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Author Topic: Access to Landlocked Public Lands  (Read 16066 times)

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #125 on: December 05, 2013, 11:57:27 AM »
What about making the access routes along the borders of the private properties. The easements are already in place. It may not be the most direct route to the public land, but it would be a way in.

What do you mean by "the easements are already in place?"  I have never heard of such a thing.
Aren't there easements on the property lines?

As a general rule no, there might be some somewhere I suppose but it's not a frequent thing.

A lot of easements I see go smack through someone's compound utilizing their driveway, literally just a few feet from their house.

This is why I was freaking out on this thread.

Online fireweed

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #126 on: December 05, 2013, 11:59:03 AM »
As the local SW Washington "access advocate" I've done a lot of research on this subject.  I've been working with several groups to gain legal access to the properties I mentioned earlier, including the entire 35,000 acre Toutle State Forest, and St. Helens (aka mudflow) Wildlife area.
Here's some things I've found
* In Washington state law you cannot landlock your neighbors timber.
*DNR has no eminent domain authority for "public use easements" but can use ED for transporting timber etc.
* The WDFW can use eminent domain for right-of-ways and access easements but they don't/won't use it.
* Landlocked land is ineligible for most state grants we all pay into.
* The USFS, NPS, and BLM can use eminent domain for public use easement, but they usually don't want to.  Everyone likes a "willing seller" and some funding via grants require it.
* Many forest roads are controlled by more than one entity, and sometimes private/public landowners costshare roads.  Forestry-only easements are common.
*The beds and shores of navigable waters are (generally) owned by the state of Washington. Any stream that ever had logs or shake bolts floated down it could  be considered navigable.  It is usually legal to walk along the shore of a river below the high water mark through private property.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 01:13:11 PM by fireweed »

Offline 6x6in6

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #127 on: December 05, 2013, 11:59:10 AM »
bigtex;

Since you kept up with this thread did you find any fault in my statements regarding road requirements or any land use issues?

I was foundering a bit, they almost made me resort to google  :chuckle:


Also what's your take on BLM making pedestrian only type easements for general public access to BLM? 
Wouldn't BLM be forced to make a 3 season road for public access?
Or could they really just put up a few ribbons marking an easement for foot only access as idahohunter suggests? 

I don't think it's possible due to disabled persons and a multitude of other problems from mangement to enforcement issues.
I don't know what expertise bigtex has on this subject but I can assure you I am correct here.  No road is required, not even a ribbon would need to be hung.  Nor would blm have to ensure access to those parcels for disabled people.  A land survey recording an access easement (which could specify means of travel) against the servient parcel between 2 public parcels is all that would be needed.  In an eminent domain situation, the US could put in a road if it were deemed appropriate, but it is absolutely not required and would likely be on a case specific basis.  All the landlocked areas I want to hunt no road is needed (or desired from my perspective)...just a defined access easement across private property.
You make it sound very simple here in WA idaho to grant an easement to access in the form of eminent domain, sort of.
Actually, WA laws on landlocked property are kind of screwed up.
Basically, the landlocked can try to negotiate an access easement to cross the neighboring property owners land.  Nothing really says the neighbor has to grant it.
The landlocked can go through a mediation process to settle the access.  The neighbor is not even required to participate if they choose not too.
When both of those fail, and they more often then not do fail, there are 2 options that remain.
1) Break out the checkbook and try to buy your way into an easement and have it officially recorded.
2) Sue the property owner who has you locked out.
Now, given the mess on how WA property laws are written along with case law, the landlocked party will win the lawsuit.
So, yeah, you can get access.  Bottom line is that it is not quite as simple as having a right to access landlocked land.  Its costs money - just depends on how much and whose pockets get lined along the way.
If the us takes property in eminent domain no road is required is my main point...an access easement can be a lot of things.  But yes, these issues certainly keep the courts busy (:
They don't just simply take it.  They write a check for a negotiated market value idaho.  Or they sue to take it and the settlement is still a dollar value.

Offline Curly

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #128 on: December 05, 2013, 11:59:51 AM »
In some cases, I imagine there are easement in place............just not easements that allow public access.  I'm thinking of DNR lands that have logging roads into them, but are gated where the road crosses private property.  There is probably an easement for DNR to get to their property, but that doesn't mean the general public (or an employee of duty) can access the land.  In those cases, the wording would just need to get revised, right?
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Offline scout/sniper

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #129 on: December 05, 2013, 12:00:37 PM »
What about making the access routes along the borders of the private properties. The easements are already in place. It may not be the most direct route to the public land, but it would be a way in.

What do you mean by "the easements are already in place?"  I have never heard of such a thing.
Aren't there easements on the property lines?

As a general rule no, there might be some somewhere I suppose but it's not a frequent thing.

A lot of easements I see go smack through someone's compound utilizing their driveway, literally just a few feet from their house.

This is why I was freaking out on this thread.
I understand. Even there were easements they could be right next to your house. I wouldn't want this either.
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Offline 6x6in6

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #130 on: December 05, 2013, 12:04:25 PM »
In some cases, I imagine there are easement in place............just not easements that allow public access.  I'm thinking of DNR lands that have logging roads into them, but are gated where the road crosses private property.  There is probably an easement for DNR to get to their property, but that doesn't mean the general public (or an employee of duty) can access the land.  In those cases, the wording would just need to get revised, right?
Yes, with Grantor's approval.  Grantor being the landowner.  It's the break out the checkbook or sue thing going from a private to a public easement.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #131 on: December 05, 2013, 12:05:17 PM »
As the local SW Washington "access advocate" I've done a lot of research on this subject.  I've been working with several groups to gain legal access to the properties I mentioned earlier, including the entire 35,000 acre Toutle State Forest, and St. Helens (aka mudflow) Wildlife area.
Here's some things I've found
* In Washington state law you cannot landlock your neighbors timber.
*DNR has no eminent domain authority for "public use easements" but can use ED for transporting timber etc.
* The WDFW can use eminent domain for right-of-ways and access easements but they don't/won't use it.
* Landlocked land is ineligible for most state grants we all pay into.
* The USFS, NPS, and BLM can use eminent domain for public use easement, but they usually don't want to.  Everyone likes a "willing seller" and some funding via grants require it.
* Many forest roads are controlled by more than one entity, and sometimes private/public landowners costshare roads.  Forestry-only easements are common.
*The beds and shores of navigable waters are (generally) owned by the state of Washington. Any stream that ever had logs or shake bolts floated down it could  be considered navigable.  It is usually legal to walk along the shore of a river below the high water mark through private property.

It is usually legal to walk along the shore of a river below the high water mark through private property.

gotta disagree on this one, you're going to get people in trouble spreading that one around as a rule of thumb - it's waterway specific.

A lot of properties are written to the center of the main channel of the waterway, so you could float it but soon as you touch the shore you'd be trespassing.
trust me on this one, the popular floating rivers this is a huge problem as folks like to get off the raft on a sandy beach and the homeowner comes running out with a shotgun.

and then the cops get called  :chuckle:

Online fireweed

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #132 on: December 05, 2013, 12:16:02 PM »
As the local SW Washington "access advocate" I've done a lot of research on this subject.  I've been working with several groups to gain legal access to the properties I mentioned earlier, including the entire 35,000 acre Toutle State Forest, and St. Helens (aka mudflow) Wildlife area.
Here's some things I've found
* In Washington state law you cannot landlock your neighbors timber.
*DNR has no eminent domain authority for "public use easements" but can use ED for transporting timber etc.
* The WDFW can use eminent domain for right-of-ways and access easements but they don't/won't use it.
* Landlocked land is ineligible for most state grants we all pay into.
* The USFS, NPS, and BLM can use eminent domain for public use easement, but they usually don't want to.  Everyone likes a "willing seller" and some funding via grants require it.
* Many forest roads are controlled by more than one entity, and sometimes private/public landowners costshare roads.  Forestry-only easements are common.
*The beds and shores of navigable waters are (generally) owned by the state of Washington. Any stream that ever had logs or shake bolts floated down it could  be considered navigable.  It is usually legal to walk along the shore of a river below the high water mark through private property.

It is usually legal to walk along the shore of a river below the high water mark through private property.

gotta disagree on this one, you're going to get people in trouble spreading that one around.

A lot of properties are written to the center of the main channel of the waterway, so you could float it but soon as you touch the shore you'd be trespassing.
trust me on this one, the popular floating rivers this is a huge problem as folks like to get off the raft on a sandy beach and the homeowner comes running out with a shotgun.

and then the cops get called  :chuckle:

Granted this is a very touchy area of the law.  (Whether it's "legal" or smart are two different things.)  It depends on when the property was patented, with differences before and after statehood, and defining what is "navigable" is done by courts in a case by case instance....all of which most landowners are unaware of.   But the beds and shores of navigable waters are owned by the state if they were patented after statehood and the state didn't then sell it (tidelands).   In fact, in our area, the river moved, leaving a swatch of "state" land high and dry that a city then had to buy from the DNR to use. 

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #133 on: December 05, 2013, 12:21:27 PM »
"as a general rule"  I would advise against walking below the highwater mark unless you know 100% for certain.

This is a public forum - the biggest one for Washington hunters, people read this stuff and take it out to the field with them - always advise with caution.

Offline Curly

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #134 on: December 05, 2013, 12:26:07 PM »
In some cases, I imagine there are easement in place............just not easements that allow public access.  I'm thinking of DNR lands that have logging roads into them, but are gated where the road crosses private property.  There is probably an easement for DNR to get to their property, but that doesn't mean the general public (or an employee of duty) can access the land.  In those cases, the wording would just need to get revised, right?
Yes, with Grantor's approval.  Grantor being the landowner.  It's the break out the checkbook or sue thing going from a private to a public easement.

Yeah.  Or, it could be break out the checkbook or make the timber companies pay more taxes because of lack of public access. :twocents:
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Offline bobcat

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #135 on: December 05, 2013, 12:26:59 PM »
Fireweed did use the word "usually." Hopefully people reading on this forum are able to comprehend what that word means.

Offline scout/sniper

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #136 on: December 05, 2013, 12:39:44 PM »
In some cases, I imagine there are easement in place............just not easements that allow public access.  I'm thinking of DNR lands that have logging roads into them, but are gated where the road crosses private property.  There is probably an easement for DNR to get to their property, but that doesn't mean the general public (or an employee of duty) can access the land.  In those cases, the wording would just need to get revised, right?
Yes, with Grantor's approval.  Grantor being the landowner.  It's the break out the checkbook or sue thing going from a private to a public easement.

Yeah.  Or, it could be break out the checkbook or make the timber companies pay more taxes because of lack of public access. :twocents:

WEYCO exploited a tax loophole and became an REIT, (Real Estate Investment Trust)
To make a long story short, they do not pay taxes. The shareholders assume most of the liability in return for more shares and cash.
Threatening to tax them means nothing, they are bulletproof.
This subject needs to be examined and a solution found.
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Offline idahohuntr

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #137 on: December 05, 2013, 01:15:13 PM »
bigtex;

Since you kept up with this thread did you find any fault in my statements regarding road requirements or any land use issues?

I was foundering a bit, they almost made me resort to google  :chuckle:


Also what's your take on BLM making pedestrian only type easements for general public access to BLM? 
Wouldn't BLM be forced to make a 3 season road for public access?
Or could they really just put up a few ribbons marking an easement for foot only access as idahohunter suggests? 

I don't think it's possible due to disabled persons and a multitude of other problems from mangement to enforcement issues.
I don't know what expertise bigtex has on this subject but I can assure you I am correct here.  No road is required, not even a ribbon would need to be hung.  Nor would blm have to ensure access to those parcels for disabled people.  A land survey recording an access easement (which could specify means of travel) against the servient parcel between 2 public parcels is all that would be needed.  In an eminent domain situation, the US could put in a road if it were deemed appropriate, but it is absolutely not required and would likely be on a case specific basis.  All the landlocked areas I want to hunt no road is needed (or desired from my perspective)...just a defined access easement across private property.
You make it sound very simple here in WA idaho to grant an easement to access in the form of eminent domain, sort of.
Actually, WA laws on landlocked property are kind of screwed up.
Basically, the landlocked can try to negotiate an access easement to cross the neighboring property owners land.  Nothing really says the neighbor has to grant it.
The landlocked can go through a mediation process to settle the access.  The neighbor is not even required to participate if they choose not too.
When both of those fail, and they more often then not do fail, there are 2 options that remain.
1) Break out the checkbook and try to buy your way into an easement and have it officially recorded.
2) Sue the property owner who has you locked out.
Now, given the mess on how WA property laws are written along with case law, the landlocked party will win the lawsuit.
So, yeah, you can get access.  Bottom line is that it is not quite as simple as having a right to access landlocked land.  Its costs money - just depends on how much and whose pockets get lined along the way.
If the us takes property in eminent domain no road is required is my main point...an access easement can be a lot of things.  But yes, these issues certainly keep the courts busy (:
They don't just simply take it.  They write a check for a negotiated market value idaho.  Or they sue to take it and the settlement is still a dollar value.
Where did I suggest they don't have to pay?  I will say it again, IF THE US TAKES PROPERTY IN EMINENT DOMAIN NO ROAD IS REQUIRED.  By "TAKE" I am not implying this wouldn't be a messy process nor do I imply compensation would not be provided.  But if they are forced to use eminent domain to get an access easement to public land it is not a willing landowner, thus they are "taking".
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Online fireweed

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #138 on: December 05, 2013, 01:23:01 PM »
"as a general rule"  I would advise against walking below the highwater mark unless you know 100% for certain.

This is a public forum - the biggest one for Washington hunters, people read this stuff and take it out to the field with them - always advise with caution.

I wasn't telling anyone to do this.  These are just some surprising facts I had uncovered:  Beds and shores of navigable waters are owned by the states. The river rafting community is really up on this stuff.  Check out "American whitewater" website for more info.  Also this Navigability issue may become important as timber companies lock up hundreds of miles of prime salmon and steelhead fishing rivers.  Many of these aren't major shipping rivers, but they have been used for logs and shake bolts in the past.  I would ask, Can they legally keep sportsmen from walking along/in the rivers if they started from a public bridge or other crossing?  Technically, the land below the high water mark belongs to the state.

Offline idahohuntr

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #139 on: December 05, 2013, 01:34:12 PM »
Fireweed did use the word "usually." Hopefully people reading on this forum are able to comprehend what that word means.
:yeah: I also commonly see waterfront landowners try to runoff people from "their land" when it is indeed public property...like the shoreline in the tri-cities along the snake and columbia river...they have a dock across public property so they think the shoreline belongs to them.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #140 on: December 05, 2013, 02:24:10 PM »
Fireweed did use the word "usually." Hopefully people reading on this forum are able to comprehend what that word means.
:yeah: I also commonly see waterfront landowners try to runoff people from "their land" when it is indeed public property...like the shoreline in the tri-cities along the snake and columbia river...they have a dock across public property so they think the shoreline belongs to them.

I understand that, just merely stating not all waters and shore fronts are the same.  I was trying to do a public service in reminding folks to know the ground they walk on, if they have the right to be there or not.

 

Offline Gobble Doc

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #141 on: December 05, 2013, 02:29:40 PM »
I can understand the concerns of the people with the private land.  I guess it depends in part what kind of traffic would be allowed on the easement.  If it were just foot traffic or non-motor and it was a along an edge of property way away from a residence then that would be one thing.  If vehicle traffic were allowed so that people were driving at all hours and potentially creating a lot of noise or dirt bikes racing around or people leaving their garbage then I don't think most of us would appreciate it.


That's just too bad for them. We don't all get to choose our neighbors. What about all the people who do live next to public land that is accessible? They deal with it. Why should others be allowed to have their own private paradise at the taxpayer's expense?

BC,

Who gets to choose their neighbors?  Just curious to what you meant. 

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #142 on: December 05, 2013, 02:37:52 PM »
I can understand the concerns of the people with the private land.  I guess it depends in part what kind of traffic would be allowed on the easement.  If it were just foot traffic or non-motor and it was a along an edge of property way away from a residence then that would be one thing.  If vehicle traffic were allowed so that people were driving at all hours and potentially creating a lot of noise or dirt bikes racing around or people leaving their garbage then I don't think most of us would appreciate it.


That's just too bad for them. We don't all get to choose our neighbors. What about all the people who do live next to public land that is accessible? They deal with it. Why should others be allowed to have their own private paradise at the taxpayer's expense?

Actually, it's too bad for you, and I hope this comment was an error.
This attitude of crapping on landowners just to get something that they have is the exact reason that landowners deny access in the first place. If people were respectful and didn't trash everything they get near, access would not be a problem.
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Offline motg9_6

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #143 on: December 05, 2013, 02:38:18 PM »
i read the first two pages and have a question id like to ask before i keep reading. if you owned 40 acres that bordered a section of state land how would you feel about the state opening up access through YOUR property to anyone and everyone???? because you dont own the property you dont see an issue with this. i personally wouldnt like it. if you really want to hunt a landlocked piece of property ask the land owner for permission. i think youd be surprised how many would give it if you were respectful and curtious.
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Offline Gobble Doc

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #144 on: December 05, 2013, 02:44:03 PM »
 :yeah:

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #145 on: December 05, 2013, 02:45:23 PM »
i read the first two pages and have a question id like to ask before i keep reading. if you owned 40 acres that bordered a section of state land how would you feel about the state opening up access through YOUR property to anyone and everyone???? because you dont own the property you dont see an issue with this. i personally wouldnt like it. if you really want to hunt a landlocked piece of property ask the land owner for permission. i think youd be surprised how many would give it if you were respectful and curtious.
Bad example Mot, if the land was simply bordered on the one side then tax payers would still have access, even if it was difficult. This is not the situation being discussed, we are talking about land that has no access at all.
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Offline motg9_6

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #146 on: December 05, 2013, 02:52:32 PM »
i read the first two pages and have a question id like to ask before i keep reading. if you owned 40 acres that bordered a section of state land how would you feel about the state opening up access through YOUR property to anyone and everyone???? because you dont own the property you dont see an issue with this. i personally wouldnt like it. if you really want to hunt a landlocked piece of property ask the land owner for permission. i think youd be surprised how many would give it if you were respectful and curtious.
Bad example Mot, if the land was simply bordered on the one side then tax payers would still have access, even if it was difficult. This is not the situation being discussed, we are talking about land that has no access at all.
you point is??? LAND LOCKED doesnt mean one owner surrounds one piece of property. it could be 100 different land owners. it just means that it doenst border a public right of way. so infact its a good example. i have a section (640 acres) of dnr just south of my place (40 acres) surrounded by 5,10, 20, 40, 160 acre parcels. all of which are different private land owners.
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Offline huntnphool

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #147 on: December 05, 2013, 03:04:39 PM »
i read the first two pages and have a question id like to ask before i keep reading. if you owned 40 acres that bordered a section of state land how would you feel about the state opening up access through YOUR property to anyone and everyone???? because you dont own the property you dont see an issue with this. i personally wouldnt like it. if you really want to hunt a landlocked piece of property ask the land owner for permission. i think youd be surprised how many would give it if you were respectful and curtious.
Bad example Mot, if the land was simply bordered on the one side then tax payers would still have access, even if it was difficult. This is not the situation being discussed, we are talking about land that has no access at all.
you point is??? LAND LOCKED doesnt mean one owner surrounds one piece of property. it could be 100 different land owners. it just means that it doenst border a public right of way. so infact its a good example. i have a section (640 acres) of dnr just south of my place (40 acres) surrounded by 5,10, 20, 40, 160 acre parcels. all of which are different private land owners.
Well you left out just a little bit of pertinent information in your original example/question now didn't you?

 In the case of your revised description, if there is a piece of state land as you described, there should be a access point for tax payers to utilize that land! If access is not agreed to by those land owners, then the bordering land owners should be taxed accordingly for that land, in addition to their own. They can decide between them who pays which percentage, maybe divide by the percentage of boarder your properties are around it. After all, you land owners are enjoying that land at our expense, and thats just not the liberal thing to do, you should pay your share.

The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first!

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #148 on: December 05, 2013, 03:21:39 PM »
doesnt the cedar river watershed have some land locked public land in it?  I remember years ago a guy used to take offerings from people to help pay court cost because he walked in there and kept getting arrested.

Offline idahohuntr

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Re: Access to Landlocked Public Lands
« Reply #149 on: December 05, 2013, 03:30:51 PM »
if you really want to hunt a landlocked piece of property ask the land owner for permission. i think youd be surprised how many would give it if you were respectful and curtious.
Because this is really not a big issue in Washington state like it is in other western states I can understand why you may be so naive.  Many of the parcels I am personally aware of are surrounded by a single landowner...they own a 30k acre ranch and its got 10-20k acres of public land inside of it with no legal access.  In these cases, the landowner is selling access to the public ground for $5,000 or more to hunt...a warm smile and good handshake won't get you anything.  now, if you've got 8 landowners with 20-200 acre parcels surrounding 640 acres of DNR ground...yes, I bet you can get somewhere by respectfully asking permission...nobody has exclusive access and others already hunt the land I'm sure...so they really aren't giving up much.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." - TR

 



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