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FrontGate For Sale | Land's Best Friend | Species | Definition | Key Concept

TIMBER

International Paper to Divest 143,000 Acres

The Fortune 500 Giant Will Pay Down Debt and Take a Stake in the American Timberlands Partnership

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merican Timberlands Fund I will acquire more than 200 square miles of forestland in the Southeastern U.S. from International Paper (NYSE:IP). The global paper and packaging company, which is based in Memphis, has agreed to sell 114,000 acres to the partnership for $220 million in cash. IP will also contribute an additional 29,000 acres, which is being valued at $55 million, and will in turn receive a 20 percent stake in the partnership. The transactions, valued at approximately $275 million ($1,923 per acre), were announced on March 2 and are expected to close in mid-June, contingent upon financing. IP’s 2008 net sales were approximately $25 billion. In 2007 the company was named No. 1 in the forest products sector for the fifth consecutive year on Fortune’s Most Admired Companies list. “This was an attractive opportunity, and we intend to use the proceeds received at closing to pay down debt,” said John

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Faraci, International Paper’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement at the company’s website. “This is consistent with our commitment to strengthening our balance sheet and maintaining our financial flexibility.” Based in Columbia, South Carolina, American Timberlands Co. is a vertically integrated land investment management firm organized for the purpose of identifying, creating, and managing land investments composed of timberland with diverse value components. The company seeks investment opportunities nationwide with an emphasis on the Southeast. In June 2008, American Timberlands and an Atlanta-based private equity fund completed the acquisition of a package of 14 parcels totaling over 20,000 acres near Myrtle Beach in Horry County, South Carolina. — Eric O’Keefe Spring 2009

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FrontGate

for sale

Make Uncle Sam Your Neighbor Maximize your investment by buying next to public lands. —by Nancy Myers

PACIFIC

Glacier Bay Meadows Gustavus, Alaska $1,490,000 This private property at the gates of Glacier Bay National Park, the nation’s largest marine park, embodies the beauty of Southeastern Alaska. Its 137 acres of coastal flats are shielded from ocean winds by surrounding stands of hemlock, Sitka spruce, and alder. Adjacent lands are owned by The Nature Conservancy and the State of Alaska. Sara Gallagher (719) 227-9300

WEST

WEST

Big Thunder Ranch

Southwestern Wyoming $25 million

Cove Meadow

Sun Valley, Idaho $7.9 million

The Wasatch National Forest borders this iconic Old West ranch, which boasts 38,240 acres (13,160 deeded). Eco-friendly and with eye-catching views at every turn, the property attracts migratory waterfowl and elk, deer, and antelope.

In the upper East Fork Valley, 20 minutes from Ketchum, this 81+-acre mountain retreat offers views of the Pioneer Mountains. Custom improvements include an owner’s home, guest residence, and caretakers’ quarters. The secluded property is bordered by federal lands.

Jane Iten (406) 363-1010

Trent Jones (208) 622-4133

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southWEST

Elk Hunting Ranch Northern New Mexico $46 million

This 17,000-acre spread is nestled near the Colorado state line roughly 100 miles north of Santa Fe. Eight miles of the ranch’s property line abut the scenic Edward Sargent Wildlife Area, a statemanaged public game preserve. Sam Middleton (806) 763-5331

south

Potomac Valley Overlook

Moorefield, West Virginia 35-acre parcels from $79,900

WEST

Horse Prairie Ranch Dillon, Montana $18 million

Located just two hours from Washington, D.C., these tracts feature stunning views and easy access to the George Washington National Forest, which comprises over 100,000 acres in WV and another 1 million acres in Virginia.

With herds of horses, cattle, elk, deer, and antelope, this Montana operation epitomizes the western ranch. Totaling more than 30,000 deeded and leased acres, the ranch is sequestered in a mountain valley. Owner’s cabin and guest cabins abut USFS lands.

Toby Potterton (866) 789-8096

Dave Johnson (406) 587-3090

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FrontGate LAND'S BEST FRIEND

Ode to the Mutt

Are you a breed snob? You’d better think twice! —Henry Chappell

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ake a Spanish pointer and cross it with a bloodhound. What do you have? A mutt, of course. Cross it with a foxhound. Is “mongrel” coming to mind? Pick your favorite from that litter and breed it to an English pointer. Heinz 57? Actually, you have a German shorthaired pointer, one of the most popular and versatile hunting breeds in world. Or at least a prototype. The modern German shorthair began with those crossings. Over the last century, certain physical and behavioral traits have been set and strengthened through selective breeding, including mild inbreeding. In a sense, all modern dog breeds are mutts. Hang around working dog folks long enough and you’ll hear, “Papers don’t work. Dogs work!” Some of the best cowdogs working anywhere are mixtures of traditional herding dogs, such as Australian kelpies and border collies, and their grittier backwoods counterparts, the blackmouth cur and the Catahoula cur. These dogs don’t have kennel club-sanctioned pedigrees, but their bosses keep detailed breeding records. They know which combinations work. Likewise, retriever mixes, especially Chesapeake Bay retriever-Labrador crosses, often make superb hunting dogs, as do dogs of mixed pointing breed ancestries. Looking for a good generalist varmint dog and road buddy? Keep an eye out for terrier mixes, especially those with rat terrier, Jack Russell terrier, or feist blood.

Not an AKC pedigree in the bunch. These sure-enough cowdogs are border collie-cur-shepherd mixes.

Do: • Choose pups only from pairings of working dogs. • Look for early retrieving instinct, even in stock and varmint dog pups. It’s a sign of prey drive and cooperativeness.

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Wyman Meinzer

Don’t: • Be a breed snob. A good dog is one that gets the job done. • Expect mixed-breed pups from working parents to be freebies. They cost, and they’re worth every penny.

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FrontGate LIBRARY

The Little Pink House By Jeff Benedict

GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING (2009)

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lthough it sounds like a Lifetime Network movie, this is one story that definitely does not have a happy ending. Little Pink House is an engaging account of how the State of Connecticut spent $100 million to fund a group of corporate and government extortionists who then abused the power of eminent domain to take the homes of Susette Kelo and her neighbors. In their place they didn’t build a highway or a school or some other public project. Their goal was to demolish dozens of private residences and replace them with a new home for one of America’s best known corporate citizens, Pfizer Inc., and a five-star hotel to boot. A brief recap. The New London Development Corp. was a mothballed entity brought back to life when the City of New London, with funding from the State of Connecticut, set out to condemn a seaside neighborhood and build in its place a research center for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. New London Development claimed that demolishing the historic

“The specter of condemnation hangs over all property.” — Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Kelo v. New London (2005)

neighborhood and redeveloping it would create more than 5,000 new jobs and add $12.5 million to local tax rolls. Susette Kelo and her neighbors were stunned at this news. They not only refused to move, but, with the aid of the Institute for Justice, they took their fight to keep their homes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And lost. The 5-4 decision in Kelo v. City of New London sent shockwaves across the country, beginning with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. In her dissenting opinion, Justice O’Connor decried the unprecedented expansion of the power of eminent domain: “The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall or any farm with a factory.” A karmic postscript: In early 2009, the New London development was officially declared dead in the water, a victim of its own bad press. Connecticut wasted millions funding the project and so did New London, which spent millions in legal fees defending its rights all the way to the Supreme Court. Even the mayor of New London, Beth Sabilla, admitted that she was wrong to support the landmark attack on property rights. Since Kelo, dozens of states have passed new laws forbidding eminent domain in for-profit ventures, and at least one bank—BB&T—announced it won’t underwrite projects that use land seized for economic development. Author Jeff Benedict ably tells the story of Kelo’s Braveheart-like defiance in Little Pink House ($26.99). It’s a compelling, well-written, and accessible read. Benedict weaves the personal stories of numerous homeowners and their adversaries with issues of constitutional intent, property rights, and the power of faith without getting bogged down in jargon or partisan posturing. The only problem with the book is that the ending is unpalatable. —Trey Garrison 18 The LandReport

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FrontGate SPECIES

Brook Trout From FISH: 77 Great Fish of North America

Text by Dean Travis Clarke and Illustration by Flick Ford Reprinted by permission of The Greenwich Workshop Press

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had gone up to Maine expressly to catch a decent-sized brook trout four days earlier and I had yet to put a fly over one. The window of opportunity for catching a 14-inch or bigger “brookie” from any lake within striking distance of where I stayed in Solon, Maine was slim. I arrived right after the worst of black fly season, hoping to take advantage of the famous Hexagenia mayfly hatch in the region’s fertile, high-elevation glacial ponds. Historically, this happens in late June and early July. But the wind posed a serious problem. The hatch, a dusk-to-dark affair each day, lasts a scant 35 to 45 minutes tops and is an amazing sight. The emerging flies float to the surface and the trout go into a splashy frenzy over these giant mayflies, in a scene that makes every trout fisherman’s heart skip beats. If the wind cooperates, you can see the rises everywhere. Unfortunately, stiff winds not only prevent an eye-popping hatch, but also make it really tough to cast a fly over a feeding fish or even keep the canoe where you want it. When John Kenealy, maker of bamboo fly rods and guide/owner of Mountain Valley Flies, finally told me we were headed for brookies, I was at once cocky and ecstatic. So much so, I almost blew it completely. I managed to make Kenealy (one of the most mellow fellows I’ve ever met) almost cranky. First he had to tolerate my aggressive river-wading casting technique (more persistence than style or substance) that rocked the canoe and spooked the fish. Then he saw that my accuracy and timing were off. I couldn’t drift my fly like I might on a river. This kind of fishing required every bit of my casting skill. Get a fly near that rise now!

(Salvelinus fontinalis)

I got the hang of it after a fashion, putting the fly right on top of a riser’s head within seconds of seeing it. No matter whether the fish was 10 feet away or 50, I could finally do it. Unfortunately, it took me until near total darkness to master it. From the depths I saw a tremendous snout appear under my fly. The open mouth displayed white mottled with black, as it is with very large, male brook trout. Had I not known better, I would have believed it to be the maw of a largemouth bass. In a micro-second, I recognized one of the very rare and precious five-plus-pound brook trout left in the lower forty-eight states and, being one of the greatest fly fisherman alive, I stood ready for him. I yanked the fly right out of granddad’s mouth. Kenealy quietly muttered, “It’s over,” meaning the fishing, and to me, that my life as a fisherman had just ended, and finally, that I had a chance at one of the largest brook trout he’d ever seen and that maybe I should jump over the side and drown myself. The very next cast I caught a nice fish. It took Kenealy’s floating Hex Emerger pattern on a size-six hook that I had tied myself for the trip. That thick-backed male measured out at 15-and-three-quarter inches. 20 The LandReport

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FrontGate DEFINITION

Bench

From Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape Edited by Barry lopez and debra gwartney (2006) Reprinted by permission of trinity university press

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terrace, shelf, or platform—usually narrow and relatively level, and backed by a steep grade—that breaks the continuous line of a slope is called a bench. Benches often mark former shorelines, and wave-cut terraces in the flanks of the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt lake City, Utah, provide a dramatic example of this type of formation. Here, the liquid hand of ancient Lake Bonneville, the huge Pleistocene body of water of which Great Salt Lake is a remnant, has been at work. This staircase of distinct platforms tells the story of long pauses in Lake Bonneville’s episodic fluctuations. Brewster Ghiselin deftly captures the respite a mountain bench offers a climber when he writes: “We easily turned from the path,/To the dusk of the bench and the poorwills,/Having no time to gain/Or lose, being paid by the moment.” The benches of the northern California coast at Big Sur and near Bodega Bay were formed as the continent was successively uplifted by tectonic forces, elevating these benches above the waves that created them. A length of floodplain parallel to and stretching away from a riverbank is also called a bench, as is each surface of worked ground in the sequence of steps rising up the side of an open-pit mine. In Idaho and other parts of the West, a bench is also any flat surface that provides working access to a mine and, often, any of a series of broad terraces adjacent to a large river, as indicated in “We topped the rise above the river and saw cattle grazing the bench.” —Terry Tempest Williams

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KEY CONCEPT

Patronage Refund

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he Farm Credit System (www.fcredit.com) is a nationwide financial cooperative that lends money and provides financial services to rural America. Congress created the System in 1916 to provide American agriculture with a dependable source of credit. One of the many distinctions of financing land through the Farm Credit System is the Patronage Refund. The Refund is a means of distributing the association’s net income to member/borrowers, just as a business would return profits to its customers or those who use its services, rather than investors. At the end of each fiscal year, Farm Credit determines its total income and expenses. Income remaining after all expenses are deducted can then be distributed in accordance with the association's bylaws. A borrower’s Refund may be paid in cash, allocated surplus, stock, or any combination of these, with the amount based on activity with the association. The more business one does with Farm Credit, the greater the potential refund. Patronage Refunds benefit Farm Credit borrowers by reducing their cost of borrowing. There are tax advantages as well, since cooperative profits are taxed only once when distributed as a Patronage Refund. —Nancy Myers

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FrontGate GEAR

Time Out

Who would have thought that high style actually refers to a timepiece with a built-in altimeter? —Text & photography by Gustav Schmiege

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hat I was looking for with these watches was something you could wear to work and then take off and go ride your horse or drive your ATV around your property. Some of these watches are more stylized than others, but all of them can roll with the punches. They’re waterproof, which is important no matter where you are or what you’re doing, and I like that.

SUUNTO CORE

ORVIS DUAL-TIME

www.suunto.com | $249

www.orvis.com | $79

If you’ve got a lot of property or let’s say your property buts up against a big piece of state land, this is the watch for you. It’s really truly a piece of gear as opposed to a watch, and the composite housing, aluminum bezel, and rubber strap prove that. There’s a lot of gadgetry, but it’s easy to read. The manufacturer really hypes the watch’s “ABC wristops.” A = altimeter. B = barometer. C = compass.

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Next time you bump into me, I’ll be wearing this watch. Doesn’t matter where I am. If I’m on location or in studio shooting for a high-end client, its classy good looks have all the right stuff. Head to the high country or put me on my scow, and it’s rugged enough that I don’t even worry about the calfskin strap or the mineral crystal. Stainless steel with gold-plate and water-resistant to 100 feet.

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FrontGate

CASIO ATOMIC CLOCK

Every knows that when it comes to cutting edge, Casio is way out in front. Get this: they don’t call this baby a watch. Instead it’s an “information center.” It’s got more features than I could ever list, but the ones you need to know about are that it is solar-powered and automatically receives calibration signals from around the world. Comes with compass, altimeter, barometer, and thermometer. There are all sorts of lunar and tide features for sailors like myself. As always it has the ever-present Casio 1/100-second stopwatch. www.casio.com | $310

iBEAM DIGITAL

I really like the LED functions on this one. The backlighted readout is super easy to read, and with just one push of a button the LED flashlight stays on for a full 30 seconds. Plenty of other bells and whistles, including a 20-lap chronograph, a floating compass on the wristband, a pop-up magnifying glass, and not one, not two, not three, but four alarms for you to ignore.

DEL MAR CHRONOGRAPH

I like the rugged good looks of the tough black strap and stainless-steel case. Yellow inset subdials make it easy to read elapsed seconds, minutes, and hours as you track lap times or circuits. So do the luminous hands and markers. www.orvis.com | $169

www.rei.com | $49

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