There are many excellent public reports and articles written on this subject. Below are some that present a variety of perspectives.
Institutional Timberland Investment
Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry, January 21, 2002 Yale Forestry Forum
In recent years the forest products industry has overhauled its core business model by divesting much of its forestland.
An Introduction to Timberland Investment
By Rick Weyerhaeuser, May 2005 The Lyme Timber Company
Effective timberland investing really requires a long term perspective.
Forestland Management in the South
By Jacek P. Siry and Frederick W. Cubbage, 2002
The assets of Timberland Investment Management Organizations have increased in the past two decades.
The Rise and Fall of TIMOs: Ownership Changes in US Forestlands
By Clark S. Binkley, PhD
There has been a major shift in industrial forestland ownership in the United States.
Changing Forestland Ownership Patterns in the Northern Forest and Implications for Biodiversity
By John M. Hagan, PhD, July 8, 2005
Environmental implications of the recent land tenure changes have not been evaluated.
Investors Increase Timberland Holdings
By Steve Wilent, December 2004 The Forestry Source
Eight percent of "Investable" US Forestland are held by Investment Managers.
Lions and TIMOs and Bears, Oh My!
By Jack Lutz, PhD, 1st Qtr 2006 Forest Research Notes
The short-term outlook of investors will cause a disturbance in the forest.
The Global March of REITs
By Matt Hudgins, February 9, 2006
Nations around the globe adopt the real estate investment trust as an investment vehicle.
TIMOs and REITs: What, Why, & How They Might Impact Sustainable Forestry.
By Kathryn Fernholtz, Dr. Jim Bowyer, Dr. Jeff Howe, May 23, 2007 Dovetail Partners
Ownership patterns can impact the long-term continuance of large tracts of forestland as diverse natural forests.
The Rapid Rise of TIMOs May be Slowing; U.S.-based Investors Face Diverse Global Competition for Offshore Timberland.
By Audrey Dixon, October 6, 2006 Forestweb
Transactions are likely to become even more creative and complex than they are now.
TIMOs and T-REITs have been mentioned in the popular media since 2000 but with relatively little coverage given the impact they having on the price and management of US forestland. Below is a selection of popular media articles about the transfer of forest product industry timberland to financial investors.
REIT generated growth for Plum Creek
by Eric Pryne, August 3, 2008 Seattle Times
Seattle-based Plum Creek Timber restructured itself as a real-estate investment trust in 1999. Since then it has become a giant of the forest.
Closed-Door Deal Could Open Land In Montana
By Karl Vick, July 5, 2008 Washington Post
Forest Service angers locals with move that may speed building. The Bush administration is preparing to ease the way for the nation's largest private landowner to convert hundreds of thousands of acres of mountain forestland to residential subdivisions.
Worry in Michigan as Forests Change Hands
By Keith Schneider, January 16, 2008 The New York Times
The sales of more than a million acres of timberland in Northern Michigan have caused many people to worry about their jobs and their ability to hunt and fish.
Shifting Forest Ownership Patterns: What it Means for Industry Foresters
By Richard N. Smith, March/April 2006 Forest Systems
Integrated forest products companies have been scaling back their forestry operations.
For Some Investors, Money Grows on Trees
By Vivian Marino, May 27, 2007 The New York Times
Once the exclusive province of businesses and individual landowners, timberland is being held increasingly by big institutions looking to diversify their investments.
Connecting the Dots Between Timber Investment and Conservation
By Cameron Walker, April 16, 2007 The Katoomba Group's Ecosystem Marketplace
Peter Stein has inked 86 innovative conservation partnerships on working forestlands for Lyme Timber during his career. Is there a model in his work for investors interested in mitigation banks?
Timber Firms Selling Prime Forest for Homes
By Laura Oppenheimer, December 31, 2006 Arizona Star
Timber companies across the country are transforming their most desirable forestland into subdivisions and resorts.
From Tiny Acorns Do Mighty Portfolios Grow?
By Bennett Voyles, January 20, 2005 Financial Planning
For smaller investors investing in forests has been prohibitively expensive. Now, some firms are beginning to offer ways around some of the earlier limitations while retaining some of the benefits.
Timber Investment Taking Root
By Ryan Geddes, December 10, 2004 Jacksonville Business Journal
Joel Shapiro said timber investment management organizations are attractive investments for those with an interest in timber but not in the more volatile paper or forestry products industries, which often have infrastructure, milling, manufacturing and retail components to their business.
Investor groups replace timber barons as forest owners
By Lauren Weber, May 22, 2002 Community Forestry Resource Center - Reuters News Service
Ownership of the vast U.S. timberlands is moving from traditional forest products companies to investment groups that hope to make money on their holdings - and that could have big consequences, not just for the lumber industry and its investors, but for local economies and ecosystems around the country.
Timber! By Paul Sturm, October 16, 2001 Smart Money
The best reason to invest in timberland is the simple fact that trees grow. Silently and unattended, the average North American forest produces about 8% more timber every year.
Investing; Not Just for the Birds: Timber Is a Commodity for the Long Run
By Elizabeth Reed Smith, August 26, 2001 The New York Times
Trees, harvested as timber, make up one of the few investments whose returns have outpaced stocks, bonds and real estate over the last 30 years. Timber has a built-in hedge against price fluctuations. If log prices drop, owners can put off harvesting trees. In the meantime, the trees grow more valuable.
Institutional Investments That Grow With Trees
By Leslie Wayne, February 20, 1994 The New York Times
As traditional owners of forests sell off their lands and as the Government gets out of the tree-cutting business, big pension funds are rushing in and earning returns that have far outpaced stocks, bonds and real estate for several years now.