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Landowner Relations Program

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Land Access Program
 
Beginning in 1989, through the Heritage Program (funded by the Lottery), the Department has developed and implemented a number of programs designed to react to specific problems or conflicts that arise and to take, where possible, a more proactive role in establishing a working relationship between the landowner/lessee, the sportsman, land management agencies and the Department.

The Landowner/Sportsman Respect Program , also known as "Respect Program" is a voluntary program designed with the intent of improving sportsman ethics. Department personnel work with the landowner who is experiencing problems to install sign-in/sign-out stations and strategic placement of informational and regulatory signs.

The Adopt-Ranch-Program provides an opportunity for interested volunteer groups (conservation organizations, Boy Scouts, 4-wheel clubs, etc.) to "adopt" a ranch with the idea of working directly with the landowners, the Department, and with other appropriate land management agencies to perform regular maintenance activities on the ranch, helping to mitigate problems that can be attributable to public access.

The Stewardship Program allows the Department to expend greater resources in working with landowners who are experiencing problems. This is a much more complex and time-consuming program that involves the drafting and signing of formal stewardship agreements, whereby the Department agrees to provide labor and materials such as cattle guards, panel gates, road grading, limited fence construction or other improvements for the purpose of minimizing landowner/public conflicts. Under the agreement, these resources are provided to the landowner in exchange for a guaranteed public access to or through private property for an agreed upon number of years. The improvements become the property of the landowner at the end of the agreement period. This program requires the Department to perform a cost/benefit analysis on each project.

Currently the Department has nearly 300 Respect Programs in place covering over 12 million acres, over 30 Adopt-a-Ranch groups representing more than 500 volunteers and 2.1 million acres of accessible lands, and a growing number (15 to 20) of Stewardship Agreements.

For more information, contact us:
Josh Avey, Access Program Coordinator, (623-236-7624)
Troy Christensen, Respect and Adopt-a-Ranch, (623-236-7492)
 
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