Thoughts on "Corner Crossing"?

Tracey Colson

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It’s absurd to me that private landowners think they have the exclusive rights to public land.

In my part of the world a landlocked situation would create a prescriptive easement.

I sure wish that was the case in my part of the world. Landlocked public land is kind of a bad subject with me, it is even listed on some of the bigger ranches real estate adds when they sell that there is private access to public ground
 

BourbonTrail

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I’m both a raging a-hole about private property, and a complete realist about public property access. (Most private property in the checkerboard zones is held by cattle ranching conglomerates, and they make me look tame. )

On that note…I’m sorry, but easements to public land should be a given at this point considering the situation in the checkerboard. Why can’t the gub-ment intercede and fix the issue with some access roads.
:E Red Hot:
 

sureshot375

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I sure wish that was the case in my part of the world. Landlocked public land is kind of a bad subject with me, it is even listed on some of the bigger ranches real estate adds when they sell that there is private access to public ground
I saw some of those listings recently on another forum discussing this same topic. Almost seems like false advertising and a violation of the rules governing real estate advertising.
 

steve white

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It’s absurd to me that private landowners think they have the exclusive rights to public land.

In my part of the world a landlocked situation would create a prescriptive easement.
+1
 

Vintageguy

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Reminds me of a story my father told me that happened shortly after WW2. The Midwest rural community he lived in had a piece of landlocked public land that had been accessed as long as anyone could remember across the friendly private landowner by a road he had for that purpose. It was a thick area that many hunted pheasant and whitetails on. Well, the owner passed and the heirs sold the private to a rich fella who showed up one Saturday at the local bar before the season to announce that the access was closed and all the local yokels had best stay out or face prosecution.
One night while the new owner was gone to his primary residence out of town the public land caught fire burning completely then spreading onto the his private burning it also and being stopped only by the road on its border. Only the green fall yard saved the house.
He said the guy showed up again at the bar wanting to buy everyone a round and proclaim he was going to allow access after all. Dad said someone said “Hunt? Why would anyone go out there? There’s not cover for a field mouse.”
Seems that fire became a real nuisance in the fall there for years after that. My old man said the lesson in that was that there’s not just always a bigger bully out there but that there’s also always a bigger a-hole out there too.
 

Spooksar

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Here in Alberta there is a grid system, but every mile there is a 32 foot right of way. Some landowners try to block the right of way but don’t succee.
 

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As the helo flies over his property and six hunters fast-rope to the public land......then what?? :)
That has been done in several places, perfectly legal and no law suits I know of.
 

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You have a very weak case when ”damages” are based on allowing public access to publicly owned land with no physical contact with your privately owned land. The landowner will probably win if it stays in state courts in WY, but I understand some parts are in Federal court, which should bode well for public access to the public land.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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It gets complicated and fast.......

This indeed has been an issue for quite awhile in the Rocky Mountain west. When I lived in Idaho, there were quite a few stories of private landowners even putting up gates on public land to prevent hunters/hikers/horse back riders from accessing trails.

Parts of the issue involve simple greed by the owners of private land. In other cases, users of the public land can blame themselves. For crying out loud, if you open a gate to continue on your path, close the damn gate after you pass through.

Below is some links about an issue in the Crazy Mountains in Montana. The gentleman mentioned in the articles, Rob G, is a friend of mine. We used to work together when we both lived in Pocatello, ID. The interesting part of this is he is a full bred, died in the blue wool liberal. He is married to a NY liberal. Both are accomplished hunters and anglers.

I mention this only because sometimes, especially in our hyper compartmentalized political world we find ourselves in, at least in the USA, I think we need to find common ground to establish solutions to problems that affect us all regardless of political positions.


 

horsedr

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This is a lot easier to resolve than the riverbed access issue. That's going to really contentious.
 

igotit

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This whole corner crossing deal pisses me off! I’ve always been one to try and look at both sides, and I understand and respect ranchers have a right to protect their property. But in this case and many others like it, they are doing nothing but trying deny the public, access to public land, period! Why are they doing this?? Because for many many years, before Onx and other similar apps, they could post it as private and keep people out so that they could hunt and guide other hunters on prime public land.

I’ll admit, I crossed a corner this year on a Barbary sheep hunt for my son. At this corner there were absolutely no fences! Zero fences! And no indication that their had ever been a fence here, EVER! The landowner had taken five t-posts and put them where the fence corner would be if there were fences there. He then took four 25’ joints of sucker rod and wired them to the t-posts to make a corner of a non-existing fence. I’d guess it was probably 5-1/2’, maybe 6’ tall which made it very difficult and dangerous to climb over. We had hiked about 2 miles across public land to get to this corner and I wasn’t going to hike back out and let the landowner win.

I’d like to know if his “corner” was even in the correct spot. Did the landowner have it surveyed just for this reason, or did he just guess or go off of where Onx said the corner was? Idk for sure, but that would’ve been my first question had he confronted us. We went in and hunted and came back out without any problems, but it sucks having that BS in the back of your mind while you’re trying to enjoy a hunt with your 14 yr old son.

It would be nice to finally have some clarity on this.
 

TheWhitetailNut

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It’s absurd to me that private landowners think they have the exclusive rights to public land.

In my part of the world a landlocked situation would create a prescriptive easement.
It's absurd to me a total stranger things he should have the right to walk on my land to access public land behind mine.
 

Mountaineer

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Seems a high price tag the owner thinks of his property. Wonder if the local tax appraiser is reading this thread. I bet he may like to reassess the value and get the county a big pile of taxes!
 

WAB

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It's absurd to me a total stranger things he should have the right to walk on my land to access public land behind mine.

Look into the intent behind the checkerboard. It dates back to the construction of the railroads. You will see that it clearly follows the RR ROW. It was intended to ensure public access by corner crossing. Expensive lawyers have generated case law that has resulted in exactly the opposite.

Just how much air do you own above your property? With a well marked corner, I can clearly step from public land to public land without stepping on your property.
 

Mtn_Infantry

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Been following this pretty closely as well as the NM Waterway Access case since I hunt a good deal of public land myself.
 
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fourfive8

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The early US Gov checkerboard land status allocation system certainly has made for some interesting confrontations, special agreements and settlements. Even the Navajo Nation has been involved in a significant and un-foreseen way. Sometimes the checkerboard conflict resolutions involve “unitization”.

Looking at large scale land status maps, you may also notice a state “school” section thrown into many of the original 36 section township blocks within the checkerboard system. The idea being each 36 sq mi township may, at some time in the future, need a school.

And the conflicts over access to landlocked public land will continue to simmer well into the future I imagine- whether it involves “corner crossing” or not.
 

baxterb

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Here in Alberta there is a grid system, but every mile there is a 32 foot right of way. Some landowners try to block the right of way but don’t succee.

This is precisely what I have been saying for years now. Didn’t know Alberta did this.

I put it this way: for every X number of acres of public land there must be Y public access points. Here in Idaho we have some really great access points for rivers. Some, literally go between multi-million (and I mean 10s of millions) dollar houses. The access was there first. I remember walking in to the river once and there was a lady enjoying her hot tub. I walked by, waved, and started fishing.
 

jcnelsn1

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This is precisely what I have been saying for years now. Didn’t know Alberta did this.

I put it this way: for every X number of acres of public land there must be Y public access points. Here in Idaho we have some really great access points for rivers. Some, literally go between multi-million (and I mean 10s of millions) dollar houses. The access was there first. I remember walking in to the river once and there was a lady enjoying her hot tub. I walked by, waved, and started fishing.
In North Dakota section lines are considered public roadways open to travel 33 feet on either side. Sounds similar to Alberta
 

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