The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Timber company announces sale of Michigan timberlands


October 21, 2019


SEATTLE — One of the largest private owners of timberlands in the world has announced the sale of over half a million acres in the state of Michigan, including land in Ontonagon County.

Weyerhaeuser Company announced last month that it was selling its 555,000 acres in Michigan to Lyme Great Lakes Holding — an affiliate of The Lyme Timber Company — for $300 million cash. Lyme Timber Company Managing Director and CEO Jim Hourdequin said the sale includes 41,151 acres in Ontonagon County and 58,937 acres in Iron County, Michigan.

“This transaction in our northern region encompasses a diverse mix of hardwood and softwood acres and is part of our ongoing effort to strategically optimize our timberlands portfolio,” Weyerhaeuser president Devin W. Stockfish said in the announcement. “Lyme will also welcome our exceptional team of highly skilled employees.”

The transaction is still subject to the usual closing conditions, according to the announcement, and the sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

“Weyerhaeuser’s Michigan timberlands have been managed for decades by an expert team of professionals, and we look forward to working with them,” Hourdequin said in the announcement. “We’re excited to be investing in a region known for the quality of its hardwood timberland, mill capacity and logging and trucking infrastructure.”

Parts of the North Country National Scenic Trail run through land included in the sale.

Kenny Wawsczyk, the North Country Trail Association’s regional trail coordinator for Michigan, said special use permits allowed the trail to go through the land and other large-scale timber operations. Although he was unsure of whether the permits would be maintained in the future, he hoped it would be similar to past sales when the permits transferred with the ownership of the property.

Hourdequin said the existing permits and arrangements are expected to continue for the time being. Although the company would review the agreements, he said it had a track record of working with local partners.

“We have a long history of working with communities and accommodating trail organizations and other interests on properties we own,” he told the Daily Globe.

Weyerhaeuser has been operating since 1900 and controls roughly 12 million acres of timberland around the country, and manages additional timberlands in Canada.

Lyme Timber Company was founded in 1976 and controls major holdings in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida and California.


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