Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > 12/4 - Dumpster Diving & Access Issues
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mb
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PostMon Dec 07, 2020 12:25 pm 
But we're not talking about a yard or garden. We're talking about a road. One which quite possibly was built at the public expense. I don't understand why the public agencies don't take a similar negotiating tactic for some of these cases: OK, we built this road to access our parcel on the other side of your property. Now that we can no longer get access, we are blocking the road before your property. Obviously the details would matter, but in the cases where people have been crossing checkerboard land, both to access private and public property, it sure would seem to be viable.

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Randito
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PostMon Dec 07, 2020 2:13 pm 
chandlerhaberlack wrote:
The do not enter sign appears to have the DNR logo on it. My question would be whether the DNR actually knows about the issue and whether that is an official sign -- or whether the landowner crafted their own sign to make it look like an official closure to the public.

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Randito
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PostMon Dec 07, 2020 2:38 pm 
treeswarper wrote:
I know of one Randle woman who held trespassers at gunpoint, until the sheriff threatened to arrest her for kidnapping.
Sounds like the Lewis County sheriff actually understands Washington State Law. RCW 9A.52.080 Criminal trespass in the second degree
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(1) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another under circumstances not constituting criminal trespass in the first degree. (2) Criminal trespass in the second degree is a misdemeanor.
So if the homeowner confronts tresspassers, but rather than asking them to leave, attempts to hold them then that would be considered Unlawful imprisonment -- which is a Class C felony, whereas tresspassing on land is a misdemeanor Entering a building is more serious a gross misdemeanor. -- still a lessor crime. RCW 9A.52.105 Covers a lot of details for Removal of unauthorized persons -- my reading of it is that only a "Peace Officer" can actually detain and arrest tresspassers.

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PostMon Dec 07, 2020 3:33 pm 
DNR's "Washington Trust Lands Road" brochure says:
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Unlike county roads and state highways, trust roads are not public roads. MYTH: Trust land roads are ‘public’ roads like county roads, so it’s not a trespass. FACT: Unlike county roads and state highways, trust roads are not public. They belong to the trusts. Many [not all, not even most] are open to the public for recreation access; however, trust roads may be closed at any time. Uses such as hauling timber and residential access require easements or permits from DNR... unless the use occurred prior to state ownership or before 1903. Use without legal access is considered trespassing. Where can i verify legal access to my property? ◗A title company, county auditor or real estate lawyer can provide public records about access to property. ◗A realtor is required to disclose access issues that may affect a buyer’s use of the property. ◗To inquire about access on state trust land roads, contact DNR’s rights-of-way program manager near you, or visit our website
The easiest way to check on this road is to visit the county auditor's office (all this is public record, and is now on-line in many counties). Roads like this that cross both DNR and private land may involve an exchange of easements per RCW 79.38.020. The private parcel probably has a recorded easement the use the DNR road for residential access, and the DNR parcel may have an easement across the private parcel for timber haul (or if it retained this right under RCW 79.36.370, it may not need a recorded easement). But such easements don't require either party to maintain the road for the use of the other party, nor grant the public use of the road.

"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir "the wild is not the opposite of cultivated. It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva

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PostMon Dec 07, 2020 4:02 pm 
The road on Stimson is a private road belonging to Pilchuck Tree Farm and is identified as such by a red sign at the entrance. They are under no obligation to provide anyone access. If you want confirmation or clarification of this, you can call the PTF office 360 629-6800 and ask them directly, referencing PTF Fire Gate 13.

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treeswarper
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PostMon Dec 07, 2020 4:14 pm 
camut wrote:
The road on Stimson is a private road belonging to Pilchuck Tree Farm and is identified as such by a red sign at the entrance. They are under no obligation to provide anyone access. If you want confirmation or clarification of this, you can call the PTF office 360 629-6800 and ask them directly, referencing PTF Fire Gate 13.
Thank you. That's the answer needed. up.gif up.gif

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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chandlerhaberlack
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PostMon Dec 07, 2020 7:37 pm 
camut wrote:
The road on Stimson is a private road belonging to Pilchuck Tree Farm and is identified as such by a red sign at the entrance. They are under no obligation to provide anyone access. If you want confirmation or clarification of this, you can call the PTF office 360 629-6800 and ask them directly, referencing PTF Fire Gate 13.
I'm confused. This doesn't really say anything to me. Weyerhauser has the rights to everything off of FS-62 near Gold Bar/Index, every so often lock the gate to the public's cars, but can't actually block foot traffic or bike traffic. How is Pilchuck Tree Farm any different?

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PostMon Dec 07, 2020 9:05 pm 
I'm confused too. Pilchuck Tree Farm may own the road through their property. But then that road hits DNR land and DNR allows the public to briefly travel along this road until you get to the island of private property, which has a gate and a no trespass sign that has been posted by DNR, with DNR's name on it, even though the sign is not on DNR land. See map below:

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treeswarper
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PostTue Dec 08, 2020 2:38 pm 
Road ownership can be controversial. Gebbers Vs a road coalition

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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PostTue Dec 08, 2020 2:49 pm 
Then some new county commissioners were elected. They took action. https://methowvalleynews.com/2019/10/24/commissioners-act-to-declare-a-portion-of-french-creek-road-open-to-public/ It was back in court in 2019 but I can't find a decision. Perhaps Covid intervened?

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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PostTue Dec 08, 2020 7:06 pm 
TS besides the snow French Creek road is at this point still open. I believe there is an appeal in the works from Gebbers but the decision was that the road had to stay open as the appeal progressed.

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treeswarper
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PostWed Dec 09, 2020 5:23 am 
John B. That's kind of what I remember reading, but couldn't find any articles on it. Thanks.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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PostWed Dec 09, 2020 12:47 pm 
Arlight - update from DNR after I reached out about Stimson in particular

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PostThu Dec 10, 2020 8:08 am 
"reach out to some hiking forums" Utterly, inexcusably lame. shakehead.gif If there is a way to correspond with the folks at the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, they might take an interest. And if that happened, and the route is indeed eligible for a prescriptive easement for public access, those barriers might very well melt away. agree.gif

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PostThu Dec 10, 2020 9:15 am 
I searched Snohomish County Auditor's online records for an easement allowing public access but those records only go back to 2004 on this particular parcel and do not answer my question. So I made a public records request to the Snohomish County Auditor. I have also made a public records request to DNR. I emailed pilchuckraorg@pilchuckra.org and received this response "I have forwarded your email to tree farm management, we will see what they say (I make no promises they are any faster than dnr)." I will probably never attempt to hike up Stimson mountain in my life, but I certainly feel entitled to the public land, just as I do for all public land. I speculate that at one point in time DNR owned this island of private property and sold or relinquished control of this property, making it private property. But whenever this was done, it would be a breach of DNR's duty to Washingtonions to not maintain the public's right to cross this private property on the road maintained by DNR to access the road above the private property, also maintained by DNR. And while DNR routinely closes roads to public vehicle access, I have never seen a situation where DNR closes access to pedestrians and bikes unless the road presents some kind of public safety threat. Hopefully, my public records request will show that DNR did not breach their duty.

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