BX Ranch (sold in 2023)
In July 2014, the Lyme Forest Fund III purchased the BX Ranch, consisting of approximately 25,000 acres of ranchland outside of Pueblo, Colorado. Lyme was invited into the transaction by the Palmer Land Trust and the Colorado chapter of The Nature Conservancy. With support from the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund (GOCO), The Palmer Land Trust purchased a conservation easement from Fund III in June 2015. The easement restricts development, but accommodates ongoing ranching activities. A second easement providing public recreational access may be sold in the future.
Lyme entered into an advisory arrangement with The Savory Institute to assist in improving the range quality of the ranch. The Savory Institute promotes grassland restoration by training land managers to implement Holistic Planned Grazing, which mimics the predator/prey relationships in which these environments evolved. Containing livestock in smaller pasture areas for short periods of time allows herds to break up hard, arid soil and leave behind organic material to stimulate plant growth. In environments like the Central Shortgrass Prairie, there is risk of desertification without animal impact (Savory and Butterfield 2001). The property was sold in 2023.
Opal Mountain Ranch (sold in 2022)
In 2020, affiliates of Lyme acquired Opal Mountain Ranch, 17,000 acres of contiguous forestland in central Oregon that borders national forestland and contains miles of fish-bearing streams targeted for conservation. The property featured views of surrounding mountains including Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Broken Top, and Three Sisters.
Opal Mountain Ranch’s timber stocking is significantly higher than the regional average. In the early phases of the investment, Lyme implemented a forest carbon sequestration project on the property, and the underlying land was sold in 2022.
Boone Creek Mitigation Bank (sold in 2022)
In January 2020, Lyme closed on the acquisition of a 193-acre property in Fayette County, Alabama to develop as a stream mitigation bank servicing the Upper Black Warrior watershed, one of the most ecologically valuable and biologically diverse freshwater habitats in the US. The property was sold in 2022.
Lillian Swamp Mitigation Bank (sold in 2022)
In September, 2013, The Lyme Forest Fund III acquired a controlling interest in the 892-acre Lillian Swamp Mitigation Bank in Baldwin County, Alabama. The bank was established by Wetlands Solutions, LLC, an experienced developer and operator of mitigation banks in Alabama and Mississippi, and permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in August, 2011. The property consists primarily of bottomland hardwoods, with some pine savannah, and wetlands on the property are being restored and preserved to generate mitigation credits in Mobile and Baldwin counties. The bank was sold in 2022 and continues to be managed for mitigation.
Waccamaw Mitigation Bank (sold in 2022)
The Lyme Forest Fund III acquired a 755-acre wetland mitigation bank in April 2013 in partnership with Environmental Banc & Exchange (EBX). The Mitigation Banking Instrument (“MBI”) for the Waccamaw Mitigation Bank was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in June, 2013. Pursuant to the MBI, EBX Waccamaw donated the underlying land to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and retained the right following an easement to restore the property and operate the bank.
The property, located outside of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is an inholding in the Lewis Bay Heritage Preserve and comprises a series of Carolina Bays, relic pine savanna, and xeric longleaf pine sand rim. Restoration activities will consist primarily of prescribed burns.
Lyme Florida Timberlands (sold in 2022)
Between 2013 and 2015, Lyme made four investments totaling 91,000 acres in the Big Bend region of Florida. Lyme sold the properties to a third party in 2022. The properties include a mix of slash pine plantations and natural bottomland hardwoods. The Lyme Florida Timberlands benefited from a strong local forest products industry with access to deep markets and a healthy contractor force.
Lyme’s investment strategy in Florida focused on plantation management, conservation of the core timberland holdings, and retail land sales. Conservation objectives were achieved through a series of four transactions from 2016-2021, resulting in 46,500 acres being permanently conserved.
Chocolate Bay Mitigation Bank (sold in 2021-22)
In June 2018, The Lyme Forest Fund IV acquired 9,500 acres in Brazoria and Galveston Counties, Texas. The property fronts both Chocolate Bay and Galveston Bay and includes 18,400 linear feet of Intracoastal Waterway frontage. Its tidal marshes, coastal prairies, bayou corridors, and freshwater, brackish, and saltwater features created a rare conservation and mitigation project opportunity. In addition, there was a scarcity of remaining pristine resources for restoration in the region. The property is located between Houston and Freeport – large ports and fast-growing metropolitan areas – and in a region with a high level of oil and gas infrastructure activity. In 2021, 4,714 acres of the property was sold to the Galveston Bay Foundation for permanent conservation. The remainder of the property was sold in 2022 and continues to be developed for use as a mitigation bank.
Lyme Redwood Timberlands (sold in 2022)
In December 2015, The Lyme Forest Fund IV purchased 112,000 timberland acres on the coast of northern California. The property featured fertile soils, good growing conditions, and well-stocked stands of coastal redwood and Douglas-fir. It also hosted important riparian habitats and included 85% of the watershed of the Ten Mile River, which has intact salmon and steelhead populations. Lyme operated the property with consideration of its many unique conservation features.
As initially contemplated in the investment structure, Lyme sold its interests in the property in 2022 to a private family who remains committed to being a good steward of the land.
Nanticoke Mitigation Bank (sold in 2017 and prior)
Nanticoke Headwaters was purchased by Lyme in December 2007 with Ecosystem Investment Partners and another investor. It consists of 1,206 acres of land in Sussex County, Delaware and has been approved as Delaware’s first wetland and endangered species mitigation bank. The property lies within the Cypress Swamp Forest Legacy Area, a conservation priority for the State of Delaware, and contains habitat for the federally listed Delmarva fox squirrel. The properties have been extensively ditched and drained, resulting in significant alteration of the natural wooded wetlands. Restoration work would return the lands to a natural functioning wetland.
Lyme Wisconsin Holdings (sold in 2017)
In December 2011, The Lyme Forest Fund III acquired 72,783 acres in northwestern Wisconsin in partnership with The Conservation Fund and the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. In February 2016, The Lyme Forest Fund IV purchased an inholding of 12,779 acres. Through a series of transactions, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources purchased conservation easements over approximately 75,000 acres of Lyme’s Wisconsin holdings, the largest conservation effort in the state’s history.
These lands are part of a much larger, multi-state block of conserved lands that encompass over 2.9 million acres. In September 2017, Lyme sold all of its Wisconsin holdings to another timberland investment manager. The conservation easements on these properties ensure that that the land will be available for forest management and timber production to serve the wood products industry, and will remain open to the public for recreation in perpetuity.
Talisheek Mitigation Bank (sold in 2017)
Talisheek Mitigation Bank, initially acquired in 2008, consisted of 2,510 acres of land adjacent to an important Nature Conservancy preserve in eastern St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. The property contained wetlands, working forests and endangered species (gopher tortoise). Lyme and its joint venture partner, Ecosystem Investment Partners, established this property as an approved wetland and endangered species mitigation bank.
Restoration work included removal of the existing pine plantations through timber harvesting and the restoration of a mosaic of longleaf pine savannas, slash/pond pine cypress woodlands, and bayhead swamps through replanting and controlled burns. The restoration work also included removal of invasive species and restoring natural hydrology to some portions of the property that have been altered by roads, ditches and culverts.
Grand Lake Stream Woodlands (sold in 2016)
Consisting of 22,150 acres of land on the east side of West Grand Lake in southeastern Maine, the Grand Lake Stream (GLS) Woodlands property was purchased in 2008 by The Lyme Forest Fund. The ownership included 17 miles of undeveloped shoreline on West Grand Lake, Lower Oxbrook Lake, and Big Lake. The property had been a major conservation priority due to the extent of its undeveloped shoreline, the lakes’ unique cold water inland fisheries and its location within a 400,000 acre area of conserved land. This investment opportunity resulted from the successful partnership with the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT), The Conservation Fund, Coastal Enterprises, Inc., the Sustainable Forest Futures of The Northern Forest Center and the State of Maine Department of Conservation.
Lyme sold a working forest conservation easement over nearly the entire ownership to the State of Maine in 2012. Between 2015 and 2016 Lyme worked with Finite Carbon and DLLT to develop a carbon sequestration project on the property. We entered into an agreement to sell the carbon credits to a third party, which closed in September, 2016. In early 2016, the DLLT purchased the property from The Lyme Forest Fund.
Great Dismal Swamp (sold in 2016)
Great Dismal Swamp, a 1,037 acre in-holding in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Virginia was purchased in 2007 with Ecosystems Investment Partners. Restoration work consisted of removing an old airfield, plugging and filling the ditches that had drained the wetland for agriculture, re-contouring the property and replanting nearly 300,000 native trees and shrubs. The land is protected by a conservation easement held by the Virginia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
Kenauk Montebello (sold in 2015)
In December, 2013, The Lyme Forest Fund III acquired approximately 52,000 acres of land and timber interests associated with the 63,000-acre Kenauk Montebello property in southwestern Quebec. The property has a storied history and consists of over 70 lakes, including most of the 3,212-acre Lac Papineau. Located just a few miles from the Fairmont Le Château Montebello, a luxury 1930-era hotel that is considered to be the largest intact and in-use log structure in the world, the property contains important wildlife habitat. While the property can be managed for timber and recreation, it also has development potential due to its prime location between Ottawa and Montreal. As part of the initial acquisition, 12,000 acres were conserved via sale to The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). In 2015, the Fund sold Lyme Kenauk to a conservation buyer, subject to a conservation option in favor of NCC.
Clarion Timber Company (sold in 2013)
The Clarion Timber Company lands are located in northwestern Pennsylvania, south of the Allegheny National Forest. This is an unusually productive hardwood region of the US, particularly renowned for the quality of its black cherry. The Clarion lands were purchased in 2004 by The Lyme Northern Forest Fund and were managed with an emphasis on value accretion. Lyme sold the property in phases, the last of which occurred in April, 2013. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy was a conservation partner for Lyme in this deal.
Berkshires Property (sold in 2013)
Lyme’s Berkshire properties were part of a small investment in which Lyme aggregated 1,048 acres in southwestern Massachusetts in 2008. In June 2013, Lyme sold 906 acres to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a wildlife management area. Other smaller parcels were sold separately.
Schoodic Woods (sold in 2011)
In December, 2011, The Lyme Forest Fund III acquired approximately 3,200 acres of forestland on Maine’s Schoodic Peninsula, adjacent to Acadia National Park. The property is completely undeveloped and contains more than a mile of shore frontage, including the 15-acre Sargent’s Island. It has been a high priority for the conservation community for a number of years. Conservation partners include Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the National Park Service and Friends of Acadia.
Upon purchasing the property, Lyme partnered with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) and a philanthropic family foundation that wished to ensure the protection of the southern portion of the property, which abuts the Schoodic division of Acadia National Park. MCHT subsequently purchased a conservation easement over the southern portion of the property and donated it to the National Park Service, effectively extending Acadia National Park to include those acres.
Chateaugay Woodlands (sold in 2009)
The 85,500 acre Chateaugay Woodlands property is located in the northern part of New York’s Adirondack State Park. It was purchased in 2004 as part of a larger conservation transaction in which The Nature Conservancy acquired the adjacent 20,000 acres in fee and the right to purchase an assignable conservation easement on the lands acquired by Lyme. Lyme obtained Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its timber operations and sold a working forest conservation easement on the property to the State of New York. Lyme sold the property to a private timberland investment group in 2009.
Chateaugay Woodlands can generally be categorized as upland woodlands, with mountainous terrain, stream cut valleys and numerous wetlands. Lyme incorporated the protection of all of these sensitive features into its forest management plan and the working forest conservation easement. Its conservation was possible due to Lyme’s partnerships with the New York Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Open Space Institute.
Connecticut Lakes Timber Company (sold in 2009)
The 146,400 acre Connecticut Lakes Timber Company property is located in northern New Hampshire in the headwaters forest of the Connecticut River. Lyme acquired this property in 2002 as part of a larger effort to conserve 171,000 acres in the region, in which 25,000 acres was acquired by NH Fish & Game Department, subject to a conservation easement held by The Nature Conservancy. Lyme was selected to buy the remaining 146,000 acres. At the time of Lyme’s ownership, it was the largest private land holding in the state.
Lyme sold a working forest conservation easement over the entire property to the New Hampshire Department of Forests and Lands and obtained third-party certification under the guidelines of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) on the conserved forests. Conservation partners included the New Hampshire Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the New Hampshire Department of Forests and Lands and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. In 2009, Lyme sold the property to a private timberland investment group.
Amherst Woodlands (sold in 2009)
Amherst Woodlands, purchased in 2006, consisted of 5,400 acres of timberland in central Maine. At closing, the Forest Society of Maine acquired a transferable three-year option to buy the property from Lyme. In 2009, the Forest Society of Maine transferred their purchase rights and Lyme sold the property to the State of Maine Department of Conservation.
The Kingwood Forest Tract (sold in 2007)
Located in central Pennsylvania, the 2,500 acre Kingwood Forest Tract was managed as a long term, high quality forestland holding, operated on a sustained yield basis. The property includes three miles of frontage on Laurel Hill Creek, a regionally important trout stream. This property was purchased in 1992 and sold in 2007.
Eagle Lake (sold in 2005)
This 5,768 acre property in central Maine was purchased by Lyme in 2002 and sold in 2005. It was considered high priority conservation land because of its 16,000 feet of frontage on undeveloped Eagle Lake and is adjacent to another property protected by a working forest conservation easement.
Thirteen Mile Woods (sold in 2005)
In 2000, Lyme purchased the 5,484 acre 13 Mile Woods in Northern New Hampshire. The property features mature hardwood and softwood forests, nine miles of frontage along the Androscoggin River, Munn Pond, and many opportunities for public recreation. 13 Mile Woods was identified as an important wildlife corridor in the region, linking Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge to the White Mountain National Forest.
Lyme successfully conserved the majority of the property by selling a working forest conservation easement to The Trust for Public Land. Other important conservation partners included the State of New Hampshire Land and Community Investment Program, the Town of Errol and the US Forest Service Forest Legacy Program. In 2005, the easement encumbered property was acquired by the Town of Errol to be managed as a community forest.
Chittenden Timber Company (sold in 2003)
The Chittenden Timber Company lands consisted of 8,038 acres in central Vermont and was purchased by Lyme in 1998. At the time, it was the largest private land holding within the Green Mountain National Forest and had been identified by the conservation community as a high propriety for acquisition by the US Forest Service. In 2001, 7,500 acres were sold to the US Forest Service while the remainder was held by Lyme for selective timber harvesting. In 2003, Lyme sold the remainder of the property to a private investor subject to an easement held by The Trust for Public Land.
Vermont Forest Conservation Fund Property (sold in 2001)
Lyme organized the Vermont Forest Conservation Fund to invest in Vermont forestland with significant conservation values. In 1996, the Fund purchased 3,654 acres of forestland in northern Vermont adjacent to the Long Trail. In 1999, a conservation easement was sold to the Vermont Land Trust over the entire property and in 2001 the easement encumbered land was sold to a private investor. Another conservation partner in this transaction was the Catamount Trail Association.
Fiery Mountain/Little Pond (sold in 2001)
In 1998, the 2,660 acre Fiery Mountain/Little Pond property in southern Maine was acquired by Lyme. At the time of purchase, Lyme sold a conservation easement covering 30% of the property to the State of Maine Department of Conservation. In addition, Lyme sold portions of the property in fee to the State of Maine Department of Conservation, abutting landowners and a private buyer. In the next two years, other portions were sold to private buyers. In 2001, the balance of the land was sold to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Mascoma River/Smarts Mountain (sold in 1999)
The Mascoma River/Smarts Mountain property, consisting of 6,200 acres in western NH, adjoined the Appalachian Trail corridor and a vast holding of conservation land in the area. After its purchase in 1991, Lyme sold an initial conservation easement over 2,130 acres to the State of New Hampshire Land Conservation Investment Program and the Trust for New Hampshire Lands then later sold an additional conservation easement over 2, 230 acres to the US Forest Service. Subsequently, portions of the land were sold in fee to the National Park Service and the US Forest Service to be added to the Appalachian Trail corridor. The balance of the easement encumbered land was sold to a private investor in 1999.
SD Warren (sold in 1994)
In 1993, Lyme purchased approximately 10,250 acres of forestland in 40 parcels ranging in size from 80 acres to 2,300 acres in southern Maine. The property contained high quality forestland with 14.4 miles of public road frontage and 4.4 miles of pond and river frontage. Between 1994 and 1996, Lyme sold approximately 10,000 acres to private investors. In 1999, the remainder of the land, including two miles of sensitive river frontage on the Saco River, was sold on a bargain-sale basis to the Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.