Above: A harvester working in a mixedwood forest on Lyme's New York lands.
Banner Photo: View of Lyme's former Connecticut Lakes property in Northern New Hampshire.
The Lyme Timber Company LP is a private timberland investment management organization (TIMO) that focuses on the acquisition and sustainable management of lands with unique conservation values. Since its founding in 1976, the Company has followed a disciplined and value oriented approach to investing in forestland and rural real estate. The Company’s current portfolio includes 650,000 acres located in New York, California, Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Colorado, Maine, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Delaware, and West Virginia. The Lyme team has over 100 years of combined experience in the acquisition, operation, and disposition of timberland and rural real estate. The team has extensive experience in the negotiation and sale of working forest conservation easements that restrict development on lands but allow income generation from sources such as sustainable timber harvesting, recreational leasing, the sale of carbon-offset credits, and alternative energy supply agreements. To date, Lyme has permanently conserved approximately 750,000 acres of its historical portfolio through the sale of working forest conservation easements and other conservation instruments. The Lyme team also has expertise accessing advantageous debt arrangements (e.g. New Markets Tax Credit financings) and restructuring forestry and timber operations.
All of the Company's working timberland properties are third-party certified by one or both of the two leading sustainable forestry certification programs - the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI). Over 20 million board feet of FSC certified logs are harvested from Lyme-managed lands annually.
Although working lands make up the bulk of Lyme's portfolio, the company pursues investments in emerging ecosystem service markets, including mitigation banks. In partnership with experienced operating partners, Lyme invests in properties with potential to mitigate wetland, stream, or endangered species impacts.
The Lyme Timber Company began investing in timberland and rural real estate in 1976. During its first 25 years, Lyme made a series of $1 million to $10 million investments in forestland properties throughout the eastern US. Proceeds from Lyme’s early timberland investments and from offerings of limited partnership units in 1993 were used to capitalize Lyme Properties, a subsidiary company focused on the development of commercial real estate. Between 1993 and 2006, Lyme Properties became the largest life sciences property developer in New England. The Lyme Properties business was sold in a series of transactions culminating in 2007.
In 2002, Lyme organized The Lyme Northern Forest Fund with $64.5 million in capital commitments. At the close of its investment phase in 2005, this fund had invested in five properties totaling 260,000 acres of timberland.
In 2006, Lyme organized The Lyme Forest Fund with $190.6 million of committed capital. At the close of its investment period in March 2009, this fund had invested in seven properties totaling 433,000 acres.
In 2010, Lyme organized The Lyme Forest Fund III with $160.4 million in capital commitments. At the close of its investment period in August 2014, this fund had invested in twelve properties totaling 230,000 acres.
In 2014, Lyme organized The Lyme Forest Fund IV with $250 million in capital commitments. To date, this fund has made four investments totaling 150,000 acres.