Broad Brook Forest is best suited to long-term timber investment. Alternative uses include year-round home construction along any of the access points or conversion of some lands to sugarbush management.
Broad Brook Forest is located in the southeastern section of Royalton Township. This area is mountainous and largely forested with many town roads sharply twisting along rivers and streams as they pass the occasional homestead. While the property sits in a rural location, South Royalton village is just 3.5 miles to the north. Nestled in a bend along the White River, the village is home to Vermont Law School and has a small, central business district on the outskirts of the college campus.
A ridge stemming from Broad Brook Mountain bisects the property equally into two functional access points. The northern side of the land is accessed by the end of Frary Road. Here there is 935’ of property frontage along this town-maintained road. Frary Road continues beyond the property for a short way before it ends at the last house. From the road frontage, an internal access road runs roughly 2,000’ into the property.
The southern half of the property is accessed via the ±1,500’-long TH 53, a non-maintained town road. This road ends at the property boundary, where there is a large clearing formerly used to sort forest products. From this point, a network of woods trails fan out in all directions.
The property covers much of the eastern portion of Broad Brook Mountain. Here, terrain falls in various directions from the many ridges that make up the Broad Brook Mountain complex. Topography is generally gentle to, at times, moderate. Aspects cover northern, eastern and southern directions.
As a mountain property, the several streams that run through the land are small and are primarily at the top of the watershed and feeder streams to Broad Brook to the east. The high point on the forest (1,660’) is at the land’s southwestern end, while the lowest point (1,090’) is along the southern, main stream where it leaves the property.
The northern section of the forest along Frary Road has three subdivided and surveyed buildable lots (7.5, 20.7 and 10.5 acres), which are recorded with the town. The southern end of the property also offers a building opportunity at the end of TH 53.
2017 timber data reveal a total sawlog volume of 2,100 MBF International ¼” scale (3.6 MBF/acre), with 6,360 pulpwood cords (11.1 cords/acre). Combined total commercial per acre volume is 18.4 cords, a figure about average for the region. Stumpage values were assigned to the volumes in July of 2017, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $584,600 ($995/total acre).
The species composition is dominated by hardwoods (84%), with softwoods holding the balance (16%). Species composition for all products combined offers a diverse mix and is led by sugar maple (34%) with the primary other species consisting of red maple (17%), yellow birch (13%), hemlock (11%), white ash (10%), beech (7%) and common associates holding the balance. The sawlog volume breakdown is similar but, through years of good management, has concentrated the overstory trees to a more favorable species mix.
Average diameter for all products combined is 13.5”, while the average sawlog diameter is nearly 15”. The diameter distribution generally indicates a middle-aged forest, consisting of an older age class of roughly 75 years and a younger age class of 30-40 years. The next thinning cycle will likely focus on additional regeneration cuts (44 acres of patch cuts were conducted in 2016) by removal of mature sawlog stems, creating considerable income generation.
The property may offer a sugarbush opportunity on some of its acreage. Much of the land slopes into the two access points; however, some areas fall to the east along the two main streams away from the access points. The 2017 timber inventory data indicate a property-wide potential tap count of 21,295, with roughly 64% of the taps from sugar maple and the balance from red maple. Trees 9” and greater were considered, providing an average of 37 taps/acre covering all acres. Where sugarbush potential is likely, the average taps per acre could be ±50. Also, the timber data indicate an additional 14,000 taps may become available in the coming decades from the maple resource within the 5-8” diameter class.