Australian New Forests Timber Investor Acquires More Norcal Forestland

Posted on 07/27/2021

Sydney, Australia-based New Forests Pty Limited disclosed they acquired the 156,000-acre Hilt-Siskiyou Forest, a mixed-conifer forest along the California and Oregon border, from the Fruit Growers Supply Company (FGS) alongside an institutional investor client. Fruit Growers Supply Company was created by the Sunkist Growers in 1907 to manufacture wood crates for Sunkist’s California grown oranges. Fruit Growers Supply Co. has owned and operated core areas of the Hilt-Siskiyou Forest for more than a century. Some cities that are in the forests areas are Yreka and Etna.

New Forests is an international forestry investment manager whose U.S. business manages more than US$ 300 million of California forestry investments as part of its US$ 4.5 billion global portfolio. New Forests’ investment strategy in the United States is to acquire and manage forestry assets for sustainable timber production, environmental market exposures, and conservation. The global forestry investment management firm seeks to deploy at least US$ 500 million in capital for multiple clients in U.S. forests during the next 24 months and is actively considering additional investments in the Pacific Northwest, Lake States, New England, and Appalachia.

Past Deals
This acquisition forms part of New Forests’ broader investments in the Klamath River watershed. In 2011, New Forests financed and developed the first forest carbon project in the California regulatory carbon market in partnership with the Yurok Tribe on land held by the tribe near the Klamath River.

In 2016 and September 2018, New Forests acquired on behalf of investors several forest properties in the Klamath River watershed, including the Ke’pel Creek and Pine Creek forests, which New Forests enrolled in California’s climate program to conserve the properties for long-term carbon storage and growth. The deal in September 2018 includes the purchase of 10,400 acres of Humboldt County timberlands from Soper Company. The estate is known as the Pine Creek Timberlands and completes the placement of an investment fund focused on high carbon value forests in California. The Pine Creek Timberlands include Douglas fir, mixed hardwoods, and redwood stands. The property has historically been managed for high value Douglas fir timber. The estate complements the recent acquisition of a predominantly redwood and Douglas fir forest with parcels located near Eureka on behalf of the same fund. New Forests also announced the acquisition of approximately 170,000 acres of mixed conifer forests in Northern California in early 2018, now operating as Shasta Cascade Timberlands LLC. The settlement on Pine Creek Timberlands brings New Forests’ US timberland assets under management to 186,000 acres.

In April 2021, New Forests, the Yurok Tribe, and the Trust for Public Land announced a transaction that returned Ke’pel Creek, a 2,424 acre property that forms part of the Yurok Tribe’s ancestral territory, to the tribe. Since time immemorial, the Yurok Tribe has resided in this part of the state and holistically manages more than 75,000 acres of forest along the Klamath River. With 6,311 enrolled members, the Yurok Tribe is California’s largest federally recognized Tribe.
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people.

David Brand founded New Forests in 2005 and before founding the firm was responsible for investment programs that integrated forest management with emerging environmental market opportunities at Hancock Natural Resources Group (HNRG).

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