Electronic Field Guide » Sample Leases

Prepared by Patrick Drohan (Ecosystem Science and Management)

A common question of landowners is what wording should I look for or add to my lease so that my property is protected or my restoration is successful.  Below we have included some example wording provided by a landowner from an actual lease, as well as links to other resources.  Given that Marcellus infrastructure restoration is in its infancy, it is unknown just how effective this wording will be.  In addition, this wording is simply provided as an example, and no endorsement is made of its legal authority; consulting a lawyer is ideal when negotiating a lease.



Example 1
Lease language
“Unless Lessor agrees otherwise, the procedures for implementing the restoration process shall be determined in consultation with the (insert state) Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service for county in which the Property is situated, or their equivalent entities that exist at the time of the restoration.  The soils shall be: (a) contoured in such a way that farm operations are not materially impacted in a negative way, so that wind and water erosion potentials are equal to or better than they were prior to construction, and (b) restored to a depth of four feet to a condition that will allow for plant growth similar to the original condition prior to construction.”

Landowner comments on their wording
"The lease could potentially last 50 years, so we didn't want to specify specific reclamation procedures such as chiseling or plowing which I am pretty sure wouldn't satisfy the intent of the above statement anyway.  I was really hoping there might be proven reclamation procedures available when the restoration time comes thus the required consultation with Extension and the NRCS.  I may not be around for the restoration process and wanted wording that would give the land owner some hope of getting good productive land at the end of the construction, equipment removal, reconstruction, or termination of the lease.  I suspect there could be considerable disagreement on the interpretation of the wording especially for the last requirement for the soil to a depth of four feet.  I think it gives the land owner something concrete to stand on if they choose to protect their rights."