Financial and Business Management Skills for Forestry and Natural Resource Leaders

Start Date: March 15, 2016
Location: DoubleTree Lloyd Center, Portland, OR

March 15, 2016

8:00  Course welcome and introductions

Priority skills for career development and profitable business management

  • Six skills for “getting smart” in forestry and forest business
  • A day in the forestry life: land management vs. wood procurement vs. analyst

1: Conducting basic financial analysis in forestry

  • Key tools and metrics for forest finance and economics
  • How evaluate the economics of forest management (marginal analysis)
  • Case example: identify the forest rotation that maximizes value
  • Case example: assess the returns of forest management activities (i.e. fertilization)

2: Understanding basic tax rules and ownership structures

  • Key terms and tax rules critical to forest managers and owners
  • Explaining and comparing REITs, C-corps, TIMOs, LLCs and MLPs

3: Understanding the language of business

  • o Defining and reviewing financial statements (includes forestry case example)

Noon Lunch (included with registration)

1:00 Session continues

4: Putting forestry risks in perspective

  • Reviewing the data on forestry risks
  • Developing a plan to communicate risks to clients and managers

5: understanding market and forestry data

  • Overview of key forestry data sets and key things to know
  • How do successful forest investors and managers stay current?
  • Discussion: includes recommendations and examples of what to read

4:00 Adjourn for Day 1

March 16, 2016

8:00 Session continues

6: communicating with a range of individuals, executives and organizations

  • The good, the bad, the ugly: what forestry gets right and wrong
  • How to give a talk
  • How to conduct an interview
  • How to make a recommendation to managers or clients
  • Group exercise with facilitated feedback

12:00 Adjourn

About the Conference
Who Should Attend? Anyone who wants to learn and improve skills related to the analysis and management of forest investments and businesses. This course is ideal for career development and maximzing the profitability of forestry activities. Previous participants include foresters and land managers, consultants and investment analysts, timberland owners and wood suppliers.

What is the Course About? This course reviews six key skill sets for developing professionally in forestry and for improving the financial performance of forest businesses and timber investments. In a hands-on format, participants apply financial skills to real-world forest management situations, and develop plans for communicating results to managers, colleagues and clients. In addition, the course delivers market information and resources related to timberland investments and wood markets throughout the U.S. The skills learned and data provided in this course strengthen analytic, communication and management skills for forestry and other natural resource professionals.


Dr. Brooks Mendell is President at Forisk, where he leads the firm’s research program. He has over twenty years of operating, research, and consulting experience in forest business, bioenergy and finance. His experience includes roles in harvest operations and wood procurement with Weyerhaeuser, in management consulting with Accenture and in academia at the University of Georgia. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Mendell publishes analysis of timber markets, forest business and operations, and wood bioenergy. His forestry-related books include “Loving Trees is Not Enough”, “Forest Finance Simplified”, “Wood for Bioenergy” (co-authored with Amanda Lang) and Aunt Fanny Learns Forestry: Managing Timberland as an Investment. Dr. Mendell earned BS and MS degrees at M.I.T., an MBA at the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD in Forest Finance at UGA.