Question I get over and over is how many years should I write my wildlife management plan for?
On the surface more years seems like less work and the route to go for long time landowners. But is this the case? Several factors should come into play before you make this decision.
One important thing to keep in mind is that plans can be amended at any time, but it is left up to you, as the landowner, to make the required changes and resubmit, should your plans deviate from the original obligation.
Here are some factors to consider when determining the length, you want to commit to:
Length of Land Ownership
New owners, myself included, always think we have the grand plan figured out soon after we close on the ranch. I’m here to tell you IT WILL CHANGE…many times, in fact. Design a 1-year plan initially, that doesn’t include major projects. Think simple and cost effective. No committing to erosion projects or major canopy thinning.
Intent of Use
If you have a clear intent for the ranch, such as deer hunting and possible leasing, you may lean towards a two or even three-year plan to hold some accountability for yourself to see it through. Herd changes take a few years and changing plans year to year won’t allow you to judge the outcome of your management plan.
Method of Management
If age or money becomes a factor in implementing your plan, I would simply advise a 3-year plan focused on the best value and possibly ease of implementation. There are some low frills management practices out there anyone can elect, and these will certainly lower the financial and physical burden. Think ant control or deferred mowing as options.
As always, you can contact LSRM for any wildlife management plan questions. We offer many services around wildlife plans and can help you navigate the requirements so that it doesn’t become a burden for you or your ranch. Contact Ryan at 979.253.9662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.