This year’s Timberland Investment Conference, held at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island was a great success with a variety of industry topics covered in the presentations and represented by the diverse backgrounds of the group of attendees. The conference, titled “Timberland: An Asset That Has Come of Age: 30 Years of Serving Timberland Investors, Where Do We Go From Here?”, was organized by Langdale Center for Forest Business professors Tom Harris, Bob Izlar, Dr. Richard Mei and Dr. Jacek Siry. We had 24 students from the Center make the trip down to participate. The conference started off with a panel discussion titled “What will the investing landscape look like in 2030?” and this future-looking trend continued throughout many of the subsequent presentations.
A number of perspectives on the future were covered, including increased specialization within the timber investment sphere, the possibility for additional revenue streams to timberland owners through compensation for non-market services (carbon, water), demand shifts towards Asia and increased use of financial instruments in timberland investing. Another topic, the economic outlook for the US economy, included discussion on factors affecting the recovery of the economy and the role of the Fed in speeding up the economy’s recovery.
Overall, the event was a great update on what’s going on in timberland investments, accompanied by delicious food prepared by the hotel and the nice scenery of Florida’s Atlantic coast. The next conference will again be held at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida, March 1-3, 2017.