A: I feel the first step in any phase of timber management is to have an inventory of the property by a reputable graduate forester. This is accomplished by measuring all trees on a number of sample plots or points that would give an estimate of the entire property population within a given statistical accuracy.
From this inventory, current market values can be used to calculate the present timber value as well as making management recommendations and project possible future returns on the investment along with being able to set your basis for tax purposes. This inventory could range from a simple verification of any timber data you received during the purchasing of the property to a complete inventory of the property on stand level basis.
The number of sample plots or points needed for the complete inventory would be dependent on the type and age of timber being inventoried and the variability within the various stands or timber types.
Rodney Schroeder is a Regional Manager for American Forest Management Inc.