The vast transition that saw much of the world’s working forestland move from ownership by both the global forest products industry and large, non-industrial private owners continues today as the investment community remains focused on acquiring and managing high quality assets in major timber producing regions across the globe. As a result, pension funds, foundations, endowments, high and ultra-net-worth investors and timber REITs are now the leading providers of timber to the global forest products and paper industry – offering manufacturers of building, paper, packaging and furniture products, as well as sustainably produced wood-based bio-fuels, with the raw material they need to meet global consumer demand.
Institutional investors currently own more than 60 million acres of timberland globally. In the U.S. alone, the investment community is estimated to own approximately $40 billion worth of working forests. Many of the largest and most sophisticated timberland investors also have expansive global portfolios that include working forest holdings in Canada and other off-shore markets, including South America (Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Colombia), Africa (Kenya, Nigeria and Mozambique) and both Australia and New Zealand. As the standard of living in the developing world continues to improve, demand for a broad array of forest products, including building materials, furniture, paper, packaging and bio-fuels is projected to increase. This economic growth and development, along with both the increasing global emphasis on the sustainable use and management of natural resources, and ongoing efforts to combat the effects of climate change, are expected to make the world’s working forests even more important to society and more valuable as investable assets in the years to come.
Ownership of U.S. Timberland (Million Acres)
Who owns our working forests?
Source: USDA Forest Service