• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Survey methods
 Landowner survey
 Recreationists survey
 Conclusion
 Reference
 Back Cover






Group Title: Circular / Florida Cooperative Extension Service ;, 1021
Title: Leasing for outdoor recreation in Florida
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014463/00001
 Material Information
Title: Leasing for outdoor recreation in Florida results of a survey of private landowners and recreationists
Series Title: Circular Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Physical Description: 8 p. : ill., map ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Marion, Wayne R
Carlson, Peter C
Klein, Mary
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla.
Publication Date: 1991
 Subjects
Subject: Outdoor recreation -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Recreational surveys -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 7-8)
Statement of Responsibility: Wayne R. Marion, Peter C. Carlson, and Mary Klein.
General Note: "September 1991."
Funding: Circular (Florida Cooperative Extension Service) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014463
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001667342
oclc - 24672447
notis - AHX9146

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Survey methods
        Page 1
    Landowner survey
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Recreationists survey
        Page 5
    Conclusion
        Page 6
    Reference
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text

S191
September 1991


DOCUMVNT


Circular 1021


Leasing for Outdoor Recreation
in Florida: Results of a Survey
of Private Landowners
and Recreationists


Wayne R. Marion, Peter C. Carlson, and Mary Klein













Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida
John T. Woeste, Dean






."- -1


Wayne R. Marion, Associate Professor, Wildlife and Range Sciences; Peter C. Carlson, Graduate Research Assistant, Wildlife and
Range Sciences; Mary Klein, Graduate Research Assistant, Wildlife and Range Sciences.








Demand for outdoor recreation has at least
tripled in the past 30 years, resulting in overcrowd-
ing on public lands (Resources for the Future 1983,
Wright and Kaiser 1986). Recently, participation
in wildlife related recreation has been estimated to
include about 77% of the U.S. population and 71%
of Florida residents (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1988). The problem is compounded by a continual
decrease in lands available for public recreation
due to development and restriction of access by pri-
vate landowners. This restriction continues despite
attempts of state incentive programs to increase
the amount of private lands available. The limited
success of these programs may partly be caused by
neglecting conflicts between landowners and
recreationists, particularly hunters (Guynn and
Schmidt 1984). Wright et al. (1989) stated that fu-
ture opportunities for recreation on private lands
depend on one of two things: lessening the prob-
lems with recreationists and/or sufficient incentives
for providing recreational opportunities to over-
come problems. Leasing hunting privileges has
been found to be a satisfactory method for manag-
ing access and conflicts with hunters (Guynn and
Schmidt 1984, Wright et al. 1988).

With continued development in Florida, a reduc-
tion in available land for outdoor recreation is as-
sured. Furthermore, the demand for recreational
opportunities should increase as more people move
to Florida. Leasing of private lands for recreation
could play an increasingly larger role in providing
opportunities and in offsetting the losses due to de-
velopment. Florida has the second lowest percent-
age of resident hunters hunting in state, followed
only by Rhode Island (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser-
vice 1988). This may indicate the need for more
hunting opportunities in Florida and landowners
may be able to provide more access through leasing.

To document the current state of private land
leasing for recreation, the potential for future leas-
ing, and the level of outdoor recreation in Florida,
surveys of landowners and outdoor recreationists
were conducted. The results of these surveys can
serve as a benchmark for evaluating trends in out-
door recreation and as guidelines for managing rec-
reation on private lands.

Survey methods
A landowner questionnaire was mailed to 533
landowners in 15 Florida counties distributed
throughout the state (Fig. 1). Landowners, includ-
ing companies, were selected from those owning at
least 81 ha. The landowner survey included


questions addressing the uses of properties,
whether leasing occurred, and the characteristics
of leasing arrangements, benefits received from
leasing, and problems encountered.

Participants for the recreationists survey were
selected from membership lists provided by 9
groups, with 350 selected from nonconsumptive
recreational clubs and 150 from sportsmen's clubs.
These numbers were based on a survey that deter-
mined 67% of Florida residents participated in
nonconsumptive, wildlife associated activities while
28% were sportsmen (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser-
vice 1988). Questions in the recreationists survey
were directed at the types of recreation, conflicts
between recreationists, amount of use of private
and public lands, and facilities that recreationists
would like to have available. Results may exceed
100% due to multiple answers.

Landowner survey
Usable questionnaires were returned by 163
landowners (33% of deliverable questionnaires).
The most common recreational activities allowed by
all respondents were hunting (65%) and fishing
(84% of respondents with water on their property, n
= 103; Table 1). Nature observation (36%), nature
photography (34%), and picnicking (34%) were the
next most common activities allowed. This confirms
the results of a national survey in which 67% of pri-
vate landowners allowed hunting, although fishing
(51%) was allowed less frequently (Wright et al.
1989). Because more Florida landowners (63%, this
study) have surface water than the national aver-
age (30%, Wright et al. 1989), fishing is undoubt-
edly a more common recreation in Florida. Recre-
ation was most often allowed by known people
(family, friends, employees, and invited guests), al-
though companies allowed strangers to use land for
recreation more often than individual landowners
(Table 1). This policy of allowing recreation by
known people only, supports the findings that 74%
of private landowners nationwide are associated
with exclusive and restrictive land use policies
(Wright et al. 1988, 1989). Although many activi-
ties were allowed, hunting was the only activity
common on leased land, with most of the landown-
ers reporting moderate or high participation by
lessees (Fig. 2).

Only 32 (20%) of the respondents leased land for
recreational purposes. Companies (25%) were only
slightly more likely to lease than individuals (17%).
Landowners who leased owned much more land
(mean of 50,511 ha) than those who did not lease








Demand for outdoor recreation has at least
tripled in the past 30 years, resulting in overcrowd-
ing on public lands (Resources for the Future 1983,
Wright and Kaiser 1986). Recently, participation
in wildlife related recreation has been estimated to
include about 77% of the U.S. population and 71%
of Florida residents (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1988). The problem is compounded by a continual
decrease in lands available for public recreation
due to development and restriction of access by pri-
vate landowners. This restriction continues despite
attempts of state incentive programs to increase
the amount of private lands available. The limited
success of these programs may partly be caused by
neglecting conflicts between landowners and
recreationists, particularly hunters (Guynn and
Schmidt 1984). Wright et al. (1989) stated that fu-
ture opportunities for recreation on private lands
depend on one of two things: lessening the prob-
lems with recreationists and/or sufficient incentives
for providing recreational opportunities to over-
come problems. Leasing hunting privileges has
been found to be a satisfactory method for manag-
ing access and conflicts with hunters (Guynn and
Schmidt 1984, Wright et al. 1988).

With continued development in Florida, a reduc-
tion in available land for outdoor recreation is as-
sured. Furthermore, the demand for recreational
opportunities should increase as more people move
to Florida. Leasing of private lands for recreation
could play an increasingly larger role in providing
opportunities and in offsetting the losses due to de-
velopment. Florida has the second lowest percent-
age of resident hunters hunting in state, followed
only by Rhode Island (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser-
vice 1988). This may indicate the need for more
hunting opportunities in Florida and landowners
may be able to provide more access through leasing.

To document the current state of private land
leasing for recreation, the potential for future leas-
ing, and the level of outdoor recreation in Florida,
surveys of landowners and outdoor recreationists
were conducted. The results of these surveys can
serve as a benchmark for evaluating trends in out-
door recreation and as guidelines for managing rec-
reation on private lands.

Survey methods
A landowner questionnaire was mailed to 533
landowners in 15 Florida counties distributed
throughout the state (Fig. 1). Landowners, includ-
ing companies, were selected from those owning at
least 81 ha. The landowner survey included


questions addressing the uses of properties,
whether leasing occurred, and the characteristics
of leasing arrangements, benefits received from
leasing, and problems encountered.

Participants for the recreationists survey were
selected from membership lists provided by 9
groups, with 350 selected from nonconsumptive
recreational clubs and 150 from sportsmen's clubs.
These numbers were based on a survey that deter-
mined 67% of Florida residents participated in
nonconsumptive, wildlife associated activities while
28% were sportsmen (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser-
vice 1988). Questions in the recreationists survey
were directed at the types of recreation, conflicts
between recreationists, amount of use of private
and public lands, and facilities that recreationists
would like to have available. Results may exceed
100% due to multiple answers.

Landowner survey
Usable questionnaires were returned by 163
landowners (33% of deliverable questionnaires).
The most common recreational activities allowed by
all respondents were hunting (65%) and fishing
(84% of respondents with water on their property, n
= 103; Table 1). Nature observation (36%), nature
photography (34%), and picnicking (34%) were the
next most common activities allowed. This confirms
the results of a national survey in which 67% of pri-
vate landowners allowed hunting, although fishing
(51%) was allowed less frequently (Wright et al.
1989). Because more Florida landowners (63%, this
study) have surface water than the national aver-
age (30%, Wright et al. 1989), fishing is undoubt-
edly a more common recreation in Florida. Recre-
ation was most often allowed by known people
(family, friends, employees, and invited guests), al-
though companies allowed strangers to use land for
recreation more often than individual landowners
(Table 1). This policy of allowing recreation by
known people only, supports the findings that 74%
of private landowners nationwide are associated
with exclusive and restrictive land use policies
(Wright et al. 1988, 1989). Although many activi-
ties were allowed, hunting was the only activity
common on leased land, with most of the landown-
ers reporting moderate or high participation by
lessees (Fig. 2).

Only 32 (20%) of the respondents leased land for
recreational purposes. Companies (25%) were only
slightly more likely to lease than individuals (17%).
Landowners who leased owned much more land
(mean of 50,511 ha) than those who did not lease























LEVEL OF LEASING


LOW (1 property)

MEDIUM (2-3 properties)

HIGH (4-6 properties)





N





0 85


miles


-U.00


Figure 1. Number of leased properties reported by county for 32 lessors. Counties marked by an asterisk (*) were included in the
survey.









Table 1. Type of people allowed (%) for recreational activities by Individual and corporate landowners in Florida, 1989.
Individual landowners Corporate landowners
Activity No one Knowna Strangers No one Known Strangers
Land (N=106) (N=57)
Nature observation 65 33 5 63 25 14
Nature photography 68 28 8 63 25 12
Picnicking 67 33 3 65 25 18
Hiking 75 25 2 65 21 14
Camping 75 25 2 67 21 14
Hunting 34 63 9 37 47 18
Trapping 86 14 1 88 7 4
ORV use 89 11 2 88 5 5
Other 98 1 0 93 5 2
Water (N=64) (N=39)
Fishing 20 72 8 8 64 28
Motor boating/skiing 84 13 3 74 13 13
Canoeing/sailing 80 17 3 77 10 13
Swimming/diving 75 22 3 64 23 13

* Known people include family, relatives, friends, neighbors, employees and families, and invited guests.
bOther includes golf, horseback riding, firewood collection, and model airplanes.


(mean of 898 ha). The average area leased by a
landowner was 24,691 ha. This was an increase in
the amount of leasing compared to results from
1984 when 15% ofpresurvey respondents leased
land for hunting (Marion 1989), with an average of
6,687 ha being leased by 45 landowners. However,
these landowners had average holdings of only
15,010 ha. The large increase in the average
amount of land leased may be due to more corpo-
rate lands being leased, or to more corporations
represented in the sample, since companies own
and lease significantly more land than individuals.
Of the 32 respondents, 14 were corporate landown-
ers and averaged 43,504 ha leased for recreational
purposes; 15 of the individual landowners leased an
average of 7,132 ha.

The main reason cited for not leasing land was
exclusive use for another purpose (Fig. 3). As in
1984, forestry and farming/ranching were the main
uses of land by those who lease (69% and 38% of
respondents, respectively). However, forestry was
more common among leasers than non-leasers, par-
ticularly for companies (Fig. 4). This indicates that
leasing is more compatible with forestry practices
than with farming/ranching. Many of the landown-
ers who lease have more than 20 ha each of natural
pine (75%), hardwoods (78%), oak scrub (56%), or
cypress swamp (56%) on their property (Fig. 5).
Pine plantations (72%) also were common, thus
areas managed for forestry as well as natural areas
were used for leasing.


% of respondents
) level of participation
96% = high moderate = low


O.R.V. Hunt Fish Motor Canoa/ Camp Plonlo HIke Observe
boat swim nature
Figure 2. Amount of participation by lessees in recreational
activities on leased lands.

Reason

Unaware of leasing 6g I Indlvlduals
m Corporations
Enforcement problems 1% orpo
10%
Too much work

Allow without lease

Vandalism concerns 31
36s
Liability concerns

Other uses only 67%
60%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%
Figure 3. Reasons reported by non-leasing landowners for
not leasing to recreationists.









SIndividuals I Companies


forestry farming forestry farming
Leased land Did not lease land
Figure 4. The two most common land uses by landowners
who leased land and those who did not.


Lakes or streams ol s I Did not lease
Marsh 4n li Leased
,Cypresc swamp r
Hardwoods Ires
Natural pine ,
Pine plantations C fs
Native range o h
Improved pasture 4b sts
Agricultural fields 0 S 4, (
0% 20% 40% o0% 80%
Figure 5. Percent of landowners reporting more than 50 acres
each of common habitats.

Other reasons for not leasing included concerns
about liability and vandalism. Companies, how-
ever, were more likely to be concerned about liabil-
ity than individuals. Vandalism is an example of
destructive user behavior that may deter leasing.
Guynn and Schmidt (1984) found that the reasons
most private lands were closed to hunting in Colo-
rado were related to vandalism and other problems
controlling hunter behavior. Other studies have
substantiated this as a deterrent to access (Brown
and Thompson 1976, Wright et al. 1988, Wright
and Kaiser 1986). In our survey, 32% of landown-
ers (n = 125) who did not lease were concerned
about vandalism. Since only 2 (7%) of the landown-
ers who leased reported vandalism as a problem,
concerns about vandalism as a reason for not leas-
ing may not be substantiated. Half of the respon-
dents had no problems with recreationists who
leased land. Fourteen (47%) reported a variety of
problems, with litter (20%) and failure to obey lease
guidelines (17%) cited most often. Other problems


included honoring obligations (13%), payment of
fees (10%), and loss of privacy (10%). This may re-
flect an increase in problems since less than 25% of
respondents (n = 45) reported problems in 1084
(Marion 1989).

Control of access and avoidance of potential
problems may be achieved through the type of lease
arrangement and the parties involved in leasing.
Leasing to clubs was preferred over leasing to indi-
viduals (Fig. 6). Clubs may generally act more
responsibly since they have a long-term interest in
leasing recreational rights. Also, they may be able
to carry liability insurance covering their members.
Most of the leases were written (81%) and included
protection against vandalism (90%) and liability
(87%). Such precautions can minimize problems
between lessors and recreationists. Other lease
provisions included pre-defined termination periods
(53%), retention of recreation privileges (47%),
lessee-guest restrictions (43%), and guidelines for
resolving disagreements (40%). These results are
all similar to those obtained in the 1984 survey
(Marion 1989).

45%
Leased to:
1 club
% 2 or more clubs
1 individual
2 or more
individuals

individuals
32%s
Figure 6. Percent of landowners leasing to individuals or
clubs.

Most (77%, n = 26) of the respondents reported
no problems among recreational groups on their
land. This may be due to exclusive use being com-
mon, particularly for clubs, and the low level of
recreation occurring. Hunter competition (15%),
poaching (15%), and unauthorized ORV use (4%)
were the only problems reported.

Income from leasing has not increased substan-
tially during the past 5 years. With one exception,
fees ranged from $0.40- $3.80/ha or $40-$304/per-
son on a seasonal or year-round basis. The pne ex-
ception was a three-year contract for $682/ a/yr.
Excluding this contract, the average fee for those
reporting on a per area basis was $1.18/ha; this was
only a small increase over 1984 fees of $0.9/ha
(Marion 1989). Several respondents, however, gave










identical responses to questions on both fees
charged and income after expenses. Thus, the
average fee may be higher than reported, although
it is more likely that no expenses were perceived b3
these landowners. Only 6 individuals reported in-
come after expenses for equipment and services,
averaging $2,966.67.

Leasing also provides other benefits, such as con
trolling access and property damage, which are
sometimes viewed as more important than the in-
come (Guynn and Schmidt 1984, Wright and Kaise
1986). While extra income often was considered an
important benefit in this survey (71%), reduced
poaching, control of access, and assistance with
maintenance also were considered important (73%,
60%, and 53% respectively). Landowners also are
benefitted by various tasks shared by or designated
to the lessee. A majority of landowners surveyed
shared or gave the lessee responsibility for tasks,
such as policing against trespassers, posting the
property, and wildlife management (Fig. 7).


Activity
Posting hazards (n-29)
Fencing (n-29)
Maintaining trails (n-31)
Maintaining roads (n-31)
Wildlife management (n-30)
Posting the property (n-30)
Policing for trespassers (n-31)


i landowner g lessee al both

74
74


8

aaagmg ro


0% 26% 40% 60% 80% 10C
% of respondents
Figure 7. Party responsible for various maintenance activities
on leased lands.

Only minor increases in the popularity of leasing
are expected in the future. Only 34 (21%) of the re-
spondents said they plan to lease in the future, in-
cluding 94% (n = 31) of those who currently lease
and 4% (n = 129) of those who do not currently
lease. The most common reason given for not plan-
ning to lease was interference with current opera-
tions (32%, n = 117), the same reason many do not
currently lease. Many landowners (22%) also cited
"no interest" or "not economical" as reasons for not
planning to lease.

Recreationists survey
Usable questionnaires were returned by 238
recreationists (48% of deliverable questionnaires).
The most common outdoor recreational activities
were nature observation, hiking, and picnicking
(Fig. 8). Participation in hunting was low, contrast
ing greatly with activities on leased lands (Fig. 2).


% of respondents
100%level of participation
high moderate l low 87%
70% 80%

oso 74%
80% 57%
46%
40%-
L-

20 17% 18%

0%
o.R.V. Hunt Fish Motor Canoe/ Camp Planlo Hike Observe
boat swim nature
Figure 8. Percent of recreationists participating In various
activities in Florida during 1988-1989.

Most trips are no more than 1 (59%) or 2 days
(87%), and recreationists who use private lands did
not differ from those who did not.

Many of the respondents (60%) participated in
outdoor recreation on private lands; however, they
used private lands infrequently. Public lands were
used most often, although corporate property was
used about as much as property owned by
recreationists (Fig. 9). Only 21% (n = 138) of those
using private lands rated the quality of recreation
on private land better than on public land. Most
rated public land better or rated private and public
lands about equal (41% and 38%, respectively), al-
though a majority rated both as good or excellent
% (Fig. 10). The reasons given by those who rated
private land better included: less crowded (69%),
s more respect for the land by users (28%), and better
rule enforcement (28%). The most common reasons
given for rating public land better were better fa-
g cilities and access (38% and 25%, respectively).


Property type
Strangers'
Corporate
Friends'
Family -
Own
State land
Federal land
Public waters


Level of use
1 <268% M 26%-60% >0%

35%
42%
41%
30%
54%


74%
80%


0% 20% 40% 60%
% of respondents


80% 100%


Figure 9. Amount of time spent by recreationists on private
and public properties.



















10% 9%
4%

Poor Fair Good Excellent No opinion
Figure 10. Ratings of private and public properties for quality
of recreation.

Only 9% said public lands were better because they
were cheaper. The most common reason given for
not using private lands was lack of information
(62%, n = 93). Other reasons included: concerns
about trespass laws (37%), private lands were un-
available (21%), lack of interest (17%), and concern
for liability (10%). Only 6% thought private land
access costs too much.

Conflicts with other outdoor recreationists were
experienced by 61% of the respondents. Those who
canoe or sail (41%, n = 68), camp (36%, n = 57) or
hike (34%, n = 65) reported encountering problems
most often. Most conflicts were among the same
recreationist type or with ORV users or motor boat-
ers. For example, of those recreationists reporting
a problem, 81% of canoeists cited motor boating/
water skiing, 59% of hikers cited ORV use, and 49%
of campers cited other campers. ORV use and mo-
tor boating accounted for 49% of all the reported
conflicts (n = 610; Fig. 11). However, these prob-


Motor boating
26%


Other
13%


O.R.V. use
23%


Fishing
6%
Camping
8%


Hunting Picnicking
14% 11%
Figure 11. Recreational activities reported by recreationists as
the type encountered in problems with other
recreationists.


lems presumably occurred mostly on public lands
because of the low incidence of these activities on
private land (Table 1 and Fig. 1) and the low num-
ber of landowners reporting conflicts among groups
on their land. Litter was most often cited as the
problem (52%, n = 140), followed by noise (40%),
wakes of speeding boats (34%), and disregard for
others (26%). Most problems (59%) occurred on
public lands while 39% occurred on both public and
private lands. Only 2 respondents (1%) reported
that problems occurred on private lands only.

Only 36% (n = 140) of private land users were
involved in leasing land, of which 31% were
through clubs. This may be due to most people us-
ing personal or corporate property, where use may
be free of charge, rather than other private prop-
erty (Fig. 9). Many private land users spent less
than $100 (48%), but quite a few spent more than
$500 (18%). Others spent from $100-$300 (22%) or
$300-$500 (11%). However, most of the private
land users wanted more private lands avai able
(70%, n = 135) and nearly half (45%) were willing to
pay more than current costs (Fig. 12). Also, 56%
(n = 84) of those who did not use private lands
would like to see more available. In addition to an
increase in the availability of private lands: those
who used private lands desired several services or
equipment. Over half desired general information,
exclusive access, boats and boat ramps, picnic
areas, and lodging. Other services and equipment
considered desirable by fewer respondents Were
meals, camping equipment, and guides. Very few
desired field dogs and game cleaning or storage.

Conclusions
The potential for increased leasing of private
lands in Florida was supported by the desire of
many recreationists to have more lands available at
the same or increased cost. It has been argued that
hunters are accustomed to paying for recreation
and thus, are most involved in leasing (Wright et
al. 1989). However, other recreationists mny now
be willing to pay for recreational opportunities,
especially as available lands decrease and the
popularity of outdoor recreation increases.

About half of the private landowners in Florida
may not have suitable land for leasing since they
used it exclusively for another purpose. Most of the
remainder of the landowners who did not lease
were concerned with two problems-liabiliy and
user behavior, particularly vandalism. Florida has
a statute that limits the liability of landowners who
allow public access for recreation. However, the








Yes, higher cost
45% ,


SNo
9%


Yes, higher cost
23% A


same cost
31%


No
7% \


Yes, same cost
25%


opinion
21%


Recreationists who
use private lands
(n=135)


No opinion
39%
Recreatlonists who use
public lands only
(n=84)


Figure 12. Percent of recreationlsts who would like to have private lands available for recreation at the same level of cost or at even
higher costs.


statute does not apply if the owner charges for the
use of the land, unless it is leased to the state (Alt
et al. 1989). Owen (1989) suggested that new li-
ability laws must recognize that a fee, often used to
offset costs associated with recreational use, should
not eliminate protection under the law. New laws
also should provide greater access control. Corpo-
rate lands open to unrestricted public access tend
to be the most abused (Owen 1989). Furthermore,
many recreationists do not use lands because they
are concerned about trespass laws. A new policy
for regulating access, that should be made known
to all landowners and recreationists, could increase
the availability and use of private lands.

Leasing is an acceptable method for controlling
access and user behavior. Potential problems such
as liability, vandalism, and littering can be ad-
dressed in a lease agreement, giving the landowner
more control over the use of his land and the lessee
a better understanding of what is expected and
what is allowed. Also, the landowner can limit us-
ers to those believed to be the most responsible,
perhaps recreational clubs. Offering a few services
or equipment may increase the potential for leasing
and income. Many recreationists surveyed would
like picnic areas, boats, or boat ramps provided. If
this did not interfere with other uses, such services
may be beneficial for leasing. Since current con-
flicts generally arise on public lands, increasing the
opportunities for access to private lands while
controlling their use can provide an alternative to
recreationists who wish to avoid crowded or over-
used public areas.


In order to minimize some of the disadvantages
of leasing, such as interference with normal opera-
tions, increased management of land, and possible
liability issues, several recommendations can be
followed. The most important factor in leasing is to
be sure all interests of the landowner and lessee
and any identified potential problems are ad-
equately covered (preferably in writing) and clear
to all parties. A qualified professional should be
consulted to ensure the interests of all parties. The
following are some general items to consider in a
lease.

Most leases include protection of the landowner
against liability. If the lease is to an organization,
like a hunting club, they could be required to carry
liability insurance. Protection against vandalism
also should be included. Include guidelines for
settling disagreements and a predefined period for
termination of the lease. Potential conflicts be-
tween recreationists should be considered. Deciding
on the amount of use an area should have at any
one time will help to avoid problems between users
in the same activity or conflicting activities. Con-
flicts could arise over land management practices
and recreational uses. Sharing responsibilities
may help to avoid conflicts; responsibilities should
be clearly stated, particularly concerning mainte-
nance and safety precautions.

Literature cited
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