The Forestland Group, LLC today announced the sale of 951 acres in two parcels in Burke County, North Carolina, to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Division of Parks and Recreation as an addition to the South Mountains State Park.
According to Sue Regier, Head of the Resource Management Program for the Division of Parks and Recreation, acquisition of these properties has been a priority in the Park’s plan since the 1970’s. “Acquisition of the two parcels will provide important trail linkages for the South Mountains State Park’s equestrian trail system. In addition, it will help protect the water quality of the Little River and provide pedestrian access to Little River Falls, which is a popular destination for Park visitors,” said Regier.
TFG, a timberland investment management organization (TIMO) headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, acquired the lands from International Paper (IP) in 2001 as part of a larger holding, known as the “Champion” tract. Champion had owned the lands prior to their merger with IP in 2000.
George Dutrow, TFG’s Managing Director for Forestlands, said “we are pleased to be able to assist the Division of Parks and Recreation in achieving their goals for the South Mountains State Park. This sale is a win-win transaction. It benefits the Park’s natural resources, the citizens of North Carolina and others who visit the Park, and TFG’s investors.”
TFG was founded in 1995 to acquire tracts of primarily naturally regenerating hardwood and pine timberland for institutional investors, individuals, and families. Since then, TFG has acquired approximately 750,000 acres in nine states from Michigan to Texas in four limited partnerships. The “Champion” tract currently is TFG’s only North Carolina holding.
TFG works to assist conservation agencies in achieving their goals whenever it is economically feasible. In 1999 TFG participated in one of the largest forestland conservation transactions in the U.S. when it acquired 115,000 acres in the Adirondack Park, subject to a “working forest” conservation easement, which will preserve the property’s conservation values by prohibiting development while allowing it to be managed for commercial forestry under sustainable forestry practices. In 2000, TFG also became the first TIMO to obtain third party certification under the Forest Stewardship Council for a portion of its landbase when it certified the 31,000-acre “Emory River” property in eastern Tennessee.