American Forest Management Services:
Timber inventories are usually conducted to accomplish one of three main goals:
- assist in the due diligence portion of a property acquisition or disposition;
- provide management information for planning and valuation purposes; or
- provide the landowner with a target value for selling timber.
At AFM, we listen to our clients to find out what they want to do with their timberland and then design an inventory plan to meet their objectives.
Often AFM will plan and conduct inventories that achieve more than one goal at the same time. An example of this is when we collect inventory data for a property acquisition and the processed data is loaded into our Cypress™ timber management database system in order to help make stand-level management decisions like harvest scheduling. This involves coordination with AFM's Data Services Group. We also collaborate with our Appraisal Services Group to provide them with the data that they need to appraise the timber portion of a property.
The AFM Inventory Services Group has the ability to provide clients with timber inventory results for a wide range of property sizes, locations and objectives. Using proven statistical methods, we can develop an inventory plan for any project within a given timeframe. With offices located throughout the South, Appalachian, Northeast, Lake States and Pacific Northwest, AFM has experienced foresters to complete projects in a diversity of forest types. Our staff of over 130 field personnel allows us to conduct large projects with relatively short timeframes that most other consulting firms cannot.
In contrast to most consultants, AFM has experienced personnel devoted solely to designing, conducting and analyzing timber inventories. When working as a team, the manpower available consists of, but is not limited to:
- A full-time mensurationist with over 25 years of experience in operational forestry
- A full-time inventory analyst with industry experience
- Three GIS analysts available to produce tract locator, image and cruise maps
- Over 130 foresters and technicians, plus available outside cruisers, ensures timely completion of any project
AFM has and continues to design, conduct and analyze inventories for the following groups or individuals:
- Timberland Investment Management Organizations (TIMOs)
- Forest Products Industry
- Non-Industrial Private Forest Landowners (NIPFs)
- State Government Agencies
- Conservation Organizations
- Inventory Software Utilized
Depending on client preferences, AFM can use a variety of inventory software to collect and summarize cruise data. The two most common are:
- TwoDog (Fountains America)
- T-Cruise (Heuristics Solutions/Haglof)
- Most data is collected electronically on ruggedized handheld Pocket PCs.
It is AFM's strict belief that the quality of a forest inventory is just as important (or more so) as the quantity of data collected. Clients can expect that AFM will audit 3-5% (or more if desired) of the plots cruised to ensure that the results adhere to the standards set jointly by the client and AFM.