Weyerhaeuser made headlines recently when the timber company sold 140,000 acres of forest land in Clatsop County to The Campbell Group, a timber investment management organization (TIMO) based in Portland. The Daily Astorian editorial board has raised concerns about how the land will be managed now that it’s in the hands of an investment company, which may have different goals and therefore a different effect on the community than the land’s previous owner:
The well being of neighboring communities isn’t a major consideration. The land is just a trading card. Public access isn’t guaranteed. Key management decisions are made far away.
The editorial goes on to suggest that communities themselves invest in nearby forest land the way Cannon Beach did earlier this year, when that city passed a bond measure to purchase and preserve 800 acres in the Ecola watershed.
Do you live near or work on forest land owned by an investment company? How is it managed differently than other privately or publicly owned land? Are you a TIMO investor? (Is your pension fund?) What made you decide to invest in forest land? What are your chief concerns about how that land is managed?
UPDATE 9/02/09: This academic take on TIMOs shows that the recent Weyerhaeuser sale is part of a trend over the past two decades of lumber companies unloading timber land to focus more on manufacturing and marketing.
- John Gilleland: President of The Campbell Group
- Steve Forrester: Editor and publisher of The Daily Astorian and CEO of the East Oregonian Publishing Company
- Mike Morgan: Mayor of Cannon Beach
- Duane Cole: County manager for Clatsop County