Press-Republican

Local News

October 31, 2009

Forestry transition

Finch Paper seeks new customers after land buyout

For for info


Landowners interested in learning more about Finch Forest Management can visit www.finchforestmanagement.com; call 793-2541, ext. 5693; or e-mail the foresters at forestry@finchpaper.com.



fter 100 years of supervising logging operations in the Adirondack Park, foresters at Finch Paper are looking for new work.

In what was seen as a monumental land sale in 2007, The Nature Conservancy bought 162,000 acres of prime forestland held for generations by Finch Pruyn and Co. The transaction marked a change for the Glens Falls-based company, too, as it was bought by a group of equity investors and renamed Finch Paper.

The $110 million sale left the company without any land, but still committed to sustainable forestry. To prove it, the company retained its forestry staff, which recently reinvented itself as a consulting business called Finch Forest Management.

Foresters such as Len Cronin, who has been working for Finch since 1986, hope to use their expertise in new ways, to work with private landowners.

"We can give them guidance and represent them. Be their eyes and ears on a daily basis," Cronin said.

According to Finch foresters, owners of larger parcels are facing the same high taxes that prompted the company to sell its own holdings. Selective harvesting could generate enough profit for owners to hang onto their land.

Through proper management, forest owners can ensure the health of their land for generations, said Danielle LaValley, district forester with Finch. "They want to be able to pass the land on to their grandchildren."

Finch foresters specialize in sustainable forest management. In 2003, Finch Paper received certification through the Forest Stewardship Council in both forest management and chain-of-custody, achieving certification for all aspects of production. This was in addition to being certified through the Sustainable Forest Initiative.

Using wood harvested through sustainable-forestry practices, the company's mill in Glens Falls produces paper that is labeled FSC and FSI certified, which sells to corporations such as Nike, Ford and National Public Radio.

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