Deep Gibou Forest is a long-term timber and/or immediate sugarbush opportunity with attractive species composition, productive soils, secure access and excellent potential for asset appreciation from the timber resource.
Investment highlights include: - Species dominated by sugar maple (43%); - Middle-aged, fully-stocked overstory, well-positioned for asset appreciation with Capital Timber Value of $2,311,000; - Excellent access with power nearby; - Sugarbush opportunity with 113,000 potential taps from stems 9 and greater on north-facing slopes with good sap-flow conditions to access locations; - Average tap/acre of 48, with many areas offering the possibility of 70-80 taps/acre.
The majority of the forest lies in the northern Vermont town of Montgomery. Regionally, the land's western boundary occupies the northern end and ridgeline of the Cold Hollow Mountains, a range that geologically is the boundary between the agricultural lands in the Champlain Valley to the west and vast forestland to the east, including the Green Mountain Range.
The small town of Montgomery Center is located 4 miles to the northeast. The Jay Peak Ski resort is 8 miles further to the east along Route 242. Richford and the Canadian border are 17 miles to the north. Montreal, Canada is a 1.5-Hour drive, while Burlington, Vermont is a 1.25-Hour drive.
Nearby state roads offer ideal access to regional and cross-border forest product manufacturing facilities.
The property offers excellent access to each of the land's two main watersheds. The eastern half of the land has frontage along Deep Gibou Road, a town-maintained road. From this access point, a 1.3-Mile internal road runs to the center of this eastern management unit. Part of the initial section of this road runs across an adjacent landowner, for which a full right-of-way exists.
Access to the western half of the property is provided by a non-maintained Class IV graveled road. This road ends 3,000' into the property from the boundary line, at the base of the Cold Hollow Mountains.
Well-developed woods trails run throughout the property, facilitating future management of the forest.
The property's terrain is variable, with moderate slopes occupying its central and northeastern areas. The western and extreme eastern areas are defined by steep slopes, which are still largely operable, with the exception of 407 acres along the western boundary. This area has been defined as an Ecological Protection Zone and is off limits to any forest management (no timber data was recorded in this area). Generally, conditions for forest operations are very good within the acreage delineated for forest management.
Soils are mostly well drained, with the exception of various wetlands near each of the internal access roads and a high elevation wetland at the land's southern end. Wetland Protection Zones such as this make up 84 total acres.
Elevation ranges from 2,940' ASL (Above Sea Level) along the Cold Hollow Range to 1,280' ASL in the northeast section of the land near Deep Gibou Road.
Timber data in this report are based on a monumented and comprehensive timber inventory conducted in May 2016 by the ownership's forest consultant. 427 inventory plots were sampled (1 plot per 5.6 commercial acres), covering a 420' x 420' grid and using a 15-factor prism. Sampling statistics are 6.0% standard error for sawlog products and 3.5% for all cordwood products at the 95% confidence interval, figures well within industry standards. After applying growth for 2017 and 2018 using regional FIA data averages, the timber data reveal a total sawlog volume of 9,667 MBF International scale (4.2 Mbf/Commercial acre) with 40,970 pulpwood cords (17.7 cords/commercial acre). Combined total commercial per acre volume is 26.1 cords, above the regional average. Stumpage values were assigned to the volumes in December of 2018, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (Ctv) of $2,311,000 ($832/Total acre).
A species composition dominated by hardwoods prevails, with hardwoods at 95% and softwoods at 5% of total volume. Species composition for all products combined offers a favorable mix and is led by sugar maple (43%), followed by yellow birch (21%), American beech (17%) and red maple (6%), with other common hardwoods and softwoods comprising the balance. The sawlog volume breakdown consists largely of sugar maple (52%) and yellow birch (24%). This species composition is well suited to a long-term timber investment and/or sugarbush, with solid markets regionally and into Quebec for the products growing on the land.
Average diameter for the three main species are sugar maple 14.5, yellow birch 15.0 and spruce/fir 12.5.
The property offers an exceptional potential sugarbush opportunity, given the high maple stocking, and terrain which slopes downhill to two access points. The timber data indicate a total gross potential tap count of 112,655 taps, with roughly 87% of the taps from sugar maple and the balance from red maple. Trees 9 and greater were considered, providing an average of 49 taps/acre, covering the property's commercial acres. Electric power runs along Deep Gibou Road roughly 1,000' from the eastern watershed and 4,000' from the western watershed.
The conservation easement on the property will be held by the Vermont Land Trust (Vlt), a Vermont-based organization and one of the most respected conservation organizations in the nation. A working forest partnership with VLT offers the new owner predictability and cooperation, given the long history and solid reputation this land trust has established regarding the easement lands under its jurisdiction.
A principal objective of the easement's commercial acreage is to maintain, grow and harvest forest resources and products on a sustainable basis. The terms of the easement prevent subdivision and future development of any kind; however, forestry and sugarbush operations, and construction of associated support infrastructure, are permitted.
Easement highlights include:
- Most sustainable and traditional forestry and sugarbush activities are permitted to support the long-term stewardship of the protected property; - The entire property is open to non-vehicular public recreation and hunting; - Silvicultural activities are limited to sustainable levels, with target diameters set for each species; - Surface Water Protection Zones (Swpzs - 84 acres) permit limited harvesting/sugaring with special consideration to maintaining water quality; - Ecological Protection Zones (Epzs - 407 acres) are No Touch and situated mostly at the higher elevation and steep terrain along the Cold Hollow Range; - One camp structure of 800 ft2 is permitted.