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North America’s Top Timberland Owners and Managers, 2021 Update

This post includes data from Forisk’s 2021 North American Timberland Owner & Manager List and the Q2 2021 Forisk Research Quarterly.

This past year, Forisk marked its sixteenth year of tracking timberland transactions and aggregating timberland owner data. Currently, this tracking includes 323 private organizations in the United States and Canada that each own or manage 10,000 timberland acres or more. Over the past 12 months, this list “churned” about 7.4%, reflecting the addition or removal of 1 in 14 owners due to the divestiture or acquisition of significant timberland holdings, reaffirming the fact that timberland owners continued to review and modify their businesses and total portfolios.

The table below lists the 2021 top 10 timberland owners in the U.S. and Canada. Each organization has a minimum ownership of 1 million acres (approximately the same requirement to reach the top 10 in 2020). Once again, Weyerhaeuser takes the top position with 10.7 million acres, about the same as the next three firms combined (and down from 11.1 million acres last year). J.D. Irving’s 1.3 million acres in Maine secure its place as the 7th-largest timberland owner in the U.S. and adding in its 1.9 million acres in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia make it the second-largest owner on the continent.

When looking separately at the top 10 timberland managers in the U.S. and Canada, TIMOs, who manage timber assets on behalf of institutional investors and large private investors, again hold six slots. These six TIMOs manage 13.9 million acres, or 53% of the 26.1 million acres managed by the top 10 firms (versus 27.2 million in 2019). Four forestry consulting and management firms, including the largest organization on this list (American Forest Management), account for the balance.

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