Lease price for trails on private land???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    featherweight clydesdale
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    Lease price for trails on private land???

    I have a private land owner wanting to lease property with an existing trail network to a local club/other entity exclusively for mt bike use. Its about 600 acres of land, approximately half wooded.

    I need examples of other leases, preferably bike club/trail related. Here's what I already have.

    I've researched agricultural lease rates in the area. Actively cultivated crop land is $30 to $50 per acre per year, pastureland for grazing cattle is about $6-$15 per acre (cheaper because its a less intense use)....Woods/trails would be less intense and cheaper...no???

    I also have an example in a neighboring county where a landowner has leased approximately 350 acres to a bike club (a mix of woods and field) for about $2,500 ($7.14/acre). This lease is based on the annual land tax bill rather that a $/acre amount.

    Any info out there??

  2. #2
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    Contact the Saratoga Mountain Biking Association in New York. I believe they lease land from a paper or logging company and have their own insurance policy to cover the land owner from injury lawsuits.

    http://www.saratogamtb.org/

    Let us know what you find out?

  3. #3
    featherweight clydesdale
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    Quote Originally Posted by sick4surf
    Contact the Saratoga Mountain Biking Association in New York. I believe they lease land from a paper or logging company and have their own insurance policy to cover the land owner from injury lawsuits.

    http://www.saratogamtb.org/

    Let us know what you find out?
    I found out nothing. They never responded to me.

  4. #4
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    Try IMBA

    I don't know if IMBA would have anything, but it couldn't hurt to ask.

    Meanwhile, your example from the next county sounds good on several counts. It's in your state; it's the same use as you are proposing; and the landowner isn't making a profit. Now, don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against making a profit. But if all the club is doing is paying the tax bill, it might be a lower liability risk for the owner than if there was a profit situation. That's a question for your club lawyer.

    I don't know if I'd go with the trails are less intense than grazing argument, as there could be a lot of variables. You know, how many horses or cows on how many acres versus how many riders for how long riding what kind of bikes on what kind of trails, what kind of soils, etc.

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    I don't know if IMBA would have anything, but it couldn't hurt to ask.

    Meanwhile, your example from the next county sounds good on several counts. It's in your state; it's the same use as you are proposing; and the landowner isn't making a profit. Now, don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against making a profit. But if all the club is doing is paying the tax bill, it might be a lower liability risk for the owner than if there was a profit situation. That's a question for your club lawyer.

    I don't know if I'd go with the trails are less intense than grazing argument, as there could be a lot of variables. You know, how many horses or cows on how many acres versus how many riders for how long riding what kind of bikes on what kind of trails, what kind of soils, etc.
    Grazing is a pretty intense use of land, if you ask me. Having seen what grazing cattle do to a parcel, I can say that it's most certainly more intense than bike trails. The cattle WILL cut their own trails, and not to IMBA standards, either. :-p Some will erode pretty badly. Add that to the dispersed impact that they have, as well. If it's wooded property, the cattle will eat and/or trample just about every sapling, which creates an age disparity among the trees in the woodlot. Fewer saplings means that when the older trees die and fall over, there won't be other trees there to replace them. The woodlot will eventually become pasture in this regard. Also, if there is water on the parcel, the cattle will congregate there on hot days. If it's a pond, it will become a mud pit, and any fish (if any were there to begin with) will die b/c of the sediment being churned up and oxygen being depleted. If it's a stream, sedimentation will also become an issue, with the possibility of fish kills depending on the severity, but erosion will also become a major problem, as the water will carry off the sediment that the cattle churn up.

    Mountain bike trails are a VERY low-impact use compared to cattle grazing. Granted, if wooden structures are planned, they increase the impact level, but they're still lower impact than cattle grazing.

    FYI, I know a guy who leases a portion of his private property to a local farmer for something like 5 cents (it's about 5-10 acres) per month. I think he gets a tax writeoff for it for saying he leases the land for ag use, so that's his motivation. I'm not sure if your area would have a potential for a tax writeoff for the landowner if he leases his property for recreational use. Maybe if there's a "preservation" clause of some sort, that might count, but I'm no tax lawyer.

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