Wetlands....opinions please

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by nana-san, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. nana-san

    nana-san Well-Known Member

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    We are interesting in buying acreage in the Adirondacks. The property has over 1600 ft of river frontage on one side and creek frontage on another side. (27 acres total)

    What would you say are the advantages/disadvantage to buying acreage with wetlands? We would have to build 100 ft from any wetland area. The property has two elevated building sites and plenty of wooded areas.

    We had some family check the place out for us but they are city folk. They told us the land was "wet". (of course it was, it rained for two weeks) and they complained about brambles. They are used to walking on concrete.

    Anyway, we would like the opinions of more seasoned homesteaders.

    Thanks in advanced.
    .
     
  2. Beaners

    Beaners Incubator Addict

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    The Adirondacks themselves are gorgeous. Downsides that come to mind are the obvious-you can't do as much with "wet" land. Upside may be price, unless the frontage makes it more attractive.

    I don't know where you may have lived before, but I can verify that the Adirondacks are a cold region. As in it gets cold early and stays cold later. Last I was around there it wasn't overly populated year-round, but there were summer people. That may effect your lifestyle during winter months, unless you've already taken that into consideration.

    So what else do you know about the area this particular land is in? You probably have already researched it, but that is what I would focus on before the wetlands issue.

    Kayleigh
     

  3. Pink_Carnation

    Pink_Carnation Well-Known Member

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    Look into all the rules there about wetlands and the limitations. Some places won't even let people walk on them legally.
     
  4. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Make sure the river and creek aren't polluted. Make sure they don't flood during extream weather. Remember that mosquitos and other bugs lay eggs and hatch in water. Go see it and camp on it for several days.
     
  5. nana-san

    nana-san Well-Known Member

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    Beaners,

    The land is 14 miles outside of a univeristy town. It also borders state land(forest). The property is 30 miles from the Montreal border. We are from NY but not from upstate. We currently live in
    Northern Japan where the climate is comparable to the Adirondacks. We average 158 inches of snow last winter. The area is what we have been looking to set up a home. There is enough timber on the land to harvest towards our home plus firewood and sell if we wanted. There is also electricitiy but no well or septic.
     
  6. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    Frozen wetlands make for fascinating walks and hikes.

    As well, wetlands and flood zones due to lower land value are the focus of land trusts and state wildlife agencies for expansion of conservation land public holdings.
     
  7. nana-san

    nana-san Well-Known Member

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    River and creek have good flowing bubbly water no pollution but we didn't give any thoughts to the mosquitoes. Thanks for bringing that up.

    It is not listed as a flood area on the survey. The building site is not on the river but several hundred feet away.
     
  8. nana-san

    nana-san Well-Known Member

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    PC, I will contact the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation and the US army Corp of Engineers today.
     
  9. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    You need to check this out in person, and talk to people in the area about the flood history of this land. If it is "wet" after a rain, it may be underwater after the snowmelt floods the creek and river. Yourelevated patch may become an island reachable by boat, only, and the dog and livestock will be very unhappy.
     
  10. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Be careful you may not be able to put a septic on the land. Have it checked before you purchase.
     
  11. Ole Man Legrand

    Ole Man Legrand Well-Known Member

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    Blufford had a gread Idea Camp on it several days.
     
  12. nana-san

    nana-san Well-Known Member

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    Camping is a great idea, unfortunately we are stationed in Japan and won't be back stateside until the summer. That is why we had family go and check out the area for us. The thing is that our famliy told us the same exact thing that the seller's agent told us. no surprises there. Septic is approved as well as building, no probs.

    The "wetland" is the river and creek frontage. The land was wet because of the rain that has been ongoing in the area for the last two weeks and not because of drainage problems.

    We would want to preserve the area for the birds and wildlife, which is another reason why no building, dredging, filling within 100 ft.
     
  13. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good points raised. Pay special attention to septic. Without that, you can't build, period.

    When we had our plot surveyed they specifically stated that the land was NOT in the 100-year flood plain. Makes a big difference, not only to you, but to your insurance.

    I will say this: I'm glad that there are people who want to live so far north! More room for me where the weather is decent. :)

    Even in Chattanooga there are twice as many heating degree days as cooling degree days. I have lived at upstate NY latitude, and enjoyed it, but that was in Hessen, Germany, and the weather was milder by FAR than upstate NY. Occasional snow, not months of it on the ground!
     
  14. RLMS

    RLMS Well-Known Member

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    Wetlands are their own world.

    In the grand scheme of things the Army Corps of Engineers controls them.

    No matter what state they are in.

    By law they are "Waters of the United States".

    But reality is they become objects of selective enforcement.

    Most of the time nobody bothers you no matter what you do, just keep in mind that "they" can.

    But doing the "right thing" is always the best way.
     
  15. mwhit

    mwhit Well-Known Member

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    I live in the foothills of the Adirondacks and I may be prejudiced, but I think that land here is some of the most beautiful you will find :) One plus I see is the fact that you border some stateland, which is never going to be developed so you will not have to worry about a housing development or shopping center being put in. Of course proximity to a protected river and stateland may involve more regulations/permits before you are allowed to build (which river is it?) I own shoreline on the Oswegatchie and it does add to the permit process, but I assume that since this property is being sold as a building lot you should have no problems as long as you are able to keep your building and septic system at least 100 feet from the river (some rivers may have different regulations). As far as being deserted in the winter... There may be many summer people, but the winter sports prevalent in the area do draw in quite a large number of people, especially near the larger towns-- university towns tend to be busy year round as well.

    I feel that it would be a wise investment-- Adirondack land is always increasing in value-- there is only a certain amount of it that can/will be developed because much of it is protected stateland. As far as pollution-- it is probably one of the least polluted areas in NYS :) .


    Here is a link to some info. from the Adirondack Park Agency:

    http://www.apa.state.ny.us/Regulations/index.html
     
  16. mwhit

    mwhit Well-Known Member

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    THe Adirondack Park Agency (APA), regulates all wetland activity/development in the Adirondacks. The Army Corp of Engineers may have concurrent jurisdiction, but generally you will deal with the APA. They take this seriously here, but the regulations are pretty reasonable for someone that plans to maintain the wetland (not drain or fill it).

    http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/habitat/fwwprog4.htm
     
  17. nana-san

    nana-san Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the links. We too think it would be a wise investment. We are excited even though family tried to bum us out. They didn't have anything positive to say when they saw the land. Too wooded, too many brambles, too isolated, no civilization around. Their words not ours. I don't think they have ever been on raw land. :rolleyes:
    I just called the DEC and the property is not regulated wetlands but part of the creek is federally regulated meaning we would need apermit of we wanted to fill. I was also infirmed that just because the land is on a river and creek doesn't make it wetlands.

    Thanks everyone for the information and suggestions.
     
  18. jross

    jross swamper

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    I think there is more abundance of wildlife in wetlands than anywhere else in the wild. Legalities aside, you should build your life around the wetlands, not attempt to change it to what you think it should be. If you hunt deer, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you will see in the thick places.
     
  19. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Aside from what was said about regarding any of your private land use restrictions, wetlands attract lots of wildlife also. That includes both good and potentially bad. If you want to raise some domestic animals, like poultry in my area the wetlands have mink which are 'bad' for your domestic poultry flock if they get into them.
    On the upside about the esthetic value you'd want from attracting wildlife and provide waterfowl habitat, wetlands are interesting for that aspect. My property includes a portion of wetland and beaver ponds between pasture on one side and mature woodlot/timber on the other side. Adjacent to that is government wildlands. I chose this area for that attractive quality the wetland brings for both my foraging and wildlife (sometimes worth harvesting like deer in the wetland meadows) lifestyle, as well as having dry land atop the hill for the dwelling and pens for animals, pasture below.
    From the description you've presented having a high building site, with woodlands also, it seems like an interesting property to have if you are not going to be into pasturing animals or crop production.
     
  20. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    My father owned 5 acres, two of which were designated wet lands. This was not in NY. He could not augment the property in any way. He was not allowed to mow it even. It was his land, but... not really. I second everybody's notion of BEING SURE you know what the rules are!

    Cindyc.

    Edited to add: I forgot to mention that he owned the land BEFORE the new wetlands rules passed. He bought the land and they changed the rules about what he could do with it less than a year AFTER purchase. Because wetlands serve an environmental purpose, by helping to clean the water, if they don't have rules about their use now, that could change in the future, and you would be stuck with land you can't use for any pupose. If you want recreational land only, it probably doesn't matter.