Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > 12/4 - Dumpster Diving & Access Issues
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chandlerhaberlack
chandler haberlack



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chandler haberlack
PostFri Dec 04, 2020 5:01 pm 
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Today I had some extra time on my hands so I decided I'd head up north to scout out some potential paragliding launches as well as bag some dumpster dive peaks. However, at two of the three locations I visited, new signs declared that any unauthorized use of the once public logging roads would be considered trespassing.

The first site I tried was Stimson Hill just north of Arlington. When I got there, this sign was posted at the gate:

What confuses me is its clear from Peakbagger, many people have used this approach and no one has mentioned the signs. I figured I'd just push on and if I saw another sign, I'd turn around. Sure enough, about a mile into walking on the logging road, another makeshift gate appeared.

At this point I decided to turn around. After all, we are in COVID times and some people are a little nuttier than others - especially the ones who hunker down in the hills.

The next stop was Peak 1164 about a mile away. I've really wanted this one for awhile now and... just kidding this peak literally popped on my radar because I couldn't get up Stimson. It had nice views though.

The final stop was for Ebey Hill. This one has a newly logged south slope that'd be perfect for flying off of. When I pulled up to the access road, the same 'DO NOT ENTER' sign posted at the gate for Stimson Hill was also posted there. Once again, I ignored the sign and pushed up the road on my bike. About a mile up the road, another set of no trespassing signs and a 'Smile You're on Camera smile.gif' sign awaited. Jesus, how original. I decided the best thing to do was turn around and look into the legitimacy of this new wave of Private Public Land.

So I'm curious... do these signs actually mean anything? It's ridiculous to suddenly ban access on these previously public roads that sit on public land. It seems their argument is claiming that the land beyond the access road is fair game for you to be, but using their road (which doesn't even pass through their property) is a no no. With that said, I doubt anyone bushwhacks in on a side with no private property which effectively means the property owners have the ENTIRE mountain to themselves. It's clear from Peakbagger that a lot of people have either ignored the signs or have had no trouble in the past, so I'd appreciate some feedback.
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altasnob
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PostFri Dec 04, 2020 5:49 pm 
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If it is a privately owned road, and the owner doesn't want the public to use their road, there is nothing preventing the owner from blocking access or putting up no trespass signs even it that effectively cuts off access to the DNR land. Maybe DNR has an easement through the private property that allows access to the the DNR land? If so, it would be improper for the owner to cut off access. I think you would have to contact DNR to figure that out. From viewing Snohomish County parcel map it appears the private land is owned by PILCHUCK TREE FARM, 1624 300TH ST NW, STANWOOD, WA.
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chandlerhaberlack
chandler haberlack



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chandler haberlack
PostFri Dec 04, 2020 6:16 pm 
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To me it seems this land owner with the tiny sliver through the access road is the reason everything is supposedly shut down on the road. The red line is the road and the brownish green color is the public land.

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asdf
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PostFri Dec 04, 2020 7:22 pm 
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How does one look up an easement?
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treeswarper
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 7:23 am 
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asdf wrote:
How does one look up an easement?

What I would do is contact the agency that you think is in control of the road and property.  They should have info on right of ways.

In addition, Okanogan and Lewis Counties for sure, have a map on line showing ownership of parcels. You access it by going to the county assessor's site and follow the instructions they give to their map.

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altasnob
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 9:01 am 
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The specific private property island is parcel number 32050100401000, address 9515 N CEDARVALE LOOP RD, ARLINGTON, WA 98223-8607, owner SMITH AMY KATHLEEN. I made a public records request to DNR asking about a public easement allowing the right to use the road across this property, or any other way the public can access the DNR land around Stinson Mountain, and will post the response when I get it, which will likely be in three to six months.
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camut
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 9:10 am 
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The Snohomish County Assessor's website has interactive maps that allow you to find out the ownership of any parcels you want info on.  The logging road off of Cedar Vale Loop Rd. is on land owned by Pacific Denkmann Co. (Pilchuck Tree Farm) for about the first mile or so, to about N48 17.006 W122 05.868.  It is private land.  The Pilchuck Recreation Association www.pilchuckra.org is the liaison between Tree Farm managers and recreational users and can provide you with info on recreational access to Tree Farm land.
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Eric
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 10:30 am 
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I hiked Stimson in 2008 by the same route from the South in your image. It's been a while but I do not recall any negative signs but there were a few rural residences on the lower part of the mountain and an aggressive unleashed dog at a house on the left side of the road. Negative signage can be added to previously accessible areas and that certainly is the general trend for rural residential and logging land.

Ebey is or was state land higher up but getting off the deck has always required crossing private land to get to the public land higher up. The way I did it hiking from the North there were no signs nor residences that I recall but it was an ugly bushwhack with few redeeming qualities. The residences on the south side have been posted for at least 15 years.

There is tons of public land that is landlocked throughout WA and much of the Western US. Complex issue and you can do the legwork to try to get permission but more often than not that won't work.
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chandlerhaberlack
chandler haberlack



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chandler haberlack
PostSat Dec 05, 2020 4:08 pm 
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Eric wrote:
There is tons of public land that is landlocked throughout WA and much of the Western US. Complex issue and you can do the legwork to try to get permission but more often than not that won't work.

Tresbagging it is then. I'm disgusted that these people want to shut off land like this for everyone.
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pcg
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 4:56 pm 
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chandlerhaberlack wrote:
'm disgusted that these people want to shut off land like this for everyone.

It's likely they have no desire to shut off public land for anyone, but just want to stop people from trespassing on their land for whatever reason. Maybe people have driven up that road and dumped trash, which is common in rural areas. Maybe they want to let their pit bulls run loose and don't want to get sued if they bite you. Who knows, but I really think they could care less one way or the other about whether you can access public land.
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altasnob
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 5:34 pm 
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If the problem with access is the single island private property surrounded by DNR land with the road through it you could always take the road right to the property boundary, and then skirt around the private property and regain the road. Maybe DNR would even build a trail around the property. Another idea is to mail a letter to the property owner and ask them permission to cross their land to climb the peak. In Colorado, there is a 14,000 ft peak on private property that you must receive permission from the property owner to legally climb.
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chandlerhaberlack
chandler haberlack



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chandler haberlack
PostSat Dec 05, 2020 6:03 pm 
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pcg wrote:
Maybe people have driven up that road and dumped trash

Impossible. There's a gate at the start of the logging road that'd prevent this entirely.
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treeswarper
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 6:23 pm 
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chandlerhaberlack wrote:
pcg wrote:
Maybe people have driven up that road and dumped trash

Impossible. There's a gate at the start of the logging road that'd prevent this entirely.

That's why there is a gate.  Any forest road that is fairly close to a main highway or community is considered a garbage dump by a segment of our society.  On the private land I walked and biked, the gate was installed after garbage was dumped.  There is a freezer and a couch all mossy and deteriorating at one junction.

Appliances were then dumped frequently on Watch Mountain in fact, so much that we started calling it the used appliance store.  The forest cops put up some cameras and caught folks.

Then, in the summer there's fire danger. 

If the landowner has property fenced, as my westside friends do, hunters will tear that down so they can drive in (tearing up ground) and collect their elk or in the off season, poachers will do that.

I would tend to lean towards gating my roads too, if I owned a chunk of forest.

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treeswarper
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 6:26 pm 
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Gimpilator, a lot of folks are armed to the teeth in our state also.  I know of one Randle woman who held trespassers at gunpoint, until the sheriff threatened to arrest her for kidnapping.  There are parts of the country where it is still easy to make people disappear.

You never know, and you could have an interesting conversation about trespassing with a friend of mine, if you ever met.

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chandlerhaberlack
chandler haberlack



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chandler haberlack
PostSat Dec 05, 2020 6:35 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
I would tend to lean towards gating my roads too, if I owned a chunk of forest.

In this case I don't care that it's gated. I'll ride my bike up no problem. You didn't read the post. I wouldn't call it a chunk either, rather a sliver.
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