Lynches Scenic River
Management Plan - 2003

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getacro.gif (712 bytes) The Lynches Scenic River Management Plan 2003 may be viewed in PDF format. The file size is 3.18 MB. Adobe® Reader® is required to open the file and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site.

Appendix B - The Scenic River Stewardship Program

One of the primary goals of the South Carolina Scenic Rivers Program is to build and maintain a land ethic or stewardship among river users and riparian landowners – to instill or rekindle a set of values for land management that will result in the protection of river resources. The motivation for stewardship comes from familiarity and respect for the resource. The steward is convinced that his/ her actions will benefit him/her, the resource, and future generations. A special program for riparian landowners along state-designated scenic rivers, the Scenic Rivers Stewardship Program consists of two components: education and wise land management.

Education/Landowner Contact

Through the Scenic Rivers Stewardship Program, landowners are provided basic information on their river with emphasis on the relationship between land/ water use and the quality (short- and long-term) of the resource. Essential tools for the education/landowner contact component include river-specific slide shows, a fact sheet on the respective land management options, and a list of common sense measures or best management practices (BMPs) to protect river resources. For each state-designated scenic river, program staff develop a slide show that focuses on river-specific information such as outstanding and unique resources, river issues, and management plan recommendations. Each slide show also includes general information on land management options available to riparian landowners through the Scenic Rivers Stewardship Program. Project staff meet with riparian landowners one-on-one or in a small group setting to explain the program and how it could apply to the landowner’s parcel(s).

Riparian Land Management

Once the landowner understands the function and values of the river, the next step is to select and implement a riparian land management strategy. This strategy may apply to all or a portion of a riverbordering parcel and/or to any parcel which falls within the river corridor. The width of the river corridor (measuring from the ordinary high water mark or the mean high water line on both sides of the river) is defined according to river classification: 300 to 500 feet for a natural river (Type I), 200 to 500 feet for a scenic river (Type II), and 100 to 500 feet for a recreational river (Type III). The Lynches River is a Type II State Scenic River.

To participate in the stewardship program, the landowner enters a land management agreement with the SC Scenic Rivers Program. The landowner may choose among four land management options: land registration, a memorandum of agreement, a conservation easement, or donation of land.

The Scenic Rivers Stewardship Program was designed to provide a continuum of land management options in terms of timeframe of commitment (one generation versus “in perpetuity”); degree of program involvement in land management (i.e., technical assistance, monitoring, etc.); and legal enforceability. Descriptions of the respective land management options follow:

A. Land Registration: A landowner may choose to register river-bordering land or land within a defined river corridor in the Scenic Rivers Land Registry. Land registration involves a simple, written agreement between the landowner and the Scenic Rivers Program. See page 58 (of the Management Plan) for an example of the land registration document. See the Land Registration Agreement form to register your land.

Terms of Land Registration:

  • The landowner agrees to manage land in concert with scenic river goals.
  • The landowner promises to give notice of any change in land ownership, major change(s) in land use, or known threats to the resource.
  • Responsibility for land management rests solely with the landowner.
  • Project staff contact the landowner on an annual basis to answer any questions or obtain updates.
  • Land registration is a voluntary and non-binding agreement (not legally enforceable).

Benefits to Landowner:

  • The land registration agreement provides protection for the river and its resources while preserving the rights of the landowner.
  • The landowner receives information on the project including invitations to special events and activities.
  • The landowner is recognized by the SC Scenic Rivers Program with a certificate signed by the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Manager of the SC Scenic Rivers Program as well as listing in SC River News.

NOTE: There are no tax benefits associated with land registration due to the temporary and non-binding nature of the agreement. Registration is considered a temporary agreement because land ownership changes over time. In order to receive tax benefits, there must be a commitment to manage the land according to program goals in perpetuity.

B. Memorandum of Agreement (MOA): A MOA, signed by a landowner and the Scenic Rivers Program, acts as a statement of intent. The MOA outlines recommended best management practices (BMPs) for implementation on river-bordering land. Based on his/her land use objectives, the landowner selects and implements the appropriate land management measures. The landowner may choose to manage for water quality, scenic values, wildlife, or a combination of resource values. Different sections of a parcel may be managed for different purposes. For example, a landowner may choose to manage one area for timber, one area for pasture, and another for wildlife. See pages 60 and 61 for an example of the memorandum of agreement. See the Memorandum of Agreement form to register your land.

Terms of the MOA:

  • The MOA outlines land management guidelines and BMPs which are consistent with scenic river classification guidelines and management plan recommendations. The landowner agrees to manage his/her property in accordance with these BMPs.
  • To some degree, land management guidelines/ BMPs can be tailored for the specific situation/ property.
  • The landowner promises to give notice of any change in land ownership, major change in land use, or known threats to the resource.
  • Responsibility for land management rests solely with the landowner.
  • Project staff are available to provide technical guidance.
  • Project staff meet with the landowner on an annual basis (may include a site visit).
  • The agreement is voluntary and non-binding (not legally enforceable).
  • The agreement is not binding on successive landowners.
  • The agreement may be terminated with a 30-day written notice from the landowner.

Benefits to Landowner:

  • The MOA provides protection for the river and its resources while preserving the rights of the landowner.
  • The landowner receives technical guidance on land management from resource professionals.
  • The landowner receives information on the project including invitations to special events and activities.
  • The landowner is recognized by the SC Scenic Rivers Program with a certificate signed by and the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources as well as listing in SC River News.

NOTE: There are no tax benefits due to the temporary nature of the agreement. The memorandum of agreement is considered a temporary agreement because land ownership changes over time. In order to receive tax benefits, there must be a commitment to manage the land according to program goals in perpetuity.

C. Conservation Easement: A conservation easement is a legally recorded and permanent land management agreement between the landowner and the SC Scenic Rivers Program. Similar to the MOA, the conservation easement is based on management guidelines and recommended best management practices; however, the easement agreement is binding and permanent. The land management guidelines are based on the level of development in the river corridor.

Terms of Easement Agreement

  • The easement agreement outlines land management guidelines and best management practices which are consistent with scenic river classification guidelines and management plan recommendations. The landowner agrees to manage his/her property in accordance with these guidelines and BMPs.
  • The landowner must give notice of any change in land ownership, major change in land use, or known threats to the resource.
  • Easements can be written to accommodate the wishes and intent of the landowner and can allow the landowner a great deal of flexibility in future use of the property.
  • An easement does not preclude any uses of the property that the landowner wishes to keep.
  • Ownership is retained by the landowner.
  • Responsibility for land management rests solely with the landowner.
  • Project staff are available to provide technical guidance.
  • Project staff meet with the landowner on an annual basis. This meeting may include a site visit to monitor the property for compliance with the agreement.
  • The agreement is voluntary, but legally binding and enforceable.
  • The agreement is permanent and binding on successive landowners.
  • A conservation easement can be altered or terminated only with the mutual consent of the SC Scenic Rivers Program and the current landowner.
  • The property may be passed on to heir(s), given to family members, or sold.

Benefits to Landowner:

  • A conservation easement provides permanent protection for the river and its resources.
  • The landowner receives technical guidance on land management from resource professionals.
  • The landowner may realize income, property, and/or estate tax benefits.
  • The landowner receives information on the project including invitations to special events and activities.
  • The landowner is recognized by the SC Scenic Rivers Program with a certificate signed by the Governor of South Carolina and the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources; listing in SC River News; recognition at the annual meeting; and a matted/framed photograph of the river.

D. Donation of Land: The landowner grants title to the land to the SC Scenic Rivers Program.

Terms:

  • Land management guidelines are consistent with classification guidelines and management plan recommendations.
  • Management responsibility belongs to the SC Scenic Rivers Program.
  • If property is not managed for the purpose for which it was donated, the title to the land reverts to the donor.
  • Donation of land is voluntary and legallybinding. Benefits to Landowner:
  • The agreement provides permanent protection for the river and its resources.
  • A landowner with no heirs can ensure that the land is managed for river protection beyond his/her lifetime.
  • The landowner receives information on the project including invitations to special events and activities.
  • The landowner may realize income, property, and/or estate tax benefits.
  • The landowner is recognized by the SC Scenic Rivers Program with a certificate signed by the Governor of South Carolina and the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources; listing in SC River News; recognition at the annual meeting; and a matted/framed photograph of the river.

Implementation Strategy

Each scenic river advisory council will develop a river-specific stewardship plan. For all state-designated scenic rivers, the primary goal is to achieve 100 percent landowner participation through land registration. Landowners will be encouraged to consider other stewardship options which include specific management guidelines and provide for longterm resource protection. The advisory councils will identify areas of special significance for additional protection through memoranda of agreement, conservation easements, and/or donation of land. Priority areas for protection include large, undisturbed tracts; scenic vistas; areas of ecological significance; unique or outstanding habitat; intact riparian buffer areas; special recreation sites; geologic features; and cultural/historic sites.


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