A company in Quebec City, Solifor, that manages and harvests forests has purchased the Ste-Aurelie Timberlands in Somerset County, Maine for $30 million. The company handles properties on both sides of the border, and this is their second forest property in Northern Maine.
The deal was announced on Wednesday and includes 96 square miles, or almost 62,000 acres of forest. To put this in perspective, it’s almost half the size of the landmass of Montreal. The former owners of the land were not disclosed.
Last may, Solifor purchased land just north of this property that consisted of 69,000 acres for $25 million. The original landmass backs up to the Canadian border. According to Patrick McQuilken, spokesman for Solifor, the company has no further plans to acquire any more forest land within Maine. He said they simply harvest the land and then replant trees. They primarily deal in softwood lumber that is sold to Quebec processors, and used to construct buildings in Quebec. Their main customers are all Quebec companies which include Groupe Lebel and Maibec.
The property near where the St. Aurelie border crosses into Canada is only about 75 miles north of the Jackman border, which crosses into northwestern Maine. The land is mixed with hardwood and coniferous trees. Their main product from this land is wood, but it also produces maple syrup that is shipped across the United States and Canada.
The two Maine forests are managed by the Huber group who keeps 3 of their 17 employees in Old Town, so they are devoted to Solifor forests. Additionally, they contract roughly 15 loggers from Maine seasonally.