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Timber Sales and Administration
"Poor marketing practices that return less than full value of your timber can wipe out the benefits you have achieved through years of good protection and management practices."
Timber Sale Preparation, Marketing and Administration

A timber inventory will provide you with an estimate of what your timber is worth at the present time and present market conditions.An inventory provides information on the composition, quality, and quantity of timber and other selected aspects of the property.

Obtaining a fair price for your timber will be the most important phase of your entire forest management program. You can do all the reforestation and timber stand improvement work that is recommended, but it will not amount to a thing unless you obtain a satisfactory price for the final product.

The average landowner is an infrequent participant in the timber market, generally only making one or two sales in his/her entire lifetime. Thus, landowners do not develop a clear understanding of how timber marketing occurs, which is a disadvantage when they do enter the market to sell their trees.

There is a lot at stake when a tract of timber is harvested and landowners do not often have the time or expertise to ensure that their best interests are being realized. That is where True North Forest Management Services can help.

It is of utmost importance to us that the landowners desires become the cornerstone of any timber-harvesting project we undertake. Our harvest recommendations are made based on these desires and concerns and tailored to address those needs and concerns.
Preparing the Sale

Once the owner approves a harvesting plan designed to meet a variety of goals that the landowner may have, we cruise and estimate the volume of the trees to be harvested. In some cases part of that process includes marking the trees not to be harvested. A Preharvest map is then developed which identifies the best possible locations for major skid roads and log landings, stream crossings, forest buffers and access to the harvest. Besides designating the timber that will be harvested and sold, I will mark the timber sale boundaries, aesthetic buffers and Stream Management Zones so that the timber harvesters can easily identify the areas where the trees can be harvested. This detailed Preharvest map will help prospective timber buyers understand the timber sale area and assist them in determining harvesting costs to conduct the sale. This Preharvest Plan will put everyone on the same playing field as far as communicating expectations on how the harvest will be conducted and what the site should look like following harvest. We have found that a Preharvest Plan is the most effective way of minimizing the negative effects of harvesting and protecting the long-term site productivity of your forestland.

After the harvest planning, timber marking and cruising is done, the data collected in the field is processed and stand and stock tables are developed. These tables show, by species, the estimated number of trees and board foot volumes/tons for all the trees that are marked for sale. Based on this information we estimate the market value of the timber being offered for sale. This is shared only with the owner, and is used as a target for the bid sale. At this point a detailed timber sale prospectus is developed. This prospectus includes the terms of the particular timber sale, general sale conditions, time frame of the contract, and insurance (workers compensation and general liability) requirements showing that the purchasers policies are currently in place and that they have the proper liability coverage. It also includes a detailed list of the estimated board foot volumes of each timber species to be harvested, a bid form, and a bid opening date and time.

Bidders are invited to bid by mail, by facsimile, by telephone, or in-person. We are a strong proponent of selling timber through a competitive bid process. It has shown, time and time again, that it is truly the most efficient and effective way to get the highest price for your timber.

For the bid process I either ask for a lump sum amount for the entire harvest or a bid on a per-unit price per product. When I use a per-unit bid sale it is a negotiated on a per 1,000 board feet or per ton for each of the merchantable species on the tract and then paid as each load is cut. We usually use these types of per-unit sales for low quality timber or commercial pine thinnings.
Marketing the Timber

Bid prospectuses are mailed to upwards of fifty qualified buyers (primarily sawmills and independent loggers) and they are invited to visit the property to inspect the marked timber.I make myself available to show the tract to prospective buyers.

They majority of my timber sales are done on a sealed bid basis.This means all buyers either phone in their bids or submit them in a sealed envelop on or before the day of the sale. The bids are announced and if the high bid is accepted the timber is awarded.I then develop the timber sale contract between my client (seller) and the buyer and, at the time the buyer signs it, I collect payment in full for our client. No timber is harvested before our client is paid for the timber being sold, unless it is a per-unit sale.
Timber Sale Administration

Before any timber is harvested, I collect a performance bond from the buyer (either cash or an actual security bond) and deposit it in escrow; this is returned to the buyer only after it has been determined that all of the contract specifications have been adhered to, and that the logging operation is cleaned up in accordance with Best Management Practices (i.e. skid roads are smoothed and water-barred, log landings are cleaned up) and all downed trees and tree tops are pulled back onto the subject property if they had fallen over the boundary line, only trees marked for sale were harvested.

Once logging begins we monitor all aspects of the harvest operation through regular visits to the site. If any problems arise I act as your agent and handle them for you.

When the harvest is complete I will assist you with the reforestation, through either planting trees or managing natural regeneration. I want to help insure that there will be a productive forest for you in the future.

True North will provide you with the professional forestry services you need to ensure that you get the highest possible return on the sale of your timber, while making certain that the harvesting is done in an environmentally sound and responsible manner. 
True North Forest Management Services
Helping You Manage Your Natural Resource Responsibly