Habitat and Homesteading Development 2017-02-22T22:52:40+00:00

Habitat & Homestead Development

Wildlife Habitat Management (WHM)

Every landowner wants their land to be worth as much as possible, and usually as it is in its natural state.  For non-farm woodlands and timberlands, growing timber, hunting and recreation are the big factors in determining your land value.  We know how to grow your land value along with growing your timber.  WHM can be a part of that equation.

 

What hunters want most and are willing to pay a premium for, are good hunting experiences on a tract of land.  These good experiences usually involve harvesting or seeing quality whitetail, turkey or bear on a tract of land that is pleasant (no trespasses and poachers to deal with), well managed and well accessed.  Wildlife habitat conditions are critical to these experiences.  WHM practices such as food plots, roads & trails, forest diversity (including thick cover areas) and small water holes can all help provide the habitat and conditions to create these valuable and in-demand hunting experiences.

 

Trophy Lands Development (TLD)

Just like us, some owners are passionate about land management.  They continually look for ways and opportunities to make their land better.  Some owners just want the satisfaction of owning and operating a unique “trophy” property.  Others want to show others their land and their results come spring, summer and hunting season.  Some realize that these lands are in such demand by hunters and sportsmen in West Virginia that often significant income can be made from leasing their “trophy lands” for hunting for a premium.  We partner with owners to help them create, promote and profit from ideal lands using Trophy Lands Development (TLD) processes .  TLD is always a significant part of the management  on our own lands and we know first hand how much in demand these unique and ideal West Virginia lands are.

Our land development techniques let nature do most of the work.  We help owners develop the framework with a few important guidelines:  1) determine the best attributes of the tract and build access road and trails into these areas, 2) enhance the forest and control unwanted vegetation to showcase the landscape, 3) add diversity from small natural meadows to mature forest and trees (and all points in between) for wildlife habitat management, 4) add view sheds and scenic vistas on ridge tops.  These are very cost effective and often can be combined with timber harvesting activities.

We can show you how to substantially increase your per acre value on your land by enhancing and improving the land’s natural qualities that are already there.  Land asset appreciation is always a major goal we advise landowners to focus on.  On our own managed lands, on one particular property in Kanawha County we increased the per acre value tenfold from $1,000 per acre to $10,000 per acre by implementing these natural land improvement and conversion practices.  These results are not typical but land value appreciations of 30% to 800% or more can be common with our TLD systems.

All of our services and planning go from “field to paper”.  This is the process of knowing what field data and land analysis is necessary (timber data, mapping, road grades, landscape trees, etc.) for management and additional income goals and then putting this information into written plans and reports that move the management and sale processes forward.  Without this planning process maximum results are very difficult if not impossible for landowners to obtain.  We help landowners start this planning process with our tailored to budget programs and also with grant funds available from the USDA Farm Bill.

Roads and Trails

Without access certain large portions of our land may not be useable, visible or as productive as they should be.  Depending on the use goals access can range from a hiking trail to an all season vehicle road.  We can help you employ simple and cost effective strategies to unlock the full potential of your land with improved access roads and trails.  Land values are heavily dependent on access for land use and function.  Land recreation, whether hunting, hiking or trail riding is what landowners and land buyers want from a tract of land.  These functions increase value.  Roads and trails is one of the easiest ways to immediately impact your land use and value.  Often we can help owners incorporate these during timber harvesting operations on the property.

Many of our clients combine roads and trails with their wildlife food plots.  By incorporating food plots with roads and trails many benefits are obtained for hunting and wildlife habitat.  With roads and food plots mowing and maintenance is often necessary for best results.

Growing better timber faster and good forest management is not possible without forest access.  The better the access the better the management potential.  Management can be much more effective and productive because with access practically all trees removed for management purposes (“ for weeding your garden”), can be used for firewood, smoker wood and other practical purposes.  A good roads and trails system serves as the path to your “garden” for continual maintenance and improvements.

Homesteading Your Forest Lands

Any homestead endeavor requires water management and supply that are free from on-grid requirements. Impoundments, wells, cisterns, rain collection systems, and gravity fed designs are necessary consideration for a modern homesteading lifestyle.

Sustainable layout of woodlands and “food forests” require a design rooted in permaculture principles.

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