Archive for April, 2012

What Is A Conservation Easement?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

What Is A Conservation Easement?

Conservation easements convey a lawful interest in land where the landowner gifts or sells rights to a qualified entity like a land trust. The landowner retains full ownership with restrictions on activities they can do on the property. The landowner as well as land trust negotiate the restrictions and constraints that will be placed on the property. Conversation easements are voluntary negative easements, legally binding constraints on the usage of land for conservation, environmental, or historic purposes. They are granted in perpetuity and pertain to the land no matter who may own it in the future.

Landowners can sell or bequeath property that is covered with a conservation easement. Conservation easements can assist landowners in conserving their land, wildlife habitat, scenic areas or historic buildings. They are designed to satisfy the site-specific needs of the individual landowner and land trust. Conservation easements may also provide landowners with gift and property tax benefits.

Conservation easements might involve expenses for items including legal fees, survey and appraisal costs as well as other professional services. They are generally not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Landowners will have to completely understand the conservation easement and the benefits and limitations before signing. Numerous landowners didn’t have a full comprehension of what they were undertaking and therefore are now remorseful of having placed a conservation easement on their property.

Conservation easements are hard to draft and are costly to monitor and enforce over time. The land trust also must continue to keep track of the property to ensure that the landowner is not violating its terms. Landowners are notified when the land trust will be inspecting the property and the land trust has a legal right to enter the property. The land trust must also defend the conservation easement if legal action needs to be taken.

Conservation easements will become a more and more important conservation tool in the 21st century which will have significant benefits including better water and air quality as well preservation of natural resources. Landowners will hopefully educate themselves concerning the advantages and limitations of conservation easements to help make informed decisions. It is critical that landowners possess a full comprehension of what a conservation easement does and does not allowed them to do. Otherwise it is a recipe for conflict concerning the landowner and the land trust. If you’re searching for land for sale and locate a property that you might want that has a conservation easement, be sure to seek a professional who has an understanding of conservation easements so that you have a full comprehension of it before buying the property.

Learn more about Conservation Easements. Stop by Open Fences’ site where you can find out all about land for sale and the best property for you you.

Landowners And Wildlife Management

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Wildlife management involves the employment of scientific knowledge and specialized skills for defense, conservation and management of wildlife in addition to their habitat. It is an interdisciplinary issue which includes biological, technological, social, economical and legal issues. Wildlife management requires expertise in species ecology, biology, behavior, and physiology of wildlife populations. Also, wildlife management studies, research and lobbying by special interest groups assist in selecting times of the year when certain wildlife species can be legally hunted, making it possible for surplus animals to be removed.

Early wildlife management projects focused on protecting against unregulated fishing and hunting for commercial markets. Modern wildlife management shares a few of the same goals and new methods are available for use by managers. It incorporates many of the concepts and uses of modern forest and habitat management with a thorough understanding of wildlife biology, ecology, and behavior. Wildlife Management demands lots of direct, hands-on experience.

A properly prepared wildlife management plan reads just like a recipe that landowners can follow to attain their wildlife management goals. These plans result in the establishment of trophy game populations, and may be used by landowners to obtain wildlife management property tax exemptions or managed lands deer permits in certain states. A carefully designed plan provides for a logical method for using a variety of habitat improvement practices and will often list wildlife management activities with the appropriate seasons and the sequence of events. Landowners should also consider how their wildlife management goals fit with other land use objectives for example farming or timber operations.

Components of a good wildlife management plan include:

1) Land management objectives and goals

2) A resource inventory

3) Site specific habitat improvement recommendations

4) A schedule for executing management practices

5) Documentation and assessment of management efforts as well as their impacts on wildlife habitat.

The rise in private wildlife management, along with the latest trend toward more non game management (often involving more general funding), will have important effects. Intangible benefits from wildlife management may include the joy created from observing wildlife, the pleasure of providing desirable habitat species and the satisfaction from receiving acknowledgement for conservation efforts. For example, an owner may implement a wildlife management plan to enhance wild bird populations and also operate a business in which birdwatchers stay on the land overnight and observe birds during the day (known as a bird-and-breakfast operation).

Landowners are among the best wildlife managers. They have an interest in making certain the wildlife and habitat is managed and maintained at a high level. Visit a local landowner and inquire about their wildlife and habitat management and many times the landowner share with you with great pride what they’ve done to enhance the habitat and wildlife populations.

Want to find out more about Wildlife Management, then visit Open Fences to find the best Wildlife Manager for your hunting property.

Wind and Wind Rights

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Wind is an energy source to be used by consumers along with gas, coal, hydropower and nuclear energy. It is an example of kinetic energy, and some of that kinetic energy can be adapted into electricity and can be harnessed to make mechanical power as well. It is mathematics, art, power and science all at the same time. Power produced by wind must be integrated into and compatible with the existing electric power network grids.

Wind power is developing most rapidly in states with policies that facilitate the growth of renewable power technologies. Wind Energy has been met with some resistance, however it is the fastest growing source of energy in the world and is inexhaustible and non-polluting. It is one source of renewable energy that is being used more often and has seen a large increase in prevalence during recent years. Wind Energy is a clean and renewable source of electricity, but it is not constantly available at a steady rate. It is very abundant in many parts of the United States and is one of the oldest forms of energy used to supplement human muscle using wind turbines.

Wind rights are established by the wind energy corporation with a property owner where a wind turbine will be installed by way of a lease agreement. Wind rights and access to natural wind flow raise important legal issues, policy questions, opportunities, and financial risks for landowners and their neighbors, as well as for wind facility developers. In general wind rights leases cover all or most of your property, not just the space the turbine will sit on, unless your contract specifies otherwise. Valuation of wind rights, various types of legal agreements, contract drafting and different legal aspects are addressed when dealing with a client looking to sell his wind rights or a property that has a Wind Rights Lease, as opposed to a client looking to develop a wind farm.

When you lease your wind rights, you may end up with some restrictions on how you can enjoy or use your own property. Contracts regarding wind rights must be written to protect the landowner, yet also give wind power developers incentives to construct wind farms. The average suggested wind rights lease is 25 – 30 years but some are written for much longer. Your decision to lease the wind rights on your property may dramatically impact your ability to sell your property or develop other uses for it. Careful consideration must be taken when leasing or selling your wind rights. Wind rights are going to be as valuable as mineral rights and water rights in many areas and therefore should not be taken lightly.