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Fish and Wildlife Service easements???

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Have any of you ever dealt with the F&WS concerning easements? If so, I'd like to hear your experiences, both good and bad.

I am currently looking at doing two easements with them, one is a habitat easement and one is a wetland easement. The thing that is spooking me on the agreements is the word 'perpetual' as in forever, theres no going back if there is something I don't like.

Two concerns I have:

1) One wetland is a solid cattail slough that they want to install a berm on, I'm concerned about it putting too much water into the slough, I want to leave some of the cattails for pheasant cover. I'm concerned that in 15 years, if its all water, I have no recourse.

2) I have one 20 acre field that they want to put into native prarie, I want to keep it as a field and/or corn food plot. 20 acres is a lot of food plot but its big enough so that I could get a farmer to come in and work it, some of those little two acre spots they don't want to deal with.

What are your experiences with the Fish and Wildlife Service and longterm agreements?

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Mark Christianson

You know my take on this one Blackjack.

No complaints whatsoever from the easements we have signed up for.

Perpetual is fine by me. We have no plans to EVER alter the landscape anyway. So why not get paid to leave it alone. \:\)

I understand your concern around the burm. Are they requiring you to do that as a part of the agreement??? They didnt make us do anything we didnt want to do. We had a couple burms put in at our own request though.

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Most times in dealing with cattails a person is concerned about having the complete area choked out with cattails and not enough open water. What is the max water depth that they'd like to put on the basin? Keep in mind that you need a min of 2' - 3' in of water depth before you are going to "choke" out cattails. Even "fresh" restorations in an existing crop field will grow in with cattails over time. You could always discuss with them the possibility of putting in a 1/2 moon stoplog structure so that water levels could be manipulated (there are other structures that would do this as well).

They probably wouldn't pay for an easement that is going to be all food plot. However you may be able to design something up so that there are a couple of foodplot areas incorporated into the proposed grass area.

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