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Wildlife Management

Your first step towards moving into Wildlife Management Valuation is a Plateau Wildlife Management Plan. Plateau professionals develop customized five-year Wildlife Management Plans that exceed the standards of all appraisal districts. There are others out there who can write Wildlife Management Plans, but few offer the level of service, commitment, and dependability that you get when you hire Plateau. Our plans stand apart from the competition because of our intimate knowledge of the application process, the quality of our Wildlife Management Plans, and our personal relationships with County Appraisal District officials. We’ve also been writing about 200 of these a year since 1997, and we have one of the highest acceptance rates of WMV applicants in Texas.

 

At this time, Plateau is also donating $50 from each new plan sold during the remainder of 2017 to Texas 4-H Foundation and Texas Farm Bureau Hurricane Harvey Relief Funds.

Plateau Wildlife Management Plans include:

  • Research on the requirements of your local taxing entities for the completion and filing of appropriate applications and confirmation of the tax status of your property.
  • An On-Site Assessment of your land by a master-level wildlife biologist for Wildlife Management and restoration potential. This site visit includes discussion of your goals for your land, options for managing it, and professional advice to aid your decisions.
  • A 5-year Wildlife Management Plan detailing your chosen management practices to meet your goals and satisfy legal requirements will be completed within 45 days of the site visit and submitted for your review and comment.
  • Three Custom Maps of your property: an aerial photograph, a soil map, and a USGS topographic map. All include important features of your property, your property boundaries, and the locations of your chosen Wildlife Management activities.
  • A Formal Copy of Your Plan, its supporting documents, and all necessary application forms submitted by Plateau to the appraisal district.
  • Our Professional Representation of your Wildlife Management Plan to the appraisal district, assuring that all important aspects of your plan will be considered.
  • A Resource Binder, including a copy of your plan, maps of your property, your chosen Wildlife Management practices, recommendations for record keeping, and resource materials to aid your wildlife management efforts.
  • Our Quarterly E-Newsletter, Seasons, with articles, information and suggestions for seasonally appropriate wildlife activities to keep your plan on track and keep you updated on Wildlife Management in Texas.

Click here to view or print a product information sheet

What is Wildlife Management Tax Valuation?

Wildlife Management Valuation is an alternate to traditional Agriculture production for maintaining your 1-D-1 Open Space property tax status. It is available to Texas landowners through the Texas State Constitution and is appropriate for almost any property currently in Ag*. You must submit the proper applications and a Wildlife Management Plan to your County Appraisal District by the Statewide filing deadline of April 30 of the filing year.

WMV is a tax valuation that is exactly the same as your Ag (or Timber) status, but it provides landowners more options for managing their land. WMV is typically a less expensive and less time-consuming means of maintaining a favorable tax valuation as it eliminates the need for fencing, veterinary, harvesting and other expenses associated with farming or ranching.

Generally speaking, moving into WMV appeals to three types of landowners:

  1. Ranchers, farmers and families who no longer want to continue ranching or farming for a number of reasons but want to continue caring for their land and its wildlife.
  2. The new rural landowners who want to have their own place in the country without having to deal with livestock or farming.
  3. Rural landowners who want to increase their profits from hunting enterprise or eco-tourism.

A few of the many benefits associated with switching from an Ag tax valuation to a Wildlife tax valuation are:

  • No livestock or fencing requirements
  • Enhanced recreational value
  • Improved habitat
  • Increased wildlife diversity
  • Returning your land to its pre-grazing condition

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to have a certain number of acres to switch to Wildlife Management?  Please visit this page:  The Truth About Minimum Acreage

Is WMV an additional property tax break? No. Your taxes will remain at the same favorable rate as under your current Ag status.

Can I keep part of my land in Ag and put part of it in WMV?  Yes. You can divide your land between these two valuations, and change it from year to year.

Can I move back into Ag once I move my land into WMV? Yes. Since WMV is a form of Ag, you may move back and forth from year to year without losing your status in Ag.

May I continue livestock grazing or other agriculture under WMV? Agricultural activities may be continued if they are compatible and secondary to your wildlife management. However, you are not required to continue any form of agriculture. Livestock can be a benefit to wildlife habitat if managed carefully.

How does WMV work?  The requirements for WMV are modest, and most landowners are already doing enough to meet the minimum requirements. A minimum of 3 practices from the following menu of 7 (with several options per category) are required annually:

The 7 Wildlife Management Valuation Compliance Categories: 

Habitat Control (habitat management)

Erosion Control

Predator Control

Providing Supplemental Water

Providing Supplemental Food

Providing Supplemental Shelter

Making Census Counts to determine population

 Most counties require that a Wildlife Management Plan is filed along with an application for WMV. The plan should provide several key pieces of information, including the target wildlife species and the anticipated management activities. Both should be regionally appropriate.

Is there a filing deadline for the required Wildlife Management Plans? Yes. Applications must be filed between January 1 and April 30 for the effective year.

Am I required to manage for game animals and hunting?  It is not necessary to manage for hunting — non-game wildlife management also qualifies. In fact, many people manage for both game and non-game. With the exception of fish, you may manage for any wildlife native to Texas such as songbirds, butterflies, quail, rabbits, horned toads, roadrunners and turkey to name just a few.

Can I develop the property and offer the advantages of WMV to the purchasers? An appropriately planned subdivision can provide the opportunity to continue open space valuation under WMV, providing favorable tax status to large lot holders while preventing rollback taxes. Converting to WMV before development will enhance the aesthetics of the property and reduce liability by allowing the removal of livestock, and encouraging wildflowers and other natural vegetation to flourish. Plateau can assist developers through this process by providing a review of plats and owner covenants, establishing a wildlife management property association, creating a wildlife management plan, and providing continuing assistance with plan maintenance.

Does land in Timber qualify to move into to Wildlife Management? Yes it does. You may hear otherwise because there is some outdated information in the guidelines that are currently available. The fact is that the law changed in 2009 and land in Timber was determined to be qualified to make the switch to wildlife management. We found that many are unaware of this change and are not attempting to move their land to wildlife management because they believe it does not qualify. It does. Contact us if you are unsure if your land qualifies for wildlife management.

Can appraisal districts refuse to consider wildlife appraisal applications?  In 1995, the voters of Texas established Wildlife Management Valuation in the Texas Constitution. Many counties are enthusiastic about wildlife valuation. In 2002, it was made a law that if a landowner meets the criteria to apply for WMV, the appraisal district shall accept their plan.

Why is Plateau my best choice? The founders of Plateau helped get the legislation passed to enable WMV, and helped write the implementing regulations for the law. Plateau continues to provide education to the staff of the appraisal districts around the state. Our wildlife biologists, service professionals, and property tax consultants are dedicated to the production and implementation of affordable, customized wildlife management plans. Through consultation on topics ranging from tax appraisal issues to habitat assessment and game management, we can give you the most up-to-date information available to assist you in making sound choices for your land. Our ongoing relationship with the appraisal districts enables us to represent you and your management plan from the application process through inspections and final implementation. We continually research and update our product line to assure that the items available to you are fully functional and appropriate to your wildlife. Knowledgeable professionals assure that services such as brush management and amenities construction enhance rather than damage habitat, enabling you to meet your land management goals and all of the requirements of your plan through a single source.

How we price our Wildlife Management Plans?

Plateau Wildlife Management Plans are priced according to the total acreage of the property to be included in the wildlife management plan. Properties that fall in multiple counties are subject to an additional fee for multiple plan filings. All plans are five-year plans and include the filing of plans and applications with the County Appraisal District and tracking through the approval process. 

 

We take you through the entire process and set you up for success.  This is a one time fee for a five-year plan.

 

Below are our standard prices within our established Service Region. We do write plans and provide service outside of this area when we can, but some additional charges may apply for extended travel and time commitment. Regardless of where your property is, contact us and let us see if we can help.

 

Wildlife Management Plan Pricing:

 

< 30 acres = $1750.00

 

31-100 acres = $1995.00

 

101-200 acres = $2295.00

 

201+ acres = $2295.00 plus $1 per acre

 

Additional filing fee for multiple counties = $125.00

 

Plans for properties over 5000 acres are priced by a bid process.

 

Plan agreements received after April 1 of the filing year will incur a $500 rush fee.

 

A few things to consider when hiring a Wildlife Management Company

Before diving into the process of Wildlife Tax Valuation, here are some questions you should consider before you hire someone to handle your Wildlife Management Plan:

  1. How long has that company been in business?
  2. Are they more than just a website?
  3. Do they have a physical location with regular business hours where someone can always be found to help?
  4. Are their biologists also registered Tax Consultants?
  5. How many plans have they submitted to your county appraisal district?
  6. What percentage of their plans get approved?
  7. Do they follow-up/track their plans until approval?
  8. Are they approved by the CAD to provide these plans?
  9. Do they offer a complete list of services to complement your plan?
  10. Who do I contact when I need something or have questions?
  11. Do they offer ongoing assistance and consulting free of charge?
  12. Will they be there in the event of CAD inspections?
  13. Is a Certified Wildlife Biologist writing your plan?
  14. What are their credentials, diplomas, certificates?
  15. Do they have their names and contact info on their website? If not, why?

 

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