This is the fourth in a series related to Forisk’s Q2 2015 forest industry analysis and timber price forecasts for the United States.
In the United States, “industrial” timberlands, or privately owned acres managed to maximize wood volume and cash flows, comprise 9% to 14% of all U.S. forests. In Canada, only 7% of all forest area is privately owned, and but a fraction of this would qualify as investable timberlands for institutional and timber REIT investors. In total, these assets have been the focus of Forisk’s timberland ownership and transaction research since 2010, with large Canadian forest owners added to this program in 2013. In the past twelve months, our team made 159 updates to Forisk’s North American Timberland Ownership List, including 112 updates associated with acres owned and managed.
Currently, the List includes over 300 private organizations in the United States and Canada that each own or manage 10,000 timberland acres or more. These include private individuals, corporations and institutions that own or manage over 100 million acres of private timberlands. Of the 103.3 million timberland acres captured here, 96.5 million (93%) acres are with 120 organizations that own or manage 100,000 acres or more each.
The table below lists the 2015 top 10 U.S. timberland owners by acres, and compares this to their 2014 rankings. Overall, the organizations listed remain unchanged from 2014, though their acreages did, and the top two firms on the list switched places. These 10 firms own 23.8 million acres; timber REITs account for 72% of this total. This does not include the approximately 2.9 million acres directly and indirectly controlled by the two largest non-profit conservation owners. Including Canadian ownerships would have added TimberWest and Domtar to the Top 10. Including J.D. Irving’s acres in Canada would have moved them up to number 3 on the list.
When looking separately at timberland managers, institutional asset managers account for 76% of the 25.1 million timberland acres managed by the top 10 managers. Timberland investment management organizations (TIMOs), who manage timber assets on behalf of institutional investors and large private investors, hold eight of the top 10 slots. A traditional forestry consulting and management firm is the largest organization on the list. The top 5 include:
- American Forest Management (4.73 million acres)
- Hancock Timber Resource Group (4.1 million acres)
- The Forestland Group (3.1 million acres)
- Campbell Global (2.9 million acres)
- Resource Management Services (2.3 million acres)
This timberland owner and management research supports analysis of wood markets and timber prices, and will be published in the Q2 Forisk Research Quarterly (FRQ). To learn more about the FRQ, click here or contact Brooks Mendell at firstname.lastname@example.org, 770.725.8447.