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SURVEY! would you pay 33% more for land that borders national forest???  RSS feed

 
Todd McDonald
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Location: Mid-Missouri
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Currently comparing land prices in my area and have come across two potential great locations.

One property is in an area of central Missouri that is known for its deep loamy/silty soil know as the loess hills of Missouri, which is a great plus! One potential problem I foresee with this piece of property is it is surrounded by other farms with the "plant everything GMO and spray the crap out of it" attitude. Otherwise its a beautiful piece of property just begging to be permiefied.

Then there is this other property, not as nice or deep of soil but bordered on south and east sides by over 2,000 acres of national forest. On west side there is one neighbor between this property and another 2,000 acre university owned wildlife research center. Its like having a 2,000 acre zone 5 but it costs 33% more per acre.

So the question for the other permies out there is: If you are shopping for land would you be willing to pay one third more to have the forest service as your neighbor? I'm intentionally leaving out exact prices because that is relative to your area and mid Missouri prices may seem high, or low, to you depending on land prices in your area and your frame of reference.

So whaduhyathink?
 
Matu Collins
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Is the national forest open for logging?

There are a zillion factors, so as usual in permaculture, "it depends" but in general if I could afford it I would pay the higher price for the forest bordered property. Having gmo cops and poison spray wafting in the windows is a real bummer. You can plant a buffer zone but that uses space and there are no guarantees about groundwater contamination.
 
allen lumley
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Tod McD. : It depends a lot on current use patterns in that Fed. lands! ! I would walk the common boundaries of the properties being watchful for 4-wheeler trails

and camping sites near water !

One Worst case scenario would be an extended family of hunters who travel a considerable distance to an Annual Camp-in who have never been challenged when

crossing your new property to get to their ''Home base''

After traveling long distances to once again establish residence on "Their Piece of heaven'' they will not take kindly to your declaration of ownership !

In some jurisdictions their prior use of and access to 'open range' will give them special rights, as will the existence of ''Fire lanes'' cut though your property !

And then there are such legal fictions as "Notorious Dwellings '' , and ''Hostile Takeovers ". All these can make for bad neighbors !


For the good of the Craft ! Big AL


 
Roberto pokachinni
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If the main reason that you are liking the area with the GMO neighbors is so that you have good deep soil, then I would not bother with it. If you have soil on the other site, then you will be alright building it into better soil, and not dealing with the GMO crowd. I would not get land in such a situation as to have to deal with the conventional industrial monocroppers as my next neighbors. I have a bit of that in my valley, but thankfully not right next door or surrounding me.

Go to the Forest Service office, or bug them on the phone, or online to see what the plans and procedures in that piece of forest is, and, perhaps more importantly in some ways, what resources you are allowed to use from it. You do not have to tell them what property you are considering buying, and it may be in your interest to not tell them. There could be plenty of wild food and medicinals in the forest that are readily available to you; not so at all in the other place.
 
chip sanft
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I think buying next to public land can be great, or a pain, or both.

My parents have a piece of land next to state forest in east central MN. Usually that just means you can walk in as far as you want without meeting a fence or worrying about going on someone's property. But when the state decided to permit some logging on that parcel, the loggers not only messed up the access road and left trash around (candy wrappers, cigarette packages, etc.), they also cut a few choice trees beyond the property line (i.e., from my parents' land). Whoops!

That was a one-time occurrence, though, over the course of decades. Maybe it balances out?
 
Todd McDonald
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Location: Mid-Missouri
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Thanks for the responses. Sounds like I need to get down to the local ranger station and figure out what goes on in this neck of the woods.

I believe this area of the forest is supposed to be closed to motorized vehicles, I know it is known for horse riding trails. It definitely receives hunting pressure being a large swath of public land located within 30 minutes of two cities. I'll check on the logging as well.

As far as the other property, it's more than just the deep soil. It lays very nice with the right mix of forest and pasture. There are also great pond sites high on the property which could facilitate micro hydro electricity. Of course some of those pond sites are in the catchment of the anhydrous ammonia covered corn field next door so potentially a problem there. It's also closer to some friends we have out that way.

There are a lot of factors at play here, every piece of property is unique, but the "survey" is trying to flush out who you would rather have as neighbors, Forest Service or farmers? There are positives and negatives to both. And if forest service is your preferred neighbor, how much more are you willing to pay to make that happen?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Todd McDonald wrote: Of course some of those pond sites are in the catchment of the anhydrous ammonia covered corn field next door so potentially a problem there.
That could be mitigated by constructed wetland of filtering plants.

Do you have satellite pics of both properties that we could look at?

A benefit of living next to conventional farmers is that if you develop your place as a thriving permaculture site you will have far more opportunity to change minds than you would have in a remote forest location.


 
John Wolfram
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Todd McDonald wrote:So the question for the other permies out there is: If you are shopping for land would you be willing to pay one third more to have the forest service as your neighbor? I'm intentionally leaving out exact prices because that is relative to your area and mid Missouri prices may seem high, or low, to you depending on land prices in your area and your frame of reference. So whaduhyathink?


Really this depends on your current financial situation. If you have a couple million in the bank and are trying to decide between a property that is $50,000 vs. $66,500, then the price difference is not that significant and I would go with the land near the forest service. However, if $50,000 is the absolute top of your price range and that extra $16,500 would set back your projects by several years, then I would probably go with the less expensive land even if it was surrounded by GMO crops.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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A benefit of living next to conventional farmers is that if you develop your place as a thriving permaculture site you will have far more opportunity to change minds than you would have in a remote forest location.


I agree, and meant to write something like that; thanks for posting that Tyler. If you are interested in spreading the word and the work of permaculture and making it a priority to invite and demonstrate methods that could not only save the earth but save them money, then it might be VERY worthwhile (including financially for you) to do so.

I guess I'm too much of a bush freak to really consider the GMO option as viable, but that's me. I'm not you. The forest is a gift of resources, where as the other is a source of problems and projects that you may not have the energy for, focus on, or resources in your toolbox to develop. Of course in permaculture the problem is the solution. But, that said, do you want to invite problems before you start?

33% is significant though...

Right now I am just short of halfway in paying off my property (depending on what I put next month, I'll probably be past halfway!-not bad for 3.5 years). I wish it was done, so I could quit this crappy job (that pays well), and retire to the project, but it isn't done yet. I tighten my belt and put as much cash into the mortgage as I can afford, and try to knock the interest off the premium.

If this land had been 33% more pricey, It would be challenging to take it. If I had this same mindset when I was 26, I wouldn't blink an eye, though. But at nearly 46, I have to consider how long I want to bust it out for the man.

...so there's that side of things to potentially weigh.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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It lays very nice with the right mix of forest and pasture. There are also great pond sites high on the property which could facilitate micro hydro electricity. Of course some of those pond sites are in the catchment of the anhydrous ammonia covered corn field next door so potentially a problem there. It's also closer to some friends we have out that way.


Friends are a huge asset, as is power generating potential.

As Tyler said, bio filtration via a wetland development can clean the water, and besides if you are planning to just use the water for hydro power then it is not as important that it be pristine. Of course I would personally want to tie that water system into the drinking system, into the greywater, into the swales, into the gardens, into the fruit trees...

Lots to consider here.
 
John Wolfram
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Tyler Ludens wrote:A benefit of living next to conventional farmers is that if you develop your place as a thriving permaculture site you will have far more opportunity to change minds than you would have in a remote forest location.

Another benefit of being right by the large GMO farms is that they often have lots of cool toys that are just sitting around most of the time. During their slow times they would probably be more than happy to use them on your property for very reasonable rates or in exchange for some labor during the hectic times of the year. In one afternoon with my neighbor's backhoe, a month's worth of manual digging for swales / hugelcultures can be done.
 
Tyler Ludens
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On the other hand, if you want to have more of a wilderness focus to your place, or even the possibility of income from hosting hunters or campers, the forest place might be the better option.

(Being a person of the trees myself, I would choose the forest)
 
Todd McDonald
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Location: Mid-Missouri
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Really this depends on your current financial situation. If you have a couple million in the bank and are trying to decide between a property that is $50,000 vs. $66,500, then the price difference is not that significant and I would go with the land near the forest service. However, if $50,000 is the absolute top of your price range and that extra $16,500 would set back your projects by several years, then I would probably go with the less expensive land even if it was surrounded by GMO crops.


For the sake of this argument, lets assume sales price is the same and within your budget for both parcels, $50,000 as in the above example. In one case your 50K gets you 30 acres next to a national forest and that parcel might take a little more work to permify. In the other case you get 40 acres prime soil right smack in the middle of corn fields. Is the extra land worth it?

What I am really trying to fish out here is where do other permie homesteader types place value. Is more budget friendly land the way to go or is there more value in having non-spraying neighbors and access to thousands of acres of public land. In other words would you be willing to pay a little more or have a little less space for assurance that clouds of toxic gick won't be wafting over your land and house? Having not personally lived in farm country I'm not entirely sure that the clouds of toxic gick are even that much of a problem, someone with more experience here could enlighten me.

I know where I personally stand, I'm taking the national forest. However the decision will affect more than just me so I am trying to find out what other people want and where they place value.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I had a list of things that were on my dream property. This property fell in my lap with almost all of them:

1.) South Facing slope (in the northern hemisphere). There is some calculation of degrees of slope basically equating to a certain amount of latitude gained toward the equator in relative heating.
2.) Enough cleared land so that i don't have to cut trees in order to build a home (trees fall on houses and shade a passive solar design) or to grow a garden (SUN!!! as much as possible).
3.) Gravity fed perennial water source.
4.) Forest enough for fire wood and building materials
5.) Hydro-electric potential on the water source.
6.) Wild lands on and adjacent to the property.
7.) Proximity to large conserved or protected areas
8.) Community minded people nearby.
9.) Markets for my veggies.
10.) Reasonable Price.

While the markets are a little weak and will need to be coaxed and developed and I have not determined if my little perennial creek is large enough to support power generation while still providing my upstream neighbor (who has primary water rights and who will let me put the system in with a guarantee) with drinking water, the rest of the list was covered. I bought it.

Some downsides of the situation: I can hear the highway from my place. (it is not a super busy highway, but it can be loud with snow tires or wet roads). Nearby, and often downwind, is a conventional dairy operation. The folks that run it are Mennonites and are rather nice folks in general, but I do not really appreciate their farming methods (pretty conventional including GMOs), their animal husbandry (little veal fattening calves on chains by dog house like structures), or the fact that they shoot wolves... and the stink of their barn cleaning and producing liquid manure stuff to spread on the fields is really nasty strong. But they do have large machines that could be helpful, and they can fix or build darn near anything, so there is a possible plus. They also cleared more land between me and the highway bringing the noise level up, another negative. There are worse neighbors to have in this world for sure, but they are not ideal in my world. But oh well. I try to just be friendly and make things happy between us, and they seem to do the same.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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What I am really trying to fish out here is where do other permie homesteader types place value. Is more budget friendly land the way to go or is there more value in having non-spraying neighbors and access to thousands of acres of public land. In other words would you be willing to pay a little more or have a little less space for assurance that clouds of toxic gick won't be wafting over your land and house?


So I would suggest making some big lists about what YOU value personally. Make another list of deal-breakers. Make a list of things that you can not do without. Compile a list of goals. Compile a list of your skills.

Can the land provide for your values, your goals, a space to practice all your skills, for the essentials that you find necessary, that does not include deal breakers...

Personally I place high value in purity. I live in one of the most pristine and untouched places that also has a degree of settlement, and infrastructure... it fits for me. I searched many years to feel like properly settling down.
 
Dillon Nichols
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I agree with Robert; make a list!

While I'd love everything on his list, highway noise and manure ponds are dealbreakers to me; I'd cross off the veggie markets, the cleared area, the gravity fed water/hydro-electric potential, and stretch my budget to the screaming point to avoid those...


As to the original question, I'd pass on the farmland property, and eval the forest bordered one in more detail; lots of good suggestions here for that.
 
John Polk
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Another thing to factor in:

Annual crops thrive in a bacterial soil, while perennials do best in fungal soils.
The State forest, and surrounding land should be nice and fungal.

 
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