Do Due Diligence Before Purchasing Timberland
Buying timberland is a complex and time-consuming endeavor. It requires specific knowledge of the relevant properties and extensive due diligence to ensure the correct valuation before acquiring these investment properties.
Orbis developed our Forest Investment Technical Analysis Service (FITAS) to help clients undertake a technical review of the property in question. FITAS adheres to a rigorous protocol in the evaluation, estimation and comparison of current and historical property information.
What Is FITAS℠?
FITAS, one of our due diligence services, enables Orbis to obtain the most current property information available and compare that information to other sources of third-party imagery and GIS data. The FITAS process utilizes GIS technology to prepare the data and compile the results. Clients receive verification of the accuracy of the property information in a report that provides the results of the FITAS process on the property and explains the procedures and materials used to perform the analysis.
The FITAS Process
- Visually Inspect the Data. Orbis visually inspects the technical quality of all GIS data provided. During this stage, we review the overall positional accuracy of the GIS data by overlaying the GIS data onto the most recently acquired online imagery. We spot-check areas of the property to confirm the general accuracy of the online service. Then we evaluate the GIS data for technical soundness by checking for relative georeferencing accuracy, edge matching of neighboring features, missing or duplicate features, and general data structural completeness.
- Review and Adjust Boundaries. Orbis modifies the timber stand boundary layer by focusing on line work, topological soundness, and feature attribution issues found during the initial visual and technical review performed in the first step. We overlay the boundary GIS data onto the publicly available online imagery map, looking for errors due to overlapping polygons, duplicate features and incorrect timber stand delineations. Using visible features such as roads and streams, we make corrections as appropriate to fix the boundary lines.
Benefits of Our FITAS Service
- Discovery of topological data errors
- Correction of timber stand typing errors
- Assurance that data is good quality and meets industry standards
How Orbis Adds Value to Your Organization
FITAS allows us to: (1) find any topological errors related to the data managed by less-technical property managers; and (2) identify any timber stand typing errors. This second type of error commonly occurs when the property manager is managing land along an arbitrary internal stand, tract or property boundary, and is unable to keep up with harvest and planting activities within the current property GIS data.
Both of these error types can cause valuation issues if not addressed early in the process. By performing a FITAS technical due diligence review, Orbis helps our clients avoid these errors, thus ensuring the appropriate valuation of timberland investment properties, which allows them to make an informed decision before purchase.