It’s amazing – the yarns that can be shared about certain tracts of real property. Our April Newsletter takes a closer at several standout stories, including one that I am quite confident is destined to end up before the Supreme Court in a year or two. Why? The two states involved have been disputing their boundary for only the last 195 years.
Also in our April Newsletter you’ll find the story of an Oregon Senator who is considering a shift in federal management of certain timberlands. Meanwhile the Texas Legislature is currently embroiled in how best to combat the drought that has plagued much of the Lone Star State.
Last but not least, an uptick in the housing market has brought renewed activity to North American forests. Learn more as one of America’s largest landowners gears up for increased lumber sales.
Over 70 years ago, a dike was built to turn Columbia River wetlands into farms. But the tide is about to change with a restoration project that will return the land to the kind of wetlands that help young salmon rest and grow.
Purchased by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the Columbia Land Trust for $5.3 million, the 920-acre Columbia Stock Ranch is the biggest, single habitat acquisition in the Columbia estuary in 40 years. The BPA, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Native American tribes have been combing the Columbia basin for habitat projects to mitigate dam operations that have led to the placement of 13 runs of salmon and steelhead on endangered or threatened lists.
This year, the Columbia Land Trust, BPA and the U.S. Army Corps will develop their plan for restoring the ranch and will include opportunities for public comment on the project. Work will begin in 2013 and is expected to take at least five years to complete.
Evlon Childs, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps, says of the project: “The land was totally disconnected from the river. Now we are trying to reconnect it so nature can take care of itself.”
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From rail transportation to aviation technology, construction and mining to heavy equipment sales, this aggressive entrepreneur has been a player in a wide variety of business sectors. It should come as little surprise that his real estate interests also include owning a reported 100,000 acres in the Northwest.
The seed that became The Collins Companies was planted in Pennsylvania in 1855, and the family-owned, eco-friendly forest products business has been growing ever since. The company now owns just over 300,000 acres in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and has received multiple honors for its commitment to the environment.
Besides operating an oil and gas company and a real estate development business, the Killam family also owns several ranches totaling more than 200,000 acres in Texas, Oregon, and Mexico. One of these is the 125,000-acre Duval County Ranch in South Texas, which was purchased in 1994.
Published reports indicate that the Eddy family’s Port Blakely Companies control 160,000 acres in Washington and Oregon, with additional property in New Zealand. The companies have been in the family since 1903 and include ventures in timber, forest products, and real estate.
For more than 50 years, three generations of the Hampton family have owned and operated Hampton Affiliates. The company operates five sawmills and manages 167,000 acres of timberland in Oregon and Washington.
At the height of the Great Depression, Kenneth Ford pursued a dream with a single sawmill near Roseburg, Oregon. Ford created Roseburg Forest Products Co., one of the largest family-owned wood products manufacturers in the nation. He was also one of the first timber men to practice responsible forest management onhis vast holdings, which stretch through Oregon and California. On his death, Ford, who founded the Ford Family Foundation in the 1950s, passed his legacy on to his son, Allyn, who oversees the family’s timber and wood products empire.
More than a century ago in 1890, Sol Simpson planted the seeds for what became the Simpson Investment Company in the emerald forests of the Pacific Northwest. Today the land and the company shares are held entirely by Simpson’s descendants, the Reed family. Through the 20th century, the company steadily grew into its current holdings of more than threequarters of a million acres, spread throughout Washington, California, and Oregon. In addition to the timberlands, the family owns a door company, a paper company, and a number of rendering and production facilities.