Shifting Private Timberland Ownership in South Carolina: Implications for Management Intensity


Beginning in the late 1970’s forest industry timberland gained the eye of financial investors. Diamond International and Crown Zellerbach were early firms that were purchased for the “break-up value” of their timberland. Timberland was perceived as undervalued by investors and made forest industry firms attractive takeover targets. This started a process where forest industry divested of its timberland. Some firms formed separate entities for its timberland base. Acquisitions and mergers became popular in the industry. Some forest industry companies converted to real estate investment trusts, for tax and defensive reasons. Large institutional investors became interested in timberland as means to diversify their portfolios and increase financial performance. Timber management investment organizations developed to manage and procure timberland for these institutional investors. Today little of the forest industry timberland remains with vertically-integrated forest products companies. South Carolina’s forest industry timberland decreased by about 800,000 ha since 1993 (or nearly 90%). This has implications for the state’s timber supply. Forest industry timberlands were some of the most productive and intensively managed forests in the state. We address how forest management might change on this timberland and how long-term timber supply might be impacted in the state.

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Hatcher Jr., J. , Straka, T. , Harper, R. & Adams, T. (2012). Shifting Private Timberland Ownership in South Carolina: Implications for Management Intensity. Open Journal of Forestry, 2, 279-285. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2012.24035.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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