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Old 04-29-2012, 04:16 PM
 
10,511 posts, read 8,439,237 times
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Not in the cities, but on our posted, privately owned rural vacation property, where the worst offenders are both disrespectful and insistent on their "rights" to ride their ORVs on private, fully posted land, telling us "...you came in here and spoiled everybody's fun!"

Nope, didn't buy the place (five years ago) to provide an ATV/dirtbike playground for these spoiled overgrown brats with a huge sense of entitlement and little respect for others' property...
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:31 AM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,342,391 times
Reputation: 6670
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Not in the cities, but on our posted, privately owned rural vacation property, where the worst offenders are both disrespectful and insistent on their "rights" to ride their ORVs on private, fully posted land, telling us "...you came in here and spoiled everybody's fun!"

Nope, didn't buy the place (five years ago) to provide an ATV/dirtbike playground for these spoiled overgrown brats with a huge sense of entitlement and little respect for others' property...
ORV? I don't hear that abbreviation regularly.

Although I can respect your wishes for your property, you also need to realize that some local cultures do not take well to outsiders buying up land and posting it, and forbidding the locals from doing what they do on it, especially when you're not there. I realize that there are liability issues, and I'm not trying to defend the riders, but look at it from their point of view - guy comes, buys up land, spends maybe three weeks out of the year on it, and expects us to keep out of it even when he's not around.

Did a pre-existing trail run through your property?

In our area, almost no off-road rural land was posted until about 10 years ago, and you could ride practically anywhere you wanted to (Minnesota law on trespassing is rather lax - if you don't have your property posted, and it does not meet certain conditions - agricultural, within the metro area, house in sight, etc. - people can cross it freely without fear of prosecution). And honestly, I don't think the property owners really cared. But then it all started to be posted, although partly because kids would have parties and not clean up afterwards.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:37 AM
 
10,511 posts, read 8,439,237 times
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I am on my property two or three times a week during three seasons of the year, as it is in an adjoining county to my home county. I am a native of the state in which I reside and have lived in this part of the state since I was a small child. I have owned a business in the county in which my rural land is located for ten years. I made an effort to introduce myself to my nearest neighbors when I acquired the rural land, and continue to have a cordial relationship with them.

I have no problem with people who just want to walk in the my woods, or who want to let their kids play in the stream or collect rocks, or who want to picnic, as long as they ask first and make themselves known to me and don't leave a mess or cause any other problems.

I DO have a huge issue with ATVers and dirt bikers (ORV covers all off-road vehicles) who come onto posted private property without permission and procede to do damage in the absence - or presence - of the owners, who clearly do not want them there. Trash, deeply scarred tracks in the fragile forest understory, wetlands turned into mudholes, scuffs and tire marks on waterfalls and rock formations, destroyed wildflowers, run-off wildlife, smoking in the woods during forest fire season, noise, drinking while ATV-ing - not on my land, they don't. Not if I can stop them.

My concern is not only for my own privacy, enjoyment of my property, and peace and quiet, but also for the protection of my fragile land, which is quite vulnerable to severe damage. I have rare wildflowers, lots of wildlife, clear running water, springs, abundant trees, some of them mere seedlings and saplings, interesting rock formations - so it's not only my personal peace and quiet that's at stake. That's the least of it, actually - I want to protect this beautiful and increasingly rare place and hope to eventually leave or perhaps sell it to a like-minded group or individual, not have it abused and misused by trespassers on ORVs who view it solely as a place to ride and who resent me for refusing them.

The prime offender never asked, btw, nor did he introduce himself or his family when I found the place almost five years ago. Not very neighborly, in my view. I agree that it's a shame this situation has escalated - but don't think I am the one at fault here.

I was advised to post my land by my lawyer when I first purchased it, for my own protection. I think you'll find this is standard practice as well as very good advice, as land such as mine could be considered an "attractive nuisance" without it, and if Mr. Dirt Bike or his kids came to grief while riding their vehicles on unposted private land, he would be quick to sue for damages.

The last time a road went through my property was in the mid-19th century. What's left of the old unpaved roadbed is now overgrown in most places, though the original grading can still be seen in some places. It is crossed by fences along several property lines, mine included, and while it can be walked in some places, is impassable in others. I have checked this with both state and local road authorities: permission to be on my land (with or without ORVs) and the adjoining properties through which the 19th century road once ran rests with the current property owners - what took place there over 130 years ago has no bearing on current legal access, as there is no evidence that the old road was ever maintained by either public dollars or public labor. There is some evidence part of this old road was once a tollroad, which would have been privately owned. Travelers would have paid a toll, not a tax, nor would they have contributed labor to maintain the road.

Hope you understand my concerns better now. If ATVers want to ride on private land, they need to ask permission, then respect the wishes of private property owners and understand our concerns more fully if that permission is not granted.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:17 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,325,772 times
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It's very popular here in N. GA. We have numerous designated OHV trails for both ATVs and passenger cars. I enjoy offroading myself but I do understand and share the concerns of others on here. I manage some land that recently had some ATV action and had to take steps to seal off access.

Although I don't quite get whats up with these golf carts with the big wheels that have become so popular in the past few years. People drive them down the street even though that's illegal. And if they don't drive them in the street, they'll drive them across your yard.

Whenever we get snow, the ATVers are out tearing up people's lawns making swirly marks.
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