Owners and managers of millions of forestland acres are represented by Schwabe.
Nationally ranked as a Tier 1 timber law firm by U.S. News-Best Law Firms, Schwabe’s Forest Products Group is one of the preeminent practices in the U.S. Since 2011, Schwabe has consistently been ranked among the nation’s top timber law firms and U.S. News-Best Law Firms has named us “Timber Law Firm of the Year” seven times since 2012, most recently in 2024.
Vast experience in the timber industry
With decades of experience, Schwabe’s forest products team has worked on numerous timber-related transactions and projects. Our clients include forest landowners, forest products manufacturers, and other industry participants who collectively own or manage millions of acres of forestland in the United States. Schwabe lawyers assist with a wide variety of transactions—from land use, environmental audits, timberland purchase and sales to forest carbon projects.
As knowledgeable industry advisers, we have the capacity to continuously track the pulse of the market and guide clients through complex, strategic, and innovative transactions that are beginning to steer the future of the timber industry. To stay abreast of industry developments, we draw on an extensive network of contacts, experience, and institutional knowledge. As part of our commitment to the industry, we maintain an internal education program that gives our lawyers a comprehensive understanding of the trends and issues affecting our timber clients. We also build on our knowledge through client site visits and in-house presentations, which are based on a robust curriculum covering myriad topics, such as log marketing and procurement, manufacturing, commercial operations, insurance issues, industry business considerations, and regulatory environments.
We work with developers in shepherding reforestation, afforestation, and grasslands projects, and improved forest management carbon projects on U.S. lands (including private and municipal lands, tribal and Alaska Native Corporation lands, land trust holdings, farms, ranches, and community forests) and abroad.
Members of the industry fabric
We deeply value our connections to the forest products industry and are proud to be involved with many timber and forest products organizations and associations. As lawyers embedded in this industry, we have gained a 360-degree perspective on industry issues by representing a diversity of timber and related businesses. Our clients include:
- Timberland owners and property managers
- Vertically integrated manufacturers, mills, and distributors
- Loggers, truckers, and log yards
- Logging and road-construction contractors
- Exporters of raw logs and finished products
- Timberland investors, lenders, and borrowers including Timber Investment Management Organizations (TIMO) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
- Conservation groups
- Biomass developers
- Lumber grading and standards organizations
- Logging companies
- Transporters (via truck, rail, and barge)
- Forestry consultants
- Forest carbon developers
Band two Oregon Environmental
Chambers ranked Environmental attorneys in Oregon and Washington
National Tier 1
National Tier 1
Few Things Say Pacific Northwest Like Timber
Oregon-based Freres Lumber Company innovated with the Mass Plywood Panel, revolutionizing how America builds.
What our clients say
“Over the past several years we have incorporated the dynamic skill sets of various Schwabe individuals that have resulted in sound growth decisions for us at IFA Nurseries, Inc. We engaged Schwabe to craft and execute a plan that would enable us to obtain an operating lease of greenhouse buildings and agricultural land for industrial forest seedling production. The lease was structured to include an option to buy which resulted in us gaining significant bargaining power to favorably renegotiate the lease and ultimately transition the asset into a long-term operating facility.
Schwabe’s comprehensive expertise combined with their personable and timely client service has resulted in a trusted partnership that we rely on as a critical part of our ongoing business operations and strategy.”
- Served as lead counsel with regard to the disposition and acquisition of millions of acres of timberlands in the United States and myriad operational issues related to such lands.
- Negotiated agreements related to the operation of timberlands, such as road use and maintenance agreements, rights-of-way and easements, log and fiber supply agreements, logging and hauling contracts, leases, access permits, and licenses.
- Negotiated and documented loans secured by timberlands and manufacturing facilities and products.
- Negotiated conservation easements, forest carbon transactions, and alternative revenue stream transactions (e.g., highest and best-use sales and wind, solar, and other energy projects).
- Advised timberland and TIMO clients with respect to capital formation process and private placements of timber-related investment funds.
- Negotiated timberland investment management agreements.
- Advised on tax and regulatory compliance issues related to ownership of timberlands and mills.
- Consulted on environmental issues related to mill ownership and operations, including agency negotiation and related remediation and cleanup.
- Defended or prosecuted claims on behalf of timberland owners involving a variety of matters, including adverse possession, timber trespass, land use, and tort and breach of contract claims.
- Helped develop, refine, and tailor forestry-related policies, including Forest Stewardship Council, Lacey Act, and chain-of-custody strategies.
- Interpreted current law and policy trends in the area of sustainable forestry and advised on issues concerning carbon sequestration, biomass facilities and contracts, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), conservation easements, water resources, ecosystem services, and community forests.
- Assisted with litigation and alternative dispute resolution of forestry and forest product disputes.
- Assisted with product distribution including warranties, disclaimers, labeling, and California Air Resource Board (CARB) and Proposition 65 disclosures and internet limitations.
- Successfully defended timberland owners in gender, race, and disability discrimination claims by former employees.
- Provided comprehensive employment audit and advice services for timberland owner, including best practices on issues involving employee classifications, wage and hour, privacy, harassment, and benefits.
- Advised Timber Investment Management Organizations on small tract dispositions and operational matters.
- Advised major TIMOs in buying and selling of timberlands throughout the United States.
- Negotiated numerous road use and maintenance agreements, rights-of-way and easements, logging and hauling contracts, leases, access permits and licenses for various timberland owners in Oregon and Washington.
- Documented loans secured by manufacturing facilities and products for a major forest products manufacturer.
- Acted as lead counsel with regard to the acquisition of over 300,000 acres of timberlands in the Shasta Region of Northern California in two separate transactions for affiliated timber investment management organization entities.
- Represented a timber investment management organization in the acquisition of 1.55 million acres of timberland located in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and Alabama involving approximately 1.38 million fee acres and approximately 175,000 acres of leasehold property.
- Served as lead counsel for a timber investment management organization in the disposition of 111,967 acres of timberlands in Mendocino County, California, and related rights and property.
- Served as real estate and natural resources counsel for North America’s largest manufacturer of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer products, which operates facilities throughout the United States and Canada.
- Served as lead counsel on numerous large-scale conservation easement transactions in Oregon, Washington, and California on behalf of both land trusts and industrial timberland owners, including transactions involving Forest Legacy Program “working forest” conservation easements on the southern slopes of Mt. St. Helens in Skamania County and on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, in the Arch Cape Region on the Oregon Coast, on the East Moraine adjoining Wallowa Lake in Eastern Oregon, and in the Redwood forests of Humboldt County, California.
- Served as lead counsel for acquisition, funding, and operational issues related to a small-diameter log mill facility and accompanying integrated biomass energy campus in Wallowa, Oregon.
- Represented a timber investment management organization regarding its sale to a third-party commercial timberlands owner of approximately 176,000 acres of timberland interests comprised of fee, timber deeds, and leaseholds located in upstate New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana.
- Regularly advise and defend a timber client in multiple employment-related discrimination issues and disputes.
- Defended and settled reforestation and harvest violations issued by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
- Assisted clients in resolving numerous disputes with federal and state agencies which sell timber sale contracts.
- Assisted clients in navigating the vagaries of the U.S. Small Business Administration set-aside timber sale program.
- Assisted clients in navigating the vagaries of the federal log export and substitution rules.
- Obtained summary judgment for a TIMO and dismissal with prejudice in claim by the plaintiff relating to option to purchase certain real property in timberlands in Snoqualmie forest.
- Defended wood products manufacturer in Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) case brought by the United States for cleanup costs related to historical lumber treatment operations.
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