October 26th, 2009, 08:44 PM
Anyone own land in a wetlands program with federal government?
I'm looking at buying a new property but 80% is in a federal wetlands program. The idiot current owners took a buyout in 96 for $26k to enter the land into a wetlands program. Basically it gives the federal government 100% control over the properties management BUT only allows the owner to hunt it. No one else can trespass but I'm pretty concerned that the government controls the management of the property. I would not be able to plant seeds of any kind or manage the timber or anything on it. Anyone with any experience in this area???? Did the government do you any harm in your deer hunting????
October 26th, 2009, 08:59 PM
October 26th, 2009, 09:05 PM
Don't buy it without consulting a lawyer. There are severe restrictions and I would get a professional to read the fine print.You can get away with some plantings, all depends on how vigilant your local FSA office is.
"When they come for my guns, I will pry their guns from their cold dead fingers."
October 26th, 2009, 09:14 PM
I don't know which agency they are dealing with. I used to work for the natural resources conservation service and in their wetland programs there was no stipulation on who could hunt it. Also, most of the wetland programs are designed for areas that you cant grow anything but grass and wetland vegetation anyway. It is designed to take land out of production that shouldn't have ever been farmed and provide the land owner with compensation and habitat for wildlife. However, when I was working with those programs there were some provisions that allowed planting a certain percentage to food plots and trees, so again you might check with the FSA office to see what the current rules are.
October 26th, 2009, 09:16 PM
I've got a real estate license/background I've read thru it all quite thouroghly. I cannot plant anything! The feds can do whatever they want. I can lease hunting/fishing rights, but that is pretty much where my ownership benefits end. I can hunt but cannot modify the property in any way, shape, or form.
Originally Posted by krieger
My main concern is that he feds really take advantage of their rights. If they pretty much leave well enough alone I'm fine with it. The price is right.
However, if they often push the issue in these programs...it will change things quite a bit. That is why I'm asking for first hand experience.
October 26th, 2009, 09:19 PM
In this instance the payment/compensation was a 1 time fee. The property is STUCK in the program with the government FOREVER!
Originally Posted by dlotto28
October 26th, 2009, 09:52 PM
Stick your wiener in a meat grinder before getting involved with the federal government...it will be less painful in the end.
October 27th, 2009, 11:42 AM
I concur. The people must have been hurting for money. It looks like they got about what the land would have been worth at the time for entering it into the program. Unfortunately you can't do anything on it but hunt. The government can do anything they want with it but the owner still pays taxes on it.
Originally Posted by hoytviper
October 27th, 2009, 12:20 PM
Do some more research before you forego the opportunity. I purchased a ranch 3 years ago that had a 12 year wetland agreement that ended the year before I bought it.
Since then, we have teamed up with them to build yet another 10 acre duck slough. They paid 80% of the expenses associated with the build.
In our case, we simply met with the division and together we developed a management plan. We have all hunting rights and they have management rights for that slough alone....none of the other land.
They were tickled just to have an opportunity at enhancing the habitat for the waterfowl and other species.
If I were you, I think I would contact the local officials and have them pull the contract so you can read it. I would doubt that it is "forever".
October 27th, 2009, 12:28 PM
I've got the contract right here. They issued the "United States of America" a Warranty Easement Deed that is stuck with the property as long as the 'United States of America' exists.
Originally Posted by dalejbrass
October 27th, 2009, 12:37 PM
This was our experience. the NRCS gave us a covenant we had to abide by. Simply put, we could plant up to about 10 % of the land in food plots, no timber cutting, no farming, no disturbing hydraulogy with road improvement, no permanent stands or any building structures. The intent is to leave the land as it is perpetually.
October 27th, 2009, 01:04 PM
I just bought 150 acres that are in a permanent easement WRP program.
What do you want to know?
October 27th, 2009, 01:06 PM
You can apply for and obtain "acceptable use permits" for lots of things. Timber harvest. Haying. Planting food plots.
The biggest restriction is you cannot plant and harvest a crop. Ever.
You also cannot build a permanent structure. Ever.
October 27th, 2009, 01:10 PM
Originally Posted by Skeptic
The answers to your questions should be in the easement. Read it thoroughly.
October 27th, 2009, 01:13 PM
Also, sub-surface mineral rights are not effected by the easement.
Taxes are cheap.
October 27th, 2009, 01:31 PM
In this one timber harvest, haying, and planting seeds of any kind are restricted. They can make an allowance but I wondered how difficult that would be from people that have experienced it. I don't want to get a 'yes man' on the phone
Originally Posted by swilk
Have you had any or know of any issues with the government having and allowing access? My main fear is that they will OVER-USE on their end. I would also be responsible for fees involved with keeping noxios plants and pests off the property. That could be expensive if they wanted to push the issue!
Originally Posted by swilk
Originally Posted by swilk
Thanks for nothing Toonces!
Originally Posted by Toonces
October 27th, 2009, 01:38 PM
My property was entered in the program in 2001 ..... trees were planted in 2004.
I know the previous owner pretty well and nobody from the govt has stepped foot on the property since 2004.
I talked to the local soil and conservation office to obtain a copy of the easement paperwork and they had a case file on the property but had never visited it.
Timber harvest, haying and all those other things are forbidden without a permit. How difficult those permits are to obtain I do not know ..... However, I am allowed to plant any type of tree I want including fruit and nut trees.
Bottom line .... i wouldnt worry about the govt just showing up for no reason. The only time they might visit is if they get a tip you are doing something wrong with the property .....
October 27th, 2009, 02:26 PM
A buddy of mine...
put quite a bit of his land into a wetlands program - cost share deal, and he signed it up for perpituity.
If you are wanting wildlife and are not wanting profit off of the ground - it's a good way to go. My understanding (which admittedly is only from visiting with him) is that no one else has access to the property except for wildlife officials to ensure that the contract is being followed - otherwise - it's now a hunting honey hole for him and his kids.
If I had property that was eligible, and after seeing his experiences (I think it's been around 7 years or so since he agreed to the program) - I wouldn't hesitate.
But my "experience" is all second hand.
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October 27th, 2009, 04:22 PM
The reason the property can be had "for a pretty good price", is because, as you know, the previous owner signed the ONE TIME ONLY deal for the WRP program and reaped all the profits from it for which NO ONE ELSE can ever do.
Now if all you want is a piece of hunting ground then you have nothing to lose!
And it sounds like you know and understand the rules regarding the usage of the land.
Because it is in WRP does NOT mean the govt. can do whatever they want with your property. It is still yours. It just means that YOU cannot do whatever you want with your property without going through the govt.
I just hate the fact that someone else takes ALL of the profits from the contract and then dumps the land!
October 27th, 2009, 04:34 PM
Originally Posted by Skeptic
I was actually being serious. My family owns property with an environmental easment. The only way your going to understand the restrictions on the property is to read the easment. You asked specific questions regarding planting and timber management. Your not going to get answers to those questions on an internet forum they will be in the easment. If you already read it, then you should be posting the specific easement language you want interpreted and maybe someone can provide some helpful insight.
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