Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Trespass on Private Property is Not Cool

As OHV recreationists get ready for the fall riding season, QWR wants to remind users that motorized trespass onto private property that is properly signed and gated is not legal or cool.

Private Land Boundary Sign

California and some other states have “hold harmless” laws to help encourage private land owners to allow both motorized and non-motorized recreation on their property.  Throughout much of California and the West there are “checkerboard” lands where there is a mix of private and federal property.

Area under Electronic Surveillance

While there are some private land interests that allow motorized access on their lands, there are many property owners that do not.  Some of those who restrict public motorized use include timber companies, ranchers, and hunting clubs.

Gate on Private Timber Land

QWR believes it is important for riders to respect private property and their management prescriptions which can include restrictions on OHV use, mountain bike access, and other forms of recreational activities.

FS LE Rule # 6 – Don’t Trespass

Many of these private lands have extensive electronic monitoring systems which capture pictures of you, your vehicle, and license plate.  They also have to comply with complex soil erosion and water quality regulations.  OHV users owe the private property owner the same respect that we show land managers at Forest Service, BLM, and SVRA riding areas. Trespass can also dim the prospect for any future use of said lands for legal OHV recreation.

Tread Lightly! Respected Access is Open Access PSA Program

Our good friends at Tread Lightly! have a new “Respected Access is Open Access” campaign and QWR believes this type of outreach from private land owners in partnership with federal, state, and local agencies is something that can help riders understand the importance of staying on legal routes regardless of the managing agency or in-holder.

QWR believes this type of pro-active messaging can help address the trespass issue which will actually enhance and protect managed OHV recreation for future generations.

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