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View Poll Results: Where would you rather live (see thread)?
#1 24 58.54%
#2 17 41.46%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-14-2012, 07:27 PM
10,734 posts, read 8,722,262 times
Reputation: 19559


That business about access to land bordering waterways is confusing for many people, and the law seems to vary from state to state. In my state, there is a legal distinction between navigable and non-navigable waterways. In the first instance, navigable waterways are open to the public, but the riverbed and banks are not. Non-navigable waterways' beds belong to the owner(s) of the bordering properties, and the water is not open to the public - but in both instances, the water belongs to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which has an interest in water quality.

That said, it seems sensible for property owners to allow access to their land only to those who ask first, respectfully, and who do no harm to the land, water, and all that dwells and grows upon and within it (sounds downright Biblical, doesn't it?). Alas, ATV riders are notorious for both not asking and for doing tremendous damage to both land and water, destroying rare plantlife and damaging wildlife habitat while filling the air with noxious fumes and loud roars of their engines.

I know of a recent case near me in which a local resident apparently to feel entitled to ride his off-road vehicles on heavily posted private rural property (hilly woods and a fragile stream), despite repeatedly being told to leave and keep away by the owner. This individual has never asked permission of the property owner and has been consistently verbally defensive and belligerent when confronted by the property owner, and appears to have a great sense of entitlement - to other peoples' privaate property! As a result, he has been warned by local law enforcement to keep off this posted land. This person has access to more than 30 similar nearby acres which ARE open for riding, yet insists upon trespassing onto the posted land, causing the landowner no end of difficulty and damaging his property.

This sort of idiot is the kind which give all ATV riders a bad reputation, and makes landowners more likely to both post their land and enforce it with whatever means necessary.

And: I cannot think of anything less "sporting" than killing a defenseless, caged animal. Barbaric.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:51 PM
Location: Wyoming
9,582 posts, read 17,762,929 times
Reputation: 14409
I selected no. 1, not because I like the idea, but because I hate the idea of not being permitted to post no trespassing.

I'm not a land owner, unless you count the small city lot that my house sits on, so it's not that I have problems with trespassers, but I do believe that land owners have every right to limit access to their land.

I grew up on a farm. Hunters and fishermen often stopped and asked if they could fish our pond or hunt our fields. It was always okay unless we had a mean bull in the field, but the point is that they asked permission first. That's always been the no. 1 rule when I want to be on someone's land.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:32 PM
Location: SWUS
5,421 posts, read 7,996,706 times
Reputation: 5804
Ideally, #2... but that will never happen, so I voted #1.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:25 AM
Location: Murrayville, Georgia
3,464 posts, read 1,671,417 times
Reputation: 5654
i would expect that if someone is on my land that they just hopped over my fence....u know that sign that reads..."i can make it to the gate in 3 seconds......can u"...well if u can out run my dogs...good luck....cause the bullets are coming next....

in other words...posted means keep out!
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:43 AM
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,736,591 times
Reputation: 3364
I have to go with #1, since #2 is entirely unrealistic.

#3 -- Ideally, in a utopian universe, I would RATHER that people stay off of any property they don't own* regardless of postings unless 1) they have determined who does own it and asked (and received) the owner's permission, 2) they verify the land is public and use it in accordance to applicable laws, or 3) there is a critical life-threatening emergency that requires them to trespass.

But, alas, #3 is pretty much as unrealistic as #2. The average human just isn't wired to respect anything above himself and his current desires/needs; even those who are trying to be respectful can still incidentally or accidentally do harm.

*Own -- while philosophically one might argue that it is impossible to own the actual land; legally in this country, the "owner" has paid for the exclusive use and enjoyment of it.

So, if you want your blueberries and the owner of the property won't give you permission when you ask (you did at least ask, right?), then you have 3 legal options: 1) find blueberries on public land where you're allowed to harvest them, 2) find blueberries on another piece of private land and get permission to harvest them, or 3) plant some blueberries on your own private land and have exclusive right to harvest them if you chose.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:11 PM
Location: Lake Coeur D’Alene
4,998 posts, read 6,807,171 times
Reputation: 4975
Pretty sure the navigable river thing and people being allowed to walk till the high water mark is a federal law. I live on a navigable river and people are all over the shores in summer...quite legally.

River Law: Who owns the rivers? River navigability law, for river access, river rights, river conservation, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, paddling, whitewater, and fly-fishing.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:24 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,580,100 times
Reputation: 6677
Interestingly, many Scandinavian countries have adopted open-access laws that guarantee access to land, whether public or private:

Freedom to roam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:34 PM
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 22,195,825 times
Reputation: 23233
What we would prefer does not matter. The land laws are the law. If you have a deed to the land it is yours and you, not what someone else prefers, are the one that decides who can set foot on it.

I cannot imagine anyone going on land they do not own with a recreational vehicle of any kind. That is inconsiderate and rude and usually causes damage to the land they run the vehicle on. Buy your own land and destroy it. You have no right to destroy the land of someone else.

I didn't vote on your poll because you did not have a choice that said, "If you trespass on others land they should have you arrested."
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:37 PM
Location: Piedmont, OK
96 posts, read 148,254 times
Reputation: 86
I find it interesting that people think they should be able to freely trespass around your home because you live in the country. If you live in the city and someone walked in to your backyard because they wanted to take a dip in your pool, would YOU like it? Free utopian society, isn't it? What am I supposed to do, die of heat exhaustion while you keep your sparkling pool all to yourself? How selfish of you! LOL
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:09 PM
Location: The Woods
17,094 posts, read 22,611,642 times
Reputation: 9373
#2 worked for over 200 years here, and really close to 400 years throughout New England. The point was that in Europe the average person could not hunt or gather wild foods because the land was either private property of the wealthy or the king's land. This system was to change what existed in Europe and gave everyone an opportunity to hunt and freely walk the countryside. There was no right to litter, cut down mature trees, destroy crops, shoot guns in a dangerous manner, etc. People who behaved this way were always able to be prosecuted for crimes or at least no trespassed from the property with a no trespass order. This still works where outsiders haven't bought up all the land here. Violations of the respect owed to the land are taken quite seriously by authorities here. Littering carries a big fine here. Shooting towards a house is almost always prosecuted. And so forth.

I can see things being different in a place like Alaska as the majority of land is public anyways. Here in the East the majority is privately owned and if the ability to freely cross private land did not exist here, there'd be next to no opportunity to fish, hunt, hike, etc. When the Long Trail was first created here, the nation's first long distance hiking trail, it crossed private land and the farmers and such whose land it crossed had no problem with it because of the tradition of free access here. When Thoreau explored the wilderness of Maine in the 1800's he was on privately owned land in many areas. To this day it's only possible to enjoy much of Maine's north woods because of the tradition of open access. Take that tradition away and Maine is a state no one will be visiting, and if it didn't exist in the past, there'd be no Appalachian Trail, Long Trail, etc.

I don't think it's any coincidence that the hunting lease/no free access mentality started in the South. The planters of the old South modeled their game management after Europe, thinking themselves the same as the nobility of Europe, and attempted to shut out the poorer average person from the woods. When the poorer people managed to buy a small parcel they did the same thing in return.
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