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Land Management Philosophy, Resources & Services

Developing a management plan for their property is the single most important step a land steward can take.

It should be an ongoing process for gaining understanding about the ecosystem of a property and the possible ways of interacting with it.

As management plans are implemented, the process is dynamic. Evaluation of practices and modifying the plan to adapt to change is often necessary.

Philosophy

A good land management plan starts with an outlook, a philosophy.  Aldo Leopold, the Father of Wildlife Conservation in America outlined his philosophy, The Land Ethic in “A Sand County Almanac.”

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” 

 

“All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals, or collectively the land.” 

 

“I do not imply that this philosophy of land was always clear to me. It is rather the end result of a life journey.” 

I have been inspired by Leopold, my family history and farm, as well as a large group of conservationists. My philosophy is based on honoring and learning from the past, thinking, planning, and working in the present, while protecting the next generations of the land. I’ve summarized my thinking with the motto “It’s not ours, it’s just our turn.”

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Resources

There are an incredible number of resources available to anyone interested in learning about land management. Here are a few to help you think about your journey through conservation:

My Wisconsin Woods is really a one stop shop for resources for all Midwest woodland owners, not just those in Wisconsin. There are lot of links to resources and information.

“Coverts” is a Woodland Wildlife Management Program for Private Landowners. I attended it with my wife many years ago. It’s a FREE 4-day class in northern Wisconsin that I suggest for any landowner wanting to learn more and who wants to develop a land management plan for their property.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provides funding and technical knowledge to help private-property owners, conservation districts and other groups restore and conserve their land.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forestry Department is a tremendous resource for landowners. Their Best Management Practices (BMPs) give great guidance for projects on your property.

Nearly every state has a similar department and resources. Check them out wherever you live.

Land Management Services

After thinking about and developing land philosophy, working through the available resources, and beginning to develop a land management plan, you would like assistance with the planning and implementation of your management plan, I do provide fee-based land management planning and implementation services.
 

Landowners and their properties are unique. We start with an overview to begin to build a list of goals and objectives.

An initial consultation costs $500.00, which includes: filling out a questionnaire about you and your property, a site visit, property walk, follow-up discussion and proposal(s) as appropriate.

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Some of the services I have provided for other landowners include:

Adaptive Land Management Plan/Stewardship Plan

  • Property history research

  • Site Analysis

  • Management/Practices options and timing

  • Coordination and Cooperation with agencies for resources and cost share

 

Wildlife/Game/Hunting Lease Management

  • Development and implementation of wildlife habitat plans

  • Food Plot design, layout, coordination, installation, and management

  • Wildlife shrub, tree, and seed plantings

  • Wildlife camera survey and monitoring

  • Hunting stand placement recommendations

  • Non-game wildlife surveys and management option development

  • Property Hunting Lease evaluation, advertising, leasee screening and coordination

 

Recreation Management Planning

  • Hiking, fitness and multiple use trail planning, permitting, layout, construction, and maintenance using BMPs.

  • Native species (flora and fauna) documenting and planning to encourage dispersion

  • Invasive species Identification, control plan, cost share application and implementation

  • Shoreline stabilization and boat ramp planning, permitting and installation.

Federal, State, County and Local Conservation Program Coordination

  • Government agency contacts (NRCS, DNR, FSA, LCD)

  • Grant/Cost Share applications, reporting and compliance

  • Planning, development, and implementation of management practices according to specific program agency Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Farm Management

  • Property Tax assessment analysis, challenging and correction 

  • CRP application, implementation of practices and compliance including seeding, tree planting, brush and weed management (land in CRP for 25 years)

  • NRCS cost share application & implementation (Brush Management, Erosion Control, Spring Development, Conservation Stewardship Program, etc.)

  • Wildlife Food plot planning, implementation and compliance on CRP lands including reporting to NRCS.

  • Cropland Leasing agreements including: Lease value analysis, CRP income versus cash rent analysis, lease agreement writing, lease and compliance oversight

  • Planning & Implementation of grass-fed beef production, marketing, and sales

  • Rotational grazing planning and implementation

 

Forest Management

  • Coordination and Development of MFL plan with Consulting and DNR Forester

  • WFLGP Cost share applications, implementation and record keeping

  • Timber Stand Improvement including cost share research and application, implementation, recording keeping and payment application.

  • Oak Regeneration including cost share research and application, planning and implementation, record keeping and payment application

  • Forest Road layout and construction according to WDNR Forestry BMPs

If you are interested in an initial site visit, please contact me at doug@dougduren.com