Native Plants, Habitat Restoration, and Other Science Snippets from Athens, Georgia

Thursday: 9 July 2009

Yesterday  -  @ 05:27:06
Yesterday several storms formed along a rough line north and south of Athens, and then began moving very slowly toward the east southeast (us). Gradually they grew and merged into a ten-mile-wide band. Mid afternoon, 1.30 inches dropped on us, an inch of it falling with 30 minutes, one of the upper rainfall rates that I've detected. Quite a bonanza!

What was interesting was that 14 miles northwest, in Athens, there was no rain at all.

Also yesterday, the fellow who leases the former 300 acres of former consortium land, from which we purchased 19 acres, called Glenn. He very much wants to retain leasing rights for the hunting club that uses that land during deer hunting season.

We came up with a series of questions to ask, including rules and regulations, and one of these was what a reasonable fee would be for using the land. He had offhandedly suggested $100, and we do have a couple of neighbors who lease land and can check this out. But in the meantime:

It seems to me that for four months of the year, a lease agreement would bar us from using that land. That's 1/3 of the potential usage, so I factor that into the land's cost.

Of course we wouldn't be using it 24/7 in any event, and it wouldn't be fair to charge for the entire time, but if we did use it, say one hour out of two days, then it would be fair to ask for that amount. So I factor another 1/50.

Finally, I suppose we must admit that if we are getting paid for a manager leasing the land, we must consider that he's doing us a service, and so deduct 25% for that. We come up in the end with $600 for the season.

There might be a few other considerations - we'd like one low-use day a week to bar hunting, say a Wednesday, and that would factor in.

A short sampling of search hits on related websites nets a couple of interesting points. First, I haven't found any hits for landowners charging for leasing their land, but plenty on how much hunters pay for the lease to hunt. Second, the motivation for wanting the 19 acres seems clear: the more land in one place that is available for hunters, the more attractive it is. Finally, there's quite a lively debate on the ethics of leasing land for hunting. Not from the point of view of whether it's ethical to hunt, but from the point of view of leasing cutting out local hunters who cannot afford to pay for the privilege. (In this case the 300 acres has long been leased, so any disaffected locals will have had to deal with this long ago. Not that it makes it right, if there is a right and wrong.)

I'm just curious to know if anyone else has been involved in leasing land to a hunting club and if they have any notions on the subject.

UPDATE: Pablo, in comments, asks a couple of questions that we'd add to the list, and include in our negotiations. To address the one of liability, the Official Codes of Georgia lift responsibility to the landowner for injury, provided there are no artificially constructed danger spots. The spirit of these codes is to encourage landowners to be generous in sharing their land for recreational purposes. I wrote about this last fall here, which includes the codes that are relevant. (In a rare approval of Georgia's laws, I think this is a good, progressive set of codes, however it might have been motivated. I'd like to conform to the spirit, because there are also nonhunters who might enjoy hiking and tramping along the land.)

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