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Author Topic: This land is no longer your land  (Read 2136 times)

Offline fireweed

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2017, 05:38:57 PM »
I've doing some research on "prescriptive easements" in Washington state.  Funny thing is, at least here, if your neighbor lets you cross his property (say a driveway corner) and there are no problems with that neighborly agreement, even for years and nothing in writing, then you have a falling out, there is NO prescriptive easement for all that neighborly past use.  However, if the use is hostile, and your neighbor tells you not to cross, but you still do and fight it for ten years, an easement may be present.  The law rewards the neighborly landowner, and not the hostile landowner. 

Now we have these massive landowners that are wholesale acting unneighborly (by posting and charging) and they may be setting them selves up for prescriptive easement cases.  Too bad it doesn't appear to work this way in Montana.

Offline Mudman

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2017, 06:10:39 PM »
Should be laws allowing access to public land period. :twocents:
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Offline bigtex

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2017, 06:54:17 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.

Offline bigtex

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2017, 06:55:30 PM »
Should be laws allowing access to public land period. :twocents:
I have a feeling you'd feel different if people had to cross your land at your expense to get to those landlocked areas.

Offline Skillet

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2017, 08:23:27 PM »
As a strong believer of private property rights as well as access to publicly owned lands, I'm torn on this one.  I'd like to think if I came to own a section in checkerboard country that had an historic trail used to access landlocked public land, I'd allow continued free use if people minded their manners.  Inevitably, however, I believe there would be some entitled-minded idiots with lawyers on speed dial that would ruin it for everybody else... And I would still end up being the jerk that locked everybody out.  So why put myself at risk waiting for the idiot to sue me?

As much as it stinks, I'd lock my gates too. 

Out of control tort law - and the ambulance chasers that suck the blood out of hard working people - has RUINED this country, imho.
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Offline SemperFidelis97

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2017, 10:16:25 PM »
As a strong believer of private property rights as well as access to publicly owned lands, I'm torn on this one.  I'd like to think if I came to own a section in checkerboard country that had an historic trail used to access landlocked public land, I'd allow continued free use if people minded their manners.  Inevitably, however, I believe there would be some entitled-minded idiots with lawyers on speed dial that would ruin it for everybody else... And I would still end up being the jerk that locked everybody out.  So why put myself at risk waiting for the idiot to sue me?

As much as it stinks, I'd lock my gates too. 

Out of control tort law - and the ambulance chasers that suck the blood out of hard working people - has RUINED this country, imho.

I have to agree with you, in case many didn't notice most of this land is being locked up as people become more aware of their vulnerability to frivolous lawsuits.  When someone can break into your home, and sue you for injuries sustained in the process the law is no longer on the side of the property owner.  If someone has the financial resources to aquire, and maintain some of these large tracts you bet your ass they are talking to a lawyer about possible exposure to lawsuits if someone accessing through their land is somehow injured. 

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2017, 11:48:01 PM »
Has nothing to do with lawsuits. It has everything to do with people finding out they can lease land they don't own and make a bunch of money.
Show me a case where a landowner was sued while someone was using one of these public easements.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2017, 08:34:34 AM »
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?

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Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2017, 08:54:11 AM »
Should be laws allowing access to public land period. :twocents:
eminent domain?  I don't know if the gov could make the case for taking the land for purposes that doesn't really include some sort of 'improvements'. 

Offline Stein

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Re: This land is no longer your land
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2017, 08:55:14 AM »
Honestly, if it was my land I would post it.  Look at any place where hunters, fisherman and other outdoorsman have access and you will find piles of garbage, tire tracks where there shouldn't be, parking in the wrong places, bullet holes in signs, tp flapping in the wind and the like.  We like to consider ourselves stewards of the land, but the truth is wherever we go there is unsightly stuff.  It may only be a few percent, but they more than make up for others who do the right thing.

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.

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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.

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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..............

 

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