Always interesting to see what’s on the mind of our brokers teams. This Q&A is provided by Josh Barkhimer of Arkansas’ Neely Forestry Services. READ ON…
What types of services does Neeley Forestry provide?
We work with Potlatch on brokerage and real estate, but our firm has two other specialties as well: certified general appraisals and timber management. Timber management is where our firm got its start 35 years ago. We have about 180,000 to 200,000 acres under management, and that could be overwhelming if we didn’t have a GIS (geographic information system).
This type of system includes GPS, but isn’t just for mapping – it helps us manage the land, whether for a 100-acre family farm, or for a larger, privately-owned parcel.
How has this type of technology changed the way you manage and show properties?
Years ago we would have to dig through a filing cabinet to find information about a certain piece of property, but GIS keeps information at our fingertips. This field started with larger timber companies, but has really evolved over the last 10 years, thanks to technology companies like Esri that have made it affordable and usable for private landowners. We can retain a history of what’s going on with a piece of land, no matter what the intention of a landowner – investment, hunting or recreation – in a couple of clicks. Using GIS management also helps with historical data for timberland, tracking things like acreage, tree planting, timber harvesting and sales, and wildlife and habitat.
What type of wildlife is popular in your area of Arkansas?
In south Arkansas, most of the people getting into a hunting lease or purchase want to create a deer hunting camp. While whitetail deer hunting has always been popular in our state, turkey hunting has grown in popularity over the last 15 years. Small game hunting, including squirrel hunting, is also more popular. Modern deer hunting usually ends in mid-December, but squirrel hunting allows hunters a longer season with two or three more months of enjoyment. With a larger game population, people with any level of hunting experience can try it at a much smaller expense.