WICKERSHAM FORESTRY SERVICES, INC.
Many people ask us if there is a company that insures timber. We answer the question with a yes, but the cost is prohibitive. The only time insurance in the typical sense is useful to a landowner is when he has a threat to his tract and he is in the middle of a sale. If this happens you may want to insure the timber until you get the deal closed. This would be for a very short period of time so it wouldn't cost you very much and this probably will never happen to the average timberland owner.
The best insurance for your timberland tract is to have very well marked boundary lines. The statutes of Mississippi presently allow for punitive damages for cutting over the property line by someone cutting your neighbors timber only if you can prove that they trespassed intentionally. If your line is painted with a brightly colored paint and easily visible, you have a good case of trespass. If your line is vague or not marked at all, you may not be able to prove the cutting of your timber was intentional. This is only one reason for making sure your lines are easily seen by other people.
One of the biggest problems timber consultants have is determining the location of corners and boundary lines on a tract of timber. If the lines are well marked and maintained there is generally no problem with the adjoining landowners coming back on the timber company later saying they cut over the line. You have heard the old saying that good fences make good neighbors. Well, good boundary lines make for good neighbors as well.
We mark lines for landowners with bright red paint. We blaze and mark the trees along both sides of the line with patches of paint that face the side of the tree on which the line passes. We mark the corners with big X's that face the corner marker so the corner can be located later even if the marker is covered by leaves or other debris.
Good boundary lines are an excellent indication that you property is well managed. If you have trouble with trespassers, a good line will indicate to them that someone is really watching this property. Placing hunting club signs every 200 to 300 feet around the property will also discourage trespassers. Even if you don't have a club, the signs will help with this problem.
Well marked boundary lines will prove ownership, discourage trespass, and give your property an appearance of a well managed, well watched tract of land. It is the only affordable insurance for your property.
We can mark for you, visible boundary lines for a reasonable fee. It is the only timber insurance you can afford to have.