Two Timberland Properties Totaling 17,956 Acres Sold to Rayonier for $17.52 Million

Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM, Tony Wallace, CF, and Greg Driskell Managed the Listing and Sale of the Investment Tracts

An aerial map image showing Otter Creek and McGee Branch Timberlands

LAKELAND, FL, March 5, 2021 – SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate reported the sale last week of two large Florida timberland tracts totaling 17,956 acres for $17,520,000. The property was co-listed and sold by Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM, Founder, Managing Director & Senior Advisor, Tony Wallace, CF, Senior Advisor, and Greg Driskell, Advisor. Rayonier Forest Resources purchased the properties on February 25.

The sale comprised two timberland tracts owned by Sleepy Creek Lands, LLC, located in Levy County, Florida. Although non-contiguous, these tracts are within one mile of each other and sold in the same transaction. Otter Creek Timberlands is 8,160 acres located on US-19/98, about five miles south of Chiefland. McGee Branch Timberlands is 9,796 acres located on SR-24, about six miles southwest of Bronson. Both tracts contain approximately 60% upland, plantable land. The properties feature a mixture of merchantable and pre-merchantable planted pines with an unusually high amount of plantable acreage in need of reforestation at the time of the sale.

The properties have extensive frontage on US-19/98 and SR-24 and a good network of internal graded roads for access. Potential pine productivity is fair to good, and nearly all of the lands capable of growing planted pines have been converted to that use by prior management. The properties are adjacent to wildlife conservation lands, and excellent game populations, including deer, turkey, and feral hogs, are present on both tracts. Both properties boast hunting leases at the top of the market rates. Neither property has any buildings or other similar improvements, but a cell tower is located on McGee Branch and produces annual lease revenues.

The buyer, Rayonier, is a global forest company dedicated to providing sustainable forest management, land management, timber products, and real estate services with more than 1.7 million acres of timberland in the southern United States. Rayonier negotiated the purchase of the two tracts as a single economic unit and closed in a single transaction.

Media Contact:
Heather Celoria
Marketing Manager

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Photo of Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM in 2020

Hailing from an eighth-generation Florida agricultural family, Saunders started his career in Florida land and conservation easements in 1985. He served in the US Senate as Agricultural Liaison, Special Assistant, and Director of External Affairs to US Senator Lawton Chiles, then Governor Chiles (D-FL). From 1992 to 1996 he served in the Florida House of Representatives, where his strong passion for supporting landowner property rights and conserving the integrity of a property’s natural resources culminated in his authorship of groundbreaking conservation legislation.

In 1996, Dean founded his real estate brokerage. To date, the firm has brokered more than $3 billion in transactions and earned numerous awards including Saunders’ recognition as the 2018 APEX Top National Producer by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) organization for land professionals, the Realtors® Land Institute (RLI). Learn more about Dean at



Tony Wallace, SVN | Saunders Real Estate Forestry Division

Tony is the Chief Operating Officer and a principal of Natural Resource Planning Services, Inc., (NRPS) a forestry consulting firm operating in Florida and Georgia. Learn more at He is a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser in both Florida and Georgia, a Certified Burn Manager in Georgia, and a Certified Forester through the Society of American Foresters, as well as a member of the Association of Consulting Foresters.

He has over 30 years of experience providing a full range of forestry and land management services to clients throughout Florida and Georgia. To learn more about Tony, visit



Greg Driskell

Greg is a Senior Forester with Natural Resource Planning Services, Inc. (NRPS), a forestry consulting firm operating in Florida and Georgia. He has worked with NRPS since 2016 and has over 30 years of experience in a variety of land management and procurement roles with timber investment and forestry companies, both in Florida and Louisiana. Learn more at

Greg is a 6th-generation Floridian, and was born and grew up near St. Petersburg, FL. He holds a B.S. degree in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters and the Florida Forestry Association and has served in various leadership roles with these organizations. He is also a 2000 graduate of the Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute. Learn more about Greg at



SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate is a full-service land and commercial real estate brokerage with over $3 billion in transactions representing buyers, sellers, investors, institutions, and landowners since 1996. We are recognized nationally as an authority on all types of land, including agriculture, ranch, recreation, residential development, and international properties. Our commercial real estate services include marketing, property management, leasing and tenant representation, valuation, business brokerage, and advisory and counseling services for office, retail, industrial, and multi-family properties. Our firm also features an auction company, forestry division, international partnerships, hunting lease management, and extensive expertise in conservation easements. Located at the center of Florida’s I-4 corridor, we provide proven leadership and collaborative expertise backed by the strength of the SVN® global platform.

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