New Forestry Book from Thom McEvoy


In his seventh forestry book, "Planning Family Forests - How to Keep Woodlands Intact and in the Family," Professor Thom McEvoy after nine years of research compiles stories of forest-owning families representing every major timber type in the United States. These narratives and analyses tell the trials, missteps and successes of an older generation of woodland owners sufficiently committed to keeping their forests intact and in the family. Anyone who wishes to control and keep their forests in their family forever should read this book before meeting with their estate attorney and accountant.

Most estate planning materials that are now available to the 10 million private forest owners in the United States focus on preservation of wealth and not on the importance and benefits of maintaining healthy, productive and intact forest ecosystems. Why? Because a primary concern of parents who bequeath assets to children is equity, to maintain a sense of family after the parents have passed. Yet, even an equal division of assets can lead to fatal bickering between children, destroying the very fabric parents intended to maintain.

The purpose of this book is to document some of the many success stories where forests have had a unifying effect on families, while also keeping woodlands productive and protected from development. McEvoy takes a unique approach to sharing these stories with readers, through the use of case studies from around the country. These narratives will help forest-owning families explore a variety of strategies on which to model their efforts.

The underlying message, though, is that when forestlands are left to children intact, with clear directions as to how lands are to be managed and used, and how benefits are to be shared, generations that follow are much more likely to come together as family for the purposes of managing forests. This is usually undertaken as a legacy to their parents and grandparents, establishing strong traditions for future generations to keep forests intact and in the family.

There are 12 chapters of case studies, along with a chapter summarizing planning for woodlands in the reader's estate, a chapter explaining the legal details on various forms of organization for family forests, along with a sample LLC operating agreement, and a chapter with tips and strategies for conducting family meetings. A glossary of forestry and legal terms introduced throughout the book is included so readers thoroughly understand the legal methods used to effect intergenerational transfers of forests. The book is fully indexed to allow readers to quickly locate all aspects of topics of interest. All legal and tax references are current as of March 1, 2013.

Color photography has been placed throughout the book to remind readers of the beauty and utility of woodlands, as well as the multitude of other benefits we've come to expect of healthy forest ecosystems. The book is 268 pages, perfect-bound in 100-pound matte cardstock with 70-pound opaque pages. Print is in Times New Roman in 13-point font for easier reading.

About the Author: Thom J. McEvoy is professor emeritus of forestry extension at the University of Vermont (UVM), retired as of July 2011. He is the author of more than 250 extension publications, technical bulletins on forestry subjects, and seven books, including: "Owning and Managing Forests - A Guide to Legal, Financial and Practical Matters" (2004 Island Press), a national book award winner
that year, and "Positive Impact Forestry - A Sustainable Approach to Managing Woodlands" (2005 Island Press), recipient of two national book awards. McEvoy is also a regular contributor to regional, national and international trade journals for woodland owners, logging contractors, mill owners and others in the forest products business.

Among his other accomplishments during his 30 years at UVM, McEvoy was cofounder
of the Coverts Initiative in 1984. It is an award-winning curriculum for forest owners on how to manage for wildlife that has since spread to more than 20 states. He also cofounded LEAP (Logger Education to Advance Professionalism), a multiday curriculum for logging contractors that covers topics ranging from ecosystems to ethics, and safety to liability. Since its inception in 1991, LEAP has served as a model for logger education in every major timber type in North America. He also holds the prestigious Sinclair Cup for his "distinguished service and exemplary leadership" to the UVM College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Extension, awarded in 2009.

Now, busier than ever, McEvoy offers consulting services in a wide range of areas, from carbon
accounting to timber taxes, along with expert testimony and mediation with families that want to develop strategies for keeping forests intact and in the family.

For more information about "Planning Family Forests - How to Keep Woodlands Intact and in the Family," please visit You can also call 855-883-5263.