It is obviously impossible to discuss the behavior of timberland returns during any period of time without first getting clear on how those returns can be measured. To that end, there are two ways in principle to go about doing it. The first is with some type of an index of public market returns based on the performance of Timber REITs. And, the second is with some suitably constructed index of the returns attributable to private timber investments.
In the case of Timber REIT returns, we use the Forisk Timber REIT (FTR) Index which is a market capitalization weighted index of all publicly traded, timberland owning REITs. The FTR Index was developed by Forisk, who is an investment consulting company specializing in the forest products industry.