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Thread: 12,000 Ossippee acres closed

  1. #61
    Junior Member A_Hike_2_Far's Avatar
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    There is always a minority that ruins it for the majority. I hope they do something soon to get things hike-able again.
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  2. #62
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    I'm an Adk hiker and will probably never end up in the Ossippee range. But in the Adks, we have lots of land under conservation easements. In most cases (such as the AMR), certain trails are covered under the easement. Hikers are asked to stay on the trails, not to bushwhack, camp, climb, etc. off trail. On published maps, the open trails are shown, and intersections with private trails are shown, indicating that the intersection is with a private trail. This seems pretty reasonable and simple, and has worked well.

    If I read the forest service link correctly, the Ossippee easement covers 5372 acres, and 6 miles of hiking trails, including the trails to Bayle and Flagg. Of course the TB map shows a lot more trails and acres than that...

    I haven't read the legal details, I've only read what's linked to from here. But it seems to me that it would be reasonable to publish a map of the 5372 acres, which shows the 6 miles of trails referred to, and does not show any other trails. I would think the mappers and landowners could agree on that, since they already have in 2002.

    It's simplistic to say that the 1.4 million dollars "opens the land." It only opens it to whatever is in the legal terms of the easement. NY State paid a lot to the AMR for that easement, but that didn't buy the right to "go anywhere and do anything" on that land.

    TCD

  3. #63
    Senior Member smitty77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    It's simplistic to say that the 1.4 million dollars "opens the land." It only opens it to whatever is in the legal terms of the easement. NY State paid a lot to the AMR for that easement, but that didn't buy the right to "go anywhere and do anything" on that land.
    Thank you for this. Just because you grant an easement doesn't mean the public now owns it. $1.4 million is a cheap way to ensure this land does not become another housing or condo development. The "Battle of Ossipee" could drag on for many years, but the collateral damage is being done today - how many landowners are being soured on the idea of protecting their land with a conservation restriction and instead leaving open the future possibility of selling to a developer as a result of this petty war over a map and access to hiking trails?

    Regardless of who did what, we all need to put our best foot forward and extend as many olive branches as is necessary to keep these lands open to public use and out of the hands of developers.

    Just my $0.02
    East bound and down, loaded up and truckin', we gonna do what 'They' say can't be done.
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  4. #64
    Senior Member --M.'s Avatar
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    This is very good.

    If there had been dialogue between the mapmaking contingent (if it's more than just one individual) and the owners, there could have been resolution. It seems the mapmaker(s) have no interest in resolving the issue through dialogue; please correct me on this if untrue.

    If there is no effort by the mapmakers themselves to improve the situation, then it falls to the remainder of the hiking community to repudiate the mapmakers' views, reaffirm the rights of the owners and try to rebuild a more cooperative, collaborative approach.

    If I were a landowner in the area who had just posted my land as a direct result of the making and publishing of this map, I would probably be open to softening my views for those who distanced themselves from the mapmakers. If someone came to me, with written request and a modicum of respect, including some representation that they would avoid camping, littering, building fires, clearing brush or otherwise leaving evidence of their passing, I would probably welcome them as guests who could appreciate the land without staking claims on it. What if a whole lot of hikers then did the same? The sample set would skew the other way and there would be progress.

    If the mapmaking contingent wants to dig in for a fight (hoping to lure the hiking community along?), why not separate ourselves from them and preserve our opportunities for appropriate access to the land in question? If one hiker wants to make an ass of himself, why jeopardize the opportunities of the entire community? Let us simply distance ourselves from him.

    Personally, I think the right play would be for the mapmakers/distributors to reach out to the owners, settle the differences with reasonable respect, and start over. Lacking that, I feel drawn to do it for myself, showing the owners that the mapmakers/distributors do not speak for me and that I (for one) know how to use others' lands without disrespecting owners.

    Were any efforts made by the mapmaker to ameliorate the situation?

    I've hiked the Great Range by way of The Ausable Club. Loved it. I didn't need to pick fights over the history of how they came to own the land. I parked where directed, left my bike, fly rod and dog behind, and enjoyed an awesome hike through their land. Thanks, TCD, for providing the DAKs as a useful comparison.

    I've been trying to see Mr. Garrison's point of view throughout this debacle: I either don't get it or don't agree with it. At the moment, it's repulsive and inspires me to speak against it.

    --Mike

  5. #65
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    --Mike

    Let's be clear here. As far as I can tell, this is not a situation where some landowner(s) have opened up their land, in the goodness of their hearts, to public access. It seems more like a situation where landowner(s), in return to $1.4 million, agreed to some level of public access to their land(s).

    Some contend they (the landowner(s)) are not living up to their agreement. Some would contend that certain members of the public are exceeding their right of access.

    The situation is anything but clear, and there are certain interests who benefit by keeping it muddy.

    Personally, I have no interest in hiking the Ossippees. When I'm in the NE and hiking, I'll head for the Whites.

    I've also hiked extensively in the AMR. I found it exclusionary. I hiked there because the peaks were on a list. It's clear the public isn't welcome. I would never hike those peaks when I was just "in the mood for a hike".

    YMMV...

  6. #66
    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by --M. View Post

    Personally, I think the right play would be for the mapmakers/distributors to reach out to the owners, settle the differences with reasonable respect, and start over. Lacking that, I feel drawn to do it for myself, showing the owners that the mapmakers/distributors do not speak for me and that I (for one) know how to use others' lands without disrespecting owners.


    --Mike
    Sign me on, Mike. I also happen to believe that owners are stewards of the land. Despite all the platitudes in this op-ed piece in today's Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover NH), which does not normally side with Big Bad Landowners, I agree with its general point far more than I do with what I understand to be the "mapmakers'" attitude--"trail bandit" says it all.

    http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll.../-1/FOSOPINION

  7. #67
    Senior Member SteveHiker's Avatar
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    On the bright side, no one is arguing about where Faraway Mt is any more.

  8. #68
    Senior Member Trail Bandit's Avatar
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    The attitude is not " The Trail Bandit Says it All ". If people are really interested in making some progress here, perhaps Mc Rat has a good idea:
    A campfire get together. I will gladly come and express my views and listen carefully what others have to say. For quite a while, this map was available for revisions and suggestions. A few of you helped in the process. I would hope that those interested would look at the map, and what other maps and information are publicly available, and compare them. I would request that there be a moderator so that it just doesn't turn into a shouting or finger pointing episode. The discussion should be limited to the map and the rights of access to the lands that the map covers. There are many issues here, so let's deal with the map one.
    I hope all who come will look at other maps of the area, such as the
    Hiking Trails of the Southern Ossipees (Sold at the Gilford Library), and the USGS maps.
    If Mc Rat can get the concerned landowners to come too, so much the better.

  9. #69
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    AMR? You can hike their trails, walk their road, but don't try to ride their bus like the "members" can....not saying I didn't respect the rules, because I did, right down to bushwacking from the Dix side with my dog...but...I didn't like the feeling that I got walking down that road, getting passed by a busload of members who didn't have to walk an extra 6 or so miles to get the same peak for the friggin' patch...guess that's what at the heart of why I object to the exclusive feeling I am starting to get about Ossipee access in certain areas.

    I'd like to see it all spelled out very clearly, and so far, there are BIG gray areas.

    The missing link here <and there and everywhere> is Money..

    Big surprise there...

    Lets just fight about the map forever...smoke and mirrors...
    Last edited by una_dogger; 08-31-2009 at 08:52 PM.
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  10. #70
    Senior Member MarkJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin, Judy and Emma View Post
    so I'm not gonna' comment on the map or the trails. Right and wrong is somewhere in the middle of the arguments from both sides.

    Something else here bothers me, though. Other's in this thread have said it but I would like to reaffirm what they have said. It has been my experience, little as it may be, that fire rings and trash are generally found where there is snowmobile and or ATV access. Mount Shaw has such access, legal or illegal. On one of several visits over the past few years we have cleaned up butts, beer cans and other trash and hiked it down from Mt.Shaw. I'm willing to bet my access to the Ossipees it wasn't hiked in there, it arrived by wheeled or tracked vehicles. I'm not trying to paint all users of these in a bad light, I'm sure most would be as disgusted as I am to find trash out there. Unfortunately, as has been pointed out here as well, the actions of a few reflect on everyone connected.

    Face it. If you have anything resembling a trail or logging road in NH you will have people riding illegally on it. Doesn't make it right, it just is. Blaming hikers is easy. They've got a map. How 'bout the local stir crazy teens and young adults with nothing else to do in wonderful NH but tear it up with trail riding in all seasons. What better thing to do on a Saturday night but ride a machine into the woods away from town and parents, cops etc, have a bonfire and party with your friends? Wait, sounds like Barnes Field.

    I just think this problem is a lot bigger than hikers and a map, yet the hikers are bearing the brunt because they're the easiest target. I'm guessing these problems existed on these properties long before there was a map. If they're saying they are closing this land because of one man and his map then I have to think it's strictly personal, in which case I would say both sides are wrong and need to sit down, with no hard feelings and come to a workable agreement.

    There's my 2 cents. Won't get ya much.

    KDT
    That kinda stuff happens in Barnes Field?Do the Rangers know that?
    The Missin' Link

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  11. #71
    Senior Member bandana4me's Avatar
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    Statements that have bothered me on this thread:

    1. The continued blame of snowmobiles, ATV users (who can still use the trails), hunters, anglers, teens and locals. It seems to me that finger pointing gets everyone nowhere. Take responsibility for your own actions. The Landowners have singled the hiking community out and they are MONITORING these forums to find SOLUTIONS.

    What solutions have been presented so far?
    Removal of the map from publication is the only solution that has been discussed, yet it still remains. Has anyone offered to pick-up the trash or remove fire rings? Block the trails that the landowners do not want in use? Ask where would be an acceptable parking area for the hikers?

    2. Opening new trails or re-opening old trails.
    Asking for input on mapping this area from hikers rather than the LANDOWNERS is wrong in my opinion.
    Most of this hiking community is well aware of the “LOST TRAILS” web site (if not it is a great site to see some of the old abandoned or closed trails).
    These are public maps, but does that give us the RIGHT to re-open, re-blaze and maintain them? They do NOT show up on current maps. Why? Could it be because they do not want traffic on those trails!

    3. They were given monies to keep the land open for public use FOREVER.
    Well yes they did sign an agreement to do this. As with any agreement once the conditions for that agreement are “BROKEN” then the agreement becomes null and void. Why would you even want to bring this to a legal issue when this can be resolved by following the LANDOWNERS requests?

    The closing of this land really does not affect me because I live in Bethlehem NH and I am only 45 min to Appalachia, 20 min to Franconia Notch, and maybe 30 min to Crawford Notch. Most of my hiking is done right here but I am willing to offer volunteer service. If there is anything I can do to help rectify this situation, please e-mail or PM me.

    Thanks for letting me voice my opinion. I know opinions are like…… and the only one that doesn’t stink is your own!
    Many receive advice, only the wise profit by it.

  12. #72
    Senior Member Trail Bandit's Avatar
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    When this map was first published, I recieved a message from one of the landowners, that I had to remove all features shown on a piece of land that he had just purchased. The map was a done deal and it was too late to change it. I responded in an improper, childish fashion. This all may be a personal issue with me, and the hiking community is being used as a force to try to get back at me. I am more than willing to make a public apology to this landowner, but that may not solve the problem.

  13. #73
    Senior Member RickB.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Bandit View Post
    When this map was first published, I recieved a message from one of the landowners, that I had to remove all features shown on a piece of land that he had just purchased. The map was a done deal and it was too late to change it. I responded in an improper, childish fashion. This all may be a personal issue with me, and the hiking community is being used as a force to try to get back at me. I am more than willing to make a public apology to this landowner, but that may not solve the problem.
    Bob,
    How many maps do you have left in your inventory?

  14. #74
    Senior Member Trail Bandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickB. View Post
    Bob,
    How many maps do you have left in your inventory?
    There are probably 3000 maps but I would have to check to see exactly.

  15. #75
    Senior Member arghman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandana4me View Post
    3. They were given monies to keep the land open for public use FOREVER.
    Well yes they did sign an agreement to do this. As with any agreement once the conditions for that agreement are “BROKEN” then the agreement becomes null and void.!
    That's not the way a conservation easement works.

    A conservation easement is a permanent legal document, in force forever. If the conditions are broken for whatever reason, the easement grantee (federal govt + perhaps the state of NH or LRCT... I'm not sure) has both the right and responsibility to remedy them. Temporary closure of public trails because of abuse is probably something that's allowed under the easement (again, we haven't seen the exact easement terms posted here) but even if it breaks the easement conditions, if remedied it's not something that is of any permanent consequences.

    The real issues w/r/t a conservation easement are more serious violations like development and/or resource extraction (i.e. mining and/or gravel removal). I volunteer for a local land trust and we had one case where an easement donor put in a driveway through the easement area rather than a less-convenient location that did not violate the easement. Although the land trust had the right to insist that the driveway be removed, they ended up accepting additional land to the easement as an alternative way of resolving the issue.

    does anyone have a link to the easement document? (carroll county registry of deeds?)
    --Jason
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