I recently came into the position of acquiring my neighbor's NRCS property, which was the flood buyout of 2008 for some people. Since they no longer are in the State, they found the FNSB is not interested in managing stranded properties such as these. Per the Feds, this land cannot be developed, as it is now a conservation easement as open space.
Rodney Everett was the NRCS Real Estate and Easement Specialist for the 2008 flood buyouts; he has since retired, and the program is now managed by Karen Dearlove in Kenai (contact info follows).
I had sent Ms. Dearlove a draft of a quit claim deed, with an NRCS restrictive statement,which she tweaked up and returned. An easement also had to be written for the neighbors' posterity, so they had proof of easement in the future. We both agreed that it would also be best to place a restrictive condition in the easement documentation as well, Both examples also follow.
To merge this property with an adjacent property would be in violation of the NRCS conditions in the deed you hold from them, whether the property owner would attempt a merger, or if the Assessor's Office would try to sneak an umbrella merger on you. ON THIS- I have found a couple properties where the Assessor's Office has done this. They will CHANGE the size of your property, CHARGE you accordingly, and they WILL NOT SEND YOU A CORRECTIVE DEED. Be DILIGENT about the information on your property PANs, folks!
Besides, why should you pay the full property tax rate on something you can't even put a garden on, when it's a nice little buffer property?
You are encouraged to share this with other affected property owners for the purpose of estate management on their part. Any other questions should be directed to the USDA-NRCS specialist, so you have the most current information to work with.
Keep yer powder dry! Info follows.
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Point of contact with questions:
Realty and Easement Specialist
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
karen.dearlove (at) ak.usda.gov
She also has the green NRCS conservation boundary signs if you need more.
Sample Restriction for Deeds:
The grantees shall be liable for compliance with the terms set forth in the Emergency Watersheds Protection Program Floodplain Warranty Easement Deed (reference your instrument and its date)recorded in the Fairbanks Recording District by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. These restrictions and conditions shall go with the land in perpetuity.
This is a sample of conditional restriction for an easement within the conservation easement property:
The described easement will be maintained in accordance with the Emergency Watersheds Protection Program Floodplain Warranty Easement Deed (refer your instrument and its date), recorded in the Fairbanks Recording District by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The easement is to be maintained only as a (gravel) road within the Servient Estate. Tree and brush removal will be restricted to the purpose of road maintenance, utility maintenance, and safety to life and property.
This easement, restrictions, and conditions shall run iwth the land insofar as the Servient Estate and each of the Dominant Estates are concerned.
This information is for reference only; consult your legal advisor for review and/or modification.
Hope this helps a few folks out there.