A Great Fit: Celebrating the Pope Resources Acquisition | Rayonier Stories

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A Great Fit: Celebrating the Pope Resources Acquisition

Pope Resources and Rayonier aligned in their cultures and business approaches in many ways, making Pope an ideal company to become a part of Rayonier.

Rayonier acquired Pope Resources on May 8, 2020, bringing together two great teams that already had so much in common. 

Here are just some of the ways the Pope team’s culture made it an ideal fit for Rayonier.

Looking at Our Assets Through Many Lenses

The creative, strategic approach Pope and Rayonier employees have used led both companies to develop thriving real estate businesses. Our talented teams have turned properties deemed to have a “higher and better use” (known as HBU properties) into rural homesteads, lively communities and prosperous business sites. No other pure play forestry company has delved into real estate the way our teams have through our land-owning taxable subsidiaries.

Harbor Hill Community Aerial
This photo from the Pope Resources archives shows Harbor Hill under construction. Now nearly completed, the multi-family mixed-use community is a short commute from Seattle.

And the creative use of our lands doesn’t stop there. While Rayonier markets salal and pine straw and even shares some properties with wind and solar companies, Pope Resources brought with it the entire town of Port Gamble and a successful wedding business. This openness to getting creative with our assets has been a differentiator for both of our companies.

Town of Port Gamble
The Town of Port Gamble was founded as a “company town” by Pope Resources in 1853.

Empowered Employees

At both Pope and Rayonier, employees who “sit the bench” have not been a part of our cultures. Everyone has a critical role to play that impacts the company as a whole. Recognizing that, both companies have put decision-making in the hands of the employees closest to the matter. It doesn’t take a lengthy chain-of-command to make a decision.

Employees at both companies also have been encouraged to work together across disciplines and teams, rather than being siloed into singular parts of the business.

Empowering Forestry Employees
Both Rayonier and Pope Resources have encouraged employees to make decisions when they’re closest to the issue.

Acting Like Long-Term Owners

Pope and Rayonier both have taken pride in having a long-term approach to our businesses. We don’t cut corners to get better financial results this year at the expense of our future success. For example, Pope spent more than many in the industry to give young stands of trees a strong start, knowing the investment would pay off exponentially in years to come. And Rayonier’s land acquisitions team won’t make a land purchase just for the sake of getting bigger: each decision is carefully weighed with the long-term results in view.

Long Term Decisions as Foresters
Both companies have encouraged employees to make decisions with the perspective of a long-term owner.


Both companies take pride in their transparency. Pope was known to disclose more to its timber fund investors and unitholders than competitors prior to the acquisition. Likewise, Rayonier’s disclosure statements to investors are expansively more detailed than most.

Both companies also take pride in being transparent and open in communications with employees.

Exciting Times Ahead

With these two companies now together, it will be exciting to see how we learn from one another and, together, build an even stronger company culture as one.

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