Texas Waterways – Rivers, Streams, & Dreams

By: John Hayter

For many, owning a ranch in Texas with running water is a dream. But with the fulfillment of that dream, they may be in for some surprises due to Texas water law. Texas water law dates back to Spanish law which carried over when Texas was part of Mexico and all these rights were retained when Texas joined the Union.

When considering landowner and public rights in relation to running water it must first be determined if the river or stream is navigable. One might think that would be an easy distinction simply by looking at whether some form of transportation can be used to move up or down the river or stream. However, that is not the case. In fact, a navigable river or stream doesn’t even have to have water in it.

There are two ways a river or stream can be considered navigable.

  1. By statute
  2. Navigable-in-fact

A stream is navigable by statute if the average width of the river or stream is at least 30 feet from the mouth up. However, the measurement is also not as straightforward as one would think. The measurement does not take into account the water itself but is considered to be the average distance between the “fast” land banks that divides the river or stream from the adjacent land and the defined channel confining the water.

texas creek on ranch

A stream or river is considered to be navigable-in-fact if it can be used for commerce.

Now that we have established what a navigable waterway is under Texas law, let’s consider what impacts that may have on a property owner who owns land adjacent to a navigable waterway. Most landowners primary concerns will be in relation to public access to and down the waterway and trespass. A landowner cannot obstruct a navigable waterway or prevent public access. However, the public does not have the right to cross private property to access a navigable waterway and cannot trespass on adjacent private land.

As a landowner, you want to make sure to understand that for someone to trespass does not simply mean they are on your land without permission. You must first give notice and notice can be given in several ways.

  1. Verbally
  2. In writing
  3. Signage (Private Property, No Trespassing, etc)
  4. Posts with purple paint (Purple paint indicates private property, no trespassing)
  5. Fencing (Designed to hold livestock or keep out intruders)

It is considered trespassing if an individual enters your land after being given notice.

The public most likely also has the right to the limited use of the navigable waterway’s banks for portage and scouting for navigation purposes. Also, the public can use the banks and adjacent property in cases of emergency.

In short, if you are looking to purchase property in Texas with a river or stream you will want to determine if it is a navigable waterway and understand how this may impact your use and enjoyment of your property.

** The above information should not be considered legal advice. Always consult an attorney in matters related to law and/or for legal advice.

Adams, Rusty “Up the Creek, Navigating Public Waterways.” Tierra Grande, Journal of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, January 2018 Volume 25, Number 1 Pages 14-17.

Clutter Kills Closings!

7 Steps to take BEFORE You Market Your Home

You’ve made the big decision to sell your home. Who doesn’t want to get the most for their money? Are you wondering where to begin what seems to be an overwhelming task. Now what? Before you put it on the market, take a pause, a step back, and a closer look.

First things first. Give yourself some time. This could take a while. You’ve devoted years to accumulating your ‘stuff’. It has been there so long, you no longer see it! So, it could take a few days to “get ‘er done”, or a week, or a month. Just take the first step. Read on.

Step 1. Grab your cell phone. Go through your house room by room. Shoot several angles of each room.

Step 2. Sit down. Look at all the photos. What does your eye see? If your rooms aren’t looking magazine-ready (most don’t), what can you do to get closer to a pretty picture?

Step 3. Purge party. Edit for success. Go back to the first room. Start there. De-clutter. All of it. Day by day. If it takes a month, or two or six, do NOT market your home until it looks like Nate Burkus or the Gaines live there.

De-Clutter: definition– that means say good-bye to all the little trinkets, papers, stacks, small decorative “stuff”. All of it. The goal here is to have clean surfaces, neatly made beds, no clothes hanging on treadmills you haven’t touched for years, high school corsages, a million photos, 3rd grade art projects, man cave beer bottle collections, lava lamps, convention tags with your name on them hanging from lanyards on the door knob or sales awards you received 2 jobs ago. You get the (bad) picture!

Anytime and every time you start to say to yourself, “Well, I may use this sometime,” if you haven’t used it in a year, you aren’t going to; just stop. That isn’t happening. So, just give it away! Clothes with price tags you bought “on-sale” and too small because you were doing to “lose weight” need to go into a give-away pile. Same with shoes that are pretty, but they hurt! Same with your husband’s garage tools, old paint cans, broken lamps you’ll never fix, etc. All must go.

Step 4. Clean the kitchen! If you just love that olive oil you bought in Tuscany, great! It goes in the pantry or cabinet, NOT on the counter. Same for spices. If you need to, buy a round spinner for spices and place it into a clean cupboard to get them organized and out of the buyer’s eye-line. Throw away duplicate cooking utensils. And, for heaven sakes, get rid of the lids that match nothing and bottom containers with no lids! If your drawers are stained or tired, buy plastic shelf liner and use it.

Clean, clutter-free surfaces allow the buyer to see the house, not your stuff!

Step 5. Get stuff off the floor! That includes the dog’s bowls, dead or old plants, fake flowers that haven’t been dusted maybe ever, dog toys, kids’ stuff thrown away, donated or hidden! Toys of any kind, no matter how darling they are, are just a distraction. And those never-leave-the-planet Cozy Coupes, small slides and playhouses have to go. Everything that isn’t a chair leg, table leg, carpet or standing lamp on the floor needs to be lifted from its home on the floor. Stacks, baskets, magazines, old books–you can replace by reading all online. Clear the floor so the space looks larger.

Step 6. All together now, one more time! Review and repeat. Just when you think you’ve tossed it all, re-shoot the photos. Room by room, go back and be brutal. Nobody else loves your stuff like you do! Especially the year-round Christmas décor! Second time around, you are going to wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. The house looks bigger and airier, right? It may feel so good you decide not to sell, but if you do, the buyer will likely make a quicker offer for more money. More money is one good reason to crush the clutter. Your bank account is the only place for more clutter. Clutter it with money! This is the payoff for what may have been a painful process. You’ll be glad you took the first step and will find yourself doing the hokey-pokey in that brand spanking clean de-cluttered masterpiece you’ve created.

Step 7. Stop reading this right now and get to it! What are you waiting for? And, please send me a note when you are done or a selfie of you doing the hokey-pokey in your sparkling, clutter-free haven!

Songwriter and Artist, Bernie Taupin Sells Roundup Valley Ranch


Santa Ynez, CA (July 19, 2017) – Situated on 30-acres of land, Roundup Valley Ranch is a breathtaking ranch estate comprised of a five-bedroom, six-bathroom main house, a separate studio and office space and an equestrian center, complete with a coveted covered arena. Tucked away at the end of Roundup Road in the Santa Ynez Valley, the hacienda is the inspirational home of famed songwriter Bernie Taupin, who is celebrating 50 years of collaborating with Elton John this year. The property is on the market for $4,700,000.

Click to read the full article in the Los Angeles Times.

Idaho Ranches For Sale

Focusing on the beautiful land of the American West, Ranch Marketing Associates has knowledgeable, experienced brokers that can assist you throughout the entire process of your property purchase. No matter what reason you’re looking to buy land, you’ll be able to find some of the most beautiful and luxurious ranches these fine states have to offer.

A scenic mountain state with some of the largest unspoiled natural areas in the nation, featuring abundant resources including outstanding wildlife populations, excellent water supply and diverse soil conditions, Idaho is an attractive state for farm and ranch investors as well as outdoor recreation lovers. Ranch Marketing Associates has unsurpassed industry leadership offering quality ranches for sale in Idaho, working ranches for sale in Idaho, Idaho farmland for sale, cattle ranches for sale, fishing ranches, horse properties, ranchland for sale, and agricultural properties for sale.

Esto Perpetual — Idaho’s state motto — means, “Let it be forever” or “let it endure forever.” And that’s just what the people of this great state are about. The 14th largest state in the nation, Idaho possesses some of the most beautiful, mountain-filled luxury ranches in the entire world.

The “Potato State” did not earn its nickname by not being a great place for agricultural production to occur. The winters in this state are not nearly as harsh as surrounding states due to the fact that Idaho is only 350 miles away from the Pacific Ocean. Despite subsequent high levels of humidity, the amount of precipitation, the moist summers, and the dry winters make for great agro production on any Idaho ranch.

The sheer beauty of this state is nearly unmatchable. Looking out over the mountains and tree lines under an autumn sky in Idaho is perhaps the most magnificent view a person can experience. Although temperatures can regularly exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, finding Idaho ranches for sale is great for any prospective rancher or agro producer.

When dealing with any piece of property, it’s important that you consult with experienced brokers you can trust. Ranch Marketing Associates has various offices throughout the Western U.S. and will work with you to find the best investment ranches, production farmlands, and recreational properties for you and your entire family to enjoy.

Visit our RMA Marketing Services to find out more and check out Idaho ranches for sale.

Please see the below assortment of quality Idaho ranches for sale, farmland for sale and investment properties for sale:

Search for All Ranches for Sale

Colorado Town Goes Dark for Milky Way

In many cities across the country, artificial light is making it more difficult to see stars in the night sky. Reporting for Sunday TODAY, NBC’s Harry Smith travels to a small town in Colorado where residents are putting covers on lights in order to take back the night.

See all Colorado Ranches for Sale in the Westcliffe area:

Wolf Springs Ranch
Boyer Ranch
Nags Head West Ranch
Elk Mountain Ranch
Westcliffe Valley Ranch

Click the photo to watch the report:

Colorado Westcliff Ranches Milky Way
View of the Milky Way from Westcliffe, Colorado

Ranching Couple Hosts a Holistic Management Workshop

Before buying a ranch, it’s good to experience what you’re getting into firsthand. That’s why two ranchers in northern California are planning to host a Holistic Management Workshop on September 3 at their ranch in Likely, CA. Ross and Kelly McGarva, who have practiced Holistic Management for 14 years, are partnering with Spencer and Abbey Smith of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management to teach attendees proper holistic practices after buying a ranch.

Many farmers and ranchers around the country are often more traditional, Northern California has always catered to the descendants of the Flower Children movement. So while most ranchers were raised in the industry and need no introduction, there are newcomers to the industry looking for help after buying a ranch in California.

Since the McGarvas have converted 3,000 acres of property that used to be used for cattle into a certified organic practice, they have doubled their carrying capacity on 2,500 of those acres. The property used to support 1,000 mother cows, but now holds a total of 3,500 cattle as well as goats.

The United States has always been well-suited for agriculture, which occurs in all 50 states. In 2011, U.S. agriculture had a gross output of $374 billion, thanks to strong farms and ranches nationwide.

california farms for sale add to ag gross output

According to the Jefferson Center website, the holistic workshop will focus on the following practices:


    • Increasing forage production through better management practices


    • Learning how to “read the land”


    • How to enhance ecosystem function and build more drought-tolerant soil


    • And finally, “Planning for profit (and peace of mind) in a ranching or farming enterprise”

Their goal is to highlight the benefits of organically sustained cattle ranches. From their own experiences, this management system has resulted in greater plant diversity, reductions in invasive weeds, more conceptions, less water use, drastic reduction in mosquitoes, and more. Spencer Smith, who is a field professional accredited by the Savory Institute, will be teaching the session.

Of course, there are many different types of ranches, not just organically sustained ones. Most ranches and farmland are located in the western states, like California, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and Texas, and the latter is home to the most farm real estate in the country.

If you are looking forward to buying a ranch but have never owned one before, there are plenty of resources to help you with the process. At RMA Brokers, we are able to not only help you find the perfect ranch real estate to purchase, but as ranchers ourselves, we can help you implement programs to help your property flourish.

Thinking About Buying a Farm? 5 Investment Benefits Associated With Farmland

farms for sale

There are more than 2.2 million farms in the United States, with the average farm encompassing approximately 435 acres. Farms are fantastic from an agricultural point of view, of course, but what about investment-wise?

If you’re looking into farms for sale, there are a handful of investment benefits that come with the territory as well. Here are a few of those benefits to consider while you think on buying farmland.

High Capital, Low Risk
Historically, data shows that farmland has maintained very strong capital protection characteristics over an extended period of time. Unlike other rapidly depleting resources, like mining, oil, or gas, well managed farmland is a fully renewable resource which remains productive for an indefinite amount of time.

Plus, the more the population grows, the higher in demand fertile farms for sale become.

Stable, Income Producing Asset
Unlike popular inflationary hedges like precious metals, any farm for sale that you choose to invest in will provide steady income. Farmland real estate offers investors reliable rates of income that are usually above 5% annually.

Performs Well in Market Turmoil
Historically, farmland has proven its worth time and time again in periods of market turmoil. The potential of farmland to perform well during periods of recession is particularly attractive to investors concerned about the sustainability of the global economy.

Direct Investment is Fairly Transparent
In a seemingly unending era of bankruptcies, accounting irregularities, corporate fraud, and other complex scams, investing in farmland for sale is actually quite simple. In fact, the concept of ownership of renewable resource real estate has been quite appealing to countless investors.

Provides Tax Planning Opportunities
Unlike other forms of land investment, farms for sale are associated with a specific range of tax incentives. These include income, capital, and inheritance tax breaks. In addition, this can enhance net returns for investors.

In addition to these benefits, there are countless others, not to mention the incredible amount of farmland available in the United States today. There are nearly 920 million acres of farmland across the country, but only about one-third is independently operated by full owners.

These simple and profitable investment opportunities are just waiting to be acted on, and farmland may just be one of the best bets in today’s market.

If you want to learn more about farmland real estate, contact RMA Brokers for more information.

Summer in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

By: Christy Belton

Tucked up against the steep valley shaped by Mt. Pau and rising to the Routt National Forest, Taylor Canyon Ranch is an easily accessible, well located holding north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Encompassing 133 acres, the ranch has a comfortable home, historic barn and charming cabin. Traditionally used as a big game outfitting base camp and horse property, the ranch is fenced into several pastures for easy livestock management and rotation. Tall cottonwood trees line the creek, which during the spring and summer tumbles from the upper reaches of the ranch. The paved driveway meanders through the trees and along the creek; it is an inviting setting in the sought after Elk River Valley of northwest Colorado.

Find Colorado ranches through RMA’s professional brokers.

Creative Ways to Use Equestrian Property

Equestrian properties have many uses, most of which obviously involve horses. However, a new report shows that equestrian properties are being used in new ways that involve medical treatment.

NBC reports that in Ohio, a new program is being implemented that will use horses as a therapy treatment for those struggling with cancer.

Serenity Farm Equestrian Center and the Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio have teamed up to provide free equestrian therapy to cancer patients of all ages.

“The horses have healed me,” said Kathleen Fincher, a Serenity Farm volunteer who is going through stage IV breast cancer. “They have been with me through my tears, through my anger, through everything I’ve been through.”

Fincher has been battling cancer since 2007 and rather than letting her cancer diagnosis negatively affect her, she helps out at Serenity Farms a few times a week.

Fincher, along with Debra DeHoff, Serenity Farm Founder, and Jean Schoen, Cancer Connection founder, are trying to start the first ever equestrian therapy program for those suffering from cancer.

Schoen hopes that this new program will provide great care for cancer patients and will help them heal and think less about the negative things they cannot change.

“I started in order to provide the types of support and guidance that I wish my family had when we went through it.”

There is a total of eight horses that will be used specifically for cancer therapy on the farm.

“Every cancer patient is different,” Fincher said. “I’m assuming I’m not the only one who has bottled my feelings up inside. These horses can help release that to give some people some healing.”

Clearly, therapy sessions with majestic horses are another amazing benefit of equestrian properties, particularly for those struggling with cancer.

There are so many ways such agricultural property can be used and it’s up to the owners to find new, creative, helpful ideas like Serenity Farms.


us agriculture total acreage

Across the U.S., there are about 920 million acres of farmland and agro-production is happening in every single state. Just the real estate value alone of all this land brings in about $2 trillion. Whether you are looking for cattle ranches for sale, hunting property, equestrian property, or any other type of land, you can find it and you can do great and creative things with your property.

Three Great States for Agricultural Production

Because of all its land conditions and natural resources, the U.S. has been one of the world’s leading agricultural producers for decades. About five years ago, the agro industry employed more than 750,000 people and brought in over $374 billion to the U.S. economy.

Not only does this iconic industry have so many benefits for the economy and job market, but for individual property owners as well. There are beautiful agro properties all across these great states that are waiting for you to start your career as an agricultural producer.


Texas is cattle ranch country. If you’re serious about becoming a rancher, then there is no other state more perfect than the Lone Star State. Nearly one out of every seven working Texans works on a ranch or another agriculture-related field — so you will always be surrounded by fellow ranchers who love land just as much as you.

Along with the quality ranches Texas has to offer, they also lead the country in overall agro land real estate value. Talk to your real estate agent about finding quality cattle ranches for sale today.


Another superstar player in the agricultural production industry is the Golden State. With the amount of crops available to produce, this country-leading, crop-producing state offers you a chance to earn a living producing just about anything. In California, you can start a career producing one of the 66 crops this great state has to offer, including pomegranates, walnuts, almonds, raisins, olives, kiwis and so much more. Of course, you can find other types of properties in this West Coast state, so the land you choose to buy is entirely up to you.


The Equality State, with over 30 million acres of land specifically used for agricultural production, is a great place to begin, continue, or finish up a career in the industry. Crop production coming from Wyoming amounted to over $520 million 2013 and that seems to still be on the rise. Home to the famous 1,800-acre Walton Ranch, you can find cattle ranches, luxury ranches, and many other types of property bordering the beautiful Grand Teton Mountain Range or Yellowstone National Park.

Wyoming agriculture production