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Author Topic: This land is no longer your land  (Read 1641 times)

Offline Special T

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2017, 09:19:51 AM »
This isnt any different that a trail that runs through your yard that kids havenused to go to school...

Court reinforced many times over you cannot gate the trail.

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Offline olyguy79

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2017, 08:28:11 PM »
I would love to see a national law that the Federal Government would be required to provide public access to ANY public land that was at least 1000 acres or more.    Start there and then work down to the 640 acre checkerboard pieces across the west.
Your statement makes it sound like it's the government's fault they have land that is landlocked, when in reality its the private citizens who don't allow others to use their land to access the public lands.

it is the governments fault in a lot of cases, you cannot fault the landowner for disallowing access as each landowner is different and private property changes hands often.  If there's a change it must be at the government level.  I hold the government responsible for not even trying to secure public easements when a land swap is done which would be the best time to do it.  "not for recreational use" is the DNR mantra, they've never cared if the general public had access or not, other public lands agencies just look for excuses to put a gate in and close it up denying vehicle access to millions of acres which adversely affects people with mobility issues yet we get all in an uproar if a private property owner disallows access to a trail that hasn't been maintained in years? 

What happens if some sue happy lawyer falls off a trail that hasn't been maintained? Will they sue government (it's not our property!) ??
Or will they sue the landowner?
You're making an assumption that easements aren't attempted. I've worked with public land easements a lot in my career and there has been a big shift over the past 20 years or so.

Most of the landlocked public land in WA was acquired decades ago, when private landowners weren't as territorial with their lands and let public access the public land via their private lands. As time went on people have become more territorial and have blocked access to such lands.

A big part of realty specialists for government agencies is actually working on easements both for official (government) and public use, but it's not an automatic thing, the private landowner still has to agree to it. Landowners ask for all types of stipulations in exchange for an easement. A chunk of DNR land I hunted in eastern WA has always been landlocked and suddenly the private property owner blocked access, I talked to him as he's always been cordial and put him in contact with the DNR realty people. Several months later I contacted him and DNR, the landowner wanted DNR to pay him $500,000 per YEAR for public use of a quarter mile section of gravel road on his property. Other stipulations I've seen/been involved with are automatic/timer gates, daily law enforcement patrols, fee usage per vehicle use, 24/7 staffing of a entrance booth, etc. If the government declines the stipulations, the public loses out on the ability to access land and look inept, if they give in to the stipulations it's seen as a waste of $.

What is the agency supposed to do? Sell off all landlocked land? Personally, I would rather see landlocked land held in public domain for the possibility of an easement some years down the road then sold to private hands and lost forever.

I do know its now in DNR and WDFW policy in WA to only acquire publicly accessible lands in WA with a few exceptions. BLM in WA has written it in their state policy to rid themselves of landlocked land and use those funds to acquire accessible lands, which is one reason they have been getting rid of their lands in NE WA.

Offline Humptulips

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2017, 12:23:42 AM »
Olyguy,
Thanks for that post, enlightening.
So, I take it eminent domain is never used to acquire an easement.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline KFhunter

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2017, 11:50:54 AM »
A lot of those lands are going to big timber, and in the case of timber around where I live it goes to places like Vaagans where they disallow public access and post everything. 
They'll let you in if you own adjacent land, or if you're related to the family or one of their cronies, but if you're not in their fold - it's go pound sand.  Some of the best Elk hunting in the NE corner is on Vaagans timber and I can't hunt them.

I should be out hunting lions, thanks WDFW

Offline CAMPMEAT

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2017, 03:06:14 PM »
A lot of those lands are going to big timber, and in the case of timber around where I live it goes to places like Vaagans where they disallow public access and post everything. 
They'll let you in if you own adjacent land, or if you're related to the family or one of their cronies, but if you're not in their fold - it's go pound sand.  Some of the best Elk hunting in the NE corner is on Vaagans timber and I can't hunt them.



I know a place where the elk go from Vaagans to public land and then back. Just set up a lawn chair and wait...
I could care less about what anybody says..............

Offline fireweed

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2017, 07:58:16 AM »
I think a lot of these big timber companies are in large part also bluffing with their access permits.   In my county, a citizen needs a permit to walk or touch half the land in the county.   First off, state law required forestland to be conspicuously posted, and I doubt slapping a few signs on gates is legally sufficient when you own half a county with hundreds of miles of property line.   Do you really think a company has exclusive use of half of all the land--every road, every driveway, every acre? 

Behind the scenes these main logging roads have all sorts of easements on them with the state DNR.  Publically companies say those are for "forestry use only" but have they gone back and read them all?   I know where companies have had to roll back their permit areas because they were requiring permits on roads controlled by someone else.  Dig deeper and more of that is bound to be found.
My county auditor and assessor are putting those old documents online right now.  I've found one easement that crosses a couple miles of Big W and access a landlocked section of DNR.  Guess what, that easement (from the early 70's when they didn't care about regular folks using roads) says nothing about limiting the public or only being for "forestry use".  It says it is for "purposes of providing access to and from lands now owned or hereafter acquired by the state."   Nowadays companies make sure that they exclude the public specifically from new easements, but not older ones.  If you've got a landlocked piece you want to hunt, take a trip to the courthouse, check for any state or federal easements and carry a copy with you. 

Offline OutHouse

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2017, 07:22:12 PM »
I'll just add that here in the US we put such a high premium on unfettered, unrestricted fee ownership of land that the natural end result will be that in a couple hundred years (maybe even just 100) there will be much, much less public land and even worse access than what's happening now. The problem really has to do with us; humans are greedy and power hungry.

 

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