Front Porch Blog

Sell-off talk prompts chills, thrills

[ South Carolina ] With roughly 145,000 acres of timberland in the tri-county area alone, MeadWestvaco ‘ s land holdings are larger than all the land inside the cities of Charleston and North Charleston combined. So when a top MeadWestvaco executive strongly suggested this week that the company might sell most or all of its properties in the United States, conservationists and community planners reacted with a mix of anxiety and hope. They ‘ re selling for several reasons: Improvements in forestry have enabled companies to grow more trees on fewer acres. Timber companies also are finding it more economical to buy trees from private landowners instead of managing their own forests. Another factor: Mergers and acquisitions have forced a few companies to sell land to firm up numbers for shareholders. The results have been far-reaching. In the past three years, 13 million acres of timberland changed hands across the United States , two-thirds in the South, according to Hancock Timber Resource Group, a major forestland owner.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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