What Does Stream Restoration Mean For My Land?

Bear Creek WillowsYou are most likely reading this section of our website because a stream, wetland or buffer on your property has been identified as a restoration and protection candidate. Restoration Systems would like to give you a clear explanation of the restoration and mitigation process to ensure that you, as the landowner, are comfortable with Restoration Systems and the work that we do.

Our restoration work returns proper ecological and landscape functions to stream and wetland ecosystems. In practice, this process can be quite simple: Filling ditches and canals to restore drained areas that were once wetlands, breeching levees that “control” natural floods, and recontouring and stabilizing streams that have been channelized or degraded by farming. All of these are common mitigation activities. However, unlike most current farm incentive programs and best management practices, Restoration Systems compensates with payment on a per-acre basis which is likely to exceed the appraised value of the land. By allowing RS to do good for the environment, each landowner is compensated for the restoration and permanent protection of the mitigation area with a conservation easement, or fee-simple purchase.

The Seven-Step Mitigation Process

  • Step 1

    Allow Restoration Systems to evaluate your land for mitigation by granting access. Restoration Systems’ team of experienced scientists will examine the property in careful detail, making sure it is a good candidate for restoration that will meet or exceed our mitigation obligation, while allowing the remainder of the property to be used in the same manner that it was before.

  • Step 2

    Restoration Systems will take interested landowners on a tour of successfully completed sites, providing a walk-through explanation of the process, in addition to providing conceptual designs of what is expected of a successful, mature restoration and mitigation site.

  • Step 3

    If Restoration Systems believes that the land has marketable mitigation potential, we will provide a standard restoration and protection contract. We ask that the landowner carefully review the contract with family and other owners of the property to understand exactly what the legal responsibilities are regarding the property if it is restored and protected for mitigation.

  • Step 4

    If Restoration Systems is able to secure a buyer, we perform a detailed title search and assure that the land is in no way encumbered in a manner that conflicts with permanent protection. If satisfied with the legal status of the property, we close on the contract and assume responsibility for the easement, or fee-simple title to the land.

  • Step 5

    Restoration Systems’ scientists and contractors plan and design the restoration project to meet the unique conditions of the property. Several hundred hours are spent in the field and office engineering the restoration so that it will be sustainable, beneficial and compatible with existing uses.

  • Step 6

    Restoration Systems plants the area with appropriate vegetation, often more than 1,000 trees per acre, which are protected by the easement placed on the land.

  • Step 7

    Restoration Systems will monitor and maintain the restoration over a minimum five-year period. The landowner is responsible for protecting the boundaries of the easement over the long term.

Summary of the Benefits of a Typical Restoration Project

For the Landowner

    • No out-of-pocket costs
    • Compensation on a per-acre basis for working with RS
    • Improved fencing and cattle crossings
    • Addition of livestock watering devices as needed
    • Decreased risk of disease or injury to livestock caused by eroded streams
    • Improved property values
    • Buffers provide excellent protection from future development
    • Own your own wildlife sanctuary

For the Environment

    • Improved water quality in your immediate area
    • Improved wildlife habitat
    • Stream bank stabilization
    • Erosion problems solved
    • Flood attenuation
    • Livestock waste eliminated from the watershed
    • Herbicide and pesticide runoff eliminated from the watershed
    • Opportunities for recreation, education and research

Landowner Satisfaction

Landowner satisfaction is just as important to Restoration Systems as restoring the wetland and stream itself. Our reputation is our most valuable asset and we aim to please. Our goal is to provide each landowner with a beautiful and ecologically valuable natural area, as well as a fair and reasonable price for the real estate.

If Restoration Systems has already been in touch with you regarding your property, please consider our offer carefully and contact our office with any questions you may have regarding the process. Please be sure to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for an overview of what we do.