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International Right to Roam Options
martingr
#1 Posted : Wednesday, May 07, 2008 1:04:50 PM
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 Troy,

   Private land vs access by the public is a hot button item, but as in all things there is a balance. In recent years the abuse by Govt. in terms of emmient domaine and the backing of the courts leaves a bitter pill, high taxes, strict regulations and zoning. That being said the public does have access to private land many times for the asking, but this lack of respect and the aditude that " I can go any where I like by a few spoils it for the rest. Here on our tree farm, the local snowmoble club came and asked if they could cross our land using our woods road, at first We didn't know but was assured by the members that they would police their members, they did this by posting trail directions and signs asking the user to stay on the trail only. We found no litter, they did stay on the trails, used aluminum nails to post their signs, and would be welcome back here anytime. ( hate litter, lazy people do this, take it home don't leave for some else to clean up). On the other side have had one guy ( don't know who) during hunting season built a campfire in my pines and left it unattended, burnt about a six ft circle in the woods road don't know why it didn't get into the woods? not only would have distroyed the woods, but with a good wind could have reached the house and out buildings, this was done while we were all away at work, We didn't discover till weekend. Many people walking in the same spot over and over can wear a rut, simply move the trail over giving the old trail a rest allowing plants to take over, think farmers call it laying fallow? Striking a balance in land use is just that, city people have a need to experience the woods and the wild, it is the our nature and is a place to recharge our batteries, doing so requires much thought and negotations by all. One last thought since you are an associate editor, install spell check for this forum, for someone with a college education I'm the worst speller and like litter hate mis-spelling words, thanks.

                                                      Gary    

Brad
#2 Posted : Saturday, May 10, 2008 4:33:19 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Troy

I am glad that you started the new thread.  These really are matters of conflicting rights.   In the US our right to walk even on public streets is suspect.  I have never been treated so like a criminal as when I had to walk a few blocks in one my cities wealthier suburbs.   

England, Scotland, and Wales all have at least partially adopted the rights of passage that the author is talking about.  I have had the pleasure of going on a number of walking trips in England and can attest to the joy of walking more or less unencumbered across the countryside.

Like here the laws vary locally but there is a huge network of historic footpaths for which the rite of passage has been maintained.  I have walked through farm yards on trails that passed between the house and the barn.  Courtesy and the law require that you do not linger; and that you close gates, but you may pass.  The law also requires that the gates not be locked unless a way to get around, over, or through them is provided

 There has been a movement to protect and expand these rights that goes back at least to the 1930’s and is still very much alive today.  Trespass day (the anniversary of the day in 1932 when 500 working class “ramblers” challenged and ultimately defeated the trespass laws) is still celebrated by thousands of walkers.  A national trail called Trespass Trail has just been opened in its honor.

In addition to the footpaths there is also the right walk over land that meets certain definitions even in the absence of trails or paths.  This right exists based on the type of the land, not how or by whom it is owned.  They are currently campaigning to include all coastal land in the definition.  The uncultivated rural land that the author describes would certainly meet the definition of land that one could walk on with little or no restriction. 

If you have any interest experiencing this for you self search “Rambling” or “hill walking”.  If you are interested in organized trips whether self guided or with a group ad “holidays” to your search.  This will lead you to British walking groups.  This is important because they tend to have relatively more vacation time and as a result less money to spend per week.  The difference in price between US and British based travel to the same destination is dramatic. 

Mike in McMurdo
#3 Posted : Saturday, May 10, 2008 5:17:21 AM
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As I posted on the previous thread, the "public" in general is not the environmentally conscious person they once were. Today the "walker" is just as likely to have a pot garden stashed in the corner of someones lot or to be a Meth head living in the woods because he can't survive anywhere else.

When I talk to the local cops, I realize there is a total other world of misfits that none of see and other  peoples private property are great places for themto hide in. They disappear in the daytime, but they don't go away. The farther you get away from civilization, the worse it gets.

No wonder people lock up their land.

Am I pessimistic or do others see the same things happening in their areas.

martingr
#4 Posted : Saturday, May 10, 2008 12:01:18 PM
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 Mike,

   Don't know about drug users camping out, but do know that people will drive up someone's woods road and throw out washing machines, refrigerators, old tires, ect. because they don't want to have to pay to get rid of. A number of years ago there was this farmer who's land had a real nice river running thru it, he allow all to have access and had even made a picnic area for people to enjoy, well one day when he was passing thru the picnic grounds, he found bags and bags of garbage all over this picnic area. He was mad and rightly so, he could of just chained off the area and closed it for all, but instead he started rummaging thru the garbage, till he found an envelope with an address on it, he then boxed up all that garbage and sent it to them collect. True story, maybe? moral of the story a good one. Do I allow everyone access? no, but if you stop at the house and ask me, the answer will in all liklihood be yes.

                                                                    Gary

Mike in McMurdo
#5 Posted : Saturday, May 10, 2008 2:37:58 PM
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Gary, I think that will become a nationwide problem before long. It used to be you could go to the dump with impunity. Now some of the hazardous stuff can cost a lot of money to dispose of properly. Obviously, that is a good thing, but if you are scraping by and don't have extra cash, what are you going to do. As you say, people find somebody's land and dump it. Then somebody else has to pay the costs.

I like the envelope idea. A few years back I was working in a Southern Cal National Forest. We would regularly come across dumpings from Meth Labs. At one of them, they dumped their household trash as well and what do you know, it has the junk mail in it as well. We turned it all over to the police. You would think people would be smarter than that, but they aren't.

I think the bottom line in all of this is 1)you are responsible legally if someone gets hurt. 2) you are responsible legally for toxic dumping on your land and 3) while many respect your property, many won't and you have to suffer the consequences.

Walkers rights laws sound like looking at the world through rose colored glasses.

HockeyFan
#6 Posted : Sunday, May 11, 2008 3:39:31 AM
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This thread is of interest to me.  I have concerns to protect the property owner, especially if people can walk across his property and then turn around and sue him if they fall and get hurt while on the property.  At the same time, walker's rights mean something to me, and I have also seen that if you walk in a wealthy neighborhood, it's almost certain that the police will soon be there asking you questions.  In fact, even if you are in your car, driving on a public street, the mere fact that you are in a rich neighborhood will bring the police and you will be urged to leave, and the police will follow you until you are out of the neighborhood.

I have seen this.  And if you are a minority (a friend of mine is hispanic) the police will threaten to beat you up and arrest you for just questioning how legal it is for the police to tell you to leave the neighborhood.

We do not live in a free country, by any stretch of the imagination.  The only freedom I see is the freedom to sue.  The trial lawyers run this country.

 


Earth Home Project:
www.freewebs.com/stocktonunderground

 

John Edward Mercier
#7 Posted : Sunday, May 11, 2008 9:34:28 PM
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There is some truth to that, but modern economics will soon result in psychology changes that most never expected.

Cheap energy has allowed us to expand areas of society that will not be cost effective in the future...

But the protection of 'territory' as I said is inherent in most animal species including humans, so I doubt walker's rights will ever overpower property rights in the US.

 

 

HockeyFan
#8 Posted : Monday, May 12, 2008 5:04:35 PM
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There are plenty of state parks, public grass lands, public roads, country roads, etc, that there really isn't much of a need for people to be walking across someone else's property.  And since most people want to live in the city, there are plenty of walking and biking trails for them to take advantage of.  And the people that want to get out of the city, already have done so.

Earth Home Project:
www.freewebs.com/stocktonunderground

 

goldylocks
#9 Posted : Tuesday, June 03, 2008 9:41:55 PM
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I am currently a city dweller trying to make my way to the country (hopefully this summer).
I love to camp, fish, and hike. I'm from IN and we fequently visit the state forest and state recreation areas, problem is the private and state land intertwine, those NO Tresspassing signs are up everywhere. My husband and I have drove and drove country roads looking for the state property, (so not to trespass) the maps are not marked well nor the state land.

I have actually been kicked out of private land (that was located near state property).
We have a lot of coal mines around here and when they are finished depleting the natural rescoures they make state forest, public access, and so on.
My husband had been in a motorcycle accident and was quite sore, I was sick of being stuck in the city so we set out to find some peace. We pull over to a pond that is not too far from the dirt road (because of the pain that he was in). We though our lines in, he sits on his bucket, I grab my bucket and take a trip around the pond, checking it out, and picking up trash along the way. Soon I hear my name being called in somewhat of a panic. I take off toward my husband to see what the problem is, the problem was we were on private land, we were told we could not just go anywhere we wanted. The man telling this was what I would call a security guard (I guess), he threathened to take us to jail and showed us his weapon, he did not have a badge and said he would have to call the sherriffs to actually take us to jail, but if we were caught there again, we would go to jail for trespassing. We were not harming anyone or anything, I was actually picking up trash that someone else had left behind. Had I'd known that it was not part of the state property I would have let them pick up there own trash and been on my way. These days there just isn't enough land, I guess if they are that intent about people not being there, then they should put up a sign!

I have often complained to my husband "the State should hire me to mark the land, mark the trails, mark the maps so we can enjoy the peace, nature, and wildlife."
I have been dispersed camping in the Kiabab National Forest in AZ. That was the most awesome camping trip ever.

There is allways two sides, good and evil.
I want to be in the country, but haven't made it there yet.

Gods green earth
#10 Posted : Tuesday, June 10, 2008 2:10:10 PM
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If you want to go on a walkabout now days it's best to go to a park,hiking trail,etc. I remember when I was a kid everyone I knew never locked their doors and never had to worry about people stealing. Same with peoples property. We could cut through peoples yards whatever and it was no big deal. Now day's common sense tells you different.

You may get shot.  There is enough land for now to drive out to a nature park and go walk to you're hearts content. People are always worried about their rights. We are slowly losing our rights because of a few bad apples messing it up for all of us. Instead of worrying so much on our rights why don't we start thinking about our responsabilities.

Carol48
#11 Posted : Friday, January 30, 2009 3:10:20 AM
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This is a very touchy subject for me.  See I spent 40+ years living and 30+ working in a big city.  In all that time my goal was to buy land in the northern part of my state.  I finally manage to save enough and make the move of my dreams.  We are on a dead end of our road.  My land is posted at the gate but in our State you do not have to post your land to enforce trespassing laws. 
At the end of my road there has been numerous washing machine, refrigerators and of course dead calves, goats and a very large white dog.  One day there was a toilet with lots of dry wall and bags of garbage.  We put on gloves and went through the garbage, found medicine bottles and pictures of their kids.  We loaded it all up and drove the three miles to there house and dumped in the middle of their driveway.
Do I want someone thinking they can walk through my dream property any time they fell like going for a stroll?  NO  Do I care what they do in other country's?  NO   Would I escort them off of my property or call the police?  YES.  I worked to hard and to long to have someone think they can walk anywhere they please.  If I ever hear of someone bringing that up as a bill for law I will canvas my whole state to stop it.  What can't people understand about "Private Property"
I don't consider myself a hermit, not by any means but I like my private times.   Next thing you know I will be standing on my back porch in my skiveys having my morning coffee and I will be turned in for indecent exposure from some jerk out on a stroll on my land.  My house is in the middle of my eightie acres for a reason.  
Anonymous
#12 Posted : Sunday, April 19, 2009 5:08:23 AM
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goldylocks wrote:
I am currently a city dweller trying to make my way to the country (hopefully this summer).
I love to camp, fish, and hike. I'm from IN and we fequently visit the state forest and state recreation areas, problem is the private and state land intertwine, those NO Tresspassing signs are up everywhere. My husband and I have drove and drove country roads looking for the state property, (so not to trespass) the maps are not marked well nor the state land.
Go to any park system in the U.S. and I know there are maps they hand out for free to the general public. All you have to do is pay the fee to enter the park gate OR sign in as a guest for free. 
Just because your on a dirt road does mean your on 'publicly owned' land of the national park service. I own my dirt road all the way out to the black top. So, if I saw you walking around my land I wouldn't have waited I would have call the cops and had them on the phone as I talked to you, just because of the motorcycle. And the being more than 1 person and the fact that you left and were 'out of sight of the road'. (now, don't get me wrong here - I own a 'street bike'/motorcycle too). And the criminal element of bikers run in packs and their vehicle is easly taken off road, and the vehicle can easily be hidden.

John Edward Mercier
#13 Posted : Sunday, April 19, 2009 5:34:33 PM
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Posts: 134,494

So the 'criminal element of bikers' added to your ownership of a motorcycle makes you a criminal?

 

TROY GRIEPENTROG
#14 Posted : Sunday, April 19, 2009 5:34:33 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Your opinions on trespassing laws and walkers' rights are fascinating. Now here's another twist. Other countries around the world have a broad range of ideas about public and private property. Scotland's "Right to Roam" law (officially the "Land Reform Act") specifically gives walkers the right to hike on paths through uncultivated private land. In Sweden, you can even camp on private land if it's not near a dwelling, in a garden or cultivated. We'd love to hear your comments about these laws and attitudes about cultural differences with regard to walkers' responsibilities. Here are some links to get the conversation started.

Troy Griepentrog
Associate Editor
    Mother Earth News


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_Roam

www.coastalconservancy.ca.gov/coast&ocean/spring2003/pages/three.htm

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/6753277.stm

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Rothman

www.trespassers-w.net/

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