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Real estate programLand rights conveyances — limited use of state land

In the management of the DNR properties, it is sometimes necessary to allow limited use of state-owned land such as power lines, pipelines and fiber optic cable. Limited use of DNR land may be approved, granted, sold or exchanged only with a written document between the DNR and an individual or corporation and with a payment of appropriate compensation. These are called "land rights conveyances."

Types of agreements

There are four types of written real estate agreements between the DNR and other parties.


An easement permanently conveys specified rights from the landowner to another party. It is typically in perpetuity but can be for specified terms which are usually more than 10 years. Easements allow a second party to use department lands for a limited, specified purpose such as access across department land to reach private lands. Easements do not end if a land is sold or leased.


A lease temporarily conveys all possession of real property to another party for a period of time. Leases convey most property rights, not just a few specified rights. Leases are typically annual, usually do not exceed three years, may be renewable, and may not exceed a term of 15 years on state land except for state owned access sites which have a term up to 20 years. Leases are not assignable and usually do not end if land is sold.


A permit temporarily confers a specific right or privilege. Where a lease temporarily conveys most property rights, a permit temporarily conveys just a few specified rights. Permits can be revoked by the landowner and may not be assignable. If land is sold, the permit may end. Permits may not exceed a period of 15 years on state land; typically they are for fvie years or less.

Land use agreement

A land use agreement is executed by two (or more) persons expressing a mutual and common purpose where both parties mutually benefit and share use. A permit grants one party a specific right; in a land use agreement, both parties agree to do (or not do) certain things. Land use agreements normally are five years or less; they may not exceed a period of 15 years on state land. The agreement may or may not end if the land is sold or leased.

Last revised: Sunday July 22 2012