Texas has been always been known as a state with vast amounts of privately owned timberland. In the last 15 years large timber companies have, as a business measure, sold increasingly more forested land tracts to private individuals. This shift in land ownership has been a very positive experience for many people wanting to own rural recreational land tracts.
In East Texas there is an old saying, “The trees are growing while we sleep”. In other words, as a timberland owner, your land is making you money all of the time. Combining the timberland with recreational usage can be a recreational land owner’s dream come true, especially if you do not enjoy keeping livestock.
In most well managed timber tracts streamside management zones (SMZ’s) have been established where tree are not harvested in these erodible areas that carry water. In most SMZ’s hardwood trees dominate which are a pleasant change from pine. These areas of your rural acreage work well for building water features which can be classified as a business deduction for your property.
The primary purpose of an SMZ is to maintain water quality. One way that SMZs protect water quality is by reducing the amount of sediment that enters streams as a result of forest management activities. SMZs achieve this function by maintaining the stability of the soil around waterways, slowing down overland flow from areas adjacent to the SMZ, minimizing soil disturbance around waterways, and by reducing rainfall impact by intercepting precipitation. Another function of SMZs is to provide shade for streams, preventing increases in water temperature. This is important because high water temperatures can result in reduced dissolved oxygen in the water, negatively impacting aquatic organisms. In addition to protecting waterways, SMZs benefit wildlife by providing habitat diversity, travel corridors, and food.
Since timber tracts require periodic inspection and ongoing tree work (thinning, harvesting etc) roadways throughout the property are necessary. Many landowners contract for cheap and easy to build roadways and are then forced to re-build the roads after every heavy usage. The proper way to build your roads is to build them well enough so that simple maintenance is all that is needed. This way you have a good road year around instead of just when forestry activities are taking place. Proper road construction typically involves adequate size along with good elevation and drainage. Gravel base rock on the main roads is generally always a good idea. The goal is to establish an easily traveled all weather roadway which gives you ready access to all areas of your recreational property.
SoilMovers LLC has special equipment dedicated exclusively to the needs of our Texas timberland owners.