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#61 Posted : Tuesday, September 23, 2008 2:43:32 PM
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We live on a large farm and we're bordered on two sides by water, one by a highway, and one by another farm.
We're not anti-social at all but we do have several practical reasons for not allowing just anyone on our property.
The first is liability issues. Sad to say, but we live in an extremely litigious age and, were someone to be hurt on our land, I'd be on the hook for it.
The second is safety. We don't know who these people are.
There have been times when we've invited groups of people we don't know here. We've allowed people to come and camp on our property. We have a group of men in our church who we allow to hunt on our land.
Like I said, we're bordered on two sides by water, one side, the Chesapeake Bay, the other side, a large creek. In our state, the law says that all beaches are public property up to mean high tide level.
When we first moved here about fifteen years ago, we'd constantly have partiers tied up and using the beach on our property and sometimes, even our dock.
We've got children here and we don't want them exposed to some of the things that were going on so I posted a few "Private Beach" signs, even though it's public property. Even though the signs don't carry any legal weight, they do keep the troublemakers away.
Somebody mentioned dirt bikes. That's where I would draw the line. If somebody was on my property with a dirt bike, I'd have no problem calling the sherrif.
John Edward Mercier
#62 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 6:13:52 PM
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But you have no problem defrauding the public of their property rights?

That's taking the high moral ground.


#63 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 7:20:36 PM
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If putting up a fake sign is what it takes to fool a few drunks and keep them from coming on to my property and causing property damage and exposing my children to drunkenness and nudity, yeah, I'm OK with that.


#64 Posted : Sunday, April 19, 2009 12:42:12 AM
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I loved you post and get several giggles out of it. If only I had neighbors like you, your ideas would be great. But, as sad as it seems we do not live like this in America today.

I remeber when I was young, I was told to respect my elders and enjoy beauty. I used to walk like you are talking about across other people's land. But, I knew each and everyone of them or at least my PawPaw did. They knew I was out there watching the birds, counting the ladybugs and making wild life friends. But, at the same time I was picking wildflowers to take by the chruch or a sick elderly persons house or cutting though the woods to go to the store for Miss Mary a loaf of bread.  And in the same respect they knew if they asked me to do something or needed a message delievered they just had to watch and wait for one of the 'good claude's grand daughters' to come. They knew that we were taught to respect the wildlife, our elders and we would leave the place the same or better than the way we found it. My only crime was rock collecting. But, I came to find out that PawPaw always restocked my hunting spot.

But, as my PawPaw put it I 'born with an old soul' and quite unusal even in my younger days; people are not trianed to respect their elders and nature anymore. Are they choose at some point to forget the lessons learned on their Grand parents knee. And when people are treated with disrespect they learn not to trust the few 'good people' that are left.

People walk their dogs down a dirt road and find a small farm full of small animals and then they stop walking the dog and just let him walk himself. They forget or don't understand that they basicly trained the dog with a walking trail and without them holding that lease the animal is going to get too interested in the small farm animals on his walking route. Then, the dog gets into trouble with the landower for playing/chasing/hurting/killing the small farm animals. And I, as that 'born free spirit', has learned that I need to step up to the plate before that happens and ban dog walking across my property before the dog owner loses his 'common sense'.

But, for me a walker of this nature is not my biggest problem. With sticky fingered neighbors that require you to log chain your own farm tractor to a lightpole to keep it at home. I had to take off my 'childhood rose colored glass' in order to put on 'glass' from the eye doctor' where I'll be able to see who's 'brat' is that stealing my wheelbarrel from the barn? 'Look at that' he's just a walking it down the dirt road and a telling me it's his. And I have to point out that since he stoled the last one, I painted my name, address, phone number and reward information on the underside belly...... And , seeing that it's his granpa that I have to protect my tractor from, It will be no use a 'talking to his parents'........

And that me just talking about people that are not cutting livestock fences, hunters killing livestock by accident or the stealing of livestock nad private property. I find the only 'signs' that stay up are the ones I made that say "SMILE, FOR YOUR PICTURE!" and the banning of aniamals and people from the property within the camera's view.

Shirley in NC
#65 Posted : Sunday, April 19, 2009 1:24:07 AM
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Spark123y wrote:

Death penalty for trespassing? Seems abit harsh. For the first offense I think I'd vote for just puttem in the stocks and throw rotten veggies atem. The second time you burnem at the stake. After that?? 

I worked with a nutcase who shot at a hunter who accidently got on his land(no it wasnt posted). Last I knew he was still in jail.


Well, Brain here in  NC a hunter was shot on his own land by a 'game warden' during turkey season.

His crime was he was hard of hearing and walked forward - toward the game warden with his gun in one hand and his turkey in the other to ask the stranger/trespasser what he wanted. I think since he had owned the farm and that it was a place he had lived all his life (80+ years) - the game warden should have know the man in question by sight; know the landowner was deaf; and the hunter should have know the game warden in question - if he couldn't hear the man, he proably couldn't see him either. 

Why? You may ask...The other hunters in the area knew the hunter in question, they knew he was deaf, and the 'game wardens' and the property owner should have meet - before the game warden stepped a foot onto the 'posted private property/hunting by the owner permission only' piece of property.

Who do I find to be at fault - both parties...

Why -

The deaf property owner should have informed the game wardens office that he hunted the area and that he was deaf - just because he was deaf.

The Game wardens office should have meeting set up to meet hunters and property owners of hunting allowed property. These two gentlemen should have meet somehow during the hunting season during their lifetime and known each other.

The hunter reported his kills, purchased a a permit AND someone took the reports and sold the permit...maybe it's that 3rd person 'reports' and/or that 4th 'permit' person's fault for not thinking to pass the information and setting up the 'meet and greet' between the 2 gentlemen involved in this sad story.

Shirley in NC
#66 Posted : Sunday, April 19, 2009 2:19:40 AM
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scott wrote:

Guess what?  Life is going on. GET OVER IT or do like the hiker, have a few cocktails and go wander around aimlessly pulling property stakes.

I am sorry for everyone's loss BUT don't you dare pull up my property stacks!! The last time this farm was survived were lost 4+ areas.

How - we live on a dirt road that should end at our property line, but No - the neighbor asked my Dad about 30 years ago if he could use our easement road To move in a mobile home for his mother and kept using it for everything since. We didn't know that we should have said "H- NO!" when he asked if we minded taking the trailer though that cattle shoot. We didn't know that we should have rebuilt the CS and been mean and not let this 'little old lady' use our  property easements  to get to the main road... And we didn't know planting the fence line of the property line that far so that we could clearly define, drive and easily repair it..... And we didn't know that if we allowed Old mister bell easier access to his back 40 and our being nice people and all...

We didn't know that the county could come in and claim the roads/dirt tracks that we allowed others on.

We didn't know that if the fence was not right on the line - and we allowed access of the joining property that we were giving them what we didn't use....

And a BIG D we didn't know that you have to take an pay for a lawyer, take suit against every joining property owner and go to court to regain said property. We are the wronged party and have to prove that we were wronged...

Now, I live across the this easements road that having more than the old farmhouse makes this a PUBLICLY owned road when all I was doing was helping support my parents in their retirement.

And we just didn't know... Ya'll get my drift...

#67 Posted : Sunday, April 19, 2009 3:37:26 AM
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JustJim wrote:

Dear Sarah,

What the heck is a "Millian?"  My wife and I constitute neither a "community or enclave."  Instead, we are merely aging "Baby Boomers."  Is it too much to think that what is ours should be ours?  As  old folks, we're not about to go "mano-a-mano" with the riffraff of the world.  A .45 automatic equalizes many things. 

Wishing you well,



And I agree with you, as long as you have the training and the common sense to us the gun when and how it is needed.


Most trespasser do not own property or own so little property that to me it's like owning none. You don't understand a small farmers plit unless you have walked their path.

It is sad that:

Many of us have to carry guns now to walk our own land. It is sad when I have to 'take out papers' on someone because they purchased a ATV for their child and want to ride it and think they can drive across my hay field, cutting circles and trying to 'run the landowner down' when the land owner is only trying to protect themself and their way of life.

So, I understand the posted property. And I understand when the property owner set traps lines being tied between trees at ATV chest level 200 feet past the 'yellow posted property sign'.... Nothing ilegal about it being well with in your property confinds...and if the rider doesn't understand that 'floating' ribbon and/or cloth tie to them there lines - then you know he didn't ask to able to use the property in this way or he would have know.... Cause that there 'yellow posted property sign' means that I purchased the signs at a government office and paid out of my pocket the cost of the notice staying on the board at the court house and notices being placed in all the local newspapers...

I understand and agree with the farmer that killed the dogs that killed his birds that were to be his paycheck to pay for the property - that he owns, Personally our farm has killed 50+ dogs or had the dog catcher do it - that's not counting cats... I have shot dogs during animal attacks in front of the owner and the owner blame me when the dog shouldn't been on my property to begin with an if they thought about it with them being there the animals should have been under control to begin with. I have had cows killed and 'had to be put down' just because some person thought the whole wide world should do what they wanted them to do  or let them do what they wanted to do...

That is really what is SO SAD!!

Don't get me wrong I did like the little fantsy story on the main web site and that's the only reason I entered the forum here. But I have a fansty world too......And I live in the real world with real world with real problems and real people...

IT IS SO SAD that people don't realize that any damage done comes out of the pockets of this little farmer and that effects more than your food prices, it effects the very air you breathe.

Did ya know that to properly graze (1) milk cow it takes 3 ac or more? That's uninterputed living green that puts out the oxgen that you breathe...

#68 Posted : Sunday, April 19, 2009 4:20:26 AM
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Sarah Wrote:

This tread makes me think that English have 'made their bed again'.  And while I am not so educated as many here, I do have one question popping up in my mind.  If this 'tresspass right' exists, then it always did.  And if it always did, how did roads come into existance?


So someone asked a good question - Think back to your ancient history books... You mention England so I stick with that...

General knowledge for England is the 'King of England' owned all of England and if you read anything connected with let's say the "War of the roses" Which happened during  the Eglish/French war reference or call today the '100 year war' you would find that the King of England did indeed take massive amounts of land from his own family (royal family fighting same royal family but, different branch) just because they choose to rise up against him and inturn they were raising against England. At some point the King of England claimed to own all of the British Isle, including Scotland and large parts of Ireland.

So, he had roads built to transport marketable goods and food from one household/castle/fortified estate to the other. No one could stand against the King or he would just take the land and their royal title away. Reading any textbook on the 'war of the roses' can give you great examples of the above fore mentioned information. One was named "THE KINGS ROAD" somewhere in England. And if you were farmer you had to 'give right of way' to any and all standard bears (Royal flag holders rode before the royal blooded riders yelling 'MAKE WAY')

And if you really want to get down to the weird stuff in one of the world wars a town on the Scotland/England border was so often being taken by the Scotts and/or English in battle that it was listed on the article of war by name. I don't recall which 'World War' or even the name of the town ('town name' on the river 'river name'), but it was the only town listed with the countries in the 'Article of War' or "declaration of war" and list as the enemy.

Computer Cowboy
#69 Posted : Thursday, June 04, 2009 3:46:23 PM
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This article is one of the most idiotic and infuriating things I've read in quite some time. I'm really surprised and disappointed that the editors approved its publication. If the author showed up at my place and started taking liberties with my property to suit himself, I'd take his stupid walking stick away from him and beat the bejesus out of him with it. By his reasoning, I should be able stop by his place, pass personal judgement on anything I see, and make whatever changes I prefer. Can I smoke in his living room? Can I make a pass at his wife? I don't happen to like cats, so can I remove his? Can I paint his house a different color?


What's the point of burdening myself with the expense and trouble of property ownership if any drunken moron can come along and assert his 'rights' over my property? I happen to own my little place and can and do establish any rules I see fit, and can also hang up any 'obnoxious' sign I choose. If someone doesn't find that to be satisfactory to his personal sense of aesthetics, that's just one more good reason to stay the hell away.


I used to manage a beautiful 10,000 acre ranch, and dealing with trespassers was always a huge problem. I had horses shot, elk poached, expensively stocked trout ponds fished, fences cut, cattle rustled, pastures trashed by ATVs, forest fires started, you name it. When challenged, many trespassers voiced the rather socialist sentiment that the land was 'too beautiful' for the owners to keep to themselves. I would always respond that they were welcome to make an offer on the place, then maybe they could make the rules. Then the day came when a lady who had the owner's permission to play on the property managed to injure herself. She successfully sued, and will never have to work again.


But that's not the point. There are huge problems in the world that I have no power to control. One thing I do have a little power over is my personal environment, small as it is, and I'm very thankful for that. I also happen to work very hard to pay for it and I'll be damned if anybody will violate it without a fight. This author needs to haul his belly full of booze down to the local real estate office and purchase a piece of land big enough to satisfy his wandering proclivities. He would, however, likely have to work harder than he'd prefer in order to pay for it.


He also needs to reread Thoreau. 

#70 Posted : Tuesday, May 25, 2010 1:09:04 PM
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As Health is wealth but i think money is wealth and world so we need to become social with the people as doctor serve the patient similarly we can serve the people by participating in social benefits to provide the treatment to people like hospitals therefore i read the article and found the nice tips which are useful for us

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#71 Posted : Tuesday, May 25, 2010 1:11:02 PM
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Food and Health is basic part of life we must care for it therefore i read the article and found the nice tips which are useful for us



#72 Posted : Saturday, June 19, 2010 6:22:44 AM
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I grew up on a large acreage in Montana where we raised cattle and horses,we appreciated having open land to ride on and didn't particularly care of people came on and rode or hunted,my Dad was a rancher and outdoorsman and expected that people would be mindful of his stock,keep closed gates closed and just generally be respectful of the land,if he was aware of someone being on the place he would often ride out and "feel them out" a bit,most people he allowed to stay but there were a few that he ran off.

His general rule was not to allow anyone on that he wouldn't want to sit and drink coffee with,he was a simple man that way!

It would sure be nice if such rules could apply to all places but I'm afraid they don't,here in Colorado we have a small acreage we keep our horses on and have a few chickens,etc..I've found the people around here have little respect for property rights and I have had neighbors come into my corral without permission to pet my horses and give them "treats" and thier idea of proper horse treats might be something I don't want them to have,plus the liability is all mine if they get kicked,otherwise get hurt or even let my horses out,which has happened more than a couple times.

I've decided it just isn't worth it to be too welcoming to such people and have put up the "No Trespassing" sign,I wish I could be more like my father but times and people have changed.


Heidi Hunt
#73 Posted : Saturday, June 19, 2010 6:22:44 AM
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Should walkers and hikers be allowed to cross private property without being harassed by landowners? Or is the right to privacy — and to exclude unwanted guests — more sacred? Most people will probably feel strongly about this topic, so we invite you to discuss your thoughts here. If you haven’t already read the articles on trespassing and walkers rights, click here. (The essay on walkers rights is also below.)

No Trespassing Signs and Modern Day Monkey Wrenching
By Allan Stellar

When very-much-a-non-Saint Edward Abbey violated billboards back in the 1950s (leading to the frolic of the Monkey Wrench Gang as told in the classic novel of 1976) things were different. Signs were made of wood. And commerce wasn’t as sophisticated as it is today. He could use a hatchet, or gasoline and matches, to rid the rural landscape of these human-made blemishes. No more.

Now the signs which barrage us with so much information are made by impersonal corporations and constructed of steel. They can still be “monkey wrenched,” but it takes quite a tall ladder, guts and spray paint. But no matter the effort, getting rid of them is no longer possible (outside of dynamite or legal means).

Happiness in Nature

When my wife and I bought a small off-the-grid cabin as our Thoreau-type home, we were quite happy. Three acres nestled at 2,000 feet, where the Sierra Mountains meet the Cascade Mountains — it was exactly what we were looking for. Good California climate. Reasonable road access. Close enough to jobs. Cheap enough to enable us to work part-time. Wild. Semi-level. And solar powered. Happiness.

From the former owners, we inherited those ugly “no trespassing” signs which encircled the three-acre property. One of our first acts of sociability was to walk the property and tear down the noxious signs. Why? Because they are ugly and made of plastic (they will last thousands of years). Their loud, neon letters are anti-social. I want the animal life to trespass. All the bunnies, deer, bears, raccoons, rattlesnakes, gophers, mountain lions, skunks and the occasional hiker are welcome to walk through our property.

Evidently, not everyone feels the same as I do.

One evening I was out for a walk, with walking stick in hand (having encountered a grumpy rattlesnake on an earlier sojourn with my wife, a staff is essential). Fortified with a bellyful of wine and dollop of Johnny Walker Red, I set out to walk the dirt and gravel roads of our mountainous homestead. Beauty.

No More “No Trespassing”

The cabin inhabits a ridge top, with canyons on either side. Our private road gives access to a number of three- to 10-acre properties. No electricity lines here. Part-time, full-time and no-time residents live off the grid. Solar panels and the occasional wind turbine provide the power (and the gasoline-fired generators — oh, to get rid of those things). No streetlights. Rural bliss.

So walking with staff in hand is a pleasure. Just the occasional resident in a pickup, choking along at five to 10 mph, is the only hazard of human proportions. Summer. The coolness of the evening, welcome after the heat of the day. The chirps of birds. Scat of all varieties. Deer. The scamper of a squirrel. I walked the road.

Brave from the Johnny Walker, I surveyed all the “no trespassing” signs. What are they protecting? “Keep Out!” Violating the sign's premise, I wandered through a broken-down, former meth-amphetamine house. Abandoned. And obviously in the disrepair that people who don’t care about their lives leave behind. Trash. Biker magazines. More trash. Refuse. And posted as a public nuisance. No small wonder these folks didn’t want anyone to trespass.

An idea: If Butte County could declare such a property a “public nuisance,” couldn’t I, as a guardian of the ridge, do the same? I made a decision to tear down the nuisance “no trespassing” signs. Ed Abbey would be proud. One by one, on my two-mile walk, I rid my daily route of the gnarly beasts.

Six months later, the walk is much prettier. And none of the signs have returned.

However, on our road, there is one last property. A chain across the dirt path, with a large “keep out” sign, forbids my access. Of course, these folks drive through my property to get to theirs. Why so uninviting? Why should my walk be so unpleasantly cut short? What are the rights of walkers, hikers and sightseers?

Freedom to Move About

I live in the wrong country. The rights of property owners are well respected here. Sabotage of private property of any sort is dealt with forcefully. The anarchist group, the Earth Liberation Front, knows this. They got a 25-year prison sentence for burning an SUV in protest of inappropriate consumerism. My own spouse sat in a tree in a national forest. For this (because she protected the rights of a 400-year-old Engelmann spruce), she was branded an “eco-terrorist felon” and did a month in prison.

But I’m not talking about sabotage. I’m talking about taking a walk.

I’m not a fan of restricted access to anything (except when it comes to greedy corporations). We need access to the Internet. To information. To beauty. Especially if what you are accessing is human-powered. Legs should be able to take us anywhere. Walk any road. It’s good for you.

If there is a road already there, a walker/hiker should be able to walk it. And we should be protected to have that right. No one should be able to corner a part of the Earth as completely theirs. Public access to beaches, parks, national parks … and all rural roads. All should be encouraged.

Even if the property is private? Yes. A road should be closed to pedestrians only if by walking the road one is disturbing the flora and fauna of an area. Breeding seasons for seals come to mind. And the nesting of rare birds. Otherwise, let no human violate another human’s right to walk. Protect the animals, not the property owners. The property has been violated enough already by the road being there. For heaven’s sakes, let us take a walk.

And gated communities? Shouldn’t they have their right to privacy? No. Freedom of movement trumps any rich person’s right to privacy anytime. Open the gates! What the hell are they hiding back there anyway? If a community receives community services, then they should be open to the community.

Walker’s Rights

Now if you are being antisocial on your walk, the law still applies. Loitering laws make sense. Hanging around with malicious intent is not OK. “Thou shalt not steal” still applies to most people in this country. But walking with a stick? Let them pass.

Maybe what we need is a “walker’s rights” identity card. Fill out an application, take a class, and just like a driver’s license, you have the right to walk on any road (public or private). You’ve proven your sociability. No criminal record. Trained in social and rural etiquette. Let your walker’s license card be your ticket to improved access to all wonders, both private and public.

I can see a disturbed property owner cornering a Patagonia-clad hiker. “Get off my property!” he yells. The hiker pulls out his license, stating he/she will be respectful of both property and wildlife … and is granted legal protection to be there.

If you just have to have a “no trespassing” sign on your property because of some negative past experience, or because you just might be the paranoid type (watching too much TV perhaps?), my advice would be this: At least make the darned thing beautiful! Have it produced by an artisan. Put flowers around it. No more cheap petroleum-based, neon, anti-social signs of any kind.

And it’d be nice to have a reason for the sign: “No trespassing because this area is sensitive to foot traffic.” Or be honest: “Access is hereby restricted because I like to walk around naked on my property.”  Or thus: “Please don’t trample here without my permission. I’d like to get to know you before you smell my flowers or sanctify my skunks.”

No more grumpy signs. We have enough grumpy people inhabiting our world. While walking, should you happen to come across a particularly nasty no trespassing sign, well, ahem, you could always ask yourself “What would Abbey do?”

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