There are approximately 18.6 million acres of forestland in North Carolina. More than 10 million acres are owned by non-industrial private landowners. The North Carolina Forestry Association estimates that the forest products industry employs 145,000 people and contributes $29.4 billion to our economy. Non-industrial private forestland also contributes to our tourism industry and plays an important role in the protecting water quality, air quality, and wildlife habitat. The importance of the management, preservation, and succession of the forest resource cannot be overestimated.
While many investors include real estate as part of their portfolio, owning forestland is very different from owning a shopping center or shares in a real estate investment trust. Non-industrial private forestland owners face unique challenges and opportunities because they own an asset that is unlike any other.
For many of our clients, land and timber are their large asset. Timber markets, continuity of managements, taxes, and family interest in the forestland asset are all important factors in developing long-term plans. Estate plans should be tailored to meet these needs.
Jason is a N.C. Registered Forester, a Certified Forester, and a member of the Society of American Foresters, and the Association of Consulting Foresters. He has written about these issues for more than two decades, and has presented at numerous state, regional and national conference on various issues affecting forest landowners. He writes about planning issues at www.planpreserveprotect.com.