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Over 200 Firms and Investors Own 25,000+ Acres Each of US Timberlands

One reality of market and investment research is that if a data set “should” exist, it doesn’t.  And if it does exist, it’s probably out of date (especially in forestry).  Therefore, my team views the systematic aggregation, tracking and analysis of facts related to wood demand, wood bioenergy and timberland markets  as fundamental to conducting meaningful forestry investment research.

Part of Forisk’s research has focused on timberland investment vehicles and how private timberland ownership has changed over time.  On February 29, 2012, we will publish for the first time from our database a detailed listing of the primary owners of private timberland in the United States.  Estimates of the “investable universe” of timberland in the US range from 60 to 100 million acres; we count approximately 210 owners that each own and manage 25,000 acres or more for a total of ~82 million acres.  Of these acres, 20% are owned by the four public timber REITs (Plum Creek, Potlatch, Rayonier and Weyerhaeuser) and 37% are managed by 27 US-based TIMOs (see figure). The 43% of acres associated with “other private” owners include forest industry firms, private individual and families, conservation groups and other non-forest industry firms and institutions.

For detailed data on US timberland ownership and more information on Forisk’s 2012 US Timberland Owner List, click here.

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