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IP Remains Largest Private Landowner.

INTERNATIONAL PAPER CO. is the largest land owner in Arkansas besides the federal government, with more than 1.2 million acres.

Earlier this year, International Paper completed its $7.9 billion acquisition of Union Camp Corp. of Wayne, N.J. Union Camp owned no land in Arkansas. But Union Camp did have facilities at Conway and Monticello that are now International Paper operations.

International Paper's timberland holdings in Arkansas generally are in central Arkansas and south Arkansas, says Lee Pittman, a spokesman for the company. The firm has minor holdings in Pulaski County, Pittman says.

Some of the biggest timberland holdings are in Grant County, Clark County and Dallas County, Pittman says.

"Actually, if I showed you a map, you could take a paintbrush and go south," Pittman says. "Obviously we have a significant amount of pine plantation, but we have an enormous amount of hardwood as well. And we have a wonderful nursery facility in the state at Bluff City [Nevada County]."

International Paper has more acreage in Arkansas than any other state, says

Hugh McManus, the company's area manager for the Pine Bluff area. Nationally, International Paper owns 7.3 million acres.

International Paper became the first landowner in the country to become International Standards Organization 14001 certified, McManus says. ISO 14001 is an environmental certification. To become certified, International Paper developed a system that described how the firm manages its forest land. The process took about six months, McManus says.

"It's basically so that you prove to anyone who walks in the door that you're managing sustainably and in compliance with your own policy," he says.

International Paper now lists its land holdings in Arkansas under a limited liability company called Sustainable Forest.

The firm used to have a partnership with two limited partnerships for its property ownership. But International Paper recently bought out those limited partners, McManus says, and put the assets under Sustainable Forest.

Recently, International Paper began selling timber deeds to insurance companies for pension funds.

The pension funds, which are, tax-exempt, buy the rights to harvest timber from International Paper's land, McManus says. Then International Paper has the Option to buy the timber back.

Agricultural Production

The value of all field crops in the state fell 21 percent in 1998, from $2.5 billion in 1997 to $1.99 billion last year.

No major crop in the state increased in value in 1998. The value of crops in rice, corn, cotton, oats, sorghum, soybeans, wheat and hay fell last year.

The value of tomatoes grown in Arkansas was $11.6 million last year, a 47 percent increase over 1997. That's the biggest increase of any crop in Arkansas last year.

Arkansas remained the No. 1 state in production of rice last year with more than 1.5 million acres harvested and a crop valued at $756 million. Arkansas produces 47 percent of all rice in the country.
 IP in Arkansas
 Ranked by counties with more than 1,000
 acres of land owned by International Paper.
 Acres
 County Owned by IP
1. Grant County 232,000
2. Clark County 133,000
3. Dallas County 128,000
4. Calhoun County 110,000
5. Hot Spring County 80,000
6. Lafayette County 78,000
7. Saline County 73,000
8. Nevada County 66,000
9. Pike County 60,000
10. Hempstead County 42,000
11. Ouachita County 39,000
12. Columbia County 34,000
13. Jefferson County 33,000
14. Little River County 23,000
15. Miller County 17,000
16. Cleveland County 16,000
17. Union County 7,000
18. Pulaski County 2,000
Source: International Paper Co.
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Title Annotation:International Paper Co., Arkansas
Comment:IP Remains Largest Private Landowner.(International Paper Co., Arkansas)
Author:SMITH, DAVID
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 29, 1999
Words:603
Previous Article:Hagan Agency Sold Under Regulatory Spotlight.
Next Article:ARKANSAS BUSINESS RANKINGS: ARKANSAS AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION.
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