Jay Vogel is a real estate agent at SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler and an Environmental Services Manager at Natural Resource Planning Services (NRPS). In this episode of In Our Expert Opinion Real Estate Podcast, Jay joins the podcast to discuss all things forestry, wildlife, and environmental services. As he covers each of these topics, Jay also shares his expertise on hunting leases, timber management, conservation easements, and carbon sequestration.
Below is an excerpt from the interview. Listen above for the full podcast.
How long have you been with SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler? 2021 was when I got my license. We had a closing in 2022 on a 12,000-acre tract in Bronson that we're hopefully going to be doing some interesting conservation work on, and it's been great.
I'm a big fan of Dean [Saunders]. I’ve known Dean since I was very young. He and my dad go way back to when Dean was working for Governor Lawton Chiles and then through his time in the legislature.
My dad founded our company, Natural Resource Planning Services. Dean had always wanted to find a way to sort of bring our companies together. That finally happened around 2010 or 2012 when Dean started the forestry group. He brought a lot of the folks in our company, who were agents, into SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler.
What is Natural Resource Planning Services? The larger parent company is called Natural Resource Planning Services, but there are divisions like Legacy Wildlife Services and Legacy Arborist Services.
We've been in business for almost 50 years, so we've been at it for a while. Our bread and butter is traditional forestry, timber sales, and timber cruises (timber inventories), but we're also branching into new service areas like real estate and environmental services.
We provide a lot of environmental services. We do hunting waste management, which is part of Legacy Wildlife Services, and then we also do urban forest management through our Legacy Arborist Services.
What are hunting leases? It's kind of an interesting business model. It's not one that you would think of as even being necessary.
Basically, there's a lot of TIMOs (Timber Investment Management Organizations) and REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) out there that own enormous acres of land - we're talking hundreds of thousands of acres typically in the south where we grow a lot of timber. When you have a big piece of property like that, you don't want to only grow timber, you want to monetize it in any way that you can.
Hunting is obviously a very important recreational tradition in the south, so these TIMOs and REITs are able to lease out their land to hunting clubs.
The problem with that is, for example, you think of a TIMO or a REIT having their office in Portland, Oregon, but their land is in the south. How are they going to manage a hunting lease with a Hunt Club that's 2,000 miles away?
What Legacy Wildlife Services does is manage that relationship between the hunting club and the landowner to make sure that everybody gets along. They serve as an insurance firewall, but also kind of a social firewall as well to sort of broker that relationship and make it go well for everybody.
The gentleman who runs our Legacy Wildlife Division is Jeff Bewsher, who’s an agent here as well. He manages almost a million acres of land in the south, so it's quite a huge responsibility. When you think about how seriously folks take hunting, sometimes these relationships can get heated, so it's very important that he's diplomatic and able to manage that relationship.