Saturday, September 22, 2007

Some things you may have missed

There have been a few interesting things in the news about timberland since my last post. Its possible you may have missed one of them.

on American Forest Management
I think the most interesting, is the acquisition of I-P's Sustainable Forest Technologies subsidiary by American Forest Management which is to occur later this month. The IP subsidiary managed the 1+ million acre former IP land, among other lands, in Maine for GMO, a TIMO.

"Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., and Sumter, S.C., American Forest Management manages more than 1.5 million acres and has 15 district offices and eight field offices. With the acquisition of Sustainable Forest Technologies, the company will now manage more than 4 million acres and operate 41 offices in 15 states." Read the article.

Pretty impressive and kudo's to AFM!

on Potlatch acquisition
"SPOKANE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 12, 2007--Potlatch Corporation (NYSE:PCH) today announced an agreement to acquire approximately 179,000 acres of timberland in Idaho for approximately $215 million from Western Pacific Timber, LLC, representing $1200 per acre. The transaction will occur in two phases, with the majority of timberlands to be acquired in the first phase, which is expected to close in September 2007, and the remaining timberlands to be acquired in the second phase, which is expected to close in January of 2008."

This is the former Boise Cascade lands in the McCall, New Meadows and Donnelly area. I spent some time there on a USFS timber inventory crew. It's a pretty area, grows good timber and certainly has significant recreation potential. For most of the time, we stayed in a trailer up above New Meadows. Later we went to Burgdorf (summer population was 2, winter population was zero). Nice hot springs in a pool built of logs. We worked 10 days on, 4 days off. Our off days were spent at the smokejumpers barracks in McCall. It is (was?) a beautiful place. So much for the reminiscing, this brings the total acreage for Potlatch to 1.7 million about half of which is in Idaho. Read the news release.

On CalPERS
It seems like it wasn't too long ago when CalPERS was getting out of timberland investments...

"The California Public Employees' Retirement System sees big investment opportunities in the construction of roads, bridges, airports, utilities, water systems and similar projects.
The nation's largest public pension fund plans to allocate up to $2.5 billion into an inflation-linked new asset class that will include the pilot infrastructure program as well as investments in commodities, inflation-linked bonds and timber." Read article.

on MeadWestvaco timberland ownership structure
"As we continue to execute our land management strategy and build this business, we will explore alternate ownership structures that best support our business objectives and provide the greatest value to our shareholders," said John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. "Our Board of Directors strongly supports our strategy, and believes that any alternative structure must recognize that successful implementation of the business plan will require continuity of vision and leadership, as well as community engagement and support." Read the news article.

Time to sell Canada's forests?
Read "Treasure in the Trees" for some thoughts by Clark Binkley and others.

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