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Small beetle with a big lesson for investors

Small beetle with a big lesson for investors | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The mountain pine beetle is about a third of an inch long and probably not endowed with advanced powers of financial analysis, but it has something important to teach investors about how environmental risk is changing.

 

In the past decade, the beetle has killed millions of trees from New Mexico to northern Canada. For investors in North American timber, the obvious response to an outbreak in one place would be to diversify into assets unaffected in other areas – but the beetle has spread so fast that such a strategy was doomed to failure.

 

What the beetle is telling investors is to stop viewing environmental risk in terms of isolated events.

 

There is increasing evidence that extreme weather, resulting in floods in the Somerset Levels or drought in California, is posing systemic financial risk, not just affecting a single asset at one time but large swathes of portfolios over time. Similarly, government initiatives to reduce environmental impact, for example by developing regulations to limit pollution, can also create widespread financial risk that is impossible to mitigate. Asset owners should pay more attention to these developments, improving their analysis and seeking out suitable hedges or mitigation steps.

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34 Homes Destroyed In Michigan Wildfire

34 Homes Destroyed In Michigan Wildfire | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

NEWBERRY, Mich.-- Crews worked Tuesday to ensure that no more structures were damaged by a wildfire burning across more than 30 square miles of Michigan's Upper Peninsula as high winds in the forecast threatened to test firefighting efforts...

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Sierra Pacific Industries reports record losses in recent fires

Sierra Pacific Industries reports record losses in recent fires | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A record amount of Sierra Pacific Industries land has been torched by the wildfires burning in eastern Shasta County. The nation's second-largest timber producer estimated that roughly 33,000 acres of its timber had burned as of Wednesday. The Ponderosa Fire alone consumed 17,600 acres of the Anderson-based company's land from Manton east to Lassen Volcanic National Park.


"It's the biggest loss we have ever had on our land," SPI spokesman Mark Pawlicki said.


The company had lost about 14,000 acres in the Bagley Fire, about 24 percent contained Friday afternoon. It is burning west of Big Bend in a remote area of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.


Dan Tomascheski, SPI's vice president of resources, said the Ponderosa Fire burned extremely hot. "We saw that one burn pretty much everything, and the fuel-break-type work we had done, the fire was moving so fast, there wasn't enough time for the agencies to get in place and use the fire breaks," Tomascheski said.

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