Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Mountain house, 3

 Some thoughts on trespassing private property:

We’ve had our issues here on November Hill with ATVs trespassing on the private gravel lane in front of our farm, as well as the back side of our property along a utility easement. One of our previous neighbors’ young adult sons, drove an ATV right in front of my face down to our back property, rammed our gate down, and drove over the gate to continue on his way. Last year 25 or so ATVs mostly driven by adult men trespassed all over the place behind our farm, doing huge damage to the land. All of this has been dealt with, and I remain completely mystified as to what possesses people to think they can buy an ATV and drive off into the world at large across any piece of land they see fit to ride onto. 

Now, of course, we have a beautiful piece of land on a mountainside that happens to have a sensitive habitat grassy bald on it. We knew this when we bought it - people are driving not only ATVs but full-sized trucks up to the bald, doing great damage to this gorgeous piece of land. 

My husband spent hours this week putting up chains and no trespassing signs to stop the trespassers until we can get a more appropriate barrier put up to stop this encroachment. I have a call into the USFS ranger for our area requesting assistance from them as well - the vehicles are entering through USFS land to get to our land.

My hope is that as we make it known that this is private property people will respect the boundaries. I remain mystified as to why anyone would think they have the right to drive into private property and do anything there. I don’t understand the mindset that allows that behavior.

If you want to cross private property, ASK PERMISSION. You may be told no, and if so, RESPECT THE FACT that the private landowner paid for the property, pays for upkeep and land management, and pays taxes on the property. Taking any kind of vehicle onto private property is likely doing harm. DON’T.

I understand all the arguments against private property ownership, and I understand that historically none of this land was ours to take. However, in 2021 we paid for the privilege to preserve this land and that’s what I intend to do. 

Rant over. I’m grateful for kindred spirit neighbors who are working closely with us to stop this grassy bald from being destroyed by the thoughtless, criminal behavior of random people. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

I hear you! We’ve put private property signs up along with no hunting signs. That unfortunately didn’t stop hunters from coming on the property, hunting in the woods and leaving gates open. Which led to the herd getting loose. We’ve now put locks on all the gates and it has stopped. People around here are used to doing what they have always done I guess but it has stopped now, not because they obeyed the signs (half of them probably can’t read anyway) but because we took action to keep them out. Good luck.

billie said...

Across from our land is a federally-established bear sanctuary, and apparently men park on the road, send their hunting dogs with GPS collars on, and try to flush the bears onto the road where I guess they think it’s okay to shoot them. I have no clue what kind of sport this is supposed to be. Apparently these “hunters” do respect our land along there, so at least there’s that!

It’s one thing to walk or ride onto property that is adjacent to public lands, as it’s possible there is confusion about where the lines are drawn. It’s a whole other issue to open a gate and go into the land it is protecting! To me a gate means this is not open, period. I can’t even imagine hunters doing that, but otoh, of course, I can. Sigh. We have locks on our exterior gates too. Some do not have enough sense to stay out even if something is fenced, gated, and posted.

I’m glad you stopped the encroachment.

Matthew said...

Here's to hoping the chains and signs will keep them off the bald now!

billie said...

Yes, I’m sure I would have heard from the neighbors if there were anything going on.