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SakoTGrimes

Driving on private property

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...is something I try not to do. But sometimes I just don't know if you're allowed to go somewhere or not. Of course, owners should post signs in obvious places, but they don't always do it. So, my question is how can you tell for sure if some spot in the woods/desert is OK to drive on or not? And, if you go offroad where it's not allowed, but there's no way to know it, is it even (legally) your fault?

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it's your responsibility to find out if it's private property or not, and therefore, your responsibility to find out if it's ok with the owner.

 

I only go if the owner invites me to.

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Owners post signs and people rip them out...

 

Both sides have some obligations.

 

The only way I have seen work is to put bolders or pipe barriers and then have the Sheriff enforce the no trespassing.

 

That's kept me out! :rolleyes:

Glenn,

82 SubaruHummer

84 GL Mad Max

01 Forester

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one more thing, trespassing, and destruction of wetlands etc. is what give ORV's a bad name, and therefore what causes more restrictions on legal use. Don't screw it up!

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You must have specific verbal or written consent to be on private property. Lack of a sign or warning isnt an invitation or consent. If you don't own the land in question then sombody else does. Land owners do not have to put up a sign but you have to still have permission to be on their land.

 

Even public land has rules to follow for access. It is our recsponsibility to know the rules and abide by them. Playing by the rules is key to sustaining access for OHVs on public land. It's already been determind in court that ignorance isnt an excuse; so yes its still illegal.

 

I know you'll do the right thing :)

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So are there maps or something availible from BLM so you can tell where it's legal to go? We've got thousands of acres in Oregon that is private property, but with absolutely no developement on it, no signs, and the owners live hundreds of miles away, which creates the problem. How can you tell?

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I avoid any questionable offroading areas/locales like the plague. We just lost a battle to save on old coal mine site that for decades has been an unsanctioned off road park on public land. It's now a heritage site. The really sick thing about it is that 60 years ago the only heritage features were burnt down to the ground after forcing the remaining chinese settlers and miners to leave sending them to internment camps on the mainland. All their possesions were siezed and auctioned off. Some heritage site I saw no mention of those facts on the nice artsy signs all around.

 

So yeah always wheel as though you are being watched because your actions can cost access to other areas. If things continue to go the way they are around here the only places left to go will be private parks and areas on public land that take 4 hours just to get to.

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So are there maps or something availible from BLM so you can tell where it's legal to go? We've got thousands of acres in Oregon that is private property, but with absolutely no developement on it, no signs, and the owners live hundreds of miles away, which creates the problem. How can you tell?

 

sounds like you're not going there...

 

I know a few people out in the suburbs, and up north, that have a ton of land, and we rip those up quite a bit. but that's it!

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So are there maps or something availible from BLM so you can tell where it's legal to go? We've got thousands of acres in Oregon that is private property, but with absolutely no developement on it, no signs, and the owners live hundreds of miles away, which creates the problem. How can you tell?

 

Public land you will have to discuss with who owns it. City will have regulations you can look at. County will have regulations you can look at. State will have a more managed program of statutes, regulations, and hopefully maps; BLM, DNR, whoever runs your state forests will have this information. There are also National forests and they have their own regulations, laws, and maps.

 

My best advice would be to join a club or association that is active in offroading and sustaining access to offroad trails. There are people on this forum from Oregon that offroad legally; contact them as they will be more in the know. I know how MN works but every state is different.

 

USMB members from Oregon listed by number of posts:

http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/memberlist.php?postslower=0&postsupper=0&ausername=&homepage=&icq=&aim=&yahoo=&msn=&joindateafter=&joindatebefore=&lastpostafter=&lastpostbefore=&field9=44&order=DESC&sort=posts&pp=30&ltr=

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I would reccomend talking to other locals that like to go offroading... try to find the local jeep club chapter, or toyota club. Even though most of these clubs are the beer in one hand, wheel in the other type... they tend to still know where the OK spots are to go, and usually also know the spots NOT to go.

 

If you don't know, don't do it. Its really not worth the risk. IF you trespass on federal or state land... you can be issued tickets, have your vehicle impounded, etc... The officer usually will approach the truck with the gun ready, and yell at you to put your hands up, then drop the keys on the ground, then get out. Its not a fun experience. If you trespass on private land you could wind up with a gun pointed at you as well. That would be even less fun.

 

Don't bypass gates, don't open gates, don't leave established trails, tread lightly, pack it in, pack it out (this includes gun shells!! stop shooting the signs)

 

Any oregon locals want to chime in on good LEGAL places to go?

The USMB cannot and will not condone offroading illegally. Just like street racing, it is taken very seriously and will end up with a closed and deleted thread. On that note, I'm very relieved to read some of the good answers here (MorganM, numbchux). If I see it take a turn for the worse, I will delete it.

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I can't possibly stress enough the importance of knowing where it is legal to offroad...

 

my house burnt down so the next day, as I needed some "head clearing" time I took the jeep on this trail that goes back onto some new york state land about a mile from my house

 

this place is called "the sands" there are crazy dunes, and kids party there all the time. I was just going for a ride, and I was alone, so I didn't plan on straying from the main trail too much lest I get stuck

 

well anyway, as I was going down the main trail I got to a wide open area and noticed a big red dodge truck coming at me from ahead, and since the trail wasn't wide enough for us to meet anywhere but where I was, I pulled off to the side a little bit.

 

said big red dodge came barreling down upon me, came to a skidding halt in the trail, and a forest ranger jumped out with gun in hand.

 

at this point, I spilled my bag of skittles all over the damn floor, and of course it was hot so they later melted all over the place and caused a sticky mess, but that's a different story

 

anyway, the forest ranger ripped me out of the jeep, gun in hand and told me he was going to arrest me for being on a trail that was not designated for motorized vehicles in a state forest.

 

he then got the idea that he got a "whiff of the green stuff" so to say (I'd been raking through my families burnt belongings for a day and a half previous, and was still even covered in soot)

 

so he decided to tear the jeep apart looking for my stash, which he never even found, being incompitent, but that's also a different unrelated story.

 

I made it out of the situation with no tickets or gunshot wounds with some smooth talking, but I don't take that trail anymore, or any that I'm unsure of, really....

 

after all this rambling, the important thing is to NOT WHEEL THERE IF YOU DON'T KNOW IT'S COOL FOR SURE!!

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Most the wheelin' down here is pretty well marked where you can and can't go. When I lived in Oregon and still here... my basic rules about going places I'm "unsure" of is to stay ON the beaten path. If it looks like a road it probably is.. if it doesn't look like a road it's probably somewhere you'll get stuck. And for heavens sake just don't drive your rig on ATV trails. Look for signs.. even knocked over ones.. don't go through gates unless there is instructions telling you it's okay.. Just try to use your common sense about where to be... if it looks inviting and there are no signs/attempted road blocks.. it's probably okay.. just be ready to talk your way out of any situations that might arise...(I'm sorry... I didn't see any signs.. I was just exploring.. I'll leave..) all good things to say when you're somewhere you didn't know you weren't supposed to be.. try not to get stuck and try not to tear up the land. Be Safe! Be Kind! Be Responsible! You'll be okay :brow:

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usually if you have a topo map of the area it will have private land shown as a diffrent color( white as Ive seen) I used to get the maps from the corrilating forest service office. ( logging maps maybe)

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