FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is Sharing the Land?
Sharing the Land is a conservation cooperators network connecting landowners with hunters and private land access seekers. Building on the concept of the Riley Game Cooperative, STL is reinvigorating the Leopold Land Ethic through trade-based, bartering partnerships that develop relationships and exchanges access for work or other contributions to conservation.
How do I get started with Sharing the Land?
Step 1: Fill out the Conservation Resume fillable form on the Sharing the Land Website. CONSERVATION RESUME BUILDER. The Conservation Resume tells us more about you and where you are on your conservation journey. The Conservation Resume can be updated as needed.
Landowners interested in sharing their land will also fill out the Cooperating Land Profile Builder LAND PROFILE BUILDER. The Cooperating Land Profile tells us more about the landowner, their land and opportunities they are willing to consider for access of their property.
Step 2: Sharing the Land will use the information to provide Landowners with possible Access Seekers to consider for cooperatively sharing their land. Please understand that there may not be a property or access seekers that match your criteria.
Step 3: As Sharing the Land finds Land/Landowners and Access Seekers with like interests we will provide both with information (Conservation Resume and Cooperating Land Profile) about the other.
Step 4: From that point, the discussion and cooperation are up to the parties involved. Our suggestion/model is that an email exchange happens, a phone conversation and if all goes well, an in-person meeting to further the relationship. Sharing the Land will provide an agreement form that can be modified as needed.
What is the cost to join Sharing the Land?
Currently, there is no cost to either landowners or access seekers. Our sponsors are helping us to provide this service at no cost (so please consider their products when purchasing gear!). We do anticipate that as Sharing the Land grows a membership fee will eventually be needed and implemented for 2023. When that happens, we are working with sponsors to provide products, discounts and other value that will be included with membership.
What is a fair exchange/barter of work for access? How much time or work for what amount of access?
The exchange is decided by the access seeker and the landowner. Factors to consider include the skills and abilities of the access seeker, the type of work done, the goals and objectives of both parties as well as they type of access exchanged.
Will my information be shared with the public?
No information will be made public. Your information will be used to match you with a compatible STL partner. Any maps displaying landowners, access seekers, or connections will be no closer than at the township level.
LANDOWNER Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Management Plan and how can I get one?
A conservation management plan is a written timeline of Best Management Practices (BMPs) that have been prescribed with the intention of improving the ecological systems on your land. These could include Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) or prescribed burning. The plan will be broken down into manageable units of similar vegetation. Each unit will have a current description of vegetation, desired vegetation, and focus species that will benefit from the management written into the plan. There are many resources available for developing a management plan and Sharing the Land will help connect you with those resources.
A landowner should also develop a list of other projects they need help with on their property. As we have developed this model, we have been impressed with the various skills that Access Seekers have to offer. General labor, helping hands for basic projects are always needed!
If I enroll my land in STL does that mean I am signing up for unrestricted access?
No! If you enroll your property into STL, it is not open for all access. It will only be available to the access seekers you partner with for the access/seasons you agree upon. This should be written into your agreement.
What process should I use to consider a Cooperating Access Seeker?
Review conservation resumes of access seekers suggested to you. See which seem most compatible with your outlook, goals and objectives and available access.
Have an exchange with them via email or phone call
If the call or email goes well, suggest a short meeting on your property is possible to simply get to know each other better.
If you go to the next step, start small. Work together on a small project together and grant access for something simple.
If it works out, continue to build the relationship.
Do I have to grant access for all seasons?
Again, you do not have to grant access for all seasons and species. You can tailor your agreement to the access/seasons you would like to have access seekers out on your property. Please note that this should be reflected in what you expect from an access seeker in your agreement.
What about liability if someone gets hurt?
There are several protections:
1. Simply get to know the person/people you are considering working with. The basis of Sharing of the Land is relationships and cooperation. Getting to know the people involved is key.
2. Using an agreement, like the STL example (included on the website), including an understanding of risks and a hold harmless clause provides understanding and some protection.
3. Most states have a “Recreational Use Statute” that provides some immunity from liability up to a certain point or value.
4. An additional liability rider on your insurance makes a lot of sense. They generally come at a very reasonable cost. Speak with your insurance provider about it.
5. Sharing the Land provides no insurance and assumes no liability for risk for individual land seekers or for land owners.
How can I be sure the access seeker will do the work they agreed to for access?
Be sure the agreement is clear about work expectations and access exchanged.
Starting small and building the relationship is the best way to be sure everyone holds up their end of the deal.
ACCESS SEEKER Frequently Asked Questions:
I am a novice conservationist and beginning hunter, is Sharing the Land for me?
Yes, Sharing the Land is for everyone! By having a wide range of conservation and hunting experience in both our access seekers and landowners, we hope to increase knowledge and perspective about all things land related. We genuinely believe that everyone can learn from anyone, and knowledge of the natural world increases our connections to the land and each other.
Where can I learn conservation and other land management skills?
There are many groups to get involved with to learn about conservation and land management skills and we guarantee there is a local one in your area. Membership organizations like Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, Aldo Leopold Foundation, as well as state and local organizations that will offer field days. Check back with Sharing the Land for possible opportunities in the future.
What responsibility do I have as an Access Seeker?
First, to be an honest, ethical person who presents themselves honestly and earnestly. You also will be expected to do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it. Remember the idea of Sharing the Land is developing cooperative relationships through a fair exchange of access for work/contribution to conservation. There is no trick to this. Be forthright and honest and expect the same from others.
How can I be sure the landowner will grant the access they agreed to?
Be sure the agreement is clear about work expectations and access exchanged.
Starting small and building the relationships the best way to be sure everyone holds up their end of the deal.