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Why does DNR want to buy my land?
As part of the Healthy Rivers INitiative, DNR will work to acquire land in the project areas from willing sellers, building upon the recent excitement regarding the Wabashiki Fish & Wildlife Area and Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area. Purchasing land along the river corridor will afford the public much better access to the River and critical habitat corridors for several different kinds of animals that become isolated in small populations due to habitat fragmentation. The goal is to eventually create a continual forested corridor along the rivers with periodic public ownership where people can fish, hunt, bird watch and participate in all types of outdoor recreational activities.
DNR is interested in land that is already restored or retired from farming or that provides excellent public access to the river. However, we recognize that each circumstance is different and are willing to discuss a whole host of options that will work best for both the landowner and the DNR.
When a landowner is interested in selling land, DNR will ask that they fill out a non-binding letter of intent and provide a few documents that will help determine the direction including maps and a deed. DNR will not be interested in all land. The priority is to add to existing parcels already acquired and to provide strategic public access to the river. Once the landowner returns the documentation to DNR, we will determine if the land is a priority, is eligible for the flat rate per acre that DNR is currently paying or if an appraisal will be needed. If the land is eligible for the flat rate per acre, DNR will order title work and prepare an offer to purchase and associated documents. If an appraisal is needed, DNR will order and pay for the appraisal to determine the purchase price. Once we make an offer and the landowner agrees with the price, the landowner will sign several documents so that DNR may get approval and counter-signatures in anticipation of closing. The entire process will take about 4 months to complete.
For More Information
Landowners that are interested in selling their land to DNR can contact the Division of Land Acquisition at 317-232-4050 or e-mail Nick Heinzelman at firstname.lastname@example.org.