The majestic Diamond B River Ranch resides in the center of the Paradise Valley of the Northern Rockies, arguably the most scenic valley in Montana and noted for its abundant wildlife and fishing opportunities.
With beautiful views of the 10,921-foot Emigrant Peak towering above the landscape, significant Yellowstone River frontage and riparian areas, flowing spring waters, and close proximity to Yellowstone Park, Bozeman, and Livingston, the Diamond B has many assets that make it more valuable than most cattle operations could imagine.
“Standing on the bluff on the Diamond B property with views up and down the Yellowstone River and jagged peaks all around takes your breath away,” observes Greg Fay, of Fay Ranches, the listing brokerage. “With fine dining at Chico Hot Springs just 5 minutes from the ranch and Yellowstone Park just 20 minutes south, it’s tough to beat the location. It is not often that a ranch of this quality and size comes on the market in the Paradise Valley. This one is priced at an excellent value.”
The ranch, which includes 1± miles of Yellowstone River frontage, currently runs Angus cattle as well as bison and longhorn. It consists of 2031± deeded acres of spring dry land pasture, pivot, wheel and hand line irrigated hay and grass. The 550± acres of irrigated ground can produce 1,200 to 1,500 tons of hay per year with two cuttings. About 200± acres make up the riverfront riparian area where the ranch manager’s home, barns, corrals, two ponds, and springs are located.
Listing price currently is $12,500,000. For more information about this property, visit www.FayRanches.com.
Land Report Auctions is open for business.
“We wanted to develop a targeted, one-stop-shop website dedicated to land auctions for our Land Report readers. We have established ourselves as the voice of an asset class, and it’s our goal to have all of our products — from our print magazine to our electronic newsletter — to be a direct benefit to those who follow The Land Report,” says Publisher Eddie Lee Rider.
The decision to develop Land Report Auctions was based on the growing popularity of acquiring land at auction. “The land auction business is doing great. More and more people are coming to auction,” says William Bone, president of National Auction Group in a recent issue of the Magazine of the American Landowner.
“The market for land is very liquid,” Bone adds. He credits this surge to investors who have withdrawn funds from shaky equity markets and are restructuring their portfolios to include land.
“The optimism is back in the market, especially for higher-quality land,” Rex Schrader of Schrader Auctions says.
Soft-launched in August, Land Report Auctions is now live and presently undergoing beta testing by many auction companies. The Land Report will be heavily promoting the new dedicated land auction site via its award-winning print publication, at LandReport.com, in the magazine’s monthly e-newsletter, at consumer and industry trade shows, and through targeted email-blast campaigns and with traditional SEO efforts.
Oregon’s Williamson River, one of the finest wild trout rivers in the Lower 48, winds through two and a half miles of the Lonesome Duck Ranch and Resort, and over the next decade, the steelhead and salmon may be equally prolific. The majestic river, along with mountains views, rocky cliffs, blue skies, and green pastures adjacent to 100,000 acres of national forest, combine to make the Lonesome Duck the Land Report’s property showcase of the month.
Hunting opportunities abound. “The Klamath basin is directly in the Pacific flyway and is the nesting area for all the migratory waterfowl,” says owner Steve Hilbert. “So it’s huge for ducks and geese. Other native species include elk, deer, and any other critter that you can hunt with a license.”
Or you may just want to sit back and enjoy the wide spectrum of wildlife from your river front patio. “It’s an outdoor extravaganza,” say Hilbert, who purchased the Chiloquin property 15 years ago and built numerous improvements from scratch. “Anything and everything you’d want to do related to outdoor activities is there.”
All five houses are included on the 195-acre tract, which is priced in its entirety at $4.115 million. Hilbert is also marketing the ranch as three separate parcels. The north property, at 98.71 acres, includes 1.25 miles of river frontage, three 1,500-square-foot log homes, plus an 800-square-foot ranch cottage, for $1.6 million. The middle acreage totals 66.41 acres with .75 miles of river frontage, a 4,500-square-foot main residence plus irrigation, a barn, riding arena, and multiple fenced pastures, for $2.25 million. The 30.5-acre south property features .5 miles of river frontage for $265,000.
Better yet, book one of the beautiful two-story log cabins and take a tour of the property firsthand.
41.92± acres in Virginia’s Loudoun County will be auctioned on July 21 at 1:00 p.m. Loudon County is one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S. The home of Dulles International Airport, it is located approximately 25 miles from the nation’s capital. The property is located in the Lansdowne development and is zoned Planned Development Active Adult Age Restricted (PDAAAR). The property is being sold as the result of partnership dissolution of the developers of Leisure World of Virginia, which had received approval from Loudoun County for low-rise and high-rise structures for 2,278 units. To date, 1,113 units have been completed, which leaves 1,165 units remaining to be built on the two undeveloped parcels.
Auction Type: Absolute
Auction Date: Wednesday, July 21
Auction Time: 1:00 p.m.
19400 Leisure World Blvd., Landsdowne, VA
44219 Slatestone Ct., Leesburg, VA.
For more information, call Tranzon Fox at (888) 621-2110 or visit www.tranzon.com.
Andy Smyth is a straight-speaking man, runs a great brokerage business in Idaho, and has become a good partner with The Land Report. Andy recently told me that after experiencing a downward period in the land market the likes of which he’s never seen before, he is finally seeing signs of things turning around for land deals in his neck of the woods.
We asked Andy if he would mind us picking his brain a little bit, and he obliged.
Land Report: What got you into the land business, and how long have you been at it?
Andy Smyth: I was born into it. My great-grandfather Smyth sold his farmland near North Platte, Nebraska and moved to the Boise Valley in 1905. He, my grandfather, my father, and I farmed in this valley from then until the spring of 2008, when I retired from active farming after 34 years. My endeavor in real estate marketing began about 12 years ago as a diversification to my farming business. It seemed a natural outgrowth to my many years of involvement in various agricultural organizations and community service organizations throughout the state of Idaho.
Land Report: What’s are the biggest changes you have seen in your 12 years of marketing property?
Andy Smyth: The first was the run-up in land values beginning in the mid-‘90s that lasted until about the first half of 2008. The second was the decline in activity from then until very recently. During the first period I referred to, it was fairly easy to move land parcels. Since the end of ’08 and beginning of ‘09, it has become very difficult to move large parcels. It now requires a high level of persistence and focused advertising to attract interested buyers with the ability to “write the check.”
Land Report: You mentioned to me the other day that the market seems to be on the up-tick in your area. What are you experiencing?
Andy Smyth: In the last month, mid August until today, I have received more inquiries than I received since the first of the year. I have had several investor groups contact me with inquiries about large parcels. I have had numerous individuals inquire about agricultural properties for investment and primary use purposes. I have had two ranch showings in the last 10 days and another scheduled for the end of this week. I have had four inquiries in the last 24 hours. I have not closed a deal as a result of this activity, but if this rate of inquiry continues, there is bound to be a resulting close coming. I am confident.
Land Report: Tell us about some of your top current listings.
Andy Smyth: I have a number of ranch/recreational/investment quality properties available.
- A 6,080 deeded acre parcel within 1.5 hours of Boise is an exceptional property offering outstanding hunting of all types. It contains 700 acres BLM permanent lease acres adjacent. It is one contiguous parcel in a private setting. Year-round stream, 300-acre reservoir within 1/4 mile of boundary. No buildings.
- A 1,700 deeded acre parcel, offering adjacent permanent lease land access to an additional 5,600 acres. This is a beautiful parcel offering timber at higher elevations and year-round streams. Home, shop, etc.
– 2,646 deeded acres. 1,640 acres BLM permanent lease adjacent. 2 mile by 2.5 mile parcel running to the top of an 8,748 foot peak. Great hunting, access. Irrigation well. Home, shop, etc.
Pictures, more information on these parcels, other available properties at www.smythfarms.com
Land Report: What do you consider your unique strengths as a listing broker?
Andy Smyth: My many years as an active, full-time farmer myself, allows me to fully understand the elements involved in selling the family farm or ranch. I am able to empathize in a way that some brokers can’t. My priority as the listing agent is to protect the interests of the party selling their ranch or farm. I spend the money required to advertise in a way that many brokers do not. Representing the type of property that I do, requires a willingness to advertise in venues where the folks who have an interest in this type of property and who can “write the check” may be found. Not all brokers do this.
That’s why I advertise in The Land Report. It’s an invaluable tool in securing new listings. It is an impressive, high quality publication. When a potential listing client sees my ads in recent issues of The Land Report, it is obvious to them that my commitment to represent their property in a serious way is beyond question.
Land Report: From the buying side, what does your brokerage offer newcomers to your markets?
Andy Smyth: I come from a world where a person’s word is their bond. My role, as someone helping a potential customer select a property, is to provide honest, straightforward information. My responsibility is to provide correct, unbiased answers to their questions so they can make an informed decision regarding what is in their best interests. I take my role and responsibilities very seriously.
My long history in the circles of the ranch and farm community can be very helpful. There are often properties which may be for sale that are not listed or being actively marketed. I also offer financing sources for folks who may not be able or want to write a check for the full amount at closing, but who may have the ability to secure financing for this type of property.
VeraSun Energy will auction approximately 1,600 acres of Illinois farmland on Sept. 10 with Schrader and Westchester auction companies managing the sale.
The land, located in Montgomery, Madison, and Vermilion counties, consists primarily of high-quality tillable farmland, including some located in areas that offer potential for industrial and commercial development.
The sale is being conducted as part of VeraSun’s efforts to maximize the return for its creditors as part of its Chapter 11 reorganization. The company had acquired the land over the years in support of its ethanol-related businesses.
“Because of the stability of farmland prices relative to prices of other assets in recent months, owners have been reluctant to sell their land. As a result, there have been fewer opportunities to obtain high-quality tillable land. By selling it in tracts, we will enable smaller bidders to participate on an equal footing with larger ones. In fact, 15 of the 25 tracts are 50 acres or less, and no tract is larger than 250 acres,” said Rex Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate & Auction Company.
Properties to be sold include:
- Approximately 487 acres in Litchfield, in Montgomery County. The property, which is primarily tillable farmland, will sell in 11 tracts ranging from approximately two acres to approximately 83 acres. It is primarily tillable farmland.
- Approximately 380 acres in Granite City, selling in eight tracts ranging from approximately 1.2 acres to approximately 230 acres. The tracts, located two miles from I-270, include two homes and have rail access. The tracts include land near a new Lowe’s and Wal-Mart.
- Approximately 733 acres in Danville, selling in six tracts ranging from approximately 35 acres to approximately 250 acres.
The auctions will be held in two sessions. At 9 a.m., the Montgomery and Madison county properties will be sold at Staunton Knights of Columbus Hall in Staunton, Ill. The Vermilion County land will be sold at 6 p.m. at Beef House restaurant near Covington, Ind.
Individuals seeking additional information can visit www.schraderauction.com or call 800-451-2709.
Duke Energy has become the lead investor in GreenTrees, a privately managed forest restoration program created and managed by C2I for landowners in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley: Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
This enormous valley once held 24.7 million acres of forest and emergent wetlands. Today more than 18 million acres – or 80 percent – has been cleared, resulting in the loss of critical natural habitat.
The program is expected to generate high-quality, verifiable carbon offsets that Duke believes will help reduce the overall cost of compliance with federal climate change legislation. Duke’s initial investment will result in the planting of more than 1 million trees on approximately 1,700 acres in Arkansas.
GreenTrees is designed to create, enhance, and sustain conservation and wildlife benefits from afforestation. GreenTrees provides landowners the most economic and environmental value for each acre of trees planted. The program utilizes a specific inter-planting of 302 cottonwoods plus 302 mixed hardwoods per acre. The specific design of 302/302 delivers more conservation value, more carbon, and better sustainable hardwood revenues than a previous design of 302 cottonwood and 151 hardwoods.
In exchange for the landowners’ long-term lease to prevent reversibility, GreenTrees offers a variety of short and long-term income opportunities. Landowners can simultaneously enroll the same qualified acres into GreenTrees, CRP, and other conservation practices, thus receiving multiple financial incentives and incomes together.
GreenTrees was founded by Izaak Walton League of America board member Carey Crane and Texaco Chevron Conservation Award recipient Chandler Van Voorhis. Both men have received great inspiration from Crane’s mother, Maggie Bryant. Bryant is a past-two term Chairperson of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and retired from her board position in 2001. She has been awarded the prestigious Chevron Conservation Award as well as the Governor’s Award for Conservation in Mississippi, and she continues to be active in conservation measures around the world.
Landowners are enthusiastic about GreenTrees. Arkansas landowner Brandon Stafford is a recent enrollee. Stafford found himself with 210 acres of un-irrigated farmland that he had to do something with. He enrolled it in CRP and GreenTrees. After the initial planting and subsequent sprayings Brandon says, “It’s amazing what the trees are doing.” The CRP and GreenTrees programs work in concert for him. Currently over 2,500 acres from 20 landowners are enrolled in the program.
To learn more about GreenTrees, visit their website: www.green-trees.com.
Peter Holter and the fine folks at Holistic Management International (HMI) are valuable partners of The Land Report. We believe in their mission, and once you learn more about them we think you will be supportive as well.
HMI is a non-profit based in Albuquerque that dates back to 1984. Its goal is to restore damaged grasslands while positively impacting land health and productivity. HMI has done this with public land, communal lands, and on private property not just in the U.S. but around the world.
Recently, while on a call with Peter, he told me about an HMI client in West Texas. In 1999, Chris and Laura Gill and their family bought the Circle Ranch in Hudspeth County. They considered the 32,000-acre, high-desert property an investment, and they wanted to improve it through increased wildlife habitat, health, diversity, and number.
After exploring a wide variety of tools to improve their ranch, the family found what they consider to be a sound process by utilizing a planned grazing approach advocated by HMI.
“I was anti-cattle and thought desert grasslands could best be restored by de-stocking,” Gill says. That changed when he learned about HMI planning and practices. Holistic Planned Grazing is “all about getting animals to the right place at the right time for the right reason.” The right reason is to improve desert grassland ecology by concentrating cattle herds, rather than dispersing them, which is the norm in conventional desert range management.
“This intense grazing,” Gill explains, “must always be followed by long-enough periods without grazing to allow complete plant and soil life recovery.” This high-concentration, long-recovery is better for plants since it mimics the natural behavior of large herds of wild herbivores in the presence of their predators, who existed on grasslands and high deserts for millennia until humans arrived.
Gill reports strong, positive results from using planned grazing over the past decade. The animals usually graze about half the ranch, moderately, as the rest recovers from grazing during the previous year. “We have experienced huge gains in stocking rate and range productivity,” while at the same time, achieving “consistent improvements in habitat, which we measure by changes in forage production.”
Bottom line? Thanks to Holistic Management, the Circle Ranch almost tripled its forage production over five years. These Texas landowners increased productivity and wildlife habitat 35 percent or better on an annual basis.
When Mike Plant first set foot on the 5,700 breathtakingly beautiful acres of Northern New Mexico that would become Canyon Ridge, he knew he had found a gem.
“I’m blessed, I’ve been around a lot of beauty, and anyone who spends a day and touches a mere sliver of Canyon Ridge will tell you it is one of the most beautiful places in the world,” says Plant, a lifelong outdoorsman who also happens to be an executive vice president with the Atlanta Braves.
“It’s where I go to get away, to be immersed in nature, to get energized,” Plant says, adding, “You can hike for miles and miles, ride a horse or mountain bike, cross country ski, and enjoy unbelievable hunting and fishing.”
Overlooking the Chama River Valley in Northern New Mexico, Canyon Ridge is a one-of-a-kind conservation community featuring ranch estates ranging in size from 10 to 60 acres. Slated to open in the summer of 2012, each of Canyon Ridge’s 80 lucky owners will have access to an additional 4,000 acres that have been set aside in a permanent conservation easement.
“It’s doing all things little and big – whether it’s putting the majority of the land in conservation, developing a recreational management plan with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, or little things like allowing snowmobiles and only electric ATVs on roads and not trails – that make this one very special place,” Plant says.
I myself was surprised to find out that Canyon Ridge is only the second development ever approved for a conservation easement by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
This type of long-range planning is part of Plant’s big-picture approach to Canyon Ridge. With $17 million already invested and nearly 40 ranch estates slated to be ready this summer, he has made it clear to his Northern New Mexico neighbors that he is putting his money where its mouth is.
“We were the first to get a master plan approved in Rio Arriba County,” Plant points out, “and we did it because we didn’t do anything under the table. We said, ‘Here’s what we’re doing and not doing, and our top priorities are to preserve the heritage of the land and its wildlife inhabitants, and to provide jobs to local and regional people.’
“I learned a long time ago to respect other cultures and heritages,” Plant adds. “These people know I’m not the big guy in a suit from Atlanta. They can see my boots weren’t just pulled out of a box.”
Got to like that.
It always amazes me when someone takes the time to go above and beyond the call of duty to improve an already one-of-a-kind piece of property. The idea is to take some great place and make it even more over the top. That is definitely the case at Marabou, a Colorado ranch preservation community just outside Steamboat Springs that was recently honored at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference.