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Paul, Jocelyn - Grab this guy!
 
master steward
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Charlie and I went up to the land yesterday. We attempted to mark some of the boundary and I learned that I'm old and have been driving a desk too much.

We saw three kids rip through the land on dirt bikes. And later we saw a guy race through the land in his pickup.

And memorial day weekend is coming up.

I've had a lot of suggestions of stuff like "no trespassing" signs combined with gates and game cams and boobie traps and stuff. And so far I think the best suggestion I've heard is to take a regular sheet of paper and write on it something like "I bought this from the timber company and am trying to get a new start here. This is a private road, please respect my privacy." Or something like that.

I think a smart thing to do now is to carefully word this piece of paper to have it be the most effective.

 
paul wheaton
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Up here, think raspberries instead of blackberries.

 
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paul wheaton wrote:

I've had a lot of suggestions of stuff like "no trespassing" signs combined with gates and game cams and boobie traps and stuff. And so far I think the best suggestion I've heard is to take a regular sheet of paper and write on it something like "I bought this from the timber company and am trying to get a new start here. This is a private road, please respect my privacy." Or something like that.

I think a smart thing to do now is to carefully word this piece of paper to have it be the most effective.



Whatever you decide to post, the lettering needs to be large enough, and the message brief enough for it to be absorbed as someone whizzes by. If TL has been used for off-road recreation for a while, it may take some time for the word to get out that it's no longer available for that type of activity.

It's not an ideal situation, but over time, as TL is populated, hopefully things will settle down. A nice thorny fedge might help.

Julie
 
paul wheaton
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In time we will have berms complete with thorns.

I think a note will be on a closed gate. So if somebody is thinking of tearing out the gate, they might read the note first.

 
pollinator
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I remember reading a thread that suggested that a good idea would be a sign stating that the land is private and that there is an associated land use fee for any caught on premises without express written permission. This was in the context of keeping people from the department of making you sad from coming on to your property. Something about the sign constituting a legally binding agreement and that crossing the property line constitutes acceptance. Don't know if this would work, but I think anyone who's used the property for free won't pay attention to any warning that doesn't threaten their safety or financial well-being.

If you have a lawyer buddy, I would ask what personal liability you have if people are using your property illegally and manage to get hurt.

I think you are going to have a hell of a time keeping people off your land until you either have a permanent presence in place, or until you make the site unsuitable for their use. If there are three inch thorns that pepper the ground that won't let any tire pass unpunctured, your off-roaders will quickly find your property too expensive to use.

And when you find that pickup truck and the towtruck sent to get it out both sitting just out from under your black locusts with all tires flat, they might get the message.

I am guessing that people using your land for free til now won't stop until you make them stop. Until you bought it, it was their public offroading site. If you look at the case of law and society, it is hard to take something away from people they consider their right, even if they are wrong.

I don't think the honest nice guy routine will work too well for you, but I hope I'm wrong.

-CK
 
gardener
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Don't know the laws in your state, but in VA, you have to post every 50 yards a private property/no tresspassing/no hunting (the hunting part only applies to strangers). Once that's done, you can call the game warden any time you have an invader, whether they are joy riding or hunting. if you think the police have power, believe me, the game warden can arrest, hold, enter anyone's home (should you get a license plate #) without a warrant etc. I've happened upon hunters on our land, without permission and got their license plate & called the game warden - a BIG world of hurt happened in short order.
Id be willing to bet that Montana has some pretty strick game warden power. give them a buzz~
 
K. Johnson
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Yes, make aquaintance with the local law. Once they get it - the genuine, no hassle, law abiding food focus - they will be supporters and want advice about growing tomatoes.
Kathy J.
 
K. Johnson
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On resisting petro-sportsters: Cattle, other livestock and barbed wire work well as barriers. Also No Hunting signs with spaced orange paint are respected by many. This is still very much The West. Big ditches terraced across dirt roads, known as water bars, are used by govt agencies to close roads.

Agression begets agression.

Kathy J.
 
Chris Kott
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No one's mentioned aggression until now. I don't think anyone that really thinks shooting is a good first response to this kind of situation would make it much past the first ten podcasts or so. Black locust has a great many permacultural uses, and if its presence just so happens to coincide with every possible point of ingress to the property, and the accumulation of thorns just so happens to functionally interdict vehicular access, well no one at any point has even gotten belligerent. Well not actively, anyways. If they like their tires, they will stay off TL. It's hawthorn for motorized human cattle.

-CK
 
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K. Johnson wrote:On resisting petro-sportsters: Cattle, other livestock and barbed wire work well as barriers.



I think Paul has explained why he doesn't like barbed wire for livestock in the podcasts - maybe more than once. He much prefers the psychological barrier of very strong pop electric fencing.
 
K. Johnson
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Thank you. I will find the podcast. Maybe repost the link here.

KJ
 
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Ok, as for the people screwing around on the land. Post signs. Kids will be kids. Give fair warning. We had issues on the farm. My brothers and I used the terrorist skills learned in boy scouts. Consulting with our fellow scouts and buddies we constructed a bunch of spikes and put them here and there on the property. Made a map. A week later the sheriff comes up to the house and tells us that some spies were found in the road. We show hm the map and remind him we filed a police report about damaged crops.

Out of state rich kids lost two tires. Word spread fast. Spikes were removed. No problems until late. Scrapers been crawling around. Did you know that scrap can be electrified if it is laid on old tires. I guess it is a trap. But why you on my property with burned hands now?

Just saying.

Down south of here where the land is very flat. By the old Notre Dame farms, a bunch of guys ruined a big field of corn. Drunk driving around the corn at night in the big 4x4 trucks of the day. They got caught. The farmers stripped the trucks of tires and built a moat around the trucks while the police took them in. Untill they were paid for damage and crops, those trucks stayed there. People who have toys usually have too much time and money to spend wisely. That was 30 years ago.
 
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I think the problem of trespassing is likely to solve its self once folks are living on your land and word gets out what's going on. Our forty was used for hunting for years but once we were living here that stopped...word spreads quickly in rural communities. We have an old, old fallen down boundery fence that appears to be respected.
In so many ways, you control the PR...talking to the checker at the local small store/diner...saying what you want the folks to hear...can "spread like wildfire" and be more effective than physical barriers.

...and congratulations and all of that, exciting times for you all!
 
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i think the biggest thing that will deter people is when people move in and put up fencing. once there is people on the land and fencing across where they want to ride then their fun is spoiled and if there are enough people then they wont be able to slip onto the land unnoticed. trail cams could be used if people persist. once you get a pic of someone zooming by make a copy of it and mail it to the person (if you can find out who it is) and write a simple letter of warning. something like we have evidence of you riding around my private property without permission so either stop coming without permission or i'll have to take some pictures of you to the sherrif/etc.
 
Chris Kott
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Moats and drawbridges! Dig a ditch around the perimeter, and have drawbridges!

I don't expect you to actually put a moat all the way around, but the idea might apply to areas on the perimeter of TL. You'll have giant swales, and all the topsoil you'll ever need for the hugelbeets you can put on the inside shores of the ditches and everywhere else.

-CK
 
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Must be careful with traps, barbed wire or other things that could hurt someone. Might be some liability there. Getting the word out and people in place will make a difference as has been said.
 
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I think you're right Paul.

These people don't know you just bought the land, and the chances are they're locals. Have you introduced yourself to your neighbours? Once they know what your motivation and plans are, and that they're in the presence of royalty, word will spread very quickly.

I personally wouldn't get "official", or legal, or heavy handed. These people only want to have a bit of fun, and they don't think they're imposing on anybody.

Instead of a "No Trespassing" sign, how about a sign with the name of your farm on it, and an invitation to come and visit, check you out, and learn about permaculture?
 
pollinator
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Caltrops anyone ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caltrop

David
 
Chris Kott
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Think natural caltrops. That's why I brought up the thorny species. No intent to harm, no rusty bits, no legal issues.

In most cases, those just out to have fun will just go somewhere with fewer obstacles to their fun. And your neighbours, unless they are diametrically opposed in principle to what you're doing (it would take a special breed), are a part of your larger environment. Proper neighbourculture (the proper feeding and keeping of neighbours, not using them in your hugelbeets) is a vector for permaculturation of your larger environment.

-CK
 
David Livingston
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I must admit I have little time for goons in cars or trucks ripping up the landscape . In fact one of my proudest moments was in winning a week long courtcase in the UK the result was they were banned over several sq miles of moorland they claimed to have an ancient right to drive across in the North East of England .

David
 
paul wheaton
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When I had my farm on mount spokane, there was a guy with land just north of me. He owned 3000 acres. he told me stories of all the problems he had with trespassers. He had eventually worked a system that he did over and over again: walk his lands about once a week. Going for a walk was good for his health. When he found trespassers, he would call the sheriff, confiscate their keys and sell their cars. This was about four or five times a year. So, he had an alternative income stream. He had the system for selling their cars pretty optimized. And, apparently, it is 100% legal. The sheriff would verify the trespass and somehow that made it so he could get some sort of special title and he would then sell it cheap. Done. Motorcycles and ATVs too.

I don't want to do anything like this. Instead I just want folks to respect the boundary. I think for the first month, the mission is to get 90% of the people to respect the boundary. By the end of the third month, let's get that up to 99%. And by the end of two years: 99.999%.
 
Chris Kott
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And I think getting to know people in the area that want to get to know you, and telling that story about the neighbour and the tresspassing income stream, and how you don't want to do that here is a great and friendly way of suggesting the stick behind any carrot of your argument.

-CK
 
K. Johnson
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You mught consider hybrid 'hugelberms' adjacent to the gates to prevent drive-arounds. Then start some thornies on top. These probably won't stop the two or three wheelers though. If you are near FS land you might get a post and pole permit for logs to bury. Also downed logs across roads and adjacent to gates with signs will deter four wheeled hominids. Jack leg fences are nice - difficult to drive through.

Local thornies and scruffies: caragana, hops on supports, knarly roses especially harrisons yellow. I can propagate those for a handsome price

thinking
Kathy J.
 
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Paul, As you were saying in earlier messages that you were going to be low on cash. will you have enough money to buy livestock and dogs, because i would want that if i come out to help?

ps i have listened to most of your podcasts.
 
paul wheaton
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We will see how the next few days pan out to get a better idea of how much money we have for projects.
 
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Paul, I want to help. I want to move to Montana and help build this community.

I attended the RMH workshop last fall; you may remember me, I gave you a book you probably won't read and mentioned a documentary you said sucked. Doesn't bother me at all. You're the real deal and I respect you immensely.

So far I've listened to about 70 podcasts. I've just begun browsing the forums. I read this entire forum through yesterday's posts. There are a couple reasons I didn't express my interest immediately after receiving your 4/17 daily-ish: 1) I had to be sure I could make it work and 2) I knew you needed cash that I don't have, so allowed time for those folks with cash to get involved first. Hopefully I still have a shot at getting in on the ground level.

I've resided in Washington since birth (1981). I graduated WWU with a 3.7 and majors in accounting and management and a minor in economics. I obtained a CPA license in 2006 on the first attempt. I left the small public accounting firm I worked at for 5.5 years in April, 2011. While there I did all sorts of tax and financial accounting. I gave a year notice before leaving the company so they could sell the retirement plan division. That work does not excite me but I can do it. I worked 89 straight days before the last one because I liked my colleagues. Since leaving I've ramped up my efforts to change, personally and for the benefit of others.

I'm physically fit with no disabilities and no diet restrictions other than I want to eat delicious, quality food at every meal. I am single. I've lived off of savings for the last 25 months but only have about $1k left since doling out that amount for Geoff's PDC. After reading The Geography of Hope, I went to the first Earthship Academy in fall, 2011 and decided I wanted to build my own house some day. Earthships are just one form of dwelling that interest me and I know you don't want one on TL. Over the last year I've amassed a mountain of tools at auctions and garage sales; we can talk about which ones would be useful on TL.

I have some construction experience, some farming experience, and have read something about a lot of things. I never want to stop learning and would treat my time on your land like my MS... I'm thinking I'd like to live there several years. In return for my labor, input and whatever else, I need basic things like shelter, food and at least a little income for student loan payments. Internet would be real nice. There are very few people I can't get along with, but I am a little concerned about competition between applicants in the beginning. If invited to visit, I'd only be myself.

Thank you for this opportunity. I'm going to message Jocelyn now.
 
paul wheaton
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I gave you a book you probably won't read and mentioned a documentary you said sucked.






Hopefully I still have a shot at getting in on the ground level.



I think in the first month we are gonna be less picky than in the second. And in the first year we are gonna be less picky than in the second.

Right now there is nothing interesting to see and a lot of work to be done before people can properly stay on the land. So lots of hard work and very little interesting stuff. Plus, I think a lot of stuff is going to be where we will all be learning lots of things.

The big thing is the podcasts. Having folks come that have not listened to a lot of podcasts could slow us down too much.

This morning I am on basecamp by myself. At 2 I will be interviewed by NPR. At 3, one of the deeproots people will be here and the two of us will go to TL to take care of a couple of small chores. On saturday, I am picking somebody up from the airport that will be here ten days.

I guess one of my concerns is that if it is just me and one other person, they might get bored waiting for me to do all the other things I do. If there are four people here, then people can, at the very least, learn from each other while I am tending to on-line things. I think that by the time we get to the end of this summer we will have about eight people full time and things will be more organized. Right now it would be really good to have people with a high tolerance for disorganization.


we can talk about which ones would be useful on TL



Jocelyn said she is getting asked this a lot. I don't have a good answer. I think folks should bring the stuff they like best. The important thing is to make sure your tools are clearly marked as yours.




 
Bill Puckett
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Don't feel obligated to respond.

I am used to working for people who bill hundreds of dollars per hour. Very good people. I can dissuade trespassers at TL, when not helping with a work bench or something. My binoculars are packed. Also packed items for basic manipulation of wood and clay. Probably won't need the jackhammer just yet, but I have a box stuffed with worms by the car. My favorite tool is a sharp machete.

I'll bring three milk crates of screws, nails and the like. My plan was to store these things until I got land but that's probably ten years down the road. They can be yours. I know things are crazy right now but I'm not. I do quality work, kind of slowly.

It is my belief that up to half of the things people do are diametrically opposed to what they want to do. To improve my life, I have been consciously trying to avoid acting on impulse when unthreatened. I won't gum up the works. I can be very unobtrusive when necessary.

I don't smoke, drink or do drugs, prescription or otherwise. By this time next month I will have listened to 90% of your podcasts and watched a good chunk of the videos. The empire is vast. And now, it's getting tangible. Hooray!

I think a lot of stuff is going to be where we will all be learning lots of things.


Excellent.
 
paul wheaton
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I went up to TL yesterday. Somebody drove cross country to get around the big east gate and clearly did some camping on the east ridge. They left a lot of garbage.

And somebody drove around the west gate too.

----

In other news: it sounds like a good crowd will be here this weekend. Maybe four to eight people.


 
Bill Puckett
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They left a lot of garbage.


Sounds like you need a garbage crew. I'll have to pack the bear spray.
 
Chris Kott
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Would you be comfortable dropping select trees around the perimeter of TL such that the gates are the only access? If they can't drive over, and can't easily move the logs, I'd think they'd consider 8t too much trouble.

Have you made nice with the local constabulary? I can't think they'd take kindly to casual trespass and vandalism. I would think it makes them look bad as la2 enforcement officers.

-CK
 
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Berms!
 
Chris Kott
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That's what I'm saying. Just drop some trees and start the berms with large piled logs that are hard to move, continually turning the log piles into hugelbeets as materials become available.

Personally, I just hope that any interactions between unwanted 4-wheeled human rats and large, territorial animals, like perhaps bulls or ostriches, get caught on video. Chances are the intruder would die, though. How does the law view that, if someone vandalises your gate to trespass on your property and gets his fool ass killed? Would there be any difference if they get gored by irate livestock or mauled by a bear for littering?

-CK
 
David Livingston
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I think you need to talk to the police about the free loaders on your property Paul .

before something happens . They could be hunters someone could get shot by accident since it is bear country , they are causeing you work , its not like you dont have anything else to do . They are dystroying your property
I think a phone call and maybe invite the local law enforcement round for a cup of tea or coffee before something happens would be time well spent . The police are real people too and when approached the right way can be very helpful . They dont like surprises in my experiance. They may have some idea who are the tresspassers are and thus have a quiet word with people . 5 mins on the phone and a cup of coffee plus a warm welcome would be a sound investment in any future dealings.

David
 
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