Potlatch Corporation

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The Potlatch Corporation (NYSE:PCH) is a real estate investment trust with headquarters in Spokane Washington and which specializes in timber or forest land. Most of their income comes from selling standing timber. They also sell land.

Potlatch owns 1.5 million acres in Arkansas, Idaho and Minnesota.

The name "Potlatch" refers to an old Native American custom of holding ceremonies where everybody tried to outdo each other in how many gifts they could give away to other people in their community.

Potlatch Lumber Company incorporated March 7, 1903. They went through several mergers and name changes, and became The Potlatch Corporation April 27, 1973. They restructured into a REIT effective January 1, 2006.  

A taxable REIT subsidiary, wholly owned, Potlatch TRS, now owns all their manufacturing for lumber products, and assets for the harvesting of timber and sale of logs. They also own tracts of land Potlatch plans to sell or redevelop for other uses. Potlatch TRS is a C corporation.

The Potlatch Corporation has a Long History

As Potlatch Forests Inc, they first traded in the over the counter markets in the 1950s. They hit the Pacific Stock Exchange December 14, 1966 and the New York Stock Exchange December 15, 1969. Their symbol was changed to PCH with the name change in 1973. That is still what they trade as. They do have a dividend reinvestment plan. In 2009 they donated $21,600 for natural resources conservation.

In 2005 The Potlatch Corporation became the first major publicly traded forest corporation to receive certification of its forestry practices from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Plus they have FSC chain-of-custody certification for their lumber and plywood mills producing FSC-certified products.

This includes reforesting all their lands, either through replanting or through regeneration. Since 2000 they have planted over 120 million trees.

Their property is clustered: 409,000 acres in Southern Arkansas, 835,000 acres in Northern Idaho and 236,000 acres in Northern Minnesota.

The Potlatch Corporation is Geographically Diverse to Grow Different Types of Trees

They market logs and fiber to their manufacturing enterprises and other companies, and include saw logs and pulpwood of different softwood and hardwood tree species. Their facilities are in Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota and Michigan.

They have land for sale in Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They also lease out tracts of land for hunting.

They produce RADEC and Inland Red cedar boards. In Northern Idaho they produce framing lumber - Douglas fir and Larch, hemlock and white fir. In Arkansas they produce yellow pine lumber, and from loblolly pine and shortleaf pine.

In the past, timber has had a higher investment return than the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Although it's subject to the ups and downs of the economy - a slow housing market has to be hurting them - but in the long run timber is necessary.

Therefore, The Potlatch Corporation is a Real Estate Investment Trust positioned to benefit from the demand for timber and timber products in the future.

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