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Private forest landowners own their property for many different reasons. They have different objectives and often plan management activities over time to reach their goals. Harvesting trees may occur multiple times during the decades-long life cycle of a managed forest. The decision to harvest trees may be driven by the market price, financial needs, forest health and fire issues or the desire to create a particular condition such as habitat for fish or wildlife. All private forest owners must adhere to strict environmental laws and requirements when they conduct management activities and all harvested areas must be reforested and growing within 5 years.

There are different types of private forest owners: industrial and non-industrial.

“Industrial” private forest land owner own forests to provide a reliable source of wood for product manufacturing. The forest industry has historically managed large tracts of working forestland in Idaho. Changes in federal tax law resulted in the creation of new entities that own private forest land: TIMOs (timber investment management organizations) that have few or no manufacturing facilities and REITs (real estate investment trusts.) Some forest products companies have restructured their timberland ownership through the formation of tax-efficient REITs to enhance returns on forestland investments.

“Non-industrial” private forest land owners (NIPFs) represent a growing number of new landowners. NIPFs range from ranchers, farmers, tribes, and hunters to families or groups with varying land management objectives.

Tree IconFOREST FACT: Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect water, soil and forest resources are mandatory for all private forest landowners.