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UPM signs conservation easement agreement in Minnesota

Jul 9, 2010 12:00 AM

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UPM has sold to the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources a conservation easement on 187,876 acres (76,000 hectares) of UPM-owned forest land in Northern Minnesota. UPM will receive $44 million for the easement and will record a pre-tax capital gain of $42 million in the company's third quarter result.

Under the conservation easement, UPM retains ownership of the land and its Blandin paper mill in Grand Rapids, MN, will continue to use it as a working forest. The easement provides the public with access for recreational purposes such as hunting, fishing, hiking and snowmobiling in perpetuity. UPM's Blandin mill will continue to manage the forest under its “Smart Forestry” system, which is designed to enhance productivity and support economic and environmental sustainability. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will conduct audits for compliance. The land also is certified to comply with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.