Value of Property Bordering National Forest

Nickofthewoods

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Property bordering public land is valuable to most people and very highly sought after in many areas. What if you own property that borders National Forest and without your knowledge that property is acquired by a private party from either a direct sale or a land swap with the Forest Service, now essentially land locking you and blocking your property's direct access to those public lands? I'm not sure there is an exact way to put a dollar value on bordering public land but when buying or selling a piece of land it's almost always advertised as a benefit of owning the land so it obviously has tangible value. So this move potentially devalues the property instantly and without the adjacent property's owner having a chance to say or do anything about it. It seems like a rotten deal for the property owner that now suddenly has no access. At the very least, that landowner should have been given notice from the Forest Service that the land will be going up for sale. Has this happened to anyone? If so how much (if any) would you say your property value decreased because of it?
 

Northpark

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First off NEPA is required for all land actions on national forest land. Typically even those that are categorically excluded from an environmental assessment (note I said assessment not analysis as every nepa document gets an analysis) or EIS are publicly scoped. However CEs are not typically put in the paper of record and you need to be on the Forest mailing list or be frequently checking the Forest website to be notified. The Forest service is happy to share info but you must meet them half way in taking an engaged approach to forest management. Many members of the public do not take a proactive approach or voice and then complain the Forest service didn’t come specifically find them and they feel they are entitled to the Forest but want no responsibility in actually putting In the work to become involved.

NEPA and frequent respectful contact with the local ranger district is your best bet to be involved in something like this. I will tell you that your private property value is probably not high on the list of things your local Forest is worried about. They are most likely far more concerned with trying to actually hire employees, keep people alive through fire season and trying to keep politically connected people happy because forest management is highly political at this point.
 
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Nickofthewoods

Nickofthewoods

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Lesson learned in not paying close enough attention I suppose. The thing is I am involved with and in pretty close contact with our local Ranger District, have been in the adopt a road program for many years (ironically we adopted the roads through the area that we are now cut off from). Definitely wish I would have been on that mailing list though.
 

Grumman

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That sucks. Not public land but I had something similar happen. Our farm had a gravel county road running alongside it. The neighboring farm sold to a rich dude and without us knowing he had it petitioned to be removed from the county and made a private drive.

At the end of the day it wasn’t worth fighting. I just put a new road in from the main road. Luckily I wasn’t landlocked.


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Jstumbaugh

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That would suck. Sorry to hear that. Friends of ours lost access to a hunting area that they had been hunting for 4 generations in a similar land swap with state land and logging company here in NY.
 

Banded_spooney

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First off NEPA is required for all land actions on national forest land. Typically even those that are categorically excluded from an environmental assessment (note I said assessment not analysis as every nepa document gets an analysis) or EIS are publicly scoped. However CEs are not typically put in the paper of record and you need to be on the Forest mailing list or be frequently checking the Forest website to be notified. The Forest service is happy to share info but you must meet them half way in taking an engaged approach to forest management. Many members of the public do not take a proactive approach or voice and then complain the Forest service didn’t come specifically find them and they feel they are entitled to the Forest but want no responsibility in actually putting In the work to become involved.

NEPA and frequent respectful contact with the local ranger district is your best bet to be involved in something like this. I will tell you that your private property value is probably not high on the list of things your local Forest is worried about. They are most likely far more concerned with trying to actually hire employees, keep people alive through fire season and trying to keep politically connected people happy because forest management is highly political at this point.
This might be true at the local ranger station, but most (all??) regions have an economist on staff that does care/pay attention to how the forest activities are affecting the local economy and vice versa. In my experience, they are decent at their job as far as bureaucrats go. In a past life, I was paid many a doll hair to do 'forest community' socio-economic health studies for a few different regions.

Doubt it will directly help the OP but if it were me, I'd bring it there just as a future consideration.
 
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Northpark

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Lesson learned in not paying close enough attention I suppose. The thing is I am involved with and in pretty close contact with our local Ranger District, have been in the adopt a road program for many years (ironically we adopted the roads through the area that we are now cut off from). Definitely wish I would have been on that mailing list though.
Ya that is really not great. I would say go down to local office let them know that it did in fact effect your negatively and that they should think about things like that in the future. I’ll add it to my list of things to consider. They may not be in a position to do anything about it in the future due to the local districts having less and less authority over the ground but sometimes acknowledging an issue and making a deliberate decision is sometimes the best that can be done.
 

Northpark

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This might be true at the local ranger station, but most (all??) districts have an economist on staff that does care/pay attention to how the forest activities are affecting the local economy and vice versa. In my experience, they are decent at their job as far as bureaucrats go. In a past life, I was paid many a doll hair to do 'forest community' socio-economic health studies for a few different districts.

Doubt it will directly help the OP but if it were me, I'd bring it there just as a future consideration.
I don’t know of a single economist at the Forest or district level. There might be one at the regional office level and at the Washington office. For example my district has 1 wildlife biologist, 1 fire management officer, 1 range specialist an admin assistant and a recreation specialist. The end. The districts are mostly stripped of positions and the new budget models take all budget control up to the Region level.

For some reason many people think the Forest service is a large organization that can do anything. The reality is far different.
 

Banded_spooney

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I don’t know of a single economist at the Forest or district level. There might be one at the regional office level and at the Washington office. For example my district has 1 wildlife biologist, 1 fire management officer, 1 range specialist an admin assistant and a recreation specialist. The end. The districts are mostly stripped of positions and the new budget models take all budget control up to the Region level.

For some reason many people think the Forest service is a large organization that can do anything. The reality is far different.
I will edit my original post. I said district but meant the region. I specifically worked with all of region 5 and the southern portion of region 6.
 

Rich M

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Should be an access easement, you could access it and now you can't? This was a landlocked piece?
 
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Nickofthewoods

Nickofthewoods

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At this point
Should be an access easement, you could access it and now you can't? This was a landlocked piece?
We can still access by getting on the highway and driving the long way around so no it's not completely landlocked, but no more hiking and hunting directly from the house. If we ever do sell we can't advertise as backing to National Forest now, so a potential drop in property value. We were the only property affected by this, the other neighbors still have their access.
 

Rich M

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Sorry to hear that. Crazy how they sold off national forest land.

Ida bought with the idea of it always beingvthe same, just as you did.
 

Pony Soldier

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Funny how you described our situation perfectly. The FS traded the land on our east side for sheep habitat. Their analysis said there was no elk calving ground in our valley. We calve out about 15 every year.

The logging company that bought the FS land, cut it to the dirt and then sold it off to individuals. Then they found they had no all weather access. They came back to me and traded 28 acres for 2.68 acres for the easement. I also got a riding and walking easement across one parcel to access the FS. That turned into a fight with the retired US Marshal every year until he sold it. Haven't trusted people from Ohio since ( longer story).

Thankfully my prefered hunting access was 5 miles north of there. I rode up my easement every opening day so he couldn't claim abandonment. He finally went away and my new neighbors are easy to get along with.

And yes, smokey never discussed the trade with any of us. Typically the feds make piss poor neighbors.
 
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Nickofthewoods

Nickofthewoods

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Funny how you described our situation perfectly. The FS traded the land on our east side for sheep habitat. Their analysis said there was no elk calving ground in our valley. We calve out about 15 every year.

The logging company that bought the FS land, cut it to the dirt and then sold it off to individuals. Then they found they had no all weather access. They came back to me and traded 28 acres for 2.68 acres for the easement. I also got a riding and walking easement across one parcel to access the FS. That turned into a fight with the retired US Marshal every year until he sold it. Haven't trusted people from Ohio since ( longer story).

Thankfully my prefered hunting access was 5 miles north of there. I rode up my easement every opening day so he couldn't claim abandonment. He finally went away and my new neighbors are easy to get along with.

And yes, smokey never discussed the trade with any of us. Typically the feds make piss poor neighbors.
I'm sorry to hear that, especially the part where it brought you a new neighbor to argue with for awhile.
 
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