Though it seems to exercise the same sort of influence over legislators, Deltic Timber Corp. is not as well known to the average Arkansan as Arkansas corporate giants like Wal-Mart and Tyson Foods.
Headquartered in El Dorado, Deltic describes itself on its web site as “a natural resources company focused on the ownership and management of timberland. … [T]he Company’s operations are located primarily in Arkansas and north Louisiana. Deltic owns 433,000 acres of timberland (the map area highlighted in green indicates counties and parishes where Deltic owns timberland), operates sawmills in Ola and Waldo, and is engaged in real estate development in Little Rock and Hot Springs.”
Accurate enough, apparently, though “engaged in real estate development” is barely sufficient to describe the company’s activities in Pulaski County, where it is engaged in real estate development the way the Sioux were engaged with Custer.
Deltic used to be a part of the Murphy Oil Corp., also headquartered in El Dorado, but it was spun off as a separate company six years ago. Murphy Oil no longer has anything to do with Deltic, according to Craig Douglass, a Deltic spokesman. Members of the Murphy family still own Deltic stock and serve on Deltic’s board of directors, however. Ray C. Dillon, the president and chief executive officer, is not a member of the family. Originally from Mississippi, Dillon divides his time between Little Rock and El Dorado.
That 433,000 acres sounds like a lot, but Douglass said that Deltic would be considered a “small to medium-sized timberland owner” compared to really big Arkansas timberland owners like International Paper.