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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sharing the Land?


A Conservation Cooperators Network connecting landowners with hunters and private land access seekers for the purpose of stewarding and enjoying healthier lands together. 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 exchange access for work or other contributions to conservation.

How do I get started with Sharing the Land?

Step 1:
Access Seekers will fill out the Conservation Resume fillable form. The Conservation Resume,
like a traditional resume, tells landowners more about you and where you are on your
conservation journey. The Conservation Resume can be updated as needed by sending us an
email with your requested changes.
Landowners interested in sharing their land fill out the Cooperating Land Profile Builder. The
Cooperating Land Profile tells us more about the landowner, their land, their needs, and
opportunities they have for trade for access to 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.
Both Landowners and Access Seekers should understand that there may not initially be Access
Seekers or Landowners that match your criteria.

Step 3:
As Sharing the Land finds Land/Landowners and Access Seekers with like interests, we
will provide Conservation Resumes to the Landowner to consider. The Landowner will then
reach out to the Access Seekers they select.

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 a sample
agreement form to the Landowner and other informational materials that can be modified as
What is the cost to join Sharing the Land?

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!).
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 Landowner and the Access Seeker. 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 the 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 land/landowners will be no closer than at the
township level. Likewise for Access Seekers, their information will only be shared with potential
landowner partners.
LANDOWNER Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a Management Plan, and how can I get one?

A conservation management plan is a written timeline of Best Management Practices (BMPs)
prescribed to improve 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, from basic clean-up to bigger 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 and 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 in 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
in your agreement.

What process should I use to consider a Cooperating Access Seeker?

1. Review conservation resumes of access seekers suggested to you. See which seems
most compatible with your outlook, goals and objectives and available access.

2. Have an exchange with them via email or phone call.

3. If the call or email goes well, suggest a short meeting on your property to simply get to
know each other better.

4. If you go to the next step, start small. Work together on a small project together and
grant access for something simple.

5. 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 on your property.
Please note that this should be reflected in what you expect from an access seeker in your

What about liability if someone gets hurt?

There are several protections:
Simply get to know the person/people you are considering working with. The basis of Sharing
the Land is relationships and cooperation. Getting to know the people involved is key.
Using an agreement, like the STL example, including an understanding of risks and a hold
harmless clause provides understanding and some protection.
Most states have a “Recreational Use Statute” that provides some immunity from liability up to a certain point or value.

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, or you and the access
seekers can take out an insurance policy. American Hunting Lease Association is one company we have worked with that provides insurance specific to access and hunting.
Sharing the Land provides no insurance and assumes no liability for the risk for individual land
seekers or for landowners.

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:
Cindy Stites 2.JPG
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

Where can I learn conservation and other land management skills to enhance my Resume?

Get involved and stay curious! Explore various groups to enhance your knowledge of
conservation and land management skills. Rest assured, there is likely a local organization in
your area dedicated to these interests. University Extensions often have learn about
conservation programs. Consider joining membership organizations such as Pheasants Forever,
National Wild Turkey Federation, or the Aldo Leopold Foundation and attend their volunteer
events. Additionally, state and local organizations often organize field days and educational

Here are a few thoughts on classes you might seek out: participate in a chainsaw safety course
to acquire valuable skills or educate yourself on native and invasive plant species specific to
your region. These opportunities not only expand your knowledge but also contribute to your
overall understanding of land stewardship.

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.

If you are contacted by a Landowner and you are either not interested at that time or do not
feel like a good fit, still be courteous and respond with the appropriate response to the

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 relationships are the best way to be sure everyone holds up their
end of the agreement.
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