Eden Square Timberland is a long-term timber investment property with attractive species composition, secure access and excellent potential for asset appreciation from the timber resource. The ownership, Atlas Timberlands Partnership, is a collaboration between two well-known conservation groups: The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Land Trust. Together, they have held the property (along with other lands) as a model for managing a diverse array of stewardship goals, including the practice of sustainable silvicultural operations. Their goal in divesting is to raise funds to further their forestland conservation work on new projects.
Investment highlights include:
· Species composition dominated by sugar maple (33%) and yellow birch (23%);
· Net timber value of $533,000;
· Middle-aged, fully-stocked overstory, well-positioned for asset appreciation;
· Solid access conditions.
The forest lies in the northern Vermont town of Eden, along the east side of the Lowell Mountain Range. This is a mountainous, rural area populated by small hamlets, working forests and scattered homesteads.
Locally, along Square Road, there are only three homes, with the last residence hosting a local business, Eden Ethical Dogsledding and Lodge.
The small town of Eden is situated 4 miles to the west along Route 100, where Lake Eden is a local landmark, attracting many summer residents. Route 100 is the main transportation corridor through the area, offering ideal access to regional and cross-border forest product manufacturing facilities. This north-south route provides access to Newport (26 miles to the north) and Morrisville (17 miles to the south), the largest two communities in the region. Montreal, Quebec is 90 miles to the north, while Boston is 3.75 hours to the southeast.
The property offers excellent access from multiple points, providing comprehensive access for all future forest management activities. One segment of frontage (1,870’) exists along the town-maintained portion of Square Road, where electric power is available. This frontage has an established driveway at its center.
Access is also provided by ±500’ of frontage along Albany Road (not maintained in the winter), where another former landing has been established. Additional access along Collinsville Road (±1,535’ of frontage, not maintained in the winter) gives access to the eastern end of the property.
The property’s terrain is mostly gently sloping, with the only moderate slopes along the Wild Branch River.
Soil drainage is mixed, with areas of semi-compromised soils which are largely located at the land’s southern end and defined by the Surface Water Protection Zones (SWPZs) (see the property maps). However, it should be noted that the timber quality in this area is quite good in many areas. Generally, conditions for forest operations are excellent.
All of the streams that run through the land originate near the top of the watershed and thus run low during dry summer months. The exception is the Wild Branch River which runs along the eastern edge of the property.
Elevation ranges from 1,472’ ASL (Above Sea Level) along Eden Square Road to 1,218’ ASL in the southeast section of the land near the Wild Branch River.
Timber data in this report are based on a monumented and comprehensive timber inventory conducted in May 2016. After applying growth for 2016, 2017 and 2018, using regional FIA data averages, the timber data reveal a total sawlog volume of 2,242 MBF International ¼” scale (3.7 MBF/commercial acre) with 8,825 pulpwood cords (14.7 cords/commercial acre). Combined total volume per commercial acre is 22.2 cords, modestly above the regional average. Stumpage values were assigned to the volumes in May of 2019, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $533,000 ($887/acre).
A species composition dominated by hardwoods prevails, with hardwoods at 89% of total volume. Species composition for all products combined offers a favorable mix and is led by sugar maple (33% of total volume), followed by yellow birch (23%) and red maple (12%), with American beech, white ash and spruce/fir largely making up the balance. The sawlog volume breakdown is quite similar. This species composition is well suited to a long-term timber investment, with solid markets regionally and into Quebec for the products growing on the land. The relatively low beech component is the result of active forest management. Forest density can generally be considered as fully stocked, with the average Basal Area (BA) at 89 square feet on 199 stems/acre.
Average diameter for all products combined is 11.5”, while the average sawlog diameter is nearly 13.0”.
The conservation easement on the property will be held by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), a Vermont-based organization and one of the most respected conservation organizations in the nation. A working forest “partnership” with VLT offers the new owner predictability and cooperation, given the long history and solid reputation this land trust has established regarding the easement lands under its jurisdiction.
A principal objective of the easement’s commercial acreage is to maintain, grow and harvest forest resources and products on a sustainable basis. The terms of the easement prevent subdivision and future development of any kind; however, forestry and sugarbush operations, and construction of associated support infrastructure, are permitted.
Easement highlights include:
· Most sustainable and traditional forestry and sugarbush activities are permitted to support the long-term stewardship of the protected property;
· The entire property is open to non-vehicular public recreation and hunting;
· Silvicultural activities are limited to sustainable levels, with target diameters set for each species;
· Surface Water Protection Zones (SWPZs), permit harvesting/sugaring with special consideration to maintaining water quality;
· One camp structure of 800 square feet is permitted