Plum Creek sells 30,200 acres of Florida timberland to Conservation Forestry for more than US$22M

June 16, 2011 New Hampshire-based investment company Conservation Forestry LLC last week paid Plum Creek Timberlands LP more than US$22 million for 30,200 acres of timberland in Florida's Flagler and Volusia counties, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported June 15.

Kathy Budinick, a spokesperson for the seller’s Seattle-based parent company Plum Creek Timber Co., said 18,544 acres in Flagler County and 11,727 acres in Volusia County were sold.

Court records showed $13.8 million was paid for the land in Flagler County and almost $8.85 million for the Volusia County land, by Conservation Forestry doing business as Relay Timberlands LLC, according to the News-Journal.

The purchase price averaged about $754 an acre, which Volusia County property appraiser Morgan Gilreath said was equivalent to timberland prices more than 15 or 20 years ago. He noted that most parcels that large include swamps.

Because of conservation easements on the land, activity is restricted to timber harvesting and hunting, reported the News-Journal.

Plum Creek bought the land in 2004 in its merger with Timber Company, then a division of Atlanta-based Georgia Pacific, said Budinick. She added that Plum Creek, which owns 7.9 million acres in 19 U.S. states, continually evaluates properties to buy and sell, the News-Journal reported.

Florida in 2004 paid $8 million for the development rights to Plum Creek's timberland property in Flagler County at a time many timber companies were pulling out of wildlife management agreements, according to the state's conservation commission.

Located in Exeter, New Hampshire, Conservation Forestry works with conservation funds and investment companies to acquire large forest land parcels, according to its website.

The primary source of this article is The Daytona Beach News-Journal, on June 15, 2011.

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