tax annual distribution, which is funded by timber sales and income from high yielding renewable energy assets.
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Great Southern Land sells 6,477 acres of timberland to 13 buyers

Great Southern Land sells 6,477 acres of timberland to 13 buyers | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Wetumpka, Al - Great Southern Land, LLC sold 45 tracts of timberland located in Coosa, Clay and Talladega counties to 13 different buyers by the sealed bid method of sale. The bid deadline date was November 20, 2014. The last sale was closed January 16, 2015.

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Expectations were to sell 30% to 70% of the property to high bidders on the bid date and the balance by private treaty over a 6 month to 3 years period. However, Great Southern Land was able to put all the property under contract within 5 days of the bid opening.

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Carbon offset scheme gives the Yurok tribe a new way to make money while improving wildlife habitat

Carbon offset scheme gives the Yurok tribe a new way to make money while improving wildlife habitat | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
The tribe’s forestry programme is one of more than two dozen operations across California that have generated offsets for the state’s growing carbon market.

This winter, Yurok tribe forestry crews will be four-wheeling down muddy fire roads, hiking through steep, slippery brush and trekking across more than 8,000ha of forest to count and measure trees.

Instead of preparing to sell lumber, as it has in the past, California’s largest Indian tribe is taking stock of its firs, redwoods and tanoaks to make money in a cap-and-trade programme. By managing its forest near Redwood National Park for carbon storage instead of timber harvest, the tribe is generating credits to sell to oil companies and other businesses that must reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of the state’s effort to slow climate change.

When trees are allowed to grow, they absorb more carbon dioxide from the air and store it in their trunks, branches and roots. That sequestered carbon, which would otherwise contribute to global warming, is now a valuable commodity for landowners like the Yurok.

The Yurok tribe has sold millions of dollars’ worth of carbon credits, known as offsets, to some of the state’s biggest polluters. The tribe’s forestry programme is one of more than two dozen operations across the nation that have generated offsets for California’s growing carbon market. The initiative is giving the Yurok tribe a new way to make money while it improves wildlife habitat, grows its forestry staff and acquires land in its ancestral territory near the mouth of the Klamath River in Del Norte and Humboldt counties.
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Most US coated paper capacity now in foreign hands

Most US coated paper capacity now in foreign hands | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Two major events have shaken the US coated paper industry this week, leaving most of the country's ability to make coated paper in foreign companies.


The events that occurred almost simultaneously yesterday are:
1) NewPage, the largest North American maker of coated paper, divested its Biron, Wisconsin and Rumford, Maine mills to Catalyst Paper, which means that almost 12% of the nation's coated-paper capacity into Canadian hands.


2) The purchase of NewPage by Verso, the continent's #2 maker of coated paper, was completed a year and a day after it was first proposed. The U.S Justice Department, required the sale of the two NewPage mills for the takeover to be approved,  fearing a combined Verso-NewPage would have too large a market share.


According to Dead Tree Edition, four U.S.-owned companies -- NewPage, Verso, Appleton, and FutureMark -- represented 65% of the country's coated capacity last summer. The rest was owned by companies based in South Africa (SAPPI), Canada (Resolute and West Linn), Finland (UPM), and New Zealand (Evergreen). Since then, FutureMark went out of business, Verso closed its Bucksport, Maine mill, and NewPage sold the two mills to Catalyst.

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Largest closed-end, private real estate funds raised in 2014

Largest closed-end, private real estate funds raised in 2014 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Closed-end private real estate funds raised $90 billion in 2014 -- just shy of the $92 billion raised in 2013, according to data released Tuesday by Preqin.
Sam Radcliffe's insight:

In one year, nearly twice the total institutional  capital invested in timberland.

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Judge orders Cal Fire to pay $30 million for ‘reprehensible conduct’ in Moonlight fire case

Judge orders Cal Fire to pay $30 million for ‘reprehensible conduct’ in Moonlight fire case | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
In a blistering ruling against Cal Fire, a judge in Plumas County has found the agency guilty of “egregious and reprehensible conduct” in its response to the 2007 Moonlight fire and ordered it to pay more than $30 million in penalties, legal fees and costs to Sierra Pacific Industries and others accused in a Cal Fire lawsuit of causing the fire.

The ruling is the latest twist in an epic legal battle that began not long after the fire erupted on Labor Day 2007, scorching more than 65,000 acres in Plumas and Lassen counties.

Sierra Pacific, the largest private landowner in California, was blamed by state and federal officials for the blaze, with a key report finding it was started by a spark from the blade of a bulldozer belonging to a company working under contract for Sierra Pacific.

But company officials have steadfastly denied responsibility and have accused the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the U.S. Forest Service of conspiring to cover up their own shortcomings that allowed the fire to rage out of control.

Even after Sierra Pacific agreed to settle a federal lawsuit over the devastation in two national forests by paying $55 million in cash and handing over 22,500 acres of land to the government, the company insisted it was undone by an erroneous ruling of U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, and then was a victim of stonewalling by Cal Fire in that agency’s Plumas County suit, including the alleged withholding of thousands of pages of key internal documents relevant to the legal struggle.

In a 28-page order issued Tuesday, retired Superior Court Judge Leslie C. Nichols essentially agreed with all of Sierra Pacific’s points, adopting a separate, 57-page order proposed by Sierra Pacific and the other defendants almost word-for-word, and excoriating the behavior of Cal Fire and two lawyers from the office of Attorney General Kamala Harris, which represented the agency.
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10 Predictions for Wood Consuming Industries in 2015

10 Predictions for Wood Consuming Industries in 2015 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Pete Stewart, Forest2Market's President and CEO, makes 10 predictions about the performance of wood consuming industries in 2015
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Deer account for almost half of long-term forest change, study finds

Deer account for almost half of long-term forest change, study finds | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A study released this week has linked at least 40 percent of species changes in the forests of northern Wisconsin and Michigan over the past 60 years to the eating habits of white-tailed deer.

A research group led by Donald Waller, a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, used a pair of strategies to look at the ecological impact of deer. First, they resurveyed 62 sites across northern Wisconsin and Michigan in 2000-01 that were first studied by former UW-Madison Professor John Curtis and his students in the 1950s. "This showed us just how the forest has changed during a time when deer were becoming much more common, but it did not pinpoint the deer themselves as the cause of the changes," Waller says.


Waller's group later examined plant communities inside and outside 17 fenced "exclosures" built to keep out deer but not smaller mammals. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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Price County WI timber bid opening surpasses $1 million

Price County WI timber bid opening surpasses $1 million | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Total timber sales bids opened for fall of 2014 at the most recent Price County Forestry and Parks/Tourism Committee meeting December 9 came in at $1,115,154.40 – significantly exceeding the figure normally seen in a single bid opening, according to Forestry and Parks Administrator Eric Holm. Holm explained that the county usually sells around $1 million worth of timber for the whole year, which includes a spring and fall bid opening.
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The initial contract for the most recent round of timber sales bids expires April 30, 2016, Holm said, noting that the contracts will usually be extended once or twice if need be. A total of 1,308 acres are included in land to be harvested as part of timber sales bids for fall 2014, according to Holm.


As far as active harvests go, conditions in the woods “aren’t very good so far this year” for logging activities, Holm explained. Early snow served to insulate the ground with recent warm conditions and rain further setting back the seasonal freeze.
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The winter logging season typically wraps up by March 15, Holm said.

Sam Radcliffe's insight:

About $850 per acre on the acres to be harvested.

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Hancock, Boise mum on expiring forest contract

Hancock, Boise mum on expiring forest contract | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

On Dec. 31, a guaranteed wood-supply contract originally inked between Boise Cascade Company and Forest Capital Partners that in 2012 was assumed by new landowner Hancock Timber will expire. Included in that massive, multi-state purchase were 148,000 acres of land in northern Wallowa County that for decades had been owned by Boise Cascade.


Representatives from Boise Cascade and Hancock Timber declined to comment about the contract situation, but Hancock Timber’s La Grande-based regional manager, Joe Justice, said the two firms will continue to do business with each other.
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Justice, who was hired by Boise Cascade in 2000 and has remained working on the same 300,000 acre “tree farm” in Northeast Oregon and Southwestern Washington as ownership has changed from Boise cascade to Forest Capital and now Hancock Timber, says a common misconception about those changes in ownership is that personnel making on-the-ground decisions on that large tract of land, half of which is in Wallowa County, changes with ownerships. “Walk in our office today,” says Justice, “and you’ll see many of the same faces as those working during Boise Cascade’s ownership. Local land knowledge is very important.”


One major difference between the ownership of Forest Capital and that of Hancock Timber deals with actual owners of the property. In essence, a large pool of investors owned Forest Capital, which owned the property and distributed earnings on investment proportionally. Hancock Timber, with land holdings all over the world, operates on a different business model, says Justice. Individual investors in Hancock Timber own individual tracts of land, and there are eight such investors that own land in Wallowa County. And yet those landowners are not individuals, but in most cases large pension funds that are reimbursed for investments according to earnings made off the individual tracts of land they own in Wallowa County.


Although Justice wasn’t at liberty to answer questions that delved into proprietary information matters, he did address Hancock Timber’s worldwide policy about cutting 2 percent of its holdings annually, forming a 50-year crop rotation, and whether that policy is being followed in northern Wallowa County.


Justice repeatedly stated that 2 percent of 300,000 acres is a large amount of timber to be cut in one year (6,000 acres to be exact) and, in his opinion, local worries on the matter arose from a circumstance of so many acres being clear-cut within sight from Highway 3, in northern Wallowa County. That area from Hancock’s purchase included an inventory of trees that needed to be harvested.

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N.C. Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit against Hofmann Forest sale

N.C. Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit against Hofmann Forest sale | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Without a request from either side, without agreeing with either one and essentially without explanation, the N.C. Supreme Court has decided to toss out the lawsuit aimed at blocking N.C. State University endowment officials from selling the giant Hofmann Forest.

The court added the new twist to the roller-coaster saga of the land deal when it quietly issued a one-line ruling in the case Friday. The order said simply that it was dismissing the case "ex mero motu" or essentially of its own accord.

The deal to sell the 79,000-acre forest, which is near Jacksonville, fell through early this month when the buyers couldn't get financing for their $131 million offer.

NCSU officials said then that they planned to find another buyer and the plaintiffs --- a small group that includes environmentalists and foresters --- said they wanted to continue pursuing the case.

The court had already heard arguments and was thought to be close to a decision. That means the plaintiffs had fought for more than a year and spent the money --- about $50,000 --- it should have taken to get a final verdict, said plaintiff Ron Sutherland, a wildlife scientist.

Now if the university finds another buyer, it will have to spend more in a second quest for a court order to force NCSU to perform a full review of the environmental impact of selling Hofmann.
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Church of England boosts forestry stake

Church of England boosts forestry stake | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
The Church Commissioners have acquired a forestry portfolio for £49m (€61m) for their £6.1bn endowment fund, used to finance the Church of England’s activities, as well as some of its pension obligations.

The estates were purchased from UPM Tilhill, a forestry and timber harvesting company, and are made up of 13 forests in Scotland and two in Wales, including two operating wind farms and a mountain biking visitor centre.

They take the Commissioners’ total UK forestry holdings to £100m, all of which are certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. The Commissioners are now the largest private commercial forestry investor in the UK.

The Commissioners have targeted forestry investments since 2010, and since inception these have delivered an annualised double digit return.
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Group Challenges Timber Producer's 'Green' Label

Group Challenges Timber Producer's 'Green' Label | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A watchdog group is challenging the environmentally friendly "green lumber" certification for Plum Creek Timberlands, one of the nation's biggest landowners and timber producers.

The Center for Sustainable Economy, based in Lake Oswego, Oregon, filed the complaint Thursday with a nonprofit group that verifies whether timber producers follow standards for environmentally responsible logging, including replanting after harvest, protecting water and biological diversity, and complying with environmental laws and regulations.

The complaint covers Plum Creek logging in Oregon's Coast Range, citing 11 civil citations over the past six years for violating state logging regulations, including four citations for exceeding the clear-cutting limit of 120 acres. The complaint includes Google Earth images showing landslides in areas stripped of trees by Plum Creek.

"The fragmentation caused by large clear-cuts is a driver of extinction for wildlife dependent upon interior forest conditions and one of the most damaging ecological impacts associated with forest operations in Oregon," the complaint said.

The company also was cited for failing to protect riparian zones along fish-bearing streams, allowing logging road drainage into a stream and failing to notify state regulators of changes in logging operations.

Seattle-based Plum Creek said in a statement that it was aware of the complaint and reviewing it.


"Plum Creek is committed to practicing sustainable forestry where ever we operate," company spokeswoman Kathy Budinick said in an email. "There is an established process in place for handling such complaints, and we will engage fully in the process to understand and address this complaint."

On its website, the company states prominently that all its timberlands are certified by the nonprofit Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

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Molpus Woodlands Group Announces the Purchase of 112,238 acres of Timberland in New York

Molpus Woodlands Group Announces the Purchase of 112,238 acres of Timberland in New York | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC (Molpus), a timberland investment management organization headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, announced today, on behalf of a client, the successful purchase of approximately 112,238 acres of timberland in the north-central Adirondack Park area of upstate New York.

“We will use our existing expertise in this region to practice high-quality stewardship with particular attention to conserving resources and the diversity of the forest.”

The property, located in three counties, has been in timber production for more than 100 years and is located in a vibrant hardwood sawtimber and pulpwood market area. The majority of the property falls within the Adirondack Park Reserve. Molpus currently maintains an office in Saranac Lake, New York, to oversee the management of an additional 161,000 acres in this area.

“We are pleased to expand our existing operations in upstate New York,” said Ken Sewell, Chief Operating Officer of Molpus Timberlands Management. “We will use our existing expertise in this region to practice high-quality stewardship with particular attention to conserving resources and the diversity of the forest.”

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Governor Cuomo has demonstrated that New York is Open for Conservation and Business, and we welcome Molpus’s investment in our state’s excellent timber resources. The acquisition of 112,000 acres of Adirondack Timberlands by Molpus, that is subject to a working forest conservation easement held by DEC, demonstrates that sustainable forest management is good business and benefits Adirondack communities, businesses and visitors.”

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Update: the seller was named as a Forestland Group fund here.

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