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Institutional Timberland Ownership in the US South: Magnitude, Location, Dynamics, and Management

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We have compiled an exhaustive list of timberland investment management organizations (TIMOs) and timberland real estate investment trusts (REITs) and used USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory Analysis data to quantify their acreage, distribution, dynamics, and management practices. We find that TIMOs and REITs own/manage about 16 million ac or 10% of the timberland across 11 southern states and that they manage these forests in a sustainable fashion in terms of growth-to-removals and reforestation. Furthermore, TIMOs and REITs own/manage more forest plantations than other owners and harvest more hardwood than is grown. Most of the timberland owned and managed by TIMOs and REITs, located mainly in the southern coastal plain and Piedmont regions, were previously owned by forest industry firms.

Keywords: Timberland Investment Management Organizations (TIMOs); Timberland Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs); forest management; forest sustainability; industrial timberland ownership; institutional timberland ownership

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-10-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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