The property’s highest and best use is as a long-term timber investment with the possibility of conversion to sugarbush management. Other uses, such as year-round or seasonal home development, are possible given the long road frontage and suitable terrain.
Property highlights include:
· Standing timber value of $292,700;
· 15,000± potential taps based on a recent 2017 timber inventory;
· Long town road frontage;
· Mostly gentle terrain with scenic views of the Cold Hollow Mountain Range;
· Attractive asking price set near timber value.
Belvidere is a small hamlet on a rural state highway. Montgomery Center, which has a ski town influence from nearby Jay Peak Resort, is 6 miles to the north. Johnson, Vermont, the largest nearby town is 17 miles to the south and is home to Johnson State College. Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, is 56 miles to the southwest while Montreal, Canada, is 81 miles to the northwest.
Five nearby state roads provide exceptional access to local, regional and Canadian forest product markets.
Harris Trust Forest benefits from 2,900 feet of frontage on Bog Road, a dirt, town-maintained road that runs 4.25 miles from the intersection of Routes 109 and 118 in the eastern part of town to Route 109 in Belvidere Center to the west. The road is populated by year-round homes on either end, where there is power. In the center section of the road, where there is no power and where the property is located, scattered, off-grid homes and seasonal camps are tucked off the road. Power is ±0.8 miles in either direction from the property boundaries.
There is a short internal road at the land’s eastern end, which ends at a large clearing, formerly serving as an area to process forest products. At the land’s western end along the road frontage, there is another small clearing. Terrain along the road frontage is mostly gradual and well-drained.
The property rests on the lower slopes of Laraway Mountain’s ridge complex. Here, terrain gradually falls from the land’s southern end to the road frontage to the north, producing a northern aspect. Terrain is gradual to moderately sloped with few steep areas, creating ideal conditions for forest management and sugarbush operations.
One intermittent stream courses through the land’s eastern end where it passes a mixedwood stand before it leaves the forest and crosses Bog Road. The high point on the forest is at the land’s south-central end with an elevation of 1,693’. The lowest point is along the road frontage at 1,240’ where the stream leaves the property.
An old cellar foundation along the road, along with apple trees and stone piles, indicate that there used to be a farm and meadows in the central section of the road frontage. Here, views of the opposing Cold Hollow Mountain range (after tree clearing) would be impressive.
Timber data reveal a total sawlog volume of 1,092 MBF International ¼” scale (4.1 MBF/acre) with 4,014 pulpwood cords (15.2 cords/acre). Combined total commercial per acre volume is 23.4 cords, a figure about average for the region. Stumpage values were assigned to the volumes in June of 2017, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $292,700 ($1,097/total acre).
The species composition is dominated by hardwoods (93%), with softwoods holding the balance (7%). Species composition for all products combined offers a diverse mix and is led by yellow birch (28%), followed by sugar maple (25%) and red maple (21%). The sawlog volume breakdown is similar, consisting of yellow birch (36%), sugar maple (28%), red maple (17%), spruce/fir (8%) and white ash (8%). The softwood species component (mostly red spruce sawlogs with larger diameter stems) occupies a small mixedwood stand at the land’s northeastern end.
Average diameter for all products combined is 12”, while the average sawlog diameter is nearly 13”. 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. Sugar maple and yellow birch represent 40% of the growing stock volume (stems 5-10” in diameter).
The property offers a potential sugarbush opportunity, given the level of maple stocking, slope factor, and access. A recent June 2017 timber inventory indicates a potential tap count of 15,156 taps, with roughly 44% of the taps from sugar maple with the balance from red maple. Trees 9” and greater were considered, providing an average of 57 taps/acre, covering 266 acres within one watershed. Also, the timber data indicate that an additional 9,174 taps may become available in the coming decades from the maple resource within the 5-8” diameter class.