Land targeted for partitioning

By Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer November 30, 2012 01:42 pm

Land in Wallowa County shows recent logging operations along Highway 3 north of Enterprise. Hancock, a Massachusetts-based company, has applied to the Wallowa County Planning Department to split two parcels of land near  Shamrock Creek, two from an area near Snow Hollow Hill and two from a tract of land on Smith Mountain. KATY NESBITT - The Observer
Land in Wallowa County shows recent logging operations along Highway 3 north of Enterprise. Hancock, a Massachusetts-based company, has applied to the Wallowa County Planning Department to split two parcels of land near Shamrock Creek, two from an area near Snow Hollow Hill and two from a tract of land on Smith Mountain. KATY NESBITT - The Observer

Gallitan Northeast Oregon Land and Timber company has applied to split three large parcels of land in rural Wallowa County, but claims land will not be going up for sale 

Management and access policies on three large parcels of timberland targeted for partitioning in Wallowa County remain the same and the land is not going up for sale, Hancock Timber Resource Group said Friday.

Hancock-owned Gallitan Northeast Oregon Land and Timber has applied to the Wallowa County Planning Department to split off two parcels from a 13,695-acre tract of forestland near Shamrock Creek in the Flora area, two from a 15,695 acre tract near Snow Hollow Hill, and two from a 10,750 acre tract on Smith Mountain. 

John Davis, a senior transactions manager with Hancock, said the company is pursuing the partitions to provide separate ownerships for each of several clients who pooled funds to acquire the property. 

He said timber harvest activity has occurred in all three areas over the course of the last year, and Hancock will continue to look to the areas for timber production in the future. He also said Wallowa County residents will not see any real difference in the lands under Hancock’s management.

“Although this (partition) will result in separately deeded parcels, they will all be managed by the same group of professionals with the same objectives,” Davis said. “Being a good neighbor in the communities where we live and work is a core value of our company.” 

Davis added Hancock has no plans to offer additional lands for sale.

Hancock is a global timber management company based in Boston, Mass. Last July, it bought out Forest Capital Partners, a timber management company owning some 300,000 acres of woodlands in Union, Baker, Wallowa and Umatilla counties.

Davis said Hancock’s Wallowa County holdings total 150,000 acres. The parcels to be partitioned make up about 26 percent of the Wallowa County holdings.

Wallowa County Planning Director Harold Black said Thursday that letters have been sent to people who own property adjacent to the three parcels, notifying them of Hancock’s application to partition. 

Written comments regarding the application must be received by the planning department by 5 p.m. Dec. 4. Black said the department will make a decision after gathering public comment and reviewing the application for conformance to local and state land use laws.