Beebe River Forest represents a long-term timber investment opportunity with attractive species composition, well-drained soils on sloping terrain, and young and middle-aged stands, well-positioned for robust asset appreciation.
The ownership, The Conservation Fund (TCF), is a nonprofit conservation organization whose Mission Statement is: “TCF, working with public, private and nonprofit partners, protects America’s legacy of land and water resources through land acquisition, sustainable community and economic development, and leadership training, emphasizing the integration of economic and environmental goals.” Their goal of divesting this property is to raise funds to further their forestland conservation work on new projects.
Investment highlights include:
The property is located in north-central NH and lies between the Sandwich Range to the north and the Squam Mountain Range to the south. The Sandwich Range is part of the White Mountain Range, a large chain of world-renowned mountains famous for their beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities.
Road access in this part of New Hampshire is excellent. Interstate 93 is located less than 5 miles from the property, allowing swift access to forest product facilities to the south and north, including Canadian facilities. Nearby NH Route 2 provides solid access to mill destinations to the east in Maine. Locally, the largest town is Plymouth (8 miles to the south), a college town with a population of approximately 8,000. The village of Holderness and Squam Lake is 10 miles to the south, one of the region's most popular tourist destinations. Boston is within a two-hour drive of the property, while Hartford, CT is approximately 3 hours away.
Beebe River Forest offers a comprehensive road network, facilitating forest management activities on nearly all the land. Access to the property is via the Sandwich Notch Road to the East and Eastern Corner Road to the West. Both are publicly maintained roads but become Class VI unmaintained as one approaches the property.
An extensive road system has been developed in the property's interior, with ±6 miles of truck roads servicing 11 log landings. The main interior road is over 4 miles long and bisects the entire property, east to west, following the Beebe River and an old railroad bed. It was recently refurbished, with retaining walls put into place and new bridges on all of the stream crossings. This provides excellent access for vehicular traffic and heavier weighted trucks needed for timber harvesting purposes. Doubling as a public recreational trail that is open year-round, this main road is maintained via a cooperative agreement with the NH Trails Bureau for low-impact use. To maintain the integrity of the property, rugged gates are in place on both ends of the road.
Additional access is provided by a 1.25-mile logging road that starts at the western edge of the property, parallels the southern boundary as a Class 6 road before entering the property, and ultimately terminates at a log landing. While not maintained by the town, this road offers a solid truck route to the portions of the land located on the southern side of the Beebe River. Off both of these main roads are a number of dormant spur roads that could easily be resurrected for timber harvesting purposes. A number of borrow pits exist on the property, which will help defray road upgrade costs.
The property spans nearly 5.5 miles from east to west and, at its center, is approximately 2.5 miles wide. This considerable footprint covers various terrain, ecological types, and watersheds. The northern boundary largely runs along the spine of the Sandwich Range, with the highest peak rising above 2,500' ASL (above sea level). To the south, the boundary runs along the Squam Mountain Range and encompasses three peaks above 2,000 'ASL, including Mount Squam and Doublehead Mountain. The famous Crawford-Ridgepole trail traverses two of these peaks. All the land slopes downhill north and south from this high ground, giving ownership of an entire valley, with peaks on either side. The lowest point on the property is at ±950' ASL.
Eight "top of the watershed" streams originate on the land and descend both north and south along narrow valleys, often creating small scenic falls with large boulders and pools. The Beebe River is a spectacular waterbody with deep pools and crystal clear water, traversing the entire valley east to west. The river is a fishing and swimming paradise.
The sloping terrain is largely well-drained, creating excellent soil conditions for the development of northern hardwoods, including some exceptional red oak. In areas with north-facing aspects, yellow birch and sugar maple are more dominant. The exception to these hardwood-supporting soils is the tops of the east/west running ridges (and a few of the steeper side slopes), where soils are thinner and species composition shifts to softwoods. Here, red spruce is the primary species, highly sought-after for structural lumber due to its growth characteristics. A couple of significant wetlands are located in the center of the property, providing a mosaic of wildlife habitat. The land is situated in a heavily forested area; wildlife enthusiasts may see large mammals like black bears, moose, white-tailed deer, fisher cats, and coyotes, all of which are commonly seen on the land.
The timber data reveals a total sawlog volume of 17,597 MBF International ¼" scale (3.6 MBF/acre) and 65,386 pulpwood cords (13.3 cords/acre). Thus the combined total per acre volume is 20.4 cords. Fountains Land assigned stumpage values to the volumes in May of 2022, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $5,198,614 ($1,057/commercial acre).
A species composition dominated by hardwoods prevails, with hardwoods at 72% and softwoods at 28% of total volume. Species composition for all products combined offers a favorable mix of northern hardwoods and is complimented by northern red oak, red spruce and white pine. The sawlog volume breakdown consists largely of species with historically strong demand, dominated by red oak, The Maples, yellow birch, and red spruce.
Overall, forest stocking is generally consistent throughout the property, with nearly all stands fully stocked with overstory sawlogs and pole-sized stems (the latter being 7”-11” hardwood stems). Natural regeneration in the form of advanced saplings has become fully established in areas that were previously harvested in the late 90s and early 2000s. The average Basal Area is 97 ft2/ac on 220 stems/acre. The acceptable growing stock basal area is 64 ft2, indicating good stem quality, sufficient to fully stock each acre, ensuring robust asset appreciation in the coming decade. The red oak resource is particularly appealing as it diversifies the species composition and offers a high future veneer quality resource.
Sawlog value is largely dominated by red oak (29%), sugar maple (23%), red spruce (17%), followed by red maple (9%) yellow birch (8%), and white ash (7%)
A detailed forest management plan has been prepared in the spring of 2021, providing an excellent resource. The plan is well written and covers the land’s history and all other property attributes including details of each of the 33 forest stands. The plan calls for silvicultural operations over the next 10 years on most stands offering solid income opportunities.
The New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) holds the conservation easement on the property.
A working forest "partnership" with the DNCR offers the new owner predictability and cooperation, given the long history and solid reputation this Agency has in overseeing other conservation easements under its stewardship.
The primary objectives of the easement are to conserve for traditional uses, forest management, and outdoor recreation, and amongst other things, to protect the land's water, wildlife and ecological processes.
Easement highlights include: