What You Should Know About the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

For the last 25 years, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has provided easements to aid in the preservation of valuable agricultural and wetland properties. In prior years, the grants given by the NRCS functioned under the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program. However, the Agricultural Act of 2014 repealed that program and replaced it with the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). The provisions largely remain the same, and all easements contracted under the former title are still valid with the ACEP. However, it is likely that many ranch property sellers are more familiar with the former program name.

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Water Rights by State

Water Rights


When buying or selling a ranch property, it’s important to understand the rights you have for water sources on or near the land. Should you plan to drill a well or develop farming, livestock, or recreation endeavors that require water, you need to be sure that any water right included in the property allows for your desired usage. If it does not, understanding how a water right or well permit is acquired can give you the confidence to move forward with your plans. It is important to note that not all water rights are included in a property sale. In some states, a water right can be bought and sold irrespective of the affected property owner.

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Stream Restoration

Stream Restoration

When surveying a ranch property, you may find streams that are in need of restoration. From poor water quality to excessive bank erosion to diminished fish populations, neglected streams may degrade to a level that affects the recreation and value of a property. Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques and resources that can aid in returning a stream to a healthy equilibrium.

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Various Types of Federal Land and What Can Be Done on Each

One of the joys in owning ranch property comes in the form of easy access to the many beautiful vistas of the American West. From sprawling forests to pristine coastlines to rugged canyons, the U.S. offers over 610 million acres of federally regulated public lands to enjoy the outdoors. However, not all of this federal land allows for the same type of usage. Depending on the agency that manages a stretch of land, the regulations dictating the types of recreation, agriculture, and resource extraction allowed may differ. Therefore, it’s important to know the distinct categories of lands and their usage restrictions when considering the purchase or utilization of a ranch property. Here is a list of the 4 major management agencies, the types of federal lands they regulate, and their general usage rules.

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A Season of Sponsorship at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

A Season of Sponsorship at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

This past summer, Ranch Marketing Associates acted as a co-sponsor for the polo stadium at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Alongside our partner, Engel & Volkers, and peer sponsors such as Folded Hills Winery, the Belmond El Encanto, Maserati of Santa Barabara, and Silver Air, we were given a fantastic opportunity to increase branding visibility, engage with consumers in the equestrian world, and entertain our current clients. Every weekend, highly competitive polo matches were held on the club’s pristine grounds, showcasing the bond between horse and rider, and celebrating the powerful athleticism of these beautiful animals. As ranchers, we cherish the companionship of our horses, whether on pasture in the mountains, or on the polo field in Santa Barbara. We’re proud to support the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, and are honored to have our name tied to their long-standing stewardship of equestrian sports.

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Hunting Rights for Private Landowners

Hunting Rights

Many ranches throughout the West hold wide stretches of wilderness that serve as grazing, breeding, and migratory habitats for a variety of animals. These unspoiled lands are vital in providing a natural, low-stress environment for game —whether buck, bull, or fowl. Hunting on your own ranch provides rare opportunities for private and unforgettable encounters with these animals. However, it’s important to know your hunting rights before readying your gear or allowing others to hunt on your ranch. Different states have different laws, but there are a few key considerations to make.

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What to Consider When Preparing Your Land for Sale

Preparing Your Land For Sale

When it comes time to sell your ranching property, preparation is paramount in getting maximum value. If you can identify and eliminate any potential pitfalls in the condition and documentation of your land, you can take the stress out of the selling process and ensure that viable buyers will see all that your land offers.

Here are a few key considerations when preparing your ranch for sale.

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Common Land Access Issues and What to Do About Them

Land Access Issues

Land Access Issues
Common concerns for buyers, sellers, and owners of ranch property revolve around land access issues. These are unique issues for the ranch market, as the laws and logistics of getting to rural land may be more complicated than urban properties, where access is generally assumed and given. Ranch properties often share borders with private, state, and federal land, with or without roads bisecting those boundaries. Potential complications may arise around ownership and legal use of those roads, which can vary on a case-by-case basis. This is why it’s important to never assume legal land access, and be aware of issues that could arise.

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The Importance of Performing a Feasibility Study Before Buying a Ranch

Feasibility Study

Feasibility Study

Buying a ranch property is a huge investment, and is often the realization of a life-long dream. When that perfect ranch comes onto the market, it’s easy to let the excitement propel you toward signing a contract and starting the next chapter in your life. However, it’s crucial to take a step back before you buy and get an objective view of the ranch. Performing a feasibility study ensures that all the plans you have for the property are realistic and attainable. You will ultimately save time and money, and establish a detailed framework for how to achieve all that you envision for the land.

Here’s why a feasibility study is paramount before purchasing a ranch.

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