I first heard of the 400 year business plan when my husband, Robert Perschel, Executive Director, New England Forestry Foundation, attended ProSilva – Close to Nature forestry conference in France. City girl that I am, I stayed in Par…Barrels used to make cognac are produced from Limousin’s oak trees. The trees require a 200 year growth cycle. This produces tough, coarse, porous wood and specific chemical compounds that impart desired flavors and colors to the cognac. To sustain the integrity of the forest, the oaks are planted at different times. Over the course of 400 years, all the trees in existence now will have been harvested. New ones will have been planted in their place. This is the rationale for the 400 year forest management scheme and business plan.