TIMOs & REITs

Lead Author: Kathryn Fernholz

Publish date: 05.23.2007

 

What, Why, & How They Might Impact Sustainable Forestry

 

Forestland ownership patterns can have a significant impact on the long-term continuance of large tracts of forestland as diverse natural forests. In recent years, there has been something of a perfect storm impacting forestland ownership. Increased demands for liquid capital for core operations, rising Wall Street pressures to improve returns, and a realization that many timberland assets have been undervalued have combined with an increased willingness by the financial sector to invest in forestland. This combination has caused millions of acres to change hands from large integrated forest product companies to investment management vehicles such as TIMOs and REITs. The jury is still out as to the long-term impact of this ownership shift on forest management activities; however there are growing concerns about the commitment of these ownership entities to forests in general and to sustainable forests (e.g. certified) specifically. This report provides a brief overview of TIMOs and REITs and those policies and pressures that have been driving their growth. This report also provides information about how TIMOs and REITs are currently impacting sustainable forestry and how these impacts may evolve.