Farmers and rural landowners North Carolina are being approached to lease mineral rights to companies that want to tap the natural gas deposits that may lie in the shale below their land. The potential gas-bearing deposit extends north-south through approximately 10 counties in North Carolina, stretching from South Carolina to Virginia. According to a June 26, 2010 article in the Raleigh News and Observer, companies are moving fast to sign up these mineral rights. Few landowners are getting legal advice before signing these contracts. RAFI will be working to get understandable information to farmers about what these leases actually mean and how to protect their interests. For now, if you are approached about leasing the mineral rights to your land, consult with a lawyer before signing the contract. Ask questions, get things in writing, and realize that you have the right to negotiate. The following resources from New York state offer some good tips for North Carolina landowners as well: Gas Rights and Right-of-Way Leasing Considerations for Farms and Woodlands Oil and Gas Leases: Landowners’ Rights To stay up-to-date on gas leasing in North Carolina and what landowners need to know, join our mailing list or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.