Who Will Own the Forest? 2023 Agenda

Tuesday, September 26

5:00 – 8:00 pm Opening Reception and Check-in in Museum

Enjoy appetizers, drinks, and exhibits while networking inside our Discovery Museum.

Wednesday, September 27

8:00 am Women in Timber Breakfast Social in Mt. Hood Room

A complimentary networking event co-sponsored by: Eversheds Sutherland, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, and World Forestry Center

Register for Women in Timber here

8:00 am Breakfast, Conference Check-in, and Conference Sessions in Miller Hall

9:00 am Introduction & Welcome Remarks

  • Joe Furia, Executive Director, World Forestry Center

Session 1: Investors – Keynote

Dates and times below are subject to change as we confirm additional speakers and topics.
9:10 am A New Buyer Universe in Timberland – Changing Views on the Asset Class

The timberland investment landscape has seen financial and other buyers entering the timberland space via mergers and acquisitions of TIMOs and carbon credit developers. How are these buyers thinking about timberland today versus how it was viewed just 10 years ago? What is driving these transactions, and how is the growing carbon market changing the timberland value proposition?

  • Moderator: Jeff Nuss, Managing Partner, Handprint Impact Partners; Founder and Former President & CEO, GreenWood Resources
  • James Bullen, Senior Forestry Investment Manager, Climate Asset Management
  • Arjun Patney, Low Carbon Originator, BP
  • Bob Saul, Owner, Shearwell
  • Hans-Joachim Seyfarth, Head of Illiquid Asset Forestry & Agriculture, MEAG MUNICH ERGO AssetManagement
10:10 am Family Office Perspectives on Timberland

Family offices often have unique investment objectives and preferences for investment vehicles.  Some family offices enter into timberland with an impact investing mindset while others approach timberland with higher return expectations. What are the goals and needs unique to family offices’ approach to timberland investments?  

  • Moderator: Chris Larson, Co-Founder and CIO, Alder Point Capital Management
  • Jennifer Garstka, Vice President of Timber and Agriculture, Devonshire Investors
  • JF Thye, CFO, Deskpass Corporation; Board Member, The Cumberland Forest Project

10:50 am Morning Break

Session 2: Markets

11:20 am Market Pulse: A Conversation with Manufacturers, Timber Suppliers, and Distributors

This panel will discuss the current, and future, outlook for forest products markets, based on perspectives up and down the value chain. With fears of a recession lowering, but tight labor and housing markets persisting, what issues are top of mind for timber suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors?  Which forest products segments are growing, and which markets face the most challenges? What does China’s rocky post-pandemic economic restart mean for global wood flows? Are the prospects for forest carbon values likely to support or constrain wood supply?

  • Moderator: Todd Payne, President of Lumber, Sierra Pacific Industries
  • Chung-Hong Fu, Founding Member and Partner, Timberland Investment Resources
  • Vernon Hiott, Vice President of Business Development, Rayonier
  • Tom Hoffmann, Senior Vice President of Building Materials Distribution, Boise Cascade Company
  • Dave Walters, Vice President of Acquisitions and Business Development, Green Diamond Resource Company

12:20 pm Lunch served in Plaza

1:30 pm Wood Bioenergy Markets: Where Are We Now?

Geopolitical factors and government incentives have created new opportunities in transportation fuels from wood and bioelectricity developments that can capture and store carbon. This panel will describe current markets and drivers for wood bioenergy products, project development and locations, and implications for timberland investors.

  • Moderator: Claire Huxtable, Paper & Forest Products Analyst, ERA Forest Products Research
  • Amanda Lang, Partner, COO and Vice President of Client Services, and Product Manager of Mill Capacity Database, Forisk Consulting
  • Chris Wake, Vice President of Biomass Strategy, Drax Group
2:10 pm International Investment in Timberland: Drivers, Opportunities, and Constraints

There is steady and growing investor interest in timberland though the majority of capital remains invested in the US and Oceania.  What is the opportunity set in other regions of the world, and what’s needed to grow capital investments in international timberland?  Is climate- and nature-positive investor interest re-shaping risk appetite and driving more international investment into certain regions?  What’s the outlook for specific regions: Oceania, South America, and Africa?

  • Moderator: Mark Wishnie, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Impact Investment Management, BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group
  • Andriy Hrytsyuk, Forestland Investments Manager, Ingka Investments BV
  • Sameer Jinnah, Managing Director, Infrastructure & Renewable Resources, BCI
  • Flavia Marcilio Barbosa, Partner, DDSA
  • George McPherson, Managing Director, Criterion Africa Partners

Session 3: Net Zero and Carbon Markets

2:50 pm What’s Next for Net Zero and Forest Carbon?

There is no pathway to global net zero GHG emissions without scaling carbon removals, and nature-based solutions must play a significant near-term role in the net-zero transition. Yet investors and corporates today face complex and dynamic carbon markets, regulatory contexts, and public perception of forest-climate action. This panel session will explore how the net-zero movement is maturing and the potential roles for forests in portfolio decarbonization and neutralizing residual emissions. The panelists will introduce developments in carbon removals accounting, science-based targets, and the varying roles for offsetting, insetting, and direct emissions reductions while using real-world examples of investor strategies for net zero via investing in forests and forest carbon. 

  • Moderator: MaryKate Bullen, Director of Sustainability and ESG, Forest Investment Associates
  • Theresa Bodner, Head of Nature-Based Solutions, Trove Research
  • Caitlin Clarke, Director of Policy and External Affairs, BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group
  • Catherine Martini, Senior Program Manager of Carbon Removal, Microsoft
  • Asger Strange Olesen, Global Head of Climate, Biodiversity, and ESG, International Woodland Company AM+
  • Amrita Vatsal, Managing Director of Business Development, EFM Investments & Advisory

3:40 pm Afternoon Break

Session 4: Climate Risk and Insurance

4:10 pm Quantifying Climate Risk and the Role and Limits of Insurance

Land managers and investors in timberland must assess the increasing risks posed by climate change, including frequency and severity of major loss events, and the cost and availability of various types of insurance coverage for property, liability and operations. Developments in the insurance sector have the ability to impact the timber industry in terms of where and how companies invest, and how they look at risk and liability. How are insurers and land managers adapting to, and thinking about, climate risk for the timberland sector, and what does this mean for timberland investors?

  • Moderator: Joe Taggart, President, LandVest
  • Phil Cottle, Head of Forestry, Specialty MGA UK
  • Jeffrey DeHaan, Vice President, Alliant Specialty

Session 5: Regulatory Updates

4:50 pm Federal Policy and Forests – Deadlock or Dynamic Moment?

With decades of experience working within, and outside of, Congress and federal agencies, our group of panelists will look beyond the current deadlock and dysfunction in Washington, D.C. to discuss why they see opportunities for a generational shift in federal policies affecting the private forestry sector.

  • Moderator: Joe Furia, Executive Director, World Forestry Center
  • Scott Jones, CEO, Forest Landowners Association
  • Travis Joseph, President and CEO, American Forest Resource Council
  • Dave Tenny, President and CEO, National Alliance of Forest Owners

5:30 – 8:00 pm Outdoor Reception in Miller Garden

Thursday, September 28

8:00 am Conference Check-in and Breakfast in Miller Hall

9:00 am Introduction & Welcome Remarks

  • Joe Furia, Executive Director, World Forestry Center

Session 5: Regulatory Updates (continued)

Dates and times below are subject to change as we confirm additional speakers and topics.
9:10 am Restrictions on Foreign Investments in US Agricultural Land–Potential Repercussions for the Timberland Sector 

Lawmakers in Congress and at least 32 states are weighing legislation to further limit foreign ownership of farm and timberland. Timberland accounts for almost half of all foreign-owned, private agricultural land in the US. Could such restrictions put a chill on foreign investors and sideline potential investments? 

  • Moderator: Victor Haley, Co-Head of Global Real Estate and Planning, Eversheds Sutherland
  • Marisa Bocci, Partner, K&L Gates
  • Jonathan Prather, Partner, Perella Weinberg Partners
  • Tiffanie Starr, Managing Director of Acquisitions, Timberland Investment Resources

10:00 am Morning Break

Session 6: Digital Forestry

10:20 am Will Digital Forestry Revolutionize the Industry?

In the era of AI and robotics, technology promises a digital revolution in forestry, with AI-assisted tree inventorying, remote sensing, big data aggregation and synthesis to optimize precision forestry, and more accurate, real time monitoring of forest health and hazards mitigation. What can current and emerging technologies actually deliver on, and where do land managers and other users see the most value in applying new technology? How much of the technology push is actually being driven by investors versus asset managers and vendors? Do the costs of utilizing new technology make sense, and do they play out differently across different regions? What aspects of forestry are most likely to be most impacted? Finally, what are the cyber-security considerations of all these new forest technologies?

  • Moderator: Stephen Logan, Chief Information Officer, F&W Forestry Services
  • Will Autrey, Director of Technical Services, Larson & McGowin
  • Peter Tittmann, Associate Director, New Forests

Session 7: Mass Timber

11:00 am Can Mass Timber Become a Commodity Material for the Buildings Market?

The North American mass timber market is expected to see robust growth over the next decade due to its many positive attributes, including its carbon storage capacity, energy efficiency, structural strength and reduced labor demands. What does the future hold for mass timber, and how will demand for mass timber impact forest resources? How will the industry close the fabricator supply gap?

  • Moderator: Karim Khalifa, Innovation Consultant, Designbox
  • Ben Kaiser, Owner and Principal, Kaiser Group and Path Architecture
  • Hardy Wentzel, CEO and Founder, Hardy Wentzel Consulting

11:40 am Lunch served in Plaza

1:00 pm End

Download WWOTF agenda as a pdf here

To see the Forest Products Forum agenda, please go here

Meet the Speakers

Who Will Own the Forest? features leading voices from across diverse sectors. Learn more about them.