BULL SPRINGS SKYLINE FOREST
Deschutes County, Oregon
Mason & Morse Ranch Company
Bull Springs Skyline Forest, located just minutes west of Bend, Oregon, is an active tree farm and recreational property that covers 32,995+/- contiguous, deeded acres and borders the Deschutes National Forest. The property has significant long-term appreciation potential with opportunity for sustainable timber management, abundant recreation in combination with residential and mixed-use development.
More than 80% of the landscape is dominated by a highly productive timberland mix of coniferous forest, winding creeks and springs. The elevation ranges from 3,600 feet along Bull Spring Creek up to 5,600 feet along the property’s western boundary. From deep canyon breaks and expansive forest, to rugged high alpine timber with sweeping views of the Deschutes River Basin and Cascade Mountains, Bull Springs Skyline Forest encompasses a variety of landforms.
Located near the center of Oregon, east of the Cascade mountains on the west side of Bend, one of the nation’s fastest growing mountain towns in the United States. Bend has significant urbanization potential and is a traditional timberland industry region with infrastructure for logging and wood related products.
Easily accessed year-round from multiple public roads, the southern entrance is located approximately two miles west of Bend, Oregon and the northern entrance approximately five miles from Sisters, Oregon.
With close proximity to major metropolitan areas, airline service and other nationally recognized resort destinations, the property is positioned well for future residential, commercial and tourism development opportunities. Central Oregon is further distinguished for its all-season recreational amenities. Mt. Bachelor, known for exceptional skiing and extended season is located within 15 miles of Bull Springs Skyline Forest. The Deschutes River, within a few minutes of the property, provides exceptional fishing and other water recreation. National monuments and parks, including the Pacific Crest Trail are also within short distances. Clean air, spectacular mountain scenery and comfortable climate provide inviting conditions for all types of outdoor recreation available within minutes of Bull Springs Skyline Forest.
Between the years of 1916 to present day Bull Springs Skyline Forest has contributed major historical significance to the local and regional community. Beginning in its earliest years the property was most notable for its logging production. Throughout the century the property has been owned by various timber and investment companies, and portions have even been exchanged with the U.S. Forest Service. In more recent years the property has become of major interest to private holding companies, local conservation groups, local community for recreation, city planners and private developers.
Central Oregon is widely recognized as a tourist destination in part because of its moderate climate, picturesque scenery and significant recreational amenities, the location on the eastern plateau of the Cascade Mountains provides a semi-arid, high desert climate. Precipitation averages 10-15 inches with periodic snowfall during winter months. It is not unusual to have overcast conditions in Portland and clear skies in the Bend area. Scenic views to rivers, buttes and mountain peaks are prevalent. This combination of pleasant weather conditions and scenic views provides an attraction for all types of outdoor recreation available in central Oregon.
The property includes many springs and creeks. The three major creeks include Three Creek, Bull Creek and Bull Springs Creek. Additionally, the Snow Creek Irrigation ditch crosses through the property.
Bull Springs Skyline Forest covers a large area of timberland, providing high quality timber for harvest, great for logging industry development and liquidation. The property features mainly Ponderosa Pine, which is major construction material in North America, and has great economic value. Over the years the current owner has invested into the protection and seeding of the timberland while only harvesting very limited timber. Current average age of timber is 45 years old and an average height of 30 feet. The total, merchantable, log volume is approximately 71,905 thousand board feet (MBF). The total volume is 93.3% Ponderosa Pine, 6.0% White Fir, and 1% other Conifer.
WILDLIFE & HABITAT
Variation in the elevation and topography create the wonderful ecosystems that benefit the flora and fauna found on the property. With timbered mountainsides, juniper hillsides, deep canyons and open grasslands, the property provides a microcosm of central Oregon habit within its boundaries. Juniper and Sage interspersed between the rim rock ledges along the deep live water canyons provide nearly perfect habitat for mule deer and variety of bird species.
The Cascade Mountain foothills with water, timber and grass provide ideal habitat for elk, bear, mountain lion and bobcat. Lower elevation lands provide a viable habitat for deer, turkeys, coyotes and other small animals and birds. Hunting remains a prized activity year round, and abundant habitat for mule deer provides the opportunity for trophy class bucks.
Surrounded by desert, mountains, and lakes; Bend, Oregon is an area of regional and national recognition for its resort and other recreational amenities year round, which provides strong economics for commercial and tourism development.
National monuments, national forest land and parks are within short driving and hiking distances to Bull Springs Skyline Forest. Mt. Bachelor, known for an extended ski season, is located within 15 miles of the property. The Deschutes River also is within a few minutes providing exceptional fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and canoeing. Other popular activities in this area include rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and camping.
Entertainment and Shopping
The Old Mill District located in Bend, Oregon offers shopping, dining, and the outdoors into one spectacular location along the Deschutes River, including riverside restaurants, trails, shops, live concerts and shows, downstream from the Old Mill in the middle of the Deschutes River, is the Bend Whitewater Park. This in-water amenity that offers a variety of river recreation opportunities including tubing, kayaking, and surfing.
Discover the pure scenic beauty of golf found on the sunny side of Oregon. With three top-100 courses the Central Oregon Golf Trail is a golf destination that delivers a one-of-a-kind mix of pristine courses in beautifully rugged surroundings – from the high mountain courses at Black Butte Ranch and Widgi Creek, to the high desert tracks of Juniper and Crooked River Ranch.
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort
Known for one of the longest ski seasons in the Northwest, usually starting in November and lasting into May, Mt. Bachelor is surrounded by the tall hemlocks and pines of the Deschutes National Forest and breathtaking views of the Three Sisters and other Cascade peaks. Rising to 9,068 feet, Mt. Bachelor Ski Resorts offers some of the finest skiing on the west coast.
Americans have become fascinated by the art form created by small independent craft brewers. With more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the country, finding a Bend brewery with outstanding Oregon craft beer is a simple task – the hard part is deciding on which suds to sip first. The heart of Central Oregon’s beer scene is Bend, and the downtown area is home to some of the area’s oldest and most beloved breweries where you can sample award-winning brews worthy of reverence. Take a guided brewery tour, then visit the pub to chow down on some great local fare. Lounge on the patio of a riverfront brewery to take in the scenery of Mirror Pond, or simply stroll the blocks on your quest for Bend beer. Craft breweries are located all over Bend and neighboring city Redmond.
Deschutes National Forest
The Deschutes National Forest surrounds the majority of Bull Springs Skyline Forest and offers year-round recreation opportunities with more than 1.6 million acres. Only a few miles to the west of the property’s boundary lies the Three Sisters Wilderness area covering 286,708 total acres. There are approximately 260 miles of trail within the wilderness. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail traverses the wilderness for 40 miles.
Mountain Bike Action Magazine named Bend, Oregon the best Mountain Bike Town in the country. There is so much sweet, flowy and epic dirt that many riders won’t be able to cover it all in a lifetime. The meticulously maintained trails cater to riders of all abilities and disciplines, from beginner and kid-friendly cross country, to downhill and dirt-jumping. The only thing that makes Bend’s mountain bike scene even better, is that Mt. Bachelor has a lift-served bike park.
Bend, Oregon is known as one of the best places in the Northwest for snowmobiling and backcountry access. There are plenty of options for backcountry skiing, backcountry snowboarding, backcountry split-boarding, alpine touring, telemark skiing, ski mountaineering, cross country skiing and other snow adventures that can only be found a bit off the beaten track. Popular backcountry access is found at the Mt. Bachelor’s Cinder Cone, Tumalo Mountain, Ball Butte and Tam McArther Rim, all surrounding Bull Springs Skyline Forest.
EMPLOYMENT & DEMOGRAPHICS
From 2000 to 2010, despite the recession, the population increased 50% to 76,640. The current population is estimated to be 91,000, with a forecast of 115,000 by 2028.
With the September 2016 urban growth boundary expansion, Bend annexed 2,300 acres for roughly over 9,000 additional housing units. Over the last few years, Bend’s rental vacancy rates have hovered at or below one percent, the lowest in the state. While 942 units have been completed in the last two years, another 245 are under construction and approximately 1,700 are in the planning stages, supply is still short of demand. The 2,878 total built and planned units only cover 50 percent of 5,838 projected units necessary for the incoming population by 2028.
In February 2019, Deschutes County’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent. Deschutes County added 3,000 jobs, a 3.6% growth rate over the last year. Despite the job growth tying for the slowest growth over the last six years, no major industry sector lost jobs and modest growth occurred in construction, manufacturing, professional and business services, and education and health services.
Bend is home to some of the most innovative entrepreneurs in the world, and their enthusiasm bubbles over for the frontiers they are exploring. At the Economic Development of Central Oregon in October 2018, seven companies were awarded funding totaling $1,807,500 with other investments still being finalized.
CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT
Due to its historical significance, timber resources, watershed characteristics, habitat and redevelopment potential, Bull Springs Skyline Forest has a tremendous potential for a planned and layered conservation easement. Conservation can be focused on improved habit complexity for wildlife and include projects ranging from enhanced timber management to mule deer habitat restoration. Many other opportunities exist for the owner to ensure the stewardship of their land and timber for years to come.
Bull Springs Skyline Forest has potential for real estate development with strong market demand as Bend, Oregon continues to expand west. The property is positioned well for large acreage residential lots or a clustered development through rezoning. There is opportunity to create a thoughtfully designed community that preserves open space and provides room for luxury home development. Current zoning allows for larger home lots of 240 acres or larger to be spread through the entire property. Various redevelopment opportunities including clustering homes or applying for a zone change preserving the pristine forestland and open space while still creating easy access for the larger central Oregon community.
The current zoning is F1 Forest Use Zone. The Deschutes County F1 Forest Use Zone is intended to conserve forest lands with a minimum 240-acre parcel size. Uses permitted outright include: forest operations or forest practices, uses to provide for wildlife and fishery resources, and farm uses. Conditional uses permitted include: private hunting and fishing, private parks and campgrounds, single family dwellings and operations, to name a few.
The development potential of the property is significant and expected to grow over time due to the proximity and location of the property to the Bend locale and the surrounding National Forest and Wilderness areas.
Bull Springs Skyline Forest has scale advantage and significant long-term appreciation potential created from the dense Pine tree forest and long-term redevelopment potential. Wood is an irreplaceable raw material, compared to gold, wood has a natural growth advantage. The return of U.S. timberland is higher than the return of government bond, S&P 500 and U.S. commercial real estate; and compared with other risk asset, timberland offers stable returns during shifting economic cycles.
Once you lay eyes on Bull Springs Skyline Forest, you will agree that it is unquestionably one of the most beautiful blocks of timberland, not only in Oregon, but, in the entire west. This prime investment presents an excellent value for recreational enthusiasts who seek private retreat with stunning views and abundant wildlife. When you compile the resources of water, timber, wildlife, recreation, and development potential; with its close proximity to Bend, Oregon, you will find it is truly “One-of-a-Kind”.