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Change in IFM Ownership

In order to ensure long-term stability of Inland Forest Management, Inc. and as a nod to the fact that I’m not immortal, I have sold my IFM ownership interest to F&W Forestry Services of Albany, GA, one of the oldest and most highly regarded consulting forestry companies in the United States. Founded in 1962, F&W has a stellar reputation and provides a wide range of comprehensive forestry-related services, including management plans, timber sales, forest inventory, and forest-related real estate marketing. Like IFM, F&W shares the same company culture focusing on the client’s best interests and strictly adhering to a code of ethics. Additionally, F&W recently became affiliated with Everwood, an integral player in the international forestry world. Based in Paris, France, Everwood focuses on prudent forest management and wood energy. This adds up to a very positive development for all involved, including IFM clients and employees.

This decision was not made lightly. For many years Dick Bradetich and I considered numerous exit strategies. Dick was older than me, so he eventually retired, and I continued to pursue options. None of the IFM employees were interested in taking over the operation—they enjoyed too much what they were doing. The process continued as I evaluated many potential future owners, which involved traveling to six states and even overseas to Paris. As an aside, you can just imagine how out of my element I felt when this North Idaho dirt-kicking forester was interacting with high fluting, but very friendly, Parisians! Eventually it became very clear that F&W Forestry Services was by far the best option. I feel very fortunate to be passing the IFM baton to F&W.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind regarding the change in ownership:

  • I am not retiring and will remain an integral part of the company for the foreseeable future. Eventually a new IFM manager will be named, but I’ll remain on staff to mentor the new manager and continue to serve clients and employees.
  • Current IFM employees are committed to, and excited about, the new ownership. The forester you have worked with in the past will continue to serve you.
  • IFM will operate as it has before, except we and our clients will enjoy the significant benefits associated with F&W’s considerable knowledge and experience in cutting-edge technology, personnel support, and forest management resources.
  • The name “Inland Forest Management, Inc” will remain unchanged.

The new ownership has been in place for a few months now and I continue to be very impressed with F&W’s professionalism and approach to integrating IFM within their firm.  We have had multiple visits from talented company foresters, as well as from two captivating individuals from Paris. Throughout this process their emphasis has been on ensuring our clients receive the same, or better, service as they have in the past, taking care of IFM employees, and making the transfer of ownership as seamless as possible.

I am so thankful for all of you, as well as IFM employees past and present. This company would not be here without Dick and Karen Bradetich; can’t say enough about how much I appreciate them. I am also grateful for F&W and how they conduct their business and have embraced us.

Change is inevitable, both in the forest and with IFM. And just as we strive to do with your forest, this ownership change is being made to keep IFM sustainable and set to thrive into the future.

Again, please know IFM personnel, including me, are not going anywhere and we look forward to serving you in the future, just with enhanced resources.

Thank you,
Mike Wolcott, ACF, Certified Forester


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