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altasnob
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PostSun Nov 27, 2022 11:33 am 
Ski wrote:
I can understand perfectly well why this happens. People trash places.
Humans, and particularly, Americans, suck (or at least as small percentage that ruin it for the rest of us). There are trash piles all over our public lands. If we had a system like Scotland, where you could go wherever you want on private land, what could a property owner do when their land started to look like a dispersed campsite in the Cascade foothills (full of trash, feces, junk cars, and meth)? I have never heard of anyone being charged in the criminal courts with Trespass in the Second Degree for just walking across private property and not causing any damage or harm of any kind. Sheriffs have other things to worry about than to respond to such incidents. Ya, a crazy property owner may threaten you, but then they would be committing a crime as well. The crazy property owner could sue you in civil court, but what are their damages? I trespass private property to get to surf spots along the Strait without incident. Just use common sense.

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Randito
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PostSun Nov 27, 2022 11:58 am 
altasnob wrote:
I have never heard of anyone being charged in the criminal courts with Trespass in the Second Degree for just walking across private property and not causing any damage or harm of any kind
I think such a case would be challenging to prosecute in Washington as the definition of the word "premises" indicates buildings or other improvements
Meriam-Webster wrote:
premises also premisses plural [from its being identified in the premises of the deed] a : a tract of land with the buildings thereon b : a building or part of a building usually with its appurtenances (such as ground)
So merely walking over land with no improvements or other structures is hard to make a case that it is trespassing.

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altasnob
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PostSun Nov 27, 2022 12:08 pm 
Randito wrote:
altasnob wrote:
I have never heard of anyone being charged in the criminal courts with Trespass in the Second Degree for just walking across private property and not causing any damage or harm of any kind
I think such a case would be challenging to prosecute in Washington as the definition of the word "premises" indicates buildings or other improvements
Meriam-Webster wrote:
premises also premisses plural [from its being identified in the premises of the deed] a : a tract of land with the buildings thereon b : a building or part of a building usually with its appurtenances (such as ground)
So merely walking over land with no improvements or other structures is hard to make a case that it is trespassing.
No, it would be an easy case to prove. My point is it is such a de minimus criminal law violation no prosecutor in Washington would bother charging you. If convicted, you would be guilty of a simple (not gross) misdemeanor). There are only a few "simple" misdemeanors on the books in Washington. That shows you just how minimal the legislature believes this criminal law violation is. "Premises" as used in Washington's Trespass in the Second Degree statute is defined by RCW 9A.52.010 as: (3) "Premises" includes any building, dwelling, structure used for commercial aquaculture, or any real property. You also have to prove the person did so "knowingly." That is why people post "no trespass" signs every 10 feet. That way no one can try to claim they didn't see the sign when they chose to trespass.

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Route Loser
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PostSun Nov 27, 2022 7:53 pm 
Ski wrote:
I'd rather not deal with those crazy bastards up there any more - most of them are "Ramsters".
Still some non-Ramster holdouts if you go far enough upstream on the Thurston side. Crazy, maybe. Having fished (and removed trash from) every inch from Alder Lake to McKenna, thrown rocks could be a good additional challenge. Out there, you can usually trespass pretty effectively if you come bearing gifts of beer (wine for Ramsters). Typically, one expects a bit of meat to be shared if the hunt is successful.

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kiliki
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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 8:45 am 
I wonder how many of those 15 million acres are in WA. I've been hearing about this for a while but all of the anecdotes and examples are from ID/MT/WY. There are also big issues with public access to rivers in the West. This NYT article should be viewable by all. Does This Fisherman Have the Right to Be in a Billionaire’s Backyard? A fight along Colorado’s waterways pits an alliance of white-water rafters and amateur anglers against some of the nation’s wealthiest landowners, bruising the image of a sportsman’s paradise. https://tinyurl.com/nhj6psyr

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Ski
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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 9:23 am 
^ a whole LOT of them. DNR owns a whole mess of real estate that they don't even know about. What I mentioned above was what they call an "alluvial accretion", but after looking at the Google Earth image, it appears that it's now on the other side of the river. That "no mans land" that comes and goes as the river changes course might belong to a private property owner, if the original deed documents specify it as such and somebody drew a map or took some measurements. When the river changes course, and puts your real estate on the other side of the river, you're just out of luck. You can petition the County Assessor's office and tell them you don't think you should be paying so much tax now that you lost half your property and sometimes they'll listen. When the river changes course and adds a few acres to your property, you can run down to the County Assessor's office and say "Hey, GOD just gave me this piece of real estate, but I want you to put it down on the books as now belonging to ME, and I'll be happy to pay property taxes on it now," and sometimes they'll go along with it. But sometimes the river changes course and nobody really pays much attention. Sometimes it leaves pieces of real estate in places that don't belong to either guy on either side of the river, in which case by default possession goes to the State. And THAT is why the eastern ± 70 feet of the island that used to be just opposite the mouth of Tanwax Creek belonged to DNR. But it appears that the river took a swing to the west, and that chunk of real estate is now over on Mel Thompson's side of the river (in Pierce County.) If Mel didn't go down to the Assessor's Office and have that deeded to HIM, then it's DNR land. As to whether or not you can VISIT - I would NOT recommend it. Mel was the guy that went out and practiced with his MAC9 (which he's converted to full auto) late afternoons some days.
northwest corner of the northwest corner Section 20 Township 16 Range 3 East Thurston County Washington
northwest corner of the northwest corner Section 20 Township 16 Range 3 East Thurston County Washington
meanwhile... just downstream across the river from Wilcox Farms....
meanwhile... just downstream across the river from Wilcox Farms....
[edit] I messed up on that map on the right. the red dot which is out in the river is the approximate location of where our cabin was. The parcel was supposedly 29.02 acres when my father bought it in 1958. When it sold in 1995 it was just under 12 acres. (most of the hit was on the north side - that island couldn't be included in the survey.) Crazy thing about this whole area is that a century ago the river was about a quarter of a mile south of where it is today - all those houses you see there are all built on top of a 15-foot alluvial accretion of SAND that was dumped there after the area was clearcut in 1925, but (presumably) before the Alder and LaGrande dam projects were completed in the 1930s. It WILL, at some point, all wash away again when the river decides to reclaim that part of its original flood plain. (I cited some papers about this in another thread here somewhere.) I gathered up all the old archival aerial photos I could find and tracked the progression of the river's movement over the course of about four decades. When it became obvious that it wasn't going to last another year or two, I told my mother she needed to dump it. Sale closed October 1995. Cabin when down the river February 9th.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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jinx'sboy
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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 9:49 am 
kiliki wrote:
I wonder how many of those 15 million acres are in WA. I've been hearing about this for a while but all of the anecdotes and examples are from ID/MT/WY.
Actually, not much. Ski is talking about DNR, which is different than the NYT article…. which I think was mostly about FS parcels that were land locked. There are/were a few scattered ‘checkerboard’ areas near Wenatchee/Plain and in the CleElum and Naches areas, but they were pretty small. It does seem to be mostly a MT/WY problem…..mostly a result of the railroad land grants. I think in some areas, like WA, there was a concerted effort in the early 1900s to do swaps between and among private (railroads mostly, and the timber companies that followed), the States and the Feds. As an example - I know this happened in Okanogan Co, where a large checkerboard area on the east of the Loup ended up in DNR hands, and the Feds got to keep the two sections per township that had been in State hands all over the rest of what is now FS managed lands in the County. (I think what might of happened in places like MT and WY is that the powerful grazing interests liked having control of double the acreage that the checkerboard system allowed and there was not political will to change that).

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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 10:00 am 
^ Yes. What I am referencing above is DNR. BUT: that is just one little example of a tiny little piece of land that DNR owns. They have real estate all over the State. There have been innumerable land swaps here in Washington State that cleaned up a lot of that "checkerboard" mess - a lot of them up along I-90 where Plum Creek Timber Company did land swaps with USFS. Apparently not so much elsewhere. Unless I am mistaken, there is a huge amount of BLM land in Oregon, and I cannot imagine why the situation there would be much different than Wyoming or Montana. My understanding was that the land grants to the railroads extended one mile on each side of the tracks - one section on each side. The railroad companies quickly figured out they'd get more free real estate by not building their tracks in straight lines.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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kiliki
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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 10:12 am 
Ski wrote:
Unless I am mistaken, there is a huge amount of BLM land in Oregon, and I cannot imagine why the situation there would be much different than Wyoming or Montana.
I would guess that eastern OR likely isn't attracting the same kind of uberwealthy trophy ranch buyers as MT or WY, and so maybe access hasn't been cut off to the same degree. Maybe things are the way they used to be in the Rocky Mt states. “If you go back a few decades, it was a lot easier for the public to go knock on the door and get access to private land,” said Mr. Webster of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, which has worked with OnX on public lands initiatives. “Generally, the people who owned the land had roots in that community — they went to church together, they went to school together, they grew up together. And if you want to access my place, that’s fine, just let me know — that kind of thing.” That trust has eroded, in part because of a generational shift away from family farming and ranching. “The owners and their kids don’t want to continue that tradition,” Mr. Webster said, “so they end up selling to a new landowner who maybe isn’t from the area, and who may not have the same feelings about the public on their lands.” Or--is eastern OR the kind of destination MT and WY are for hunting and fishing?

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jinx'sboy
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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 10:31 am 
Ski wrote:
Unless I am mistaken, there is a huge amount of BLM land in Oregon, and I cannot imagine why the situation there would be much different than Wyoming or Montana. My understanding was that the land grants to the railroads extended one mile on each side of the tracks - one section on each side. The railroad companies quickly figured out they'd get more free real estate by not building their tracks in straight lines.
Yes, there is a lot of checkerboard in OR, but instead of being in private ownership it is BLM managed lands interspersed with USFS. These are mostly on the west side of the cascades and in the coast range. Locally, they are called ‘the O and C lands’. It is a real interesting history; it was a railroad grant to a railroad that never got completely built. The lands - which would’ve ended up in private ownership, ended up ‘reverting’ back to the US and ended up in BLM management. Story here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_and_California_Railroad_Revested_Lands and: https://www.blm.gov/programs/natural-resources/forests-and-woodlands/oc-lands The various grants that built the railroads differed in how much land was granted. In some places it was 5 or 10 sq miles per mile of track built and up to as much as 20 miles per mile! If the grantee selected checkerboard ownership, then of course they controlled a strip 40 miles wide. Later, the US got smart and required the railroads to sell the lands in small parcels. But there was lots of opportunity for back handed deals and graft….which is why we ended up with large ranches and large timber companies as owners.

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altasnob
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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 11:21 am 
jinx'sboy wrote:
It does seem to be mostly a MT/WY problem
In addition to the ways the land were divided up, what this problem really boils down to are you in a Republican county and state, or a Democrat county and state? In liberal places in Washington no prosecutor would ever charge these types of criminal trespassing charges. Even in Wyoming, where they have prosecutors crazy enough to charge, as the article pointed out, the jury acquitted. And in liberal states, no plaintiff's attorney would ever dare of bringing a ridiculous civil law suit like the one mentioned in the article. There would be zero chance they ever collect a dollar and the lawsuit would a total waste of their time.

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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 4:34 pm 
kiliki wrote:
"...is eastern OR the kind of destination MT and WY are for hunting and fishing?"
I've never had any need or desire to visit. My sister said it was like hell. My ancestors lived down there. One of them was the first postmaster of the territory. scroll down to "Agency Valley Cemetery" photo images

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 5:07 pm 
I have a friend who used to access public checkerboard (USFS?) inside one of the big public watersheds via helicopter to hunt elk. Seattle? Tacoma? I can’t remember. That part of the story was never the interesting part to me. Eventually some rule was passed preventing it.

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Nov 28, 2022 7:42 pm 
Cedar River watershed was long a private hunting reserve for the well connected in Seattle.

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