An affordable, hardwood-dominated timberland investment, covered by a conservation easement and offering a diverse diameter distribution, high stocking and a camp right to enhance the recreational opportunities of adjacent state lands.
Conservation Easement - The conservation easement is held by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), a Vermont-based organization and one of the most respected conservation organizations in the nation. Easement highlights include: most sustainable and traditional forestry and agricultural activities are permitted to support the long-term stewardship of the protected property; one (1) rustic camp right is permitted, with size limited to 800 square feet; silvicultural activities are limited to sustainable levels with target diameters set for each species; buildings which support agricultural activity are allowed; and public recreation CAN BE restricted.
Bartlett Brook Forest sits on the western slopes of the narrow and undeveloped Bartlett Brook Valley, just south of Route 107 and the White River in Stockbridge, Vermont. Flowing west to east from the Green Mountains, the White River cuts a wide swath through these local Vermont hills on its way to the Connecticut River. Route 107 follows the river from I-89 in Bethel through the town of Stockbridge to Route 100, a north-south corridor leading south to the Killington and Pico ski areas and north to Sugarbush Ski Resort.
Stockbridge does not have a village center, but Pittsfield, 5 minutes to the south, does. Pittsfield is a quintessential Vermont town that centers around a classic village green graced by a white clapboard church and a gazebo. Bethel lies 15 minutes to the north and offers an array of services. For all the necessities, Rutland is 30 minutes to the southwest. Boston, Massachusetts, is 2.5 hours to the southeast.
The property is served by a 3,160’-long, surveyed right-of-way that begins off Route 107. The first 1,260’ of the right-of-way is a graveled road which ends in an old gravel pit. From this point, the right-of-way is an unimproved road (old trail) which runs southerly for 1,900’ along Bartlett Brook to the property’s northwestern boundary line.
Historically, the gravel pit and skid trails on the neighboring land have been used in association with forestry operations, with the permission of this neighbor.
The topography of the forest is shaped by Sable Mountain, a 2,625’ notable peak just south of the land. The forest’s southern end occupies the upper plateau of Sable Mountain where elevation is 2,047’. The majority of the land’s remaining terrain slopes steeply to the west to Bartlett Brook, where the elevation is 880’. While the terrain is quite steep, the soils are well-drained and deep in many areas, supporting development of skid trails in association with future forestry operations.
The lower slopes along Bartlett Brook are occupied by mostly mature softwood stands. The mid slopes possess some of the steepest terrain and are dominated by northern hardwood species with the inclusion of a red spruce stand. The highest elevation sits on the Sable Mountain plateau where terrain is more level.
Aesthetically, the forest offers ideal conditions, with overstocked stands of mature stems providing for limited understory growth. Bartlett Brook offers a year-round water source which runs slow in the summer months and swells in the rainy seasons and during snow run-off in the spring. The high elevation plateau provides exceptional views of the valley below and surrounding mountains, and offers direct access to the adjoining state-owned Les Newell Wildlife Management Area.
Timber data is based on a comprehensive and monumented timber inventory, conducted in September of 2015 by Fountains Forestry. Capital Timber Value (CTV) is estimated to be $139,000 ($854/total acre). A hardwood species composition prevails (73%), with the balance held by mostly red spruce and hemlock. Sawlog value is largely dominated by sugar maple (70%) and followed by yellow birch (13%), two of the most highly desirable species in the marketplace. Average sawlog diameters for key species include sugar maple at 14.0” and yellow birch also at 14.0”. Stem quality within the growing stock and sawlog size classes can be considered excellent. Also characteristic of the resource is the high percentage of mature sawlogs in excess of 18” in diameter.
Future forestry operations and investment returns will be shaped by the following characteristics: high stocking, providing opportunity for active forest management; 27% of total volume is in softwoods, diversifying income flow early in the investment period (softwoods mature well before hardwoods); broad diameter distribution, offering ample opportunity for product shifting; and exceptional hardwood stem quality, ensuring high percentage of future veneer products.