Government Owned Land

In keeping with the flood risk management, low flow augmentation, environmental stewardship and recreation mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as authorized by the United States Congress, this page is designed to acquaint adjoining property owners, residents and other interested persons with the rules and regulations that apply to the management of public lands at Lake Red Rock.  Maintaining the integrity of the Lake Red Rocks Project’s purposes is given primary consideration in all management decisions. This ensures the maximum use and enjoyment of the lake, lands and waters by present and future generations.

Private and/or exclusive use of public lands is not allowed.  All citizens, including property owners adjacent to public lands, enjoy the same rights and privileges.  One of the most valued privileges is that of pedestrian access. Most public lands at Corps lakes are open to pedestrian traffic with the exception of certain controlled access areas and secure operational areas which are identified on maps and with gates and/or signage.

Lands purchased by the Federal Government consist of the land needed for flood water storage and release, and other operational purposes in managing the project.  The boundaries defining this public land are marked with monuments which are usually set at ground level or slightly above.  It is illegal to disturb boundary monumentation and markers. Other commonly used boundary markers are the orange property boundary post and a small yellow metal sign stating “US Government Boundary”.  These are only a few of the several styles of boundary markers that have been used to define government property at Lake Red Rock. 


Flowage Easement

As part of the Lake Red Rock Project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purchased flowage easement from neighboring landowners. When the land for Lake Red Rock was purchased, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purchased land up to elevation 760 mean sea level. Where applicable, the Corps purchased the entire parcel that contained ground below 760 MSL. For parcels that were not below 760 MSL but were below 783 MSL, the Corps purchased flowage easement.  

Flowage easement gives the Army Corps of Engineers the right, power, privilege and easement to occasionally overflow, flood, submerge these lands and prohibit structures on the flowage easement. These easement deeds are filed with the County Recorder’s Office.  

For special circumstances, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can issue a Consent to Easement Structures. This Consent allows landowners to construct and maintain projects that would otherwise not be allowed on flowage easement. If an unauthorized structure is placed on the easement it may have to be removed.

If you have any questions about how flowage easement impacts your land, please contact the Lake Red Rock Project office at (641) 828-7522 or via email at


An encroachment is the placement, construction or continued existence of a permanent or semi-permanent structure or other privately owned property on publicly owned lands without written permission from the Corps of Engineers.  Examples of encroachments include, but are not limited to, buildings of any type, roads or trails, septic tanks, drainage tiles, fences or any other actions that would alter public lands. The destruction, injury, defacement, removal or any alteration of public property including natural formations, historical and archaeological features, boundary markers and vegetative resources, this includes cutting of trees and brush are prohibited.

Why worry about encroachments?

  1. Encroachments are a violation of law/regulation and compromise the full and unencumbered use of public lands.
  2. Known encroachments are documented by the Corps and may be recorded in the county courthouse with the property deeds.  Most lending institutions will not proceed with a loan if such a condition exists. 
  3. In certain cases a citation may be issued.  The citation could involve a monetary fine and/or appearance before a federal magistrate to resolve the encroachment.

How are encroachments discovered?

Corps of Engineers or other agencies performing walking and/or aerial boundary surveillance.

  1. Mortgage Surveys
  2. Flood Pool Impoundments
  3. Complaints/Information from adjacent landowners and the general public.

What to do if you have an encroachment

If you own property next to a US Army Corps of Engineers project and have personal property  encroaching on public lands, please remove them.  You may also contact the Lake Red Rock Project Office at (641) 828-7522 or via email at and make an appointment to meet with a park ranger.  The ranger will be able to meet with you on site and discuss the options available, and work with you to take action necessary to resolve the encroachment or trespass.  In some instances, these meetings will prevent a landowner from making a costly and time-consuming mistake.  

Prohibited Uses of Public Land

Prohibited Uses of Public Land

  1. Any type of or appearance of private exclusive use.
  2. Placement of unattended personal property.
  3. Clearing of trees, vegetation, mowing or constructing buildings, improved pathways, septic laterals or any other facilities on public land without a valid permit.
  4. Restricting public access either verbally, by posting signs, or by any other method.
  5. Operating motorized vehicles off of approved roadways or trails.
  6. Disposal of any type of garbage, debris, or other refuse on public land.
  7. Gathering of firewood without a valid permit.
  8. Pasturing horses, cattle, or other livestock.

For a complete list of regulations pertaining to Corps of Engineers lands please refer to CFR Title 36 Chapter 327.

Fenceline Maintenance Permits

Landowners who wish to maintain a fence along the Lake Red Rock Project boundary may obtain a fenceline maintenance permit from the Lake Red Rock Project office.  

Terms of the permit are listed below:


1.  The permittee will be allowed to cut woody vegetation on government land within a fifteen-foot wide strip adjacent to the permittee’s fence line.


2.  The woody vegetation will be cut less than six inches from the ground and the stumps will be treated with herbicide.


3.  All woody vegetation that is cut from the fifteen-foot wide strip on government ground may be piled in a non-flooding location on government property.  Woody vegetation removed from private ground must be piled on private ground.


4.  The permittee MUST contact the Project Office prior to beginning any work.  A park ranger will meet with the permittee to establish the boundary line and to mark any desirable trees in the fifteen-foot zone that may not be removed.


5.  The permittee may mow the fifteen-foot zone once per permit year between the dates of 15 September and 15 March.


6.  The permittee must locate and protect any boundary corner markers in the maintained area. 


7.  The permittee must maintain a fence on the boundary line along the maintained portion of boundary for the duration of this permit.  The permittee must contact the Project Office for boundary location prior to installation. The Corps of Engineers does not install or maintain boundary fences.


8.  Disturbed government ground will be seeded by the permittee with a mix determined by the Corps.


9.  This permit will expire after five years and may be cancelled at any time due to noncompliance or any other reason as determined by the Corps.


10.  This permit is not transferable and does not grant any property rights or exclusive privileges.


11.  The work shall be subject to prescribed regulations and shall be without cost, expense or obligation on the part of the United States Government.


12.  The permittee shall save the Government harmless from any and all claims resulting from the rights granted herein.