PR – Recreational Leases As Means To Increase Landowner Income And Enhance Biodiversity: Observations From Illinois, USA
Recreational leases for hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching provide a means by which landowners can supplement their income from land ownership. The income from recreational use is likely to provide incentives to conserve and manage land characteristics that enhance wildlife habitat hence biodiversity. Illinois professional farm managers were surveyed regarding recreational leases held by their clients. Information was collected on the extent of recreational leases or lack of, lease rates, recreational uses, types of wildlife, land management practices, and property characteristics. Results indicated that 38% of managers had recreational leases on about 6% of their managed properties. Average lease rates ranged from $9 to $38 per hectare depending upon the quality of the recreational property. Landowners on 55% of the properties adopted land management practices to enhance wildlife habitat. Results of a hedonic lease rate model indicated adoption of those land management practices positively affected lease rates.
Keywords: recreational lease, lease terms, land management, hedonic model.