This is a series of emails between me and Riveroak's forrester, Paul Glissen:
That all sounds great, but that still doesn't make me feel any better about potentially going into a lease agreement with a company that is OK with lying to it's lessees and breaking it's agreements with no cause. We had a written agreement similar to what is on your site, only it was 5 years instead of 3 years - Riveroak chose to break that agreement a year early (the $10/acre we had agreed upon for the upcoming year obviously wasn't enough - sounds like greed to me). Is there any reason to believe that Riveroak's word is worth any more now than it was in regard to our lease (which amounted to nothing)? The LEAST Riveroak could have done is allowed us to finish our 5 year lease agreement and tell us a year in advance that this was going to happen following the expiration of our lease agreement. Doesn't seem that difficult to me. Breaking lease agreements for no good reason after telling your lessees you "don't do that sort of thing", all the while allowing them to continue to spend time and money to improve your property is not providing your hunting clubs with a "valuable service", it's screwing your lessees.
I know about the improvements you made on our lease, but the fact of the matter is, the biggest and best looking fields that Riveroak is pimping out are the ones that our club had created under the pretense that our lease wouldn't be pulled from under us, which was a blatant lie and is exactly what is going on here. Riveroak is selling our hard work and hard earned money to the highest bidder, which I know is just business to you (or at least to your bosses), but's bad karma to [censored] on good lessees like that.
At any rate, neither you nor your website gives me any further confidence that Riveroak isn't run by a bunch of liars and cheats (at the upper management level at the very least), so we won't be bidding at all. In addition, I plan on spreading the word to every single hunter I know (or anyone else that might be interested) that they should enter into a "contract" with Riveroak with great caution and put the value of hot air to any word that comes out of anyone associated with Riveroak. Also, I plan on contacting anyone and everyone I can associated with Mississippi State University to inform them (backed by the letter I've attached) that Riveroak has used/is using a program they are funding as an excuse for early termination of lease agreements, as well as the blatant lies told to us in the year leading up to the decision to terminate our lease agreement.
I apologize for just know getting back with you. I was in the field all last week.
Your first concern regarding the three year lease is addressed in our new lease that will be on our website on Wesnesday.
After the three year contract is up, the current hunting club will have last right of refusal on the lease. In order to determine the initial value of our improved leases we are having a staight forward sealed bid this year, meaning the highest bidder will receive the lease.
Riveroak has invested many thousands of dollars into the 1514 property within the past year, involving dozer work, fertilizer costs, seed cost, and planting costs. As you know it is expensive to plant and maintain foodplots and alot of hunters don't have the time to plant or take care of them. We are trying to provide that service to our hunting clubs in order to increase the quality of hunting on our properties. We are not trying to be be greedy but we are trying to provide our hunting clubs with a valuable service.
Paul B. Glissen II
Riveroaks Timberland Mgmt.http://www.riveroaktimberlands.com
Subject: RE: Riveroak Hunting Leases
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 17:25:47 -0500
I copied the following from your site:
· Lease contracts will be for a period of 3 consecutive years for exclusive hunting and fishing privileges.
We had a 5 year agreement with you company, which you decided to terminate one year early. What assurance do we have that you won’t break this 3 year agreement?
· Liability insurance will be provided by RiverOak Timberlands Mgt. as part of the lease.
· Lease payments must be made annually.
· Leases will begin on July 1, 2010 and continue until June 30, 2013.
· When leases expire they will be re-bid, however the current leaseholder will retain last right of refusal.
Again, we previously had a last right of refusal agreement with your company. Does that still apply? Re: when all bids come in, do we have the option to match the highest bid and retain the hunting rights?
· Leasors are required to abide by all Federal, State and Local game and fish regulations.
· Foodplots on leases Helfrich 2,3,4,5,6; Trigg West 2,3,4; 1514 South, 1538,1564,1592,1595,1598 and 1600 will be maintained be RiverOak Timberlands Mgt.
Our club put a ton of work and thousands of dollars into our lease on Sain Rd. under many of the pretense agreements you have outlined on your site (see above). We also operated under the pretense that our lease would not be yanked from under us (we were told several times by several people in your company “don’t worry, we don’t do that”…”that” being prematurely terminate leases without cause. So, we basically pissed away about $1500 last year because we were told that we would be able to retain the lease for as long as we were willing to pay the asking price…and we trusted RiverOaks. As it turned out, we were lied to on all accounts. So, in the future, what assurance do we have that Riveroaks won’t get the urge to be greedy again and break our lease agreement to try and squeeze more money out of leasors who have busted their asses, harvested does almost exclusively (seems someone else will be reaping the benefits of that misguided policy), and spent a whole lot of money trying to be good stewards and take care of your property?
Subject: Riveroak Hunting Leases
I hope you are all doing well. As some of you are already aware, RiverOak has approximately 30 hunting leases that will be available this season in Western Tennessee and Western Kentucky. Some of these leases have been improved, and have food plots and wildlife habitat management plans in place. Below is a link to the RiverOak website, where you will find information about the leases, and the bidding process. Let me know if you have any questions.
Paul B. Glissen II
Riveroaks Timberland Mgmt.