Eden Square 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 (54%); - Middle-aged, fully stocked overstory, well-positioned for asset appreciation; - Excellent access, with power roadside; - Sugarbush opportunity with 74,500 potential taps from stems 9 and greater on east-facing slopes with good sap-flow conditions to power & access locations; - Average tap/acre of 47 with many areas holding 80-100 taps/acre.
The forest lies in the northern Vermont town of Eden, along the east side of the Lowell Mountain Range. This is a mountainous, rural area populated by small hamlets, working forests and scattered homesteads.
Locally, along Square Road, there are only three homes with the last residence hosting a local business, Eden Ethical Dogsledding and Lodge.
The small town of Eden is situated 4 miles to the west along Route 100, where Lake Eden is a local landmark attracting many summer residents. Route 100 is the main transportation corridor through the area, offering ideal access to regional and cross-border forest product manufacturing facilities. This north-south route provides access to Newport, (26 miles to the north) and Morrisville (17 miles to the south), the largest two communities in the region. Montreal, Quebec is 90 miles to the north, while Boston is 3.75 hours to the southeast.
The propertys terrain is variable with moderate to steep slopes occupying most of the land west of Square Road. Once the terrain begins to rise, soils become well drained and host the propertys greatest concentration of maple, and highest potential for sugarbush opportunity. Soil drainage is often not optimal on the more level terrain on each side of Square Road. In these areas, the best maple (and timber in general) occupies scattered, patchy higher ground conditions. A more mixed species composition, with a higher percentage of softwoods, increases toward the drainages. Generally, conditions for forest operations are very good, with the exception of some steep slopes leading to the top of Lowell Range.
All of the streams that run through the land originate nearby from the top of the watershed and thus run low during dry summer months. The exception is the Wild Branch River which runs through the eastern edge of the property.
Elevation ranges from 2,314 along the ridgeline of the Lowell Mountain Range to 1,218 in the southeast section of the land near the Wild Branch River.
Timber data in this report are based on a monumented and comprehensive timber inventory conducted in May 2016 by the ownerships forest consultant. 381 inventory points were sampled (1 plot per 4.1 commercial acres), covering a 420 x 420 grid and using a 15-factor prism. Sampling statistics are 8.3% standard error for sawlog products and 5.6% for all cordwood products at the 95% confidence interval, figures well within industry standards. After applying growth for 2016, 2017 and 2018 using regional FIA data averages, the timber data reveals a total sawlog volume of 5,788 MBF International scale (3.7 MBF/commercial acre) with 25,512 pulpwood cords (16.2 cords/commercial acre). Combined total commercial per acre volume is 23.6 cords, modestly above the regional average. Stumpage values were assigned to the volumes in August of 2018, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $1,531,100 ($961/total acre).
A species composition dominated by hardwoods prevails, with hardwoods at 93% and softwoods at 7% of total volume. Species composition for all products combined offers a favorable mix and is led by sugar maple (46%), followed by yellow birch (22%), red maple (8%), American beech (7%), white ash (6%) and spruce/fir (6%), with other common hardwoods and softwoods comprising the balance. The sawlog volume breakdown consists largely of sugar maple (49%) and yellow birch (23%). 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. The relatively low beech component is the result of active forest management occurring over 20 years.
Average diameter for the three main species are: sugar maple 13.0, yellow birch 13.5, and white ash 14.0
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 easements 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 - 155 acres), permit limited harvesting/sugaring with special consideration to maintaining water quality; - One camp structure of 800 square feet is permitted.