Negotiation of Easement Provisions Can Be Vital to the Success of Your Ranching Operations
For most ranchers facing a condemnation/eminent domain action, the proactive negotiation of easement provisions is essential to the continued success of your cattle operation. The taking of land for an oil and gas pipeline, a high voltage power line, a water line or a roadway can negatively impact your improved pastures, hay meadows, cattle rotations, facilities, and overall cattle operations.
It’s vital that you have specific easement provisions that require the condemnor (the company building on the easement) to restore the land to its original condition. There should be detailed provisions concerning actions such as leveling your land, discing your land, re-leveling after settling, replanting of grasses (variety specific) and detailed fence specifications. This detail in negotiating easement provisions improves the likelihood of acceptable restoration after construction of the easement to make it possible for you to return to ranching operations as quickly as possible.
The early negotiation of easement provisions with the help of an experienced attorney may relocate a pipeline/power line to a less intrusive or productive area of the your property. A badly-placed line through the middle of an improved pasture will adversely affect your grazing use, drainage, and overall pasture quality to impair your operations permanently.
However, a slight route adjustment along a non-productive field or fence line, rescheduling construction during a less disruptive season or a pasture rotation could minimize the impact of the easement during construction and afterward.
If you’re a Texas rancher or a landowner leasing land for ranching or farming, you need the advice of an experienced attorney when you’re negotiating the easement provisions associated with condemnation proceedings. Don’t make mistakes you’ll regret by letting the company condemning your land dictate the easement provisions.