Sunday, October 10, 2010

Expert help can get woodland owners what they deserve for their timber stands

One of the most widespread sources of wealth in rural America is its timber, but many woodland owners don't make as much from timber sales as they could because they lack useful information and aren't properly advised. They need someone who can give them expert advice and conduct a competitive sale through sealed bids, Curtis Seltzer writes for (Photo by Doug McLaren)

"Loggers often buy timber directly from landowners," writes Seltzer, who lives in Highland County, Virginia. "Sometimes the landowner benefits from such an arrangement. But, again, my experience is that landowners almost always get less . . . in this arrangement than they would through other sale methods. My usual recommendation to a landowner is to retain a consulting forester . . .

"Landowners can become knowledgeable about what selling their timber involves. But unless the sale is small or overwhelmingly simple, I would not sell my own timber without involving a consulting forester to represent my interests. My personal experience suggests — and the academic research confirms — landowners net more sale income after paying a consulting forester than they do through other methods available to them. Landowners should research and question foresters they’re considering. Rosters are available from the Association of Consulting Foresters, Society of American Foresters and state forestry agencies." (Read more) Some states also have helpful organizations, such as the Kentucky Woodland Owners Association.

No comments: