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3 Ways to Generate Revenue from Your Land

beginners forestry income leases management Sep 11, 2022

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you know I preach that money, income, revenue, whatever you want to call it … is crucial for the sustainability for your forest! 

Everyone knows of the more traditional ways to generate money from your land: timber sales. 

But there are so many other opportunities to generate money from your land!

We’re going to be discussing 3 here.

The first: hunting leases. 

I know, I know… “we already know about these.” This may not be the most lucrative revenue stream; however, it is often reliable and typically covers at least the cost of the property taxes (those pesky cost obligations you are tied to for the rest of your lives.) You can pursue this through three means: individual leases, clubs, and hunting apps/platforms. Each has their pros and cons and depending on your acreage one may be better suited for you than others. But no matter which approach you take, adding a hunting lease to your property can take off the burden of annual cost coming from your personal finances. And no matter which approach you decide to take (individual, clubs, or platform sourcing), be sure you have a contract in place and a form of liability insurance. 

The second: carbon markets.    

Yes, again… I know, I know…. “These are all we are hearing about lately!” But that doesn’t mean it’s not a real and suitable option for some. There are a lot of new and upcoming programs, which all have their own requirements, restrictions and opportunities. These aren’t going to be a good fit for everyone, and the consistency of income, as well as amount, is so variable it is difficult to estimate amounts in a simple blog article. All I can say is it seems like it is a good opportunity for landowners to recognize financial benefits for many practices they were already doing: growing trees. Want to know more about carbon markets? I recommend looking into non-biased sources to compare all the apples-to-apples and find the best fit for you and your situation. The most commonly discussed programs in the Southeast are NCX, Finite Carbon, American Forest Foundation’s Family Forest Carbon, and yes seemingly more and more every day.

Before deciding to pursue one route, again be sure to understand the options. Because at the time of this blog article it seems enrollment into one program eliminates possibility of enrollment into another (if you decide another program might be a better fit for longevity or if you decide against long-term commitment.) The Next Woman Landowner Symposium: Empowered Ownership, to be held February 23-24 will actually be hosting a carbon market panel with representatives from 3-4 organizations and providing the space to compare and contrast current opportunities! So if you're interested in hearing from the representatives themselves in a neutral environment, be sure to grab your seat here.

The third: special events. 

Leasing your property for special events such as weddings, family reunions, or photoshoots can be an opportunity to receive occasional or periodic revenue. This is more subjective based on what characteristics your land has, any structures which would support events, scenic views, and of course… location. However, if you have structures which would support a variety of special occasions, and don’t mind perhaps a little clean-up prep work, you could receive a decent amount of money for a short time frame of commitment. And the beauty of this set up too? You get to choose the rules! Don’t want parties over 125? Set yourself up for “small-medium” sized gatherings. Have an incredible scenic view (mountain side, river, boardwalk in a cypress swamp), but no structures or power opportunities, perhaps you just host intimate wedding ceremonies and photoshoots but not the reception. Have a large pole barn, metal barndominium or lodge, then you may be able to host wedding + receptions, rotary club meetings, social dances, or family retreats! Or perhaps you’re set up for more “primitive camping” style where families can bring in their own tents (or upgrade to even an RV camp set up) for the weekend (especially if you’re not near a state/national park). There may be some initial marketing work to showcase your options, but after a few events you can either continue to build your client base with word of mouth or decide to stay small and host just the occasional event. 

There are a multitude of other ways to generate revenue from your land too...from allowing cell companies to build a cell tower, allowing billboards for advertising, forest foraging for mushroom and other edible plants, sand/dirt pits, wildflower gathering, bird watching, horseback riding, etc. 

So don’t be afraid to get creative…

if you have large acreage near urban/suburban areas you likely have more unique opportunities you can pursue. But I say this: just because it hasn’t been done, or isn’t common…. Doesn’t mean it can’t be done. 

I would love to hear from you! How do you generate money on your land? 


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