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Sutherland Represents The Forestland Group in First of Four Transactions, Collectively One of the Largest Conservation Easement Deals in U.S. History

April 12, 2005

ATLANTA (April 12, 2005) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP today announces that it has served as counsel for long-standing client, The Forestland Group, LLC in its sale to The Nature Conservancy of fee interest in 23,400 acres and conservation easements affecting 150,000 acres, all located within the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

This is the first of four sales among The Forestland Group, The Nature Conservancy and the State of Michigan in a $58 million deal announced by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and The Nature Conservancy on January 6, 2005.  This first of four deals closed on March 30.  When completed, the four sales will involve over 271,000 acres, place working forest conservation easements on 248,000 acres of Michigan timberland, and link 2.5 million acres of protected natural areas.  The conservation easements permit the continued management and harvesting of timber, while protecting public access and natural ecosystems.  Collectively, this will be the largest conservation easement deal in the history of Michigan and one of the largest in the history of the United States. 

The Sutherland team was led by attorneys Victor Haley and Quito Anderson, of the Real Estate Group in Atlanta.

The Forestland Group, LLC is a timberland investment management organization (TIMO) that provides investment opportunities for institutional and individual investors.  Since 1995, The Forestland Group has acquired more than 1.5 million acres of timberland in 14 states.  The firm manages more than 550,000 acres in Michigan. 

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a national law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies.  Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 400 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington.  For further information about the firm, please visit sutherland.com.

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